Daphnia Culture Product Range

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Daphnia Culture

I decided to call my website Daphnia Culture because that is the main fish feed species people use.
It’s not the whole story though, as I also sell heaps of other Cladocera species, which are all small freshwater crustaceans, as well as other exciting live foods and cultures too. All of the species I sell are easy for backyard growers like me to breed. They make great first foods for fish fry, axolotls, turtles, tadpoles, salamanders and newts as well as being an ideal staple diet for literally thousands of a fish species. They also make great pets!

I find them way more interesting than most boring pet shop fish, and their ease of care, and amazing life cycle make them a great choice for folks in the city with limited space, or for busy kids with limited free time. They begin their life as resting eggs enclosed in ephippia. That “ephippia” is basically like a bean or pea pod. The eggs are protected safely inside and when dried and stored like that they can last literally decades, even in near boiling or freezing temperatures.

This is how they survive in dried out ponds in the desert. Once they get wet the ephippium swell and split and the eggs spill out and hatch. They then feed on algae and decomposing plant matter and grow rapidly. In good conditions the Daphnia, Moina, Simocephalus and Alona adults then begin to reproduce by making clones of themselves. The mothers have daughters, who have daughters, who have daughters etc.. This continues until a stress trigger occurs.

That could be low oxygen levels, temperature, food supply or even something as simple as watching there friends get eaten by fish that get washed in from further up the river. At this point survival mechanisms kick in and some male babies are born. Amazing hey?

These males mature and sexually reproduce with the females. Those females stop laying clones, and start producing resting eggs. These resting eggs fall to the bottom of the water and sit in the mud indefinitely. When the pond dries out all the life in it dies. But, and this is the miracle bit, when the rains come, all those resting eggs hatch and start the whole process all over again.

This is the method of reproduction of the more well known Daphnia magna, Daphnia pulex and the lesser known Australian Daphnia carinata. Likewise with Moina macrocopa and the lesser known Aussie Moina micrura. The very rarely sold Simocephalus and Alona species work the same way and I am very happy to be able to sell those live cultures too.

Similar resting eggs are produced by the very interesting Shield Shrimps, Tadpole Shrimps, Billabong Bugs or scientifically Triops australiensis and Lepidurus apus. The eggs they produce are rounded, but the idea is the same. The eggs are laid in times of plenty into seasonal pools and rocky crevasses, even way up high on Ayers rock! Those pools dry up and everything dies in the hot dry times, only to hatch and breed up again with the next coming rains. That could be many years later.

I also have another very rarely seen species of Australian native Fairy Shrimp, Streptocephalus queenslandicus which also produces resting dormant eggs except these are tetrahedron or three sided pyramid shaped. They were only discovered in 2000 and I believe with your help they will take the fish food and pet market by storm! They are a large, freshwater version of a brine shrimp which is a multi-million dollar industry who’s only limitation is the fact that it is saltwater and small.

This fella really ticks the boxes being bigger, a freshwater species and a native to Australia that I have never seen available anywhere else worldwide! I spent a long time and a hell of a lot of effort collecting these freshwater species and even longer perfecting the propagation of them and I am hoping to continue expanding my live aquarium food collection as time goes on. You might even be able to help?

I also have Vinegar eels, freshwater Rotifers and Infusoria cultures for sale as well as Algae powders and basic aquarium supplies. As pet owners I believe it is important that we give our pets the best conditions and highest quality foods that we can afford. It’s also very important that the food that we use has been produced in an environmentally sound manner. When you grow your own fish foods you know exactly what is used in the production as YOU control it every step of the way and the reason many major aquarium fish breeders and pond growers rely live foods is because it just works better.

Fish on live food diets often have brighter colours and a switch to live aquarium feeds is often the key trigger needed to induce spawning. Even more importantly it’s just fun! I get a huge kick out of growing these live foods, and I consider them better pets than most of the pets people feed them too.

They are amazing little creatures and I personally don’t see why anyone can’t have a crack at them. After all, you just need a small container or tank of water to get started… Have a good look around, checkout the FAQS page, and if you have any questions let me know.

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