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Fishless tank 1/21/13
Setting Up A Small In-Tank Refugium'¦
For Critter Culture -- 12/03/11
<<Let's see what I can do>>
I just put a small (6x8x12 inch) refugium inside my 65 gallon FOWLR tank. I know it's small, but I only want a place to culture interesting critters, such as assorted worms, mini brittle stars, amphipods, and etcetera.
These won't survive in my tank (I assume) because I have a huge number of hermit crabs, which keep the substrate practically sterile.
<<Indeed'¦ The hermits will certainly decimate those critters they can reach in the upper level of the substrate>>
But I love hermits, so I am resorting to a refugium.
Unfortunately, my situation precludes any sort of external refugium, so I am limited to a small in-tank setup.
Because my nitrate and phosphate are un-measurable and I have no significant algae problem, I do not care about denitrification or nutrient reduction. My only goal is culturing worms, mini-stars, and amphipods for fun.
With this in mind...
1) Is my little in-tank refugium too small for what I want to do?
Will these little critters just keep dying off?
<<The 'populations' will balance to the space/availability of food. I would suggest feeding the refugium for maximum benefit rid'a few shrimp pellets every few days should suffice>>
If this is the case, do you have a suggestion for a fun thing I can do with this little in-tank refugium?
<<I would do just what you plan>>
2) What, if anything, should I use for a substrate?
<<Sugar fine aragonite, IMO>>
Shallow or deep sand bed?
Rock rubble only?
<<Maybe a couple small pieces>>
3) Indo-Pacific Sea Farms sells an Ulva pod mat. Is Ulva the best algae for my critters' refugium?
<<I prefer Chaetomorpha'¦provides an excellent matrix for many critters. But get what you want as most any macro-alga will suffice here>>
Or should I use red Gracilaria instead, which is popular?
<<Up to you>>
Chaeto is also popular.
I know that I have to pick just one, so I want to pick intelligently and get it right the first time, if possible.
4) The refugium gets moderate light from the tank's lighting, actinic and 10K T5 bulbs. I bought a small reef-type LED fixture to mount on the side glass of the tank facing in to the refugium, but it is shockingly bright. Maybe I should not use it because the tank's light will be perfect?
<<Whatever macro-alga you choose will appreciate the bright lighting>>
Thank you very, very much for any guidance you can give me in this little venture.
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
Re: Setting Up A Small In-Tank Refugium'¦For Critter Culture -- 12/05/11
Eric - Thank you for your fast and inspiring response.
<<Quite welcome Tim>>
You guys are so valuable to us beginners!
<<We are happy to assist>>
Because Indo-Pacific sells their pod cultures on Ulva mats, I guess I'll go with Ulva as the substrate.
<<Okay'¦IPSF has some really nice stuff, but you should also check out the cultures/kits offered by Inland Aquatics (http://www.inlandaquatics.com/)>>
I do know from reading WWM that I dare not mix algae due to chemical warfare.
<<Is best not to, agreed>>
I'll put in the aragonite and a little rock rubble today and order the pod cultures in a week or so, as soon as things stabilize. This is so exciting!
<<I think you will likely find the refugium as interesting to observe as the main display. Eric Russell>>
Hawai'i -- 07/13/11
Establishing Copepods And Arthropods In A New
Ocean Pods/Live Food 8/16/10
PODS question, culture...
Copepods / Light 10/22/09
Copepod Refugium set-up
Not a question - more a friendly warning
Copepods 01/12/09 G'day crew, I just set up a 20 gal refugium with live rock and sand and added a "starter" package from a dealer. (1200 Tisbe sp,1/2 lb Chaetomorpha, and 16 oz of microalgae) This feeds a 72 gal FOWLR with 120 lbs LR and 90 lbs of Live sand/ Fish include a Mandarin Dragonette, Tangs, Gobies and assorted inverts. Problem: a bulkhead in the refugium broke loose and the contained area drained into the pump and got distributed to the main tank. The starter pack had been in the refugium for about 2 days. Question: Do I need to reseed the refugium or will there be sufficient residuals in the rock and Chaetomorpha to regenerate? <Yes and no. There will be enough residuals to regenerate.... eventually. Eventually, being the key word. It might take a long time for your refugium to repopulate, but it will repopulate *eventually.*> Copepods are difficult and expensive to get to Alaska due the very cold weather and the necessity of overnight shipping. Thanks for your time. Bill Laflen <If you don't have the time/patience to wait for your refugium to repopulate (which might take at least a month or two or three), then go ahead and buy another starter kit. If you do have the patience/time... then there's no need. Hope this helps, Sara M.>
Re: Another Algae email... substrate, LR change outs/additions, pod culture, comp. 12/31/09 Hi Bob, Thanks for the info. It sent me in all the right directions. I would like for you to clarify for me on your recommendation to change out some of the substrate (and LR in time), is it (in your estimation) a lack of biological activity or is it a lack of buffering/tract elements capacity? <Actually both these are primary reasons> I am thinking that I will just scoop a few cups off of the top of the LS and scrap the rest and change out all at once and re-seed the new. <Okay> I have the opportunity to do so when I drill the overflow, as the tank will be empty. Or should I have a little more patience and replace in thirds over several months. <This would be better> Can I re-use any of the current sand after rinsing. <Mmm, yes... though it will be less soluble... a "neat" experiment can be done short or longer term... the short one might involve some "new" sand and your old... of the same depth/volume and/or weight... mixed in with water, some dilute acid (perhaps just vinegar)... and having a few days go by... remeasuring both samples... Longer term, if you had two aquarium settings you could do the same sort of experiment, measuring before and after... You will find that the "older" sand dissolves more slowly> Aragonite sand is expensive and I would like about 5-6" depth. I have 2 kidneys and can sell... well, never mind :). All joking aside, I want to make the smartest decision. <Adding a bit more new live rock would be even superior... biologically> The algae on the sand bed does feel slimy. Silky may describe more accurate. Descriptions are subjective. I do wish I had a microscope. <I wish every household did... and the curiosity to use it... Costs much less than (for many folks monthly) cable TV...