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daphnia foods

>>  Scott, do you still have that old recipe that includes tossing in a dead
>>  <VBG>
>This is Dan. I believe that was a squirrel or chipmunk. And it was an
>accidental drowning. The author usually fed his Daphnia frozen spinach
>up (Aquarium Digest International)

Well thanks for the promotion but it was probably in club pubs and a series
of presentations on "Our Friend the Daphnia at various local club meetings
where I kidded about local cats.  ;)    But yeah a squirrel did fall into a
32 gallon barrel. It was one of those terribly dry summers of '87-88 and I
could not keep them full enough to raise live food and water the wild
varmints without evaporation which lowered the level and made them dangerous
in that they were hard to climb out of if something fell in. One summer day
a not too pleasant scent emanated from the back of the yard, discreetly
between the berry patch and woodpile, under the wild cherry tree.

Three things were noted in quick sequence. A squirrel had drowned, the
daphnia were gone and there was a terrific bloom of mosquito larvae. The
surface looked like jello in heat! After burying the squirrel - lifted out
on the tines of a spading fork, it took several rinsings before I could
bring those larvae in the house. (But they just weren't going to get thrown

Charles Masters in the Encyclopedia of Live Foods from the middle 70s,
Willie Jocker's Live Foods For The Aquarium and Terrarium (1972), the first
two both from TFH and unfortunately out of print, and especially Needham et
al's Laboratory Culture of Invertebrate Animals or something like that (a
1962 Dover reprint) are especially great sources for live  food culture
recipes. The Needham book, sometimes featured in library fundraising sales
and fairly inexpensively to be had on some used book lists, was a collection
of articles from various scientific journals in the first third of the 20th
century. I imagine that whatever daphnia (mosquitoes and the other beasties
described - there was a huge list) are still eating those items.

Those books may be available from a local library system by the way. A lot
of libraries' computers list not only their holdings but also those in
neighboring towns. I can routinely order anything in a suburban Chicagoland
library. They will often do a search beyond the immediate area if you ask.
Those of you attached to colleges have even more resources that way.

One of the articles evaluated the relative merits of "teas" of various
grasses and hays. Another concluded, after evaluating a lot of available
organics (including the dead hamster laying around the lab!) that greenwater
(fed in sufficient quantities) and dry bakers' yeast (fed in sufficiently
modest quantities) were the most productive daphnia foods they had at their

I use a lot of greenwater indoors and outdoors. Because the yeast must be
dissolved in Luke-warm water (why not Matthew-warm or Mark-warm?) and
carefully fed to avoid overfeeding and asphyxiating the culture I don't use
it much. Indoors and outdoors, careful rinsings of milk jugs and yogurt
containers works pretty well.

Someone on either this list or a killie list recently asked about using
fresh manure. I would think that too hot and probably too demanding upon a
culture's oxygen supply. However a half bag of that composted cattle manure
from the garden center in a trash can, whiskey barrel or other large
container OUTSIDE seems to work pretty well.

I hope this is some small help.

All the best,