Kessil

COPEPOD CULTURE FOR MANDARIN DRAGONET

Hella_Salty650

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.
Right on for the link about setting up the culture! For yourself, you are currently doing both tisbe and tigger pods?
 
Last edited:

Hella_Salty650

Supporting Member
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
Do you have a recommendation on which brine shrimp eggs I should get? Excuse the ignorance but I thought they were all the same and can just buy any dry brine shrimp eggs from amazon or my lfs
 

Hella_Salty650

Supporting Member
I want to thank everyone for sharing their knowledge and getting back to me very prompt. I have been attempting to research topics like this on r2r however its either dated a while back or I'm unable to get any feedback. This page is great! Glad to be apart of the community and even better that its local in the Bay Area!~
 

JVU

President
BOD
Do you have a recommendation on which brine shrimp eggs I should get? Excuse the ignorance but I thought they were all the same and can just buy any dry brine shrimp eggs from amazon or my lfs
I like the Aquarium Co-op brand eggs, they have an excellent hatch rate (much better than promised) and also excellent and easy separation after hatching if you decant from the bottom like with the Ziss hatchery.


 

L/B Block

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.
Thanks for the tip. I am also on the same idea to directly add decapsulated brine shrimp eggs directly to the aquarium to hatch
 

richiev

Supporting Member
Thanks for the tip. I am also on the same idea to directly add decapsulated brine shrimp eggs directly to the aquarium to hatch
The gotcha with putting them directly in is if you have reef tank levels of flow, what that'll probably mean is you have a bunch of eggs stuck in your mechanical filtration. I'd been thinking of that too, but I gave it a trial run and it wasn't very successful.

I bet it'd be possible to setup an automated doser though. Run a line from the tank to a peristaltic pump, and from there to a sealed container with decapsulated eggs that have been ready for a bit, then run another line into the tank. Probably overly complicated, but might be an interesting way to get automatic live food fed into the tank you could probably even do it with non decapsulated eggs if you involved a led and a tube the shrimp would have to swim into.

The foolproof, egg proof, version would be an hourglass shape, when the hourglass pinch point could be closed. Put the eggs on the top in a cone that's black. Put a led at the bottom.

When ready to dose close the valve, then pump water in through a pipe on the bottom, pushing the brine out an exit pipe also on the bottom. You could even just push tank water in.

Then close everything, let it sit a minute, and reopen the valve letting brine swim to the bottom again.

Periodically dump any unhatched eggs.

That wouldn't work with decapsulated brine, but seems like it'd work pretty well with normal, or partially decapsulated.

I kind of want to build this now.
 

Klatzy

Supporting Member
@Hella_Salty650 I've been growing both tisbe and tigger pods (although some sites recommend just one species).

Right now I'm using this to hatch the eggs https://www.brineshrimpdirect.com/hatchery-dish, provides enough it seems to give the Mandarin a supplemental meal but if you wanted a larger yield that Ziss hatchery looks like a good option. I've tried both a custom made feeder (out of a round tape container + mesh) and a custom-built one from Etsy; neither seemed to result in the Mandarin eating off of it. However, I'm probably just not being patient enough. What I usually end up doing is target feeding with a pipette (both frozen + pellet food and then after a while brine shrimp). At the moment I only really worry about the Mandarin if I can't see pods in the display tank.
 
Last edited:

Hella_Salty650

Supporting Member
Just got a mandarin dragonet and wrasse. Put two bottles of reef nutrition tigger pods in the sump.

check my other post - they've exploded.
Nice! Quick update everyone but I finally brought home 2 Mandarins :)!

Got them wild but was able to get them on live brine + frozen brine + white worms! Ended up going this route do to better pricing personally

Currently started copepod culture 06/09/2022 and was able to harvest culture 1: 06/29/2022! Very happy to have come around to this point! I hope to continue learning and improving!
 
Last edited:

Hella_Salty650

Supporting Member
Welcome to my latest Copepod Culture!

Start Date 06/09/2022
1st Harvest 06/29/2022
2nd Harvest 07/18/2022
3rd Harvest 08/01/2022
4th Harvest 09/09/2022

Materials used:
- 3 Gallon Pico (My old tank)
- clear tube with amazon air pump
- Algaebarn galaxy Pods
- Random Light found in garage (leaving on 24 hours a day)
- 1 gallon of water dosing about 10 mg of homemade phytoplankton each day

First culture I'd say was very successful! Lots of little ones roaming the tank and it seems population has already recovered in the culture after 5 days. The process was actually super simple and the amount of work is so miniscule. I finally harvested / changed water on 06/29/2022. In terms of amount, I'd say about 1 cup total from the bottom to remove detritus.

