I recently stumbled upon a video titled something like this:
- Live Copepods for your Marine Tank -
Beneath a marine tank the presentator introduced us to what looked like a refugium... In fact it was a smaller tank filled with a brine mixture of table salt that had the appearance of a dark colored gunky soup. It was a reproduction tank for Live Copepods apparently... And this self proclaimed genius had just developped the ultimate formula to feed his or your marine fish (including corals and anemones etc..) Live Quality Food....
Wow isn't that full of good intentions I thought !
At least they weren't home made decapsulated brine shrimp: the process is simple and utilizes JAVEL water to bleach away the egg shells. Of course you have to rinse the resulting so-called brine shrimp in water which happens to be chlorinated tap water for most.... Anyway it reminds me of this LFS back in the 70's that had this one gallon jar (in the backroom) filled with brine shrimp eggs and mostly tons of empty shells swirling in a dark grey mist created by a powerful 5 watt air pump. The distribution of egg shells was always pathetic to witness in front of clients...
Problem is that pathogenic bacteria, microbes and mycosis easily develop in such primitive setups... Not very good for a healthy marine tank is it. Besides empty brine shrimp egg shells have no place in a marine tank: they never decompose, float or stick to everything, are ugly and a high risk health factor...
Back to the video: presentator now siphons a large amount of - copepods - with a basker: directly in dark colored gunky brine mixture... and squirts the Health Food; adult live brine shrimp (3/4 in) in tank... Where they will swim mostly on bottom... will soon go into hiding... where they will most probably die... since their life expenctancy in marine waters rarely exceeds 24 hours... They are very fragile and will be torn to shreds by impellers, propellers, circulators etc... Their nutritional value is minimal and probably pointless and as such equal to that of freshly hatched brine shrimp; which adds up to NADA !!
There is only one worse scenario with them: Frozen Brine Shrimp have NO nutritional value at all... freezing destroys their delicate structure and when thawed they turn into juice that pollutes the water and doesn't feed anything at all... The fish or whatever end up eating exoskeletons (chitin).... That's a lot of waste by all meanings in my humble opinion.
It's a tough world... I know :)
Note that the general Perception of all this is seen as Good - Healthy - Nutritional and demonstrates a strong dedication to living things and their well being... I suppose a medal, honor or distinction comes with such dedication to a green mentality !!!
Still there are worse Perception Issues with the general public and/or consumer due to ignorance...
Take a SB Marine Biological System, for example.
Most people will experience repulsion, disgust or whatever negative when first seeing three glass sides covered with a BioFilm consisting chiefly of micro algae, pseudo-algae and calcified algae. For your information there are less bad bacteria in a tankful of this than on a 1 square inch section of human skin !!
Then comes the part when people notice the 'Pods crawling all over the tank..... Yikes.. it's close to hysteria, paranoïa, fear and a whole lot more sometimes !!
Because most people (in their deep inner subconscious) associate them with insects and creepy horror movies or simply bad experiences...
'Pods are part of the Crustaceans order and could be called minuxcule shrimp which they are in essence... They certainly don't have anything to do with - dirty business -.
I guess Perception will always be equal to the degree of Knowledge. This is why at SBMarine we strongly encourage Aquarists to document and research all their initiatives as best as they can... Or should I say to the best of their knowledge.
Have a Great Day everyone
As opposed to some molluscs, echinoderms and other animals that can and will eat away the biofilm... 'Pods are the ones who perform the most thorough job by completely removing it in large sections. You couldn't scrape any more material with a razor blade on the blue sections to the right. That's how useful they are !! In addition, if you take a closer look you will understand why they have a very interesting (and real) nutritional value. Notice their coloration which indicates a healthy diet that, above all, allows them to reproduce in captivity according to a 3 month cycle !!
The population is optimal in a fish free tank and varies according to what type of fishes are present otherwise. Easy aquascaping or filtration tricks will prevent fish populations of completely eating them. Amphipods are at lesser risk of vanishing since their life styles are different than that of Copepods.