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Re: Live food for Colisa Chuna/Honey Gouramis

"Baz" <m00mt700 at mcmail_com> wrote:
> Thank you all for your tips.  My gouramis are now spawning in
> just a few inches of water - they seem happy.  The infusoria culture
> continue to worry me though. Dave Gomberg cast enough doubt on my
> "Paramecium" (P's) , now I think I probably am culturing something
> completely different - and possibly harmful.  I  really need a
> microscope, but with a x20 hand lens these P's are about
> 0.2mm long, roughly oval, with a circular spiraling, whirligig sort
> of motion.  They gravitate towards the bottom of the tank - which
> Dave suggested is uncharacteristic of P's.  Is this enough
> for anyone to suggest what I've got?  Incidentally, the culture was
> seeded, as suggested in one book, by simple exposure to air for a few
> days.  I suppose airbourne P's spore would be the seed.

Perhaps you can find some pictures of paramecia on the world wide web. I
have a good reference book entitled "Encyclopedia of Live Foods" by
Charles Masters T.F.H. It has an entire section on the subject of
infusoria. There are many kinds of Paramecium ranging in size from about
one thousandth of one inch to a seventy-fifth of an inch. You can't make
a clear identification unless you can see some of the detail of the
critter. One possibility is Cyclops which is identifiable with a
magnifying glass and is easy to id because of the eggs sacks of the
female. If the critter is not a crustacean (daphnia or other water flea)
and is a single cell organism, if it has many cilia (hairs) over its
surface, it is infusoria (usually Paramecium). If it has whipe-like
structures (flagellum), it is likely one of the Euglena or flagellates.

If you can see the critter with your eye and it has a bouncy motion,
look closely and you may be able to see swimmer legs (4 pair) and two
larger antennae. Females will have the pairs of eggs sacks. Copepods
(such as Cyclops) are very common. If you can see a bouncy motion, this
is probably what you have. Daphnia are larger but are less erratic in
their motion tending more to jiggle and maintain their position more
than Cyclops. They always orient themselves toward the vertical whereas
cyclops don't seem to care up from down. Try to find pictures; this is
about the only way to tell for sure.

> Dave - thanks for the P's site info. I can confirm the site:
> http://zfishstix.cs.uoregon.edu/zf_info/zfbook/cont.html will tell
> you all everything you need to know about P's and Zebrafish!
> I cannot locate P's seed cultures in London - no luck.  Any Londoners
> here can help?  As for microworms (thanks Alysoun),  my text books
> say these are larger than newly hatched brine shrimp - which are
> already way too big for new c chuna fry.  Do you harvest yours very
> young or is this a different species?  Again, no luck with microworm
> seed cultures in London.

A university should be able to provide clean cultures of Paramecium but
you can easily make do with infusoria cultures which you collect from
puddles or small streams. Some cultures can be made just with hay.

> One final question to the assembled grey matter here.  What do you
> think would be the food value of that thick green water in the old
> tub in my back yard, that has been brewing all summer? Filered
> through fine cotton mesh, do you think c chuna might go for it?  Or
> would I be introducing more problems here?

Green water would be ideal for the fry. This is an excellent starter
food and won't go bad and consume oxygen assuming that you provide your
rearing tank with a good supply of light. A little aeration helps too
but not too much to disturb the fry.

By now your tub may be host to many kinds of critters. It's probably
best to filter it well to avoid any insects, larvae or worms. Mosquito
larvae may be present, and when newly hatched, these are also good food
for fry. Filtering will help eliminate the larger ones which can be fed
to other fish. You may have floating scum algae on the container;
discard that. Its stinky and can be toxic to some aquatic critters.
Sometimes snails will eat it. I'm not sure if daphnia are able to eat it
or not but our local daphnia expert usually washes it off the outdoor
wading pool containers.

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!