Where to get scuds? (UK)

alexx

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As title states, I'm after a scud colony to try and breed for axolotl food.

Any advice is welcomed.

Thanks
 

Kaysie

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Re: Where to get scuds?

I've heard scuds are pretty hard to culture. Those who have tried to culture them haven't had much luck. I accidently cultured some once in a daphnia tank, and when I started trying to culture them, they crashed.

I imagine the best way to get a starter culture is to collect your own from a local healthy population.
 

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Re: Where to get scuds?

If you can culture them outdoors, people seem to get good results. Indoors, as Kaysie says, it´s a bit complicated, some people have great success, others can´t culture them if their lives depended on it (i failed miserably xD)

I think some live food online shops carry scuds, you may want to check.
I´d be wary of wild populations, as these animals are vectors for a number of parasites. It´s hard to know if a given population is safe or not.
 

alexx

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Re: Where to get scuds?

Thanks.

I was planning on culturing them in a small breeder tank but if it's better to do so outside I can try in my garden pond (heron made sure I have no fish anymore :sadface: ) the only problem is it might be too cold, it often freezes over.
 

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Re: Where to get scuds?

I´d be wary of wild populations, as these animals are vectors for a number of parasites. It´s hard to know if a given population is safe or not.
I wouldn't care that much about that. EVERY wild caught live food could be a vector for parasites (slugs, daphnia, cyclops, scuds, terrestial&aquatic isopods, probably earthworms too) and still most breeders recommend them as great source of food. I don't say that captive cultured foods are better, but it's just too much to say "do not use wildcaught food, it's dangerous". Commercially bought bloodworms are also considered so dangerous because of heavy metals and/or parasites, most people use them and nothing bad happens.
Plus i think that when you put wild caught scuds in your culture, you have no guarantee that their CB offspring will be free from their parents' parasites.
 

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Re: Where to get scuds?

You do, if the parasite has a complex cycle as is the case of at least one of the parasites that use scuds as vectors.
I´m not saying don´t use them, i´m merely saying, be aware of the risks. It´s true that other wild food sources can carry parasites, but scuds are among the predilect intermediary species as they are such an abundant and widespread group. As such, i believe that a warning is worth mentioning.
 

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Re: Where to get scuds?

I can't find anywhere in the UK to get a starter culture, not as keen on collecting in the wild due to aforenentioned issues.
 

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Blades Biological sell them, but they are outrageously expensive:
Blades Biological Ltd

I've never heard them called 'scuds' in the UK, it's always 'freshwater shrimps' or 'Gammarus'- you might have better results searching for those. Some livefood suppliers sell 'river shrimp', but I think these are a larger species, and prefer brackish water.

Cold shouldn't be a problem in your pond. Up here in Co. Durham, they do well in ponds that freeze very hard in the winter, and also in upland streams which are cool most of the year round. As they seem to do best in cool fast-flowing streams, I suspect they might have high oxygen requirements. This would suggest that aeration might help with culturing.

Like Kaysie, I've accidentally cultured them a couple of times, but I think this is more to do with catching gravid individuals than actually breeding them in captivity. I often collect from the wild, but I try to avoid waterbodies that have native amphibians, as this should reduce the chance of picking up parasites that will affect captive amphibians.
 

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Wow that's expensive, yeah I've searched for Gammarus, river shrimp seem to be a different species; larger and more prawn like rather than curved like the gammarus.

Thanks for the advice.
 
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Hi I have a local source for scuds in the east midlands its a local stream fed by a spring over limestone the stream flows into a river via a weir so its fish free.Its full of water cress and is cold and full of O2.They are very abundant I culd send some but they will most likley die in transit I have been told you best transport them wet wraped in sacking any use regards KB
 

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you will probably be ok introducing them to axolotl tanks, but Ive made the mistake in the past of introducing gammarus to newt tanks as potential food and regretted it, as they were not eaten, but bred like mad in well planted tanks, eat newt eggs and newt larvae, and also eat foods put in for newts,
 

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Hi I have a local source for scuds in the east midlands its a local stream fed by a spring over limestone the stream flows into a river via a weir so its fish free.Its full of water cress and is cold and full of O2.They are very abundant I culd send some but they will most likley die in transit I have been told you best transport them wet wraped in sacking any use regards KB
That would be excellent if they could survive the trip, I can try my local spring/stream with a net but will have to breed a few generations before adding to my axi tank for fear of disease.

