Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Daphnia Culturing – Live Fish Food Magna / Pulex Breeding Daphnia, Daphnia Magna Culture,

Daphnia Culturing – Live Fish Food Magna / Pulex Breeding Daphnia, Daphnia Magna Culture,

(running water) – [Voiceover] So here
we’ve got 360 gallon, Daphnia trough here. It’s six foot by four
foot by two foot tall. And this one, in particular,
has been running for two or three months now, and I stopped the aeration
I had going on it. Just so that I could actually
show you the Daphnia here. From this point, it might look
like real cloudy water but, it’s actually lots of Daphnia, and you can see the density here. And it pretty much goes
all the way around. Got some duckweed floatin’ in here. And I just tested the
water parameters today, when I took some to the shop and, there’s some nitrite in the water, you know, about half a
part per million or so. And pH and buffer and stuff
like that are all good. Which before I had been
crashing it quite a bit. I put in a Wonder Shell,
which is, you know, adds electrolytes and calcium and, basically buffers the water, honestly. But I just put one of
the large ones in here, and it seems to have
made a big difference. I’ve been feeding with
an immersion blender. Here, you can kinda see. Just usin’ a cheap one
I bought off Amazon. I’ve been immersion blending
this Red Star active dry yeast. I basically feed it every
time the water is clear. And today I actually used some
clean water from my koi pond. But if you look under here, you see, I leave a light on 24 hours a day on this. And you can see that
they’re photosensitive, and drawn to it, there. The trick to me harvesting this Daphnia, is kinda swiping through
the water a few times, and then getting it out
’cause, if you leave it in, or if you keep swishing
and swishing and swishing, you’re gonna drudge up all
the stuff off the bottom. And that’s lots of, you know,
debris and stuff like that. And you kinda wanna keep that
outta what you’re feedin’. So, you know, this is the net, how it looks like when it’s gonna start. And, you can see there’s
a couple of dry Daphnia in there from harvesting the other day. So we’re lookin’ at this cloud right here, you can see my reflection in it, but you can see it movin’, and
if I just come in real slow, and I’m literally just
gonna scoop this up here. So if I come through like that, and I bring it up, you
can see, all that Daphnia. So, let me go ahead and harvest some, like I normally would here and, I’m just gonna kinda go
back and forth real quick. And come scoop across here, and you know, if we look at the Daphnia here. Let me kinda get it collected for you. You shake it back and forth. When I get that in my hand, here. Let me go ahead and just
stick my hand in there And, yeah, so that’s all Daphnia there. I mean, that’s a lot of Daphnia. I mean that’s just fully
like a handful, you know? That’s a handful of Daphnia,
and there’s still more, in the net, so, you know,
if you’re looking to harvest Daphnia, this is a
pretty good way to do it. I’m just gonna release
it off my hand here, and you’re gonna see all the
Daphnia just coming right off. And, even just that little bit, that was on my hand was a lot. So yeah, that’s, you know,
this is a good way to do it. I run it in some tanks
and stuff like that too. So let’s talk about aeration. You know a lot of stuff
you’re gonna read online says, don’t use an air stone
and stuff like that, I’ve been testing in
multiple tanks and troughs, stuff like that, and I think, the yield is higher
when I do use aeration. You know, some people say
just barely have it going, some people say don’t use fine bubbles, they say use just an open airline, I’m just going to show you what I do. So I’ve got, you know, it’s
just boilin’ pretty good. You know, and I’ve got
the light over here, and I just hang the air stone over it. And you know, there’s all
this slow space over here, if they wanna be slow,
but I’ll tell ya what, they really seem to gravitate
towards where the oxygen is. And I’m running what they
call a Never Clog Air Stone, and, you know, it’s a plastic air stone, and it’s weighted, and the bubbles that come off of it aren’t superfine. So yeah, we recommend
aeration or at least I do. And I’ve got pretty strong
aeration, I get big yield, as you can see, I still have
my Daphnia sitting there. You can feed the fish, and yeah. I’ve tried it stagnant, I’ve
tried it with little aeration, lots of aeration, you
know, to me it seems that you can only grow so much
Daphnia without aeration. The 55 gallon tank, I’m also
running the same air stone. Maybe you’ll see the
bubbles better in this one, since we can look at
it from the side, here. You know, they’re
definitely bigger bubbles. You know, but they’re not
too big and they’re not tiny. And what it does is actually in this tank, it actually keeps at least a
space open from the duckweed. Now, why that’s important, if you’re not harvesting
out of it all the time, duckweed’s gonna take over. And once you’ve really
been producing Daphnia, you’re gonna realize that a lot of ’em stay right on the top. It seems to me like the super small babies are always the ones right on top here. And I don’t know if I’m
running, hitting critical mass, where I run out of oxygen, or if that’s just what they like to do. But, you know, especially
