Phytoplankton Microfauna

Phytoplankton Microfauna

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Mixture of marine microalgae (Tetraselmis suecica 50%, Nannochloropsis gaditana 50%)

Food for copepods, rotifers, amphipods, isopods ... etc.

General characteristics

These two species of microalgae complement each other perfectly due to their difference in size and mobility, on the one hand, we have Tetraselmis suecica, with a size of 10-14 µm and mobility by flagella, and, on the other, we have Nannochloropsis gaditana, with a size much smaller, around 2 µm, without mobility by itself.
Phytoplankton is the base of the trophic chain of the oceans and, therefore, of vital importance for all organisms that inhabit our aquarium directly or indirectly.
Feeding in a correct way from the earliest links allows us to have a more balanced and better nourished ecosystem. We must try to "imitate" as far as possible what organisms find in their natural environment and, phytoplankton, is an essential part for this purpose.

Nutritional value

Microalgae contain proteins / amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3), vitamins, minerals, chlorophylls and other pigments, antioxidants, enzymes, ...
The composition in general terms is usually: proteins (30-50%), carbohydrates (20-40 %) and lipids (8-15%). All these percentages are variable depending on the microalgae in question and the cultivation conditions that we apply to them.

Advantages presented as food

  • It feeds directly the filtering and invertebrate organisms that inhabit the aquarium, in such a way that it will reinforce their immune system, reporting its color and awakening the predatory instincts of those who feed on it.
  • The results will not be visible immediately but little by little we will see how life in our marine aquarium improves over time.

When to use phytoplankton and what for

The microalgae that are not consumed at that time will disappear with some time, it is important not to add more than necessary. A part of them will remain attached to the living rock and the substrate, serving as food for organisms found here.
It is important to note that the phytoplankton that we put in the aquarium cannot reproduce in it over time. Phytoplankton requires elements for its growth and reproduction that we cannot find in the aquarium. Mainly a eutrophic medium (with a high amount of nutrients) is essential and what we want to have in our aquarium is an oligotrophic medium (little amount of dissolved nutrients).
We must always start with a low dosage and gradually increase depending on the needs of our aquarium.
It contributes to the reproduction and maintenance of the zooplankton that we have introduced.
Corals (Tetraselmis suecica 20%, Nannochloropsis gaditana 30%, Isochrysis galbana 30%, Phaeodactylum tricornutum 20%)
It is important to differentiate between hermatypic and ahermatypic corals. Not all corals feed in the same way and therefore we must learn the basics to know how to try to feed each of them as best as possible.
Ahermatypics  Soft corals that do not generate a skeleton; They feed directly on plankton and microorganisms (phytoplankton and zooplankton). It is important to control some factors in the water such as calcium, magnesium and trace elements since the corals feed on them.
Hermatípicos  Hard corals that do generate skeletons; They obtain their main source of energy from zooxanthellae (very small algae that live within the coral tissue in symbiosis, they are actually dinoflagellates that live in symbiosis with the colonies of polyps). Thanks to photosynthesis, these algae produce sugars that serve as food and a source of energy for the coral itself. In turn, these algae are what give the coral itself its color. Therefore, in these corals the light is very important since they are partly nourished by it and thus obtain their own food. Polyps feed on bacteria, diatoms, ... An example of a hermatypic coral would be acropores (SPS corals).
Microfauna (Tetraselmis suecica 50%, Nannochloropsis gaditana 50%)

 

Food for copepods, rotifers, amphipods, isopods.
Kingdom: Eucaryota
Class: Eustigmatophyceae
Order: Eustigmatales
Family: Monodopsidaceae
Genus: Nannochloropsis
Species: Nannochloropsis gaditana

  • Size 2-3 µm
  • Devoid of flagella
  • Very resistant cell wall
  • Fast growth
  • Rotifer and copepod feeding
  • Used in green water technique to establish initial phases in aquaculture
  • High protein and lipid content. Its high content of EPA (omega 3 eicosapentaenoic fatty acid) stands out.

Nutritional profile:

  • Proteins: 52%
  • Carbohydrates: 12%
  • Lipids: 28%
  • EPA: 37%
  • ARA (arachidonic fatty acid): 5%

Kingdom: Eucaryota
Class: Chlorodendrophyceae
Order: Chlorodendrales
Family: Chlorodendraceae
Genus: Tetraselmis
Species: Tetraselmis suecica

  • Size 10-12 µm
  • It has 4 isodynamic flagella that are grouped in an apical vertex
  • Being larger and mobile makes it more palatable to certain organisms (such as hard corals)
  • Feeding of small organisms such as copepods, rotifers and Artemia salina. Widely used for feeding mollusks and crustaceans

Nutritional profile:

  • Proteins: 36%
  • Carbohydrates: 12%
  • Lipids: 10%
  • EPA: 4%
  • ARA (arachidonic fatty acid): 10%
  • Linoleic acid: 12%
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