Daphnia Filtration

Madeline Peterson

Ok, so the premise of this is kind of long. I want to keep an invertebrate only tank with several different species of invertebrate so I can feed my weather loaches a variety of live food. However, one of the invertebrate species I have chosen is daphnia. When kept with a filter, both them and their microscopic food are sucked in. However, I don't want the tank to be entirely without filtration.

My solution is this: keep a pile of bioballs in the corner, covered by a layer of Java moss attached to plastic mesh to keep them from looking ugly. My idea is that, even without any water flow, these will provide a good surface for bb to grow and there will be enough water exchange for the bb to eat some ammonia, even without a current. I also plan on adding a lot, and I mean a lot, of aquarium plants. Like, enough that you can't really see the back of the tank.

Does this setup sound like it will work? I've kind of already got it going in a 5 gallon where I turned the internal filter off so I could house daphnia. Also, do you think the pile of bioballs will help enough to be worth the space they will take up?
 

Nessaf

I think I would have an air stone somewhere for water circulation to prevent it from becoming stagnant.
 
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The2dCour

You could run an airstone behind/surrounded by moss/biomedia to make a kind of "filter". In fact this is what I plan to do when my daphnia eggs arrive.
Do you mind if I pick your brain on the daphnia tank? What are the water parameters (not nitrogen cycle)? Lighting hours? What type of plants are you planning? I want to set up my 10g so I'm growing some BB on substrate atm.
 
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Nessaf

I found this how-to on culturing daphnia.
 
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Madeline Peterson

Daphnia and air stones don't go well together. The bubbles get lodged within their body cavity.
I found this how-to on culturing daphnia.
I've read it, and several articles like it. Thanks anyways, though.
 
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The2dCour

Daphnia and air stones don't go well together. The bubbles get lodged within their body cavity.

I've read it, and several articles like it. Thanks anyways, though.
Interesting. Try it with just the tubing then? It's the same principle, move water around the "filter".
 
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Madeline Peterson

You could run an airstone behind/surrounded by moss/biomedia to make a kind of "filter". In fact this is what I plan to do when my daphnia eggs arrive.
Do you mind if I pick your brain on the daphnia tank? What are the water parameters (not nitrogen cycle)? Lighting hours? What type of plants are you planning? I want to set up my 10g so I'm growing some BB on substrate atm.
Daphnia do fine at room temperature, and seem to do well enough in hard water, which is what I get from my tap. I also have high kh, and that seems to be working. Plantwise, I was thinking whatever I can find at a fish store that is easy to grow, lol. As for lighting hours, I don't think daphnia are picky about that, either. Just do whatever your plants prefer. If you add a few snails of some type, you won't have to worry about algae at all because the snails will eat the stuff on the glass and plants and the daphnia eat green water.

The thing you have to worry about most is population spikes, and the ammonia spikes that come with them. To deal with this, feed sparingly and always keep multiple colonies in case one fails. I feed mine mostly yeast. You can find it in the baking aisle. Just add a pinch to a cup of water, preferably warm water(not hot!), and wait a few minutes. Then pour it into your tank. The water in your tank should be slightly cloudy but still see through.

I'll try using just air tubing, and let you know how that goes.
 
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goldface

Seems to me you already have a pretty good idea what to do. As you know daphnia don't require filtration or a bubbler, and can in fact be detrimental. Plenty of live plants should be more than sufficient and will provide plenty of surface area for beneficial bacteria. Unlike a lot of people, I think there still is a great deal of benefit to an aged aquarium even without a filter and biomedia. If you want to go the extra mile with the bio balls, it certainly couldn't hurt.
 
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Madeline Peterson

Seems to me you already have a pretty good idea what to do. As you know daphnia don't require filtration or a bubbler, and can in fact be detrimental. Plenty of live plants should be more than sufficient and will provide plenty of surface area for beneficial bacteria. Unlike a lot of people, I think there still is a great deal of benefit to an aged aquarium even without a filter and biomedia. If you want to go the extra mile with the bio balls, it certainly couldn't hurt.
Would large bubbles be detrimental? Or just small ones?
 
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Sanderguy777

What about getting some cheapo water pump and hooking it up to a spray bar? I just mean to circulate water, not to filter anything.
Try to find something like 20gph or 30gph or less.
Then, once you find the pump, experiment with how high it pumps water. Try to get a pipe or some tubing to go high enough to just get a trickle out of the spraybar... that should keep the flow from really bothering the critters.
(I dont know anything about daphnia, so this might be a terrible idea lol, just trying to help)
 
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Madeline Peterson

What about getting some cheapo water pump and hooking it up to a spray bar? I just mean to circulate water, not to filter anything.
Try to find something like 20gph or 30gph or less.
Then, once you find the pump, experiment with how high it pumps water. Try to get a pipe or some tubing to go high enough to just get a trickle out of the spraybar... that should keep the flow from really bothering the critters.
(I dont know anything about daphnia, so this might be a terrible idea lol, just trying to help)
The main issue isn't the presence of a current. It's that daphnia can get sucked in to a filter or pump. I'm not sure how your solution avoids that. And completely still water isn't absolutely horrible, frankly. I've had completely still water in my 5 gallon for months without issue. The main thing I'm trying to do is kinda/sorta filter the water to prevent ammonia spikes and allow a higher bioload. In my 5 gallon, I have plenty of plants and a sponge for bb to grow on, and it's doing fine.
 
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Sanderguy777

The main issue isn't the presence of a current. It's that daphnia can get sucked in to a filter or pump. I'm not sure how your solution avoids that. And completely still water isn't absolutely horrible, frankly. I've had completely still water in my 5 gallon for months without issue. The main thing I'm trying to do is kinda/sorta filter the water to prevent ammonia spikes and allow a higher bioload. In my 5 gallon, I have plenty of plants and a sponge for bb to grow on, and it's doing fine.
My idea was to let them go right through the pump, but I guess that might hurt them...

(I just looked it up, I didn't realize they were that big. I though they were microscopic based on your initial thread about them getting into the filter with their microscopic food.)

Still water isn't all bad, and if you have all those plants, your probably fine
 
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goldface

Would large bubbles be detrimental? Or just small ones?
If you can keep the disturbance at a minimum, then I don't think it should be an issue. I just don't think daphnia and other freshwater copepods would do well with too much water movement. I find and collect these guys in very still pools and ponds, and simply throw them in the jar, and that's it. If fed properly you shouldn't really have any issues with ammonia.
 
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