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daphnia growing tidbits

 You may have Daphnia pulex.  A ten gallon aquarium
can maintain a small culture of daphnia indoors
successfully. I did this last year by placing a start
of blackworms in the bottom of the tank and adding
daphnia to it and an airstone running on extremely low
volume ...just enough to keep the surface film free
and allow for a better flow of gasses.   I fed the
blackworms a banana peel, who inturn helped to feed
the daphnia.  I also fed the daphnia cryogenically
frozen nanochloropsis algae.  This is an algae that is
suitable for both freshwater and saltwater and keeps
in the freezer for about one year.   You can also
obtain starter cultures of selenestrum algae cultures
out on the web.  If anyone is interested you can email
me and i can point you to some urls.  

To keep an algae culture going you need to harvest it
regularly or it will crash.  As daphnia also take
calcium and magnesium  out of the water column, it is
important to keep up with water changes.  Some people
like to add some oyster shell to the culture, but
around here (cincinnati) its acceptable to just keep
changing water.

One could of course feed them yeast...but you have to
be very careful to not overfeed as you can kill an
entire culture in a matter of hours by overfeeding and
depleting the oxygen in the water.  Too much aeration
is also inadvisable as daphnia which get caught at the
surface often die.  

It is also advisable to keep a backup culture going
just in case your main culture crashes.  

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