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Introducing microfauna: scuds, amphipods, isopods into botanical tank

apisto2024

Member
Messages
34
Hi!

So far I have not had any luck getting microfauna in any of my tanks except for detritus worms Recently dabbled in the botanical method of fish keeping and I think I might have to introduce these inverts on purpose. Has anyone ever tried bag of bugs from Phillips Fish Works? I wonder if those are a good option. Thanks!
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,984
Location
Germany
So far I have not had any luck getting microfauna in any of my tanks except for detritus worms Recently dabbled in the botanical method of fish keeping and I think I might have to introduce these inverts on purpose,
Nothing bigger than seed shrimp survives since I went softwater. Snails die within some weeks, small ones drop dead faster. As do many shrimp. And isopods. Only worms thrive. And tardigrades. Which I actually saw in a microscope sample of my tank. Interestingly, unless eaten before that, artemia nauplii survive for hours.
You are aware that 95% of microfauna are virtually invisible to the naked eye?
 

apisto2024

Member
Messages
34
Nothing bigger than seed shrimp survives since I went softwater. Snails die within some weeks, small ones drop dead faster. As do many shrimp. And isopods. Only worms thrive. And tardigrades. Which I actually saw in a microscope sample of my tank. Interestingly, unless eaten before that, artemia nauplii survive for hours.
You are aware that 95% of microfauna are virtually invisible to the naked eye
Arent rotifers more abundant in acidic, black water than in white water habitat? Speaking of shrimps, Ive been looking for south american blackwater shrimps but they dont appear to be available at all
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,984
Location
Germany
Arent rotifers more abundant in acidic, black water than in white water habitat?
You're referring to that one study quoted in the articles on wikipedia, right? According to that, yes. But besides the fact most of them are microscopic, it's hard to tell whether the species you could introduce to your tank do well in soft water.
Speaking of shrimps, Ive been looking for south american blackwater shrimps but they dont appear to be available at all
There is one species, very rarely available in the trade, which is Euryrhynchus amazoniensis. I'm trying to track those down for 2 years now.
 

apisto2024

Member
Messages
34
You're referring to that one study quoted in the articles on wikipedia, right? According to that, yes. But besides the fact most of them are microscopic, it's hard to tell whether the species you could introduce to your tank do well in soft water.

There is one species, very rarely available in the trade, which is Euryrhynchus amazoniensis. I'm trying to track those down for 2 years now.

Yes I think thats the wikipedia one!

And thanks for the Latin name of the shrimp! Will definitely keep a close watch for that!
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
568
Location
San Francisco
Where are you based? E. amazoniensis is available in the States.

And also: Do you really need blackwater shrimp? And/or do you mainly want them to populate a regional biotope?
 

apisto2024

Member
Messages
34
Where are you based? E. amazoniensis is available in the States.

And also: Do you really need blackwater shrimp? And/or do you mainly want them to populate a regional biotope?
California. Just need them as scavengers to find and eat the food fishes might miss. I need a blackwater shrimp since Im trying to get this tanks ph to around 6 or less. I think the exoskeleton of crustaceans might be sensitive to the waters composition e.g. dissolved solids and can create problems during molting if they are not adapted to a certain hardness or softness.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
568
Location
San Francisco
They have them at Aqua Imports. But I would suggest Tangerine Tigers. They will probably work, unless your TDS is below 50. And they are a LOT cheaper.

Scavengers aren't really needed if you don't overfeed. Apistos are eartheaters and will definitely browse the substrate for leftovers. That said, if you have persistent fungus/fuzz that you prefer not to have, the shrimps will definitely eat that.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,765
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
So far I have not had any luck getting microfauna in any of my tanks except for detritus worms
If you mean small crustaceans, rather then real micro-fauna (Protists etc) then you want the Amphipod - "Northern River Shrimp" (<"Crangonyx pseudogracilis">) it is a N. American native and tolerant of warm water and acidity in a way that Hyalella or Gammarus aren't.

cheers Darrel
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
568
Location
San Francisco
Yes, that's also my experience. It's definitely nice to have other things growing in the tank. Some people even try to make the tank self-sustaining. That's not easy to do, and comes with its pros and cons. On one hand, when the fish have plenty to eat that's living in the tank, they don't associate you with food, and tend to be shyer as you approach the tank. On the other hand, if you want to observe their behaviors, it can be better if they don't immediately come to the front every time you want to watch them. I keep a pair of close focus binoculars to watch the fish that are too socialized to me to do their natural thing.

One compromise is shrimp. The fish can feed on shrimplets, but they are just an occasional treat, since the development cycle is long (about 30 days). On the ones you mentioned:

Seed shrimp will definitely appear and grow fine in nearly any conditions. But they seem to have hard shells, so most of my fish don't eat them. They try, but spit them out.

Copepods are really enjoyed by the fish, but I haven't been able to culture them in large quantities. When they do appear, they all get eaten.

California blackworms multiply slowly, but do well. I set aside a small tank for these, and so far it's a lot easier than culturing grindal worms. Most people keep them in the refrigerator, but you need to rinse them every day in that case. A tank or a breeder box is a lot lower maintenance. They're big, though, so I need to cut them up for the smaller fish.

Hydra are fry predators, so I treat the tank to wipe them out whenever I see them. Haven't had them in a while.

Daphnia/moina need to be fed constantly, so unless you're keeping your fish in green water, you need to culture separately.
 

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