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Daphnia Farm... enjoy

This is a discussion on Daphnia Farm... enjoy within the Daphnia, Moina, brine shrimp, etc forums, part of the Food: Live, Frozen, Freeze-Dried, Pellets, etc category; This is how I set up my Daphnia Farm. http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4088/...07d5557944.jpg The main key is the green water aquarium. You need: ...

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Old 29th January 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Daphnia Farm... enjoy

This is how I set up my Daphnia Farm.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4088/...07d5557944.jpg

The main key is the green water aquarium.

You need:
Any size aquarium
Good strong lighting 6500K or stronger and at least 1.5watts per gallon (1 or 2 15W G.E. Plant and Aquarium bulbs will do. [Lighting on the cheap])
A backpack power filter (any size will do)
An aquarium heater
Play sand
Organic dirt from a safe source (I get mine from my yard but I grow everything organically even my lawn)
Fish: Poecilia wingei (Endler’s livebearer) or Gambusia affinis (Mosquito fish)
(You can add snails to. They can be good indicators of bad water when you see many of them at the top of the tank)

Start off by adding the dirt. No need to wash it as long as you have sifted out the larger particles like rocks, sticks, and any other things that aren’t dirt. Keep in mind we are using dirt not compost. The difference is the amount of organic material in dirt is lower than that of compost and is more stable and will produce less toxic gas.
I use about 2” of dirt to 1” of sand for the substrate.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/5056/...aa668c08be.jpg

Add some tap or cultured water, but make sure not to expose the dirt directly to the water.
Add the filter and the heater and set the light on for 10 to 14 hours a day.
Set the temperature to 75 deg. F. or 24 deg. C.
Make sure the Ph is at 7.5 to 8.5 (9 is passable but I only have problem when the Ph gets this high)
Set up the light close to the filter so that the algae circulating from the bottom is bathed in light. This way you get even distribution of the light source.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/5298/...2c5ce04db8.jpg

Now let it sit for a month without fish. When the month is up, change out most of the water and refill it with cultured water.
At this time you can add the fish. I use Endler’s guppy’s (other fish species can be used this is just what worked for me) because they are a bullet proof fish that will eat anything that may eat the free floating algae and they will eat other algae that will compete with the free floating algae for nutrients.
You then can add a starter culture of free floating algae that you can get from Wards or get a daphnia culture from EBay that comes with green water food. (The green algae might start on its own if not you may need to get a culture).

As far as maintenance goes its quite easy. Feed fish once a day but not much (keep them hungry so they pick at the algae and other organism that will grow in the tank). Scrape the sides of the tank monthly and siphon out crud on the bottom every 6 months (be careful not to expose the dirt or suck up sand, only get the crud that’s on top of the sand).
As far as water changes…You harvest water for the daphnia and you replace the water…Simple.

It can be good practice to add some Acid Buffer every once in a wile. This keeps the Ph low since algae can raise the Ph to 9 and over. I use this plant safe acid buffer.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5014/...f3355c4b5f.jpg

I use this plant safe acid buffer since when it breaks up the calcium, magnesium, alkaline stuff etc. It releases CO2 which plants and algae love. This said do not agitate the water to much by using an aquarium pump or let the power filter cause too much of a waterfall effect. This will out-gas your CO2.

Never use acid buffer in any daphnia tank or right before harvesting green water!

I keep the daphnia in several containers. I leave one culture alone and harvest future seed stock from it. All I do is siphon off some green water into a container add some seed daphnia and in about a week and a half (under good lighting [light increases production] and temp kept @ 69 to 70 deg F.) You can harvest. You could also wait till the water turns from green to brown as well. I let one go for 2 months without feeding before it crashed. Before it did the amount of daphnia was staggering, and I used the dead to seed a totally new culture.

I am open to questions and or criticism (you can be harsh I take criticism well).
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Old 29th January 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Daphnia Farm... enjoy

thanks - that's very informative.


- a question on the filter- wouldn't that filter out the algae? What filter materials are in there?

- also, would organic potting soil make a good substrate?

- are the smaller containers in the bottom of the tank where you have the Daphnia?

- is the starter culture I should get one of Euglena, such as this one?

Last edited by Molch; 29th January 2011 at 23:27.
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Old 30th January 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Daphnia Farm... enjoy

Thanks I'm going to be setting this up very soon.

