How Long Does it Take for Copepods to Reproduce?

Whether you’re working to build up a good food reserve for a
mandarin fish or working on eliminating a disgusting green film that keeps
growing over everything, you might be in a hurry to see your problem solved. If
you’ve added some copepod seed stock to solve these problems, you might be
hoping to see a discernible increase in numbers, if not an all-out population
explosion, as soon as possible.

Here is where we often are asked how long it takes to build
a big pod population.

The only thing we can say with certainty is that the average
lifecycle (egg to egg) for the copepods we sell is around two to three weeks.
As far as how long it will take for your system to be teeming with pods… well,
that depends on a lot.

To start, you can expect the fastest population gains, as
well as the largest potential population sizes, by installing a planted
refugium. This one is simple; if you provide an optimal environment where the
pods can feed, grow and reproduce away from the constant harassment of their
predators, they surely have a better chance to establish themselves.

If you purchased your copepods from AlgaeBarn, you’re
already on the fast-track to a pod bumper crop because our live copepod
products include individuals of all life stages. This means that you don’t have
to wait through the whole life cycle for your F2 generation (first generation
conceived and hatched as “natives”) to appear.

And don’t be a cheapo. If you are aiming for rapid
establishment, add as many bags as your budget allows. Doubling your seed stock
will roughly half your wait time! And add some phyto while you’re at it; this
will greatly enhance survival of larvae, which speeds things up, increases the
potential population size and makes your pods more nutritious for the critters that
consume them.

Many factors will influence the population growth rate (and,
ultimately, the maximum number) of copepods in your system. But providing a
refugium, adding lots and lots of high-quality seed stock and dosing phyto
certainly increases your odds of success!