Culturing Phyto and Copepods


Active Member
I asked a few questions in the Aquaculture section, but that board dosen't seem to get much traffic. I posted a thread asking questions on --, but they just told me to go research it and come back. Kinda irked me off, since my asking questions there was my form of research. I've never read a saltwater book, and within 8 months of the hobby I've yet to kill anything myself except a BTA. All info I've ever recived was by asking questions on forums, so that somewhat got under my skin. I'm not bashing books, since they're obviosuly good forms of info, but I was asking such straight foreward questions it wasn't like anyone who's ever cultured would have to seriosuly go look it up for me... Anyways, mini-rant over, I've been looking around Melevsreef and reading all his info and have a pretty good understanding about the phyto, but I can't seem to find anything about the copepods. I'll be cultuing both so I can house a Mandarin in my little 29 gallon. So here's my basic understanding about the phyto:
-Buy DT's Live Phytoplankton starter culture
-Use fill a 2 liter bottle with tap water mixed to 1.019 SG
-For each bottle made, use 5ml of Miracle Grow Houseplant Food (liquid) that can be bought at Home Depot.
-Also add 1ml of Kents Essential Elements for good measure
-Light for 16 hours, off for 8 hours
-Air tube to keep things suspended in the bottles
-Shake the bottles each day to help suspend the contents so the cells don't rest on the bottom and suffocate eachother
Am I missing anything there? Also, what kind of light should I use? How many watts?

And for the pods, I coudn't find direct info like that. All I know is that I wanted to use the DT brand of pods since I figured that they'd be fine eating the DT brand of phyto. So here's my questions on them:
What salinity to be kept at?

How many ml of phyto to feed?

How often?

When to split cultures?

When I do split the culture, how? Would I strain it, pouring half into the tank and half into a new, fresh bottle?

Thanks ahead of time for looking. =)


if you do a search for my last name and phytoplankton, and my last name and copepods you'll find a series of articles called "the breeders net" which describes how to raise many microfoods, such as phytos, rotifers, BS nauplii, and copepods
Sorry you cant link out