Re: NANFA-- growing my own live food

unclescott (
Sun, 16 Feb 2003 09:38:23 -0600

> how do I determine how much to feed the daphnia?

When the water begins to clear or has cleared, do a partial water change
through a really fine mesh. Return the daphnia in the mesh to the culture
(or feed them to the fish.). Replace the changed out water with the same
amount of green water.

As with kept fish, there is a virtue in water changes. Medium-hard tap water
is fine, perhaps best.

The beauty of feeding greenwater to daphnia is that it is hard to overfeed
the greenwater. The greenwater just continues to live, maybe processing
daphnia wastes until consumed. You may want a little current in the form of
a hard airline tubing. Airstones may provide too fine a mist and air will
get caught under the shell of the daphnia This has created a new sport
called bobbing for daphnia.

Lee's kean, mean, greenwater machine is pretty much the way to go. Or set up
a tank as one would set it up for tanks. Lights on a timer for a long
duration. Only neglect to include plants. Do include a bunch of hungry food
processors. Water should be moved, not finely processed. Sponge filters,
cannisters or tightly packed power filters would take out some of the
greenwater. I just use the hard airline tubing or a small power filter
without any filter media.

By the way, Detroit's James Langhammer recommends a small night light (moon)
for the daphnia. He feels that otherwise they sometimes pack themselves into
corners at night, Suffocation can accompany the moshing.

There are a zillion other things which can be fed daphnia. Some moderation
is important. A few snails on clean up patrol can be good.

That book which NANFA copied (buried in the pile of books by our bed),
Master's Encyclopedia of Live Foods (TFH) and Needham (et al) Labratory
Culture of Invertibrate Animals (about 1960, Dover Edition) offer an amazing
number of suggestions from various grass teas to manure tea to dairy product
rinsings (I slosh out yogurt containers) to that dead hampster. One of the
articles in Needham applauded both greenwater and dissolved yeast as among
the most productive of Daphnia foods.

Yeast though must be dissolved in a jar of warm water first. Care must be
taken that too much yeast is not fed or the daphnia culture will suffocate.
That is why I use greenwater - it is relatively idiot proof. :)

All of those references alluded to are pretty old and more easily found in
library sales, Ab books or than in new book stores. However
daphnia tastes have changed little over the years. ;)

All the best!

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