Copepods

Imagine for a second how food energy from grass, a primary producer, is transferred to a bluebird. The bluebirds don’t eat grass. Rather, they consume grasshoppers—which certainly do eat grass. In this way every secondary consumer obtains life-giving energy and biomass from primary producers through an intermediate, primary consumer. So it is across the ocean, …

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Tig Pods: A Food for Many

The reef aquarium hobby continues to reach new heights. This is most evident by the extraordinarily beautiful systems we see on display in public places, in images on social media, in advertisements, and even in some homes. These advancements have come about not only through improved technologies and supplements, but also through a better understanding …

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Kickstarting Your New Refugium

Whether it’s just been installed as part of a bone-dry, newly set up aquarium system or as an add-on to a well-established, heavily stocked reef tank, you’ll probably want your new refugium to be operating at its peak performance from the onset. Seeding the right beneficial organisms in the right amount at the right time …

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A Copepod Cornucopia: How to Maintain a Continuous Live Food Source in Your Reef Aquarium

Some of us aquarists are satisfied just to find a pod or two in our systems—just to know that they’re still there! Then again, some of us are always reaching for that endless bumper crop. Those who push for ever higher copepod yields might indeed be on to something really big. Let them eat pods …

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Amphipods and/or Copepods: Can They Peacefully Coexist?

Detritus and algal films compromise the aesthetic appearance and environmental quality of any saltwater aquarium. For sure, they present some of the most serious (and frustrating) issues for an aquarist to contend with. The easiest and least expensive way to deal with these issues is through biological control. This typically involves the use of a …

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Clean Sea Lettuce direct from our Algae Farm, perfect for your refugium!

Stocking a Refugium

Marine aquaria have a peculiar way of growing (in terms of both size and complexity) over time. These “add-ons,” be they filtration units, reactors, or whatever, grow from the so-called main tank in an almost organic manner. But, no matter how elaborate an aquarium set-up becomes, the sum of all the parts can always be …

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From Detritus to Delicacy: Using Harpacticoid Copepods for Natural Nutrient Cycling

Pretty much nobody wants their marine aquarium to be covered with filth and green slime. Yet, mulm and benthic microalgae show up (at least in some amount) in just about every system. This is normal to some degree. However, anything more than a patch here or there can be seen as a symptom of problems …

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How to Seed Your Reef Tank

Seeding (and Re-Seeding) Copepods in the Marine Aquarium It’s understandable—totally natural, even—to want to see what we’re buying when we are trying to seed copepods. In the case of live copepod products, however, the most important constituent (if present) cannot be clearly observed with the naked eye. Some products might contain lots of visible pods. …

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Pod Size Matters: Feeding and Seeding with Copepod Cultures of All Life Stages

No matter how or when you do it, adding live copepod cultures to a reef aquarium has numerous benefits and absolutely no drawbacks. These tiny crustaceans provide an extremely nutritious, natural food source for a wide variety of reef animals ranging from gorgonians to mandarin fish. Additionally, if conditions allow for it, seeding can lead …

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Mandarin Fish

Feeding the Mandarin Fish with a Mix of Live and Prepared Foods

For so many aquarists, the green mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus) is a must-have species. Its endearing personality, exquisite finnage and intense coloration rarely fail to impress. Given these highly desirable traits, it has for long been among the most popular marine aquarium fishes. Thus, many thousands of specimens of this species are sold in the ornamental …

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pods in your reef, here is a tigriopus copepod

Pods In Your Reef: Seeding a Marine Aquarium with Copepods

Benefits of Pods In Your Reef: Microcrustaceans (or “pods”) in general, and copepods in particular, are an integral component of aquatic food webs. This is so in virtually every marine environment including coral reef habitats. Therefore, pods in your reef are a healthful addition to any reef aquarium. Lucky, a handful of useful copepod species …

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A green mandarin on the substrate hunting for algaebarn copepods that make mandarin goby fish care easy

Mandarin Goby Fish Care | Using Copepods to keep a Mandarin Dragonet

Mandarin Goby Fish Care 101: Foods and feeding are the foremost concern for any aquarist wishing to keep a green mandarin fish (Synchiropus splendidus). Most critical in the diet of a mandarin is (1) constant availability of feeding opportunities and (2) food sources that are varied but primarily consist of enriched pods. If you get …

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nannochloropsis

Getting Your Greens: The Benefits of Feeding Live Nannochloropsis

Most of us want—and should want—our aquarium systems to more or less function ecologically in a way that resembles natural marine environments. Probably the most critical aspect of this is establishing a naturalistic food web. Unicellular, free-living, perpetually suspended algae (i.e. phytoplankton) account for a great deal of primary productivity in areas over or close …

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Feeding Your Hungry Pods

Marine aquarists are really attempting to accomplish several goals when introducing copepods to their systems. These undoubtedly include elimination of detritus, controlling nuisance algae and providing excellent nutrition for countless reef fish and invertebrate species. But the general aim, of course, is to create a more dynamic and balanced captive ecosystem. After all, copepods are …

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Exoskeletons, Roughage and Digestive Health

We humans, and most other terrestrial animals, benefit greatly from dietary fiber. Consisting of tiny bits of virtually indigestible plant matter (structural polysaccharides of glucose monomers such as cellulose, lignin, etc.), fiber serves primarily to help “move things along” as well as scour our intestines clean. Without this roughage to help move and eliminate waste, …

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At the Top of the Bottom: Harpacticoid Copepods and Aquarium Substrates

There are quite a few options out there for marine aquarium substrates. From rubble to mud, aquarists have tried all of them. Many have even experimented with bare bottoms. It seems that the benefits of each substrate type comes with an equivalent number of disadvantages. For example, coarse types like crushed coral gravel resist being …

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