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View Full Version : THE LOWLY SCUD



JCO
03-17-2013, 03:46 AM
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE STARTING A NEW SYSTEM THIS SPRING AND SOME OF YOU WHO ALREADY HAVE A SYSTEM UP AND RUNNING, YOU NEED THESE LITTLE FELLOWS ON BOARD.
THEY ARE GREAT SCAVENGERS AND FOOD FOR YOUR FISH. :mrgreen:

The Scud is a freshwater shrimp and it is one of the most popular natural food sources for many fish, large and small.

The Scud can reproduce several times a year and the female is able to carry about fifty fertilized eggs in her egg pouch. The eggs are orange in color and can be clearly seen beneath her transparent shell.

Young scuds hatch within the pouch and emerge fully formed, yet almost microscopic in size. A school of young Scuds on the surface of the water are orange in color and small enough to use as food for young fry.

They are much more preferable than Brine Shrimp because Brine Shrimp have to be hatched in a heavy solution of Salt and die off quickly when place in fresh water to feed the fry and generally the fry wonít eat them once they die which can cause water pollution that can kill the fry.

The young Scud will form a hard shell (exoskeleton) quickly and this is shed frequently as the scud grows larger.

They are quite vulnerable during this process and have to hide to avoid being eaten by other Scuds. Scuds will range in size to about 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch in length at maturity.

The scud has no natural defense other than simple cover or camouflage so they are mostly found in underwater aquatic plants and they are active in the early morning or evening hours but are mostly active at night.

In an Aquaponic System, the scud is a scavenger eating organic plant materials, algae and left over food particles etc. This should show you what an asset Scuds are to an Aquaponic System, scavengers and food all rolled into one tiny package that reproduces like rabbits. Such a deal!

An odd not about Scuds in the wild, they are the single most source of food for trout making up one-third to one-half of a troutís complete diet so you can see why they can be important to an Aquaponic System.
CLICK HERE TO ORDER VIA A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION THROUGH W.O.A.A.T.

http://diyaquaponics.com/MyImages/scud1.jpghttp://diyaquaponics.com/MyImages/scud2.jpghttp://diyaquaponics.com/MyImages/scud3http://diyaquaponics.com/MyImages/scud4.jpghttp://diyaquaponics.com/MyImages/scud.jpghttp://diyaquaponics.com/MyImages/finger_food.jpg

CLICK HERE TO ORDER VIA A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION THROUGH W.O.A.A.T.

bbikebbs
03-17-2013, 02:30 PM
I'm interested but am concerned about the lack of "natural" habitat in my tank since mine is bare. Can you discuss what would be the minimum (for habitat) that we would need to add to our systems to give them some protection?

jackalope
03-17-2013, 04:56 PM
Do they eat 'live' plants, or dead/rotting plants?

Also, since I was raising crays/shrimp in Montana, IF you live in Montana, don't advertise the fact that you have anything like crays, lobsters, shrimp - they are supposedly illegal - that said, the Fish and Game has no control over what is raised, kept inside a home or building according to the law, only what you might be raising outside in pools, cricks, lakes, etc.

JCO
03-18-2013, 03:17 AM
bbikebbs:- what media do you have in your grow bed? That's the place they will likely thrive; there and your bio-filter where the solids collect from the fish tank. If your fish tank is bare, some of the eggs will probably hatch there and then migrate to wherever they can find a place to hide from predators. :mrgreen:

Jackalope:- they are very tiny. That is an adult in that photo of the one on the finger. They are scavengers, eating only deteriorating vegetable matter, algae, uneaten food etc. As for fish and game, I doubt if they would be worried about Scuds as they are not an invasive species. :mrgreen:

keith_r
03-18-2013, 05:29 AM
i had a few bucket filters i put in my system when i moved it into the basement..when i re-arranged everything and moved the fish to the pool, i decided to clean the filters - each bucket was full of "scrubbie" pads..
both 5 gallon buckets were packed with scuds in the filters.. (and worms)


:mrgreen:

if you'd like to see pictures of some scud experiments, shoot me a pm

bbikebbs
03-18-2013, 09:01 AM
bbikebbs:- what media do you have in your grow bed? That's the place they will likely thrive; there and your bio-filter where the solids collect from the fish tank. If your fish tank is bare, some of the eggs will probably hatch there and then migrate to wherever they can find a place to hide from predators. :mrgreen:

...

