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Any pointers on how to start and maintain a daphnia culture? I know that they should be fed green water, but have also heard that they will take infusoria produced by decaying hay (yep, there are people who keep hay in their daphnia tanks). Personal experiences with daphnia would be much appreciated.
 

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I have a small container pond outside, and they just appear on their own. When I net out dinner for my tanks, some of the largest ones don't get eaten, instead laying eggs which eventually hatch into more. Sometimes I seed one of my pico tanks with them so I have an indoor source. Just drop in a small piece of food or bit of blanched veg once every 1-2 weeks.
 

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I have a kiddie pool outside. I put it in part shade. After about a week or so it is green. I put the daphnia in and leave them for the summer. You will also get mosquito larva, which you will want to harvest and feed to the fish quickly before they turn into mosquitoes.

Indoors I have tried a few things, but the best luck I have had with them is a bare tank in the attic window. I filled it with green water from the pool outside and put in the daphnia. I topped up a couple times, did one or two water changes over the course of about 6 months. Otherwise I didn't touch it and the daphnia have over wintered there. I would have lost my culture if not for that tank.
I plan to redo it as the water is evaporating due to the heat and this time I will cover it to keep the house flies out.
This tank has no heat or aeration. It's a bare 10 gallon.

It gets really cold in the attic during the winter and the daphnia were fine. They evened out due to the cold but now they are starting to take over the tank again.

I put them in my kitchen 10 gallon which is planted and won't support green water. I tried feeding with yeast. I don't care for that method, its hard to get it right. Spirulina powder also works, but I have not tried it. Don't use too much air flow. I lost them all when I did a water change. Not sure why as I made sure they were in there, but then they died. Perhaps the new water was too clean -no food for them??
 

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They are filter feeders and eat microorganisms. Placing them close to a window, but not in direct sunlight, will allow for algae to grow which is part of their food source. Also, yeast can be used as well.

The biggest difficulty is having the water clear of their waste so it's important to have a large enough container with enough algae or plants to soak it up. Also, culture regularly to prevent colony collapse.
 
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