> Also, my bulb on the HQI 150w over the refugium-to-be is about 16 months old. It is a 10,000K... do I need to replace with a new bulb for the Chaeto? <How many hours do you run it? Do you have a PAR meter? Does it seem that the green alga is growing too little with it?> A semi-related question. I do not see any copepods in my tank. I shine a flashlight at night and see nothing. I don't think I have ever noticed these at all. Is it possible to have the population completely eradicated and not repopulate? <Yes... is very possible... Hence the "re-inoculation" suggested...> I have literally thousands of amphipods. Again, no fish in my system for 8 months or so. I have an Emerald Crab that will eat them (Copepods), but that is all. I have had shrimp and other Copepod predators before. Could the conditions in my tank have caused them to completely die out at an earlier point - my tank did over heat last summer to about 90F for an afternoon? <Mmm, more likely the former> Do Hermit Crabs dine on Copepods? <Some do, will for sure if they can catch them... Do know that the Copepoda are an enormous assemblage... size, feeding mode et al. very diverse...> I believe I have read on WWM somewhere (I think an outside link from the FAQ's... Maybe Advanced Aquaria article) that Amphipods will eat Copepods, true? <Some can/do> I am about to drill the back of my tank for an overflow and half inch return line to put the fuge into action. Keep your toes crossed for this. <Go slow...> I must give a plug for www.glass-holes.com if I may, as they are truly a top shelf business. <Ahh, thank you for this. ScottV was kind to drive down and visit this last week here from Fresno. We had a great time visiting fish stores, the Birch/SIO aquarium, chatting> Awesome service and products good prices and free shipping. Take Care and thanks in advance. Stay safe and have fun tonight (New Years Eve). Don't know if one can stay safe AND have fun at the same time. :). Scott <Mmm, a bit of a conundrum, but, yes, partly. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Collecting Copepods In The Sea 8/18/08 Hi, Bob and gang. How are you guys? <I'm fine... a bit bleary eyed in CT, but rallying, thanks> I just popped over to my friend's place and saw that he had a green spotted mandarin fish in his 50 gallon mature tank. Seems he just bought the fish a week or two ago. The mandarin is still pretty plump and according to my friend, he's been nipping at stuff on his live rock. After telling him how difficult it is to maintain a mandarin in a tank smaller than 100 gallons without supplementing with live copepods, he's been trying to look for live copepods. I've also been helping him hunt for any LFS selling live copepods but to no avail. We're both living in Malaysia and it seems the LFS here aren't that clued up about copepods. Most don't even know what we're talking about but they're still selling mandarins and also seahorses! Anyway, to cut a long story short, I suggested we try to get the live copepods from the sea. <Lots of folks do... I have> Since he lives literally 200 meters away from the sea, he can get seawater very easily. However, my question is how can we catch the copepods? Do we just scoop up 2 liters of seawater and hope that there are some live copepods in there?!? <Mmm, really need to sieve much more volume than this> I can see there is small fish fry swimming in a relatively calm part of the coast. Am I right to assume that if the fish fry can survive, there's sure to be live copepods (or something else to eat) about? <All sorts of life... during different times of day/night, tides...> I just need to know what is the best way to capture live copepods from the sea. Do they gather at the water surface, on surface of rocks or simply swim about in the water. Is there a best time to capture these live copepods? <Yes, but need to experiment a bit...> Then after capturing them, what steps should he take to ensure he doesn't introduce any contaminants from the seawater into his tank? <A tough question... best to keep all the "catch" in a separate tank (can be simple... all new water, sponge filter, air powered...) and sub-net some to feed...> I'd basically like to help him ensure there's a steady supply of live copepods for his mandarin. Thanks for your help, Bob & gang. Charles Tang <Do see the Net re... Plankton Nets... you might be able to fashion one yourself... if you can find suitable netting... need to find/borrow a boat to drag, dip it along... a jar or two... or a plastic cooler/esky... Bob Fenner>
Culturing Live Food, 7/9/08 I am looking for guidance on culturing live food. Doing such is driven by interest rather than a hard requirement from my tank's inhabitants. I have a 24 gallon nano-cube (which I wish I had never gotten since it provides no flexibility whatsoever. A little bit bigger system with a sump/refugium would have definitely been the way to go. but I digressed). <I think many people find this to be true once they get their tanks going.> The tank has been running for 2.5 years, and it houses 2 Percula Clown fish, 1 small Pipe Organ coral, 1 small colony polyp, and a couple of dwarf crabs and snails. The clown fish readily accept flake foods and seem happily fed. On rare occasion I have fed them newly hatched baby brine shrimp which they loved. Also, the tank does have copepods that came in from the live rock. The clown fish hunt the copepods, but the copepods mostly hide in the live rock and substrate. The copepods are also very small, being barely visible to the naked eye. Usually it requires a 30x eye piece to get a good look at them. <Eye strain for sure.> There seems to be a couple of choices of easily cultured live foods: brine shrimp, copepods (larger Tiger pods and smaller Harpacticoids pods), rotifer's, and Mysid shrimp. The live food(s) would be cultured in a dedicated vessel. My questions are as follows: 1) Is anyone of the cultured foods listed above more useful than the others given my tank's inhabitants? <The pods and Mysid by far.> 2) Would introducing any of cultured foods 'live' be harmful for the current tank's population of copepods? It is my understanding the Mysid shrimp are voracious and would likely not only consume the current tank's population of copepods but also would likely consume each other. I want to feed the tank, not establish a new biological order. <More likely it would strike some sort of balance eventually, but how many Mysid could survive long term is hard to say.> 3) Culturing brine shrimp to adulthood would require that they be enriched before feeding them to the tank. would this be worth the effort? <Not in my opinion, easier to just feed the fish the food directly, the brine itself adds almost nothing.> 4) Should brine shrimp eggs be de-capsulated before hatching them? Asked another way, can adult fish eat them with the shells still attached or is this just a concern for fish fry? <Mostly a concern for smaller fish.> 5) Would the soft corals benefit from the addition of any of the listed cultured live foods? <Probably marginally.> Thank you much for your guidance. <I highly suggest checking out the works of Dr. Adelaide Rhodes, she gave a great presentation at this year's IMAC, and is an expert on what you are trying to do. http://www.essentiallivefeeds.com> <Chris>
