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#431421 12/12/15 03:35 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyalella_azteca
This is a forage critter that I hadn't heard of before. It's described as being common in North America, but its numbers are declining. It appears to be in about the same place in the food chain as scud and close to grass shrimp. I don't know if it has a common name. If I could get some, I'd put them in my pond. I'm wondering if anyone has info on these, and if they have been discussed previously on the Forum.

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Very common type of scud, fish love to eat them.



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The scud I've ordered are Gammarus lacustris. I came across H. azteca while looking up scud, so I should have figured it's another kind of scud. Do you know if they can be purchased, and if so where?

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I have no idea if they can be purchased, you might be able to collect some by flipping rocks over at a nearby lake.

Here is one I found while raking FA at my dad's old pond.






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FWIW I have located a large but shallow bay in a nearby lake that is choked with vegetation. My plan is to take my long handled skim net and see what I can catch next summer. Hopefully, will find scuds and/or grass shrimp. I figure it can't hurt to try.


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A quick google search and this site say that they sell them. Looks like they are located in Fort Collins, Co.

http://www.aquaticbiosystems.com/



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Certian gamerus live in the sale climates as your "aztecs" the gamerus get larger and are more politic in my area.


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Looks like your area is Sturgis. I shipped my broken down motorcycle out of there once, and then hitch hiked back to California. Years later, I worked all around the Black Hills, mostly on the WY side.

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I've just ordered Daphnia pulex, D. magna, and Hyallela azteca from Sachs Aquasystems: http://www.aquaculturestore.com/home.php

It's the same outfit that sells the pickerel.

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Originally Posted By: Turtlemtn
I've just ordered Daphnia pulex, D. magna, and Hyallela azteca from Sachs Aquasystems: http://www.aquaculturestore.com/home.php

It's the same outfit that sells the pickerel.



Hey Turtlemtn,

What's the plan for the scuds? Are you going to tank raise some from a starter batch or introduce them directly to the pond?


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I'm getting only 30. I will probably split them between a small aquarium in the house and the pond. My little pond in the front yard is frozen pretty solid. If it's thawed when they come, I may put some in there too. I should also have a cup of Gammarus coming soon. Don't know how many individuals that will be, but probably a lot more. I'll do likewise with those.

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Hyalella have a hard time maintaining decent numbers or even surviving when panfish are common density and submerged plants are less than common.


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Bill,

Do Gammarus lacustris fare any better? I am struggling to get some vegetation established in my pond and I have very little detritus material as the trees on the property are not near the pond. Pretty much FA and decaying brush piles at this point.


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I'm going to keep trying with the vegetation. I'm figuring out what I want to try and finding sources for them. With the plants and the crustaceans I'm pretty much in the experimental stage. I may buy another small aquarium or two tomorrow. I have fathead minnows in a 10 gal aquarium now. I'm wondering if they can spawn in it. Scud and Daphnia are supposed to be okay together in the same tank or pond. At worst, it's something to mess with during the winter.

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Same here man. You have a few days left on the aquarium sale at Petco of a $1/gallon if you want to pick up a tank or two. The FHM should spawn in a 10 gallon if you give them correct spawning habitat. Give them 12 to 14 hours of light a day though to help induce spawn. IMO don't put too many in a 10. 6 to 8 is plenty. I just picked up 6 Rosy Reds (Basically pink FHM) and put them in a 10. Yes they were expensive...91 cents! Got them at a pet shop and they were pretty emaciated and only about 1.5 inches. Hitting them with a 46% feed and they look a whole lot better after only 3 days. I'll give them a month or so to "grow up" then increase the photoperiod to 14 hours and go for a spawn. I have a 20 gallon waiting as a grow out tank for the newbies when they appear.

In the spring all the Rosys will hit the pond as snacks, and I will try raising BNM or SFS or....

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I bought a pound of FHM and saved out a few for the aquarium. Only one in the tank has died since summer. Initially, one was about 3x the size of the rest, but they have all grown, and a couple are about as big as the big one. I've put only a coffee cup on its side, a small eel grass plant, and big sea shell in with them. They fight over who gets to be in the cup. The big ones are turning black, and I guess that's an indication they want to spawn. I feed them half goldfish flake food and half tropical fish flake food. They also chew on the plant, and I added some pond water and the water has a bit of a yellow-green cast. I had put the bulk of the minnows in a 95 gal stock tank during the summer and fall. Quite a few died until I added pond water, and after that, only a few died.

