ROTIFER CULTURES

Surfzone

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ROTIFER CULTURES

View attachment 877494


To start here is a little bit of info on the rotifers to begin with. There are 2 different species of rotifers used in home aquaculture; Brachionus rotundiformis (S-type rotifers) and Brachionus plicatilis (L-type rotifers) are staples in all sorts of marine fish breeding projects. Rotifers will grow best in a salinity of 1.007 – 1.013. ammonia, and nitrites should be at 0ppt and pH between 6.5 – 8.5. Room temperature is perfectly fine for rotifers and light is not a requirement for them either. As far as feeding goes I use RG complete from Reed Mariculture however if you want to use live phytoplankton that is fine too. If you are going to feed live I would use Nannochloropsis mixed with Tetraselmis.


Things you will need

5 gallon buckets with lids

Means of poking a hole

Flexible airline tubing

Ridged airline tubing

Air pump

Starter culture

Saltwater mixed to 1.007-1.014

120 micron and 53 micron sieves


(Step 1) - Find a starter culture form a local breeder, LFS or, order online. Online you can find them at https://reedmariculture.com

(Step 2) - You have obtained your starter culture and now you will need to place the starter in a 5 gallon bucket with enough fresh saltwater mixed to 1.014 to double the starter’s water volume.

(Step 3) - Add enough food to tint the water green with either RG complete or live phyto.

(Step 4) – Connect you ridged airline tubing to your flexible airline tubing and then connect the flexible airline tubing to the air pump. Plug in the air pump and let the bubbles flow. I don’t use an air stone due to the smaller bubbles seem to make a foam that can skim out the rotifers.

(Step 5) – Poke a hole in the lid of the bucket large enough for the ridged airline tubing to fit through, feed the ridged tubing through the top of the lid, and place the lid on the bucket. Leave the lid cracked to allow air to escape

(Step 6) – The next day double the water volume once again. And repeat the following day. I’ve noticed that about 4 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket is perfect.

Feeding

- Don’t let your rotifer water ever go clear. Daily feeding should be done to keep the water tinted a light green.

View attachment 877495

Harvesting

- Using a jar or pitcher of some kind I pour culture water through my 120 and 53 micron sieves stacked in that order with it pouring back into the culture vessel. The 120 micron sieve will catch debris while the 53 micron sieve will catch the rotifers. I then enrich the rotifers in live phytoplankton such as T-Iso, Nanno., and Tet.

Splitting

- To split the culture, I will remove 2 gallons of water from the culture, place into a new bucket and follow steps 1-5

Well I hope this helps some people out who would like to get a good handle on how to culture rotifers. All the equipment needed for this project can be found at

https://reedmariculture.com

https://www.algagen.com/

http://floridaaquafarms.com/
 
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LiveWire

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I always preferred the RG complete also. But I found having to harvest every day to not work with my schedule so I stopped culturing rotifers and moved over to Copepods.
 
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Surfzone

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I always preferred the RG complete also. But I found having to harvest every day to not work with my schedule so I stopped culturing rotifers and moved over to Copepods.
Copepods are king, I have found that Apocyclops and Parvocalanis great for culturing however Apocyclops will stick to the glass and other surfaces. I often feed them along with rotifers just to keep the food density up and to offer a variety of food to the larvae. Right now I just have rotifers and Apocyclops growing. What species are you growing?
 

LiveWire

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I have a small culture of Tisbe biminiensis that I am working on getting larger and I have a lot of luck with Tigriopus californicus especially in the warmer months of the year. Once I get the fish room renovation completed I will have a dedicated area for copepod grow out.
 

Grant Lowry

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Thread still alive? Just started my culture today and am confused about step 6. I have my culture in a 5 gal bucket covered but cracked with air stone and heater. Also added rg complete. I am kind of unsure on the next steps and my clown eggs are due to hatch Sunday night. Any help would be much appreciated!
 

Larry L

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Thread still alive? Just started my culture today and am confused about step 6. I have my culture in a 5 gal bucket covered but cracked with air stone and heater. Also added rg complete. I am kind of unsure on the next steps and my clown eggs are due to hatch Sunday night. Any help would be much appreciated!
I think the idea is that when you get your starter, it's probably in a small volume of water so it's less of a shock if you don't set them up in a full bucket of water right away but instead gradually increase the volume over several days until you get to about 4 gallons, and then maintain it there while you do your daily harvesting. Then when it's time to split the culture, put 2 gallons into a new bucket and do the gradual increase again. Although I have seen other instructions for maintaining rotifers, like from Reef Nutrition, that don't bother with the gradual water increase. They have a good instructional video at: https://reefnutrition.com/product_compact_culture_system.php
 
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L-type rots are very hardy and you don't really need to baby them. As long as the new water you're adding has similar parameters (I just check temp and pH) you can add it quickly. You don't even need to drip it in. Just keep the water volume at around 5 gallons at all times.

The key is to remove some of the rots everyday so that the population doesn't get too big or it'll crash.
 

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