Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Breeding copepods (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/coral-reef-creatures/breeding-copepods-45401/)

Mike 06-18-2010 09:59 AM

Breeding copepods
 
My attempt to breed copepods in my in tank refugium was a failure and an expensive one at that. It was only a few days ago that I set up the in tank refugium, added some sand, a small piece of rock, some cheato, and poured two bottles of live copepods and stirred a teaspoon of brine shrimp eggs into it. See http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/s...ed-tank-45229/

I made the mistake of using the powerhead that came with the in tank refugium at first, which blew many of the copepods and brine shrimp eggs out of the in tank refugium and into the main aquarium, but I turned it off fast enough so that there were still many copepods and eggs in the refugium. Several days later, not only are the copepods not multiplying like I'd hoped to see, but I can't spot a single one of them in the refugium, not to mention a single live brine shrimp.

I lifted and looked through the cheato for copepods and lifted and looked under the rock. Nothing. I was able to see the copepods just fine when they were alive, so I would think I'd be able to see them on the sand bed if they were dead.

Does anyone have any ideas about what might have happened to them? Also, does anyone know the ideal water parameters for keeping copepods? Our specific gravity is at 1.018 because I heard that was a good way to impede parasites in a fish only tank. I realize that with the introduction of the copepods and brine shrimp eggs our aquarium is no longer fish only, but the employee at the store said a specific gravity of 1.018 should be just fine for copepods.

Thanks,
Mike

bearwithfish 06-18-2010 10:05 AM

my guess would be that they went into hiding for a bit to get used to your water and to begin the process of getting established.. they may have gone inside the rock or into the sand bed i would wait a few more days and see how things develop.. another idea after looking at your set up is that they may have ventured into the main tank to find spots to hide

Mike 06-18-2010 10:12 AM

Thanks, Brett. My first thought was also that they'd hidden somewhere, but I watched the tank closely for a while, checked under "their" rock, and sifted through their cheato and I didn't find a single one. Are they that good at hiding?

bearwithfish 06-18-2010 10:47 AM

oh yes quite good at hiding.. after all the recent issues in my tank i thought the whole population was gone after a few days they were everywhere again.... i mean a lot of them....

wake49 06-18-2010 12:37 PM

Have you tried shining a flashlight into the refugium about an hour or two after the lights go out?

Mike 06-18-2010 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bearwithfish (Post 407323)
oh yes quite good at hiding.. after all the recent issues in my tank i thought the whole population was gone after a few days they were everywhere again.... i mean a lot of them....

I'm glad your copepods made it, Brett. :-)

Quote:

Originally Posted by wake49 (Post 407423)
Have you tried shining a flashlight into the refugium about an hour or two after the lights go out?

I haven't tried this, Jeff. I'll give it a shot tonight. So you're also of the opinion that they could be hiding so well that there isn't any trace of them when the lights are on?

onefish2fish 06-19-2010 07:29 AM

they can hide pretty good but usually if the population is up there you'll see them hustle around during the day. im curious to where your nitrates are at since this is a FO tank. i hate to tell you to go out and buy something but increasing the live rock you have ( idk how much you already have ) will help offer more areas for them to live and more shelter from other fish. if you have high nitrates i dont think you'll get much of anything so i would worry about that first. adding a nice piece of established rock to the fuge and waiting patiently should bring in pods. if you used tiger pods ive read/heard they are a cold water species, which would mean they prob. died from shock. your best bet would be to culture the pods that come in from live rock instead of paying such a high price for bottled ones.

Mike 06-20-2010 06:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onefish2fish (Post 407873)
they can hide pretty good but usually if the population is up there you'll see them hustle around during the day.

I expected to see a few of them around during the day but I haven't seen a single one since the day after I put them in the in tank refugium. I also tried looking at night with a flashlight like Jeff suggested but didn't see any then, either.

Quote:

Originally Posted by onefish2fish
i hate to tell you to go out and buy something but increasing the live rock you have ( idk how much you already have ) will help offer more areas for them to live and more shelter from other fish.

There isn't any live rock in the aquarium itself. I bought some dried, formerly live rock and put it in the in tank refugium which sits inside the aquarium and then emptied the two bottles of copepods into the in tank refugium. Here is a picture of it.

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-refugium1.jpg

Quote:

Originally Posted by onefish2fish
if you have high nitrates i dont think you'll get much of anything so i would worry about that first.

Thanks, I'll be sure to check my nitrates. I've been doing weekly water changes and cleaning up after my puffer, so I would think they'd be good.

Quote:

Originally Posted by onefish2fish
adding a nice piece of established rock to the fuge and waiting patiently should bring in pods. if you used tiger pods ive read/heard they are a cold water species, which would mean they prob. died from shock. your best bet would be to culture the pods that come in from live rock instead of paying such a high price for bottled ones.

You know, I think they actually were Tiggerpods. So these things may not even be able to survive in typical saltwater aquarium temperatures? I suppose that would explain why the bottles are kept refrigerated in the store. I thought that was just to prolong their lives, though, and that they'd be fine in an aquarium.

http://www.reefnutrition.com/i/tiggerpods_bottle.jpg

When you recommend getting some live rock and cultivating the pods that come with it, does the average piece of live rock come with enough pods to facilitate that? Do you have to find/choose a piece that you see them scampering around on, or can you pretty much assume that any cured live rock will have pods?

onefish2fish 06-20-2010 07:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Administrator (Post 408412)
Do you have to find/choose a piece that you see them scampering around on, or can you pretty much assume that any cured live rock will have pods?

i would look for a piece of established cured live rock, one that was in a tank for some time now. i would transfer it into a bucket of that tank water if possible to help minimize the die off while you transfer it back to your tank. a good place to look for a rock like this would be from a fellow reefer close by. if you dont already belong to a local reefing club, i suggest searching your area for one. i understand you dont have a reef tank, but you still have a saltwater tank and thats what they're all about.

rotifer 06-21-2010 12:59 PM

Tigger-Pods (Tigriopus californicus ) thrive in tropical temperature water. They can tolerate cold temperatures very well and go into a quasi-hibernation state, that's why they are shipped cold and kept refrigerated in stores.

Tigriopus californicus don't live in the ocean - they live in the warm splash zone pools up above the ocean. These pools are shallow and get quite warm during the day, some much warmer than reef systems. The following published scientific study shows that they live in temperatures ranging from 42 to 92 F:
(http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=624BD5F53A532E2FEDA56CD E6D441F93.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=70713).

The two most common reasons for Tigger-Pods to not thrive in reef systems is they are eaten too quickly, or starve.


In the tide pools where Tigger-Pods live there are no predators so they don't have the instincts to hide in the rocks when fish come by. Since they don't hide they get eaten pretty quickly in display tanks. We recommend they be cultured in a sump or refugium where there are no predators. They can also be easily cultured in a separate system like a 9x13 cake pan.

The population of copepods in a reef system is often food limited by the amount of natural microalgae that the reef system produces each day. If you supplement with microalgae you increase the amount of available food, and hence the population that can be supported. When additional pods are added the amount of food required immediately goes up, especially when feeding very large copepods like Tigger-Pods. Unfortunately many people don't add additional microalgae so both the Tigger-Pods and the existing copepod population end up with a food shortage and quickly starve.

Randy Reed / Reed Mariculture / Reef Nutrition


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