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I had a very informative talk with a Mexican biologist today whose
graduate studies involved rotifers. He worked with a number of Israeli
aquaculturists in finding the best rotifer for feeding fry.
I have been searching for years for the red rotifer that so many pre-WWII
hobbyists swore by and that the great breeder Gene Wolfsheimer used to raise
and feed all his fry. My new friend finally identified the likely animal --
Philodina. These are quite orange in color, he says.
He also offered that Philodina did not prove to be the best rotifer for
fry growth. The Israelis found that Brachioxnus provided the best nutrition --
better than baby brine shrimp as all the old hobbyists always said.
The culturing technique used on both species was fascinating. The secret
is to use many 2 liter jars -- not big containers. You get a starter culture
and then feed it the water from boiled rice mixed with the water from boiled
beef. The meet juice water is a big secret. You feed every other day. The 2 liter
jars are covered with cotton gauze rubber banded around the jar's top to keep
out bacteria and infusoria. My friend said the cultures just explode but that
a microscope was needed to truly check what you had.
He also told me that to get a really rich culture of particularly large
paramecium to use the 2 liter jars and mix a bit of brewer's yeast in the water
along with a small piece of ham, yes, ham. He said it will turn into a stinky
mess but soon a thick layer of big paramecium will form. Apparently, meat and
meat juice is the trick with rotifers and various infusorias. They are not
I thought others might like to try these ideas.