Re: NANFA-- Bryozoans and Wierd Dytiscus Beetle Larvae
Tue, 13 Jun 2000 00:19:07 EDT

In a message dated 6/12/00 12:00:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< Bryozoans are tough to maintain. Small pieces or colonies can be kept
in culture dishes for short times with frequent changes of pond water. >>

I wonder if they could be fed cultured bacteria that is sold commercially by
fish farms for ponds.There is a type of cultured bacteria called Fritz Zyme
bacteria which is heterophic (able to live in the absence of light) it's
blended with enzymes though; I don't know if the enzymes could harm the
bryozoans. If not, it seems like this could help them thrive since bryozoans
filter-feed on bacteria.and bryozons do better with less light because they
don't have to compete with algae as much. Since daphnia live in the pool
where these bryozoans are found, dapnia could be kept with the bryozoans to
help feed on diatoms to keep the number of competing algae down.Also, a lot
of old leaves and twigs would be good for a substrate to provide decaying
organic matter for the bacteria to feed on. Or maybe they could be used in a
sump connected to a well-established tank containing soft, acid water and
fish like black-banded sunfish. The fishes' leavings could provde the
bacteria for the bryozoans to live on.

<< I'm not familiar with colonial bacteria
(although I am intrigued by the name "Witches Butter"), >>

I'm not either; never really knew about them. I'm intrigued by them as well,
and this gives me a new subject to look up as far as interesting aquatic NA
lifeforms are concerned (thanks for the idea, Bruce!).

<< if your organisms are bryozoans, they should exhibit small, dark spots
(statoblasts)later in the season. >>

They have them; they are bryozoans. Thanks for the helpful tip which helped
me figure out what basic type of organisms they are.

<< Re your beetle larvae - Beetle larvae are challenging to identify to
genus-species even for aquatic entomologists. The predacious diving beetle
(fam. Dytiscidae) Coptotomus has long lateral gills on the first 6 abdominal
segments and large maxillary palps and could be your beetle. Similar taxa
would include other dytiscids, several water scavenger beetles
(Hydrophilidae), and even whirligig beetles (Gyrinidae). >>

I could see how they would be a challenge to identify; I found this list that
had something like 105 species listed for Michigan alone. The Coptotomus
beetle sounds like a likely candidate.

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