Ideal Amphipod Breeding Substrate 04/01/2008 Hello again Crew, <<Hello, Andrew today>> I have a 17g tub that I plan to culture amphipods in. I've heard that Chaeto, liverock, sand, and sponges are good breeding substrates. In your experience, which of these are the best? <<Chaeto, live rock and sand>> Here are the side and top views of my current plan for the container. I intend to make sections out of eggcrate and pump water so it flows through the Chaeto (thus rolling it) and back towards the pump. <<Hope this helps, A Nixon>>
Quick Question on Copepods, culture/sys., & Mandarin sys. 1/17/08 Hello. <Hello Pam.> My first tank has been set up for 8 months now. It's a 53 gallon tank with a 7 gallon sump. I have 55 lbs of live rock, and a shallow sand bed. I've never noticed a copepod population, and have only seen a couple amphipods over the months (I've even looked with a magnifying glass). I would like to get a population of copepods going for my Pygmy Possum Wrasse and Red Scooter Blenny. <I'm sorry to say your tank is too small to support the Scooter Blenny, especially with any completion for food come from the wrasse.> I have a small section in the sump (about 4" x 4" x 6") that I tried to use for pods. I placed a ball of Chaeto in there and a 6400K spiral compact fluorescent bulb with reflector to light it (12 hour reverse lighting schedule) , and added a bottle of Tiggerpods, but never saw a population build in the display or in that section of the sump after I initially put them in there. I also took some of the Tiggerpods in a syringe, and put them in a small pile of rubble I put in the display, where I thought they might hide and multiply. The Chaeto ended up dying off in a few weeks, so that spot is empty again in the sump. That's the second time I've tried Chaeto, and both times it died off. My LFS is having a group buy on Copepods. To get started, do I need a large amount like the bag of 2000 copepods they will have, or a small bottle or two of 100-200 copepods? <Neither really. If your tank is setup to support copepod population growth, then it will grow. If not, adding them will only create a temporary spike in population.> I don't seem to be having luck with Chaeto, should I just put rubble down in that area of the sump, and put the pods in there or in the display or what? <You may as well start them in the refugium area, but they will find their way throughout the tank on their own.> The area of the sump isn't really large enough to have a Deep Sand bed. One interesting thing....I can't keep Chaeto, but I have one mound of beautiful red macro algae in the display that grows like crazy and I have to prune it weekly to keep it from growing too big. The last time I tried Chaeto, it only lasted for a few weeks, then almost disintegrated. The first time, I think it lasted for maybe 2 months. Maybe the flow is too slow through that section of the sump or the section is too small?? The Chaeto doesn't roll at all. Thank you!! Pam Parameters: Salinity 1.026 PH: 8.3 Alk: 8 dKH Nitrites, Nitrates and Ammonia all zero. Phosphates: between 0 and .1 Calcium 390 Magnesium 1170 Temp 80f Flow: 25x display size Display lighting 150w 10k Metal Halide and 4 24w T5s <There is something going on in your setup that is allowing the red macro to outcompete the Chaetomorpha in the sump/refugium. You mention a spiral compact bulb, but what is the wattage? Many setups you read about online have very small wattage bulbs on the refugium, making the light the limiting factor. This is one factor you can control, give it plenty of light. I have two 65 watt 6500K compact fluorescent bulbs lighting my Chaeto. This makes the nutrients I am trying to export the limiting factor. The Chaeto has better growing conditions than any algae in the tank, hence it grows and algae in the tank doesn't! As far as pod population/production, you probably won't see much with fish in a tank this size that can wipe out the population fairly easily. Included link regarding these fish below. Welcome, best of luck, Scott V.> http://wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm
- Mandarin Dragonette - Wow...that hurt! <My apologies, that was not my aim. I do seek to be realistic though, and hopefully it helps in the long run.> Thanks for the information. You made me change my mind about the "tang tank". <Ah good.> I have one problem though....I already ordered the mandarin goby. With the 29G DSB sump/refugium that I have, will I be able to "promote" the copepod and amphipod propagation to support this guy? <Perhaps, but likely not quickly enough. They tend to eat and nibble all day, but you may be able to promote other frozen items like Mysis shrimp.> The sump/refugium is below the tank. I also have several 10G tanks at my disposal, but they are not used yet. Will 1 tang and the clowns compete with the mandarin fish for the copepods/amphipods that are available? <The tang will not, the clowns might, but you can probably distract them with other food.> Do you have any suggestions on how I can further promote the copepods and amphipods to multiply? <Perhaps with a couple of the live sand starter kits.> Thanks for the help! Jeff McHenry <Cheers, J -- >
Micro-Refugium - 02/26/03 Hi: <Hi Chris, Don tonight> I have a 55gal (48") FOWLR setup with 5" DSB, 25lbs. LR, Bak Pak 2R Skimmer, 800gph circulation. I am interested in a refugium, but I am currently out of cash. I was wondering if I can use an in-tank acrylic breeder that I have laying around and put some crushed coral (again, laying around) in it and get some sort of copepod, amphipod thing going? I read in the daily's recently that CC is a good substrate for their proliferation. Maybe stick a piece of algae in there too? <How big is the breeder? A gallon or two? You could set this up if you wanted, but won't have a real big affect. You really want at least 10G and 15G would be better. Now you could setup the breeder with the intent of using it to seed a larger refuge later? Hope this helps, Don> Thanks, Chris.
