Lately, especially after dealing with difficult pomacentrid larvae
, I have changed my approach to larval feeding. Many aquarists and commercial facilities place a 55 micron screen over the standpipe to prevent the loss of prey organisms from the tank. I disagree with this completely. Clearning rates are highly important and the prey (especially if it has been enriched) looses much of its nutritional value within hours. So, if rotifers are hanging around in the larval tank for days they are essentially void of any nutrional value, unless given algae and this is ultimately limited... I maintain a constant flow into the larval tank. Starting from the day the eggs are placed in the tank for hatching there is a constant addition of clean water. I use a 250 micron screen to get rid of EVERYTHING floating in the tank. I feed them in the morning and throughout the day the prey is diluted. Then, I feed them again...and so on. The idea is that a pulse of high density food is offered. The bottom line is that we are still unsure of appropriate prey densities for most species, especially when dealing with copepods and other wild zooplankters. So feeding in this way gives a pulse of really high density food that is slowly widdled down throughout the day giving the larvae
several different opportunities to feed. This also reduces the chance ofprey organisms dying in the larval tank and polluting water quality. The drain line is fitted with micron bags and foam to catch all the prey. The water goes through a skimmer, UV and bio-Tower before returning to the tank.