Ordering live creatures online can be stressful. As aquarium enthusiasts and lovers of marine life, we understand the importance of quality shipping. But success or failure in rehoming them into their new aquarium environment lies in keeping a few rules in mind.

It is easy when you are dealing with resilient copepod and amphipods. But, a lot of new hobbyists tend to throw them into the deep end too soon, quite literally. When you receive your shipment of copepods and amphipods, follow these simple steps for a 100 percent success rate in transferring them into their new tank. 

What are Copepods and Amphipods?

Copepods and Amphipods are small crustaceans that come in a range of sizes. They are one of the smallest creatures in the marine food chain but are no slouches when it comes to positive contributions to the marine and aquarium ecosystems.

In an aquarium setting, they perform two extremely crucial functions. They are the best clean-up crew in the business and also are the richest and most natural source of nutrition for the larger, more eye-catching fish in your tank. 

They primarily feed on waste and algae that gets deposited in the impossible-to-reach crevices in your corals and tank bed. It is essential to maintain a clean, waste-free tank to avoid an outbreak of algae (algae are hard to get rid of). But, this is not their primary function. 

They are the best source of food for marine fish. Copepod and Amphipods are the first links in the marine food chain. They are a delicious source of protein for fish. They are almost 40 – 45 percent protein, which is excellent to maintain fish health and shiny scales that add beauty to the tank.

How to Acclimatize a Copepod or Amphipod Shipment? 

We ship these tiny crustaceans in filters drenched in water. We do not put them in a water-filled bag because they are highly active and can quickly burn out the oxygen in the water during transit. This could lead to unnecessary loss in numbers. 

To avoid this, we here at Aquarium Depot, always ship our copepods and amphipods with minimal water, embedded in a series of filters. The filters themselves are damp, enabling the amphipods to stay alive until they reach you. We guarantee an almost 100 percent survival rate for our amphipod shipments. 

To acclimatize your new batch of amphipods and copepods, firstly, keep a tub of water handy (the same water you use for your tank). Measure the temperature of this and use a small wave generator or pump to mimic the lazy currents of the ocean. Once you are sure that the tub of water mimics your tank perfectly, open up your shipment. 

Extract the filters and slowly pry apart the many layers one by one and drench each extracted layer into the tub. As the filter enters the water, the copepods magically gain energy and start swimming into their new environment. Do this until you have all the filter layers free of tiny copepod. Sometimes a few might be left behind. The best thing to do here is to drop the filter momentarily in the water and swish it around gently, providing a means of escape for the copepods. 

Now, wash the cover they came in because there will always be copepods stuck to the sides. This ensures that you extract every last member and get the most out of your shipment.

Let the copepod sit in this incubator for a few hours and watch their activity levels occasionally. Once you see them settle down and look natural in their new environment, it is a simple case of transfer to the marine tank. A simple catch and release using an aquarium net is enough to rehome them. Once they enter their new habitat, they immediately feel at home because of the brief incubation period in which they gained energy after an arduous shipping process.

These tiny but robust creatures will make the tank their new home and immediately relish the algae and start feeding. Another pro tip is to feed the fish in the tank before you introduce the copepods. This is because hungry fish might immediately start eating the new population of copepods. But, allowing the copepods to settle make new homes amongst the coral reefs will mimic the natural environment perfectly, allowing the fish to catch their juicy pods.