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IMHO Prime spawning habitat for FHM is flat horizontal surfaces. If you have too high a density they may not spawn. Water quality will be best with less than 10 in such a small tank. I would think that reducing male competition for your only habitat will also help. IMO I would add a few flat stones supported by 3 or 4 other stones making caves.

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Thanks for the tip. I'm not very handy, or imaginative.

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The males get black heads and "horns" on the top of their head.


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FWIW I used to work in a lab where we bred fathead minnows for testing, we had minnows in 10 gallon aquariums in groups of 4. 3 females and 1 male. The only thing in the tanks were two pieces of 4" PVC pipe cut in half to create a kind of cave. The females would lay their eggs under the PVC tiles and the males would fertilize and guard the eggs. We would remove the tiles with eggs daily to keep the adults from eating the newly hatched fry. If ever two males were in the same tank they would destroy the eggs from each other's nests. After removing the tiles with eggs it would take about 2 weeks for them to hatch. We fed the babies newly hatched brine shrimp for a couple weeks and then ground up fish flakes after that. I'm sure this isn't the only way to breed fatheads but I thought I'd offer my experience. Daily spawns of 20-100 eggs were not uncommon.

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How visible are the eggs? Is it easier to tell they're there if the tiles are cut shorter? Should the tiles be some particular length? Thanks for the info.

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We used halves of pipes about 6" long. We would keep the tiles at the front of the tank and everyday walk around with a flashlight and check for eggs. At first they are just little clear bubbles but after a few days you'll be able to see the fry forming. I'm not sure daily removal of the eggs is necessary but for our tests we had to have fish <24 hours old so it was important to know the age of the eggs. We had 24 ten gallon aquariums going at all times to ensure a constant supply of newborn fry. Hope this helps.

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Originally Posted By: Kartracer00
FWIW I used to work in a lab where we bred fathead minnows for testing, we had minnows in 10 gallon aquariums in groups of 4. 3 females and 1 male. The only thing in the tanks were two pieces of 4" PVC pipe cut in half to create a kind of cave. The females would lay their eggs under the PVC tiles and the males would fertilize and guard the eggs. We would remove the tiles with eggs daily to keep the adults from eating the newly hatched fry. If ever two males were in the same tank they would destroy the eggs from each other's nests. After removing the tiles with eggs it would take about 2 weeks for them to hatch. We fed the babies newly hatched brine shrimp for a couple weeks and then ground up fish flakes after that. I'm sure this isn't the only way to breed fatheads but I thought I'd offer my experience. Daily spawns of 20-100 eggs were not uncommon.


Can you explain about the tiles and where they are located in relation to the PVC caves? The FHM in my pond would have laid the eggs on the ceiling of the PVC caves. Sounds like yours were laying them on tiles?


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I also participated in raising FMH for NPDES toxicity testing in Pittsburgh. Kartracer used words of cut pipe, caves, and tiles all as the same thing. Pieces of 4" dia PVC pile were cut in 1/2 to make two C shaped pieces of PVC caves for the fish. Females would lay eggs on the inside upper side of the caves / 'tiles'.
As an example see this sexy FHM video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBoO-tFrbJg

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Loved the soundtrack!
Cmm


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Thanks for clearing that up for me Bill, I was just typing away not realizing I was being more confusing than helpful. That video pretty much summed it up, although we had bare bottom tanks to make siphoning out the poop easier. We had sponge filters in each tank for filtration.

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Thanks Bill and Great Music! and...Thanks Kartracer for the inputs!

So any issues with fungus on the eggs as it sounds like both you guys have experience with removing the eggs early on from the care of the male?

Another question, when you move the pipe/tile/cave smile to another tank for hatching, what orientation do you place it in? Back like a cave?

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Orientation does not make much difference just so it gets good water circulation. If you are having egg fungus problems try using a egg antiseptic dip similar to what is used for trout eggs. Try web search for correct concentration and options of chemicals.


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Thanks Bill. Back in the 70s when I had a lot of aquariums I used Methylene Blue. I am sure that is way old school now! I will check the net for latest and greatest if the need arises. Current thought is to leave the eggs under the care of the male for 3 or 4 days before moving.


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Probably leaving the FHM eggs until they are 'eyed' in the care of the male FHM then moving them to a separate tank with good circulated water quality will be a good way to start and then evaluate the results and modify the method if needed.


