Daphnia culture


Fish Gatherer
Oct 14, 2011
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Eastern Canada
Daphnia are not the wonder food some sources would have us believe them to be, but they're pretty good. These little 'water fleas' are nutritious exercise for our fish.

I have cultured Daphnia for years, and fed a lot of fish over the summer with them. I have been able to produce them in winter, indoors, but never in useful numbers. They're summertime, outdoors project for me. I have some ideas to try to fix that this winter.

In my new region, I haven't found a good wild source yet. So I went online and bought eggs from an aquaculture supplier. They cost me $15 CAD, a bargain since they'll feed a lot of fish for months. I prepared two 20 gallon plastic tubs of green water, with screens to keep the biting bugs from attacking my innocent neighbours. I also made a greenwater culture on the side, as a food source. You have to feed food.

It took over a month for the culture to reach feedable levels. If I had started with overwintered eggs, in my cool Canadian conditions, I would have been feeding in May, rather than July. Next year!

They should at the very least overwinter, and be the start of a new food source for years.

My prequisites?
A shaded area of the yard to ride through the hot days of summer. My neighbours aren't nosy, and I don't allow mosquitoes in the culture, with screening.
My kids are grown up, so no danger there.
I don't mind looking foolish with my little net out in the yard.

It works well. try it...


Fish Addict
Sep 3, 2020
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I started with a couple of pouches of them from my LFS that I dropped into a 5 gallon container that I also drop my plant cuttings into to get more growth. Slow start but each week I see new numbers and I've now stated netting them to feed the fish. I also discovered small red worms among dead leaves that were rotting in the container that were also quickly devoured.
Just as an experiment, and bear in mind that the north-east of England isn't all that hot usually, I also placed 4 adult yellow sakuri shrimp in the tub. 5 days later they're still alive and feeding


Professional Cat Herder
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Tank of the Month!
Dec 18, 2011
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Way out yonder
I kept daphnia for a while, along with copepods and blackworms. I actually like copepods better. They look cooler and they're more fun to watch.

My daughter has been bugging me to set up the "edible inverts" tank again, though. Hm...I agree that it's pretty hard to get them in usable amounts though.

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