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COPEPOD CULTURE FOR MANDARIN DRAGONET

Hella_Salty650

Supporting Member
Hey everyone,

I am planning to ATTEMPT to culture copepods because I will be adding a pair of captive bred Mandarins into my tank but my question is which would best supplement them?? I know having all pods are good but I am not in a space to continuously purchase a monthly subscription of pods and having multiple systems of different pods to culture is not realistic for me. My options are tisbe, apex, or tigger pods. Please advise!

For those who are upset at me not purchasing pods to constantly stock my tank,
- I cultivate live white worms / baby brine
- I cultivate phytoplankton / WILL BE CULTIVATING pods
- if there is any issues with pod population where mandarins become thin, I have 2 back up mix reef tanks more than capable of housing them
- Have a mix of frozen food

there may have been post on this in the past but I am new to the group!
 
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richiev

Supporting Member
Hey everyone,

I am planning to ATTEMPT to culture copepods because I will be adding a pair of captive bred Mandarins into my tank but my question is which would best supplement them?? I know having all pods are good but I am not in a space to continuously purchase a monthly subscription of pods and having multiple systems of different pods to culture is not realistic for me. My options are tisbe, apex, or tigger pods. Please advise!

For those who are upset at me not purchasing pods to constantly stock my tank,
- I cultivate live white worms / baby brine
- I cultivate phytoplankton / WILL BE CULTIVATING pods
- if there is any issues with pod population where mandarins become thin, I have 2 back up mix reef tanks more than capable of housing them
- I am purchasing captive bred for a reason (more environmental friendly, more hardy than wild, super cute and small lol)
- Have a mix of frozen food

there may have been post on this in the past but I am new to the group!
If you're interested in a secondary feeding option, you should check out the mandarin feeders on humble fish. I bought two for my future mandarin purchase.

They're basically fine mesh holders that you attach a line of tubing to, and feed brine into. The brine will be attracted to the light, so they'll hang out at the mesh, and that mandarin will just suck them out whenever they're hungry. Which is always.

My plan is to feed decapsulated brine eggs into it, so they can hatch in the tank.

Here's a pic of them:
PXL_20220528_160314025.jpg


I'll let others chime in with their fancy pod culture tips. I'm just using an old distilled water bottle + an air line + Reef Nutrition pods & phyto. I prefer the dead phyto, because it seems to generate less waste. I also have all my extra live rock in a big Rubbermaid full of phyto and pods. I'll probably regret that when I try and use the rock, but it's a nice secondary pod culture for now.
 

Qwiv

Supporting Member
I have grown pods 2 different ways. One in a culture station just like brine shrimp and the other in a Rubbermaid full rock rubble in mesh bags.

I was much happier with the Rubbermaid solution as it would not crash on me. Was just a bin with bags of rubble, heater and power head filter. Fed the tank a pinch of that green algae powder and swapped bags in and out of tank. Was pretty easy and not much work.

Actually took up less space then all the culturing stuff, no noise from air pumps and no cleaning. Top up by hand, used tank water for a water change every so often. Left all the slug in there and grew all the pods, not just single species.

Algae barn sells a bottle with 5 or 6 different pod species in it. Good way to start and one species at least should be happy in culture tank.
 

Klatzy

Supporting Member
I have a mandarin in a 24 gallon that appears to be thriving. He was tiny when I got him about half an inch in length and now's he's about 1.5 inches after about 2 months. I highly recommend getting a captive bred one that was raised on non-live foods, although they are about 3X more expensive, if your tank is smaller than 50 gallons.

I also have a second 10 gallon that is a copepod culture with some spare rock in there. I found this site to be particularly helpful for setting up the culture https://www.brineshrimpdirect.com/about-us/articles/raising-live-rotifers-copepods/. And there's a refugium with chaeto and some Marinepure cubes for helping keep pods in the main tank.

Besides the copepods, I also supplement with live brine shrimp hatched from eggs. At the moment I just target feed with a bulb pipette but I've also built a feeder station to use soon.

If the copepod culture starts to poop out, I'll buy some pods (both tisbe and tigger). Tisbe are smaller and are reported to hang out on surfaces more than the tigger.
 
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Klatzy

Supporting Member
Also a word of caution about live brine shrimp from eggs, apparently it's a common way for hydroids to hitchhike in. I had a recent hydroid outbreak probably due to overfeeding with plankton/pods and maybe live brine.
 

