pod culturing!

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    Mandarins are beautiful, but unfortunately most of us find it hard to keep them due to the fact they are so picky. We can however culture Copepods to feed to them, as they are the closest thing we can reproduce easily at home.

    The following describes how I culture Copepods at home to help with Mandarin feeding, and hopefully this should help ‘normal reefers’ to do the same.

    Copepods are a small planktonic crustacean usually measuring 1-2mm in length, they have a drop shaped body and antennae…

    I’d just like to say before I start, that although I like to culture Copepods and Rotifers together (due to the Copepods ‘apparently’ being more stable paired with Rotifers, it’s not a certain thing, but I like to be careful.) These instructions work for both cultures.

    1) A container with airtight lid, tall ones don’t work well so something like the one in the picture. Its better to use the tubs without clear side so the Copepods and Rotifers do not get startled.
    2) An air pump, air line, air stone, rigid airline.
    3) Filter floss
    4) One way valve for air line
    5) Air restrictor… above few available here
    6) Starter culture of Copepods and Rotifers, and more
    7) phyto, roti-rich, phyto-feast…whichever.
    8) RO water
    9) Aquarium salt, same as you use for your tank
    10) 53 Micron Filter/strainer, available here
    11) A small container 1/3 of the size of the culture container for water changes.


    Stickied as a number of people have been asking about this subject.


    Hi. Just had a thought – can seahorse fry be raised on baby copepods?


    Well done I for one will be following this as wanting to culture them myself as no-one local does them – asked on here before ….plus they’ll be cheaper and fresher many thanks for the advice ATB Judy
    Printed off ready to read and prepare at my leisure


    I started culturing them a few months back now, initially without much success. Then I moved the tub into more direct light on a window ledge and hey presto loadsa pods, it made all the difference.

    Have just cleaned my container out but was very reluctant to throw out that last bit of muck left in the bottom, it was teaming with copepods. Might see if there is a different strainer that will allow pods through without muck, even a nylon tea strainer wouldn’t do it.


    Do you have any advice on the size of the culture container? Is there a minimum volume that you would recommend?

    Space is quite tight for me, especially if I am having more than one culture running at a time.

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