How Do You Know if Copepods are Dead?

How Do You Know if Copepods are Dead?

Although a lot of companies are successfully shipping live products from fish, inverts, and corals, a lot of hobbyists feel more comfortable getting livestock from their LFS.  Some hobbyists are worried that the livestock will die in transit. While this is an understandable concern, the AlgaeBarn Alive On Arrival Guarantee negates any concern. Whether it is fish, coral, inverts, or copepods, you can rest assured your order will come alive, and if it doesn't, it will be replaced completely free of charge.

That is great, isn't it? However, how do you know if copepods specifically are alive or not? In this article you will learn how to determine if copepods are alive or dead. Then, we'll talk about how to submit a Dead On Arrival (DOA) claim.

Copepods are tiny organisms that appear as nothing more than white specks. That's when they are adults, so juveniles are even harder to see with a naked eye, if not impossible. It also depends on the species of copepods. Some copepod species are much larger than others. So, you may only be able to see certain species of copepods.  Often times adult copepods will dart around or slowly crawl, but it is also not uncommon to see them completely still. All these factors make it seemingly impossible to tell if copepods are alive or not. It can make you nervous that maybe buying tiny microscopic organisms is a waste of money. I assure you it's not, and I assure you it's easier to tell if copepods are alive than one might think.

You can tell that you're copepods are alive by looking to see if they are dead. That may seem rather obvious, but let me explain. When copepods die, they will fall to the bottom of the jar. Live ones will be free swimming or cling to the sides. If the copepods have been dead long enough, they will decompose and take on a milky coloration. So, if you see dead copepods on the bottom of the jar, that means all of them are dead, right?


A jar of copepods from AlgaeBarn will have thousands upon thousands of copepods in them. With such a large quantity of copepods, it would be surprising not to see dead ones. Also, most of the dead copepods will be mature copepods. Usually, the reason there are dead copepods is because some of the adult copepods have reached the end of their life cycle. Copepods have short life cycles. Considering that, it makes even more sense why you might see some dead copepods. Because the dead ones are often mature copepods, you will probably be able to see the dead copepods more easily than some of the live ones because most of the copepods are not mature.

How then can you tell if all or most of the copepods are dead or not? Fortunately, it is quite simple. When all of the copepods are dead, there will be an evident layer of grayish white gunk at the bottom of the jar. You will notice it right away. When you open the jar, the smell will be rancid. The water will normally smell a little, but if they are dead it will smell incredibly bad. This is, of course, because there is decaying organic matter in there. Chances are if all of the copepods are dead, there won't be any live ones. If you see even some live copepods bouncing around in the jar, most of the copepods are probably alive.

Why do copepods die in transit? Copepods are extremely hardy creatures. They are found in all bodies of water all around the world. They can handle fairly extreme conditions. Shipping is nothing for copepods. However, DOAs happen, though very rarely. The most common reason is that the package shipped late or they were subject to extreme temperatures.

So, what do you do if you think your copepods are dead? If you think your copepods may all be dead, you need to submit a DOA claim. Even if you are unsure, you should submit a claim. Inspect the package as soon as you get it. AlgaeBarn gives you 12 hours to make sure you are completely satisfied. If you think your copepods are dead, be sure to submit a claim with in 12 hours. Do not wait. Another thing, do not discard the copepods until you get confirmation that a replacement will be sent. Next, go to this link and fill out the form. At the end of the form, you will be asked to submit a picture and an optional video. Try to take as clear of an image as possible. After submitting the form, AlgaeBarn will get back to you ASAP and let you know the status. If you are told you will not be sent a replacement, that means the copepods are alive and should be added to your aquarium.

That is how you determine if your copepods are dead or not. Remember, the chances of there being a problem with your order are slim, though still possible. Use these tips to check, and if you're not sure, you can still submit a claim.
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