Monday, 7 September 2015

Collecting! and decor for fish and shrimps!

I have always enjoyed collecting my own supplements for the tanks and tubs. 

Over the summer I have collected a large amount of Asellus, Daphnia and Lumbriculus sp. from a small pond at my parents' place. The pond is around 30x30 metres with overhanging Alder-trees and a thick layer of branches and leaves over a clay substrate. The water is only 50 cm. at the deepest place. No fish are present.

The pond.

Easy to spot in the margins!

In the warmer months big clumps of Lumbriculus can be spotted along the edges and collected with a small net. Of course a lot of leaves, mud and small leeches etc. is collected along with the worms and to get the worms "purified", I use this simple method:

1: Pour the mud, leaves etc. through a mesh box for pond plants or something similar. Put the box into a tub with fresh, oxygen-rich water.

2: The worms crawl out and you can easily collect them with a pipette!

One of the places I collected plants this year was  a small pond hidden in some trees in the middle of a suburban area in my town. Big bushes of Callithiche sp. (Starworts) and Fontinalis sp. (Water moss) ready to be taken home and de-leeched. I don't mind Asellus and other small critters but big leeches I would rahter be without in my tubs and tanks.
Apart from the mentioned, there's almost no limit to what plants you can take home and try. Just avoid the red-listed ones!
Nice pond!

The moss.

Lemna trisulca: nice duckweed!

I have also collected some nettles for the shrimp to eat. Again it is my parent's place that has an abundance if these plants.
I use them "raw" so to speak; just dried for a day and then I feed them. Stem and leaves. The whole lot! I am shure they are collected in a pesticide-free place and as a side-bonus the Poecilia wingei love the small spiders and other critters that goes in the tank along with the nettles.

Drying nettles.

A trip in the forest revealed some nice wood-peices to carry home...just make shure it's safe types like Oak, Beech etc.


  1. and adds hydra and planaria to all your tanks.

    1. hydra and planaria! it depends on the pollution status..

  2. Thank you both for input! It's always nice when there is some response. Also if it does not agree to what I write!

    I think collecting livefood and stuff for the tanks myself weighs up every possible downside. I collect food from a few ponds I consider safe; away from areas with pesticides and which has a rich life of relatively sensitive animals. The pond in this post has a healthy population of salamanders so I am not concerned. I always remove dragonfly larvae, leeches etc. that are visible from the food containers before feeding.

    Everyone I know, including hysterical shrimp-breeders that pracitcally boil and desinfect everything before going into the tank experiences planaria once in a while and hydra I have actually mostly seen when feeding a particular brand of Artemia!

    Both are easily killed with a pinch of Flubenazole if I want to.

  3. Macropodus is the solution to all. They eat hydras and planarias even when they are not really hungry :)

  4. I bet Martin...but what bout the shrimp ;)