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Bernout
08-15-2011, 02:44 PM
Some of the fish I've been looking at for when I set up my aquarium, have copepods listed as part of their diet.

Will I get enough being produced without needing to set up a refugium to help with their production?

Now I call it a refugium but from what I've read it wouldn't be a real one since I don't want to deal with a "mud" or even substrate layer in it if I can get away with it. I'm thinking whatever I need to breed the copepods plus maybe something to assist the bio filtering.

Bernout

notxes11
08-15-2011, 10:48 PM
what size tank? Are you going with live sand/rock? What and how many of the species. These will all play a part in production. Copepods will breed and live in your tank. The idea of a refugium is to have a "refuge" for them to breed and populate without predation. If the tank is large enough and you have few enough species that rely on copepods you may not need to have a refugium. It is always best to wait a few months for the numbers to be plentiful enough to sustain a supply before you add the fish you want.

Bernout
08-15-2011, 11:17 PM
what size tank? Are you going with live sand/rock? What and how many of the species. These will all play a part in production. Copepods will breed and live in your tank. The idea of a refugium is to have a "refuge" for them to breed and populate without predation. If the tank is large enough and you have few enough species that rely on copepods you may not need to have a refugium. It is always best to wait a few months for the numbers to be plentiful enough to sustain a supply before you add the fish you want.

I was originally thinking of a 120g but lately I've been leaning towards a 90g (smaller size for the room I want to put it in). Yes for live sand and rock.

I'm still determining what species I want to put in it. I know for sure I want a Scooter Blenny aftering seeing one at Ritmar's. :) In fact I saw one when I was at a Petco today looking to see what stores normally have in stock for fish. I just remember reading through the notes on some of the other candidates and seeing copepods mentioned as well.

I take it they are pretty easy to see in the aquarium despite their small size? And yes, I definitely won't be adding any fish that depend on them until the tank has had a chance to mature and produce them. How are they usually even introduced into the tank? Via the live rock?

Thanks for the info and advice...it is all greatly appreciated.

Bernout

mikea213
08-16-2011, 12:27 AM
I would go 120 over the 90 it should the same footprint of 48 inchs long but go with the biggest you can afford trust me I went 120 and the difference in price to a 210 was like $150 and now I'm wishing I would have paid the difference cause now I'm ready to go up.

As for copepods they come in on life rock or I have seen places on the net that sell them to.

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J&A Timberlake
08-16-2011, 08:23 AM
if you end up having a sump and placing macro algae, they will come in the largest quantities in that algae. The first clump of algae I got years ago, is how all of my systems have been populated since. I'd go with a refugium/sump. Better propagation and sustainability any day of the week IMHO. That's just a personal view though. Always up to the reefer.

Murfman
08-16-2011, 08:56 AM
Bernie, I agree with going to the bigger tank. In the end you go bigger. As for fish that require pods in their diet, I would wait till you have the tank up and running for a few months before adding them. Fish, like Mandarin's, they recommend you wait a year so that the pod population is established and sustainable. Most all fish, except true vegetarians, will eat pods, whenever they can. Mandarins are totally dependent on pods, unless you train them to eat prepared. If you can get them eating prepared, and this goes for any fish, you are that much better off. The Scooter is not soley dependent on pods so you should be OK after a few months and the pop has established.

Bernout
08-16-2011, 09:24 AM
I would go 120 over the 90 it should the same footprint of 48 inchs long but go with the biggest you can afford trust me I went 120 and the difference in price to a 210 was like $150 and now I'm wishing I would have paid the difference cause now I'm ready to go up.

I hear ya. I saw a 90g tank at Mr. Aqua that had a 36 inch length which is why I'm considering it (I think it was 36 x 24 x 24). I have time yet to think about it and see what I can get away with in the room I want to put the tank.

You mention the price difference was $150 but I assume that was solely for the tank? Everything I've read says that the cost of maintenance goes up as the tank size increases. Not to mention I assume you'd need "bigger" capacity equipment as well although the cost for that may not be significant. And people tell me to buy larger anyhow in the event I do upgrade in the future.


if you end up having a sump and placing macro algae, they will come in the largest quantities in that algae. The first clump of algae I got years ago, is how all of my systems have been populated since. I'd go with a refugium/sump.

So how is your refugium set up? Do you just have the macro algae and a light for it?


Fish, like Mandarin's, they recommend you wait a year so that the pod population is established and sustainable. Most all fish, except true vegetarians, will eat pods, whenever they can. Mandarins are totally dependent on pods, unless you train them to eat prepared. If you can get them eating prepared, and this goes for any fish, you are that much better off. The Scooter is not soley dependent on pods so you should be OK after a few months and the pop has established.