when I harvest all this, like in this net here,
if I put it in a bucket, I’m definitely gonna see all
the babies right at the top and the bigger ones more
so down, down lower. You know what else I’ve
got goin’ in these ponds, that they all have either
a couple of shrimp, or a lot of snails. We can see here, like on this hose, that’s just sittin’ in
here, are the typical, typical pond pest snails. And, what I like them for, is that they aren’t gonna prey on any
of the Daphnia or anything, but they are gonna clean up stuff off the bottom of the pond, break it down. So any yeast or anything like that, that settles to the
bottom, they’re gonna eat. I also grow a lot of algae on the sides, you know, and so, they
help clean up with that. You know, there’s lots of snails. If I kinda brush the side here, you know, you’ll feel these
little baby snails and stuff. So yeah, what I do like, I
like culturing it indoors. Couple of reasons, the first one, I don’t have to worry about it gettin’ too hot, too cold, I can control it. The second thing is that,
I don’t get mosquito larva. Now, it’s not a bad thing, I just, generally what I’m
culturing Daphnia for is very small fish, stuff like that. It’s kinda like a brine replacement, and the (mumbles) to the
fish I’m feeding in my house, they’re actually to big
for the fish to take down. So I’m just hatching mosquitoes if I don’t get those out before I bring ’em into certain tanks, ’cause I like to keep it, relatively pure. Yeah, I could always
use a little duckweed, and a little pond snails, but
that’s not too big of a deal. You know, it’s not that different than you’re average aquarium. You know, it seems like
such a foreign structure. You know, from the key that I found, the more water I have, the easier it is. There’s no doubt about that. If I use, you know, a five gallon bucket, I seem to crash it in no time. I think it’s the surface area ratio, and stuff like that, kind
of an ecosystem going. And that’s just it, think
of it like an ecosystem, and I wanna dispel, you
know this is probably what you’ve been waitin’
the whole video for, I wanna dispel a bunch of
things that you think are truth, that I have, in my experience,
found not to be true. One, green water doesn’t matter. I’ve always heard, you need green water, you need to start with green water. But you know, the reality
is, this murky of water and like, this green water in the 55, where you can barely see through it, that’s gonna last these tanks
of Daphnia, maybe two days. So, you can have really
pea soup, green water, and they’re literally gonna
chew through it in a day or two. So I have found that I
absolutely have to feed yeast and spirulina powder and
stuff like that because, I’ll make the water so cloudy
you can’t even see into it, and then, two days later,
they have eaten it all, and I’ve gotta dose again, basically. So, you know, that’s a big
rumor right there, dispelled. Yeah, is green water nice to have? Sure, but if you’re gonna try and do it in a five gallon
bucket, a ten gallon tank, stuff like that, the
green water is irrelevant. It just doesn’t matter. You know, feeding a controlled amount, and watching water quality,
much more important. Some of the other things you gotta know, I believe it’s like seven or eight days, from the time a Daphnia
is born to it reproducing. And so, when they reproduce,
they have like ten babies. And so, you know, let’s
say that today I have, a hundred Daphnia, well in about a week, I know have a thousand Daphnia, and a week after that, I
have ten thousand Daphnia, and a week after that, I
have a hundred thousand. So in a month, you can go
from a hundred Daphnia, to a hundred thousand Daphnia. When you order a Daphnia culture, you might get five thousand Daphnia. So, that’s what people don’t realize, or at least, I didn’t realize, and I think, you know, a lot
of people struggle with this. We underestimate how much
they’re eating, you know, you gotta figure that they’re
life cycle is a couple months. But they’re literally
gonna go from just born, to reproducing in seven or eight days. And, they need to eat the whole time. And if your population
is growing by tenfold, every week basically, so
if you feed your culture every Saturday, or whatever
it is, your day off, every week, it will have become tenfold. Now, you’re gonna harvest, but as I’m harvesting here,
I harvested, you know, literally a handfold
and I could probably get four or five times that amount. The reality is that in seven days, if I can harvest five handfuls today, I’m gonna have fifty
handfuls in seven days. Now, what usually happens, is you’re gonna crash at some point. And, you know, I’ve never
crashed this 360 yet, I harvest a lot out of it, I
have crashed my 110 gallon. I haven’t crashed my 55 gallon, the tank that you see all the time, but I feed that one a lot less. Now the 100 gallon, I crashed. And that was to learn a limit, and I think, you know,
the more water you have, the easier it’s gonna be,
the more waste it can handle. I think getting some plants
going could be beneficial. I haven’t really messed around
with that too much, yet. But yeah, so, green water, not a big deal. I think it’s much more important
to have more water volume. So if you could have 20
gallons of green water, and put the Daphnia in there, you’re good for two or three days. You know, you’ve got a two or three day leg up on someone else. You know, but, I think the minimum, if you really wanna start
