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NEW Saltwater Daphnia Moina salina adds variety to aquaculture feeds

Posted on Friday, February 11th, 2011 at 6:59 pm by

One of my favorite seahorse breeders Dan Underwood of Seahorsesource.com announced yesterday on Seahorse.org that Moina salina, a type of water flea related to Daphnia, will soon be available for purchase through his online store. This species is already available in Europe and is making its way to the U.S.

“AlgaGen, the producer of our Algae Starter Cultures and Copepods is producing this product. It is the first of several new species being added to the Reef Pods Product line. We will begin shipping this product next week.” – from Seahorsesource.com Moina salina product page

Moina salina nauplii are roughly 300 microns in length (compare S strain rotifers at 100 µ and newly hatched Artemia at 400 µ), and adults reach a little over 2mm in length. This makes them great supplements to the diets of juvenile fish, dwarf seahorses, pipefish, and other marine critters requiring live foods. They prefer salinity around 1.014 (20 ppt) and temperatures between 68°F and 77°F. According to Dan, they are relatively easy to culture using methods similar to copepod culture – light aeration, T-Iso, Chaetoceros, Spirulina flake, and other flake foods. Moina salina lay eggs, capable of reproducing both sexually and parthenogenetically.

Seahorse keepers in Europe who tested this species with seahorses say that the jerking motions of the Moina salina, as can be seen in the video below, are irresistible even to finicky individuals.

by Felicia McCaulley

Felicia has been keeping aquariums since the early 90s and has a keen interest in taxonomy, aquaculture, and seahorses. she is the former Liveaquaria Diver's Den photographer and now works for Philadelphia area's largest aquarium specialty store The Hidden Reef.

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