Raising phyto, pods, and rotifers

Discussion in 'Propagation' started by BSAJim, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. BSAJim

    BSAJim Supporting Member

    After my 190 is rid of algae and is stable and growing, my next project is to spin up a frag/propagation tank. My objective is not to sell, but to have frags to swap at meets and also give to new tank owners and folks who experience a crash.

    While many corals experience growth with just good water and light, most seem to experience increased growth when in an environment with enriched food sources such as phyto, pods and rotifers.

    I have read several sources on differing methods for raising all three, but was hoping that there were some BAR members who had or are actually doing it and could share their insights.

    Anybody?

    Jim
     
  2. Bruce Spiegelman

    Bruce Spiegelman Supporting Member

    Mola Mola raises rotifers and pods i her classroom. I believe she has seperate systems for a few things like that. I know she promised me rotifers soon :)
     
  3. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    I raise rotifers in a bucket system from Reed Mariculture because I heard about it at the BAR copepod presentation last year: http://apbreed.com/product_compact_culture_system.php All I add is a small air pump, though when I restart it again within the next week or two I may add a tiny heater. No light. There are other culture methods online that people have described.
    I feed a liquid phytoplankton product which includes an ammonia neutralizer additive to the rotifers once or twice a day, do partial water changes daily when I harvest some, and they are left alone on the weekends. I keep a backup culture in the fridge in case of a crash. I give the bucket a 10-second scrub daily to keep the sides from getting weird buildup and I rinse the filter floss. To harvest the rotifers, I pour a few liters through two sieves, feeding small ones to jellyfish and larger ones to the reef tank. Then I add water to replace what I took out, which constitutes the water change.
    The color of the bucket water indicates how much food is in there and when you should add food. If you have access to a microscope you can see and count the rotifers if you like. They are interesting to look at; I still do not know how to count them properly. They are very tiny, so without the scope you just see tiny specks.
    I had a weird issue with phytoplankton-like particles kind of flocculating or something, so I started pouring the bucket liquid through rotifer floss, which took care of it. I will be restarting our culture because it crashed and died in Dec during really cold room temps and I did not want to deal with it during school vacation.
    I have not raised phytoplankton but heard it is easy. I have not raised pods, either. I have old and new copies of author Hoff's plankton culture bible if you'd like to read up. That is way beyond the scope of my setup and I just follow my routine and try to bring the rotifers back if the population seems to decline, such as when a student added freshwater instead of saltwater, it got way too hot, someone dumped out most of it while mistaking it for water change water to be discarded, and someone added phytoplankton to the harvested rotifers for a day or two and fed it to the reef tank instead of feeding the culture.
    That's all I know.
     
  4. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    I should add that jellyfish appear to love rotifers, as do the LPS in our reef tank. Gorgonians have the fastest response and sometimes open right up and extend polyps when we dump in rotifers.
    We also hatch artemia (baby brine shrimp) in a soda bottle with an air pump. I need to read up on feeding plankton to make them more nutritious to the consumers.

    Oh yeah, Bruce, I will keep you in the loop!
     
  5. Bruce Spiegelman

    Bruce Spiegelman Supporting Member

    Yay! My Gorgonian is waiting!
     
    MolaMola likes this.

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