Royalreefs Amphipods and Copepods for Sale

Whenever you receive your shipment of amphipods and copepods we want you to feel confident in the unboxing and introuduction to your aquarium. First we will explain the step by step process in achieving a successful introduction to your aquarium. Following this guide will be beneficial information on both amphipods and copepods separately.
1. All Amphipods and Copepods come in a bag with fiber media and a low amount of water. Pour the contents into a bucket/container containing about a cup of your aquarium water. TRY YOUR BEST NOT TO ADD WATER.
2. If you have a syphon tube, simply tie a loose knot to regulate the water flow syphoning from your aquarium into the container (3 -4 drops per second) for 20-30 minutes. If you do not have a syphon tube you can pour half a cup of your aquarium water into the container every 3-4 minutes withing a 20-30 minute period.
3. Once acclimated the Amphpods/Copepods may be added to your aquarium by lightly squeezing the filter media in the aquarium, pouring the contents into the aquarium (depending on how much you want to feed) or any preffered method of adding them to your aquarium.
4. Amphipods may be kept alive in a seperate container with an aerator for a long time depending on how well they are cared for in their environment. You do not have to add the entire portion into your aquarium however, if you do decide to keep some alive for seperate feedings do not forget to do water changes once a week for maximum success.


Amphipods are a family of malacostracan crustacean that are well known for their ability of scavenging. More than 1,700 species can be found in fresh bodies of water alone.the majority of amphipod species are saltwater species numbering higher than 8,100. They range in sizes of 1-342 millimeters however, do not be alarmed, royalreefs amphipods always range from 1-3 millimeteres.


Hiding under rocks, vegetation, shells or just about anything they can crawl under is where amphipods feel the most comfortable. Once added in to your aquarium the amphipods will have the habit or instinct to flee toward liverock and the sand bed. Being that they are scavengers amphipods can be seen more active at night and will graze and crawl throughout the rock and sand cautiously. encountering difficult or harsh conditions, amphipods have the ability to adapt to a new environment very quickly. Many believe that is why there are over 9,800 species.

Gender and Reproduction

Claws on the second thoracic segment identify males from females. The claws are what they use to grasp the female for mating.The male emits balls of sperm (spermatophores) to fertilize the eggs in the female externally. At times you may see male amphipods swimming with a clutched female. Once the eggs are fertilized the female will typically take 60 days to hatch the eggs. Being one of the most abundant creatures on the planet it is safe to say that they are active in reproduction. Reproduction in the aquarium can be attained in low numbers depending on the size and quantity of predators in the aquarium.


The thorax, abdomen and head are the three body parts of the amphipod which add up to 13 segments. The abdomen is split between the pleosome and the urosome. In the pereon are the gnathopods used to cling on to the female during procreation. The uropods are found in the pleon section of the body that are leg like and help the amphipod swim. Amphipods are said to be shrimp like however, the uropods on the amphipods pleon section do not form fan like tails like their shrimp cousins setting a big distinguishing barrier between the two species. On the head are two antennae that are considered to be sensory organs however, the antennae are not used for the same purpose throught the species.


Copepods are either planktonic (drifting) or benthic (living on the ocean floor) although there are other species that can live on coastlines where the water touches the shore or under wet or damp shrubbery. They can be found in so many different areas that many use them as indicators of the diversity and ecology of an area.Unlike the amphipods, copepods have no true thorax or abdomen. Copepods are used in the saltwater aquarium hobby as a great food source for many fish and saltwater invertebrates.


Cephalic apendages help copepods to navigate through the water. With these cephalic apendages copepods move through the water rapidly if need be to avoid danger or predators. Most of the time copepods drift with the water making small quick movements in propulsion towards a desired location. Staying still for the most part allows them to detect propulsion around them to be clear of fish or any other predators that may be near by.That is why seahorses and other cephalopods find it easy to consume copepods due to their quite and still behavior.


The male copepod uses his antennae to grab hold of the female and mate. After the male attaches a contained package of sperm to the female using his thoracic limbs the eggs will hatch in to a naupilus larvae. The next stage is the copepod larvae stage which is considered to be the adult stage. Reproducing in the aquarium is possible but is difficult. Seperate tanks are typically used for reproduction to achieve maximum success throughout the process. Depending on the conditions and environment the process from naupilus to adult can take even up to a year at times.
Stages 1.Naupilus Larvae 2.Adult copepod Larvae

Body and Details

Typically copepods are 1-2millimeters in length and maintain a tear drop body shape. being that live copepods are so small the have no need for a heart or any circulatory system. There are thousands of species of copepods and may vary slightly in body characteristics. Most copepods lack gills and breath through their core and into their bodies. Copepods are not as visible as amphipods but still provide a nutritious meal to many aquarium inhabitants.