Cuckoo For Copepods? (Sorry, Anthony!> Scott, thanks for your prompt response. <My pleasure!> Regarding establishing amphipods and copepods, you do say I am on the right track with the Live Rock, Crushed Coral, and 260W Coralife Power Compacts (actinic and Daylight bulbs). Silly question, but where I have the MAGNUM 350 Canister with the filter sleeve installed, will this filter out and kill the early development of small copepods and amphipods? <Well, good question. It is possible that some will be "sucked in" and trapped among the filter sleeve. However, I have seen many wet-dry style filters and mechanical filters that contained hundreds of amphipods and copepods of various sizes, and at various stages of development...I wouldn't worry too much> Is it worth my while because of this to remove the filter sleeve and not put any media in the canister (e.g. just let it cycle water with no filtration and just leave in place for the water circulation until I see signs of copepods and amphipods? Or is this immaterial and I should just leave the sleeve in the filter and it's a matter of time before I get these bugs - while some on your site are working to eliminate them I am looking forward to seeing them! Thanks again for your help - David. <Actually, David- I think that you can leave the sleeve in place...Just make sure that you clean this, and any mechanical filtration media, for that matter- on a regular basis. This is a great way to increase water quality. Ultimately, you could get rid of the sleeve, but if it's properly maintained, I don't see any real drawbacks to its continued use. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Breeding bugs in my refugium 08/06/03 I have a large system, 450 gal fowlr in house, draining into a 500 gal predator tank and a 300 gal refugium in the garage, they in turn drain to the sump, then back to 450 to complete circuit. I feed both the fowler and predator tanks heavily and the system has been running as set up for 6 months and is working to perfection. No water or algae problems. Refugium has deep sand bed,8 inches, live rock. It's only resident is a small Fimbriated moray that I removed from predator tank and put in the refugium as I was concerned he would be eaten by the 3 foot tessellated moray that lives there. After about 6 months as set up, I was hoping to see a huge population of bugs in the refugium by now, but even with a flashlight, I only see a few. I am assuming that with the fowlr with heavy bioload draining directly into the refugium and the messy little Fimbriated moray, that there should be ample food to sustain a huge population of bugs. Lots of rubble on bottom. oyster shells etc. along with the live rock. Was thinking of sinking a plastic milk crate stuffed with filter pads in the refugium to see if this home may be more to their liking, plus giving me a way to harvest the little buggers, and maybe asses their population better. Any ideas? Refugium has NO residents other than the small eel. Thanks in advance. <Well, actually, your idea sounds really good. Have you thought about lighting the refugium and adding macroalgae (I'm very partial to Chaetomorpha myself)? I'd say try both, and see what you get. You may also want to try direct feeding the refugium too, something finely ground. Hope that helps, PF>
Refugium, Mysidopsis bahia 10/14/03 Dear Anthony, Thanks to your guidance, my second refugium continues to thrive. <to your success/husbandry above all> Even after re-reading several specific chapters in Reef Invertebrates, I still have a couple more questions: Can Mysidopsis bahia be mixed with the smaller copepods and amphipods or will the bigger guys just eat the smaller ones. (about 30 gallons, net of sand and rock) <hmmm... not a matter of predation so much as competition for space/resources... fewer groups will ultimately survive in the end. Best to focus on providing a specific matrix to encourage your target group rather than trying to "go for all" and failing> I find that these shrimp are bred worldwide and are very available as they are used in environmental testing. <correct> I found that the addition of 6 large Mexican Turbo snails has pretty much eliminated all sign of Cyanobacteria. Will these animals affect my "pod" production? <not much or at all, assuming the copepods find adequate algae to eat (they will)> I am feeding the refugium crushed freeze dried krill, soaked so that is sinks. Thanks again, <this will be better for the meat eating amphipods... but not for your vegetarian copepods/rotis. Do consider a phyto drip for the latter unless the macroalgae is sufficiently buck-wild.> Howard in Wisconsin <Anthony in his chair>
Promoting Pod Growth - 11/20/03 Thanks for all the help in the past and your continued dedication to hobbyist. <always welcome.> I recently set up a new reef tank and want to get all the beneficial critters really thriving in it b/f I add anything that will prey on them. <a good notion... and even better to do this I a refugium. Either way do provide a dense matrix for them to grow in like Chaetomorpha spaghetti algae> Do I need to be adding something for the pods to eat, or will they find enough to eat/reproduce in the Fiji live rock. <small amounts of foods/organics will sustain them... rotting and live algae and a bit of prepared fish foods will accelerate all> There will not be anything in there to produce extra detritus and there are only a few very small pieces of visible macro algae on the rocks. Also, the rock was curing in another tank for approx 3 weeks after import so not expecting any cycling, might also help to mention that I am running a ASM G2 skimmer with little to no skimmate production at this point, and have a 15gal refugium plumed into the system as well that I put a couple of smaller less attractive pieces of rock and some rubble in, it's pretty empty at this point. Thanks for your help, Ryan <an effective skimmer/brand... just needs tweaked/tuned. Do seek others on the message boards that own this same model and get perspective on how to adjust it. Best of luck, Anthony>