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Would it be safe or advisable to have any invertebrates in the tank with the eggs or fry?

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What do you plan the fry will eat after they absorb their food supply of yolk?


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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
What do you plan the fry will eat after they absorb their food supply of yolk?


Bill C.

For mine, I was thinking live brine shrimp at first and then pulverized flake. Having to raise the brine shrimp is something I would like to avoid. Will frozen work? If you've got suggestions I would love to hear them! smile


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Same question about raising brine shrimp: is it practical, or do you just keep buying more? Would newly hatched Daphnia or scuds do? How much would green tinted pond water help? It seemed to help my half grown FHM a lot. FHM don't get a lot of brine shrimp in the wild.

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I saw a Youtube of a guy making a "paste" out of flake food and feeding that to new hatch. Any thoughts on that?


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IMO the biggest disadvantage of mashed or powdered foods are they tend to reduce the water quality faster than natural foods. So if you use artificial foods pay attention to maintain good water quality.

Typically first foods are very tiny for many fish fry. Correct Size is important to these newly hatched, swim up fish fry learning to eat. These first foods usually consist of incidental phytoplankton, rotifers, and likely various protozoans. The fry start eating smallest particles first. Protozoans are not usually listed as first foods IMO due to their delicate nature and quick digestibility and becoming unrecognizable in gut contents. Protozoans are usually more abundant in the water than other larger species of zooplankton. These food organisms range in size from common algae 20-200um, protozoans 30-300, rotifers 60-800um. Reference: 1 milliliter(mm) is 1000um (micrometers) and 25.4 mm or 25400um per inch.

Newly hatched brine shrimp are around 400-520um. 'Baby' nauplii of common cyclopoid pond/lake zooplankton size range is 150-500um depending on age.

Many places that specialize in growing smaller varieties of fish such as minnows use rotifers as first food to feed the fry mainly those of the rotifer genus Branchionus which range in size from 120 to 300um.

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Thanks Bill. Any thoughts on Infusoria? Seems like it would be easy to propagate.


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Infusoria in generally the early stages is mostly bacteria and small protozoans (15-35um) that may not be large enough foods for new fry. As the culture ages later stages of infusoria community are larger forms and could contain large protozoa and some rotifers, and maybe small crustaceans over the coarse of a few weeks?. I wouldn't be afraid to try the flake food paste with frequent water changes to keep water quality higher. Another option is investigate rotifer cultures added to infusoria or cultured by themselves. I checked on the web and there is a lot of good new information on infusoria as food for newly hatched fish fry since I worked with infusoria cultures back in 1972.

Try a couple different methods so you don't "have all eggs in one basket". All this is a lot of extra work for a few inexpensive FHM unless it is a learning curve thing.

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Thanks for all the advice Bill!

For me, a learning curve is exactly the plan. Raise some cheap RRs to prove out the setup and then move on to the first target species, BNM. I'm thinking the BNM breeding technique should be close to the FHM(RR) technique. My initial practice setup is to use a 10 gal for breeding, use a 5.5 gal for hatching and a 20 gal for growout. Any comments on the setup? Those are the 3 tanks I currently have.

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It could work. Why not start out with some outdoor kiddie pools this spring and grow infusoria or rotifer food in 5 gallon buckets? On the other hand you might want to start real small to just 'learn the ropes'. Although be prepared to get a few thousand fry to move into a larger system from a few good spawns from the BNM. BNM post-fry (8-10mm) will quickly adapt to eating powdered fish food.

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What are the container requirements for raising plankton indoors? Seems like they should be pretty rudimentary. Pond water in a plastic jug with the top cut off might be a start. I think I may try that if I can find some open water I can reach in my pond.

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Plankton? Do you mean phytoplankton, zooplankton or both? Phytoplankton cultures are routinely grown in 1/2 liter flasks for various purposes. Normally these cultures are grown in special growth chambers with controlled light cycle and custom wavelength lighting that simulates sunlight. Sometimes the cultures are constantly lightly agitated. Note the nutrient balance needs to be correct to keep the culture constantly growing and stay green.

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I read something recently that was put out by MN, I think, http://fmel.ifas.ufl.edu/research/culture.shtml
about raising copepods to control mosquitos. Just about everything required is quite simple, starting with the copepods, which you would gather from some local BOW. I wonder if something similar couldn't be done with critters better suited to our needs.

