New DT’s Live Amphipods & Chaeto
30 Aug, 2016
Sustainable Aquatics has been slowly and quietly expanding their offerings of live feed from microfoods pioneer Dennis Tagrin for fish breeding and reef-keeping. Matthew Carberry, President of Sustainable Aquatics, recently took the time to introduce two of their latest products: DT’s Live Marine Macro Algae: Chaetomorpha sp., and DT’s Live Marine Amphipods: Hawaiian Grammarus sp.
“The Hawaii Amphipods were isolated from a starter of [Chaetomorpha sp.] from Hawaii and are noticeably different from the regular amphipods we’ve seen in our tanks,” Carberry stated. “They are a dark, almost purple color, and have a bit more elongated body. They grow to a larger size and seem to be more robust than our standard ‘tropical’ amphipod.”
Carberry notes that this species has a solid shelf life. “In trials here, we were able to keep 6 bottles of 25 adult pods (what we typically pack in the bottle) on the shipping room counter with the bottle sealed (we had replaced the air above the water with pure oxygen and sealed the bottle) for one month before we saw the first losses; this makes it a very friendly product for retailers to keep on the counter.”
In discussions with Carberry, he also noted the multiple ways that these Amphipods can be used in aquaria. “We are using them to seed broodstock systems and as part of a ‘clean-up crew.’ Of course we’re using them as feeds both for the SI division and for some of the more finicky broodstock here (dragonets, sand-sifting gobies, angels, etc).”
“The Chaeto is pretty self-explanatory,” explains Carberry, “but it’s something our customers have asked us to provide for a long time. Dennis Tagrin agreed to help us grow it, and a few weeks after receiving a starter culture from Hawaii, we had enough to fill orders. We’re producing this, along with some small copepods (Tisbe sp.) and some unidentified small tubeworms that arrived with the algae. This is also the same algae that contained the Amphipods we used to start the Hawaii Amphipod cultures.”
Notably, SA’s Chaetomorpha is reportedly pest– and pathogen-free, which cannot always be said for the random clump of Chaetomorpha you might get from other sources, where problem organisms like Aiptasia anemones can sneak in unnoticed. Carberry elaborated on this claim, stating, “We’ve cultured it in an area (separate room) away from the fish for several weeks to make sure we can offer it as pathogen-free product, as it comes from a vector-free area (same goes for the Amphipods; they have their own area as well).”