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Daphnia from the local pond.

oldbloke

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23 May 2013
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Just found out that about 50 yds from my front door, there is a pond.
Can I just net it for daphnia then add it to my tank? Apart from things like dragonfly larva and the like, is there anything to worry about?
It is fish free.

Cheers.
 

sa80mark

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2 Oct 2007
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Leicester
I used to collect my own and put them in a 50l container in the garden then when I needed them for fry just net some out and fed direct to the tanks, never had any problems at all
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I would be very cautious. There is always the risk of introducing some of the many critters you find in a natural pond, into you Aquarium.
I've used live food pond food since the 1970's, honestly the risks are far out-weighed by the benefits. The chances of introducing creatures that are going to be predatory is really small. If you are worried about them you can always quarantine your Daphnia before feeding.
Not to mention items discarded in the water. Im not prepared to take the risk.
Daphnia are actually really sensitive creatures, they are used a lot in the water industry in bioassays. They are your canary, if you have swimming Daphnia you don't have toxic levels of any pollutants. I add them to my water butts for just this reason.
I play safe and only use enriched frozen
There isn't really any comparison between live and frozen food. Personally I think live food you collected, or cultured, yourself is probably the safest food you can feed. I wouldn't feed frozen blood-worms, but I'm happy to feed the ones I've ranched myself.

cheers Darrel
 

killi69

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I was actually going to post the same question about risks of feeding live daphnia caught in ponds.

Year ago, I used to catch daphnia and cyclops all the time and fed them without any problems. I have recently found a pond full of the stuff and have started again. I leave the daphnia in a light coloured bucket for at least an hour. Blood suckers/ fish lice etc will stick to the side of the bucket and you will be able to observe any larger free swimming creatures that may be harmful to fish such as dragon fly larvae and the like.

What about the smaller types of parasites though? I have done some research on the web and understand that many fish carry parasites and that it is very natural for fish to have these anyway. Only when fish are weakened or living in unsatisfactory environments do they succumb to parasites. Another argument for feeding self caught daphnia (as opposed to only buying live food from shops) is that live food suppliers often source their daphnia from the wild anyway. On the other hand, I have come across articles spelling out the dangers of parasites carried by daphnia such as camallanus worms http://www.fishchannel.com/fish-health/freshwater-conditions/camallanus-worms.aspx

Recently, a large percentage of daphia in the pond I collect from have turned from red to white. One explanation I have read is that their colour can vary because of a change in weather and change in diet (can also be related to fluctuating algae/ daphnia blooms in water). Other accounts I have read is that internal infestations by parasites can turn daphnia white. Because of this I have become worried recently and stopped feeding to my main tank as the species of killifish and anabantoids in there would be hard to replace. I have been feeding them to fish in my office tank to see whether any become ill in a few weeks' time.

Am I being paranoid and I should just let all my fish benefit of the tons of daphnia out there? The ponds out there are absolutely teeming at the moment, it takes seconds to catch more than you need.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
On the other hand, I have come across articles spelling out the dangers of parasites carried by daphnia such as camallanus worms
Camallanus worms
Yes, Camallanus worms are very nasty, and in the wild they are vectored by copepods like Cyclops (they have an alternating life cycle as shown in the figure on the link). I had some Apistogramma "Blue-Steel" that succumbed to them, and it started me looking to see whether they had come from the live food I fed. What I found was that Camallanus transmission is nearly always from fish to fish, and that a lot of commercially farmed fish from SE Asia are absolutely riddled with it. I'd be wary of feeding Daphnia from a pond with fish in it, but if the pond has fish in it, it is very unlikely that there will be collectable amounts of Daphnia.
Recently, a large percentage of daphia in the pond I collect from have turned from red to white. One explanation I have read is that their colour can vary because of a change in weather and change in diet (can also be related to fluctuating algae/ daphnia blooms in water). Other accounts I have read is that internal infestations by parasites can turn daphnia white.
It is diet, the red colour comes from carotenoid pigments in the algae the Daphnia eat. I find the ones from the the water butts are pretty well see through, whilst the ones from the buckets in the light are fairly red. If you want to make the see through ones change colour you can feed them paprika powder (the spice) or astaxanthin powder (the green algae Haematococcus pluvialis is both common in shallow water (it is the "red scum" in bird baths) and the commercial source of astaxanthin).
Because of this I have become worried recently and stopped feeding to my main tank as the species of killifish and anabantoids in there would be hard to replace. I have been feeding them to fish in my office tank to see whether any become ill in a few weeks' time.
You can always culture your Daphnia, which removes the worry about parasites. The links on Caudata.org are very useful: < Results from experimentation with Daphnia Cultures- Alternate Feeding - Caudata.org Newt and Salamander Forum> & <Daphnia>.

cheers Darrel
 

killi69

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I'd be wary of feeding Daphnia from a pond with fish in it, but if the pond has fish in it, it is very unlikely that there will be collectable amounts of Daphnia.
Thanks Darrel. The pond does have fish in it (large carp) but also masses and masses of daphnia. So basically, you'd think there is a risk involved then in feeding daphnia from here. Do you know anything about internal infestations of parasites turning daphnia white?
Regards,
Andre
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
but also masses and masses of daphnia. So basically, you'd think there is a risk involved then in feeding daphnia from here.
Interesting I hadn't considered that, I suppose the carp are too large to bother with the Daphnia. I think in this case the risk would still be minimal as the fish aren't eating the Daphnia and any internal parasites wouldn't be being transferred from host to host.
Do you know anything about internal infestations of parasites turning daphnia white?
A little bit, but not from a fish parasite context: <The Ebert Group | Evolutionary Biology | Universität Basel>.

cheers Darrel
 

oldbloke

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23 May 2013
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Hi all,

Interesting I hadn't considered that, I suppose the carp are too large to bother with the Daphnia. I think in this case the risk would still be minimal as the fish aren't eating the Daphnia and any internal parasites wouldn't be being transferred from host to host.
A little bit, but not from a fish parasite context: <The Ebert Group | Evolutionary Biology | Universität Basel>.

cheers Darrel


I would say carp are very unlikely to bother with daphnia.
 

dean

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6 Apr 2012
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Where do you think the live food that shops sell come from?

It's collected from the wild, nothing is farmed as its too costly with the exception of brine shrimp.

Virtually all live bloodworm comes in via holland from Eastern Europe

Collectors keep their daphnia ponds top secret ;)
I'm a great fan of live food, It's a steak dinner compared to a noodle pot for fish
 

Mike Edwardes

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17 Jun 2013
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I grow Daphnia in tubs in the garden, but I would be wary of using it directly from ponds containing fish. Each netful gets well washed under cold running water then tipped into an inch of water in a white margarine tub - the white background makes it easy to spot any undesirable macroscopic intruders and pick them out.
 
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