Culturing Rotifers

Rotifer Culturing Instructions.

  1. Culture vessel: This can be anything such as a 2-litre coke bottle to a 5 or 10-gallon aquarium.

  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 Super 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 lightly colour the culture water. Do not add too much, or the water will foul, the best way to describe the colour of the culture water should be is "cucumber flesh green". Add your new rotifer culture to the vessel, and you are done!

Over the next coming days, your rotifers will reproduce. It may seem at first that they aren't 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 lightly tinted, 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 fine mesh Rotifer Sieve 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).

Make sure you do not dip your strainer in the rotifer culture, and then in your aquarium, and then back in your culture vessel without cleaning it first. Likewise, keep syphon tubing and other equipment you use on your culture separate from equipment you use in your aquariums or larval tanks to avoid contamination.

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.

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