Copepod Question


New member
I didnt know where to ask this question, but since I plan to get pipefish and seahorses, I thought I could get help here.

I have a 65 gallon tank, cycled for about two months. It is seagrass and macroalgae dominated with about 10 pounds or so of LR.

I have a mandarin who is getting thinner by the day. I tried pellets, live brine, homemade frozen, fozen myosid, and yes, even caviar, to no avail. He is not eating.

Today my LFS finally got live baby copepods.

I bought a little plastic reptile container, drilled a bunch of holes all over, and placed it into my sump with a handful of chaemo algae, before pouring in the baby copepods. I have a small table lamp on 24/7 illuminating the sump.

My question(s):

1.Will the copepods manage to stay in the container in the sump and mature a little before getting sucked into the pump?

2. Will the pump (a Little Giant pump) rotator drill them to pieces, as the fish guy at the store told me it wouldn't?

3. If they can mature, and survive the pump into my main tank, won't they simply be sucked right back into the outflow and end up in my wet-dry filters and have a miserable little ending?

What do you think? (Im a newbie) I really want to start a copepod cultivation, since I want to introduce searhorses and pipefish later on.


Your best bet would be return the mandarin to the store you bought him from. Your tank is not old enough to feed one. They live on copods that's it! You also don't have enough LR should be about 1.5 to 2 pounds per gal.


Team RC member
Team RC
Returning the fish is best for the fish as you cannot produced enough copepods in the short run to save him. But, after a year, if you increase your live rock quantity or add a refugium, you should be good.


New member
I agree you need to establish a good size refugium to support them--which you might want to consider setting up at this point anyways--down the line a refugium and chaeto algae do a good job of removing nitrates and phospates also

this cost about 60 dollars to set up:


New member
your welcome but at any rate you should take that mandarine back before it starves to death---or find someone nearby with a refugium--you can put it in there for awhile--it will be in heaven there.


New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11688295#post11688295 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by bertoni
The refugium should help, but I've seen a very skinny mandarin in a 65 g with refugium.

agreed---you can have a big mother refugium and if the flow is not right through it, the inverts can't get back into the tank without being skimmed, your running a filter sock 24/7 etc then you are not going to be feeding your tank from the refugium very much


New member
I also seen tanks loaded with gobies and other copopod eaters so there is not enough to go around and they all look too skinny


In Memoriam
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11688339#post11688339 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by capn_hylinur
running a filter sock 24/7 etc then you are not going to be feeding your tank from the refugium very much

I've seen alot of people say that but the refugium is after the filter sock (or at least mine is)so the pods growing in the fuge will still be making it into the tank.


New member
Ive put him overnight in my mini-refugium (a little plastic tank in the sump drilled with holes all over and chaemo inside).

But Hey capn I didn't even think about the skimmer! The copepods probably all got sucked right through it!

I'm bringing the mandarin back today. He obviously is starving himself to death.