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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Raising Daphnia - my story / advice (Part 1) - I'm doing this in two parts, since it seems like there's a limit on the size of one post or actually now I think it was the eBay link that turned out to make it not work ... oh well, here's the two parts.

I've been raising Daphnia indoors in a 5 gallon and 20 gallon tank (shown below just after I fed them) for about 3 months now (and did tons of research) and I've learned some do's and don'ts about what worked for me, that I thought I'd share if someone else wanted to give raising Daphnia a try.

1. What to raise them in - First of all, I had to decide what I should try to raise them in. You can raise them in just about anything, from what I read. I heard, after many, many hours or research on the net, that you should always have at least two cultures of Daphnia going at the same time, in case anything happens and one of them "crashes". My first choice was easy, a 20 gallon tank I had hanging around. The second one is a 5 gallon tank I bought at my local Fish Store. I have the pictures of the tanks shown below, right after I fed them, to give you an idea of how murky the water should be after feeding them.



2. Why - My Neolamprologus Brichardi go nuts over the Daphnia !!! ... and I've always like giving my fish some live food as a treat, plus to practice their hunting skills. I use these only as a supplement to my normal NLS Flake food ... http://nlsfishfood.com/

3. Bubbling – I tried different methods of aerating/moving the water and ended up with an airline weighted down with a ceramic door knob zip-tied to it. It puts out about 2-3 bubbles per second. The research said to not have too much aeration, since the air might get stuck in the Daphnia’s shells and kill them. So keep the bubbling to a minimum, which I’ve found is tricky getting the air valve set just right.

4. Feeding – This is the tricky part, since everyone has special formula they use. The best food is "green water" or algae water, which is really the best food for them, but I could never get it to work for me so I finally gave up on that about a week ago and now feed them once a day 1/16 teaspoon of Active Dry yeast and 1/4 teaspoon of Spirulina powder (for my 25 gallons of Daphnia). I tried just yeast at first (which a lot of folk recommended) and it really didn't work well for me. They didn’t breed and frankly almost died off, but when I added the Spirulina powder they really started breeding ... big-time !!!



5. Culling the herd – They say you should make sure to get rid of some of them, even if you have to flush them down the drain. This keeps the culture healthy and breeding.

6. I leave the light on all the time – There are different theories/opinions on this, but I leave my light on all the time. I really don’t know if it helps any, but I read it might help … so I leave them on.

(Part 2 continued below)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Part 2

7. Helpful links

http://www.caudata.org/daphnia/
I tried to post the link to where I bought the Daphnia on eBay, but it wouldn't work. It's called "LIVE FISH FOOD DAPHNIA CULTURE KIT MICRO ALGAE EASY GRO"
http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/management/Childers_Raising_Daphnia.html
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishfood/raisingdaphnia.php
http://www.carolina.com/product/142330.do

I know this doesn’t answer everything. And I am by no means an expert, but I’m pretty happy with how well they’re doing and I thought I’d share some thoughts with everyone.

I hope this helps someone !!! :fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
One thing I've noticed, over time, is the tanks get pretty dirty, even with the magnet glass cleaners and siphoning out the "mulm" and excess Spirulina Powder that settles to the bottom. Then it finally occurred to me today that I should try the Nerite snails that work wonders in my main tank at keeping them clean of ANY algae. So I put a couple in each tank an so far (in just a couple of hours) they've cleaned up a little. If they continue to work and don't die on me, I may buy some specifically for the Daphnia tanks ... we'll see.

FYI ... here's where I bought my batch of Nerite snails for my main tank ... http://www.aquariumplants.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=snail793

All the best !!! :) :fish:
 

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Daphnia can be a bit tricky as some species will always go into dipause. Dipause can be triggered by a number of things in my experience, such as lack of food or high water temps. You can tell a daphnia culture is heading to dipause when you start seeing lots of cysts floating around the edges. I have been told that rabbit pellets and snails will help a green water culture.
I have a culture going now in a garbage can, but my main culture will start around April on my swimming pools winter cover. There I grow millions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well the Nerite Snail experiment didn't work ... they just stayed still all the time, so I put them back in the main tank. I don't think they liked the water conditions. I've heard that ramshorn snails work best. I'm going to do some searching and see.

:fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After the Nerite Snail experiment didn't work. I decided to get some Ramshorn snails (which folks have said are good for Daphnia tanks) to see how they'd work. I just got them today and they're all hanging out toward the top of the tanks. I've heard that that might be a sign of bad water quality, which is kind of weird, since I change 50% of the water (with Aquarium water) twice a week so it seems the water would be OK. Time will tell whether they'll work or not. I'll give an update in a week or so on how these work out.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A couple points ...
1. The Ramshorn snails seem to be doing a little better with most of them not on the top anymore.
2. I'm feeding the Daphnia about 1/3 less Spirulina powder than before, since I realized a portion of it was just settling at the bottom of the tanks. Now that doesn't' seem to happen much anymore and the Daphnia seem to be eating all of it and producing well. Almost too well, since I only have 7 Brichardi that are only about 1/2 grown. They love the Daphnia, but I don't want to feed them too much.

