PhytoPlankton are single celled “plants” that are important to the health of a reef tank. PhytoPlankton take excess nutrients such as nitrates, phosphates, heavy metals, iron, sunlight, carbon dioxide and create fatty acids that are critical to the health of many marine organisms. The way it works is that PhytoPlankton produce Essential Fatty Acids(EFAs) and are either consumed directly by a filter feeder or by copepods that are in turn eaten by fish or corals. In this way these super important fatty acids enter the food chain. At best guess there are over 100,000 different types of PhytoPlankton in the oceans-they are not all the same; “Phyto is not Phyto”.
AlgaGen has assembled blends of PhytoPlankton in a line called PhycoPureTM. These blends are live, nutritious, are convenient and easy to use. We do not use preservatives in our PhycoPureTM line. All of our PhycoPureTM products have lot numbers along with a freshness date. Your success is our success-check the date.
PhycoPure Reef BlendTM
PhycoPure Reef BlendTM is the most diverse assemblage of Phyto on the market today. It has 9 different types and even contains zooxanthellae. It is a great general feed for your reef. The Reef Blend is a great food for amphipods, copepods, clams, scallops, shrimp larvae, sponges and certain corals.
PhycoPure CopePOD Blend TM
PhycoPure CopePOD Blend TM CopePODS do not eat all types of phytoplankton. In fact, there are specific types of phyto that are best for POD growth. The two that we use in-house to produce our PODS have been bottled fresh, so that you will have the best results possible. This blend of Phyto is also GREAT for clams…it really is!
PhycoPure Greenwater TM
PhycoPure Greenwater TM is a term for water that has green algae in it. The term and approach has been used in aquaculture for decades. Greenwater is a mesocosm technique used to raise larvae and feed rotifers. Our Greenwater is composed of Nannochloropsis algae that is great for some filter-feeders, larvae, some copepods and rotifers. It is also known to be a great water conditioner (it consumes/binds nitrate, phosphate, heavy metals). A bottle is good for months in the refrigerator.
PhycoPure ZooxanthellaeTM We are really excited about this product. For years we have been growing and selling zooxanthellae, and have heard stories ranging from stressed M. digitatas rebounding (when treated with zooxanthellae) to entire tanks coloring up. We decided to get this “tool” into the public domain and so far, the stories keep coming in. One such story goes as follows, hi alkalinity, new lighting and the tank bleaches. Once the stress event was addressed, and the PhycoPure ZooxanthellaeTMadded, the tank rebounded to iridescence within weeks. If your corals are not too far gone try this. It is a benefit to regularly add this product to your tank because corals are known to expel their zooxanthellae from time to time, stressed or not. There are two clades (families) in our bottle.
Feeding corals is gratifying. We think that the presence of a mouth and gut, the mechanisms to take in food, means that corals were designed to feed. In fact many coral farmers support feeding as a means of propagation. Some aquarists argue that corals really do not need to be fed because of the symbiotic relationship they have with zooxanthellae algae. We would just like to point out that many organisms have numerous strategies of survival. Our Coral SmoothieTM products are designed to help conveniently feed your reef. The ingredients are of the highest quality and our formulations are proven to stimulate coral feeding and growth. We chose food particles on the smaller side 5-5000um in bottles that have a pour spout for ease of feeding. Simply cut the tip of the bottle as you would with a tube of caulking, submerge the bottle into the tank, point and squeeze. You can target directly or squeeze into the powerhead for a broadcast feed. Our Coral SmoothieTM line is pasteurized for your tank’s safety and can sit on the shelf for one year. However, it needs to be refrigerated after opening.
Coral SmoothieTM Regular
Coral Smoothie Regular is our “kitchen sink” of feeds. It has fish eggs, phytoplankton rotifers, copePODS, copePOD eggs, decap’d brine, squid, fish, clams, oyster and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. It feeds Acans through Zooanthids..and fish too. A customer of ours from New York said his fish wake up from a sleep to feed on this product. He loves it.
