Tigriopus califoricus - Anyone raised these at home?

Discussion in 'Breeding' started by anathema, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. anathema

    anathema Guest

    Ok, I realize I'm kind of stepping on the toes of a major supporter here, but let's face it, if I can raise something cheaply vs buy it, I will.

    These seemed like an easily raised food source for my tank, and so when I got my hands on some (not that hard they are for sale all over) I decided to try and raise them myself. End result, I have a tupperware on my windowsill in my kitchen that freaks my roommate out every time he sees it. I got a small dose of them at the frag trade, and put them in the windowsill.

    I dripped a few drops of Reef Nutrition "phyto something in a bottle" in every couple of days for the first week or so, but stopped when the water turned green.

    I added some fresh water whenever I noticed evaporation loss.

    I've been too busy to otherwise pay much attention to these guys.

    After approx two weeks, they all seem to be adult size, a couple have died but most are still alive. However, I don't see any "babies" or smaller sized ones, when I observed wild populations of these several sizes were represented. This leads me to think they aren't breeding, though most of them are towing behind what appears to be an egg sac. Do these require a "shock" event to trigger breeding?

    Today I plan to move the population into a 10G tank with a couple of inches of water in it. Before today it's been dry and bare, so it should be safe for them as far as predators. I plan on setting this tank outside, as it's too big for my windowsill. I will also add a couple pieces of crushed flake food, or possibly "golden pearls" which I have left over that is about 200 years old and petrified. I didn't add anything other than phyto in the small container because I was worried about it rotting in the small water volume.

    Any tips or pointers would be appreciated if any of you have tried to raise these on your own.
  2. nudibranch

    nudibranch Guest

    Phyto-Feast has worked well for me when I raised pods.
  3. jugato

    jugato Guest

    Hey anathema. Glad that yours are still doing well. I think the rest of the pods from that bottle are all gone. I just poured them into my tank figuring that since I didn't have any fish to eat them they could build up a population in my tank. I'm guessing the pumps did them in 'cause I haven't seen any in quite a while now.

    Anyway, did you check out http://www.reefnutrition.com/tiggerpods_care.html. In particular it says:
    "It may seem at first that they aren't reproducing as fast as you would like, but once they get to a certain population level you will see an "explosion" of copepods in your culture vessel."

    Maybe Gresham will chime in considering he probably wrote that text.
  4. Dan

    Dan Guest

    this is a cool water species that has a hard time adapting to the reef tank. they are able to adapt if you slowly acclimate them to warm water.

    As for my results:

    As much as i love the easy access of getting them at the local fish store these are only really made for feeding and hard to raise in the reef tank but its possible...

    i eventually found that these little guys found their way into my reactors and reproduced like mad! they didnt like the heat from the light in my Refugium so i guess they made my reactors their refuge...

    here is a really good dealer on ebay i found that answers many questions along with being a top rated seller and is reliable ! i highly recommend this seller. if you have more questions this seller is really nice! or you can contact me Stripergod@hotmail.com

  5. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Not true. They are NOT a cold water species as they do not live in the ocean but rather the upper splash zone. That zone ranges from 50 - 90's. Their natural range is from Alaska to Central America... the upper splash zone in Central America is in the high 90's for 4-6 months a year.

    We have raised Tigger-Pods in reef temps for 5 years. Our largest harvests are when the water is the warmest.
  6. anathema

    anathema Guest

    Hey Justin, thanks again for sharing!

    Yes, I saw that on the Reef Nutrition site, but was hoping someone had a setup going they could share details of. Gresham does I'm sure, but I'm positive it's more labor intensive than mine. ;)

    So what I ended up with was a 15G eclipse system with about 4 gallons of water in it. I chose that over the 10G because it had a lid, and I'm keeping this outside. I grabbed the first cannister of expired old food out of my scrap box and it turned out to be freeze dried rotifers from BSD, so I'm adding a tiny bit of that to the phyto regimen. I'll update on how they are doing if I see any progress.
  7. sfboarders

    sfboarders Guest

    This guy is breeding Tigriopus successfully. Gresham chimed in on his thread. Has some pretty cool photos in there too.
  8. nudibranch

    nudibranch Guest

    I did the same thing in a 5 gal.(it had low flow) and left it like that for a month and they reproduced rapidly.
  9. Matt_Wandell