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This is a website on raising Daphnia with links to related articles:
http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishfood/raisingdaphnia.php

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Bill,

I mean both. Until recently I've given plankton very little thought in terms of my ponds or fish tanks. I've thought of them mostly as marine organisms and of little interest or importance to me. But after I got to looking at freshwater shrimp I kept looking for more info on freshwater crustaceans and that led to plankton, among other things. When it comes to building the food pyramid in ponds, plankton and pond plants are good places to start. Last summer I filled a 95 gal stock tank with well water and a few days later added a pound of FHM. I was losing a few minnows every day until I added some pond water. As the water began to turn green, the number of dead minnows declined to almost none.

I'm fascinated by the tiny critters in ponds and the role they play in the health of the pond. I think it's too big to be overlooked by pond managers. It also looks like some aspects of pond plankton and larger crustaceans such as shrimp and crawfish can be manipulated rather easily compared to plants and fish populations. But I'm just getting into this, and I'd like to hear from people who actually know something about it. I'm especially interested in the easy steps someone might take to improve the bottom of the food chain.

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
.... Why not start out with some outdoor kiddie pools this spring ....


I like that idea as step 2. In an old thread, CJ talks about how he built small forage ponds out of cinder blocks with a PVC liner. This has me thinking of building some 4 x 8 or 4 x 16 enclosures out of landscape timbers (I think timbers will look better than blocks). I know a web site where I can get remnants of liner pretty cheap. Thinking set it up near the pond with a small pump for continuous flow from the pond and back to the pond over a small spillway and little stream.

I'm thinking some small setups like that would work great for other things too, like pellet training YP recruits.

Last edited by Bill D.; 01/22/16 07:58 PM. Reason: After thought

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A flow through set up with fry could be risky for loosing fry out the overflow unless you don't start flow through till the post fry(3/4") are feed trained. Feed them at one end and remove water at the other end.

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
A flow through set up with fry could be risky for loosing fry out the overflow unless you don't start flow through till the post fry(3/4") are feed trained. Feed them at one end and remove water at the other end.


Even if doing that, and using ground up floating food, I would use a feed ring and anchor the feeding ring to the side of the pond away from the overflow. To try and eliminate small fish from following floating food out of the pond.


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The scud, P. gammarus, came today. It was more like a bucket full than a cup of scud. All alive and kicking. They were delivered by the Post Office, overnight from MN, and the P.O. made a special trip out this afternoon to deliver them to me. Both bonds are thawed today, so it worked out well. I'm very pleased.

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Originally Posted By: Turtlemtn
The scud, P. gammarus, came today. It was more like a bucket full than a cup of scud. All alive and kicking. They were delivered by the Post Office, overnight from MN, and the P.O. made a special trip out this afternoon to deliver them to me. Both bonds are thawed today, so it worked out well. I'm very pleased.


Awesome! Where did you order from?


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you said you were going to raise them in different areas and some controlled right?? let us know how they do?


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I ordered from Prairie Land Management, Inc., in Glenwood, MN. I've put them in 2 aquariums in the house, my small pond, and my bigger pond. I have a small order (30) of Hyalella azteca coming. They shipped today.

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They do not seem to be listed on their web site?

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RAH,

Here's a link. They are under "Food Plot Seed" for some reason. smile

http://www.habitatnow.com/store/shop/shop.php?pn_selected_category=19


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Thank you! I ordered mine with regular delivery so I hope they arrive OK.

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If I get some open water in Feb, I think I will invest a few pesos as well. Please post back and let us know if yours arrived healthy.

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I took a look at my small pond around noon today. A thin film of ice had formed overnight, but was thawing around the edges. I saw a scud swimming beneath the ice, so at least one made it through the night.

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I got two orders today when I wasn't expecting anything until tomorros. The Hyalella azteca came as well as the Daphnia. They were what I was expecting tomorrow. The water plant seeds also came, and I hadn't heard anything from the supplier about when they would ship. Everything turned out alright, except I spilled some of the Daphnia on my carpet. Goodby Daphnia.

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Sorry to hear about the casualties. What's the plan for the scuds and surviving Daphnia? Aquarium or pond?


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I put some of everything in all three places. The azteca are much smaller than rhe gammarus. I'd guess the gammarus are from 100 to 1,000 times heavier. The azteca must be very young. When fully grown, azteca are about half as long as gammarus. I put them in separate tanks. The tank with the azteca looks like it's empty, but maybe before long they'll get big enough and numerous enough to see that there's something in there.

