An Extensive Guide on Culturing Rotifers

Posted on Wednesday February 10, 2021

An Extensive Guide on Culturing Rotifers

Keeping an aquarium means providing a food source for the organisms in it, and rotifers are some of the best alternatives available.

Rotifers are micro-zooplankton that feeds on micro-algae and serve as a healthy food source for shellfish, fish and corals.

However, rotifers do not provide much nutritional value. Their stomach contents and eggs are the most important constituents.

For this reason, proper feeding of rotifers is a must. Culturing rotifers at home is not complicated, and can make feeding your animals simple.

What You Need:

• A 20-litre bucket or tank
• Dechlorinated saltwater at a temperature of between 23 and 28°C and salinity of around 19-25 ppt
• Live rotifer culture
• Airstone
• Micro-algae (rotifer feed)

Starting the Culture:

• Put the bag of rotifers in the bucket of water and give it room to warm up
• After 10 minutes, open the bag and add the rotifer culture slowly
• Then add the micro-algae until the water turns a light green
• Continue adding the feed daily
• Give the culture at least 3 days before you begin harvesting so that it can multiply to a desirable population

Harvesting the Rotifers

You should harvest about 30% of the rotifers daily. For this process, you will need to turn off the air stone first. The detritus will settle, causing the rotifers to rise.

You can then use a plankton mesh of 50 microns to scoop the rotifers off the top. Alternatively, you can siphon them into another bucket.

Important Points to Remember

Due to their high metabolism rates, rotifers need sufficient food. If not, the culture will crash. You can add micro-algae concentrate twice daily- in the morning and evening.

When adding the solution, ensure that the water turns light green. It should have a residual colour during the next feeding. If it does not, increase the amount of concentrate.

– Do not use coral or fish tank water because it could contaminate the culture.
– Rotifers can survive in the dark.
– Avoid using yeast-based foods.
– Every 3 – 4 weeks, strip down the culture for cleaning.

Besides feeding the marine life in your care properly, give it the home it deserves.

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