Re:Live Cultures!

#3518
Pete Giwojna
Guest

Dear Suzanne:

Rest assured you are among friends here who share your obsession with microorganisms and live food cultures! We’ve all been there and done that!

Anyone who breeds and rears seahorses or prefers live prey for his galloping gourmets is all too familiar with live food cultures and how they can multiply and take over all available space. For starters, there is the obligatory large grow out tank for brine shrimp as well as separate tanks for raising amphipods and various types of live shrimp (ghost shrimp, grass shrimp, mysids, post-larval shrimp, Hawaiian volcano shrimp, caprellids). Serious seahorse fanciers have even been known to employ wading pools and outdoor goldfish ponds (minus the goldfish) as their Artemia grow-out tanks. At least one good-sized aquarium is normally devoted to a harem of live-bearing tropicals, usually guppies or — even better — mollies adapted to full-strength saltwater, so the newborn fry they produce so prolifically can be fed to your hungry seahorses. Breeding a single pair of wild-caught seahorses and rearing their offspring might easily require a half dozen live-food culture tanks plus several refugia, a whole battery of Artemia hatcheries, rows of “greenwater” infusoria bottles, and banks of rotifer cultures in addition to all the live food that can be collected. In short, with its forest of gleaming glassware and glittering apparatus filled with hissing valves, bubbling flasks, and stewing vats filled with mysterious organisms, the fish room of a dedicated seahorse breeder typically resembles nothing so much as an overworked mad scientist’s diabolical laboratory.

Yes, indeed — the Chaetoceros gracilis or CHAGRA is indeed the real thing and not a paste. Dense starter cultures of these ultra-cool diatoms are available:

I’m not sure what species of copepods Ocean Rider is currently offering, but I’ll check with Carol about that and get back to you, Suzanne.

Best of luck with your micro cultures and your seahorses!

Happy Trails!
Pete Giwojna


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