Jump to content

Copepod reactor


Hydro

Recommended Posts

I bought this zooplankton reactor from aqua-medic

http://www.customaqu...duct=FO-AB76008

I mounted this on the wall outside my tank at the same height as my tank. I ran a hose from my tank through the wall and then down through the top of the reactor. I then ran the hose from the bottom of the reactor through the wall down to my sump, and hooked my airline up to a small airpump. Usually this is used seperately from the tank but I wanted to make a constant feeder so I'm trying this idea. I fill it with tank water, drop in a bottle of tiger pods, add some DT's phyto to feed them, after my reactor is full of pods I will start the drip down to the sump. Water will siphon in from the tank slowly but cant overflow the reactor b/c its the same height as the tank. So I'm dripping tank water in slowly and dripping out copepods and phytoplankton. I will put some amphidods and rotifers in there as well. I read that in different stages they will eat each other but I really don't care as long as what my fish eats is fat and healthy.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I want to do this so I can add several schools of anthias and not have to feed frozen so much.

post-1255-0-17265800-1304552908_thumb.jp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've tried to grow pods and I gave up. The amount of phyto I had to pump into the system made it cost prohibitive. You are supposed to keep the water (about 1/4 of a 5 gallon bucket full) green enough that you can't see the bottom. Well even with a small population of pods, I was blowing through a bottle of DT's about every 2 weeks.

Another issue is pods like cooler water and little or no light. Everything I read said growing them in a cool basement is best. I'll be interested to see if you get better results with the warm water and high light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's cool smile.gif. I totally thought about buying one of those, but didn't want to spend the money. I love how you have it set up to automatically enter your tank! Ironically, I've ended up creating a DIY type one using a 3 gallon aquarium I had sitting around in the garage (bought and never opened of course).

Its the Aquaview 360 with color changing LED

post-1201-0-94060100-1304559186_thumb.jp

I originally had it set up with the grid on the bottom, then live rock on top of that and tried to get a microscopic culture of rotifers going. Well I hated not being able to see the rotifers so I decided to go with Tiger pods instead. I thought I could try and use the same tank for macroalgae so I did the following:

I glued an extra suction cup to the large round opening in the grid, then I drilled a hole in the suction cup just big enough to fit rigid tubing. I cut the middle section away from a water bottle and am using this to steady the grid 4-5 inches from the bottom of the tank. I made 3 different openings around the water bottle where it meets the bottom of the tank. Now the air moves down through the rigid tube and bubbles out from under the water bottle and up through the grid. There is live rock in the bottom section where the pods like to hang out.

post-1201-0-70908200-1304559241_thumb.jp

The air flow has done a great job of keeping my macro algae in constant motion/tumble on the top half.

post-1201-0-68954800-1304559270_thumb.jp

I love this setup and it has done really well for the past week (made it this weekend). I'm adding some ulva tomorrow - so I can let you know how well it tumbles then.

post-1201-0-32765500-1304559308_thumb.jp

Sorry you can't see the macro-algae in the pictures - the LED is not very bright, the room lighting is bad and the water is nice and green from feeding it micro-algae. I promise it's there tumbling wink.gif.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've tried to grow pods and I gave up. The amount of phyto I had to pump into the system made it cost prohibitive. You are supposed to keep the water (about 1/4 of a 5 gallon bucket full) green enough that you can't see the bottom. Well even with a small population of pods, I was blowing through a bottle of DT's about every 2 weeks.

Another issue is pods like cooler water and little or no light. Everything I read said growing them in a cool basement is best. I'll be interested to see if you get better results with the warm water and high light.

I was wondering if I would have to use lots of DT's especially since I'll be on a constant drip in to the tank. I've breed rotifers before and didn't use that much DT's and I was putting 1/3 of it per day in my tank. I never had it so green I couldn't see the bottom though for sure, just tinted green.

I hadn't read that about keeping them in low light. I guess I could always wrap the exterior with something to block the light. Most likely the reactor will be at room temperature which should be around 75.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went online to find out more info and I ran across some good stuff from reef nutrition. Here is the link

http://www.reefnutrition.com/tigger_pods_care.html

They don't recommend any certain temperature and they only recommend just tinting the water green, that if its too much it can cause the culture to crash. There is also no mention of keeping it dark. One thing that they are adamant on is that not to contaminate the culture. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm assuming contamination means that another kind of pod can get in there and wipe out he culture you are trying to produce. As long as there are pods in there that is what matters, I assume, unless contamination means something else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great info Hydro. I think I might give this a shot myself as an experiement as it doesn't look too difficult to set something like this up. I too wonder what they mean by contimination, but I would imagine your theory is probably correct. And, I wonder what would be the big deal about adding "culture water" into the display?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great info Hydro. I think I might give this a shot myself as an experiement as it doesn't look too difficult to set something like this up. I too wonder what they mean by contimination, but I would imagine your theory is probably correct. And, I wonder what would be the big deal about adding "culture water" into the display?

