Copepods were probably one of my favorite things to culture in the facility. They are really cool and really helped us get through the tough first few stages with our baby seahorses. I know that there are a ton of companies who sell them and that’s great, but based on what I know now after culturing them and selling them myself, here is a PSA for all of you reefers who feed them to your tank from the bottles in the store:
- They only live for about 14 to 20 days on average depending on the species so check to ensure that the bottles that you are buying are not older than 7 days or half of the culture will mostly likely be deceased. This is why we sold our live food through our dispensers and required that our clients restocked every week to 10 days to ensure a fresh batch.
- You want to run the bottle through a sieve and rinse them in clean tank water before adding them to your tank. The water that they are cultured in is kinda nasty to say the least.
- They do need aeration so if they don’t have it and are just sitting on a store shelf in a bag, I would avoid that particular product. These are basically bags of phosphates. The fresher – meaning more lively – that they are, better. Meaning try to buy from a company who has a dispenser in your local fish store with fresh batches. The only company that I will recommend that sell the bottles in stores is Reef Nutrition’s Tiggerpods.
- As for ordering them online and having them shipped to your house, Algebarn ships a really healthy population of pods but they need sometime to grow out in order to make any significant culture in your reef tank. They ship just the right amount to have them arrive alive and they do a really great job. So if you do take our course, we do recommend Algaebarn as well as a few other sources for where to get a good starter culture from. Just know that simply adding the small amount of pods to your reef tank won’t really make that much of a difference, especially if you have a large tank. For nano tanks however, these are perfect. And as you know this can get expensive to do on a regular basis without growing them out a bit before you add them to your tank.
- They do eat Phytoplankton and they also eat detritus so you will need to feed them a micro algae such as Phytoplankton
As I have mentioned in previous videos pertaining to culturing Phytoplankton and zooplankton, we have a full online course for $19 that will show you how we cultured our live food in our facility.
It’s a comprehensive, step-by-step course complete with videos so that you can actually see how everything gets put together and works. Once you take the course, you are given a link to a Facebook Group where you can get support from myself as well as other growers. So if you are seriously considering culturing your own Copepods for any application, consider checking out our online course.