One thing we love about copepods is their general hardiness. Since they often live in harsh,
unstable natural environments, they are built to withstand a variety of physical and
physiological abuses. Generally, when we pour a whole bag full of hundreds of individual pods
into the tank, it can be pretty certain that enough seed stock will survive the trauma to
eventually gain a foothold and, hopefully, reproduce. This rather straightforward method of
introduction certainly makes adding pods easy.
Still, in order to bring your pod population to carrying capacity (i.e. the highest sustainable
density) in the shortest time possible using some small number of individuals in a starter
culture, you must maximize survival of the recruits. This means acclimating your starter pods!
Again, sure, they're tough and many will "make it." But obtaining high yields in short time using
small starter cultures requires a little bit of TLC.
Acclimating copepods is simple. One might pour the contents of the package into a bucket. A
drip line is set up to very slowly trickle water into the bucket until the shipping water has been
diluted with tank water by a factor of at least four or five. Be sure that the tank water and
water in the bucket do not vary in temperature by more than one or two degrees F.
At this time, you may pour the contents of the bucket into your system. The best place to add
your new pods is, of course, your refugium. If you do not have a refugium, they can be added to
the main tank as well. However, if added to the main tank, pods are best introduced after dark;
this helps to minimize the number of individuals that are preyed on by fish while initially
Even these rough little critters appreciate a warm, gentle welcome to a new aquarium home.
Acclimating your pod shipments can help to get populations up fast with the least long-term