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!
Your reef aquarium is an ecosystem that supports a small variety of different organisms. It is important to treat it as an ecosystem. The goal of the hobbyist should be to keep this ecosystem that exists in its see-through box as stable as possible. You can do this by increasing biodiversity as much as possible by having a wider range of organisms that can coexist together. An unbalance biodiversity is one of the most prominent reasons for wild ecosystems to collapse. Although marine aquariums are much different than the ocean, it is still key to have large biodiversity. It may be hard to go up the food chain, as you don’t want predators that will eat your fish. Instead, you must go down the food chain. You are able to add extremely small organisms such as phytoplankton. Phytoplankton is an important base for your marine aquarium and it has many benefits to bring to your aquarium.
First, it will compete with nuisance algae for food. That annoying hair algae that you can’t get off your rocks consume nutrients in the water as a form of a food source. Phytoplankton consumes those nutrients as well, which will help kill off the algae.
While phytoplankton takes food away from pesky algae, it can also be provided as food for copepods and corals. Feeding your corals phytoplankton will increase color and polyp extension. Copepods are microscopic organisms, so they need a microscopic food source; phytoplankton is perfect to add to your tank to augment your copepod population.
AlageBarn sells a four species blend of phytoplankton called OceanMagik. It consists of Nannochloropsis gaditana, Tetraselmis sp, Isochrysis galbana, and Thalassiosira weissflogii, also known as Nano, Thet, Iso, and Thal. Adding phytoplankton to your marine aquarium will increase biodiversity, but adding phytoplankton with four different species increases it even more. These species were specially picked with the intention of creating a blend that not only feeds your corals, copepods, clams, and other filters feeders but also reduces algae growth. This phytoplankton will provide your filter-feeding organisms a diet complete with highly nutritious essential fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, amino acids, and carotenoids.
Although only visible as a dark green liquid, phytoplankton is something every tank owner should add to their tank to greatly benefit its inhabitants and its overall health.