Coral SmoothieTM Oyster Delight
Coral SmoothieTM Oyster Delight is regular oyster as well as ovarian tissue that has been ground up. It also contains hydrolyzed protein. This is a favorite of the coral farmers. Mike at Coralgasm, coral farmer extraordinaire, swears by this one.
Coral SmoothieTM Simply Clams
People often mistake this product Coral SmoothieTM Simply Clams as a food for clams. It is not. It is a product made of clam meat…simply clam meat. We have seen fungia go wild and fish go nuts when this is added to a tank. The particle size also varies with this product.
These are true mysids, not mysis. They are small (0.5 inches) and stay small. They are cannibalistic in a big way but reproduce very nicely in an aquarium and are very popular, EVERYTHING likes to eat them.
Live Marine Feeder Shrimp
We won’t belabor this one, EXCEPT to say that it is a true saltwater organism and it comes from a SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) facility. They are usually eaten immediately upon introduction to the tank BUT we have seen one or two survive and they get to be 4-5 inches at which point they burrow into the sand and bioturbate the sand bed (grey eyestalks protruding above the sand-VERY COOL)
A staple of the industry. We got ‘em.
Moina is a cladoceran not a POD-truly. They do not reproduce in large densities but are a large prey item, a bit smaller than 1/8 in. They do not like agitation, produce a resting egg/cyst which sits dormant in the sediment until conditions are favorable. They are also very popular when introduced into a reef tank. It really likes phytoplankton…PhycoPureTM CopePOD Blend works real well.
This came from the Tropical Aquaculture Lab in Florida. Very similar to Moina salina but it is freshwater. Can be cultured with spirulina flake.
We do stock Chaetomorpha, ulva, gracillaria. In addition we have numerous ornamental seaweed plugs that can be used by themselves in nanno tanks. The colors, shapes, movement are completely captivating. Pictures coming soon!
In the aquarium trade there are 3 types of copePODS that tend to get bottled and sold; Harpacticoid (benthic), Calanoid (pelagic) and Cyclopoid (that can exhibit both benthic and/or pelagic characteristics). CopePODS in general are small, not be confused with amphipods which are bigger, comma shaped PODS . We do not call CopePODS microscopic because they can be seen with the naked eye, but the nauplii (babies) sure are. CopePODS play a very important role in the aquatic ecosystem. The bottom line is that they are critical in the cycling of carbon. CopePODS eat detritus, phytotplankton, dead, decaying matter, each other, and turn these items into important fatty acids. Calanoids tend to eat phytoplankton; harpacticoids tend to eat detritus; Cyclopoids are similar to both, and depending on the species some eat fecal pellets of other copepods. Regardless, these fatty acids produced by the copePODS enter the food-chain when the copePODS are eaten. This is an oversimplification. The marine food chain relies on the copePOD as an important source for EFA (Essential Fatty Acids ). CopePODS are a key source of nutrition in the aquatic food chain.
Adding copePODS repeatedly to a stocked reef tank is very important. Many tanks are overstocked and no matter how big a refugium is, or how much live rock there is, or how many hiding places there are, it is questionable as to how well copepods survive because they are being grazed ferociously by corals, fish, other PODS, you name it.
AlgaGen PODSTM is the copePOD line we have established to get, live fresh, appropriate copePODS to market. Every bottle is packed to order; we cannot inventory this product and still expect you to get fresh cultures. There is a lot of work that goes into each bottle because we pack each bottle specifically for each individual order. It is our sacrifice to get the freshest cultures, the best, to you!
Tisbe biminensis: Tisbe PODS are tropical sub-tropical. They are a great inoculation for your tank. They eat detritus, phyto, fish food, fish waste and multiply. We don’t worry about skimmers, pumps, uv…just add them and stand back. Of course we recommend repeated additions, but really, we are serious. Great for seahorse frye, mandarins, wrasses, invert larvae, great for reef tanks. We offer this one as AlgaGen PODSTM Tisbe .
