This post will tell you a lot you should know about breeding Amphipods. If you are considering doing so then great! But we must tell you what you are in for!
What is an Amphipod?
The Amphipod or Amphipoda is the largest crustacean of the six classes. They can be found in fresh or saltwater Ranging in sizes from 1 to over 300 millimeters in length. They are eaten by the smallest of fish to huge whales which is why they are highly favored in the aquarium industry. Amphipods for sale are even used as clean up crews at times since they are excellent scavengers.
If you want more information on Amphipods and Copepods click here.
Well the motivating force behind this is simple, If you can breed them then you do not ever have to purchase them again. What is better than having a consistent free source of the best live fish food you can feed to your saltwater aquarium fish and invertebrates? Yes i said it, Best live fish food you can feed your saltwater inhabitants. Amphipods are a healthy, high protein and natural food source that strengthen and color up your fish, corals and more as they instinctively would in their natural environment, In fact many fish die or struggle getting used to flake food since it is not what they are used to seeing or eating.
How to Breed
Breeding Amphipods can be simple yet time consuming. If you are not patient this is not for you. Here we will tell you step by step how to make a setup that will successfully breed amphipods however, keep in mind the amount of amphipods you would like to feed weekly or monthly. The size of this setup will determine the amount of amphipods that can be used weekly or monthly, water changes and the maximum capacity of amphipods it can hold at a comfortable growing rate. 1000 amphipods is reccomended per 5 gallons for optimal results. “The less amphipods you have per gallon the less maintenance”. Here is what you need:
- Container of your size preference
- Air Stone
- Air Line
- Corrugated Plastic or macro algae(chaeto-ulva Lettuce)
- Form of lighting on a timer
- Fine Mesh Net
Temperature– The temperature should be between 72-80 degrees. If the water is cold this will slow down their metabolism and you will get slower reproductive activity. The water being too warm will cause hyper activity making the water dirty and toxic much quicker than it should, and can also cook them. If your home temperature drops frequently then you may consider using a small heater.
Lighting– You can get away with using a light with very low wattage since Amphipods do not need intense lighting however, If you are using macro algae as the home then it would benefit you most to have sufficient lighting for growth. 8-10 hours is sufficient daily lighting for them to thrive.
Feeding– Amphipods should be fed once every two days minimum for optimal growth. If macro algae is not present feed dried seaweed or crushed up flake food. Best to feed an hour after the lighting turns off.
Water Changes– If breeding 1000 amphipods per 5 gallons, 25% of the water should be changed every 5 days to a week.“The less amphipods you have per gallon the less maintenance”. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you can see the bottom of your preferred container at all times. To perform a water change siphon or pour water into a fine mesh net to be sure not to take amphipods out. Place netted amphipods back into container with fresh salt water.
Harvesting– Do not begin harvesting until one full month has passed since startup. To harvest use a fine mesh net feeding 1/10 of the population weekly or 4/10 monthly. Keep an eye on the population as to not overfeed for sufficient reproduction.
Are They Worth Breeding?
This answer can vary depending on who is reading this however, generally speaking the answer is yes. Amphipods make your aquarium feel like home instinctively and the savings financially are a plus too since buying them can be pricey,The benefits continue. But lets be honest not everyone wants to take the time to breed these guys so it wont be worth it to the person with a busy schedule, especially when yields can be low or a small mistake (like forgetting a water change) can cause all your effort to go to waste. If you have the time this is a great option, if not you can just buy them here and not worry about the task of breeding.
Truth About Reproduction
This is the best live food for your saltwater aquarium, so we understand why many go to great lengths to breed these guys but we want you to know what you are in for! If you are attempting to breed Amphipods in your aquarium you “might” have success (depending on conditions) but nothing close to the yields you will get when breeding in a separate (container) environment. When breeding in a separate container your yields can be enough to occasionally nourish your aquarium and the process can be as easy or as daunting as you make it. Amphipods are of the fastest reproducers on the planet but they will never reproduce as fast as they do in the wild. The Success rates of breeding in the aquarium are very low!
Amphipod Breeding kit?
Thought about buying one? If you do some research, all that are included in the Amphipod breading kits are Amphipods and a form of macro algae as a food source. All the other equipment you will have to get on your own. Everyone who has attempted to breed Amphipods has used equipment unique and convenient to their situation, In the end you are making your own full Amphipod breeding kit. Our recommendation is to focus on purchasing a large amount of Amphipods for results that are worth the effort, Amphipods are great scavengers and can do well off of crushed flake food as a food source if macro algae is not present.
If there is any information you believe should be added to this article please comment!