• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

HOW TO: Clean, easy and highly nutritious greenwater culture for Daphnia and Moina.

louis_last

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
265
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
Here's a fresh culture I started, container size is just under two litres, round and low, no aeration or heater. I added a few strands of hay, a fat ramshorn, and chlorella to a 32oz plastic cup until I couldn't see through the water anymore, and about 20 adult moina appoximately a week ago, maybe ten days. I can't remember the exact day I set this one up last week but I think it was around the same time I sent out your starters. Once they had cleared the water in the cup, after approx four days, there were a noticeably larger number of moina in the cup, at that point I poured the whole thing into this approx 2l round plastic tupperware and added another 32oz of fresh water from my aquarium and more chlorella until I couldn't see through the container. This is it's current state. By tomorrow it will probably need feeding again.

 

louis_last

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
265
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
Do you ever see any dead Moina in your cultures then?
In my large master culture there is normally a bit of an accumulation in the centre of their shed exoskeletons and a few dead adults. In my experience if there's a lot of dead adults the culture is crashing, they don't tend to die faster than the ramshorns eat them otherwise.
These ones are in the UK:

Don't know how I missed this, have ordered a starter culture right now. If it comes with plenty I'll stick a pinch in the post to you. The pictures in this listing look a little too large to be dero worms though, I wonder if he's actually just selling tubifex but giving it a more exotic name. Several people on ebay sold me regular daphnia as 'moina' before I was able to source the real deal.

EDIT - cancelled the order, I didn't notice that it's collection only down on the south coast of england. Weird that they wont post them though, I've messaged them to see if they can.
 
Last edited:

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,360
Location
Nottingham
Here's a fresh culture I started, container size is just under two litres, round and low, no aeration or heater. I added a few strands of hay, a fat ramshorn, and chlorella to a 32oz plastic cup until I couldn't see through the water anymore, and about 20 adult moina appoximately a week ago, maybe ten days. I can't remember the exact day I set this one up last week but I think it was around the same time I sent out your starters. Once they had cleared the water in the cup, after approx four days, there were a noticeably larger number of moina in the cup, at that point I poured the whole thing into this approx 2l round plastic tupperware and added another 32oz of fresh water from my aquarium and more chlorella until I couldn't see through the container. This is it's current state. By tomorrow it will probably need feeding again.


That is a good level of growth - better than mine for sure I'd say. Did you have a light over it?

The food source must be the key - hopefully when the chlorella is up and running, I can improve things.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,360
Location
Nottingham
In my large master culture there is normally a bit of an accumulation in the centre of their shed exoskeletons and a few dead adults. In my experience if there's a lot of dead adults the culture is crashing, they don't tend to die faster than the ramshorns eat them otherwise.

Don't know how I missed this, have ordered a starter culture right now. If it comes with plenty I'll stick a pinch in the post to you. The pictures in this listing look a little too large to be dero worms though, I wonder if he's actually just selling tubifex but giving it a more exotic name. Several people on ebay sold me regular daphnia as 'moina' before I was able to source the real deal.

Happy to go halves with you on it, but I won't take any until I know I've got the tank stable for them.
 

louis_last

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
265
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
That is a good level of growth - better than mine for sure I'd say. Did you have a light over it?

The food source must be the key - hopefully when the chlorella is up and running, I can improve things.
When it was in the plastic cup it was on the windowsill during the day but once I moved it into the tupperware I put it under the same 24hr LED as my master culture. Presumably when a culture that's been fed heavily with chlorella is exposed to a reasonable amount of light it will continue to grow in the moina culture vessel using whatever nutrients are available - just not faster than the moina can eat it.
 

louis_last

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
265
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
These ones are in the UK:

So I actually ended up chatting to this guy on the phone. He had some interesting things to say, he's from Russia, apparently these are the go to live food over there for breeding all kinds of fish.
Supposedly they can be absurdly productive under the proper conditions, he mentioned sometimes being able to harvest half a kilo a day from his 'farm' and that he was surprised by how relatively unknown they are over here. He said they have a name in russian though that means something like 'fragile' because of how delicate they are known to be.
He was a really cool guy but said he couldn't contemplate shipping any for another month due to their susceptability to temperature fluctuations in shipping.
They're culturing them with what we know as the soilless grindalworm culture method using filter sponge sitting in water as substrate and very regularly flushing and replacing the water in the container.
I've never seen anything suggesting to keep them on sponge like grindal worms before. Seems like it could make a big difference.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,360
Location
Nottingham
So I actually ended up chatting to this guy on the phone. He had some interesting things to say, he's from Russia, apparently these are the go to live food over there for breeding all kinds of fish.
Supposedly they can be absurdly productive under the proper conditions, he mentioned sometimes being able to harvest half a kilo a day from his 'farm' and that he was surprised by how relatively unknown they are over here. He said they have a name in russian though that means something like 'fragile' because of how delicate they are known to be.
He was a really cool guy but said he couldn't contemplate shipping any for another month due to their susceptability to temperature fluctuations in shipping.
They're culturing them with what we know as the soilless grindalworm culture method using filter sponge sitting in water as substrate and very regularly flushing and replacing the water in the container.
I've never seen anything suggesting to keep them on sponge like grindal worms before. Seems like it could make a big difference.

Interesting, did you discuss keeping them to feed Moina? I've never heard of keeping Grindal worms in sponge. I keep mine on Coco Coir and have no issues with that - it still amazes me every time I open the tubs that there is absolutely no odour or mould from a damp substance kept in a plastic tub for over a year! Did he recommend anything for feeding the Dero worms?

So you won't be getting the worms for another month then? That works for me, as hopefully I'll have my Moina converted over to Chlorella by then.

I've also ordered a corner sponge filter for the tank to try. If I find it doesn't suck all the Moina in, I'll put it in my main filter for a couple of weeks to seed it before installing it properly.


717x3N2GbcL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 

louis_last

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
265
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
Interesting, did you discuss keeping them to feed Moina?
You know I actually forgot to ask, I'll find out.
I've never heard of keeping Grindal worms in sponge. I keep mine on Coco Coir and have no issues with that - it still amazes me every time I open the tubs that there is absolutely no odour or mould from a damp substance kept in a plastic tub for over a year! Did he recommend anything for feeding the Dero worms?
For grindal worms I don't think keeping them on sponge makes them any more productive, it's just to try and avoid soil mites and make it marginally easier to harvest them. I think the notion is that with the microfex the extra oxygen whilst still keeping them saturated but elevated out of most of the waste allows for faster reproduction.
So you won't be getting the worms for another month then? That works for me, as hopefully I'll have my Moina converted over to Chlorella by then.
Most likely, I'll keep you posted. I might crack and try ordering some from Denmark but the russian guy, Alex, was so confident that they wouldn't arrive alive that he said he'd been tempted to order some himself just to see how the guy was packing them. Apparently he's been sending them to himself in the post by next day delivery and they all die. He wasn't even sure why, he said that sometimes they die after just four hours without food. apparently they are really famous in russia for being one of the best livefoods but also being nearly impossible to ship. He's going to send me some links to russian sites about them.
I have these or something almost identical growing in the water feature of my vivarium and I'm managing to suck quite a few out with a pipette. I don't have high hopes for them making things any simpler in the production of moina but if I can get them reproducing in the mulm on the bottom of the cultures it's just a bonus source of livefood.
I've also ordered a corner sponge filter for the tank to try. If I find it doesn't suck all the Moina in, I'll put it in my main filter for a couple of weeks to seed it before installing it properly.


717x3N2GbcL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
I've read so many reports from people saying that a sponge filter has made a big difference that I think it must do.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,360
Location
Nottingham
So I reorganised things a bit, pressed my AI Prime into service to light the Moina tank - a very strong light, and clearly overkill but it lights the tank up great and leaves the old Fluval strip light to cover both Chlorella tubs length ways.

One Chlorella tub matured long before the other because it was getting a lot more light previously. So one is being used now and the other should be ready in a few days.

So after a week of pretty much no growth in Moina population I did a 95% water change, and then added in a litre of Chlorella.

BC1EA6D4-54DA-4DEC-BAC9-8EDAE270A763.jpeg


That was a couple of days ago, and the Moina population has exploded again:

4E255CCC-D025-4D40-A66B-1FBAB0CFE151.jpeg


The Chlorella definitely looks to be the way forward @louis_last so thanks for starting this thread and the Chlorella starter. Now I just need to figure out the necessary feeding frequency.

What do you think, on a 20 litre container - how much Chlorella mix should I add and how frequently? How clear does it need to get before I add more?
 
