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Re: [Live-foods] best daphnia culture, daphnia predators, Triops
The best source of daphnia is an American Livebearer Association convention. Jim Langhammer maintains an excellent strain of daphnia that have been "domesticated" since at least the 60's. He nearly always donates a start or two to the club and they are auctioned off for more than you might pay on Aquabid or eBay, but it is worth it. You might say they have been trained to reproduce well under hobbyist treatment. A big advantage is that they are perhaps the only strain that does not have a rest period. Instead of going through a rest period where males fertilize the females, which then lay resting eggs and die instead of giving live birth to daughters genetically identical to the mothers, there are never any males unless you grow them outdoors and near freezing temperatures and short days may trigger this. With any strain, keeping the water temp very stable and having a light on the culture 24/7 will discourage the resting period, but this ALA strain is the only one I know
that will produce year round instead of having good seasons and bad.
I have raised daphnia outdoors but eventually a predator finds them, such as glassworms. You then have to sterilize the culture, or if it's in the ground, dig out several inches all around being careful not to contaminate the newly exposed soil with the old.
I have had good success with the Triops. It is true that daphnia, cyclops, and fairy shrimp eggs are also in the dirt and hatch first. Once the Triops hatch, the other denizens are not long for this world. Fairy shrimp look superficially like brine shrimp, but they are frreshwater.
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