Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hey all!

 

I am a marine biologist located in the Seattle area. Interestingly enough, I worked briefly with Cory way back when, when he first started up aquarium co-op to advertise his business stealthily at an undisclosed national petstore chain while I was in college. 

 

I do not currently own an aquarium, but intend to hover the forum and help biology and chemistry related questions. I am a huge fan of biotope aquariums and I use to establish tanks and sumps and sell them. I am going to try to breed dragonfly/damselfly larvae as feeders for large fish. I will post tech articles on this when I get some trial and error under my belt

 

In college I had a 55 gallon long tank with an eclectic mix of rejects that I adopted from said undisclosed national petstore chain customers. It housed a 6" gold siamese algae eater, 5" gold bristlenose pleco (m), 5 gold gouramis, a 4" convict cichlid, and an unidentified 2" sunfish. That tank was bursting with personality. The algae eater and pleco hated eachother and stayed in opposite caves on each side of the tank. The pleco would hoard hikari algae wafers in his cave and the algae eater would have to bravely try to steal them over to his cave. The convict cichlid was an absolute puppy who just wanted to be friends with everyone. He was actually the only surviving fry of about 10 that I grabbed to feed the sunfish. So he started life in my tank as a 2mm babe and within a year hit 4". When I graduated college I gave away these fish to a wonderful family who were putting them into a 250 gallon community tank.

black convict.JPG

Edited by Biotope Biologist
  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Biotope Biologist said:

Hey all!

 

I am a marine biologist located in the Seattle area. Interestingly enough, I worked briefly with Cory way back when, when he first started up aquarium co-op to advertise his business stealthily at an undisclosed national petstore chain while I was in college. 

 

I do not currently own an aquarium, but intend to hover the forum and help biology and chemistry related questions. I am a huge fan of biotope aquariums and I use to establish tanks and sumps and sell them. I am going to try to breed dragonfly/damselfly larvae as feeders for large fish. I will post tech articles on this when I get some trial and error under my belt

 

In college I had a 55 gallon long tank with an eclectic mix of rejects that I adopted from said undisclosed national petstore chain customers. It housed a 6" gold siamese algae eater, 5" gold bristlenose pleco (m), 5 gold gouramis, a 4" convict cichlid, and an unidentified 2" sunfish. That tank was bursting with personality. The algae eater and pleco hated eachother and stayed in opposite caves on each side of the tank. The pleco would hoard hikari algae wafers in his cave and the algae eater would have to bravely try to steal them over to his cave. The convict cichlid was an absolute puppy who just wanted to be friends with everyone. He was actually the only surviving fry of about 10 that I grabbed to feed the sunfish. So he started life in my tank as a 2mm babe and within a year hit 4". When I graduated college I gave away these fish to a wonderful family who were putting them into a 250 gallon community tank.

black convict.JPG

Cant wait to read about your dragonfly larvae adventures! Thanks for sharing about your lively community!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Cyndi said:

Cant wait to read about your dragonfly larvae adventures! Thanks for sharing about your lively community!

 

I can't wait to get started either. If I can help scientists and enthusiasts alike I consider that a win-win.

As for the community tank of rejects. I was sad to see them go, I actually teared up when the family left. But on to bigger and better things for all of us I suppose