Last edited:

louis_last

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
265
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
I was just about to ask how you were getting on, I'm very glad to see things are working out! Obviously the whole point is you don't have to worry quite as much about water quality as you do with yeast so I would just top it up whenever you notice it getting clearer. I often make the water almost totally opaque with chlorella and only have to add more every few days, I'm not sure whether it's even possible to overfeed with living algae although presumably at a certain density it would start to have a negative effect. I think it's quite important to make sure the chlorella culture has used up most of the fishmix before you start feeding it. You can tell by the smell, a fresh batch smells pretty funky but chlorella that's ready for harvest just smells a little grassy.
The moinas behaviour really changes depending on how much algae or even yeast is in the water but I have no idea yet what this indicates. At certain food concentrations the moina all cluster together incredibly densely in a sort of swarm, at others they seem to distribute themselves fairly evenly throughout the water column, sometimes they exhibit such strong phototropism that you can play with them like a cat with a laser pointer using an LED torch and sometimes they barely react at all. Have you noticed this?
I'm producing way more greenwater than I need at the moment with two 5L bottles and a few tweaks like building a silver foil lined box to hold the bottles seemed to make quite a big difference. It takes almost exactly 1 week for both bottles to mature and 5L represents food for more than a week for my 10L moina culture.
Have you had any luck with the ceriodaphnia? I'm getting pretty good numbers from them now, they seem to do nothing and then all the adults moult all at once and suddenly you have loads. The newly hatched ceriodaphnia are literally invisible to the naked eye which makes it much less obvious when the population is first starting to grow.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,360
Location
Nottingham
I was just about to ask how you were getting on, I'm very glad to see things are working out! Obviously the whole point is you don't have to worry quite as much about water quality as you do with yeast so I would just top it up whenever you notice it getting clearer. I often make the water almost totally opaque with chlorella and only have to add more every few days, I'm not sure whether it's even possible to overfeed with living algae although presumably at a certain density it would start to have a negative effect. I think it's quite important to make sure the chlorella culture has used up most of the fishmix before you start feeding it. You can tell by the smell, a fresh batch smells pretty funky but chlorella that's ready for harvest just smells a little grassy.
The moinas behaviour really changes depending on how much algae or even yeast is in the water but I have no idea yet what this indicates. At certain food concentrations the moina all cluster together incredibly densely in a sort of swarm, at others they seem to distribute themselves ufairly evenly throughout the water column, sometimes they exhibit such strong phototropism that you can play with them like a cat with a laser pointer using an LED torch and sometimes they barely react at all. Have you noticed this?

I have noticed the reaction to light seems a bit random. In the photo above there are a load of Moina clustered frantically under the light, but towards the rear of the tank, there are even more that seem completely oblivious to it.

I have wondered if they seem to do it more when the light first comes on as well. Do they need the light for vitamin D perhaps?

I'm producing way more greenwater than I need at the moment with two 5L bottles and a few tweaks like building a silver foil lined box to hold the bottles seemed to make quite a big difference. It takes almost exactly 1 week for both bottles to mature and 5L represents food for more than a week for my 10L moina culture.

My well lit bottle took a week to go fully green and the brown tinge disappear. I didn’t smell it to be honest. Mine are 4 litre containers with about 3.5 litres of liquid in. I can see one container lasting about a week or more if I ladle some into the tank every evening.

I still get clumping in the bottom though even stirring the bottle vigorously and running a decent sized airstone pretty strongly 24/7.

Have you had any luck with the ceriodaphnia? I'm getting pretty good numbers from them now, they seem to do nothing and then all the adults moult all at once and suddenly you have loads. The newly hatched ceriodaphnia are literally invisible to the naked eye which makes it much less obvious when the population is first starting to grow.

No, I’ve not had much luck with these unfortunately. The population increased a little, then died back significantly. I’m not really set up to give them a proper try at the minute though.
 

louis_last

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
265
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
I still get clumping in the bottom though even stirring the bottle vigorously and running a decent sized airstone pretty strongly 24/7.
As far as the clumping/settling goes it seems like if it's allowed to settle too much initially it takes longer to resolve itself. I'm using a cheap airpump from amazon that's not very powerful for the big 5L bottles so particularly when they're fresh I still give them a good shake once a day. In the current batch I shook one of the bottles less because it was in a slightly more awkward position and as a result even now that both bottles are fully colonised it still has more sedimentation than the other bottle.
The technical term for this is flocculation and my next experiment is going to be with promoting ALL the algal cells to settle clump and settle out of the solution so that I can try making a gel food for shrimp/otocinclus using actual living chlorella. It's the main ingredient in repashy supergreen but a huge amount of nutritional value is lost in the freeze drying process used to produce the chlorella powder that they use - a gel food made with living chlorella should be far superior.
 

