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altolamprologus

The Pod Farm

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The Pod Farm is a short guide to culturing copepods at home. I hope to continually add more species profiles as I experiment with them myself.

 

Tigriopus californicus

tigriopuscalifornicus.jpg

Type: Harpacticoid copepod

Lifestyle: Pelagic

Tolerance to change: Very high

Great for: Small planktivorous fish such as clownfish, cardinalfish, seahorses, pipefish, anthias, and post-meta* juvenile fish

*Do not feed to larval fish. T. californicus are large enough to chew through the stomach walls of delicate larval fish. They are safe anytime post-meta.

DIET: Phytoplankton, occasionally detritus and leftover food

IDEAL FOOD: A mix of various phytoplankton species, such as reef nutrition phyto-feast

TEMPERATURE RANGE: 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit

IDEAL TEMPERATURE: 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit

SALINITY RANGE: 1.015 SG-1.040 SG

IDEAL SALINITY: 1.030 SG

LIGHTING: Not necessary. Diffuse daylight will suffice. A lamp is optional if you wish to have live phytoplankton reproducing in the culture

AERATION: Not necessary

WATER CHANGES: 25% water change a month will suffice for most cultures. 100% water changes every couple months are not needed, but are beneficial

IDEAL CULTURE VESSEL: Bare bottom bucket with saltwater tinted green with phyto and at room temperature. I have also has great success using 2 liter bottles. Harvesting can be done by scooping pods out of a bucket with a brine shrimp net or pouring water in bottles through a sieve.

 

 

Tisbe biminiensis

tisbebiminiensis.jpg

Type: Harpacticoid copepod

Lifestyle: Benthic

Tolerance to change: Moderate

Great for: Dragonettes, pipefish, dwarf seahorses and juvenile seahorses

DIET: Detritus, phytoplankton, leftover fish food

IDEAL FOOD: Crushed fish flakes/pellets

TEMPERATURE RANGE: 60-82 degrees Fahrenheit

IDEAL TEMPERATURE: 68-74 degrees Fahrenheit

SALINITY RANGE: 1.020 SG- 1.030 SG

IDEAL SALINITY: 1.025 SG

LIGHTING: Not necessary. Will hide in dark areas when high light is present

AERATION: Not necessary

WATER CHANGES: 50% twice a month. Cultures will crash if water quality declines too far

IDEAL CULTURE VESSEL: Two liter bottle with saltwater and a small amount of crushed fish food. These bottles make it easy to harvest the copepods by pouring water through a sieve

Edited by altolamprologus
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That seems easy. Are you keeping a mandarin at the time?

Not at the moment. I'm very picky about what I want my mandarin to look like (more on the blue side rather than green) and I haven't yet found the perfect one. However, this does allow the cultures more time to grow.

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I had a mandarin for a bit but my coral banded shrimp caught and ate em. I tried so hard to keep it healthy. I cant keep gobies because of that shrimp. I caught him the other day with a cardinal fish. I will be getting rid of that shrimp on my upgrade, along with my brittle star( 12" from tip to tip.) I cant wait to see the one that you pick out. They might have good ones on drfostersmith

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I had a mandarin for a bit but my coral banded shrimp caught and ate em. I tried so hard to keep it healthy. I cant keep gobies because of that shrimp. I caught him the other day with a cardinal fish. I will be getting rid of that shrimp on my upgrade, along with my brittle star( 12" from tip to tip.) I cant wait to see the one that you pick out. They might have good ones on drfostersmith

 

Sorry to hear that :tears: I have seen some good looking mandarins on the internet, but I prefer to see them in person before buying them. I just don't want to take the risk of receiving a fish that looks nothing like the pic or is unhealthy.

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Sounds super fun! It's time consuming to harvest the little bugs that get stuck in my media bags, so I may start a culture. I don't know if my tank even has copepods. I have lots of amphipods and I could buy Reef Nutrition Tigger Pods at my LFS. Where could I find copepods in my reef?

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Sounds super fun! It's time consuming to harvest the little bugs that get stuck in my media bags, so I may start a culture. I don't know if my tank even has copepods. I have lots of amphipods and I could buy Reef Nutrition Tigger Pods at my LFS. Where could I find copepods in my reef?

Anywhere you have a few rocks close together there should be a bunch of copepods hiding. They're also often on the glass in areas where you can't scrub off the algae. One thing you can do is turn off all circulation in your tank and after 15 minutes, you should see swarms of pods out in the open near the sand. All you have to do is siphon them up.

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How did you acclimate your tigger pods? I've dumped them in my tank and shortly after watched them die? Not by fish eating either!

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How did you acclimate your tigger pods? I've dumped them in my tank and shortly after watched them die? Not by fish eating either!

I let them sit in the bottle for a few hours to slowly bring them to room temp then poured half the bottle into the culture jar with fresh saltwater and after a couple days of them doing well, I added the other half of the bottle. By saving some of them in the bottle, I had a back up incase the ones in the jar died. Yours probably died from temperature shock.

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Thank you. Are the jars on window sill for the macros to get light and for temp regulation, or is there another reason for that? Here in Wisconsin weather can be a pain in the ass! lol

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Thank you. Are the jars on window sill for the macros to get light and for temp regulation, or is there another reason for that? Here in Wisconsin weather can be a pain in the ass! lol

Yes, they are there for the macros and also because I feed live phytoplankton, so it keeps the phyto alive. Here in California the weather is really mild so they do well in the windowsill, but I think in Wisconsin the temperature of the jars would really be affected by being so close to the window.

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Anywhere you have a few rocks close together there should be a bunch of copepods hiding. They're also often on the glass in areas where you can't scrub off the algae. One thing you can do is turn off all circulation in your tank and after 15 minutes, you should see swarms of pods out in the open near the sand. All you have to do is siphon them up.

 

I'll go to the dollar store tomorrow and get some jars. Do I need to do water changes or aerate the jar water? And do they need live phyto or can it be RN phyto feast?

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I'll go to the dollar store tomorrow and get some jars. Do I need to do water changes or aerate the jar water? And do they need live phyto or can it be RN phyto feast?

On this small of a scale, no you don't need to aerate. But if you upgrade to anything more than half a gallon you should aerate it. They don't need live phyto, but I prefer it because it won't foul the water. Regular phyto feast will work just fine, but if you can find phyto feast live, it would be better.

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Just a small update: I have been seeing tiny baby Tigger pods since the culture was started, but nothing much until yesterday. Yesterday I noticed, quite litterally, THOUSANDS of baby pods on the side of the jar. In 2 more weeks I should have a huge population explosion :D

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Squared   

do you already have a mandarin?

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Squared   

and you were the first poster in this thread too lol.

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