Sera Micron=Instant Ostracods

taherman

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Not sure if other people have noticed this while raising tadpoles, but the Sera Micron food commonly fed to them contains MANY eggs/cysts/propagules of some species of ostracod. If you feed it consistently over time to a tank with some algae growing in it, you will end up raising a gigantic population of small daphnia-sized inverts, which I assume would make good salamander larva food.

I can take some photos and post them, but I have a tank full of green frog tadpoles that has tens of thousands of them in it. We have also noticed the same organisms growing out in dendrobatid tanks. The highest numbers are in an established tank with oak leaves, some rocks, and sphagnum in the bottom, and ~5" of water at 65-70F

-Tim
 

t_summ

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That is a very interesting observation. This also occurs in tanks that do not have any leaf or plant matter? Thanks for the heads up.
 

lims

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just to divert the thread slightly for a moment,,,> can leaf litter be used in tanks? will it not rot and put the amonia levels dangerously high? I would like to use leaf litter in the bottom, it would look very realistic and natural, I can do this?
 

taherman

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Yes it occurs in tanks without leaf litter, though I haven't seen the populations get as high. You could try adding blanched lettuce or fish food too, which might boost the populations. They seem to eat the algae in the sera micron, and graze on periphyton in the tank. Sera is pretty expensive ($5/container smaller than a film canister) so growing your own algae or feeding them something else is probably more economical.

Yes, leaf litter is fine. We frequently add oak leaves to various amphibian setups for both aesthetics and water quality. You'll want to do frequent water changes if it's a new setup, if it's well established with plenty of gravel or filtration you should be fine without it. Dart frog and betta people buy Indian Almond leaves for the tannins. Oak leaves work great for the same benefits for temperate species. I've noticed that freshly fallen leaves collected late in the year have lots of tannins and work well. If you collect leaves in the summer off the ground that are remaining from the previous year, they tend to go pretty rancid. I'm guessing the tannins have leached out and they are just a hunk of organic material by that point.

FYI Gyrinophilus larve suck down the ostracods well, and they live in the tank for a while.
 

lims

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Interesting, so tannins in leaves keep them from rotting and fouling the water, get them around beggining of winter, end of fall, thats useful info
 
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