Guide to Culturing Copepods

1. You will need a culture vessel. This can be anything such as a small aquarium or plastic container etc.

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 new culture. For best results aim for a specific gravity of 1.020 for our strain of copepods.

3. Small air pump, and airline tubing (Do not use an air stone).

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

5. A food source, such as Reefphyto Copepod 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 the 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 very small amount of copepod feed to lightly colour the culture water, do not add too much as you do not want to foul the water. Add the live copepod culture supplied in the clear pouch, apply the lid to the container and you are done!

Over the next few weeks, your copepods 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 should see an "explosion" of copepods in your culture vessel. Feed with Reefphyto copepod feed as necessary to keep the water lightly tinted, and monitor water quality.

Culture crashes from overfeeding that leads to high ammonia and nitrite are possible, water changes of 50% can help if the water quality declines too much.

To harvest your copepods, a plankton collector/strainer of some sort is very helpful or you can use pipettes to syphon them out from the culture container and into your aquarium.

Please see our copepod culture kits.