An ideal food for the first
two weeks of a seahorses life, copepods are naturally high
in waxy esthers and fats. They are not particularly difficult
to culture, however the cultures are somewhat unstable and
may take up to 6 weeks to get going. Due to this more than
one culture is recommended.
We use ten gallon aquariums for the simple fact that the
cost of anything smaller is greater for some unknown reason.
They seem to do the best in matured water, such as that from
a water change on your main tank. No airation or filtration
is needed. Specific gravity can range from 1.015 to 1.030.
We feed every day alternating between flake food and algae
paste. When the culture is first started, place just a few
flakes on the top and let the copepods eat at this for about
a week. In addition add a little Nanno paste and a bit of
T-Iso paste (which can be purchased from Brine Shrimp Direct).
Once the culture is going well replenish the flake food when
depleted and every other day add a small amount of each of
the algae pastes.
As you will discover netting copepods is frustrating at best.
Swooshing a net around results in all sorts of debris from
the bottom ending up mixed in with the copepods. The best
way to collect them is by using a suction tube. Take a 3/16"
rigid piece of tubing approximately 14" long and attach
a 24" length of airline tubing. Place the rigid side
into the culture tank ank suck gently on the other end to
start a syphon. Using your finger to regulate the flow suck
the copepods off the glass and into a small container. Once
you've collected what you need, pour them through a brine
shrimp net, rinse gently for a few seconds, and feed.