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They've already been sold on an individual print basis so I'm not too worried and I usually send them in to be copyrighted once a month in bulk. However, what I post here I don't mind if you print them for yourself since I enjoy the forum, and thought I'd share a bit to give back. The Colorado Greenback Cutthroat is thankfully making a comeback now, had to hike quite a ways to get that photo at the time. You'd be surprised how many photos one can accumulate over 40 years.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some super interesting and creepy pics and vids on here of dragonfly larva in people's tanks wondering what is that monster in the tank! @Danielposted video of how they breathe under water. They seem to be one of those things you might not want in your small fish community tank! I worry because there are tons and tons of dragonfly around here.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ColuIt's a juvenile Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus), about a month old, the green dots on the gorget will eventually fill in and turn dark red, they somewhat resemble the Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the Eastern U.S. but are  distinguishable from them not just by geographic location but the gorget which is a much darker red and their wings produce a very distinct sound as well that's known as a "wing-trill". This sound is unique to the male and can be heard by other males up to 50 feet away, and up to 75 feet away by females. They spend the summers here in the mountain region of the Western U.S. and migrate to the Yucatan in Mexico, or Guatemala in the fall. Even though the young were born here in the U.S. they travel alone to their wintering spots. The juveniles can be very entertaining when they put on their aerobatics displays, sparring with each other, fighter pilots and their dogfights have nothing on these guys in maneuverability

In that regard the dragonflies are the same way as their wings move in a figure eight pattern and our aerospace industry is up to now still unable to imitate that method of flight. A friend of mine in Germany who works for public television actually filmed a variety of dragonflies where the female lays its eggs under water on plants and stays there for up to two hours with their body covered by a thin layer of air. When she emerges she is helped back into the air by the flying male which all the while has to ward off attempts by other males who are vying for their chance to mate. This type of airborne sea rescue truly looks amazing. My favorite dragonfly is the Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella) because of its blueish sheen, and the pattern of spots on its wings.

Edited by Jungle Fan
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dragonfly are interesting prehistoric insects that have survived multiple extinction events with little changes throughout. It's hard to decide which are more fascinating the larvae or the adults. The adults are aware that humans and large animals attract flying insects and often stay close by, practically showing off their aerial maneuvers. I may be anthropomorphizing a bit on the last bit.

 

Then you have the larvae which can spend upwards of 5 years patrolling streams and ponds with their creepy projectile labium or lower jaw (although jaw implies bone) stalking fish, tadpoles, and anything else it deems worthy of death. Not only that but scientists are finding that our aquatic insects are pivotal to fish fry growth and therefore healthy wild fish stocks. Which even extends to marine ecosystems for anadromous fish. Don't even get me started on lamprey, Although if you are curious I can post some links for scientific articles from my workplace and the lovely researchers at OSU.

 

Anyway, back to the larvae. They are expensive at $2 a piece because as far as I am aware captive breeding can be labor intensive. First, the adults are more likely to mate if there are aerial prey items at time of breeding. Then, the females must be separated immediately after mating bouts. She must be provided plants to both escape drowning and to lay eggs in. Once the larvae get to about 0.3cm each individual must be separated to prevent cannibalism. Then comes the issue of feeding. Although they have proven to be scavengers in the wild, that is only about 47% of their diet (according to various papers) and therefore must be fed a diet of live foods. The labor of all this is the hard part, but if I can prove to do it with a minimal labor (15-20 hours a week) I will count that as a success. Each clutch can be up to 500 viable eggs. at a conservative 80% survival 400 larvae will hatch. Of that 400 let's say 70% survive to size leaving me with 280 per batch. That is alot of pipetting! But I have a large audience if I can pull this off. Feeder food for large insectivorous fish. Astronotus ocellatus come to mind. Scientists needing large quantities for lab work and of course local fishermen looking for a more effective bait.

 

TL:DR dragonfly are labor intensive but cool prehistoric insects

481585476_TheSecretLifeofDragonflyLarvaeimg3.jpg.af4c495c009047890244506a6f963247.jpg

Source: https://www.nparks.gov.sg/nparksbuzz/issue-19-vol-4-2013/conservation/the-secret-life-of-dragonfly-larvae

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Hobbit said:

Are you planning to use Drosophila for aerial prey? I worked in an ecology lab for a year and I was the primary fly keeper. 🙂 This sounds like an amazingly fun project!

I miss lab work! Although when I worked in a lab I was an agricultural pollutant tech, so not as fun as bugs.

 

Also I think Drosophila would be my preferred choice because they are cheap and easy to breed.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...