Egging Me On..? >I just did a water change and decided to change the carbon. >>Alright. >The carbon was about 2 mos. old. As I dumped out the old carbon I noticed many, many, many tiny dark brown eggs in the carbon and inside of the mesh bags. I would guess there might be several tablespoons per bag. >>Wow.. anything like caviar? >These eggs are tiny, about 1/2 the size of a pin head, very dark brown and inside of the media bag. I do have a lot of copepods in my sump, are they related/desirable? Mike in Hershey, Pa. >>My goodness, honestly, I wouldn't be able to give you a definitive answer to that. Assuming they are actually eggs, and those of your "pods", then if you experienced a subsequent crash in numbers you'd have your best answer there, without microscopic examination and reference sources available. Of course, almost all pods are going to be rather desirable, and if you do experience a crash, then you'll know for next time to find a way to preserve what you find in the bags of carbon (consider adding them to a refugium?). Marina
Crab in my reef 12/4/03 Hello Anthony! <cheers, my friend> I watched my reef and I realized (to my relief) that the creature I saw the other day in a dark hole in the life rock was not a mantis shrimp but a crab! It arrived as a hitchhiker on the life rock and has been hiding for 3 months! Anyway, I read all about crabs in your book "Reef Invertebrates" and concluded that I should trap it and take it out of my reef, as I can not identify it and there are practically no crabs that are reef-safe. <quite correct> Next question is about amphipods (or copepods, I am not sure). <the former look like arched back shrimp/prawn... the latter look like dots/fleas> There are hundreds of them on the LR and on the grass of my tank. Some are very small and some have grown bigger, as there is no fish to eat them (the clown is swimming at one corner near the surface of the tank and has not yet moved to other places of the reef). Now I am thinking of culturing the amphipods in my sump, before I buy my next fish, which might start eating them (a Neon Goby, Gobiosoma Oceanops). What it the best way of transferring them in my sump? <just moving a little bit of dense algae or live rock will do the trick> I am thinking of moving a couple of LR that have Dictyota, Halimeda and Padina to the sump, so the amphipods on them will be transferred to the sump, too. Is it a good idea? <yes> I have not a refugium (lack of space), so I would like to do as much as possible in my sump. <understood> Moving some LR with macroalgae on it is my first thought. Second would be a deep sand bed in the second part of the sump, which would be a problem, because: 1. There is an EHEIM return pump sitting on the glass of this part of the sump and 2. The DSB would raise the bottom by 10cm, which will make me a slave to evaporation (will decrease my autonomy). Right now I have an evaporation of 3 liters per day and an autonomy of 7 days. If I make a DSB my autonomy will drop to 4 days. Last question for today: when I bought the Clown fish (see attached picture) I thought is was a juvenile Ocellaris, Now I am not certain any more, as it has begun to get darker close to the strip on its head and to the white spots on its back. Can you identify it please? Thanks a lot, Thanassis <clearly looks like A. ocellaris to me my friend. Best regards, Anthony>
Propelling 'Pods Hey, <Hey there! Scott F. with you!> Right now, I have a 10 gallon reef ( all zoos) with 80 watts of pc in the coming week or 2, I am getting a 55 gallon tank with once again is going to be for zoanthids only- I'm going to use cured rock to cycle the tank quicker. <Hopefully!> I plan on getting a couple of gobies including a Green or Target Mandarin so I want to get a head start for a couple of weeks at least before adding the Mandarin. <I'd wait a longer time than that before introducing this fish. Mandarins historically fare poorly in newly established tanks with limited microfauna for them to forage> I know the question I'm going to ask has been answered and you can go ahead and refer me to another link, but I assure you no matter how much I read I am still illiterate in the topic. <Cut yourself a little slack! I'm sure that you know a lot more than you think you do> I'm going to have no room behind or on top of the 55 at all except for the AQUA C Remora I'm getting-this also means the fuge will be under the tank. <Sounds fine so far...> I plan on using my 10 gallon and the 80 watts of pc. I still don't understand how the piping goes to get the pods etc from the fuge to the main tank. Telling me to use the return pump etc means nothing. Can you please explain to me how this works in layman's? terms. <Well, in many configurations, this is exactly how it works...The pods and other planktonic life are "sucked up" (or down, if the refugium is over the display) into the return to the tank. Really pretty simple. Sure, there are other possible means to accomplish this, but this is the most common way. As a simple person myself, this is how I'd explain it!> Thanks a lot. Mike <My pleasure. Regards, Scott F.>
Pod culture 4/13/04 Anthony, Could you recommend me a book with information regarding the raising of all types of pods as additional food for my reef tank and where I could purchase it at? <such a book does not exist. No one that describes all pod cultures. For a hobby reference, Bob and I give extensive coverage to refugiums, plankton reactors, microcrustaceans, etc (~ 100 of 400 pages) in our "Reef Invertebrates" book. Focus on the refugium chapter. For a scientific reference, do consult the "Plankton Culture Manual" by Hoff from Florida Aqua Farms> Once I move into a house, I would like to have an enormous amount of pods in a 40 gallon tank that provides constant additional food for my tank. I was reading on seahorse.org that they breed there pods in simple 10 gallon tanks with water taking from a matured tank but no water flow or filtration? Have you heard of this? <yes... rather simple. Rotifers especially> It seems a little easy? Thanks, Keith <best of luck, Anthony>
