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Live Food for Triops? And some other ideas
Topic Started: Oct 1 2016, 10:53 AM (839 Views)
Lemon Flavoured Goat
A while back when i hatched my first Triops, I noticed several mosquito larvae swimming around in a bucket outside, so I fished the wrigglers out and put them in with my Triops. The Triops seemed to like them, and she ate all of them. Later, when tossed some old eggs in a tank with some water and sand, and two (comparatively) massive Triops hatched, they too ate wild mosquitoes that I gave them.

So what is your view on live feeding? I've seen Triops be fed bloodworms, and heard of them eating brine shrimp, but is this a bad idea for health/ethical reasons?

On a different note, Triops seem to like quinoa. It's a perfect size for them, and contains protein. They also enjoy honey as a treat: I'll take a small stick, dip it in a drop of honey to collect a smaller drop, and then wave the stick in front of the Triops. The honey slides onto the sand and the Triops pounces on it like a little three-eyed shark. Since I have a serious wild arugula problem, I feed them some arugula leaves as a staple. They prefer them crushed- crushed leaves sink faster. Arugula, however, has a peppery taste to humans, and I've seen Triops swim to the leave, take a tiny bite, and swim off like they've been shocked. :lol: Once the leaves have taken in water, the taste is gone and the Triops prefer it to other lettuce.

While the two Triops outside were still alive, I'd see them eat caterpillars, beetles, bees, all kinds of little things, but I've only once seen a Triops eat a fellow Triops (died of unknown cause, perhaps bad molt?), and even then they only ate half his tail. :blink:
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Triops Newberryi
Triops don't really hunt like many fish species that live foods such as bloodworm and Artemia are produced for, so I find buying live food a bit pointless. The triops having to "catch " the food is actually a disadvantage for them. Live adult Artemia in particular, unless specifically gut loaded, is also well known to be a poor diet for fish and invertebrates.

Obviously they eat live food in natural conditions, however in an aquarium the only advantage of live food for triops is that it doesn't rot when left uneaten. Being alive means it's more likely to pass on pathogenic bacteria compared to frozen or dried food too, although personally I think the risk of this is very, very small.

Frozen food is usually sterilised and enriched with vitamins/spirulina/omega-3, as well as much cheaper and can be stored long-term in the freezer.

As it makes no sense to me for health/economical reasons, I would never buy live food specifically for triops. If I was feeding my fish some live bloodworms (which I do rarely) I would probably chuck a few in for the triops, from the triops perspective it wouldn't be any better than feeding frozen worms.

Personally I don't like seeing triops feeding on large live prey like earthworms in aquariums for ethical reasons - it's a very slow death for the worm with no advantage to the triops. I don't consider it "nature in action" as the worm has ended up in the triops environment through no mistake of it's own and has no chance of escape unlike in nature. Like many animals, the triops would rather eat something that takes less energy to catch/subdue and has richer nutrients, like fish pellets. I am not totally against live food, however I can't justify myself enjoying watching another animal be killed without what I consider good enough reason. While suffering is part of the natural system we live in, I don't think it should be be pointless.

If you have a free supply of live mosquito larvae/daphnia in your garden, this could be very useful for feeding young triops while avoiding polluting the water with too much dry/frozen food in the first few weeks, so it's not pointless in that scenario.

Quinoa and rocket/arugula (Eruca sativa) are probably great for triops, not sure about honey though. It's not like they are evolved to consume rich sources of sugar like fruit :ermm: . Sounds like it doesn't do much direct harm to the triops, but the bacteria in your tank will certainly love it, resulting in a higher "bioload" (more ammonia/nitrite/nitrate). What made you think to try honey for triops?
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Lemon Flavoured Goat
The honey? Well, a while ago, I had a praying mantis that had caught a bee while outside on a flower, and I noticed it ate the honey inside the bee as soon as the bee was caught. I then put some honey on a toothpick and the mantis licked it off. Later, I used the toothpick to herd my Triops over toward some food I put in, and one of them grabbed the toothpick and started chewing on it! After that, i very rarely treat the Triops to honey, and when I do it is a very small drop which they suck up instantly. Mostly, I just feed them lettuce leaves, pelleted food, and bits of cooked or raw shrimp.

I also agree with you about feeding Triops live earthworms, it is neither a good way to feed them or kind to the worms.
Thank you for your input!
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