Qwiv

Supporting Member
Also a word of caution about live brine shrimp from eggs, apparently it's a common way for hydroids to hitchhike in. I had a recent hydroid outbreak probably due to overfeeding with plankton/pods and maybe live brine.
Would love to know how a hydroid could survive that way. Eggs are dry and in freezer. Pretty sure that someone who had hydroids fed bbs and the BBS exploded the population with all the food and not vise versa. Don’t know what part of a hydroid life cycle could survive brine shrimp egg retail chain.
 
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Klatzy

Supporting Member
I came across a few links like the one below but perusing it does seem like a fair number of reputable sources are saying it's not the eggs (https://seahorsesavvy.com/blogs/news/hydroids-in-a-seahorse-aquarium). So I'm probably just feeding the hydroids that were in the tank already with the BBS.

 

JVU

President
BOD
Regarding the brine shrimp eggs/hydroids issue, I don’t have an informed opinion but I’m interested in learning more. If it’s true I would think it depends on the source of the eggs (ie some are contaminated and some are not). I use a lot of brine shrimp eggs but always from the same vendor. I haven’t seen any hydroids in the tanks that I’m feeding every other day enough shrimp to make the water orange.
 

Klatzy

Supporting Member
I think I'll set up a long term brine shrimp culture and see if I can see any hydroids. If they did come in on the eggs I'm using then I should see some after some time.
 

richiev

Supporting Member
I think I'll set up a long term brine shrimp culture and see if I can see any hydroids. If they did come in on the eggs I'm using then I should see some after some time.
Not to discount that strategy, but if you're nervous about things coming in on the eggs, decapusulating them for sure would remove that possiblity, and makes them more nutritious.

It's pretty straightforward the second time you do it. First time it is confusing. Err, I'm talking about decapusulating still, I think
 
Anecdotally, I've had hydroids appear in tanks where the brine shrimp were just about the only possible source. Back when I was breeding seahorses.
 

Qwiv

Supporting Member
Anecdotally, I've had hydroids appear in tanks where the brine shrimp were just about the only possible source. Back when I was breeding seahorses.
Did you not have anything else living in the tank like a macro Algea, live rock etc? I can see any living drop of water as bringing in a hydroid, but a dried out brine shrimp egg? The seas horse itself seams like a more likely vector of transmission. Now feeding bbs will make your hydroid population explode If you have some. Also, most brine shrimp eggs are produced in colder waters, so that is another challenge for the hydroid to overcome and then thrive in. I am more then skeptical.

the fact that you can dry out a brine shrimp egg, freeze it and then restart life is an amazing. How would a hydroids life cycle survive that same process?

 
More anecdote: The only tanks I have ever seen hydroids in (and there are many) have been given BBS or adult brine shrimp. I have never seen a hydroid in a tank that I never fed brine shrimp to.
 

Matt_Wandell

Guest
Honorary Supporting Member
I would not hatch artemia in a tank with corals or fishes. There is a good reason we do it in a separate vessel and then “purify” the nauplii. Assuming you’ve decapsulated the cysts, the nauplii hatch out of a thin clear shell that is left behind. I suspect these would clog coral polyps and/or just rot in the tank. I know that they are a problem in a larval fish tank. We separate these from the nauplii essentially by foam fractionation with very fine oxygen bubbles. Another way to get clean nauplii is to use the cysts that have an iron coating applied and then you pull them out with magnets. I forget the brand name of this system but it works really well.
 

Hella_Salty650

Supporting Member
If you're interested in a secondary feeding option, you should check out the mandarin feeders on humble fish. I bought two for my future mandarin purchase.

They're basically fine mesh holders that you attach a line of tubing to, and feed brine into. The brine will be attracted to the light, so they'll hang out at the mesh, and that mandarin will just suck them out whenever they're hungry. Which is always.

My plan is to feed decapsulated brine eggs into it, so they can hatch in the tank.

Here's a pic of them:
View attachment 38737

I'll let others chime in with their fancy pod culture tips. I'm just using an old distilled water bottle + an air line + Reef Nutrition pods & phyto. I prefer the dead phyto, because it seems to generate less waste. I also have all my extra live rock in a big Rubbermaid full of phyto and pods. I'll probably regret that when I try and use the rock, but it's a nice secondary pod culture for now.
WOW! This is great, will do some research and possibly take that route as well!
 
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