About animals

Gammarus - record holder for the amount of protein


This small amphibian crustacean, about 1 cm long, has a body bent by an arc, enclosed in a solid chitinous shell with 14 pairs of limbs. The first two pairs are antennas and represent a kind of tactile apparatus. Two pairs of pectoral legs are equipped with claws, which gammarus captures and holds food.

With the help of the first three abdominal pairs of legs, the crustacean floats, and the last three allow it to jump. The hind legs are covered with a large number of bristles, which play the role of an effective steering wheel.

There are tender gills under the chest limbs. With these legs, the animal continuously makes oscillatory movements to ensure a constant flow of water to the respiratory organs. In females, a brood chamber is located on the breast, with the help of which she carries eggs.

Features of feeding fish gammarus

Gammarus, used as a ballast feed, has a beneficial effect on the digestive system of fish. The use of crustaceans is indispensable for growing fry and for feeding adult aquarium fish.

Gammarus has a high nutritional value. It contains a large amount of carotene and many vitamins. The substances contained in the crustacean contribute to the active growth and strengthening of the health of your pets, increase the brightness of their color.

Live gammarus can be difficult to digest for fish because of its strong chitinous shell, therefore it is recommended to keep it in hot water for 10 minutes and only then use it as a feed.

For small aquarium fish, you can use dried gammarus, powdered.

The use of crustaceans for feeding the inhabitants of the aquarium should be strictly metered, you can not constantly give this food, you must always alternate with other, “lighter” feeds.

Gammarus breeding

Before mating, the male gammarus catches the female and claws on her back for about a week using claws. The female begins to molt at this time, and the partner helps her to discard the old skin with her legs.

After moulting, the male with his abdominal legs directs the sperm into the brood chamber of the female. The copulation process lasts several seconds, after which the male leaves the female, which lays eggs in the bag.

Egg development lasts approximately 11 days at a temperature of 25 degrees. However, in cold water, ripening can take 21 days. The juveniles grow rapidly and in 3-4 weeks they become sexually mature.

At one time, the female brings 10-30 eggs.

How to breed gammarus

The amphibian crustacean is unpretentious in maintenance, so it can be bred in a five-liter container filled with dust and natural water. For reproduction, the gammarus must grow to a length of 7 mm.

Javanese moss, richchia or other narrow-leaved plants can serve as food and run away for crustaceans. Additional food can be small servings of scalded vegetables, rabbit pellets, or cereal.

For such an aquarium, filtration and ventilation are not required. Animals feel great in water at a temperature of 21-28 degrees. In a heated room, a heater is optional.

Remember that rearing of juveniles is less productive in soft water than in medium hard water.

How to dry gammarus

To get a good dry food, it is recommended to adhere to the following rules.

Before drying, the copepod should be rinsed with hot water.

Dry the product in the fresh air. The crustaceans are laid out in a single layer on gauze, which they pull on the frame. Air must circulate from below.
The frame is set in the shade, avoiding sunlight. Do not use the oven for drying.
Dry food can be stored for three months.


Gammarus got its name from the transcription of the Latin name Gammarus. They belong to the genus of higher crustaceans. These crustaceans belong to the squad of amphipods for their peculiarity to jump out of the water not to the front, but to the side. Gammarus is not a specific species, but an entire genus. Includes over 180-200 types of cancers.

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This genus was widely distributed in the Holarctic region. They are not very sensitive to the salt content in the water - they live in fresh and salt waters of the seas and other bodies of water. They lead a secretive lifestyle - they live under stones and in the sand near the coast.

Other names - Mormysh, amphipod, sea fleas.


It looks like a small copy of a shrimp, bent in an arc. Body length - 0.5-1.5 cm. The body is divided into 14 segments and is protected by a chitinous protective shell layer. For vision and touch, there are one pair of eyes and two pairs of mustaches on the head. Mustache helps to feel the bottom in search of food.

Moved with 18 limbs. The legs on the chest are designed for breathing, they have gill slits. The next 6 legs are needed to move. And the 6 rear ones are for jumping.

Body color depends on the food that Mormysh consumes. Herbivores acquire a green tint, eating protein foods and receiving a lot of sun - light brown. Deep-sea more often have no color, translucent.

How to feed fish

Mormysh - the record holder for the amount of protein. Therefore, many species of fish feed it to them. They contain valuable carotene. It makes the color of fish bright and colorful.

Fish should not be fed live and ice cream crustaceans. The food is processed against bacteria and softened when processed with hot water. Crustaceans are filled with water for half an hour. If the chitin layer has become soft, then the feed is ready.

Dried food does not require preparation. If necessary, the feed is ground for better consumption.

Do not feed fish only crustaceans. Alternate with other feeds, for example, daphnia, bloodworm, tubule, for better absorption and balanced nutrition.

How to get

Mormyshes are sold at pet stores. But buying them in large quantities is expensive.

You can catch mormys on your own. They live in almost every body of water.

