Backyard Aquaponics

Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)
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Author:  RS_ [ Dec 18th, '10, 05:22 ]
Post subject:  Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)

In my first Blue BarreI GB's, I have found Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds) Living in the Gravel and the lava rock under the water inlet, and around that area for several inches , and in a wider area the further we dug down. They were under the 1/2 black drain pipe and in the lowest lava rock by the 1000's, eating the detritus in the low area that does not drain.
I have also found them in the Muck in the bottom of the 2nd fry barrel, when I cleaned it out a few days ago, and I found them in the outside sump tank when I cleaned the leafs from the bottom. I now think they are living in the Blue Barrel Biofilter media and bottoms as well.

To me, this is a very exciting development, in their many variations, Gammarus Crustacea are a very important part of most local ecosystems, eating organic detritus. And providing food for the rest of the food chain.

Early in my system, when the Pea Soup Green happened, after about 10 days, Water Fleas (Daphnia) showed up by the 1000's, and the pea soup went away in another 10 days or so. And now I only find a few water fleas every once and a while..... so my ecosystem has developed a little more

Since we are trying to create ecosystems here, I think based on my research, that Gammarus could be a major part of cleaning up the fish solids, old roots, and mineralization, along with the worms, if added to our Grow beds, the same as we add worms. And increase the amount of solids that can be processed over time, and per given volume of GB media...

Gammarus would be great for settlement tanks in the muck, and would be easy to strain from the muck to harvest, and perhaps other places in our systems

I also think that Gammarus Crustacea could and should be used as food for almost any kind of fish we grow, and be a part of sustainable on site fish food production, along with BSF, Worms, etc......... but how to set up to grow them as easily harvested fish food in our different setups, needs to be explored, You don't want to have dig into the gravel very often to harvest them.....

total Oxygen load added to system from Gammarus - as always, add as much more extra aeration for the various micro critters , as you can get

what do Gammarus poop...? My guess is, enzyme mineralized forms of what ever organics they are eating.... much as worms do, and where does that go? my guess is into the system water as plant available micro nutrients

I would also like to set up something in my sump tank to easily grow / harvest them........

if i took the clean out plug, out, i might could flush them from the bottoms of some of the the GB's into a strainer....

I had not noticed Gammarus being discussed on the various forums, until recently when Damon (thanks) mentioned Gammarus, ... t=Gammarus and I identified what I had found a few days before, by doing some research on Gammarus to see what he was talking about..... After a bit of research, I See that back in Aug, TC received a culture of Gammarus to test in water chestnut bins Here, viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2640&p=240397&hilit=Gammarus#p240397
And i_ngsi mentioned them showing up and cleaning up things, here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8507&p=250818&hilit=Gammarus#p250818
And Jacob wandering if his raft plants root troubles are caused by them, here: ... t=Gammarus

It seams that for most of us that have them, they have shown up on their own. To get a local to you strain to seed your system with, you should look for them in your local streams and ponds, under rocks.....LOL and maybe quarantine them for a while before adding to your system,
As the media I have been using is size screened washed Local river rock, they likely hitched a ride into my system that way, and just started growing in the gravel and lava rock, when plenty of fish poo to eat reached them.....

the ones i have found look like this one, ... -gammarus/
more gray than this one
other sites ... -scud.html ... marus.html

So what do you all think....?


Author:  scotty435 [ Dec 18th, '10, 06:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)

This sounds like a neat idea. I have been considering trying to sample the aquatic insects locally to seed my tank once I get going again. Gammarus would certainly make good fish food they do apparently eat decaying animals as well as plants from what I saw online.

Author:  TCLynx [ Dec 18th, '10, 06:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)

I have not seen the Gammarus since I added them into the system. Not sure how I would go about finding them again.

Minnows are probably an easier thing to culture to feed my fish.

Author:  Snags [ Dec 18th, '10, 07:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)

Was watching River Cottage the other day,they had an organic carp farmer who just threw cow manure into a pond to get algae to grow so the bugs and Phytoplankton built up to eat the algae and the carp fed on them.

Author:  TCLynx [ Dec 18th, '10, 09:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)

Aquaponics has plenty of nutrients but if you let algae grow it gets difficult to grow the veggies and algae can really mess with the pH in recirculating systems.

Author:  Snags [ Dec 18th, '10, 11:45 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)

This was only a carp farm no veggies

It would probably require a separate fish food production system some how linked/used only for the feeding process.

Author:  scotty435 [ Dec 18th, '10, 14:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)

I have not seen the Gammarus since I added them into the system.

What I have seen indicates that they are nocturnal so you might be able to find them at night better. I suspect if the fish had access that they were eaten but you never know.

Minnows are definitely a go for me when I get up and running again as well. I think gammarus are pretty easy to raise in a tank on their own but don't know how they would hold up in most of our systems. Might be good as a food supplement for when the fish are smaller though.

Author:  RS_ [ Dec 19th, '10, 02:40 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)


dig around in what ever muck is in the bottom of your Chestnut bins, to see if they are still there.

They should be in there if no fish are in the chestnut bin to eat them, and there is some muck in there for them to eat......

I would love to know if they have survived in your system, and if they have spread to any other places in your system.......?


Author:  TCLynx [ Dec 19th, '10, 09:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)

I expect there are probably plenty still in the system, but finding them would probably be a bit like finding the needle in the haystack ya know.

Author:  RS_ [ Dec 21st, '10, 02:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)


LOL, OK, Keep your eye out for them, will be interesting to see where else they turn up in your system...... i think they are pretty much all over my inside and outside systems now.......

Author:  TCLynx [ Dec 21st, '10, 04:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)

Oh, there is plenty of life in my grow beds. Snails took up residence eating the solids way early on and of course the worms. There are bugs that live in the surface layers of the gravel and eat detritus and I hope the gammarus are thriving where I don't see them. I'm sure if I were one to go setting up a microscope I would find all sorts of interesting things but I've been keeping too busy with other things to give time over to that.

Author:  RS_ [ Dec 21st, '10, 06:49 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)


I don't know which variety of Gammarus you added, but the ones i have range between <1/8" to 5/16", no need for a microscope to see these....... a little bigger, and i would be looking at frying up popcorn shrimp :laughing3:

Author:  TCLynx [ Dec 21st, '10, 06:59 ]
Post subject:  Re: Gammarus Crustacea (Scuds)

The ones I got were definitely visible to the naked eye but really hard to see much detail on them, though that was largely because they never stayed still!

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