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Rotifer Culture Guide

Rotifer Equipment Required & Culturing Process

  1. Culture vessel: This can be anything such as a 3 or 10 litre container.

  2. Culture water: You will need some freshly mixed clean seawater, do not use water from an existing aquarium or culture as this will contaminate your attempt to start a new culture of rotifers. A specific gravity of 1.017 to 1.021 for this strain of rotifer is suggested.

  3. Small air pump, and airline tubing (Do not use an airstone) this keeps the Rotifer Food in suspension.

  4. Cover to keep dust and contaminants out and evaporation down.

  5. A food source, such as our Concentrated Rotifer Feed.

Fill your container half to two-thirds full with the clean seawater. Attach the airline to the air pump. Put the end of the airline into culture vessel, and plug in the air pump. Make sure you use a drip loop and check valve to keep water from getting into your pump and electrical outlet.

Add a small amount of Reefphyto Rotifer Feed to colour the culture water leafy green.  Add your starter pack of live rotifers to your culture to the vessel, and you are done!

Rotifers are phototrophic (attracted to light) but do not require it.

Over the next coming days, your rotifers will reproduce. It may seem at first that they are not reproducing as fast as you would like, but once they get to a certain population level you will see an "explosion" of rotifers in your culture vessel.

Feed with Reefphyto Rotifer Feed as necessary to keep the water tinted leafy green, and monitor water quality. Crashes from overfeeding that leads to high ammonia and nitrite are possible, water changes of 50% should be carried out every 4-5 days to maintain water quality.

To harvest your rotifers, use our rotifer fine mesh and strain the required amount of rotifer culture over the sink or bucket. Replace the water you have strained with fresh seawater (not with the old strained water).

Over the period of a week there will be a build-up of waste in the bottom and sides of your rotifer culture container which will need to be siphoned out to avoid your culture crashing. It's often easier to transfer your culture into a clean container every 4-5 days keeping the culture clean and healthy.

Placing your culture in Holiday Mode

Since rotifers need to be maintained/harvested every day, it can be a problem if you go away for several days.  Fortunately there is an easy way to put your rotifers in "holiday mode" (hibernation):

  • Pour a liter or so of your culture into a 1 liter container. Cover loosely to allow oxygen to enter.
  • Add a bit of extra algae to darken the culture
  • Put the liter container into your refrigerator
  • After 7 days 50% of your rotifers should be alive
  • After 14 days 15% of your rotifers should be alive
  • Restart your culture using the directions above