How To: Culture Daphnia

  1. L

    Leafray Valued Member Member

    Hey guys! Victreal wanted to know how I culture my daphnia and I thought it might be useful to some others, so here goes!

    Tools needed
    -water holding container ( the bigger the better! But small containers work just fine )
    -old aquarium water
    -medicine syringe
    -brine shrimp net
    -air pump-tubing ( optional )
    -turkey baster

    Many people say that you NEED green water to culture daphnia, well, there are actually a few ways to get around that. The first thing to keep in mind is that daphnia HATE freshly dechlorinated water, so I always use old tank water to either change or start my daphnia water.

    How to get started:
    Find a bin or container ( or maybe even a old fish tank ) that holds water.
    Find a place to put it, somewhere with full sunlight helps with the growth of daphnia ( at least what I think ) also helps grow green water.
    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1439753298.571005.jpg
    I have heard many people say that cultures crash easily in small containers, I haven't had any cultures crash on me yet. Fill the container all the way up with old aquarium water, then, if you would like green water, add a pinch of dirt and swirl it around. ( fish waste also work well )
    After a few days in full sun, the water should start greening. Adding a air pump will prevent a film from appearing at the top of the tank, also my daphnia grow better in tanks with water movement vs those who don't.

    How to obtain Daphnia:
    After you get your container ready, you can go get daphnia. Daphnia can be found in almost any warmer area of water, ( I collected my first batch in a rain ditch ). If you collect yours outside, then chances are, you might get some unwanted pests such as dragonfly larvae or hydra... What I did for my first batch is, first I dropped the muk containing the daphnia in a container with chlorinated water, the daphnia and critters all died. I the. Dechlorinated the water and waited a few days, the daphnias eggs continue hatching even after death, so in about a week, I head daphnia again. Another safer way is to just sort out a few daphnia with a medicine syringe thingy ( you can get them for free at most pharmacies ). This way ensures that you only get daphnia and nothing else. A simpler way is to just order them, I've seen cultures on eBay for around 7$ for 1000 plus!

    How To Feed:
    Even though many people recomend green water, I do not use it. Since whatever I feed the daphnia goes as a added nutrient into my fishs' stomachs, I want to add something healthier. Here's is what I use:
    Things needed:
    -instant dry yeast
    -spirulina powder ( can be obtained at almost any health stores, a super nutritious algae )
    -old aquarium water
    -mixing container
    -medicine syringe
    Mix yeast, spirulina, and water in a 1:1:2 ratio, you should end up with a slightly thick mixture. Suck the concoction into the syringe and pipe it into the daphnias container. I reccomend using a syringe because you NEVER want to over feed your daphnia, just make the water slightly cloudy. Overfeeding will cause your colony to crash.
    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1439754321.960609.jpg
    Here is a newish culture that I fed last night, you can see that it has cleared up, I would wait a day before I feed it again at this point. ( last night the water was milky green )

    How To Clean Daphnia Tank:
    Cleaning is essential to keeping you colony going, there are many better ways of cleaning, this is just my way.
    Shine a light on top of your daphnia container, daphnia are light oriented and should swim to the top after a few minutes.
    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1439754552.370908.jpg
    At this point, put a tuning into the container and siphon out half the
    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1439755032.818096.jpg
    You can either use this water to start a new colony by putting it in a container and adding tank water, or simply run the water through a brine shrimp net to remove any daphnia that got sucked up. Refill the container with old tank water.

    How to Feed:
    Simply use a turkey master to feed these daphnia to your fish :)

    - daphnia like a steady temp, and breed better in warmer waters, my cultures outside died due to fluctuations in temperature.
    - since daphnia grow better in warmer waters, I keep my containers at a steady 78 degrees, with a small heater.
    - in case of a crash, remove the water by sucking water from the top and add old tank water, then wait for the daphnia babies to emerge from their moms.... :)

    Hope this helps! And if you guys have any suggestions, please list them below!

    Currently breeding: h/b purple guppies
  2. V

    Victreal Valued Member Member

    Thanks that was very insightful and detailed :)