Grow your own LIVE food! But which one is the easiest?

BRS

Have you ever grown your own live aquarium food?

  • YES and it was a success (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 84 23.3%
  • YES but I couldn't sustain it long term

    Votes: 59 16.4%
  • NO, I tried but couldn't

    Votes: 12 3.3%
  • NO, I have never tried

    Votes: 201 55.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 4 1.1%

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fryman

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I hatch baby brine shrimp, which IMO is the easiest and one of the best coral & fish foods available. I'm not sure I would call it a "culture", since I am just buying eggs, hatching them, and feeding to my livestock. The bbs hatchery dish from BRS is easy as can be but only hatches small amounts so I use a largish hatchery from aquarium coop. This is still very easy and imho the best option for most reefers. I like to tinker so I do alot of other things but I'm not sure it's worth the trouble for most people. There are frozen/dried options that work with much less effort.

I culture phytoplankton: nannochloropsus, tetraselmis, and isochrysis (working on others). This is not easy and while I think most tanks would benefit from phyto it's not necessary except for particular livestock or breeding. Also many hobbyists who think they have phytoplankton are actually growing cyanobacteria (typically synechococcus) which is a common contaminant in phyto cultures that often takes over. You would not know unless checking with a microscope and even then it looks similar to nanno but smaller. With the naked eye nanno, tet, and cyano all just look like green water. Some people dose synechococcus on purpose which seems to have potential benefits as well but is not the same as phyto.

I feed most of my live phyto to copepods: tigriopus, tisbe, and more recently apocyclops. Tigriopus ("Tig" or "Tigger" pods) are the easiest but if you have live phyto, copepods are easy (phyto is the hard part). Rotifers (or ciliates) are more prolific than copepods by a mile, and I think are good coral food.

I tried white worms for my fish and it was going great until we had a heat wave and they died. My wife won't let me keep them inside so... maybe I'll try grindal worms but I may just need to let it go. She's fine with the "water bugs" inside but draws the line at worms.
 

takitaj

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Just baby brine in the dish shaped hatchery BRS sells. Simple...fill with some tank water, add eggs (BRS brand), put on the cover & sieve. Next day start feeding to the tank. That will go on for 2 days, sometimes 3 then clean & start over.

I'm surprised the fish can actually see 'em but they do and it's hilarious to watch.
 

SDJustin

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I started with a 'PhytoTank' from Poseidon Reef Systems and eventually expanded to 4 tanks. 2 for phytoplankton (Nannochloropsis Oculata) and two for copepods (Tisbe Biminiensis)

I ended up buying my own plastic bags, RODI tubing, and Fritz F/2 Algae food after I used up the supplies sent with the Phyto Tanks.

I've been successful with no crashes since May of 2020 (so 14 months) and on generation 40 of copepods and generation 37 of phyto. I often go longer than 7 days on the copepods (which is why i'm not on generation 56) and Two phyto cultures produces enough phyto that I often only run phyto cultures every OTHER cycle. And the phyto stores great in the fridge.

I'm doing all of this for a captive bred Blue Mandarin although I forget if he was from Biota or ORA.
He's fat and happy. It's an extra hour of maintenance every 7-10 days, but worth it to keep what I consider to be one of the most beautiful/interesting species of marine fish happy and healthy.


cultures.jpg
 

310L.Afish

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I haven’t tried but I am going to soon enough, I’m soon to start my clown fish breeding so you know what that means. I have done a lot of research about it and I can’t wait, sounds really fun. I need to first sale my 100 gallon tank before I can turn to that road. Once I do I will post many of my pictures as I begin my journey. Wish me luck =)
 

WVNed

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Last of batch one is in the front, batch 2 rear. I just put batch 3 together a day early because we are leaving in the morning. I only made up 2 this time.
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These are 2.75 liter bottles. About 2 1/3 gallons. I put 400ml a day in my system.
 

Arcticreef

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I have had some good luck with Tigger pods. Simplest thing ever. Ordered a single batch and put them into a clear shallow plastic bin that is divided into 3 compartments. Compartments are just plastic pieces siliconed into place with holes drilled to allow flow between sections. I feed the pods with spirulina mixed with rodi water 3x a day. It's kept in my cool basement. 65 degs f. No heating. A small light to the side. And I harvest them every 4 days. Haven't lost a batch since starting 6 months ago. I also keep tisbe pods and rotifers in a heated bucket. Tisbe are fine but don't reproduce as fast as the tiggers. Mandarin is smiling.
 

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cryptodendrum

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Just harvested my phytoplankton today.

After years of doing this indoors, inside my fishroom, and using artificial light, I did some research and experimentation running cultures indoors and outdoors to compare artificial light vs. sunlight cultures, and determine which works best. Now have grown it outdoors for approx 4 years, through all the Dutch (Netherlands) seasons with great success. The only time I bring it indoors is just when the weather dips below -2C.

The photo of the freshly seeded bottle vs. the harvested bottle (from which I used 1/4 to make the seed culture), shows off the density - the 10 Watt LED light is directly behind & aimed through the harvested bottle; that's only indirect light passing through the seed bottle.


