Copepods & Phytoplankton work together to form the base levels of a natural marine ecosystem in your tank, while Brine Shrimp make a great supplemental snack for your fish!
A lot of people rely solely on the live rock in their display to stabilize nutrients and provide space for bacteria and copepods. While there is generally nothing wrong with that, it is not as efficient as using bio-media, especially ceramic bio-media
When you first set up your tank, you have to spend weeks waiting for it to cycle. During this process, your tank is building up its biodiversity on a microscopic level. Different types of beneficial bacteria are feeding off the nutrients in your tank and growing. This bacteria is important because it consumes the ammonia from fish waste and food and turns it into nitrite. Then a different type of bacteria turns the nitrite into nitrate and phosphate, which are consumed by macroalgae or exported with a protein skimmer. Without beneficial bacteria, the ammonia and nitrites would remain in the tank, which is toxic to fish and corals. The bacteria need surface area to live on and reproduce, which is why it is important to make sure you have enough live rock or bio-media in your saltwater aquarium’s system. The live rock looks natural and is great for growing corals on, but it can be dense, especially when compared to bio-media. Typical live rock is denser and does not provide as much surface area for bacteria to live on. Ceramic bio-media, on the other hand, is extremely porous, which allows for more bacteria to live on it and more ammonia and nitrites to be removed. Along with that, it can be put in your sump and work alongside the live rock to remove nutrients.
Not only is bio-media a habitat for bacteria, but copepods too. Like the bacteria, copepods thrive when they have lots of surface area. By supplying your tank with bio-media, particularly in your refugium, you will greatly increase the sustainability of your copepod population.
AlgaeBarn sells MarinePure bio-media, which comes in cubes, plates, spheres, gems, and naturally shaped rocks. They can be put in almost any area of your sump and benefit your tank, making them a must-have for any reef aquarium or saltwater tank.