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Hey TM,

How are all the newbies doing in your aquariums? What are you feeding the scuds and Daphnia? Please post a pick or two of your setups if you get a chance.


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Everything seems to be doing okay. The azteca are all but invisible, but now and then I see one. The Daphnia pulex cysts have hatched or whatever it is that they do, and there are a bunch of them buzzing around in the bottom of two bowls among the much "larger" D. magna(or something like that). I don't do photos, not since the era of film ended. I'm not doing well in the high tech era. I've put a little FA in with everything and they seem to eat that. I've also add a bit of crumbled flake fish food at times. Don't know if anything is eating that. I've also been adding 2 drops of plankton food to the Daphnia bowles each day. That came with the order. I don't know what's in it. Daphnia can eat very small things, such as bacteria. I don't think any of these critters are especially fussy eaters. The real question is, how are they doing in the main pond, and I may never know the answer. But if I eventually find some scud in there, I'll at least know part of the answer. A healthy population of scud has been my goal. The same for Palaemonetes kadiakensis, but I haven't latched onto any of them yet. And I may order a dozen or more papershell crayfish in June. Seems like crustaceans have the potential to greatly strengthen the food base of a pond.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
Thank you! I ordered mine with regular delivery so I hope they arrive OK.


They arrived today in great shape (zero dead). They also dug right into shrimp pellets and some were mating. I will have two different 10 gallon tanks to monitor over a longer period.

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That's good to know about the regular delivery.

I put some of mine in a 10 gal tank in a dark place in the livingroom and some in a 3 gal aquarium in a front window. I read that they should be kept in a dark location, but the ones in the window seem to be happier (livelier) than the ones in the darker place. About 9 out of 10 of the ones in the window are mating, but so far no sign of baby scuds. If there are any, they may be too small to see.

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Both of my tanks get light, so that is good to know. This sure is fun!

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RAH, Did you buy the 1 cup and split them between the two tanks?

RAH and Turtlemtn, Are you guys using gravel in the aquariums? What are you feeding them? I read in an old thread that maple leaves work well as food. Are you using any filtration or other aeration? Come on guys details! I was going to wait to order till I get open water but I currently have a 20 gallon sitting idle I could hold some in till the open water shows up.


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I have some aquarium gravel in the bottom of the aquariums - mostly to hold the bubblers down. I'm using the smallest punps and bubblers I have. I think one is more properly called a stone. No filters. I've been feeding them a little flake fish food and FA. They are eating a surprising amount of FA. I realized this evening that the gammarus scuds in the 10 gal tank had eaten all the FA. So I raked a little more out of the pond and added some to the 3 aquariums and the 2 bowls the Daphnia are in. I also put some in the aquarium with the FHM. I crumbled up a dead leaf off a dead lemon tree and put that in one of the scud tanks. They seemed to like that. A few days ago I poured a little water I had boiled potatoes in into one of the tanks. They didn't like that. They dove to the bottom and curled up. I thought I'd killed them, but I guess it was a defensive strategy, and after a bit they were moving around again. So far, they've survived poisoning and starvation.

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My wife put 30 of the scuds in each tank. One tank is in a greenhouse without heat that is attached to our walkout basement on the south side of the house and stays above freezing. The other tank is in the basement and has a bubble filter running very slowly. It also has a light on a timer, and has gravel on some of the bottom. A flat piece of slate will be added today, held up on some stones to create more cover and dark spots. There was already algae growing in the tanks as they have been set up for a while. They also both have established plants that were collected from one of our shallow ponds. We have started by feeding shrimp pellets which they immediately attacked. They will also periodically get "green water" from a tropical tank that is overpopulated with swordtails. Not enough time has gone by to know if these will survive and breed. Right now, they are crammed under the filter for cover.

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When I raked FA out of my pond last year, there were many different kinds of small bugs and worm like critters all the way up to teeny tiny BG.

If you put FA out of your pond you might also find out you have other critters reproducing in your tank. Probably not as likely pulling fresh FA off the bottom compared to the surface mats I was dealing with.