Euterpina: small pelagic nauplii. Grows in substantial numbers, ubiquitous. It has been used successfully in breeding efforts. Great for reef tanks. Not currently available in bottles.
Nitokra lucustris: can be produced in large numbers. Has been studied extensively by Dr. Adelaide Rhodes. Easy to culture. May be a candidate to be raised on paste. Great for reef tanks. Not currently available in bottles.
Tigriopus sp: This is THE Tig Pod. Found on the west coast of the USA. Popular in the hobby. Not currently available in bottles.
This copePOD is very similar to the one brought to light by Mick Payne. We love this POD. Females are big and males hang on for dear life; 2 asymmetric egg sacs, live bearing..Dr. Cortney Ohs at University of Florida has a few papers published on this one. Adults have a tendency to stick to surfaces whereas nauplii are free swimming. They like it warm and primarily eat PhytoPlankton. Great fatty acid profiles. Has been used to raise leafy seadragons, Palometa, Lookdowns, Pompano, Reidii seahorses, clowns, mandarins, etc. Great in the mesocosm approach. Great feed for reef tanks but will not proliferate due to lack of PhytoPlankton (PhycoPureTM CopePOD Blend). Does not do well on green phyto such as nannochloropsis or tetraselmis. We offer this one as AlgaGen PODSTM Pseudodiaptomus.
From Hawaii. A bay-type calanoid. Reports of up to 60/mL densities-outstanding. They are a small copePOD with a tiny nauplii 40-50um. Hyper-spacing observed (strong escape response). They work great in a mesocosm approach. We offer this one as AlgaGen PODSTM Parvocalanus .
Tangerine PODs :
Tangerine PODs (Eurytemora/Pseudodiaptomus salina-we are not sure). A large copePOD with an orange coloration due to fat build up. Carries large orange egg sack and does not bear live nauplii. Densities are fair. Raised on CopePOD Blend but we have suspicions that there is something else that needs to be included in the diet to get optimum production. We offer this one as AlgaGen PODSTM Tangerine.
This copePOD is the drosophila of the copePOD world. It is studied and beloved. It is used in aquatic toxicology and is a great one for breeding efforts. Its nauplii are 80-90ums and adults are 400-800um approximately. They are cannibalistic, as many are, and will eat their young if cultured at higher densities..nice parenting. We offer this one as and AlgaGen PODSTM Acartia.
Apocylops panamensis: We got this from Jim W. who has had great success working with it in his breeding endeavors…thank you Jim! He has raised this on paste. We do see very hi-production densities. Small nauplii and adult are visible with the eye but still…. Coming soon as AlgaGen PODSTM Apocyclops.
Cyclopoid sp ?: Not sure about this one. It came from the Tropical Aquaculture Lab in Florida from one of their sumps. It really does not like to have water changes or much aeration for that matter. Leave it alone and it does well. We are not sure how this one fits into the breeding world but there may be a great role for it as a detritivore.
Live Feeds Program
The Live Feeds Program (LFP) is a game changer. You can see a video discussion regarding the reasoning behind this program. In short we are offering stores and the hobby a source of live, fresh feeds for breeding and feeding. Since the store receives fresh cultures each week there is no need to stock up on live feeds. Live organisms deteriorate when stored in the refrigerator for long periods of time. The idea is to go to the store, buy the culture fresh and use it. Similar to picking a tomato fresh from your garden. The best nutrition comes from eating them immediately versus storing them in refrigerator for 3 months. Pick it and eat it-get the best nutrition you can. The LFP offers fresh phytoplankton with zooxanthellae, rotifers and copepods. Buy one of each and ad them all to your tank. Live fresh phytoplankton is important in taking up excess nutrients as well as feeding filter feeders and PODs. Rotifers will eat the phytoplankton and then get eaten by anything that filter feeds or has polyps. We offer a mixed blend of copepods, some of which are there to be strictly eaten and others that will reproduce in your system (eating detritus and then getting consumed by fish and corals). These are a mixture of small copePODS; harpacticoids and calanoids.