Once you’ve got your Triops hatched you will want to feed your Triops and this is where the fun comes in.
Triops like all aquatic creatures need food to survive and Triops are not very fussy eaters! They are omnivores by nature so food is very easy to find for them.
Let’s look at their Habits:
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The first thing to know about the eating habits of Triops is that they are always hungry! Not a moment seems to go past when they’re not looking for food.
In nature Triops feed off fragments of plants, tiny insects and other creatures that grow in their temporary pond, there has been a lot of research done in North America and China on the possible use of Triops to destroy Mosquitos which spread a lot of disease. Mosquitos lay their eggs in stagnate pools of water, just the right type of pools in which Triops grow in fact. So it was natural for scientists to think that they could use Triops to consume Mosquitos whilst they were in their larvae state and so limit the spread of Mosquitos across the country.
It was thought the Triops would eat the Mosquito larvae before the Mosquito could turn into its adult flying form. But they forgot that Triops are virtually blind and take the lazy way out and often just eat whatever they just happen to bump across whilst they are crawling on the bottom of the pool and the Mosquito larvae tend to live at the surface of the water! Only a few Triops in a population seem to actually take to active swimming, so whilst the rest of the Triops are eating plant and insects that happen to be lying on the bottom of the pool, the Mosquito larvae are for the most part simply ignored and can continue to grow virtually undisturbed.
As I said earlier, Triops love to eat soft vegetable matter. Therefore one problem that several nations have noticed with Triops is that they love eating young plant roots. They will all too often dig away at the delicate roots of the Rice plant for example and so prevent the plant from growing fully. As you can imagine Rice is a major crop in many nations and so they are not welcome in Paddy fields across the World.
Ok here is a quick run down of some of the types of plant food you can feed your Triops.
Food types – plants
Take a plain ordinary carrot and shave the outside skin off. Then shave a few fragments off of the freshly exposed underskin. You don’t have to parboil (boil it in water for 3 mins) the vegetable first. But the Triops can eat it much faster if you do. As you can imagine, one carrot will last you a very very long time!
Parboil a leaf and then break it up into very small and I mean very small fragments. Once more a little goes a long way! By the way, if you’ve got fish in your tank with your Triops then you’ll find most Omnivore fish love the taste of Lettuce too.
Peel the skin off and parboil a chunk of it. If you have any roots on your potato eyes then these make excellent food for Triops too. Once more finely chop them into small fragments.
Food types – meat
As you know Triops can eat and eat. This is especially true when it comes to a Triop coming across another creature alive or dead! If a Triops bumps into another aquatic animal, yes even another Triops, then that creature had better move quickly or it will find itself on todays memu.
Yes your common earth worm can be fed. But make sure it’s a really small one. Leave the earth worms in a bowl for 6 hours to ensure that their digestion tubes become empty and then rinse them out over a old rag to ensure they are clean. This stops you accidently introducing disease.
Bloodworms are small red chironomid midge larvae. They are the natural prey of freshwater fishes. This worm is often fed to aquarium fish as a treat and is a firm favourite of any meat eating aquatic animal.
It comes from pet shops in a small plastic bag which contains water and the floating live bloodworms. Just pour the worms onto a cloth so that the polluted water doesn’t go into your tank and drop the required amount of bloodworms into the tank.One important point, some people are allergic to the bloodworm if it touches your skin (similar reaction as if you were allergic to dogs or cats). See here for details. Best to wash your hands after handing this food. Of course you should be doing this before as well as afterwards. Your fish don’t know where you’ve been!
Water fleas (Daphnia)
This aquatic creature is usually fed to fish and it is also common to find you’ve got Daphnia supplied in with your Triops when you first hatch them out from a kit or packet! If you don’t have any then most pet shops can supply you with live Daphnia for a few pence or you can buy a container of dried Daphnia which float on the surface and so will encourage your Triops to swim for their supper. Alternatively place a bowl of water (2 litres say) outside for a few days and you should find it full of tiny creatures which you can feed to your ever hungry Triops.
Yes, your common fly can be caught (if not killed by fly spray) and dropped into your tank.
These creatures are commoningly bought at petshops as live food treats for goldfish. They’re very cheap at around 50p (US $0.95) and you get a lot. Just rinse them in tap water first to remove the salt covering them.
Food types – commerical food
You’l get a packet of Triops food when you buy a packet of eggs, but this will not last forever and you’ll need to get another source of pre-prepared aquatic food to feed your Triops.
Basically you want some Tropcial freshwater fish food which will quickly sink and yet is small enough for even young Triops to feed upon. If you stick to the popular brands you’ll know you’re feeding high quality food. Here are some of the brands I’ve used – Tetra, Hikari, King British, Aquarian.
Baby fish food
If you’re rearing your own baby Triops then you’ll eventually need some powder baby fish food to feed them. This type of food is designed for baby fish (fry) and is made of very fine particles of food. They contain a mixture of fish, oil and plant for a balanced diet. They will float for a time before sinking. Please ensure you use very little, a standard sized baby fish bottle will last a very very long time and if yo feed too much then there is a real risk of killing the babies because the uneaten food rots the water.
Catfish pellets are an ideal food. They contain a mixture of fish, oil and plant for a balanced diet. They’re easy to use and sink to the bottom right away. A small tub like the one shown will last a long time. But there are people on amazon selling these types of pellets in bags if you want to be really cost conscience.
Jellied fish food
This food is supplied in small easy to open sachets and is jellied Brine Shrimp, Daphina or Bloodworm which keeps the food together as it sinks to the bottom of the tank. My Triops just love this food. Brands to look out for : Tetra FreshDelica, Tetra Reptotreat.