    Matt_Wandell Honorary Member

    Question for everyone: What do you target feed them to? Or do you just intend for them to be a general live food source always present in the tank?
  10. anathema

    anathema Guest

    I plan to broadcast feed them, nothing specific though I'm betting my fish will take a heavy toll on them when they are intorduced into the tank.
  11. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Gimme some time to decompress from my trip and I'll give you a more detailed response.
  12. anathema

    anathema Guest

    Ok. Just to clarify, at this time they are in a covered container with no circulation. I dosed phyto feast until the water turned light green then stopped. I took a peek last night and it appears their numbers have actually declined a bit, but there are still quite a few.

    Today is my Friday so I'll have some time to work on this again in the next few days.
  13. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    I suspect you are not seeing the copepidites as many people just don't have the eye for such small items. IIRC they are around 50µm - 60µm which is pretty dang small.
  14. anathema

    anathema Guest

    That must have been the case, because on further inspection I have a population explosion. Going to siphon some out through a paper towel to feed to the tank today. :)
  15. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    OK that is a first for me, never heard of someone using a paper towel (not that it won't work) :) I usually suggest coffee filters, but now I have another one to suggest, thanks!!!
  16. anathema

    anathema Guest

    I thought I'd bump this with an update, as on the tank tour there seemed to be quite a bit of interest in my pod culture.

    I still use the same 15G eclipse I found on the street. The hood is gutted, and it's just a shell with no heater, or water movement. It is in direct sunlight for a few hours a day. Being outside in the sun has warped the lid so that it doesn't fit anymore, so I'll need to figure something out before it rains too much this winter. All in all my total expenses for this little project is the $20 for a bottle of Reef Nutrition phyto stuff, and I use cheapo leftover food that's too lousy to feed to the main tank for the bulk of their diet. I was lucky enough to get the pod starter culture for free. They don't seem to be picky eaters at all.

    It's been running over a year now, with one water change, when the rain leaked into it and lowered the salinity significantly. This didn't seem to affect them horribly, I just assumed they would be better off if I matched the tank salinity fairly closely so I could just dump them in. I left the culture for a month this summer with no additions of food or any input other than sun, and when I came back the algae that had grown in the tank was gone, and the culture's numbers were down, but it rebounded quickly as soon as I added food. I try to feed about once a week normally, but I forget a lot. I keep the tank quite dirty, with a significant amount of "scum" in the bottom, which seems to promote algae growth in direct sun and in my opinion helps culture them in spite of my laziness.

    One thing that I do feel adds to my success is that I use Half Moon Bay water, which I buy at Aquatic Central. If you could get seawater that was minimally filtered it might even be better, but it's a lot of work to DIY. I do not know if the phyto from the RN product can reproduce or if it's dead in the bottle and preserved, but the HMB water is "dirtier" than salt mixed RODI water, and I feel like in the sunlight that my culture tank has some microalgae reproduction going on. Using very sterile salt mix water could work just fine, but you might have to be more diligent about feeding them on a regular basis, and my whole goal was lazy food culture. Since the animals are tolerant of dirty water, why not start with natural dirty water with a food source in it? Just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt creep.

    They have never established a culture in the main tank, even after many feedings. They are devoured by the fish, though I don't see the corals really eating them. I assume if they landed on a coral it would eat them, but when I feed them they are generally gone within a few hours.

    To feed, as I stated above, I siphon them through a paper towel, mainly because I don't drink coffee and never remember to buy coffee filters. The paper towel sucks, I would think coffee filters work much better. I actually have a second culture going now, because when I cleaned out my culture I got to the bottom where the scum and algae was chunky and kept clogging up the paper towel pores so I gave up trying to separate them out and tossed them in a 5G tank, chunky scum and all. I bought a strainer but they go right through it. I'm still looking for a better way to strain them.

    Hope that helps.
  17. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Gotta say, that was an eye opener for me to see all those pods clinging to the side of the tank. I do wonder how many are in the water column itself. Either way, I got a home made flat that is just asking for some tigger lovin :D
  18. Matt_Wandell

    Matt_Wandell Honorary Member

    Thanks anathema!

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