How To Grow Daphnia For The Aquarium
The benefits of feeding live food to fish in a community tank are many: live food will improve vigor and color, and more closely resemble the food found in the fish's natural habitat. Live food is easily obtained.
Some drawbacks include the transmission of diseases or parasites to the aquarium, it is time consuming to maintain the cultures, and a lot of space needs to be devoted to raising live foods. The cost of equipment and supplies needed to maintain cultures is also a consideration for the beginner.
In this article I will discuss how to raise Daphnia. This article will be part of an on-going series on live foods. You can find many more related articles at http://www.kingdiscus.com.
Daphnia belong to a group known as the Daphniidae, and are close relatives of the freshwater shrimp, and the brine shrimp (Artemia). Their generic name is generally referred to as "water flea." This common name is derived from the jerky movements of Daphnia in the water. The over 150 different species can be found in North America, with a similar amount of species growing in Europe. Some of these species find common ground on both continents.
Daphnia are a small crustacean, and are great to use as a fresh food because they will exist in the tank water until eaten by the fish. Daphnia can also be sterilized if it is felt necessary by placing in a 5% solution of Clorox for 3 to 5 minutes. Very few micro-organisms can survive this. Be sure, however, to rinse them thoroughly before feeding!
Daphnia can be raised both indoors and outside. Many people raise daphnia in a small children's wading pool. A more controlled environment, however, is done indoors, and can be done year round if one lives in northern climes. This can be as simple as a couple of two liter bottles, to a 20 gallon tub purchased from a store such as Menard's. The ideal situation is to have as much oxygenated surface area as possible, so if there is room for a larger container, by all means use it. A shallower environment suits daphnia best for prolific growth.
Setting up the environment for daphnia is quite simple. Many methods are used for collecting the water to use for the culture. The best advice I have heard is from Joe F. of Circle City Aquarium Club in Indianapolis, IN. He gave a presentation at the August meeting of Southwestern Michigan Aquarium Society, and recommends using tank water saved from a tank change. Joe has been raising live foods for a long time, and has had good success. His video presentation was top notch.
PH levels for successful Daphnia cultures should be in the range of 6-8, and should be more alkaline than acidic. If raised outdoors, no aeration is needed. If raised indoors, aeration should be adjusted to produce large bubbles. Small bubbles in the daphnia culture will cause the bubbles to become lodged in the carapace of the culture, and they will die.
Water temperatures for Daphnia magna are not a high requirement, but the optimal temperature should be in the 64-72 degree range. they are very tolerant to changes in temperature, and can withstand fluctuations down to freezing. In fact, Daphnia can be frozen and kept in the freezer, and then revived when needed. Moina withstand a higher fluctuation in temperature than do D. magna.
Lighting should be in the neighborhood of eight or more hours light per day and light intensity equal to or greater than 850 lux. A simple light and a timer can accomplish this indoors.
Feeding the Daphnia is where most aquarists fail. Daphnia feed on dissolved organic matter, yeast, various groups of bacteria, microalgae, and detritus, or mulm. Organic fertilizers, such as fresh cow manure. It is not recommended by our breeder, though, because of the antibiotics and supplements fed to dairy and beef cattle. A much better mixture is a combination of one tablespoon each of spirulina, soy flour, and active dry yeast, added to a pint of water. This mixture should be added so that the water is cloudy, but you are able to see the bottom clearly, and observe the Daphnia swimming in the culture. This mixture should be added carefully every two or three days, being careful not to over feed. At this time, you should see an abundance of Daphnia, and they can be harvested to feed your fish.
Harvesting is quite simple - simply use a small aquarium net, observing that the smaller Daphnia fall through the netting to grow further. In this way, the adults are harvested, and can be fed to your fish. The younger Daphnia can go on to produce still more fish food. Harvested Daphnia can be kept in the refrigerator for several days in clean water.
Daphnia are high in protein, and a very good diet for tropical fish. Some aquarists feed them exclusively. They provide up to 70% protein to your tropical fish, and are an excellent source of live food for the aquarium.
Much can be written on the culturing of Daphnia. This guide is only meant to help the beginner to live foods to establish a colony, and feed live food high in protein to their fish. A series of article on live foods is forthcoming, and can be viewed at http://www.kingdiscus.com.
Alden Smith is a published author, and has been marketing on the internet for 7 years. Read more articles at his website, King Discus, an active gathering place for discus breeders and lovers of discus fish.His wife Betsy is the administrator of All The Best Recipes a site rich in free online recipes and cookbooks.
Pros and Cons of Buying Pet Medicine Online
Pets are many things in many ways but they are not responsible. Not outside of very limited doggy parameters. This means that you are 100% responsible for your pet's health. In this day of seemingly limitless online medication options, the only way to face this challenge is through education. Freedom of choice is only a benefit when you are familiar with the choices.
