Live Copepods are popular in the world of marine hobbyists as they have many benefits. However, some hobbyists are yet to discover the real perks of having Copepods in their aquarium. So why are these species so beneficial to your tank? Here are the top 5 reasons summarised for you to understand just what makes these little creatures so special…
1. Copepods are highly nutritious for your fish
Just as we know the benefits of consuming fish oil, if we look further into the food web, we discover that Copepods are the source of what actually causes these nutritional benefits. How? Copepods transform the microalgae and bacteria they consume into a high protein source that is high in fatty acids. In fact, much marine fish can’t even survive without the particular fatty acid that Copepods contain.
2. Copepods are an essential link in the aquatic food web
The significance of Copepods in the aquatic food web is mainly due to them being at the bottom of the food chain. Without Copepods and other crustaceans, it would essentially be impossible for the aquatic eco-system to survive. A more well-known comparison of this is the relationship between whales and krill. Just as the size difference of a krill to a whale is huge, so is the size difference between a fish and Copepods. However, this does not change the effect that these tiny species have on the larger species. There are many aspects to consider when starting an aquarium at home and just as this principle of crustaceans applies to oceans and reefs, the same applies to a home aquarium.
3. Many fish are highly dependant on copepods
Not only are Copepods extremely nutritious for fish, but many fish species cannot survive without eating Copepods when they are first born. Some of these species include Mandarin fishes, Sand Sifting Gobies, Sleeper Gobies, Clownfish, Signal/Crab Eye Goby, Coral goby, Seahorses, Seadragons and Pipefish. If you own any of the above species, it is especially important for you to add Copepods into your tank.
4. Copepods keep your tank clean
As Copepods naturally graze on phytoplankton and bacteria, they are not only a perfect food source for your fish, they are also essentially a natural tank cleaner. When consuming the phytoplankton and bacteria, Copepods incorporate the protein and fatty acids from these food sources and their bodies concentrate it into a nutritious source of food for fish.
5. Copepods are highly cost-effective
You can even grow your own! Once you purchase a batch of Copepods from a live food shop such as Aquatic Live Food, you then have the opportunity to reproduce and grow this batch of Copepods. This is called starting your own Copepod culture. This method is surprisingly easy and if you’re already interested in aquatic life then this should also be of interest to you. As a bonus, you’re saving money on purchasing Copepods and you will be contributing to your tank from the very first step in the food web.