QUESTION TO THOSE WHO HARVEST PODS:
- How often do you harvest pods?
- Do you typically have multiple cultures going on at once?
- Any tips you can provide having experience!

Right now, I am putting Phytoplankton harvesting on hold as I literally have too much. I already have a separate small fridge in the garage dedicated to holding phyto in itself and will continue when supplies start to die down.

I will be taking pictures of my tank in the next post! Finally hit the 3 month and rock work is sort of set! After 1 month of fish free tank, I finally was able to add 2 specimens to the tank :) If you follow me on instagram you might have already seen it~!

Now that I've already started the process and harvested, will move to the next item on my list and last, baby brine shrimp.
 

Attachments

  • tempImage0wkYTV.png
    tempImage0wkYTV.png
    808.5 KB · Views: 47
  • tempImageBMtibu.png
    tempImageBMtibu.png
    764.8 KB · Views: 49
Last edited:

Hella_Salty650

Supporting Member
Big thanks to Reef Nutrition for taking care of me! Excited to see the culture growth. Will be documenting here to record progress

Copepod Culture update: This last culture of pods has significantly decreased compared to my previous cultures. Not really sure why either, still dose phyto daily to keep the water green, haven't changed anything about my process.. Maybe because no heater so temp is cold and salinity might be a little off is the only thing that I can think of.
 

Attachments

  • 619A9F87-3565-4BDF-84D7-9970C58D827D.png
    619A9F87-3565-4BDF-84D7-9970C58D827D.png
    251.3 KB · Views: 26
Last edited:
Welcome to my latest Copepod Culture!

Start Date 06/09/2022
1st Harvest 06/29/2022
2nd Harvest 07/18/2022
3rd Harvest 08/01/2022
4th Harvest 09/09/2022

Materials used:
- 3 Gallon Pico (My old tank)
- clear tube with amazon air pump
- Algaebarn Tigger Pods
- Random Light found in garage (leaving on 24 hours a day)
- 1 gallon of water dosing about 10 mg of homemade phytoplankton each day

First culture I'd say was very successful! Lots of little ones roaming the tank and it seems population has already recovered in the culture after 5 days. The process was actually super simple and the amount of work is so miniscule. I finally harvested / changed water on 06/29/2022. In terms of amount, I'd say about 1 cup total from the bottom to remove detritus.

QUESTION TO THOSE WHO HARVEST PODS:
- How often do you harvest pods?
- Do you typically have multiple cultures going on at once?
- Any tips you can provide having experience!

Right now, I am putting Phytoplankton harvesting on hold as I literally have too much. I already have a separate small fridge in the garage dedicated to holding phyto in itself and will continue when supplies start to die down.

I will be taking pictures of my tank in the next post! Finally hit the 3 month and rock work is sort of set! After 1 month of fish free tank, I finally was able to add 2 specimens to the tank :) If you follow me on instagram you might have already seen it~!

Now that I've already started the process and harvested, will move to the next item on my list and last, baby brine shrimp.

Tigger-Pods is a Reef Nutrition brand name.
 

Hella_Salty650

Supporting Member
Copepod project has officially come to an end. I ended up shutting down the project in order to transition to a new project! Mangroves!

WHY? Mandarins eat almost anything that I put into the tank, white worms, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, LRS, flake. Slowly started to lose interest in the copepods because it was a set and forget type of project. Nothing wrong, just want a new challenge now that I don't have to worry about feeding fish.

Highlights:
- Harvested Monthly
- Always had decent growth
- Learned a new skill in the hobby (Phytoplankton production + Copepods)
 

Darkxerox

Supporting Member
Copepod project has officially come to an end. I ended up shutting down the project in order to transition to a new project! Mangroves!

WHY? Mandarins eat almost anything that I put into the tank, white worms, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, LRS, flake. Slowly started to lose interest in the copepods because it was a set and forget type of project. Nothing wrong, just want a new challenge now that I don't have to worry about feeding fish.

Highlights:
- Harvested Monthly
- Always had decent growth
- Learned a new skill in the hobby (Phytoplankton production + Copepods)
Do you have ORA mandarins? Saw a super cute pair at AC yesterday and almost pulled the trigger.
 
Top