I've got gravel in the grow bed.

jackalope
03-18-2013, 09:21 AM
As for fish and game, I doubt if they would be worried about Scuds as they are not an invasive species. :mrgreen: Those idiots think anything not native to Montana is invasive - I argued that Marmorkrebs were NOT on the invasive species list, and they still told me that they could make an arbitrary decision under the law to outlaw anything not native to the state (the law doesn't back them up, but it would cost more to take them to court than it's worth)! I just quit advertising the fact that I had them and I didn't have any more trouble with them.

Freedom ain't free, and the Fish and Game idiots in most states are living proof! :lol: :lol:

JCO
03-18-2013, 11:22 AM
bbikebbs, gravel is a great place for them to hide and do their job :mrgreen:

bbikebbs
03-18-2013, 02:07 PM
bbikebbs, gravel is a great place for them to hide and do their job :mrgreen:

Order has been placed! I'll try to remember to document (with pictures) the process when they get here. :D

JCO
03-20-2013, 02:13 PM
bbikebbs...the Scuds (shrimp not missles :lol: ) are on their way. Let me know in a PM if there is a problem. :mrgreen:

bbikebbs
03-20-2013, 06:09 PM
:D :D

bbikebbs
03-21-2013, 01:19 PM
Got the package today. Very, very impressed with the packaging. Well insulated and protected. The postal workers must have paid attention to the "live fish" labels because there was no evidence of rough handling at all.

To "install," all I did was put the foam under the outlet pipe feeding the grow bed. I put a 3" elbow over the foam (it's all I had) to protect it from the sun. I then put about 1/4 of the water into the grow bed itself when the water was at its highest. (I did move enough gravel out of the way to get access to about a fist size hole.) I put another 1/4 of the water into my settling tank. The rest of the water went into my fish tank where I rinsed out the bag 3 times to make sure. Now we just wait and see. (Story of our lives, right?!)

What should I be looking for as a "first" indicator that everything is okay? Just like everyone else, you know I'll be looking every day! :mrgreen:


P.S. I was so excited, I forgot to take pictures! (For NCIS fans, think of DiNozzo waiting for Gibbs to smack him.)

JCO
03-21-2013, 02:42 PM
It's not going to happen over night and don't forget when you go digging around in the media, these are tiny shrimp and can be crushed easily. The best way is to put some more filtering material under where the water comes into the grow bed, they will populate that quite quickly.

I am glad you are happy with them...I just wish I could find a less expensive way to ship them so I wouldn't have to charge so much. :mrgreen:

FloridaChris
03-22-2013, 08:01 AM
JCO - How does this work with the fish feeding? My understanding is that once you introduce them to the system they will freely be floating through and the fish will eat them as they please? Or are they more strictly sanitizing the system and the fish might snack on one if they get lucky? Can I cut back on fish feeding?

JCO
03-22-2013, 08:54 AM
Then answer is no to cutting back on the fish feeding....Scuds in an Aquaponic System aren't there to lower the feed bill even though, once they become established, the fish will be able to snack on them when they come across them.

They are useful as a scavenger in eliminating plant debris, algae and left over fish food. They, also in the case of young fish as well as fry such as newly released Tilapia young, are a plentiful live food helping to ensure the survivability of the fry.

They occur naturally in nature and form a large part of the food supply for some major game fish such as trout. They can also be place in a well planted aquarium and serve as a food supplement for smaller fish such as guppies etc.

They can be helpful in maintaining a balanced Aquaponic System because once established, they will count in the hundreds of millions and reproduce like rabbits....the more plentiful, the more food for the fish and less debris. :mrgreen:

bbikebbs
03-22-2013, 09:11 AM
I'm looking at it as I've just increased the diversity of the ecosystem. Anything that helps/adds to the process is good. They also "should" slightly reduce my workload in that I won't have to deal with cleaning filters, grow bed, etc. quite as often. :D

FloridaChris
03-22-2013, 10:39 AM
Should the system already be up and running with plants "installed"? I saw you mentioned they live in the grow medium, I still haven't planted what I intend to grow yet. Still haven't had more then one day of running the system. Would it be safe to put in now or wait until the system has had time to grow?