I bought some "live river shrimp" from eBay and when they arrived they were certainly not all "live" and they were in saltwater so couldn't add them anyway.
 

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Hi I have a local source for scuds in the east midlands its a local stream fed by a spring over limestone the stream flows into a river via a weir so its fish free.Its full of water cress and is cold and full of O2.They are very abundant I culd send some but they will most likley die in transit I have been told you best transport them wet wraped in sacking any use regards KB
That would be excellent of you got post them sucessfully.
 
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Hi I will do some tests to see how long they live wraped in sacking and let you know they live with flat worms and other insects and these are allways caught as well. If they do well I will try to post you a starter culture but I have never managed to keep them long. Just a thought try some streams in your area look out for water cress some of the highest desitys I have seen have been from cress beds and they farm it in your neck of the woods. regards KB
 

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I keep gammerus pulex in my outside daphnia container they feed on all the crud at the bottom of it, I got my starter culture from my neighbours water butt(amphibian and fish free), my juvie axys love them. I know from my fly fishing that gammerus who have a parasite display a small black dot inside their body, it's actually represented on fly patterns so if you find any inspect them for that dot, also I wouldn't take any from your pond as wild amphibians may have been in there.
 

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AW: Where to get scuds? (UK)

Hi,

if you want to breed amphipods as food, I'd recommend to breed Hyalella azteca (Mexican scuds).
They are much more hardy than European amphipods, they don't need as much oxygen as Gammarus pulex and similar species and they reproduce much faster, too.

They are smaller than Gammarus pulex, around 8 mm (0.3 in) maximum and they need higher temperature to reproduce. But if you want to breed them indoors that could be an advantage, too.

As they really eat everything, they can be dangerous for eggs and very small larvae of newts. So I would not recommend to introduce them into a tank with eggs or recently hatched larvae.
One other disadvatage is: If they are introduced into a tank with lots of hiding places, they will reproduce and it will be very difficult or even impossible to get them out there ever again.
And if it is a planted tank they might eat the plants then.
There is also the danger to introduce them unintentionally to other tanks by moving plants or other things from one tank to another. So plants from a tank with Hyalella azteca should not be used in other tanks unless you want to have these critters there, too.

It should be rather easy to get a colony of Hyalella azteca. At least here in Germany these "Mexikanische Kampfkrebse" :D are quite common as food for bigger fish and newts.

Here you find some information about breeding this species:
• View topic - Pardon my Gammarus!
And some additional information:
Hyalella azteca - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peter

P.S.: If you breed them, then please never let them get into natural waters like ponds and streams. They can be very dangerous for native critters like Gammarus pulex and others.
 

alexx

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Re: AW: Where to get scuds? (UK)

Hi,

if you want to breed amphipods as food, I'd recommend to breed Hyalella azteca (Mexican scuds).
They are much more hardy than European amphipods, they don't need as much oxygen as Gammarus pulex and similar species and they reproduce much faster, too.

They are smaller than Gammarus pulex, around 8 mm (0.3 in) maximum and they need higher temperature to reproduce. But if you want to breed them indoors that could be an advantage, too.

As they really eat everything, they can be dangerous for eggs and very small larvae of newts. So I would not recommend to introduce them into a tank with eggs or recently hatched larvae.
One other disadvatage is: If they are introduced into a tank with lots of hiding places, they will reproduce and it will be very difficult or even impossible to get them out there ever again.
And if it is a planted tank they might eat the plants then.
There is also the danger to introduce them unintentionally to other tanks by moving plants or other things from one tank to another. So plants from a tank with Hyalella azteca should not be used in other tanks unless you want to have these critters there, too.

It should be rather easy to get a colony of Hyalella azteca. At least here in Germany these "Mexikanische Kampfkrebse" :D are quite common as food for bigger fish and newts.

Here you find some information about breeding this species:
• View topic - Pardon my Gammarus!
And some additional information:
Hyalella azteca - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peter

P.S.: If you breed them, then please never let them get into natural waters like ponds and streams. They can be very dangerous for native critters like Gammarus pulex and others.

This sounds excellent thank you, if only I could find somewhere to get them in the UK !
 

xxianxx

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Hi, i found gammarus in my neighbours water butt this summer, it was amphibian and fish free so i have used it as a feeder food for baby axolotls. The only problem i have found so far is that they have now colonised another one of my tanks and i have to keep evicting them.
 
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