Interesting project you guys have. If I get bad FA again maybe I will try to pay more attention to the numerous bugs in it. Has me curious now what some of them were. Had a lot more flow through water this year so hoping the nutrient level in the pond is down compared to last year following a drought so maybe will not have to fight the FA as bad this year. Hope eternal.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
My wife put 30 of the scuds in each tank. One tank is in a greenhouse without heat that is attached to our walkout basement on the south side of the house and stays above freezing. The other tank is in the basement and has a bubble filter running very slowly. It also has a light on a timer, and has gravel on some of the bottom. A flat piece of slate will be added today, held up on some stones to create more cover and dark spots. There was already algae growing in the tanks as they have been set up for a while. They also both have established plants that were collected from one of our shallow ponds. We have started by feeding shrimp pellets which they immediately attacked. They will also periodically get "green water" from a tropical tank that is overpopulated with swordtails. Not enough time has gone by to know if these will survive and breed. Right now, they are crammed under the filter for cover.


What did you do with the rest of the order? Pond?


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They escaped:)

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I'm sure the FA from the pond has critters in it, but part of the purpose of the scud in the tanks is to add more to the pond, so they'll have to deal with those critters eventually.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
.... Right now, they are crammed under the filter for cover.


Maybe something to that method in the old thread of putting a layer of maple leaves in the bottom of a scud tank, i.e., forage and cover?


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I'll let folks know how this works out. If I had researched this up front, then I would have added the leaves a few weeks back. Maybe I'll see if I can scavenge some submerged leaves this weekend from somewhere.

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RAH and Turtlemtn,

How are your scuds doing? Any updates. I ordered some today. Any suggestions or things you would have done differently?


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Both tanks look good and many are mating, but I see no offspring yet. I think having plants and algae established has helped.

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I wouldn't add potato water, and I wouldn't be concerned about light hitting the tank, Near a window that's not in full sun most of the day would probably be okay. They don't seem to require much care. I've bailed a gal or two of water out of the 10 gal tank a couple times. It's easy to scoop up a scud or two when you do that. I have a small water celery plant in the 3 gal talk, and they like that. I would like to have several plants in the 10 gal tank too.

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Thanks for the advice guys. I don't have any aquarium plants and really don't want to mess with the expensive ones, that I don't like anyway, from the local pet stores. I guess my experiment will be plantless. The 20 gallon tank is setup and ready for the new arrivals for when they come this week. I will try maple leaves as forage (presoaked to remove the tannins smile ). I also have a 5.5 I'm not using. I think I will set that up differently tomorrow as Plan B and feed with scrap vegetables from the kitchen. I will post pics of both tanks once populated.


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FYI - My plants were volunteers collected from our ponds.

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Originally Posted By: RAH
FYI - My plants were volunteers collected from our ponds.


Well Done! Now THAT is the kind of plant I like! In the spring, I will try again to establish vegetation in my pond. Now that I have aquariums, I will be keeping a transplant or three for them! smile


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The Gammarus seem to have stopped mating so maybe they are now carrying fertilized eggs?

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I think I read somewhere that scuds carry their young in pouches on their sides so.....I guess you watch for scuds with saddle bags! smile


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Update….

The Scuds arrived today. Must have been a couple thousand of them. They came in a breather bag which I’d heard of but never seen. No need to add O2 to the bag. Pretty cool!

I put probably 200 in the 20 G tank and another 40 or 50 in the 5.5 G tank. The rest I put in the pond where they disappeared immediately into the rip rap.



Here’s a pic of my 20 G scud tank.



Here’s a pic of my 5.5 G scud tank



And here’s a pic of a few of the scuds getting busy chowing down on leaves.



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First ducks of the year showed up today. A pair of mallards. They spent about an hour with their heads under water in one of the areas of the pond where I stocked the scuds yesterday! cry


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Beautiful specimens. They are bigger than I thought they would be. Which species? Can you PM me or share the source and how many you ordered?

Thanks

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You can get them here (scroll down to freshwater shrimp):

http://www.habitatnow.com/store/shop/shop.php?pn_selected_category=19

They are gammarus but I'm not sure which species. As they came from Minnesota, there's a good chance they are gammarus lacustris.

I bought 1 cup with standard shipping.


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Bill, thanks for the advice. I have some on order which will arrive Wednesday. I'm curious why they can only harvest Scuds and shrimp (like the PK shrimp that Carol Fattig sold in the past) through the ice. I asked Kyle at the Habitatnow store why they can't harvest other times of year:

His reply:


------------------
We can only harvest them through the ice as that is when they come up out of the vegetation and we can harvest them in large quantities. When they are down in the vegetation, they are hard to get to and cannot get large amounts. I cannot tell you exactly how we harvest them as that is years of research and development to be able to do what we do.

