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Daphnia as Absorbers

16884 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  alcimedes
Will adding daphnia improve water quality? When they reproduce, the added mass of the colony has to come from somewhere- I'm wondering if they filter your water to some degree?

I'm not thinking of adding greenwater or any food to the tank though- it's my shrimp tank. But I thought I might grow daphnia for the purpose of further stabilizing my ecosystem. And to raise food for other fish.

Would daphnia die off if you don't feed them? Or will they survive on algae and stuff in the water? I have a 55 gallon planted tank, btw.


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I agree on the greenwater feeding. More nutritious that way IMHO. Additionally, the greenwater while in suspension will absorb the nutrients that OP is considering adding the daphnia for. @MassiveDynamic17, the idea would probably work...in a much larger tank. Reef tanks still have pelagic copepod species in them, which have to subside off of something. Under that logic, a small daphnia population should be able to live in the tank, but would probably grow better with the addition of at least a little bit of greenwater. Adding said greenwater would also help with some nutrient issues since the greenwater absorbs nutrients, and the daphnia eat the greenwater, and you take out the daphnia.

Flakes: No. You'd have to get the flakes into the micron size, which I'm pretty sure is nearly improbable with most home techniques (even if you crush them up really really small). Additionally, those flakes will contribute to nutrients within the tank.

Yeast: Yes, but sparingly, and no flour. From what I've read, adding any dead food, like egg yolk, dead greenwater, powdered ham and pea soup, yeast, and dung(used to boost floating bacteria levels that the daphnia eat), requires a bit more care since if you overfeed, you risk killing the daphnia off due to excessive spoilage of food. Just enough to make the water slightly cloudy is good.

Temp: Daphnia can live in warm ponds, and produce ephippia once they start getting in bad conditions (overly hot (>80) or very cold (no idea), large amounts of phosphorusin the water, etc.).

Filtration: Small, air powered sponge filters work. Not the ones that vigorously aerate the water, but normal ones that barely move the water around work. As does just a small amount of aeration as well. This way, not a lot of the daphnia get trapped and die.
 
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