Ngdo, how many amphipods are in the Reefs2go package? I may give them a try.
How bad is the shipping with the shrimp janitors and fiddler crabs? They look like a good alternative to frozen. I wish I lived in Fl near a fishing area. You could buy a lot of fiddler crabs for next to nothing there.
Honestly, buying 1000 (especially if it is a BOGO) and keeping them in a 10gal with a sponge filter and some macroalgae (Ulva for diet, chaeto for housing) you will probably never run out. Keep two balls of chaeto, net one out and drop it in your cuttle nursery, and rotate out every couple days. The reproductive rate of the amphipods is extremely high.
Our seahorse tank has a large amount of rock and macros in the refugium (along with good lighting). After the tank initially cycled I added some snails, algae and 2000 r2g pods and two years later and I still have yet to repopulate or add any other food for the seahorses - which are fatter and more colorful than any of the display horses at a LFS. I just mention this to give you an idea of how they breed and maintain populations.
Another observation is that the amphipods seem to love cyclopeeze. I feed them regularly in hopes it boosts their nutritional value even higher when the young cuttles feed.
I'm currently getting a new system setup - two identical tanks using the same sump. One will feed the hatchlings mysis and the other amphipods, so I can do better growth and health comparisons. Again my personal experience leads me to believe the cuttles actually grow better on a diet of amphipods but I think this experiment will help determine that a bit better!
And the shipping on the shrimp/crabs isn't bad at all. The owner, Mike, is extremely knowledgeable and helpful - he frequently deals with annoying questions from me.
I generally buy about 250 crabs at a time. I keep them with other marine feeders (bought through livebrineshrimp.com and livemarinebaitfish.com) in a 75gallon tank, kept clean by a few sponge-free canister filters. The crabs are not aquatic and must be able to crawl to the surface (they seem to live about 1 month fully submerged). I have simply found that keeping them in the tank keeps the smell down since crabs are filthy and keeping a large numbrler fed in shallow water is... Well, my employees didn't like coming into work when we tried that.
Awesome! Thanks for the info! I have a ton of amphipods in my reef tank but I can't get enough out to make a self sustaining colony it of them. That was my original plan but instead I have been having to spend a ton on mysis. I was afraid the pods would be heavy on the copepods with only a few amphipods. I have also been worrying how I was going to convert them to frozen but the crabs and shrimp you linked to seem like less trouble. I will probably order some pods at the first of the week and some crabs and shrimp closer to when I will be needing them.
Thank you so much for the recommendation of the reefs2go pods. I set up a 10 gal. tank with some cheato in it. I got the pods today and there were a lot of amphipods in there. I had a massive mysis die off over the last few days so my wife picked up some brine shrimp yesterday so the cuttles would at least have something to eat. They ate some but there were still some in their tank what I put some amphipods in. A couple of the cuttles went right after the pods even though brine shrimp had been available to them all day.