MirandaB

Member
Joined
28 Apr 2013
Messages
887
Location
Suffolk/Norfolk Border
I thought I'd lost my moina as a couple of days in a lot of adults died off but it's bounced back!
Just gone with doing the Chlorella in several 2lt bottles standing in the window of the fish shed,agitating twice a day by hand and it's taking roughly 3 days to go lovely and green :thumbup:
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,360
Location
Nottingham
As far as the clumping/settling goes it seems like if it's allowed to settle too much initially it takes longer to resolve itself. I'm using a cheap airpump from amazon that's not very powerful for the big 5L bottles so particularly when they're fresh I still give them a good shake once a day. In the current batch I shook one of the bottles less because it was in a slightly more awkward position and as a result even now that both bottles are fully colonised it still has more sedimentation than the other bottle.
The technical term for this is flocculation and my next experiment is going to be with promoting ALL the algal cells to settle clump and settle out of the solution so that I can try making a gel food for shrimp/otocinclus using actual living chlorella. It's the main ingredient in repashy supergreen but a huge amount of nutritional value is lost in the freeze drying process used to produce the chlorella powder that they use - a gel food made with living chlorella should be far superior.

Sounds like a good plan - I make up my own gel food for the shrimp and Otos, with loads of different stuff in it, including dried Chlorella and spirulina, using Agar Agar as the base. It’s works really well. The fish and shrimp love it, if they get to beat the snails to it:

D483BC1E-D372-4CE5-81B6-64A980F357FE.jpeg


As the weather is getting better, I’ve decided to have a go at an outdoor culture too. This 60 litre plastic tub had a load of small lava rock pieces in it from an old growing on tank I had set up last year. They’ve been sitting outside in the container, with the lid on, for about 6 months, so I’m hoping they’re still heavily colonised with bacteria. I’ve added 50 litres of tap water with Prime, and 50ml of Biobizz, and seeded it with a litre of green water.

D480385E-A450-4E83-B0A9-74D7E4CF57DC.jpeg


In that spot in the patio it’ll get direct sunlight for about 6-7 hours a day. I’ll keep the lid on in the hope of keeping other bugs out, and if it does green up, I’ll seed it with some Moina and see how they fair. All purely experimental!

9266BD91-1B08-4281-97D1-E126857DD130.jpeg
 

louis_last

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
265
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
I thought I'd lost my moina as a couple of days in a lot of adults died off but it's bounced back!
Just gone with doing the Chlorella in several 2lt bottles standing in the window of the fish shed,agitating twice a day by hand and it's taking roughly 3 days to go lovely and green :thumbup:
That's pretty fast! it took longer than that when I was doing them on the windowsill.
 

louis_last

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
265
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
Sounds like a good plan - I make up my own gel food for the shrimp and Otos, with loads of different stuff in it, including dried Chlorella and spirulina, using Agar Agar as the base. It’s works really well. The fish and shrimp love it, if they get to beat the snails to it:

View attachment 166433

As the weather is getting better, I’ve decided to have a go at an outdoor culture too. This 60 litre plastic tub had a load of small lava rock pieces in it from an old growing on tank I had set up last year. They’ve been sitting outside in the container, with the lid on, for about 6 months, so I’m hoping they’re still heavily colonised with bacteria. I’ve added 50 litres of tap water with Prime, and 50ml of Biobizz, and seeded it with a litre of green water.

View attachment 166436

In that spot in the patio it’ll get direct sunlight for about 6-7 hours a day. I’ll keep the lid on in the hope of keeping other bugs out, and if it does green up, I’ll seed it with some Moina and see how they fair. All purely experimental!

View attachment 166435
This is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping to see when I sent out these cultures. Please let us know how this works out, if you do get good growth of the chlorella in here you could try adding chicken manure with the moina to act as fertiliser for the chlorella and a source of various fungi etc. for the moina.
 
Top