What are Copepods and why are they essential for marine life?

If you own any kind of marine life, you may be familiar with copepods. Well, we hope that you are & if you’re not its time to find out because the lives of your marine life depend on it. We too often hear from customers that have purchased mandarin fish or similar and have unfortunately seen them die only a short while after bringing them home. This is a devastating situation not only for the individual but for the larger scale marine life that are suffering due to not being sufficiently informed of the importance of copepods for these fish to survive. We’re here to explain to you what copepods are, why they are essential for marine ecosystems and how to introduce them into your home aquarium.

 

What are Copepods?

copepod

Copepods, put simply are a group of small crustaceans found in sea and freshwater. Not only is their entire body only 1-2mm, but they are also almost 100% transparent, meaning they are very hard for the naked eye to see. However, If the aquarium and the room it is in is dark and you shine a flashlight in it you will see them attracted towards the light, similarly to the behaviour of moths. This is a great way to check if your aquarium has enough copepods as its the only way to get them to gather into onecondensed space. To find out more detailed information about this species, visit: https://www.britannica.com/animal/copepod 

Why are they essential for marine ecosystems?

Planktonic copepods are extremely important to the oceanic ecosystem and carbon cycle as they serve as major food sources for small fish such as; Mandarin fish,  Sand Sifting Gobies, Coral beauty, Ornate cowfish, Shaws cowfish, Sleeper Gobies, Scooter Blenny, Clownfish, Signal/Crab Eye Gob, Midas Blenny, Coral goby, Seahorses, Sea dragons and Pipefish. Photosynthetic plankton members account for almost half of global primary production and 90% of primary production in marine ecosystems. They also 

provide the primary food source for zooplankton and together form the base of the oceanic food web. Without copepods, the entire oceanic ecosystem would essentially fall apart!

How does all this apply to your home aquarium? 

Not only do these crustaceans provide an essential food source to many marine species, they also keep aquariums clean as their main food source is other tiny plankton organisms, including: bacteria, protozoans, tiny insect larvae such as mosquitoes, rotifers, and other crustaceans. So how many do you need in your tank? Well, the amount of copepods you need at minimum will depend on the size of your tank, type of fish and number of fish. However, the rule of thumb is you can never have too many copepods!

To find out more contact sales@aquaticlivefood.com.au or to purchase now click here -> https://aquaticlivefood.com.au/product/copepod-harpacticoida-marine-250ml/