JCO
03-22-2013, 01:09 PM
Should the system already be up and running with plants "installed"?

In answer to this question, don't forget the Scuds need something to eat to survive. The plants don't have to be installed, but there will have at least be something in the grow bed or bio-filter for them to eat. If you have algae in the water or bio-filter that will help.


I saw you mentioned they live in the grow medium, I still haven't planted what I intend to grow yet.

They don't care if you have planted anything or not :lol:


Still haven't had more then one day of running the system. Would it be safe to put in now or wait until the system has had time to grow?

Your system will need to mature a bit, at least a couple weeks with fish in the mix. Do you have any fish as of yet? :mrgreen:

bbikebbs
03-22-2013, 01:44 PM
Should the system already be up and running with plants "installed"? I saw you mentioned they live in the grow medium, I still haven't planted what I intend to grow yet. Still haven't had more then one day of running the system. Would it be safe to put in now or wait until the system has had time to grow?

Just to fill you in Chris on my system. I've been running since last May. I was able to grow tomatoes through the winter with the addition of a temporary green house like structure. I've got strawberries now with one parsley plant that was still alive when I cleaned out the tomatoes. There's plenty of "crud" for my scuds to munch on.

JCO
03-23-2013, 07:22 AM
In that case, they're probably as happy as a pig in a slop trough. :lol: :mrgreen:

bbikebbs
03-23-2013, 07:10 PM
In that case, they're probably as happy as a pig in a slop trough. :lol: :mrgreen:

Yup! That's what it looked like before I cleaned it out. :mrgreen:

FloridaChris
03-31-2013, 12:58 PM
Can these scuds co-exist and survive with earthworms in the beds? Would there be enough food in the grow bed to support both?

badflash
03-31-2013, 05:53 PM
Absolutely

Blout
03-31-2013, 11:01 PM
Hey,

I just signed up for this sight and am working on designing a system that I will build from scratch. I like the idea of eventually having Scud in the system, but was thinking of a way they could be added to the design.

The idea is to add something kind of like a smaller, secondary Bio-filter. I guess you could call it a scud filter. Instead of the water being pumped back into the fish tank, it would be pumped through the "Scud-Filter" first. The reason for this idea is I was thinking that after I get a system up and running I may want to add a water only bed. This "filter" would catch any plant matter, and would also give the scuds a place to live, hide, and procreate.

The filter would more then likely be filled with media, and work in a similar fashion to the bio filter. Being placed before the fish would also allow scud to be pushed out into the fish tank, maybe into Fry net if the need arises.

I am posting this because I am new to the forum, needed to post something, and kind of wondered if this was a good idea.

~Blout

badflash
04-01-2013, 07:38 AM
It is easy to just put them in a sump prior to the fish tank. This can double as a floating bed tank. Enough mulm generally comes out of the beds to keep them happy along with the cover from the floating platform. Makes it a lot easier to harvest them to I would think.

15mules
07-16-2013, 03:44 PM
JCO
Are these little things the same thing they call gammarus, or gammarus shrimp??? Also can you ship these things in say September or October. I would probably be ready for some then, if you still have them available?
Thanks,

keith_r
07-17-2013, 05:55 AM
yes, gammarus are scuds.. i have bunches in my crayfish tanks.. they quickly dissappear when i grow minnows in the tanks, but after harvesting the minnows, the scuds manage to make a comeback, probably from hiding in the gravel
if you have a filter with media, scuds and worms will live quite well together, even totally submerged..
i set up a couple of bucket filters (filled with "scrubbie" pads with an airstone on the bottom) on my first system, when i moved things around and took the filters apart, they were loaded with scuds and red wiggler worms..

15mules
07-17-2013, 10:09 AM
Well then I intend to order some when I get home and get a placed fixed for them. I am thinking I will set up a tank just to start them in while I am building my system, then when the system is ready I will have everything ready to put in it. I am planning on doing my fish the same way. Time is just one commodity I do not have a lot of, so I must plan ahead and have things ready when I need them ready.

