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I feel redeemed! Gay Hemsath dug up the following (thanks, Gay):
In a booklet published in 1924 titled. Goldfish and The Aquarium,
subtitled "A practical Treatise for The Guidance of Amateur Aquarists", by D. F. Banks, A.B.
Mr. Banks openly shared his secrets with us 74 years ago. Because of his efforts we have a window into the past and we can see " how the old timers did it ".
The following is a direct quote from the section on breeding , page 21 .
Daphnia, sometimes called water fleas, makes one of the best natural foods for fish. The Japanese use this food very largely. Many breeders place a culture of daphnia in tubs or ponds, feed them and use as required. Daphnia may best be fed with lettuce water and liquid cow manure, about half of each.
Lettuce water is prepared by placing a quantity of lettuce leaves in water and leaving until the water becomes green. The fresh cow manure is placed in half-barrels and water added until a fairly thin mixture results.
Daphnia will eat small tadpoles and are very fond of dead fish. If one has a culture of daphnia in a pond and happens to have a dead pussy, tie a brick around the carcass with wire and throw in the center of the pond - the daphnia will do the rest.