Re: NANFA-- Gammarus culture
Tue, 11 Mar 2003 15:42:47 EST

In a message dated 3/8/03 4:52:04 PM Mountain Standard Time, writes:

> If anyone has any thoughts about Gammarus culture and water chemistry
> requirements (or strategies) please share them with the list and I'll
> forward them to him. Or contact him yourself but please share with the
> list also. Thanks.

I'm no expert on keeping gammarus, but have successfully overwintered
gammarus for several years now. I generally collect gammarus in numbers in
late autumn when local irrigation ditches begin to dry.I collect all sizes at
this time, from tiny pinhead sized up to the 3/16" or so adults. I keep them
in a 10 or sometimes 20 gallon aquarium with constant aeration in water with
ph around 7.2-7.4, moderately hard, & temps ranging from 40 up to mid-60'sF
and feed them a staple diet of cottonwood, ash & ocassionally white oak
leaves. I usually wait until they've pretty much stripped the leaves to only
the "veins" before I add more leaves. Too many leaves will result in too much
decay and too low of oxygen for healthy populations of gammarus. And once a
week I feed crushed clams, diced frozen crickets or chunked minnow as they
seem to prosper with some high-protein in their diet.

As for collecting them in naturally flowing rivers & streams, I'd agree with
Ray that up under dense, fine roots [willow seems to be the most productive]
is a good bet and I've found good numbers of them in still water pools
blanketed with duckweed. I dipnet the duckweed and then I place handfuls of
duckweed into a bucket of clean water and slosh it around. Afterwards, I
dipnet out the duckweed [most of it, anyway]. What's generally left are some
gammarus, snails & different kinds of larvae. The gammarus are often small
to medium sized. (**For those uninitiated on duckweed, it's a curse once you
get it in your aquariums or ponds and danged hard to get rid of**) Decaying
leaves found in the bottom of pools often have the largest gammarus, although
I don't usually find nearly as many 'numbers' as I would in the duckweed.
Anacharis or even different kinds of moss in sidewater pools of rivers is
another good bet to find gammarus.

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