JCO
07-19-2013, 02:33 PM
It will have to be a cycle system complete with some fish etc for them to survive. :mrgreen:

15mules
07-19-2013, 03:56 PM
JCO I got you, as soon as I get my place all ready I will be putting in an order for some. I will be disappointed if I cannot be ready in the next month or so.

keith_r
07-20-2013, 09:19 AM
+1 jco.. scuds are very sensitive to chlorine.. age your water before adding them

tmcmaster
08-23-2013, 10:11 AM
So.... Put some 'Scud culture' into one of my indoor grow beds about 2 weeks ago... What now? How do I determine if they are doing anything, or are worth the investment to put some into the larger GBs?

JCO
08-23-2013, 02:03 PM
I even have Scuds in my aquariums and they are very industrious little creatures. Almost like tiny Elves running around with a broom and dust pan cleaning up after every thing. Dead and rotting plant matter, left over food and anything else laying around not being used for anything.

I have them in the tanks with my Electric Blue Crayfish. The Scuds, who in addition to keeping the tanks clean, are also fed upon by the crayfish. 8-)

I don't suspect they create much in the way of nitrates but every tiny bit counts :lol: :mrgreen:

Roger L.
08-23-2013, 05:36 PM
What do the scud emit? They must have a byproduct as worms do. When they clean what is left?

JCO
08-23-2013, 05:59 PM
I thought you would never ask...SKUDOO :shock: :o :lol: :mrgreen:

Aloha Don
08-23-2013, 06:26 PM
I thought you would never ask...SKUDOO

:D should have seen that one coming :lol:

Roger L.
08-23-2013, 07:33 PM
Uuuggggghhhhh! :x Liquid, solid, mineral, vegetable, ....????

tmcmaster
08-26-2013, 05:00 AM
Back to my question, though... How do I measure the impact of the scuds? Water clarity? Nitrite/Nitrate levels? General feeling of well being? :?:

JCO
08-26-2013, 09:18 PM
Sorry tmcmaster, I have no stats for you. As far as I know, no one has ever did a test model to see what nitrate/nitrite levels could be/are produce by Scuds. It's like asking how much nitrate/nitrite is produce by one Tilapia. The test model has never been done on that either.

Again, I apologize for not being able to give you a logical answer. Maybe Oliver can. :mrgreen:

Roger L.
08-27-2013, 05:32 AM
Isn't the purpose of the scud to reduce dead matter in the system? Wouldn't he see less garbage in his grow bed? I planted prematurely and was amazed at the amount of root material in the expanded clay as I removed it to make my modifications.

tmcmaster
08-27-2013, 07:07 AM
I wasn't really asking for 'specifics,' more of a general 'this is what has been seen before' type stuff. I have noticed that my water is looking a bit clearer, however, so I guess there is that... :)

Corey B
02-13-2014, 01:06 PM
Are scud s still available?

JCO
02-13-2014, 02:58 PM
I will have Scuds for sale/shipment after the "GLOBAL WARMING" warms up a bit.

You will be able to find them at

http://woaat.org/shoppe/shop/

and if I don't forget, I will post a note here when they are available. :mrgreen:

Corey B
02-13-2014, 05:43 PM
Thanks for the update! Just pm ed you so you can dis regard.

davidstcldfl
02-14-2014, 12:15 PM
I will have Scuds for sale/shipment after the "GLOBAL WARMING" warms up a bit

Might be a 'slight delay'...I've been reading that we are entering a 20+ year cooling period... 8-)

JCO
02-14-2014, 03:01 PM
The only thing cooling is America's Heels from not working. :mrgreen:

Corey B
05-25-2014, 08:32 PM
I will have Scuds for sale/shipment after the "GLOBAL WARMING" warms up a bit.

You will be able to find them at

http://woaat.org/shoppe/shop/

and if I don't forget, I will post a note here when they are available. :mrgreen:

I am still not seeing them at the link you provided. Am I missing something?

Aloha Don
01-06-2015, 05:33 PM
JCO,
I ran across a small store here in Hawaii that is selling the "perfect pet".
They are Opae ula - Volcano red shrimp
Are these the same family as the scud?
I bought a small container that has 3 in it....and was wondering if I can adapt these into my system?
any advice?
Thanks

rocketboy
09-15-2015, 12:19 PM
Any ideas on an up-to-date source for live scuds. I am starting my system and could use some.