hello!

im trying to breed Lysiosquillina maculata(zebra mantis shrimp) and raise the larvae untill at least the post-larval stage.

that means i need food that will stay suspended in the water column. the first food needs to be something as small as rotifers, the second foods need to be about half the size of BBS, and the third stage food needs to be about the size of a Daphnia pulex. whatever is given for food has to stay in the water column, so amphipods are out. so are any species of copepod that spends most of its time resting on tank walls, floor, etc. they also need to be able to survive in the water column until eaten. on top of this, i will need to be able to quickly raise large numbers of them untill the stomatopods settle out of the water column and molt into their post-larval form.

i already have all the details for the tank setup for them worked out. i know they are highly cannibalistic and have already solved that problem. i have also solved the problem of water quality. basically, i found a way of keeping the larvae separated in their own containers while at the same time having continuous filtration through powerful filters and a large refugium with live rock and macroalgae. i also designed the system to ensure that the current will not be too much for the larvae. it basically mimics the ocean.

my problem now is coming up with several different types of live foods for them. i could easily grow rotifers, then harpacticoid copepods, then moina salina, bbs etc., but i would much prefer to have several options for each stage of their development. i would really like any input as to any other type of foods that anyone can think of. even if you can think of something that has never been cultured before, if it is the appropriate size, i would still love to hear about it. if there is a way of culturing it for use as live food, ill find it. that is kind of my specialty.

thanks in advance for any and all input.