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

Wookii

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It's entirely possible that the ratio of nutrients in the fish mix is such that all of some necessary nutrient for the chlorella is used up before all of the ammonia is purged that's why I'm keen to be able to test mine but it wouldn't necessarily explain why me and miranda don't seem to be having the same issue. It would be another huge point in favour of dry salts though. Lacking any dry salts I'm going to try a bottle with tropica specialised fertiliser and see how that goes.
The main reason I initially went with fishmix was that I'd used it before and it had the sugar in it. The guy from the parosphromenus project who really seemed to know what he was talking about when it came to chlorella and moina, and was speaking from experience, was also adamant that a 6-1 N-P ratio was ideal. Fishmix is 5-1 and was the closest I could find at the time.
Another thing to consider is that being an organic product the fish mix is likely to vary slightly from bottle to bottle.
I'm not at all married to the idea of using fishmix, I'd be really happy to find something that works better.

Yeah, I had wondered if the existing ammonia was linked to another nutrient running out, so I have added some micros and macros to the fish mix based cultures that I have decanted into bottles in the hope of using it up.

The main culture I have running now based on just dry salts seems to be running well, and I’m definitely seeing a decent growth in Chlorella. It’s hard to tell if it is as fast as the fish mix one, because the water in the dry salts version is clear, so it automatically looks less dense than the brown coloured fish mix version.

It’s is also difficult to know how much ferts should be added. I will periodically use a nitrate or phosphate test kit to test the mixture - I know these kits are inherently inaccurate, but all I’m looking for is a non-zero colouration value versus a zero colouration value, so they should be accurate for that rough test.

My main Moina culture has crashed completely now with no survivors, despite the water changes. However it is measuring zero ammonia and nitrite now, so I assume the sponge filter is cycled and doing its job.

The water it still heavily clouded though. I have no idea if that is Chlorella or bacteria or something else. As @MirandaB suggests, I have added loads of floating plants to the culture too. It’s the first time I’ve actually managed to get my red root floaters to turn bright red under the super high light of the AI Prime.

I wil carry on with the water changes on this tank with the aim of it being bacterially stable eventually. Then in a few weeks I’ll rematch some more Moina and add them.
 

Wookii

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Got my microfex from the Russian guy Alex today so I've got another variable for the moina cultures to keep things nice and confusing now. He also confirmed that in addition to maintaining several specific cultures of them (that he apparently really does harvest 500g from a day) he also keeps them on the bottom of his moina cultures. He actually mentioned this without me asking as a good way to keep a back up culture in case the main ones of worms crash.

Is that the guy on ebay @louis_last?
If so I just bought some off him too lol

Thats great, I’ll be interested to hear both of your experiences with them.

What is your process for looking after them? (In terms of feeding, maintenance, when to harvest etc?)
 

louis_last

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My main Moina culture has crashed completely now with no survivors, despite the water changes. However it is measuring zero ammonia and nitrite now, so I assume the sponge filter is cycled and doing its job.
That must be increidbly frustrating but it seems like only contamination with some kind of harmful bacteria could explain that, even when I've had a culture crash before I don't think I've ever actually had ALL the moina die off, just a sharp reduction in numbers.
I will try and get some more moina sent out to you before the end of the week.
 

louis_last

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Thats great, I’ll be interested to hear both of your experiences with them.

What is your process for looking after them? (In terms of feeding, maintenance, when to harvest etc?)
It seems the most productive method by far is to keep them on slabs of fine filter sponge laying in water almost level with the top of the sponge. You feed finely powdered porridge oats and pour off and replace the dirty water every few days. The water absolutely stinks but alex says it contains a lot of rotifers that you can also use to start cultures. The worms form a mass around the food exactly like grindal worms.
Or you can keep them in a moina culture.
 

Wookii

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It seems the most productive method by far is to keep them on slabs of fine filter sponge laying in water almost level with the top of the sponge. You feed finely powdered porridge oats and pour off and replace the dirty water every few days. The water absolutely stinks but alex says it contains a lot of rotifers that you can also use to start cultures. The worms form a mass around the food exactly like grindal worms.
Or you can keep them in a moina culture.

Thanks Louis, but it's fine. I literally have two and a half capsules full of cysts, and they hatched very easily last time, from less that 1/4 of a capsule, so if I need to restart again I can do without a problem.
 

Wookii

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I've just started another 2 Moina cultures as I'm a bit worried mine are approaching critical mass even though I'm taking quite a lot each day to feed :nailbiting:

Excellent stuff! Do you have some pictures Miranda, and details of how you are running your culture - temps water changes, feeding quantities etc?
 

MirandaB

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Courtesy of Potato Phone Productions here is a short clip of the culture from a couple of days ago lol.
That's a 12lt tank,no filter,water changes every other day and heater set at 19 just to give them a boost whilst it's still a bit chilly at night.
The other ones I've set up are larger tanks which are not heated to see how much difference the warmth makes.
Feeding roughly 250mls of Chlorella mix daily which they clear in 24 hours.
 

Wookii

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Courtesy of Potato Phone Productions here is a short clip of the culture from a couple of days ago lol.
That's a 12lt tank,no filter,water changes every other day and heater set at 19 just to give them a boost whilst it's still a bit chilly at night.
The other ones I've set up are larger tanks which are not heated to see how much difference the warmth makes.
Feeding roughly 250mls of Chlorella mix daily which they clear in 24 hours.


Thanks Miranda. How much water do you change? Are you using tap?
 

louis_last

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I think that your cooler temps might be playing a role in stability too @MirandaB, my culture never really gets above 22c and often dips down to around 18c or even cooler.
What temperature are you running @Wookii? Hopefully this recent issue really was just some flukey bacterial infection that doesn't reoccur with your next hatching but maybe the temperature gave it some advantage over the moina that it was able to exploit?
 

