Posted 11 April 2008 - 02:48 PM
Posted 12 April 2008 - 06:22 AM
You and I share a fascination with the itty bitty critters [scientific term].
With the daphnia you sent me and the ones I collected myself, along with various copepods and other animacules, I have a whole collection of captive critter colonies going now. It has long ago evolved into something more than a live food interest. Access to low and high powered microscopes make it much more fun of course.
Right now I'm enjoying checking out a colony of tiny hydra that have appeared in one of my infusoria cultures. I had no idea that freshwater hydra could host sympiotic algae just like coral. They're beautiful!
Posted 16 April 2008 - 01:30 PM
Here are the pictures I promised. Not the best quality, but you get the idea. The individual rotifers (are they ramets or genets? I don't know. They're all connected at the base) sway around a little; a rap on the glass will cause the colony to contract to about 1/3 its normal diameter. The heart-shaped corona at the distal end of each rotifer is constantly flailing its cilia.
The second colony above is the grayish blob on the tip of the leaf extending furthest to the left from this 2.5" high plant, just to give you a sense of scale.
The tank's top predators, some Ambystoma talpoideum larvae I've raised from an egg mass, have so far not been preying on the rotifers. They prefer moving prey.
Posted 16 April 2008 - 02:46 PM
Posted 16 April 2008 - 02:58 PM
Posted 16 April 2008 - 03:53 PM
There are at least a dozen colonies that I can see. If I untangle the mass of knotweed and callitriche in the center of the tank I'm sure I'll find many more. Do you want me to send you some?
Sure, if you think you have enough to spare. What do you think they are eating? I wonder if a bacterial infusion would keep them happy. I'm imagining keeping them in a small specimen container, like a gallon jar.
Posted 16 April 2008 - 04:01 PM
I'm sure they're feeding on suspended particles, but whether it's debris, bacteria, algae, or protists I couldn't say. They're in an mildly aerated, unfiltered tank with moderate lighting and some direct sunlight. There isn't much suspended algae, as the tank is full of daphnia, but the rotifers are apparently getting enough of something to survive.
PM me your shipping address and I'll send them off ASAP. Unfortunately, the possible Heteranthera I had have gone to the big pond in the sky, but I'll be happy to try and rustle you up some other plants. Any requests?
Posted 16 April 2008 - 04:10 PM
Other plants? Tempt me.
I'll PM you to wrap up.
Posted 16 April 2008 - 04:40 PM
Posted 16 April 2008 - 06:59 PM
They remind me of bryzoans that I sometimes get on saltwater plants and rocks.
I'm in a search for ever smaller critters, rotifers in particular so I can raise fry from my saltwater damsalfish. I don't think sessile organisms would work though, and those look a bit large.
BTW, I've been getting blooms of all sorts of tiny stuff, paramecium being the only one I've id, by adding squeezings from filter media from some of my swampier tanks to containers of pond plants and bottom scum. My belief is the filter bacteria bloom on the rich pond water and the bacteria feeders follow. Of course, cyclops, daphnia and hydra soon follow so the little critters thin out quick but it's fun.
I'm gonna have to break down and order some rotifer cultures online.
Posted 16 April 2008 - 09:24 PM
Posted 16 April 2008 - 09:39 PM
Kanus- I'll be happy to send you some. Just give me a shout when you want them.
Posted 17 April 2008 - 12:29 AM
These guys sound so cool! I wonder if the colonies, when harvested, could be use as live food for something? Can the rotifers move if the colonies are disbanded?
Posted 17 April 2008 - 09:41 AM
I don't think the rotifers would survive being disbanded; they are all fused together at the base. They might twitch for a while.
Altogether, I don't see them as a practical live food source. You can't just scoop them up like microcrustaceans, etc.; you would have to grow them on a substrate (maybe crosspoint material?), then place that substrate in your tank until the fish pick it clean.
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