crankin’ out some Daphnia, that you could actually, actually feed, I’m gonna say, you know, that’s more like you know, 55 gallon, 100 gallons. You know, it seems like a lot, but when you buy, you know, a kiddie pool, or something like that, you know, those are easily 100 gallons,
200 gallons, stuff like that. You know, big numbers,
surface area is important. I would say that, get yourself some yeast. Get yourself an air pump,
with a coarse air stone. I use the Never Clog
Air Stone on my website, or an open-ended loop if
you can’t find one of those. You know, it’s gonna glug a lot more, and it’s gonna be a little bit more rough. So you get air stone, you get yeast, and you get as big a
container as you can muster, you know, as you can get the family to OK. And then, you fill it with
water, and I use cycled water. So, I’m gonna use it from another pond, I’m gonna use it from a fish
tank, something like that. I have topped off water with my hose, without using dechlorinator, and it seems to have done OK so far. We have very very low chlorine levels in our water here in Washington. In a lot of states, that’s
not gonna be possible at all, ’cause you have chloramine
and from what I read, since I can’t experience it first hand, is that they’re very sensitive to sulfur, and stuff like that. So, you know, you’re
gonna have chloramine, you’re gonna have to break ’em down, you’re gonna use something like prime. Well, the prime is actually
gonna kill the Daphnia. And if you don’t use something like prime, well, the chloramine is
gonna kill the Daphnia. So, you kinda gotta use aged water, and that basically just means, it’s had long enough to
dissipate all the sulfur, or it’s sat out, you’ve gassed
it off, you have chlorine, or, you know, you can
break down the chloramines. But, yeah, aged water, in
a pond, or big aquarium, an air stone, and feeding
yeast every time it gets clear. The other thing I like to do, is I like to add something
with calcium in it. You could use equilibrium,
I like to use Wonder Shells, I’ve got a piece of coral in there. But, being that they’re molting so often, you know, you wanna be able to make sure that they’re
able to do that no problem. And those are some of the things
that I’ve found that helps. You also have to harvest,
if you’re not harvesting, pretty much every time you feed, you’re gonna run into problems. This is the outdoor 110 gallon tank. As I’ve walked up to it, I’m
not running any filtration, there’s no bubbler or anything like that. You can see on the top of the water here, I put some green water in,
and it’s got a film actually. Like, you can kinda see the film there. And so I just know this doesn’t have nearly as much, you know,
surface area for them to breathe. I’ve got lots of mosquito larva in here. Which, you know, that’s a
good thing for bigger fish. I’m also got Cyclops
in here as well which, once a Cyclops invaded, and I
don’t know how they got here, ’cause I didn’t introduce anything else, but once they grabbed hold, the Daphnia have never done as well since. So, another good thing for a
controlled environment indoors. But, you know, I harvested out here today, and you know, it’s got lots of Cyclops. I kinda actually like the
fact that I’ve got Cyclops, ’cause now I’ve got Cyclops,
Daphnia, mosquito larva, stuff like that, it’s
kind of a varied diet. But this is, you know,
this will net some Daphnia, a decent amount, you’ve
seen me harvest before. I think with an air stone in
here, it would be even better. In this one, you can actually see, at the very bottom, there’s
the Wonder Shell in here still. So kind of an interesting
thing, it’s a 110 gallon tank, and I can also reach
down there and grab it. 110 gallon tank, this
is probably, you know, three or four weeks, no probably two, two to three weeks, and
this is what’s left, of the Wonder Stone. And you can see, actually
there’s a whole bunch of, Cyclops all over it, you can
see them crawlin’ around there. So they obviously like
it, they’re eatin’ on it. They’re diggin’ it. The interesting part
is, that Wonder Shell- Let me get the duckweed off my arm there. That Wonder Shell is the exact same size as the one I put in the 360, 360 gallons, so three times the volume,
that one is already dissolved and been completely consumed, but I have way more Daphnia in there, so to me it shows me, it is being used. Like, the Daphnia are uptaking calcium, and stuff like that outta the water. It’s dissolving in faster, and it has definitely
proven to be beneficial. So I will continue to do that. So, the recap. Grab a body of water
as big as you can get. Add an air stone, use aged water, and feed spirulina and yeast, you know. If you’ve got green water somewhere else, great, but, they’ll eat it too fast. But those are the main things
you need to have success. And, anyone can do it,
but a lot of people won’t. And that’s just because
it doesn’t make sense for you to dedicate 200
gallons, 100 gallons, stuff like that, if your biggest
tank is a 20 gallon tank, you’d much rather have a big aquarium, and you know, not raise Daphnia. Hey, you guys, thanks for watching, don’t forget to subscribe to the channel, please leave any feedback
or questions down below, for any items featured in the video today, check out

