Lets Talk about Pod eating fish

Discussion in 'General Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Paul B, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member

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    Lets talk about Pod eaters. We aquarists call anything small a Pod, but a Pod or copepod is a real animal unlike Pee Wee Herman or Weiner who are other things, but not pods. We also have amphipods which are much larger. If our tanks are healthy and the paired fish are spawning, like they should be, there will be tiny fish fry all over the place also. For this discussion, we can also call them pods because fish will eat them. (although they are not really pods)
    Again, if your tank is healthy and has some age to it, it will be loaded with "pods" or pod like animals and this is a good sign as they are the beginning of the food chain. If you keep moray eels, triggerfish, groupers, lionfish, whale sharks, manta rays or elephant seals pods are not that important.
    I personally like to keep smaller fish such as mandarins, pipefish, shrimpfish, ruby red dragonettes and an assortment of smaller cardinals and bleenies. All those types of fish really need something like a pod. Not an I Pod.
    Living pods are much better than make believe pods like frozen foods due to the fact that they reproduce on their own and are available for most of the day unless they are on a coffee break.
    Those types of fish need to eat all day and if you have no pods but you try to feed them a few times a day using frozen foods, those fish will slowly starve and more importantly, they will hate you.
    If you feed those fish I mentioned correctly, and they are paired, they will start to spawn in a couple of weeks.
    A fish such as a mandarin should live at least ten years and it will if it is fed correctly.

    If those fish are not spawning, you don't have enough "wild" pods in your tank and you should supplement them. I have plenty of wild pods but because I have about a dozen pod eaters so I supplement them every day using new born brine shrimp which I add to a feeder.
    New Born brine shrimp can just be added to a tank but the shrimp have a bad habit of being attracted to light so they will immediately head to the surface where they will get a nice tan, but at the same time, be hiding from the pod eaters which for the most part hunt at the bottom where real pods live.
    The feeder will keep the shrimp at the bottom where the fish can easily get to them.
    The thing is simple to build and it is almost self explanatory.
    It's basically a flat container with a nylon stocking on top. I found that inside a used RO cartridge there is a plastic mesh that works better as the sea urchins don't chew it up. A tube, no larger than 3/8" goes to a funnel on the surface. Shrimp are added with a small bit of water than washed down with another tablespoon of water. The shrimp stay in the container and try to get through the mesh where the fish pull them through and eat them, then they smile. The fish, not the shrimp which I would imagine are not smiling and probably have some sort of grimace on their face, but I try not to look at them too closely.

    Eating from the feeder





    Here they are eating New Born Shrimp just "squirted" in the water.
     
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  2. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    Great post on pods, pod eating fish and feeding them, @Paul B. The brine shrimp feeder is one of the reasons you have success with fish many others would consider impossible.
     
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  3. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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    It's very cool, but I assume you are breeding the new born brine shrimp to put in the feeder? How do you do that? Or is it common knowledge and I just don't know.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  4. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member

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    Dave, impossible fish are just a little harder :D

    Pat, I don't breed the shrimp. You buy brine shrimp eggs, they are rather inexpensive and you hatch them. I will write about that as I get time. :cool:
     
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  5. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    The procedure for hatching brine shrimp eggs is considered fairly common knowledge, especially if the your in to breeding fish in the FW hobby. Here is the recipe I have used for more years that I care to think about.

    Take a 1 gal jar. Use an air pump and air stone to circulate the water in it. It also helps if you prop the jar up on one side so it's at an angle.

    add 2 quarts of dechlorinated water. You can also use RO/DI water. The easy way is to just fill the jar half full.
    add 2 tablespoons of salt and let it dissolve. The cheep aquarium salt is all you need, but using a reef salt might give you a little better hatch.
    add up to 2 teaspoons of brine shrimp eggs. Mix them well.

    Note that it's two of everything, so it's easy to scale this mix up or down.

    Hatching takes from 36 to 48 hours, depending on temp. If you want a constant supply, you will need two jars, set up a day apart and rotate them.

    To harvest them, remove the airstone and let them settle out. You'll see the dark brown eggs float, or sink to the bottom. You'll see a band of orange above the eggs, which are the newly hatched shrimp.

    Use a length of airline tubing to siphon out that orange layer of shrimp, into a shrimp net or a handkerchief.

    You now can feed the collected shrimp to your fish or use it in a feeder like Paul's.
     
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  6. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member

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    I use this. I take old salt water that I changed from my tank and fill this thing with it. I put the eggs on the right side which is dark. Airate it for about 36 hours. The eggs hatch and I put the black cover on the right side. Slide open the door that separates a small hole between the sides and the shrimp all swim through the hole to the lighted, left side and the shells stay on the right side.
    Slide closed the door and drop that tube so nothing but shrimp and salt water come out. I do this every day.
    I start the eggs in water the day before so I get a hatching every day.
    This all takes less than 5 minutes a day and costs about $5.00 a month

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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  8. Uncle99

    Uncle99 Well-Known Member

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    Fresh brine shrimp.
    Fish say YUM, I let mine swim in phyto for 2-3 hours and serve them up to everyone in the tank. Increases the nutritional content
     
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  9. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member

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    Pat, I am a writer on that site as you may have found out. :cool:
     
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  10. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I was joking. That's your article I cited. I read a lot of your stuff over there. :)

    Well, I was kind of joking. I think it's good to have your more detailed article linked in this thread in case people want it.

    I'm in the process of creating one.
     
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  11. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member

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    Cool! :D
     
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  12. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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    My wife just asked me why I ordered women’s pantyhose on amazon.

    It turns out, “It’s for my fish ” isn’t an explanation that gets immediate buy in...
     
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    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  13. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member

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    LOL. :D
     
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  14. SMangels

    SMangels New Member

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    I am in the process of making one of these. So far so good, I took an old plastic petri dish and cut the top off of it. My big question is what to use for the mesh. I know Paul has suggested nylon stockings but I got into trouble stealing my wifes stockings the last time. There is some question about how tight to pull the stockings too. I was just wondering if there were any other suggestions for the mesh?
     
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  15. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    You can use just about any mesh fien enough to let the brine shrimp out and keep the fish from getting in. It's not too critical. I've used plastic window screen for similar applications.
     
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