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The Essentials
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!

Copepods

Whether you are trying to keep a finicky fish such as the Mandarin Dragonet or Leopard Wrasse, or you are simply trying to add some biodiversity to your reef aquarium, copepods are a very important base element to your tank.

In all ecosystems, there is a certain level of biodiversity, which describes how many different organisms are living in an environment. Ecosystems with more biodiversity are much more stable and healthy. This is because the higher number of species allows for less stress on the suitability of each organism. In an ecosystem, it is not only important to have large organisms, but microscopically small ones too.

Actually, it can more crucial to the stability of an ecosystem to have these groundwork organisms. This is because they are the base of a very complex food web and they are provided as food for a wide range of organisms.

You have probably heard the term “mature tank” and thought that it means an older tank. This is actually referring to the amount of biodiversity in the tank. Typically older tanks have the most biodiversity because the individual populations of bacteria and copepods have been growing and are stable.

Not only do copepods offer stability through biodiversity, but the also serve as food for your fish. Fish such as Mandarin Draognets can be very finicky when it comes to prepared food. These highly sought after fish will be much healthier and more likely to thrive if your tank is stocked with copepods.

It is possible to train the fish to eat frozen food, but because Mandarin Dragonets have such a fast metabolism it is more natural if they can spend the whole day pecking copepods off your rocks. By feeding copepods, you may also notice an increased vibrancy in your fish. This is caused by the nutrient in copepods.

Copepods are one of the most crucial crustaceans for a saltwater aquarium, as they create a more natural environment for your fish and other tank inhabitants by stabilizing the biodiversity.