Raising Rotifers to Feed to Clownfish Fry
Keeping rotifers can be a difficult task because they are almost microscopic and eat special food. Clownfish fry will only eat live rotifers so don’t even bother with dried or frozen rotifers. This also goes for flakes and powdered food. Rotifers are one of the best foods to use for breeding clownfish because they reproduce quickly, and provide excellent nutrition for the newborn fish. The rotifers are only as nutritious as the food that you feed them. Make sure to get a good food for the rotifers, such as Rotifer Diet or Nannochloropsis.
Rotifer Culture Supplies
5 gallon bucket
Rotifer food such as Rotifer Diet
Rotifer sieve or coffee filter
You will need a live rotifer culture. I usually get my rotifers from Reed-Mariculture. They have the best quality rotifers and always arrive alive. When you receive your culture, check the salinity of the water in the bag. Usually it is around 0.017. Fill the bucket with the same salinity water and add the contents of the bag to the water. Add rotifer diet to the water until the water is the desired color. It should be a light green color. Make sure the water is well aerated. An air stone and an air pump should be used and set on the lowest setting. You just want to aerate the water and not boil it. Check the water color often to make sure that it is the proper color. When you first get the rotifers, they will eat a lot of the algae in the water. You should check the water every day to make sure that it has enough algae. For the first 3 days, you should not harvest any of the rotifers. This will allow the population to return to normal. After 3 days you will need to harvest the rotifers every day. You should harvest the rotifers whether you have clownfish to feed or not. Use a rotifer sieve available on ebay or a coffee filter. Pour the rotifer water through the filter until about 1/3 of the water has passed through the filter. Next you will need to wash the rotifers off of the filter. Soak the filter or sieve in the clownfish fry tank water or wash the rotifers off of the filter into the tank.
Clownfish fry will not eat much for the first 12-24 hours after hatching. They will still be using the nutrients from their yolk sacks. After about 24 hours they will be looking for food. You will be able to see them eating the rotifers. The clownfish will be swimming around the tank and come to something and stop, bend their tail and then dart forward. This is how they hunt for food. Every week you will need to change the water in the rotifer tank. I usually take out about 2 gallons of water out of the bucket. I start a siphon and run the water through the coffee filter or sieve. Anything in the filter is put back in the bucket and the water is replaced with fresh saltwater. Good luck with your rotifers.
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