The ciliates are the simplest; they are part of the “pond dust”, the most valuable as fodder food is the ciliate-shoe, 0.1-0.3 mm in size. The name of the ciliates slipper acquired due to its shape, resembling the sole of a shoe.
The presence of ciliates-shoes in the diet of fry significantly reduces their mortality, and for some species of tiny fry, the infusorium-shoe is vital.
These protozoa live in reservoirs with stagnant water and feed on decomposing organic matter. But often it is almost impossible to collect a pure culture of ciliates-shoes from a reservoir, because they are abundantly populated and those who feed on the simplest: rotifers, predatory infusoria, daphnia, cyclops, insects.
If you still managed to get a pure culture or a culture where most of the ciliates are slippers, then you can safely start breeding them at home. Due to the fact that infusoria feed on decaying organic matter, there should be no problems with food for them.
Two liters of “old” aquarium water are poured into a three-liter jar and one-fifth of a banana peel (fresh or dried) is added, any other nutrient organics (milk, salad, potatoes, etc.) can also be used. for ciliates, the water should become cloudy, if the water is too turbid and has an unpleasant strong smell – you put a lot of organic matter, prepare a nutrient solution again, but this time reduce the amount of organic matter. The best option would be to use several cans with a nutrient solution at once, if in one water it spoils – use another.
To get a pure culture of ciliates, you can take a magnifying glass, pipette and a container of water rich in protozoa (including the infusorium of the shoe), pour some water on the glass and look through the magnifying glass, then collect a pure culture with a pipette. 10-20 ciliates-shoes should be enough to grow a pure culture.
We put the three-liter jar with nutrient solution and infusoria-shoes added to it in a dark warm place, the optimum temperature for breeding is 18-22 degrees, in such conditions in a week there will be a large colony of these shoes in your bank.
Nutrient solution for ciliates can also be made on milk powder at the rate of 2-3 drops of milk per 2 liters of water, and milk should be added every two days.
Nutrient solution on hay: 1-2 g of hay is poured with 10 liters of water. You can also use dry lettuce, the peel of various vegetables and root crops.
Water in cans with nutrient solution and ciliates contains a huge amount of organic matter, so adding it to the aquarium with fry is strictly prohibited, the ciliates are caught using filter paper, and then the paper is washed in the aquarium with fry.
When diluting infusoria, it should be borne in mind that the water in the banks may deteriorate and all the protozoa will die, so it is better to have several containers with different concentrations of organic matter, this will prevent the complete destruction of the entire culture of the infusorian shoes.
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