Rotifers, Brachionus

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Rotifers are very small multicellular animals possessing
a crown of cilia, called a corona, and a set of jaws called a mastax.
Most of the Rotifers can be found on the leaves of waterplants,
feeding on small organism, that are part of the plancton.


The corona is covered with movings hairs,
making it looks like a wheel, hence it old name:" wheel animalcules."


The mastax is the jaw apparatus that is always churning and moving
as the rotifer chews on stuff. Rotifers have only a very short live span ,they live not longerthen a week
, mostly. They feed on bacteria, algae and other protozoa.

Rotifers as a living food

A lot of fishes (Cichlids) and salamanders (newts) and frogfish start their
live eating Rotifers, for example: stickelbacks and
newts and the Pond Snail.

Home-made rotifers

Brachionus plicatilis is the most used rotifer in aquaculture.
It is used as a replacement for zooplancton, eaten by larval fish,
shrimp and crablarvae and anemoons, all living in a sea-aquarium. Branchionus
feed on unicellulair algae, that must be produced by yourself.
to the marine environment ( Lubzens, 1987; Dhert et al., 1994 ).
A brachiones has feed itself with phytoplancton.

Brachionus as a food

Brachionus is used as a food for small fishes and
young salamanders. Especialy Young seahorses
and sea needles feed on Brachionus or artemia
nauplii. Start with a Branchiones culture that
can be bought in a seaaquarium shop. Divide this
in a great number of small portion and put them
in a plastic bag filled wih seawater. Now if
you need a portion of critters add some drups
of phytoplancton.
The seawater turns green after adding the phytoplancton,
and turns into a milky white substances after some days:
the critters have eaten the phytoplancton. You can
now feed your seahorses with the seawater that
contains youre Brachionus culture.

Some members of the branchinus family:
1 Brachionus pala
2 Brachionus pala
3 Brachionus rubens
4 brachionus Mulleri
5 Brachionus brevispinis

    The most common critters are: (1) Brachionus urceolaris ,(2)Euchlanis lyra,
    (3) Taphrocampa selenura ,(4) Furcularia forficula, (5)Brachionus Bakeri,
    (6)Noteus quadricornis.

    Melicerta on attached on a alga (spirogyra quinina).
    Three one-cellulair algae can be seen.

    Melicerta between other marvels of the microworld.

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