Ya that was the other thing, why not add culture water to the display? I know when I was culturing rotifers I dumped the culture water in my tank and didn't notice any problems from that. I went to get tiger pods from RCA but they didn't have what I wanted as usual, guess I will try aquatek this afternoon. I think that I'll start out with a sterile reactor and add the tiger pods...wait 2 weeks for them to colonize and then start the siphon/drip. If any other pods are introduced after that they will be in competition with the tiger pods. If they can wipe out the tiger pods I have in there then maybe those are the pods that I want anyway!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lol. I've read a bunch on this as well. Contamination is anything other than fresh saltwater and the single pod you are trying to reproduce - for the reasons you already mentioned. I always fail when I try to do things "the right way" so my setup is anything but sterile. Plus I decided to add macro algae (i've got ulva, chaeto, garcilaria, codium, and left over oar grass tumbling) we'll see what happens blink.gif. I can still see plenty of tiger pods so i'm excited about that. I'm hoping the macro will "eat" up any extra nutrients that might cause a crash. Crashing is the main thing I'm worried about . . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I washed out the reactor today with fresh water to sterlize it so nothing was introduced besides tiger copepods. I added 2 full bottles of pods and some phytoplankton, lets see how it goes. My plan is to wait 1-2 weeks, depending on the population, and then start my drip. I'm debating just taking out pods as I need them or having the drip system. These tiger pods are bright red and are pretty large for copepods. It would be nice to just introduce just these but I think without the drip it would be more likely a crash could happen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I set up my culture today, not as cool as yours but hopefully it'll get the job done. If nothing else it's something to look at on my desk, wife says that she doesn't like looking at bugs...hehe oh well she'll get over it.

I'll let you know in a few weeks how I do.

ifY1p.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you adding phytoplankton to the water?

I'm mixing it up between roti food I purchased from aqua-culture nursery farms, phyto feast, DT's and an enrichment blend from seahorsesource.com I bought for the live brine shrimp I have to feed my sea horses. In terms of cost effectiveness - I'm looking at just feeding the phytoplankton tank the enrichment blend or a culture blend they sell at seahorsesource.com. I agree with a comment made above that continuously buying phyto feast or DT's is too expensive. I tried to culture my own micro-algae but gave up not too soon into the project. So far, so good. We'll see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read on several sites to feed them pulverized flake food. I also dropped some small pieces of macro from my fuge. BTW I read their diet is mainly decaying algae in the ocean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I set up my culture today, not as cool as yours but hopefully it'll get the job done. If nothing else it's something to look at on my desk, wife says that she doesn't like looking at bugs...hehe oh well she'll get over it.

I'll let you know in a few weeks how I do.

:thumbsup:

Are you using tiger pods?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So far so good. I had to use about 1/3 of a small bottle of DT's to get it started and I only had to add a little bit today leaving me with about 1/2 a bottle. So basically they don't eat it very fast but it took quite a bit to get the culture started. I don't really see that many new adults but there seem to be many small specs in the water which I would assume are the younger pods.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I'm doing good as well. I have not had any die off of the pods but it's hard to tell if they are multiplying yet or not. I used a very small amount of DT's in my 1/2 gallon mini aquarium I bought, maybe like 10% of the small DT's bottle. Hydro how big is your culture vessel? I'm probably going to add some more DT's this weekend and check water quality, right now it's still slightly green although not as green as when I first dosed it.

Little guys look to be happy, quite a few of them are interested in the air stone it seems as they seem to migrate there to hang out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine is about 3/4 gallon, maybe a little less. First pic is without flash so you can see the color of the water and second is with flash to show off the bugs. The look like fire ants...in fact when people come in and ask what it is we tell them they are a special breed of fire ant that can live under water that we are researching :lol:

post-1255-0-48536500-1305145058_thumb.jp

post-1255-0-09214000-1305145079_thumb.jp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did just dose it and I'm no expert ^_^ I know that there is more of a chance of crashing it the more food that you adds o I'm just guessing. I have looked at other cultures online and they had their water much darker than mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...