Hi, all

I am hoping (eventually) to set up a co-culture of daphnia pulex and dero ("microfex") worms to feed my (future) fish. I have a good reference book discussing how to culture these organisms in general terms, but I had a few specific questions that I'm hoping someone on here can answer.

For dero worms, the author of my reference ("Culturing Live Foods" by M. R. Hellweg) recommends setting up a bare aquarium with sponge filter, aged water, and lining the bottom of the tank with either "polyester filter material" or kitchen sponges (unsoaped, obviously) cut into 2inx2in squares. The idea is that the worms live in the sponge-y material, and you can pluck up the squares and shake the worms out at fish-feeding time. That sounds great, but "polyester filter material" isn't a very specific descriptor. Would, say, polyester batting from a cloth or hobby store do the trick? Has anyone tried a similar setup? What did you use?

Co-culturing with daphnia seems pretty straightforward, since they want a similar basic setup (plain tank with sponge filter) and only seem to want some crushed coral and a bit of floating plant in addition. My main question in this case is about the size of the culture colony overall. I ultimately plan to have one 29-gallon and one 90-gallon aquarium, both fully stocked. How big of a culture colony do I need to feed that many fish 1-2x a week? 10 gallons seems about right to me, but I don't want a colony so small that it gets depleted or so large that it isn't sufficiently culled via feedings. Can anyone give me a better ballpark on how many gallons worth of culture colony I ought to have?