Rotifers are small (50-1000 µm) zooplankton that occur in freshwater, brackish, and marine environments. Rotifers feed on microalgae and are consumed by a wide variety of fish, shellfish, corals, and other organisms. They are used extensively in aquaculture and aquariums because of their very high reproductive rates (as great as doubling or better every 24 hours), ease of culturing, optimal size for larval fish, and nutritional profile that can be tailored to the needs of prey species by use of special feeds such as Reed Mariculture’s RotiGrow® and N-Rich® microalgae feeds.
Rotifers and rotifer floss are available for purchase on our Instant Zooplankton page.
In a healthy culture all the rotifers will be females and will reproduce clonally. In a stressful environment males will be produced and the rotifers will reproduce sexually and create encysted eggs. Under optimal conditions rotifer culture will double in the population every day.
The most commonly used marine rotifers are the species Brachionus plicatilis (L-type) and Brachionus rotundiformis (S-type and SS-type). Reed Mariculture supplies pure cultures of a strain of Brachionus plicatilis (L-type rotifers) with a typical lorica length of about 160 µm. This species is euryhaline, capable of thriving in salinities of 5-40 ppt.
Video of rotifers feeding
Video from VIDEO ATLAS MICROSCOPE (not necessarily representative of Reed Mariculuture products or cultures)