Reef Soup or Live copepods are a necessary live fish food for corals and fish.

We have all different sizes and type of copepods for all your fish food needs.

These copepods are true sub tropical saltwater copepod species. Species we culture: Acartia, Parvo, Pseudo, tisbe. We also culture Tigger Copepods (Tigriopus californicus) adapted to tropical temperatures here in our Florida nursery.

Copepods are part of our ocean zooplankton. Which means that it will survive and thrive in most of our marine aquarium/refugium environments. It is used to the same basic environment as are most of our reef systems at home. This makes these copepods a great species to seed a marine tank. Copepods have a wide size range from nauplii to breeding adult. Which makes live copepods an ideal prey species for corals, anemones. Also fish and larvae and fry that need to feed on live zooplankton. Great for Seahorses, Dragonet’s, Mandarins and many other hard to adapt fish species.

 

These micro crustaceans (zooplankton) are one of the final links not only in the food chain but in the natural environment chain, that we have been lacking in our aquarium systems at home.

 

Copepod species are in all the worlds oceans and waterways, and they provide an essential and integral part of the natural ecosystem. They balance out our aquarium systems at home.

 

We believe that culturing these little critters will go a long way to achieving that holy grail in reef keeping of having a balanced almost self sustaining ecosystem aquarium at home.

 

We believe these copepods to be an essential element necessary for the aquaculture hobbyist to maintain a truly balanced natural aquarium.

 

Benefits for the aquarium:

They work in many different capacities in the aquarium.

 

1.As Micro cleanup maintenance crews, they break down the next size detritus from snails and hermit crabs.(some of the types of copepods we raise are detrivors as well as herbivorous)

 

2.Live food for those animals like seahorses, mandarins, etc that seem to need small live prey to acclimate to our enclosed systems.

 

3.Live prey for all kinds of species currently being cultured and new ones yet cracked that need small nutritious live zooplankton in the first stages of their planktonic existence.

 

4.Night time feeding of corals that feed on live zooplankton when the lights are off. A large percentage of our captive corals need zooplankton to survive as a supplement diet, besides light.

 

5.All kinds of other filter feeders like clams, scallops, feather dusters, sponges, etc will appreciate having these to balance out their diet.

 

6.These animals have many different life stages and sizes to add variety to the enclosed ecosystem.

 

7.Continuous reproducing source of live food for most aquarium animals.

 

8.Can use these to target feed previously hard to keep types of corals like gonoporia.

 

9.Zooplankton have important nutritional value needed by many of our captive animals.

 

Keep in mind that the conditions in our aquariums all differ from one another so a general guideline is that it can take up to 2 or three doses of these portions during a 3 month period before you get an established breeding population in your tank at home. Or they may just take off from the first dosage and you might see fantastic results in 2-3 weeks. Be patient.

 

In maintaining a modern marine aquarium or Whole Life Cycle Aquarium, we are constantly striving to imitate the conditions found in the wild reef systems of the ocean. Until recently not too much attention has been given to the role that Zooplankton plays in the wild ecosystem of the reefs. Do to the hours that us aquaculture hobbyist spend looking at and caring for our captive reefs we have been noticing the reactions of our corals and fish and other inverts when we introduce live zooplankton ( rotifers, Brine shrimp, and now Copepods). It is becoming apparent that an essential part of this ecosystem is thousands of different copepod types. While diving at night on a reef you can see all this zooplankton rising and swimming in the water column and all the filter feeders and corals feeding. A large portion of this zooplankton is comprised of copepods.

 

So the next question is: How do we replicate this in our home aquariums?

 

Well the answer to this question is what we are working on now. The answer will probably be multiple ways. Some suggestions are; To use less mechanical filtration, so the zooplankton can circulate throughout the system. Deep sand beds. Feeding or dosing Phytoplankton (micro algae), To sustain breeding populations of zooplankton. For a continuous supply of live food. This will benefit the captive care and wellbeing of many previously hard to keep species that live on the reef, like clams, gorgonians, SPS and LPS corals of all types, Mandarins, Seahorses, Pipefish, Dragonet’s, just to name a few.

 

Culturing Basics:

These are relatively easy to culture in the short term, or batch cultures. Continuous long term culturing requires some deeper knowledge and practice and hours of dedication on a daily basis to succeed.Follow the instructions that will be included with your order. We are always available to answer any questions online.

These can be either seeded in your tank to try to establish a breeding colony in your system or cultured in a separate container, then sieved out once a week and used as feed.

 

Note For Fish Larva- Culture:

Copepods full grown and juveniles have a potential for use as first and secondary feed in raising fish fry and larvae. Since copepods have different life stages and swimming/ movement patterns. Fish larvae have a memory instinct that they are born with, in the critical first few days from hatching, larvae will seek certain colors and movement, (maybe smell) in the prey they will hunt and eat. It is not until days later that us aqua culturist are able to train the fish fry to eat foods that are different than their natural instinct tells them.

 

We culture two types of copepods:

Calanoid (free swimming, Planktonic) Spend most of their life in the water column.

Harpacticoid( Bottom dwelling or Benthic) Spend their time walking in and on substrate.

One cladoceran:Moina Salina( saltwater flea).

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