Rotifers - Discussion and Education

Discussion in 'Reef Nutrition' started by Reef Nutrition, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Reef Nutrition

    Reef Nutrition Active Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    Brachionus plicatilis (L-type rotifers) has a typical lorica length of about 160 µm. This species is euryhaline, capable of thriving in salinities of 5-40 ppt. Brachionus rotundiformis has a typical lorica length of about 90-150µm. This species is also euryhaline.

    It's basically the size that differentiates them. The lorica is the rigid structure that gives them their body form and protects them. Lorica is what the Romans called their body armor.
     

  2. CastAway

    CastAway Prone to wander, never lost. Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    What do you think of a thread on rearing ciliates, like Euplotes, perhaps specifically for SPS?
     
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  3. Reef Nutrition

    Reef Nutrition Active Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    Hey everyone. Happy New Year!

    So back to the discussion. We are now going to talk about daily feeding and maintenance. The last place we left off was acclimating the rotifers. After this step, you are ready to feed them.

    Feeding the culture is as important as keeping it clean. Not only is the type of food essential to success, the way you feed is part of the equation. In aquaculture, we have found that the best way to feed rotifers is continuously, or semi-continuously, offering them small amounts of food multiple times daily. Luckily, there are a number of quality dosing units on the market, so many serious aquarists will use these to achieve the most consistent form of feeding the tank, assuming you are keeping the equipment in good working order and calibrating routinely. This method also requires a refrigerator or other chilling device to keep the algae cold while it is dosed over the course of a day or a week: depends on your setup. Our phytoplankton is incredibly dense, so keeping it cold is important. We don't use preservatives or pasteurized the algae, so refrigeration is paramount for success. With all this being said, I won't go into the details of continuous feeding. We will talk about manually feeding, multiple times daily.


    With a total volume of 14L in the bucket, you will have approximately 71 rotifers per ml after you have added the 1 million rotifers. We recommend that beginners start off with 4 mls of RGcomplete daily (this rate will last you 42 days). This should be broken up into at least 2 feedings (2mls in the a.m. and 2 in the p.m.) As you feed the bucket, the population will begin to grow over the next 3 days before you commence harvesting.

    upload_2018-1-4_9-23-59.png
    Feeding the bucket should go as follows:
    • Obtain a small amount (50mls) of culture water or new, clean saltwater.
    • Add the dose of algae to the container of water and stir. In this case, it would be 2mls.
    • Pour the food into the bucket over the air so that it disperses into the bucket evenly.
    • Repeat this step for subsequent feedings.

    The food:

    [​IMG]
    RGcomplete is a super-concentrated microalgal-based premium quality feed and enrichment for rotifers and other filter-feeding invertebrates. It has been sized especially for Breeders, Aquarists, and Propagators and includes both a pH buffer and ClorAm-X® (ammonia neutralizer). It has a long refrigerated shelf life of at least 6 months. This product comes in 6oz., 16oz. and 32oz. containers. http://apbreed.com/product_rgcomplete.php

    Rotifers do not intrinsically possess high nutritional value - rather they act as "nutrient carriers" for conveying the high-value essential fatty acids (ARA, EPA and DHA) and other nutrients from the microalgae to the target species. Although you can feed rotifers a variety of feeds such as yeast, the rotifers will only be as nutritious as the feed they have ingested—“they are what they eat”. A rotifer that is fed insufficient or low-quality feed will provide little nutritional value to your larvae or corals

    Marine microalgae is widely recognized as the best feed for growing and enriching rotifers. Microalgae are what rotifers naturally feed on in the wild, and provides the complete chemical composition that larval fish need for proper neural development. Microalgae are also the easiest feed to work with. Yeast and emulsion products rapidly foul a rotifer cultures, creating high levels of bacteria and ammonia, and causing the rotifers to stick together. Microalgae such Nannochloropsis have a cell wall that resists bacterial breakdown so there is no fouling, excessive bacterial proliferation, or stickiness.

    In the next segment, we will talk about harvesting. At a 20-30% harvest rate, you should yield approximately 350,000 rotifers per day.

    -Chad
     
  4. Clittrell

    Clittrell Member

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    I work at a school and we just set up your complete bucket system and added in our 1,000,000 s rotifers. Added the 11ml of food.

    Questions.
    The room seems to be chilly and when I mesured the temp it was about 19c. Will I need to add a small heater?

    We are going to try to raise clowns have a pair that is laying eggs. We are in a holding pattern. Should I scale back as listed above and only do 4ml and harvest 20% until we actively need them or stick to the 11ml food and 1/3 water change.

    Also after we wait the three days and start harvesting would it make sense to start a second bucket to have redundancy?

    Thanks
     
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  5. Reef Nutrition

    Reef Nutrition Active Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    Feed them 3mls, twice daily for now. If you need more rotifers, increase the feed 20% daily until you are satisfied with the yield. Always make sure to feed at least twice a day and always mix the algae with some culture water so that it disperses well when fed.

    You will definitely need a heater. They should be at 26C for optimal growth and reproduction. We like the Cobalt heaters. One problem with heaters is that if you don't have enough water movement they can damage the rotifers. To remedy this, simply add in another rigid air line, ziptie it to the heater and hook it up to an air pump manifold so that you can control the flow.

    Chad
     
  6. Clittrell

    Clittrell Member

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    Thanks for the info. I will get heater and set up air stone over the weekend. I don’t have a small one.
     
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  7. jhoop

    jhoop Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Following !
     
  8. authentic

    authentic Well-Known Member

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    Great timing,I just started my culture with your system getting ready to raise my fry,thought hatch night may have been yesterday, probably tonight,keep the info coming
     
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  9. Centerline

    Centerline Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    So if attempting to have a culture take hold and sustain itself in a reef how many would you start off with per 100 gallons. Ive grown these little guys years ago for clowns but always found growth slowed down when I used tank water - really anything over 1.02 and growth would slow down. Do you see this as a limiting factor in a sustained - in tank culture? Also do you see any value in killing the pumps and feeding small amounts of something like the RGComplete product a few times a week in an effort to maintain the population or is there enough food in the typical reef to keep them alive? I have a lot of LPS that I target feed twice a week but could certainly benefit from the addition of more consistent nutrition.
     
  10. authentic

    authentic Well-Known Member

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    What does it mean when there are bubbles on the surface?
     
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  11. Clittrell

    Clittrell Member

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    I don’t know but I was getting the same thing.
     
  12. Reef Nutrition

    Reef Nutrition Active Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    The foam simply means that you aren't overfeeding the culture and it's okay to add the next dose. You will see the foam subside after adding the next feeding. The lipids in the product have the same effect as a defoaming agent.
     
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