Acartia tonsa description:A. tonsa is a pelagic (open water) calanoid copepod that offers new and exciting feeding opportunities for the marine keeper & breeder.Adults provide excellent food for Seahorses and corals, whilst the minute nauplii are especially useful for the cultivation of difficult to breed marine fish such as Mandarinfish & Pipefish.Aquacultured in the UK by Reefshotz using Reefshotz' unique blend of phytoplankton (available separately as AT Feed™).Store at room temperature and do not refrigerate. In the 200ml starter culture you will recieve between 100-150 adults.Acartia tonsa basic culturing advice Acartia tonsa have cannibalistic tendencies and adults will prey upon their nauplii. For successful culture it is important to regularly separate adults from nauplii. At the very least, an aquarist hoping to culture A. tonsa should have the following equipment: • 120 μm sieve (for retaining adults). • 56 μm sieve (for retaining nauplii). • Airline/airpump with means to regulate airflow. • Several suitably sized containers, the number and size will depend upon each individuals project needs. • Fresh live algae, preferably a mix of Isochrysis, Tetraselmis and a diatom species. A. tonsa are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures (and salinities) but, the best temperature for culturing is in the 15°C – 21°C range. Reefshotz’ A. tonsa cultures are reared in salt water with salinity typically between 31 ppt - 35 ppt. Often, ambient room temperatures will suffice to maintain this temperature, if your room temperature fluctuates by a few degrees during the course of the day, then a suitable aquarium heater should be used to maintain a constant temperature. Only light aeration is needed when starting out with a culture; although, in smaller cultures it is possible to forgo aeration as long as close attention is paid to water quality. Smaller volumes of water can be changed out easily enough, and 100% water changes every two weeks is good practice. A single 200 ml starter culture of A. tonsa will contain sufficient adults and nauplii to start up 1 litre of culture. Match salinity between the starter culture and your own water. Ambient light is sufficient, using strong lighting might encourage vigorous phytoplankton growth and this could put your culture in jeopardy. Feeding should be done sparingly, and if your culture water begins to gain a tint, then you are close to over feeding the culture, a water change can remedy this. In order to ensure success with a culture, it is important to separate adults from nauplii on a regular basis, every 4 – 7 days is good guideline when a small culture volume is being worked with. Once your culture is up to several litres in volume then separation can be every 7 – 14 days, or as needed. To separate adults from nauplii, simply pour your culture through a 120 μm sieve into a suitably sized container, ensuring that the retained adults remain submerged. Quickly decant the adults into a fresh container of seawater. The supernatant (which will contain all copepods smaller than 120 μm) should then be poured into a suitable container and this becomes part of your culture. In 9-14 days your nauplii should have reached adult stage, these adults can be added to your original broodstock.
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