That's good info...thanks! I do like the Mandarins and I'm pretty sure they are on my list. :)

Bernout

Murfman
08-16-2011, 10:26 AM
Bernie, Sure the cost is going to go up but once the tank is established, it comes back down. Same initial costs for a skimmer for a 90 vs a 120. Same lighting for a 90 as a 120.....

It sucks buying equip for a 55 then 6 months later deciding to go 120 and having to go out and buy new to upgrade. Check the FS forums here, and Craigslist. Talk to Honoreetamore, she is the craigslist queen!!!! She started with a 110 and is now up to a 270 and has several other tanks she has acquired in the process on CL and up in Denver. For a used tank, you typically pay $1-$2 a gallon.

Alcedok9
08-16-2011, 01:15 PM
:iagree:speaking from experience... just suck it up and go bigger. Rarely do you see someone saying " I want a smaller tank" The equipment will probably be about the same for either tank.

As far as pods go, don't get more then one fish who depends on pods until your tank is well established. We have a mandarin who has been with us for about 18 mo and totally eats pods. I wouldnt even try adding a mandarin until your tank is at least 18 mo old and 2 yrs would be a better choice. Once you throw a mandarin in and it wont eat prepared food, you are sunk. We have not added anything that would compete for the pods.

calvin415
08-16-2011, 03:35 PM
Rarely do you see someone saying " I want a smaller tank"

Hey, I resemble that remark. ;)

Alcedok9
08-16-2011, 03:52 PM
:icon_lol::icon_lol:okay,, other than Eric, rarely do they want a smaller tank LOL

J&A Timberlake
08-16-2011, 08:02 PM
:icon_lol::icon_lol:okay,, other than Eric, rarely do they want a smaller tank LOL

me too. lol - down graded size after several larger. looks like i have more corals now. lol

smokey
08-20-2011, 09:49 AM
I've tried to 'grow' Copepoda in a tank before without a fuge, and it just doesn't work. I went with a sump, and my tank exploded with pods, and even then, once I put a mandarin in, they went super fast :)

J&A Timberlake
08-20-2011, 04:40 PM
So how is your refugium set up? Do you just have the macro algae and a light for it?Bernout
Sorry I didn't respond sooner Bernie. Totally forgot you asked. here's my set up. except I recently pulled the skimmer out to make more room for plants since I no longer need a skimmer. I don't have enough fish and the few I do have are very small. With the weekly water changes I do and the large number of coral in the display, there just isn't enough bio load for the skimmer to be used. Figured more plants would be of more value to me. The main display is planted too.
http://i475.photobucket.com/albums/rr120/Timberlakefamily/sump.jpg

Bernout
08-21-2011, 07:08 PM
Sorry I didn't respond sooner Bernie. Totally forgot you asked. here's my set up. except I recently pulled the skimmer out to make more room for plants since I no longer need a skimmer. I don't have enough fish and the few I do have are very small. With the weekly water changes I do and the large number of coral in the display, there just isn't enough bio load for the skimmer to be used. Figured more plants would be of more value to me. The main display is planted too.

Thanks for the info! I think I'm going to pass on a refugium to start with and can always change my mind later on if needed. Mandarins and such, as recommended, will need to be something I look at once my tank is established and I've gotten some experience in the hobby. :)

Bernout

THEJRC
08-30-2011, 02:37 PM
I'll come out from hiding for this one.....

to be blunt... running a large tank without a refugium is possible but I highly recommend against it, you have to weigh *all* of the bio diversity on this decision not just copepods. Bear in mind there are a trove of flora and fauna aside from what you see working to help balance your system hiding in such a refugium. Various worms, other zooplankters, bacteria, the diversity can be literally staggering. The macro algae as well is quite possibly one of the most effective nitrogen export methods out there, many have tried but failed to out export mother nature.

As far as the copepods, most of the species found in common aquaria are very prolific! They are also very good at hiding! Most of these species are what we call Harpacticoids which spend most time on surfaces rather than floating around in the water column, they will hide within the rock and sand (and sometimes on the glass) so it must be said that just because a hobbyist doesnt see them does not mean they are there. While the more common Tigriopus californicus and Tigriopus japonicus species grow rather large (1200 micron ish sometimes larger) most of the beneficial species peak around 600-800 micron as adults... with the nauplii (babies) as dropping down to the 40's!! Again size is also species dependant. Without writing volumes of information regarding size, motion, mechanics, nutritional profiles I can easily say you will be fine with the larger tank and a refugium just give it a few months to establish before adding live feeders.

You can always purchase (T. californicus from reef nutrition, various other species from seahorsesource.com or others) but it is often not necessary. While copepods are one important area of the food web there are mysids, dinoflagellates, and a whole slew of other yummies swimming around a good tank.

And then there is the training on prepared foods.... which often times happens by accident! You just dont want the fish to starve prior.