If You Are Culturing Rotifers, You Absolutely Need to Know This

If you are breeding fish, you will need to have a good supply of Rotifers ready to feed them. Your culture will need to be ready for harvest the day that they hatch and every day after that until the baby fish’s mouths are large enough to eat larger live food.

You will also need more than 1 culture vessel at a time in order to keep up with hundreds of the baby fish’s’ daily feedings which are usually 2 to 3 times per day depending on the species and phase of growth that they are in.

In order to do this, you need to know this bit of information:

  • It takes 7 days for a Rotifer culture to become dense enough to harvest.
  • Harvesting Rotifers too frequently will cause them to crash. To ensure that your culture does not crash, do not over harvest or under feed.

So how do you do that? Let’s start with how to avoid over harvesting your Rotifer Cultures.

In our online course, we show you how to make a sieve. Every time you harvest your Rotifer culture or do a water change, you will need to gently run the entire culture’s population through one of these. You need to move quickly as they cannot be left out of the water for very long. So once you have collected them, take a quick picture before you put them back into the water. Here is an example of one of our cultures from our aquaculture facility. Here is a very dense culture of Rotifers. Here is one that needs some time to repopulate.


When you get your starter culture, let it culture for 7 days. On the 7th day, collect the entire culture through the sieve. Take a picture of the Rotifers in the sieve to note the density. Compare these pictures every time that you either harvest the culture or do a water change. Keep a log of these pictures with the times and dates so that you will be able to learn how to visually tell if a culture is dense enough or not.

When your culture is not very dense, here is what you do in order to revive it.

First and foremost, do a water change. Add their food back into the culture vessel and let them repopulate for a few days depending on how small your population is. You can check the culture daily to see how it is growing.

Just like anything else, you will learn as you go, but keeping the picture log will help you learn even quicker. If you want to learn more about how to properly collect Rotifers in a sieve, how to properly feed them and more, you can enroll in our online course here: https://aquapparel.teachable.com/p/live-food

This course will teach you how to grow Phytoplankton, Rotifers and Copepods which are essential when you are breeding fish.

And remember the more species that we are able to aquaculture, the less of an impact the aquarium hobby will have on their wild counterparts. So be sure to read up on this stuff as one of the hardest parts of breeding fish is ensuring that they are getting the right amount of nutrients from their food. And baby fish from my experience will only eat microscopic live food at first. Once you raise them to a certain point, you can then train them to eat frozen food.

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