Last edited by Jacquie; 30th January 2011 at 07:32.
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Old 30th January 2011   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Daphnia Farm... enjoy

MOLCH in answer to your questions

No filter material needed.
Organic dirt is fine (i am guessing if your from Alaska the ground is frozen same in Minnesota).
Yep those are the multiple daphnia containers.
Any green algae filled water will do.
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Old 1st February 2011   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Daphnia Farm... enjoy

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MOLCH in answer to your questions

No filter material needed.
.
I see. So the filter is just there to provide water movement? Would an airstone do the same job then?
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Old 1st February 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Daphnia Farm... enjoy

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I see. So the filter is just there to provide water movement? Would an airstone do the same job then?
from what i've read the airstone is not suggested to use with daphnia. this is because it can force dafnia to float to the top making it harder for them to feed.

i really don't think a filter is necessary but it probably helps.
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Old 1st February 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Daphnia Farm... enjoy

Actually an airstone is ok as long as it is set to produce large bubbles. It´s the tiny bubbles that are a problem since they can get trapped inside the Daphnia´s valves making them float an die.

I recently started to culture Daphnia again, but just my luck, by some freak accident the light bulb fell into the tank and all are dead now...¬¬ (weirdly enough the bulb didn´t explode or anything Oo). I´m going to attemp to hatch the ephippia, but i fear they are also k.o. Really bad freaking luck..with all the hungry larvae on the way...
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Old 1st February 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Daphnia Farm... enjoy

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Actually an airstone is ok as long as it is set to produce large bubbles. It´s the tiny bubbles that are a problem since they can get trapped inside the Daphnia´s valves making them float an die.

I recently started to culture Daphnia again, but just my luck, by some freak accident the light bulb fell into the tank and all are dead now...¬¬ (weirdly enough the bulb didn´t explode or anything Oo). I´m going to attemp to hatch the ephippia, but i fear they are also k.o. Really bad freaking luck..with all the hungry larvae on the way...
this is good to know.


just how important is providing air to your Daphnia? can you go without an airstone or filter?


also is light a big issue with them? my apartment is relatively dark most of the day.

i know if its too dark they will start producing ephippia.
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Old 2nd February 2011   #9 (permalink)
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Default Daphnia Farm...enjoy

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Originally Posted by axolotlfriend View Post
from what i've read the airstone is not suggested to use with daphnia. this is because it can force dafnia to float to the top making it harder for them to feed.

i really don't think a filter is necessary but it probably helps.
The filter serves a vital purpose. The algae at the bottom of the tank receives less light than the top of the tank. The filter makes sure that all of the algae is getting the most amount of light as possible. Without this water flow you only utilize the top of the aquarium and not all of its space thus lowering the production rate.
I adopted this technique after watching a show on Algae for Fuel Production. Tons of info on youtube.

Just to reiterate, Do not use an air-stone for water movement in the Green Water Tank. This will OUT-GAS the precious CO2 that algae needs to grow healthy and abundant. (The proof of this is just how green my tank is. (It makes my basement look more like a scary lab...kinda hypnotizing though ).

Also, I do not advocate the use of an air-stone in my green water daphnia cultures although you could at low air flow. (My experience is that air stones are unnecessary for the green water daphnia cultures, plus i see more production without them).
On the flip side if you feed your daphnia with yeast/bacteria, or anything that rots. I DO advocate the use of an air-stone. Since rotting material makes the water more acidic which daphnia hate and die at low levels of Ph.
The Oxygen from the air-stone will HELP buffer the water into a more alkaline or higher Ph state (which daphnia like), and aid in bacterial production. (More bacteria more daphnia...good).

I may not have been clear enough but the Green Water Tank should not house the daphnia.

Last edited by Azhael; 2nd February 2011 at 16:50.
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Old 2nd February 2011   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Daphnia Farm...enjoy

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Originally Posted by BioNut View Post
The filter serves a vital purpose. The algae at the bottom of the tank receives less light than the top of the tank. The filter makes sure that all of the algae is getting the most amount of light as possible. Without this water flow you only utilize the top of the aquarium and not all of its space thus lowering the production rate.
I adopted this technique after watching a show on Algae for Fuel Production. Tons of info on youtube.

Just to reiterate, Do not use an air-stone for water movement in the Green Water Tank. This will OUT-GAS the precious CO2 that algae needs to grow healthy and abundant. (The proof of this is just how green my tank is. (It makes my basement look more like a scary lab...kinda hypnotizing though ).

Also, I do not advocate the use of an air-stone in my green water daphnia cultures although you could at low air flow. (My experience is that air stones are unnecessary for the green water daphnia cultures, plus i see more production without them).
On the flip side if you feed your daphnia with yeast/bacteria, or anything that rots. I DO advocate the use of an air-stone. Since rotting material makes the water more acidic which daphnia hate and die at low levels of Ph.
The Oxygen from the air-stone will HELP buffer the water into a more alkaline or higher Ph state (which daphnia like), and aid in bacterial production. (More bacteria more daphnia...good).

I may not have been clear enough but the Green Water Tank should not house the daphnia.
thanks

yea i've been watching those videos on Algae for Fuel Production too they are pretty cool
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