What to do with a dirty filter?? (I have a few questions) (Sung to the tune of "What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor") Hey there oh helpful ones! <Ahoy Angela> We have a 29 gal reefish tank with mainly inverts - here's the list - Lights are 2 55w PCs -50lbs of live rock, 4-6" DSB -Pair of cleaner shrimp (that won't stop producing eggs). Is it common for the male to carry eggs as well? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpreprofaqs.htm> Both of ours carry the eggs and release the larvae regularly. -Tiger pistol shrimp/yellow watchman goby/Firefish goby- These three all share the pistol shrimp's burrow and seem to get along. It's funny to watch the big Firefish squeeze into the burrow. I didn't think they'd all get along in that situation. -50 or so zebra and blue hermits and one little red hermit...I have tons of empty shells for them in the back of the tank so we don't have too many wars. -Various(30+ I lost count) Astraea, Nerite, Cerith snails and 3 bumble bee snails. -2 flame scallops (don't buy these folks, you'll spend all your time feeding them!!) -3 peppermint shrimp -Scooter blenny - he was my first fish in there and feeds well on various frozen foods. He loves to hunt for pods as well. -Neon Dottyback (for amusement purposes) -Pair of true Perc clowns and their anemone (An "African anemone" can't find info on them) -4 Feather dusters, an x-mas tree worm rock, plate coral, trumpet coral, green sea mat, and several reddish sponges that came on the LR that have been doing great. We also have a rock designated for those little purple and green anemones that split all the time that a lot of people consider nuisance (came with the LR). They'll eventually travel I know. <Sounds like a very healthy, full system> OK now to my real question...I have an Emperor 400 filtering all of this and have never had a problem with this tank (knock on wood) even though it has quite a few animals in it. I do small (5-10%)water changes 3 times a week, but I have never rinsed out the filters. This tank is going on 5 months old, still new. We pulled out one of the filters tonight and there were literally hundreds of those Gammarus (sp?) shrimp and other pod like creatures all throughout it. The filters look great so I figure they're keeping it cleaned...and I don't want to kill them. So do we need to change these filters eventually or will we be ok with all those creatures working on it? Thanks for all the help! ~Angela <I would be very careful re changing the filter, or cleaning it... If there is room, consider placing a filter pad (can buy material, cut to fit) on top of the existing "old" "dirty" one... and just periodically removing the new one to rinse, and/or replace. The old one can likely best serve as a sort of biological filter bed. Bob Fenner>
Will pumps kill pods from the refugium? Thanks Adam! I'll pass on the dragonet. I still want to set up a refugium at some point though -it would be nice to have live food so I can leave the tank to take care of feeding the fish for days at a time when I go on trips.... << Yes refugia are wonderful. >> I just hadn't considered under the tank refugiums. Wouldn't the pump kill the pods first before pumping them up to the display? << No, they go right through the pump. I'd say 90% of refugia are under tanks with pumps pushing the water back up. >> Narayan << Blundell >>
Pod culture, carbon Hello Anthony, Bob et al ! <Hi Roger> Thanks to all of you, your assistance is Priceless. Read a lot of FAQ's, still haven't found a sound answer. Just finished building an 22 gal acrylic sump. Was going to be a wet/dry but I read the section on bio-balls! Modified it now to a 22 gal refugium. <Ahh, "a stitch in time, saves your mind!"> My Nitrates have long been 0.2 but I'd still like to incorporate a 4' sand bed and really would like to make this a pod factory. I'll start gathering some LR rubble from the LFS but in the interim, is there anything else I can add to optimize the space? <Some macroalgae> Would lava rock work as a good habitat for the pods? <Not really> In essence, what would constitute "prime" pod habitat ???? <Mounded LR, macrophytes... there are actually MANY organisms considered "pods" that live in diverse habitats.> Second question. I have access to commercial grade anthracite coal used in water purification plants. Particle size is about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long. Can I use this without harming the tank inhabitants (fish, corals and inverts)? <Likely yes... talk with the "folks in your lab" re this application, find out how much "free" phosphate this product is likely to leach... get their input on preparing it (likely at least soaking for a day ahead of use) and try just a few ounces (in a Dacron bag) to see what sort of effects...> I "think" I remember reading that "activated" carbon is actually anthracite plus some process. Could you explain the process or the difference? What makes carbon "activated" <Not in a short space... Again, I encourage you to ask these questions of the "lab"... and the Net for that matter! Bob Fenner> Thanks a ton ! RJS Redding, California
Centrifugal pumps damaging plankton? 12/29/04 Dear WWM crew, First off I would like to say that I have literally spent hours perusing your forums, enough that my wife groans when she sees me on the computer <glad to hear the former, not the latter... do take care of family first and foremost :)> Thank you for offering a great service. I have heard from a few different places in passing (mostly magazines, and in a couple of places on the WWM pages) that our common centrifugal pumps are limiting our ability to maintain significant zoo and phyto plankton populations in our aquariums, <actually, this is archaic information/belief based on some silly research with brine shrimp that was extrapolated to be applied to marine plankton. In truth, marine plankton act nothing like (salt lake) brine shrimp and suffer very little plankton shear. The point is also ultimately moot as the plankton come out just as edible on the other side :) If you were hungry, would you refuse a hamburger because you wanted a steak instead? <G>> and thinking about it makes sense that the plankton could be damaged by colliding with the volute of the pump. <you'd be amazed what commonly passes through... I have seen small fish make it numerous times> Since I cannot seem to find anything more than speculation on this subject I was wondering what y'alls opinion is. <it is only speculation and bunk at that. No worries on plankton shear> Do you think there is any benefit in trying a reciprocating or perhaps rotary pump? I am thinking that the non-uniform output of the reciprocating pump could have its advantages (more turbulent flow etc.) but more complicated design would lead to more maintenance. I would love to hear the WWM opinion on this subject. Thanks very much for your input Chad Miltenberger <hamburger 'til it hurts, mate. Anthony>