Hope this helps !!! :)
 

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I don't think you can feed too much daphnia, since they are about 90% water, and the shell acts as roughage so it passes through quickly. When my culture is going strong, I keep daphnia in front of the fish 24/7 until I open the pool, which is 4 to 6 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
BillD said:
I don't think you can feed too much Daphnia, since they are about 90% water, and the shell acts as roughage so it passes through quickly. When my culture is going strong, I keep Daphnia in front of the fish 24/7 until I open the pool, which is 4 to 6 weeks.
That's good to here, since I was a little worried about feeding them too much Daphnia. I still feed them NLS Flakes daily, then supplement it with Daphnia.

It's so much fun to watch the Daphnia too and see how they multiply. They sure do seem to multiply fast on the mixture of Spirulina Powder and Active Yeast.

I'm also excited about watching my Brichardi when the start breeding, which will probably be in about 3 months. I've heard that the younger Daphnia <1mm are good for the fry too. Either that or Microworms.

All the best !!! :)
 

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I have experience culturing both D. magna and C. dubia. You are most likely culturing D. magna we kept them in a 20 C chamber they do great at this temp. They are far easier to culture than C. dubia. If you go warmer you will get cysts. If you keep the water clean you will also get more offspring and less cysts. We feed them an algae we also cultured and a digested yeast mixture.

We cultured them in small plastic terrariums that we stacked and cut a whole in with a sieve in the top container so we could change out the water and not have to siphon out the neonates. We kept two of these aquariums per generation and kept 4 generations- keeping one generation a week. We did not aerate them and changed the water every other day. It required about 10 minutes of work every other day
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, I have been culturing Daphnia Magna, at about 23-24 degrees C, which I've heard is a little on the high side (I've heard they prefer 20-21 degrees), but that's what the house temp is set at. Although, they've been reproducing wonderfully with no Ephippia/Eggs, so I assume it's OK.

All the best !!! :fish:
 

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Nice yes if you keep them at a certain temp they will eventually equilibrate sometimes we even brought them to 25 C. At the higher temp it puts them into overdrive a little and that is why you may see ephippia. They do like hard water though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
podenbeck said:
Nice yes if you keep them at a certain temp they will eventually equilibrate sometimes we even brought them to 25 C. At the higher temp it puts them into overdrive a little and that is why you may see ephippia. They do like hard water though.
That's good to hear about the temperature, since they seem to be doing well in it. They also seem to like the hard water too, since the water I'm putting in the tanks from the aquarium runs about 7-8 kH & gH and about 16 dH. In addition, the pH is relatively high at about 8 pH.

Thanks for the words of wisdom, and I hope this helps !!! :fish:
 

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Yeah I think you are doing a great job :thumb:

Your water characteristics are just about right. For the larger Daphnids (ie D. magna) they do much better in the harder water. I assume to build the chitin for their exoskeletons. C. dubia does better at a lower hardness and alkalinity and they are a pain in the a$$ to culture- much more sensitive. We would have huge population crashes all the time.

I noticed that you were having trouble with bubbling. You could try using (if you can get them) are long 1 mm ependorf pipettes. They really stay clean and you can control the bubble out put very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, it sure seems to be going well, with frankly more Daphnia than I am able to feed the fish (at least for now, until they start breeding, as in them getting bigger and having more fish in the tank). With regard to the bubbling, I think I'm okay with the way it is right now. I seem to be getting enough aeration, without the air getting in the shells of the Daphnia. The pipettes, though, sound like a great idea !!!

I'm really enjoying the Daphnia breeding going so well, since I was really worried about it at the beginning. So I did tons of research and figured out where to start from, and then learned from there.

Thanks again for all the advice and kind words ... all the best !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I had read that using Ramshorn snails with Daphnia was a good idea, but I'm virtually 100% positive it was the ammonia from the snails, since they reproduced so fast (even with 50% water changes twice a week) that ended up killing all my Daphnia, since they're so sensitive to water conditions. Now I'm going to wait a while, clean out the tanks and I'm pretty sure I'll start over, since my Brichardi LOVED them. I've now had my 3rd batch of fry and the baby Daphnia are wonderful for the fry, since a lot of them gravitate to the bottom where the young fry are. We'll see ... I'll keep you updated.

All the best to everyone !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
First thanks for the compliment, and sorry for the late reply.

FYI, as you may have read from my other post I started over with my Daphnia with "Daphnia Magna", which were called "Russian Red" by the seller on eBay ... http://cgi.ebay.com/Live-Daphnia-cu...022?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20bb57a236. They are doing great in my two Daphnia tanks (5 and 20 gallon) and seem to be doing better than my first batch of Daphnia Magna. I generally have enough to give my, now about 40, Neolamprologus Brichardi a treat every afternoon or two. The only thing weird is my smaller tank has developed, what appears to be hair-like Planeria worms, which are harmless and interesting. I plan on doing some more research on this. This is the post on that subject ... http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=231717&highlight=.

I hope this helps and all the best to everyone !!! :)
 
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