A Guide to Successful Obedience Training
Showing off your dog in front of friends and family is something that I personally love to do. Having an obedient, happy slab of lab is like having an obedient happy child. Have you ever been in a supermarket only to come across a screaming baby and a blushing parent? I know I have, and my first reaction is to get as far away from the disturbing scene as possible. I have also been in the undesirable situation of being in public with an unobedient dog and I can say, I feel the pain of the frantic parent!
My Dog Won?t Stop Digging - What Can I Do?
Lonely, bored, tired of eating that same old stick, then maybe you would like to dig yourself a hole.
How to Build a Dog House for Your Puppy
So you'd like to know how to build a dog house? Well, that means we're talking to less than 50% of all dog owners. Why? Because current survey information at OpinionTrone says most dog owners (over 50%) allow their pets on the family couch. Furthermore, if you allow your pet on the couch, chances are that you do not HAVE a dog house!
Which Parrot is Right For Me?
Which parrot is right for me? This is a question that you must ask yourself before you think of keeping these lovely birds as pets. It is as important as your decision to have a child. You need to ask - which parrot is right for me - because every parrot has its distinctive temperament and nature. No two parrots are alike.
Lower Your Veterinarian Costs And Increase the Longevity of Your Pets Lives
What does doing natural preventative care mean? I thought vaccinating, prevention medicines, and premium kibble was natural preventative care. Hardly.
Acclimating New Birds
Now that my services have expanded into the "matchmaking" business, it dawned on me that we need to talk about the transition of a bird moving to a new home, whether a hand fed baby just adopted to a new home or an older bird going to a second home. This is a stressful time for any bird, but you can help lessen the strife and make the move easier for both your new bird and the rest of the family.
Weaning Puppies Is Only Natural
Weaning puppies is a perfectly natural process. Mamma dogs have been doing it successfully for ages, so how hard can it be, right?
Crate Training for Puppies and Dogs
Wondering how to begin crate training your puppy or dog, or even whether you should?
Declawing Your Cat
This is a very controversial topic which has a lot of emotion behind but it needs to be looked at. As a cat owner who has experienced difficulty dealing with a cat scratching issue in my home, it is difficult not to be biased but let's give the issue of declawing its due and see what exactly the pros and cons are.
Feeding Your Pet Stingray - The Essentials of Maintaining a Varied Diet
Stingrays will eat a wide variety of foods. Maintaining a varied diet is extremely important in captive animals, as monocultural diets incur a risk of nutritional deficiencies. Stingrays are very active, and should be fed at least once a day, preferably twice or even three times daily. The daily diet can be varied in order to create some environmental enrichment as well as balanced nutrition for the rays.
Scientific Name: Botia macracanthusOther Scientific Name(s): Cobitis macracanthus, Botia macrocanthusCommon Name: Clown Loach
Does The World Need More Cats?
Aren't they cute? Yes, they are! A nest of meowing and crawling little kittens leaves only the fiercest cat hater indifferent. But does the world need more cats?
Preparing for Your New Pet
Getting a new pet can be a lot of fun. You can choose from a dog, cat, hamster, gerbil, rabbit, and the list goes on and on. No matter what pet you choose, you will need to outfit them with the latest and greatest in pet gear. If you shop smart, you should be able to find many of your items for cheap.
Maintaining your Fish Bowls
Maintaining your fish bowl can be difficult sometimes. However, your fish bowl should be kept as hygienic as possible. Doing so should help prevent any health care problems for your fish. When you are cleaning your fish bowl, do it as quickly as possible, because it is dangerous for your fish to be out of its fish bowl. Only clean your fish bowl with a cleaner that is safe for your fish.
Cat Scratching Solutions
For a cat, scratching is a natural, necessary act. Besides keeping her claws in top shape, the stretching involved in a good scratch keeps her upper body strong and loose. Also, every time a cat scratches a surface, scent glands between her toes leave her signature smell for others to find. In this way, she marks her territory, even if that happens to be in your living room.
How to Increase Your Fishkeeping Fun
Do you really get the fullest amount of enjoyment out of your fish?, or is it hampered by little worries and anxieties?
Westie Merchandise that Benefits your Dog
There are many places to find Westie merchandise, but before you make a purchase for yourself or your Westie, consider first a retailer or non-profit organization that uses sales of Westie merchandise to benefit the breed.
Train Your Dog To Be Your Frisbee Playing Buddy
On the surface playing Frisbee with your dog may seem like just a bit of fun, but this activity actually holds other benefits as well.
How Many Dogs Are Too Many?
I'm a pariah among the dog fanciers in my community. Why? Because I testified in support of a new regulation to limit pet ownership to no more than a total of three dogs and/or cats, older than six-months of age, in one household.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|