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OneSockERock

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I hatch baby brine, culture apocyclops copepods and nannochloropsis.

Baby brine is the easiest. Dump a scoop of eggs in the BRS hatchery with some saltwater and you're done. All of my fish go wild for them. I refresh the hatchery every week.

My cultures of apocyclops and nanno are small but fairly successful. 3 quart mason jars of the pods, and a 500ml water bottle for the phyto. Both have been running continuously since April, I harvest the pods once every 2-3 weeks depending on how dense the jars look and the nanno gets split every weekend. Whether or not the nanno is still nanno, I dunno. Had it crash before, but I always save my most recent harvest in a refrigerated 250ml bottle in case I need to roll it back. Saved me twice now.

Started with a Mercer of Montana Nanno culture concentrate from Amazon and the apocyclops pods came from AlgaeBarn. Definitely recommend both.
 
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sunken3

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I did several types of redworms, black worms, daphnia, and vinegar eels for raising Apistogrammas years ago.

I have done some baby brine shrimp, but I found the set up a bit more labor intensive for the amount of brine shrimp I got from it. I saw a new little dish that looks fairly simple and have been thinking about getting one and trying again.

Can anyone give insight on the Brine Shrimp Hatchery from BRS?
the blender from co-op aquarium is the best BBS hatchery.. soooo easy.. i have tried the non-airline ones and they require more work..
 

Teku1998

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Doesn't take much. They do better cold it seems, and my house is pretty warm. People use wine fridges. I just bought a styrofoam cooler and rotate a couple ice packs. KISS
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Probably gonna split this into two containers this weekend. Glob of yogurt with some nutritional yeast sprinkled over it to feed.
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Where do you get the initial worms?
 

design.maddie

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I thought about growing my food once, somewhere back in 2005. Looked into the process and quickly said "Nope!" I haven't looked into it since. Not my thing.

Just imagine raising the rats to feed to your snake. What about a rabbit to feed to your dog?
 

Oberst Hajj

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I use this brine shrimp hatchery. One of the most ingenious things I've seen. Eggs go in the outer ring. A lid goes on, shrimp hatch, swim through the rings to the middle, to the cup. Shells stay behind. Mine typically start hatching in 12 hours. All you need is salt water. No pump, no heat, no bubbles, or extra light. Most of my fish get BBS throughout quarantine, and I feed the DT from time to time.
Screen Shot 2021-07-29 at 2.17.43 PM.png

Do you have a link for this product?
 

vtecintegra

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Do you have a link for this product?

It's on Amazon too, but I can't get the link to post correctly.
 

Oberst Hajj

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It's on Amazon too, but I can't get the link to post correctly.
Thanks, this looks easy enough to give it a shot.
 

stephnjeph

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A picture, or two, would be much appreciated. Sounds very interesting.
I have attached a photo of one of the ziss hatcheries. I have 6 running all hatching baby brine. Each hatchery holds 2 litres of water but I fill only 1 litre. All of my brine gets a day night cycle of 12 on 12 off. Brine is harvested daily. Brine is fed to my tanks daily directly after hatch. Leftovers are fed nanno until used or sold.

I have attached a photo of one of the nannochloropsis cultures. I have 2 of these running for a total of 6 1 litre bottles. All of my nanno receives 24 hours of light. Nanno is harvested every other day. Nanno is fed to the brine and pods. Nanno is also a great addition to display tanks as it outcompetes nuisance algaes for nutrients and essentially helps keep your tank free of unwanted algaes, diatoms, and cyanobacterias.

I have attached a photo of 2 of the tisbe cultures. I found that the tisbe biminiensis propagate quicker for me in white buckets but the apocyclops panamensis and tigriopus californicus propagate quicker in black buckets. I have them setup in twos and a separate culture of each located in another room to prevent cross contamination. All of the pods get a day night cycle of 10 on 14 off and are harvested bi-weekly, sometimes monthly depending. The pods are used to continuously seed my tanks to assist in cleaning detritus as well as feeding my mandarins, pipes, and horses as well as various invertebrates.

My setup is pretty basic. It sounds fancier than it actually is. In reality it's just simply 5 gallon buckets lights and air pumps & tubes. If anyone would like specific info, just ask. I have been successfully running these cultures and setups for many years. It is very easy as long as you put in the work to care for them.
 

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stephnjeph

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The brs is by far one of the easiest care free hatcheries. Feeding live has made all of my fish more lively. They appear much more healthy and colorful. I personally prefer the Ziss hatchery that can be obtained here.. https://www.aquariumcoop.com/products/ziss-brine-shrimp-hatchery

Links to a couple videos on the product are here



I highly recommend giving a real hatchery a try. I preferred it greatly over dishes, 2 litre bottles, graduated cylinders, etc. You will not regret it. I have been using them for quite a few years now so if you have any questions or run into any issues just shoot me a message. Good luck with your baby brine
 
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ARE YOU PROUD OR EMBARRASSED OF YOUR REEF TANK?

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