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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:14 pm 
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Location: Red Oak, Texas
In my first Blue BarreI GB's, I have found Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds) Living in the Gravel and the lava rock under the water inlet, and around that area for several inches , and in a wider area the further we dug down. They were under the 1/2 black drain pipe and in the lowest lava rock by the 1000's, eating the detritus in the low area that does not drain.
I have also found them in the Muck in the bottom of the 2nd fry barrel, when I cleaned it out a few days ago, and I found them in the outside sump tank when I cleaned the leafs from the bottom. I now think they are living in the Blue Barrel Biofilter media and bottoms as well.

To me, this is a very exciting development, in their many variations, Gammarus Crustacea are a very important part of most local ecosystems, eating organic detritus. And providing food for the rest of the food chain.

Early in my system, when the Pea Soup Green happened, after about 10 days, Water Fleas (Daphnia) showed up by the 1000's, and the pea soup went away in another 10 days or so. And now I only find a few water fleas every once and a while..... so my ecosystem has developed a little more

Since we are trying to create ecosystems here, I think based on my research, that Gammarus could be a major part of cleaning up the fish solids, old roots, and mineralization, along with the worms, if added to our Grow beds, the same as we add worms. And increase the amount of solids that can be processed over time, and per given volume of GB media...

Gammarus would be great for settlement tanks in the muck, and would be easy to strain from the muck to harvest, and perhaps other places in our systems

I also think that Gammarus Crustacea could and should be used as food for almost any kind of fish we grow, and be a part of sustainable on site fish food production, along with BSF, Worms, etc......... but how to set up to grow them as easily harvested fish food in our different setups, needs to be explored, You don't want to have dig into the gravel very often to harvest them.....

total Oxygen load added to system from Gammarus - as always, add as much more extra aeration for the various micro critters , as you can get

what do Gammarus poop...? My guess is, enzyme mineralized forms of what ever organics they are eating.... much as worms do, and where does that go? my guess is into the system water as plant available micro nutrients

I would also like to set up something in my sump tank to easily grow / harvest them........

if i took the clean out plug, out, i might could flush them from the bottoms of some of the the GB's into a strainer....

I had not noticed Gammarus being discussed on the various forums, until recently when Damon (thanks) mentioned Gammarus, and I identified what I had found a few days before, by doing some research on Gammarus to see what he was talking about..... After a bit of research, I See that back in Aug, TC received a culture of Gammarus to test in water chestnut bins
And i_ngsi mentioned them showing up and cleaning up things,
And Jacob wandering if his raft plants root troubles are caused by them,

It seams that for most of us that have them, they have shown up on their own. To get a local to you strain to seed your system with, you should look for them in your local streams and ponds, under rocks.....LOL and maybe quarantine them for a while before adding to your system,
As the media I have been using is size screened washed Local river rock, they likely hitched a ride into my system that way, and just started growing in the gravel and lava rock, when plenty of fish poo to eat reached them.....

the ones i have found look like this one,
http://somethingscrawlinginmyhair.com/2 ... -gammarus/
more gray than this one
http://aquaworld.netfirms.com/Food/Gammarus%20pulex.htm
other sites
http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/gal ... -scud.html
http://www.waterwereld.nu/vlokreefteng.html
http://lhsfoss.org/fossweb/teachers/mat ... marus.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gammarus

So what do you all think....?

RS


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:18 pm
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Location: Malden Bridge, NY
They are great food for small fish and help break down solids. Good to see you have them. I keep a tank culture going to feed my cichlids. They live string algae, one of the few critters that does. They are also sensitive to water quality, so having a good population is a good sign.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:13 am
Posts: 2286
Location: Zone 9b
At my local fishing spot, the trick is to use what the locals call "sea weed". You scape it off by a small waterfall type area. The string algae is loaded with these critters, and the blue tilapia LOVE to eat it. In fact, it's just about the only way to catch them there on a hook. Some folks pull 'em out by the dozens.

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