Diporeia In A Jar

  1. WindowJars Initiate Member


    I'm totally new to the forum, but browsed around a bit to make sure there wasn't already a thread about this.

    I'm not building a traditional aquarium per se, but I was in the Midwest recently and I took a small jar (6" tall and 3.5" diameter), dipped it into a small freshwater lake with some sand and rocks at the bottom and the rest water, closed the lid, and drove 12 hours home.

    I opened the jar lid to aerate and just left it on the window sill. I was hoping to see some cool tiny life and was not surprised to find ostrachods (sp?) zipping about the next day, as well as some tiny red worms wriggling in the sand, but what really surprised me was I somehow captured a tiny colony of what looked like tiny shrimp!

    I did some googling and have since decided they are not actually shrimp, but a related creature called Diporeia. Google told me these are non-selective benthic feeders (bottom feeders that aren't picky?) and the description matches. They are 2-3mm long, white/translucent, and while they can swim about, they appear to also like to burrow into the sand at the bottom and hide under the big rock in the middle.

    To my horror, several of them died right away, and I assumed they were doomed, but I was able to spot three today after a day of no sightings yesterday.

    My original plan was to just let the tiny ecosystem do its thing since I've done a similar experiment with pond water before and was really fascinated by the tiny orange ostrachods that appeared and happily munched on the algae that grew. But, now that I've seen these little creatures, as well as more than half of them die in the first day or two, I'd like to see if I can make this little jar world sustainable for them.

    These aren't shrimp, so I'm not sure the same logic applies as what I've read in the forums regarding diet, ph levels, the nitrogen cycle, etc. However, I am worried that, unlike the tiny ostrachods, that these cool little Diporeia may not make it all that long in such a small jar with no large plants or filtration.

    I brought them home on July 5th, so the ones that have survived have at least survived a full two weeks, which is encouraging. I've considered some Marimo balls but am worried about potential invasive worms and/or brown algae taking over or some other unknown effect that could destroy my great lakes ecosystem. Also, I wasn't planning on changing the water, but have been looking into it recently as I'm not sure why the ones that died did and why the ones that survived didn't.

    Has anyone done anything like this before or have experience with this particular creature? Any other thoughts in general?


  2. Keystone Member Member

    Diporeia are a genus of amphipods. Generally they are detritivores. In theory they should eat anything you would use as food in an aquarium. Try feeding them green water or powdered spirulina for a start. They will probably survive in your jar, but like any other animal would enjoy more space.

  3. smee82 Well Known Member Member

    They should be able to survive but with suchca small amount of water anything could go wrong. You wull also need to do water changes