30 gal. system check James, Thanks for your input regarding my tank's water flow and filtration issues. Should I be concerned about the apparent loss of copepods and/or Mysis shrimp LR hitchhikers running amuck on the LS? One other thing I forgot to mention is that Joe's Juice was used on a couple of occasions to get rid of some larger Aiptasia specimens. <I wouldn't be concerned about it. I think if you want to maintain large populations of the pods you would need a refugium. James (Salty Dog)>
Propagatin' 'Pods! First, let me say I think it's great that you guys take your time to answer and post these questions. I've learned a lot by reading through the FAQs. <Glad that you've found it helpful! We really enjoy bringing WWM to you every day! Scott F. here tonight!> I could use some guidance with a specific sand cleaner question. Here's a quick overview of the latest project: It's a small display (24g NanoCube) that flows to a lighted 16"x16"x7" mud 'fuge. That in turn flows to an unlighted 16"x18" DSB 'fuge with 5" of sand and 5" of water. In addition to nutrient export, I'm hoping to generate plankton of varying sizes, as well as small crustaceans ('pods.. etc.). Unfortunately, there are corners that don't receive optimal water flow, and I'm trying to keep from turn the whole contraption from turning into one large unstable nutrient sink. To that end I believe the key is to keep detritus from accumulating. The space is pretty tight and manual stirring / vacuuming would be hard. The questions: What is the best live stock for eating detritus without damaging (too much) the population of 'pods, algae, and other beneficials? <I'd utilize the so-called "Tiger Tail" Sea Cucumbers, which do an excellent job at this, as well as some serpent stars. These creatures are efficient at consuming detritus without excessive collateral damage to other, more desirable life forms> Also, what creature would be good for stirring the DSB without harm to the beneficial critters? <As above> Finally, is there a medium I can put in the DSB 'fuge that will facilitate 'pod growth? ..it's just open water now. <Well, depending upon what types of 'pods you're trying to grow, you could use a mixed course/fine substrate, some macroalgae, such as my favorite-Chaetomorpha, and the protection of the sump. Inoculate the 'fuge with a starter culture, sit back and you'll see an explosion of life after a few months! There is a lot of good information about amphipods and copepods (see the article in the latest issue of "Conscientious Aquarist" by Adelaide Rhodes, right here on WWM) on the net...Just do a little searching and you'll find more than you could imagine!> Thanks very much, Jon <My pleasure, John! Regards, Scott F.>
Copepods I have a 29 gallon tank with a sump, 110 watts power compact lighting, 3 inches of crushed coral, and 20lbs live rock. It has been running for about a year. There were fish in it at one time but now they're in the 55 gallon tank. I want to turn it into a copepod farm so I will have food to feed my mandarin that is in the 55 gallon tank. I just purchased some live copepods from an online fish store and want to know what I need to do to get it started. Do I need to get anything else for the tank or can I just pour them in? <Shawn, here is a link on pods. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i1/Pods/pods.htm James (Salty Dog)>
A Look Into the Culture of Pods and Their Kin 11/21/05 Greetings Bob n crew! <Sam> Bob 'I'm really looking forward to meeting you at the February Puget Sound Aquarium Society meeting. Will be nice to be able to say thanks in person for envisioning all that WWM has become (or at least starting something that has become truly incredible :*) ) <Ah! You add to my anticipation!> Quick hardware recap'¦125 gallon tank, 20 gallon refugium, 29 gallon sump, Aqua-C skimmer, 180# live rock over Â½-inch deep fine aragonite sand bed. Refugium packed with rock, and will be adding Chaeto in the coming month or so. I'm currently fishless, and planning on remaining so for at least 6 months to allow critters to proliferate. <Wow, good discipline> No corals yet either, and will likely remain that way for at least another month or two. There are currently about a dozen hermits and two dozen snails (total, of 6 varieties, one of which has already produced baby snails 'I take this as a sign of moderately acceptable husbandry) munching on the progressing algal succession. I'm doing 10-15% water changes every 7-10 days with aged, aerated, buffered DI turned saltwater (Instant Ocean). The goal with this tank, aside from corals (probably LPS) and a couple of other small nothing-less-peaceful-than-clownfish fishes, is to house a Mandarin, and for the system to be as self-sustaining as can be reasonably expected. Getting to the question, I'm curious as to whether investing in a 'pod culture at this point would be a prudent move. As I see it, the benefits would include adding to the number, and possibly diversity of the pods in the tank, and adding at this point would allow the new additions several months to continue to proliferate. I'm thinking the possible ramifications could include; 1) introducing a species capable of out competing those that hitched in 2) that there is a finite number of pods that the tank can sustain, and that what I'm already doing may allow me to get somewhere in the neighborhood of that number or, adding to the population may exceed that number and cause a pod-stock