The Icecap Pod Habitat
The IceCap Pod Habitat is a unique creation which combines our previous knowledge of copepods with modern design and innovation. Yes, copepods do not naturally live in neat little tower blocks, and surely your live rock or sand will do the same job... right? Not necessarily, many man made "dry rocks" are too dense for copepods to truly thrive and the more you think about it, the more something like this 3”x3”x2” cube makes sense.
How it works
Once placed into your AIO, sump or refugium the small holes become populated with copepods and amphipods. As the pods reproduce they will overflow into the main tank, feeding the fish just like a classic refugium. Although, unlike a traditional refugium, you can pick up the pod habitat and shake it in the main tank, releasing live pods on demand for any waiting fish.
You can also get creative and leave a full pod habitat in the main tank for a bit to replicate a butterflyfish and pipefishes natural habitat. Watch as they go to town on the pod sanctuary, pushing their snouts into it to munch on pods just as they would in nature.
You may also “mature” a pod habitat in the filter section of an existing tank and then move it to a new tank to seed it with bacteria and tiny critters which will help bring your reef to life.
If you do not have the luxury of a separate filter section you may also bury your Pod Habitat under the rocks and leave it there as an in-tank refugium. A secret pod fortress deep within the aquascape will give copepod populations a chance to establish and retreat when needed. You could even set up multiple pod habitats that could be shook on different days of the week, ensuring you always have a supply.
Usage of live copepods is becoming more and more mainstream, many reefers are even dosing their tanks on a weekly basis with bottles of live pods. The Oceanic Institute of Hawaii Pacific University published recently that copepods are the “key to success” in rearing many species of reef fish, so this novel marine bug hotel has true potential.