If you are harvesting smaller amounts, you can set traps for them (minnow like traps with smaller mesh and put something dead in it such as a fish) or you can use a net to get some out of the vegetation. You would be able to harvest shrimp that way, just not large amounts like 10s of gallons.

Kyle, PLM

-------------------

now I'm even more curious how they harvest through the ice. Maybe Carol knows? I don't want to take his livelihood away, but seems like this should not be proprietary protected knowledge but something that could help all of us as we stock our own ponds with them. I'd like to have some way of knowing if the stocking bunch survived or multiplied.

perhaps there is an attractant that brings them just under the ice? Food source? Irritant that brings them up?

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Researchers have discovered a 520 million yr olf scud: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016...=share_btn_link

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Pretty cool man. Wish they would have said how big they were. LMB snacks or LMB predators?!!!!! eek

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It was disappointing that they didn't say anything about the size. It's sometimes surprising what reporters leave out of their stories.

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Originally Posted By: Turtlemtn
It was disappointing that they didn't say anything about the size. It's sometimes surprising what reporters leave out of their stories.


Not surprising at all. Journalists aren't what they used to be. I've been disappointed numerous times when a story doesn't even say where an event happened.


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Nearly all the Gammarus I had in the 10 gal tank have died. They seem to have disappeared rather quickly. I have no idea what happened to them. The ones in the 3 gal tank are doing better, but they're not multiplying. I put 3 from the 10 gal tank into another 10 gal tank. It's the one I put the Azteca in. I haven't seen any sign of them either lately.

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The larger Gammarus species of scuds do not do well when the water gets warm usually above 75F. They are a cool water species.


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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
The larger Gammarus species of scuds do not do well when the water gets warm usually above 75F. They are a cool water species.


Thanks for the input Bill. From what I've read, 75 might even be pushing it. I hope I'm far enough North for these guys (about 20 miles form Wisconsin). Maybe they can find cold enough water in the deeper parts (12 feet)of my pond to survive but, if not, at least I've learned a good bit about scuds. My plan is to hit a lake near me this spring to see if I can net some of a local species and, hopefully, a grass shrimp or three. smile


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Originally Posted By: Turtlemtn
Nearly all the Gammarus I had in the 10 gal tank have died. They seem to have disappeared rather quickly. I have no idea what happened to them. The ones in the 3 gal tank are doing better, but they're not multiplying. I put 3 from the 10 gal tank into another 10 gal tank. It's the one I put the Azteca in. I haven't seen any sign of them either lately.


Sorry to hear that! Maybe the ones in your ponds are doing better.

FWIW Mine all still seem to be doing fine. Just for info...

1) My tank water is 68 F
2) Feeding only decaying maple leaves
3) Low air flow sponge filter in each tank

I wonder how RAH's are doing.....


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My scuds in the warmer tank seem fewer, and neither tank appears to have babies.

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I found this old thread this morning about scuds started by Cecil back in 08. Interesting stuff in here....

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=140120


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Update...

My scuds in the aquariums still seem to be happy and doing well. Spawning has pretty much stopped but still see a few. Females have disappeared under cover. I assume to hatch out the eggs and molt. Hope to see some little ones in the next couple of weeks. Pretty much from the beginning the water in both tanks has had a slight white cloudy look which I assume is a bacteria bloom from the decaying leaves. My understanding is that is a good thing as I've read scuds also eat bacteria and diatoms. I see them grazing on the sponge filters where I assume the bacteria is collecting in a heavier concentration.

Anybody else got an update? I suspect Canyoncreek has the best chance of success being further north.


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The scuds in my tanks are about all gone.

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If you have gravel in the tanks, you might want to look close. A few of mine have burrowed into my pea stone. The ones close to the glass that I can see appear healthy.


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I have some pint sized Gammarus in the 3 gal aquarium. Looks like I lost all I had in the 10 gal tanks, but I think there are still a few aztecas in one 10 gal tank. If that's what I'm seeing, they're still tiny. I added some of the near microscopic invertebrates to the small tank,and that may have helped.

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Bill,
I ordered one bag (one cup) but it got lost in the mail so the scuds went in the pond about a week after they were shipped. Not sure how many made it so I bought 2 more cups and put them in the next week. I did not keep any inside.