Wookii

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I think that your cooler temps might be playing a role in stability too @MirandaB, my culture never really gets above 22c and often dips down to around 18c or even cooler.
What temperature are you running @Wookii? Hopefully this recent issue really was just some flukey bacterial infection that doesn't reoccur with your next hatching but maybe the temperature gave it some advantage over the moina that it was able to exploit?

Yes quite possibly, thats a good point, the temperature is set at 25 degrees currently.

Do you think I should lower it then?
 

MirandaB

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Had a look at a sample of water from an outside tank that has gone the same colour as your culture @Wookii and it seems to be teeming with Paramecium,some Ciliates and algae.
Regarding temperature the Moina in the unheated tanks seem to be just as active as in the heated tank even though it's only lit by natural light.
 

Wookii

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Had a look at a sample of water from an outside tank that has gone the same colour as your culture @Wookii and it seems to be teeming with Paramecium,some Ciliates and algae.
Regarding temperature the Moina in the unheated tanks seem to be just as active as in the heated tank even though it's only lit by natural light.

Thanks Miranda - every time I do a big 95%+ water change in the Moina tank it just turns green again in a few days, so I’m starting to wonder if it’s just Chlorella blooming in the tap water under the very high light of the AI Prime?

The ammonia and nitrate tests are still coming back zero, and the snails are happily below the water line again, perhaps encouraged by all the floaters I’ve added.

So I’ll try and hatch some more Moina and add them to the tank to see what happens.

I’ve turned the temp down to 22 degrees also.
 

Wookii

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@louis_last and @MirandaB how have you both got on with your Microfex/Dero worms? Any updates and findings on looking after them? Have you tried feeding them to your fish yet - are they suitable for nano fish (e.g. Chilli's)?

I am having a decent level of success on growing Chlorella with the dry salt ferts. It does seem to take longer to get a high density than with the Fish Mix, though I may simply not be adding enough ferts, but I'm happy the dry salts work to grow Chlorella just fine. I also tried seeding a 2 litre bottle filled with nothing but tap water and got a decent amount of Chlorella growth just off that, so my tap water obviously contains a fair amount of ferts also.

My Moina tank is still running, without any Moina in it. I now have a thick layer of what I can only assume is Chlorella on the base of the tank - and the water is still pea soup green. I'm starting to think my issue with the tank previously was two fold - firstly I was inadvertently adding ammonia for the Chlorella/Fish mix culture that hadn't been used up by the Chlorella, and that caused the death of the Moina and the snails to try and exit the tank, plus a possible bacteria bloom. However I also think that the combination of very high light, and my tap water for water changes, was causing chlorella to bloom in the tank at the same time - obviously faster than the Moina could consume it.

The sponge filter has been running since my last update anyway, and I have no more ammonia, and the snails seem happy enough. So I've now hatched another batch of moina from the cysts I have, in a one litre shallow container, and I'm feeding them up on the Chlorella cultures I have, and they seem to be growing and breeding well, so I'm going to introduce most of them back into the Moina tank and see how they get on. In theory I shouldn't need to fed them until their population reaches the point that they eat up all the Chlorella that's already in the tank and clear the water (?).
 

MirandaB

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I'm struggling with the Microfex a bit,the problem is keeping them at the higher temperature in the shallow tubs Alex recommends so considering trying half of them in a tank type set up which would be easier to heat and I could then use some aeration.
They are very slow and you need a fair bit of patience before they really get going so fish haven't had any yet lol biggest downside is the smell 🤢🤮
My Moina cultures are crazy on the other hand,not had any issues with water quality at all with daily feeding and every other day water changing.
The one in the unheated tank just getting light from a window is only marginally slower at reproducing.
Not sure what light/how much light you give your Moina @Wookii but my heated culture has a JBL solar natur sitting about 2 inches from the water surface and on for about 6hrs a day with the rest just being ambient light in the shed.
 

Wookii

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I'm struggling with the Microfex a bit,the problem is keeping them at the higher temperature in the shallow tubs Alex recommends so considering trying half of them in a tank type set up which would be easier to heat and I could then use some aeration.
They are very slow and you need a fair bit of patience before they really get going so fish haven't had any yet lol biggest downside is the smell 🤢🤮
My Moina cultures are crazy on the other hand,not had any issues with water quality at all with daily feeding and every other day water changing.
The one in the unheated tank just getting light from a window is only marginally slower at reproducing.
Not sure what light/how much light you give your Moina @Wookii but my heated culture has a JBL solar natur sitting about 2 inches from the water surface and on for about 6hrs a day with the rest just being ambient light in the shed.

Oh, I didn't realise they smelt, or indeed that they needed to be in a shallow container? I had just planned to dump some in the bottom of my 20 litre Moina tank.

To answer your query on light I'm using an AI Prime at 100% over the tank, running for about 16 hours. From what you're saying, such high light intensity might not necessary, so I may revise that.

The good news is that the new Moina that I reintroduced to the tank seem to be doing well, and are still alive at least, and appear to be reproducing - I've seen babies. The water is also clearing rapidly, though I find it hard to believe that its the Moina doing it as there are so few of them currently. I still have a thick layer of Chlorella on the base of the tank, and I've added more ferts to keep it going and support the floaters, but the tank is clearing daily non-the-less. So here's hoping I have better luck this time around.
 

MirandaB

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Oh, I didn't realise they smelt, or indeed that they needed to be in a shallow container? I had just planned to dump some in the bottom of my 20 litre Moina tank.
Yes the smell is a bit of a downside lol Alex said he's kept them in with Moina before with no problems though,just not sure how you'd feed them like that???
 
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