Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions About Live Copepods

Copepods are crustaceans that can be used as food in saltwater aquariums. They are consumed by fish, coral, and invertebrates alike. Those who are new to maintaining saltwater aquariums may want to read on to find some answers to frequently asked questions about live copepods to determine whether or not they should be adding them to their tanks.

Who Should Use Them?

The bottom line is that just about any saltwater aquarium can benefit from the introduction of copepods. Those whose tanks feature mandarin fish, anthias, and seahorses should note, however, that they may need to add copepods more frequently to achieve the best results.

How Are They Used?

Copepods can be added directly to a saltwater tank to provide food for aquatic life. Adding them to the tank is as simple as pouring the bottle or pouch into the aquarium as soon as it is purchased or delivered, though it’s important to note that they should not be stored. Readers whose tanks feature neither refugiums nor pumps should add at least some of their copepods at a time when their aquarium’s lights are off.

Why Aren’t They Visible?

The best time to see copepods so that aquarium owners can evaluate their levels is at night, as they are very difficult to see during the day. To look for them, simply take a flashlight and direct it into the tank then check the open water column. Any copepods present will appear as small beige to reddish dots.

What do Copepods Eat?

Copepods are detritivores, which means that they’ll eat leftover fish food, bacteria, and other debris. This allows them to assist in controlling water quality in addition to acting as a live food source for a variety of marine species. There’s no need to provide additional food for these tiny crustaceans.

Can They Be Cultured?

While it is perfectly possible to culture copepods in a side tank, there’s generally no need to do so. Periodically ordering and adding a steady supply of copepods is enough for all but the largest tanks. Those who do wish to culture their own copepods can do so in a secondary tank and transfer them to their primary tanks by sucking them up with a pipette or pouring the culture water through a filter.