Daphnia: All about these little water fleas

More commonly known as water fleas, freshwater daphnids are small crustaceans that live in aquariums, ponds and ponds. They are a staple diet for many aquatic animals, as they are present in very large numbers. We explain everything you need to know about these water fleas.

All Daphnia characteristics

What does a water flea look like?

This crustacean is very small, only 1 to 4 mm with a translucent body , so you’ll probably have a hard time analyzing its physical characteristics if you find one. Water fleas have a distinctive appearance, thanks to their translucent bodies, so you can easily see their internal organs. They do, however, have a predominant color, ranging from red to green.

The shape of its body is similar to that of a laurel leaf, which is where it got its name “Daphnia”, meaning “laurel” in ancient Greek. They also have a single large eye, combining their two eyes into one. They also have antennae on their head for movement and 5 pairs of legs attached to their thorax.

Its natural habitat

Stagnant freshwater Daphnia live mainly in pools, ponds or lakes and generally in better wooded areas where they can find dead leaves.

His lifestyle

Water fleas are small, fast-reproducing crustaceans and planktonic microorganisms that can quickly fill a body of water without the presence of feeding fish. Their diet consists mainly of what they capture by filtering the water through a filter with a mesh size of less than 1 micrometer, which they have just before their digestive system.

How do you get Daphnia into your aquarium or pond?

Where can I buy Daphnia? How much does it cost?

These millimeter-sized crustaceans can now be bought in specialist stores or on the Internet. They are not, of course, sold individually, but generally in containers of a few cl, although we don’t know the precise figure. As for the price of Daphnia, a 180 ml container of Daphnia sells for around 4 euros.

If you want to save some money and don’t want to buy any, you can always go out and get them from a pond, just as you would with a screen. You do need to be careful with this approach, however, as you also run the risk of bringing unwanted insects and diseases into your aquarium.

Vous aimerez aussi :   Harlequin Rasbora: All about this Eurasian fish

Aquarium and water type

Number of fish

There are always several of these crustaceans, but there’s no precise number.

Aquarium volume

Volume doesn’t matter, because they’re meant to be eaten.


They live mainly in fairly cool waters of up to 15°C.

Water PH

There is no particular indication of water acidity.

What do water fleas eat?

As mentioned above, Daphnia feed on microorganisms in the water. You can therefore give them green water in which they will easily find bacteria and phytoplankton to feed on.

How does it live with other fish species?

We don’t know if you’ve asked yourself this question, but the answer is quite logical. Daphnia are obviously impossible to cohabit with, as they are the food of choice for any fish. In fact, you fish or other aquatic animals will immediately eat them before they even have time to reproduce.

If you want to breed them and have them reproduce, you’ll need to separate them from your aquarium and set them apart where they won’t be eaten.

Leave a comment