You think northern ponds do better? Do they not do well in warm water? I'm assuming that it gets warm in Minnesota where these shipoped from in the summer?

I'd love to sample my pond later to see how they did but I have no idea how to observe them in the pond.

I guess it is top secret how they are attracted to the surface under the ice and harvested as well. If I figure it out maybe I can sample them under the ice too?

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The more I read about Gammarus and Hyalella the more confused I get. I don't know how you distinguish one from the other. Various species of Hyalella are found from northern South America to the Arctic, while in North America, Gammarus are found mainly in the eastern US and in the Midwest. Yet I've read articles that appear to contradict all of that. I can't recall seeing any article that discussed both Gammarus and Hyalella. It may make no practical difference if they are the same thing or if there are hundreds of species within each genus scattered all across North America. For me, it's learning from the experience of others and trial and error. FA, Daphnia, diatoms, and detritus (leaves especially) seem to go well with scuds. I've read that pH should be kept above 6, and they should be kept cool and well oxygenated.

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The water in the 3 gal aquarium is quite murky, almost trashy. The water in the 10 gal tanks is clear. It was when the water in the 10 gal tank that I had put potatoe water in cleared up that the scuds disappeared. Apparently they do better with a lot of "stuff" in the water. The leaf litter probably helps a lot. I don't have any in my aquariums. The baby scud aren't all the same size, but maybe the difference is between males and females, or maybe they're different litters.

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I have mostly juvenile scud now in the 3 gal tank, and a fair number of them of various sizes. I haven't seen any scuds in the 10 gal tanks. I have populations of tiny crustaceans established in the 10 gal tanks, and I may put some scuds in with them and see how they do. I'm hoping the additional food source will make a positive difference. I have put some in the 3 gal tank and for a few days I see quite a few, but a few days later, I don't see any. If I can raise enough plankton sized crustaceans, I may be able to maintain the scuds on them and FA (plus a little flake fish food, and rolled oats, and bran).

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I haven't heard anything about grass shrimp lately. Has anyone come up with a source yet?

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The scuds grab pieces of flake fishfood and dive to the bottom of the tank with it.

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Turtle,

Do you still have any Hyalella?


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I have scuds. I think they're Gammarus, but as I said above, I'm not sure how to tell them apart, or if Gammarus aren't part of the Hyalella clan. They have survived in the 3 gal aquarium. I have a few of all sizes, from not much bigger than the head of a pin to the size that I was shipped. I put a few more in one of the 10 gal tanks, and at least one is still alive in there. That tank was and still is full of "micro" crustaceans.

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Any updates from anyone on how their scuds are doing? Other than the one I saw the day after I put scuds in my ponds, I haven't seen a one. Scuds are doing well in the 3 gal aquarium, and at least one is alive in one of my 10 gal tanks.

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Haven't seen mine since I stocked them and they disappeared into the rip rap....but I haven't really looked for them. I suspect, if they survived, they are buried in some FA.


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Thought this was kind of interesting....back in February I put a bunch of scuds in a 20 gallon aquarium. Several weeks later I transferred what I thought was all of them to the pond. The aquarium has been full of Rosey Reds, GSH etc. since then. A week ago I cleared all the fish out and the tank has sat full of water with aeration going. Guess what are now swimming around in the tank. Scuds! Must have been hanging out in the gravel all this time. Kind of explains why this is the only aquarium I couldn't get vegetation going in!


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Got yourself a scud farm Bill!


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Yea it's pretty funny. I suspect if I had tried to raise the little critters they would be long gone! Since I have no plan for that aquarium, I think I will bring up a bunch of small leaf pond weed from the pond and put it in the tank for habitat/food and see what happens. I think there is only a dozen or so in there but I'm obviously not very good at spotting them!


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At one point, I was down to what I thought was only one scud in a 3 gal plastic tank. But they've slowly come back, and I now have a fair number in the little tank, I'd say at least a dozen. Most are less than full grown, unless they're stunted. The tank is in a south window, but shaded by a covered porch. There's been a gorilla grass plant hanging on in there from the beginning. I thought it was gone a couple times. I feed the scud a pinch of tropical fish food each day. I have added daphnia and some smaller crustacean with a name I don't recall at the moment. I've had these little crustaceans as long as I've had the scud. The daphnia disappear quickly when I put them in with the scud. The scud tank is coated with algae. I change the water by removing a few cups now and then. I think more often is better.

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