How do I know if my Copepods arrived alive?

How do I know if my Copepods arrived alive?

If you regularly order copepods, you are probably pretty good at determining if your copepods are alive or not. However, if you ordered copepods for the first time or are considering ordering copepods, you may wonder, "how do I know if my copepods arrived alive?" How could you possibly tell if something as small as a copepod is alive or not? Regardless if you are getting copepods for the for the first time, or if you just need a refresher, here you will find information on how to tell if your copepods are alive or not.
First, getting a jar full of dead copepods is rare. Copepods are extremely robust organisms. They live in most bodies of water in several different climates and environments. It is highly unlikely that you will get a dead-on-arrival (DOA) order of copepods.

That being said, it does happen. Sometimes there can be a delay in shipping or the copepods are left in extreme temperatures. We understand that, and we don't want you to have to lose because of it. That is why AlgaeBarn has an outstanding Alive Arrival Guarantee. This guarantee gives you 12 hours after delivery to make a report. That amount of time gives you plenty of time to inspect the jar and make sure your copepods are alive. By the way, the guarantee extends to all live orders. For this guarantee to matter, you need to know how to determine if your copepods are alive or not.

The number one way to tell if your copepods are alive is indications of life. Mature copepods, especially larger species, are visible. If you look closely, you can see the copepods darting around or crawling on the side of the jar. Seeing this is a strong indicator that your copepods are alive.

Another way to tell if your copepods are alive is by determining if they are dead. Sometimes, it can be easier to tell if the copepods are dead than alive. Dead copepods will settle at the bottom and eventually start to decompose. The caveats to this method is that there will be dead copepods no matter what, and phytoplankton often falls to the bottom as well. Because there are so many copepods in every jar, it is almost impossible for there not to be dead ones. Copepods have a short life span, so some of them might be near the end when shipped.

Something else to consider is that a large portion of the copepods in the jar are not visible to the naked eye. As mentioned before, copepods have short life spans, so it would not make sense to ship you a bunch of mature copepods. They simply would not last that long. However, because there are juvenile copepods mixed in, the copepods are better for seeding the tank, but that's beside the point. The point is that because most of the dead copepods you may see will likely be mature ones, it may appear that there are more dead copepods than there should be.

So how exactly do you tell? Well, seeing movement in the jar is essential. Even if you only see a few moving, that probably means the rest of the copepods are alive and well. A way to assuredly tell if the copepods are dead is smelling the inside of the jar. If all of the copepods are dead, the jar will smell rancid. Keep in mind it will usually smell a little, but if they are dead it will smell like death, of course. There will also be a thick layer of gray goop at the bottom, which might be apparent even if all the copepods are alive, but there will be a lot of it.

That is how you determine if your copepods arrived alive or not. If all the copepods are dead, you will know it. If you are unsure, they are likely alive. However, even if you are unsure and think they might be DOA, you can still submit a claim. 

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