85 comments on “Daphnia Culturing – Live Fish Food Magna / Pulex Breeding Daphnia, Daphnia Magna Culture,

  1. I read that you can use daphnia to eat volvox in shrimp tanks. Do you sell daphnia? I didnt see it on your website. Thanks

  2. Very nice video, you really inspired me to start culturing daphnia myself to feed my koi!
    Could you tell me what the optimum temperatures are to culure them?

  3. @Aquarium Co-Op Are you starting up your Daphnia tanks again this year and are you going to experiment with adding some plants to them (besides the duckweed). Did you add the duckweed to help filter the water? Thanks for this video!

  4. Wow, thats a lot of daph.

    is direct sunlight necessary for the culture?

    Thanks for yhe informative video. i'll start with a 6gal tank.

  5. Hey thanks man. Good job in making this vid.
    Say…may i know how much do you blend the spirulina n yeast for the indoor setup each time and on what interval?

  6. First of all, congrats on a great video. Cyplops eat either the juvinile daphnia or the molted cases with the eggs inside them. Compete and eat is their motto. That's why you have less! I lived in Ireland and I could find Daphnia in a local pond. Here in Canada, it took a while to find some. I have a few goldfish in green water and I made a little round tank beside it, and a few inches higher and airlifted fish water into it in a failed attempt to settle out solids. BUT it was a total success at clearing the green water, the overflow or return (at maybe 1 or 2 liters of water per minute) sends excess daphnia back to my fish. The neat thing is that the daphnia is both the filter and the fish food. The splashing of the airlifted water means that the mosquito larvae cannot detect the outflow and they get sucked down to be eaten by fish too. Maybe this can work in one of your systems too. Neat that you have all these together. I have some little shrimp too but they did not last in the system linked to the fish, maybe they got curious and went through the outlet. I still have some in another pond in the greenhouse. Thanks again for your video. Very helpful. Brian

  7. Do you have any idea how to quarantine wild daphnia? I have a growing Creek Chub I'd like to keep, and feeding it Daphnia seems like a good idea for just a 1-1.5 inch Chub. Also, I did catch in the wild, thinking it was just a regular minnow, which is why I would like to feed it daphnia.

  8. old video i know but one of the better ones… just wondering, if you have a container outside how do daphnia get into that container to start with? can find them almost anywhere in the "wild" so to speak, but if you have an open container thats not linked to a water source, how would they get there as the life cycle unlike mosquitos doesnt have a flight path.

