Methods of Harvesting Copepods


Copepods are tiny crustaceans that frequent both fresh and salt water. They are a food source for various living creatures. When gathered and rinsed, they are often fed to aquarium fish and their fry. Corals, clams and invertebrates also feed on copepods. They can be purchased from pet stores, private hobbyists or harvested by yourself. Breeding and harvesting your own copepods is cost efficient when massive quantities are required.

Step 1

Clean the net well in dechlorinated water. Mix the container holding the copepods with a clean spoon to distribute them evenly.

Step 2

Place the net over a clean bowl or other suitable container. Pour the copepods and water through the brine shrimp net. When enough copepods are in the net, stop pouring. Add the water back to the copepod container or discard it and add new water.

Step 3

Rinse the net's contents in dechlorinated water. Swish the net vigorously to remove any contaminants. Add the copepods directly to a fish tank or freeze them in bags with aquarium water for later use.

Tips and Warnings

  • If harvesting from a wild area such as a pond, make certain the water is not polluted. Freezing collected specimens for at least a day before feeding them to fish will kill pathogens and predatory insects.

Things You'll Need

  • Brine shrimp net
  • Watertight containers
  • Dechlorinated water
  • Spoon
  • Freezer-safe bags


  • Copepod Care and Harvesting
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About this Author

Izzy McPhee has been a freelance writer since 1999. She writes about gardening, child care, family, living on a budget and do-it-yourself projects. Her paintings have appeared in the well known gallery The Country Store Gallery in Austin, Texas. Her work can be seen on and Demand Studios.