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Re: gammarus

On Tue, 10 Mar 1998, J.P.Haffegee -Julian Haffegee wrote:

>     I've got a few waterbugs(Some kind of shrimpy thing- they're like
> underwater woodlice- gammarus maybe?) that i want to culture . Anyone tried? 
> what do they eat. I've also got loads of microscopic bean shaped things that 
> crawl around in the mud at the bottom of the tank(I don't know how- they
> have no legs!)- anybody seen these before. Do fish eat them? They're from
> the bottom of my daphnia culture.
>           TIA
>                Julian

If your little woodlice-looking critters are dorso-ventrally flattened 
(top to bottom) and they crawl around on the bottom or on vegetation they 
are almost certainly isopods (Order: Isopoda, Genera: Asellus, Caecidotea 
etc.).  If however these creatures typically cling to vegetation, are 
laterally flattened (side to side), typically swim when disturbed, and 
have a somewhat arched body they are likely amphipods (Order: Amphipoda, 
Genera: Gammarus, Hyalella etc.)  In either case they should make great 
fish food!! 
Both Amphipods and Isopods are typically omnivores (eating essentially 
anything), thus likely aren't too finicky when it comes to feeding them.   
I'm sure a flake fish food would be eaten readily by both.

As for your bean-shaped guys, you've got me stumped.  Are they hard 
shelled creatures or soft? When you say "microscopic" do you mean small, 
but visible with the naked eye, or actually microscopic (ie. only to be 
seen with aid of microscope)?
The only possibility that i can think are ostracods (seed shrimp). I have 
huge numbers of these little critters in one of my tanks. While to the 
naked eye these guys may appear to be legless, upon closer examination 
you can find their legs located in a groove on the bottom of their 
carapace (shell). I haven't tried feeding them to my fish yet but have 
heard of this being done.  
Good luck with your critters!

Bentley Christie