  9. I hope that you make a new video on this topic. 🙂
    No offense but you're videos today have a much better quality than this one. Haha.
    I've watched a few Daphnia culture vids but this one has got to be the biggest container I have seen used.
    Anyways, thanks for the videos!

  10. Please check out for me if the video I took is of daphnia? I have a concrete pond outside that rain water has filled and been sitting there for the last few months, I added some water lettuce and they have bloomed and I noticed thousands of these little specks darting around They must have come in with the water lettuce I took from my pond.

  11. Hello,
    Has anyone tried fishmeal as daphnia food? I have seen a number of videos including this one. One inconsistency I always find is about how fast they reproduce. Just two days ago I have set up a tank with capacity of 160 liters. I put a cup of ground fishmeal and a little starter culture of red daphnia. Within 48 hours it is like a billion baby dahphia in my tank already, very dense. Is it not way too many daphnias than what is usually told in these videos?

  12. Hi Corey, I have a setup I'm building where I'll have a guppy tank sharing circulation with a small open bin pond (pond is like 5-10 gallons and a 20 gallon glass tank), and a home made filter. I was thinking the little pond could maybe house a daphnia colony, there would be a bit (not a lot) of flow in the pond. Do you think this is viable? what about having a daphnia colony with a betta? Do you think this will just result in him eating till he dies or all the daphnia are gone?

  13. that sound quality!! so cool to see how far you've come. you deserve it! hope much bigger things headed you way. keep up the amazing work

  14. How quickly do they reproduce? I have to do a science project (for biology at school) at some point. I want to do mine on daphnia, seeing how they reproduce in different environments.

  15. Very interesting, i have a 1000 litre tank daphnia are the daphnia need air aeration or not ? Or he can live without air stone aeration ?

  16. Has anyone ever had luck getting wild daphnia. Im in ontario and I cant seem to find any local resources.

  17. JW, why don't you keep live plants? They help keep water quality stable and provide cover/a food source..I'm going to start keeping Daphnia soon so I'm wondering what's best for them.

  18. hi could you supply a link or something for me to see where i can buy it and can it be shipped in a shippment for more then a few days?

  19. I love your knowledge and the tests you make on your own, you don't take for granted what everybody says. Thank you for
    sharing I'll do it exactly as you're showing us. I'm already subscribed.

  20. Hi Cory! So I have been through 3 different cultures of daphnia that I purchased from eBay. I have a 20 gallon long tank with a sponge filter and a heater that keeps the tank at about 82 degrees. I use cycled water out of my Silver Dollar tank. I feed spirulina powder and activated yeast. Anything else you can think of that would keep them alive? My last culture didn't last more than 5 or 6 days.

  21. Cory, I'm considering culturing green water to feed to my daphnia that I plan to feed to my fish in my planted tank. Is it possible to create a green water issue in my planted tank through cross contamination?

  22. May be a weird question but i scrolled through and couldn't find an answer for it…if I were to set up a 10 gal indoors would there be any foul smells????

  23. What a rough video 😄 you've come such a long way! Thank you for teaching us how to properly care for our aquatic friends. Thanks to you I've learned so much and can successfully care for my pets. ❤️ Keep up the good work! 😊

  24. Thanks for this – the biggest draw to the hobby for me after 20 years has become the invertebrates and plants. As avid aquarists I think it's our responsibility to replicate the food chain so that we don't have to rely on manufactured food for our animals. And they are every bit as interesting as the fish!

  25. It seems like every time I get interested in doing something, up pops you with a video about what I want. Just Loving it! I have learned so much from you. THANK YOU!!!!

  26. Could you send me a cup full so I can start a culture? Actually all my tanks are freezing up now so I would have to start it in the house.  Yes I would be willing to pay shipping and what you think is fair for a cup or so…

  27. This is how I culture daphnia…
    Beside green water I use chicken manure with fermentated between molases and ex rice wash water…
    I've waited for about two days before putting in daphnia to it.
    the result is amazing…

  28. I have question. in my daphnia tank there are lot of white thing (seem looks like daphnia) at the bottom of the tank and they are not moving. Some of them are sticking on the wall. the daphnia also create some mucus/slime at the water surface. is it normal or should i remove the white thing or should i make new colony?.

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