die-off 3) that the current population would, in the outlined time frame, be able to grow to the point of being able to sustain a Mandarin on its own, thus making the addition unnecessary. <I would stick with what you have... should be fine for all the reasons stated> I'm guessing I could always wait until after the Mandarin is added, and if the population dropped too severely, could add at that point. <Yes> I'm looking at a gift certificate for Ocean Pods. What say you? <I would save it> Thanks in advance, Sam <Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Culturing Pods for Mandarin Dragonet 7/28/06 Hi there, I've a question regarding Mandarin Dragonets and the feeding of this finicky fish. I would like to add one to my 46 gallon bowfront tank. It is a very mature tank. I've currently got about 75 lbs of live rock in the tank and about 3 inches of live sand. Right now the tank is loaded with copepods and mysis shrimp. I see them scurrying around constantly. I do have a small 6 line wrasse in the thank that will soon be moved to my 29 gallon reef tank. I'll also be adding a 29 gallon tank as a refugium to the bowfront. <Ahh, very good> In the refugium, I'll have live sand, rubble rock and Chaeto. I'd also like to set up a 10 gallon tank to culture pods in. I've got 2 different plans for doing this. I'd like your advice on both please. #1 is to line the tank with quart mason jars that each contain some live sand, a little rubble rock and some Chaeto. The water level will be kept a few inches above the top of each jar. I'll then seed the entire tank with copepods and mysis shrimp. I'll also have a small powerhead going in the tank. <Mmm, an air-powered sponge filter would be better/best... the splice and dice action of the powerhead will reduce the small crustacean population> My thoughts are that as the pods and shrimp grow and reproduce, I can remove a jar and pour the water off into the refugium or main tank. I'd then return the jar to the 10 gallon to repopulate. <Mmm, we'll see... likely the jars will be too much trouble, and unnecessary> I've heard that I may have a problem with evaporation and a rise in salinity using this method. I'm not sure how that would happen faster with the jars than without. #2 is to just use the 10 gallon with live sand, rubble rock and Chaeto but without the jars. <This would be my option...> I'm just not sure how I'd go about removing the pods to feed to the fuge or main tank though. <"Tie" the ten in with the 29 refugium somehow...> One thing that's been suggested to me is to take 4 to 6 sponges, get them wet with the tank water, crush some flake food into them and place them in the tank. Then as they populate with pods, remove a sponge and put it in the fuge or main tank for a few days and then replace into the culturing tank for repopulation. With 4 to 6 sponges, I'd think that I could rotate them and keep a good supply of pods. <Worth trying> Do either of these plans sound reasonable? <This second much more than the first> Also, in plan 2, can you suggest any other means of removing pods from the culture tank for feeding? <Vacuuming, mass water changes...> My last few questions concern the refugium. My bow tank is not drilled so I'll have to come up with some way to move water from the display tank to the refugium and then back to the display tank. Any suggestions? <Posted: http://wetwebmedia.com/overfloboxfaqs.htm and the linked files above> Do I need to section the refugium off into different compartments or can I just add lots of Chaeto and let it grow? <Can/could> I'll also have lighting on this tank. <... good idea: http://wetwebmedia.com/refugltgfaqs.htm> I would also like to put my skimmer into the refugium but am I better off leaving it on the display tank? <Mmm... not necessarily... though would situate in an anterior/first water arrangement I have a Remora Skimmer with an overflow/pre-filter box. Any advice you're able to give would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks. Michael <Bob Fenner>
Amiracle mud filter, using WWM 7/27/05 Hi I'm new to the site and so far it pretty informative well here's my questions. To grow various types of pods and food for my mandarins and fish what would be the best substrate type size and depth. --Sbatiste <Please keep reading... learn to use the Google search tool, the indices on WWM. Much/a great deal of "collateral" benefit/s... Bob Fenner>
Amphipods, Copepods, Mysis, Oh my! 7/28/05 Hi <Good evening. Mike G with you tonight.> I did some research on your site about pods but didn't really pick up the answer I was looking for. Well here's my question what kind of pods would grow in Ecosystems miracle mud with some Caulerpa <<Caulerpa>> (think it's misspelled) algae? <Well, to be quick, Amphipods and Copepods. If you want to get more in-depth, any of several hundred species of extremely similar "pods" may happen to populate a refugium seeded with the brand mud specified. Here are a few articles/FAQs related to "pods," hopefully they will assist you in getting an idea of what will soon inhabit your tank. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i1/Pods/pods.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pods.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/isopoda.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copepodfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pericaridanfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amphipodfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mysidfaqs.htm > Thanks in advance <You're welcome. Good luck with your new tank! Mike G>
Amiracle Mud Filters Substrate 7/28/05, same idiot question/response Hi Guys. I had a few question I've <There is no such word> been browsing this site for a while and could not find a specific answer to my questions, Well here they are 1) Would you suggest using Miracle mud to grow copepods and other foods for my aquarium? <Mmm, sure> 2) or would a different type of substrate be better if so what grain size and how much? Thanks <... please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i1/Pods/pods.htm and the linked files... at the bottom. Bob Fenner>