If you’re looking to breed your fish, you’ll need a good nutrition source for your new fry once they hatch.
Infusoria can be the solution you’re looking for, but what is it? How do you use it, and where do you find it?
Read on to learn everything you need to know about infusoria.
What Is Insuforia?
Infusoria is a term used for all microscopic aquatic organisms within an aquarium, both plant, and animal. Infusoria includes amoebas, algae, stentors, rotifers, and more.
Why Should You Grow Infusoria?
The first days after the fry have hatched are very important to their survival. Providing them with proper nutrition in the early stages of life promotes proper development. Infusoria is a live food that is the best food for fry that have just hatched.
Many aquarium fish, such as bettas, are very helpless when young. When they are born, they live in the bubble nest for a few days and live off microscopic foods until they can swim freely and feed on larger prey.
This makes infusoria a perfect food for your fry, but it can’t be found in stores. So how do you grow infusoria?
What You’ll Need
- 1 Medium/ Large Jar
- Aquarium Water to fill half the jar
- Light sources such as the sun or a lamp
- Decaying vegetable scraps
- Aeration Stone and Air Pump
Step 1: Choose Your Vegetables
Choose your vegetables to start the infusoria. Using more than one type of vegetable can produce a variety of microorganisms. You can use veggies such as:
- Green beans
- Potato peels
Step 2: Place the Jar in Your Light Source and Fill It With Aquarium Water
Place your jar in a well-lit location, such as a window with lots of sun or under a desk lamp. If your aquarium is well established, there should already be infusoria in the water, but this is usually not enough to feed your fry.
Give the jar an hour under your light source and check the temperature with your thermometer. If the temperature reaches over 85F, reduce the amount of light or time spent in the light daily.
Warmth is good for infusoria, but too much warmth will grow bacteria and kill it.
Step 3: Add Your Vegetables to Your Jar
Once the temperature is in the ideal range of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you can add your vegetables. Fill the jar around 1 to 2 inches high with your vegetables.
Chopping your vegetables can help them to break down faster. infusoria feeds on bacteria as well as other infusoria.
Step 4: Add an Aeration Stone
This step is not 100% required, but adding an aeration stone can keep anaerobic bacteria from growing in your jar. Anaerobic bacteria create toxic waste and prevent the growth of other organisms like your infusoria.
These bacteria can also be foul-smelling, so an aeration stone would help keep any unpleasant smells at bay.
Step 5: Wait for Infusoria To Grow
The last step in this process is time. In a few days or a week, the infusoria will grow. During this process, you will see the water becoming cloudy or green, which means bacteria and infusoria are growing.
The water will become clearer as the infusoria grow and feed on the bacteria, which signals that they are ready to feed your baby fish!
How To Use and Store Your Infusoria
Now that you’ve grown your infusoria, how do you use it and store it? Here’s how!
Step 1: Feed Your Fry a Few Drops of Infusoria Twice Daily
You can use a clean eye dropper or any other sort of dropper into the jar and add a few drops into your tank with your fry. Feed them the infusoria at least 2 times daily.
You don’t need to add much liquid because there will be many infusoria in a single drop from your jar.
Step 2: Feed Infusoria for a Week
Feed the infusoria to your fry for about a week until they’re large enough to eat larger foods.
Step 3: Store at Room Temperature
Store your infusoria at room temperature. Keeping the temperature steady is key! Storing the jar in direct sunlight will slow the development of bacteria.
Step 4: Throw Infusoria Out After Two Days
Use your infusoria within two days. After two days, the infusoria will no longer develop, and the bacteria will overgrow in the jar and make the water cloudy again.
Since it’s best to feed infusoria for a week, you may need to make multiple jars.
Is Infusoria Good for Fish?
Infusoria is a crucial component for any keeper planning on breeding fish. Newly hatched fish thrive completely on infusoria for the first crucial days of their lives. Supplying infusoria for your fry can mean the difference between thriving and not surviving for these young fish.
Where Is Infusoria Found?
Infusoria live in water and can be found anywhere. Outdoor bodies of water are full of microscopic organisms, even puddles. Aquariums also have infusoria but usually not in quantities that are enough to feed newborn fish.
Can I Collect Infusoria in Nature?
Some of you probably live near a pond or other body of water and might be wondering if you can just hop down there and collect some infusoria that way. As fun and simple as this sounds, it’s a bad idea.
While outdoor bodies of water are home to infusoria, they also are home to organisms that cause diseases like bacteria, worms, or bugs. Bugs such as water tigers will literally eat anything, including your fry.
Other unsavory characters in these waters include:
- Water fleas
- Damselfly nymphs
- Water boatmen
Although you can collect infusoria in nature, it won’t be safe for your young fish.
Does Infusoria Need Sunlight to Grow?
Infusoria does not need direct sunlight to grow. Some think sunlight increases infusoria production, but a desk lamp would work just as well.
How Long Does Infusoria Take To Grow?
The method and other factors determine how long it takes to grow infusoria. Using decaying vegetable scraps, as suggested above, takes only a couple of days. Using fresh vegetables will take more time for the vegetable matter to degrade and create infusoria.
If you’re using natural sunlight only and not monitoring temperature, this may also take longer than using a desk lamp and monitoring the water temperature.
How Do I Make Infusoria Fast?
There are many different methods for culture infusoria. Still, a way to make infusoria quickly is to use the same method with tank water but instead of adding vegetables, add yeast. The infusoria will feed on the yeast and grow within a day or so.
For more information on this method, watch this video.
How Long Will My Infusoria Culture Last?
As mentioned, throwing them out after a couple of days is typically recommended, but they can last up to a week depending on several factors, such as light and temperature.
Once the jar becomes cloudy again, this is a sign that the bacteria are overgrowing the jar, and it’s time to throw it out.