Copepods: The Ocean’s Cornucopia

In 1905, an engineering mishap caused the Colorado River to flood a shallow basin over the San Andreas Fault in California. With evaporation rates that exceeded rates of inflow, the massive lake began to increase in salinity; Salton Lake was born. Soon, this artificially (and indeed accidentally) made inland sea would develop its own rich …

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Eliminating Detritus in the Refugium

Ever feel like no matter how much time you spend cleaning your tank, it can never really ever get clean? Detritus build-ups can be especially frustrating as they seem to come from nowhere and seriously compromise the healthy and natural appearance of an otherwise beautiful exhibit. One solution is to construct the system in such …

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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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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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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

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 marine 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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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 substrate. 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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A Closer Look at the Harpacticoid Copepod Tisbe Biminiensis

There are many different reasons to add copepods to one’s marine aquarium system. Each copepod species has its own set of attributes that make it best suited for particular purposes. For example, some aquarists might need a smaller pod that reliably grows to large numbers by feeding on unwanted organic matter on the tank bottom. …

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Blue Mandarin

Keeping and Feeding the Mandarin Fishes

Mandarins are undoubtedly among the most popular of all marine aquarium fishes. Conspicuous for their small size, they have an endearing habit of demurely hopping over the aquarium bottom. They have rather long, elegant fins. But, arguably, their most striking feature is their gorgeous body coloration and patterns. These attributes make them downright irresistible to …

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