How amphipods are mined:

  1. Using straw / hay. For fishing, you need to build a frame with a fine mesh. Cram the straw inside the structure. After some time, the crustaceans will fill the voids in excess. After that they are pulled out of the water. Do this quickly until the crustaceans have jumped back into the water.
  2. Using the net. First you need to find a large flock of crustaceans. It is better to do it in calm weather. The flock is caught with a net with a fine net and moved to the shore.
  3. Net fishing. The net is suitable for industrial fishing. With its help, they catch not only crustaceans, but also other bottom inhabitants.


In gammarus, the body is curved, covered with a shell, the average body length is 100 mm. On the hind legs there are a large number of bristles that serve as an organ of movement. Under the plates of the chest limbs are gills. These very limbs are constantly moving, providing an influx of water to the respiratory organs of the crustacean.

The life span of gammarus is one year. It can withstand a temperature range of 0-26 ° C. He loves places shaded, cool, enriched with oxygen. The hue of the chitinous cover is light yellow or brown-green, which is determined by food preferences. Shedding occurs periodically when the crustacean gets rid of the old chitinous cover. After the 10th molt, the female becomes sexually mature. Reproduction occurs several times a year, which depends on the habitat.

You can get gammarus as food for turtles and fish in the following way. Place some hay or straw at the bottom of the pond. Having discovered such top dressing, the crustaceans will soon climb between the straws. All that remains is to remove the “trap" from the water and select the remaining animals from it. If there are a lot of algae in the pond where the amphibian lives, catch it with a nylon net.

See how to get gammarus in the swamp.

Storage conditions

Gammarus can be stored in a live, dried, frozen form. To keep him alive, place the crustacean in a bowl of water from the reservoir itself. At the bottom of the dishes you need to lay out the soil from the pond. Place the container with the amphipod in a dark, cool place. Establish continuous aeration to provide enough dissolved oxygen. Every day you need to change a third of the water to fresh.

Also, future food for fish and turtles can be put and wrapped in a damp cloth, and put it in coolness and darkness, the lower cell of the refrigerator will do. The fabric should be washed daily; the shelf life under such conditions is 7 days. If you have caught too many amphipods, they can be dried. Dried amphipod should be from fresh crustaceans, unspoiled. Before drying, dip the crustaceans in hot water, but not boiling water. Strong heat treatment leads to the destruction of vitamins and deterioration in feed quality.

Dry future food for fish, turtles and snails Achatina is necessary in the fresh air. Spread the amphipods thinly on gauze so that the air passes from above and below. Gauze can be pulled on a special frame, which is better to install in a shaded place. Do not dry the catch in the microwave or oven. Dried top dressing is best used for the next 2-3 months if it is stored in an unpressurized container.

Amphipods can be frozen. It also needs to be stored in water from a natural reservoir. Before freezing, rinse, dry in the fresh air. Divide all servings so that their fish are eaten for several days. It is better to freeze crustaceans at a temperature of -18-25 ° C in the freezer. The product is stored for a long time, about a year, but it is better to use it faster.

Nutrition value of gammarus feed

You can buy gammarus as food for fish, turtles and Achatina snails in specialized retail outlets. To buy a live ammunition you will need a trip to the bird market. Dry and frozen food is best obtained at the pet store, or from the farmer who breeds these animals. World-famous manufacturers of fodder from gammarus: Sera, Tetra, Otto, Tropical, Hagen. Look at the date of manufacture of the product and the shelf life. Due to the violation of the integrity of the packaging, the feed will need to be used for the next 3 months.

Look at the dry gammarus astronotus.

Attention! There may be an allergy to the amphipod! The fact is that the chitinous cover of many crustaceans contains strong allergens. Therefore, children may be allergic to substances that are in the chitinous shell. Do not leave children unattended near the aquarium.

The nutritional value of gammarus is high. The feed contains only 13% of the dry fraction, of which more than half protein, less than 10% fat and carbohydrates. The crustaceans contain carotene (vitamin A provitamin), with the help of which the color of the fish becomes bright. It is undesirable to give Achatina (and they really like such food) and turtles as food for turtles, snails. Alternate all feeds, make a daily menu of a variety of foods. Amphipods to pets can be given 1-2 times a week.

These crustaceans are large, so they can feed medium and large fish. For small fish and fry such food can be chopped, and dry enough to grind in the hands. Live or frozen gammarus can be steamed in advance for several minutes in hot water in order to soften the chitinous cover. Then such food can be cut into pieces and given to pets.

For snails, Achatina gammarus should be given once every 2-3 days. Serve should be chopped, preferably live or frozen. But there is one caveat - to lay out a portion is not required immediately in the aquarium water, but in a small amount, putting it in a special bowl or feeder. In moisture, the product quickly deteriorates, producing an unpleasant odor. Immediately after feeding, remove uneaten food debris, even those that Achatina has dragged along the bottom. Unfortunately, with improper storage of feed, Achatina can be poisoned, so attach great importance to the quality of the product.

Gammarus in live form can be given as food for red-eared turtles, but in small quantities. It is not recommended to give the product dry. The more varied food for them, the better. To keep your pets healthy, do not ignore the rules for creating a diet. It is desirable that it be diverse and rich in different products.


Freshwater crustaceans are stored in fresh water, and sea crustaceans in salt water. Therefore, it is easier to preserve freshwater mormys. When fishing, pick up soil from the same body of water.

An aerator is attached to a container with mormysh and placed in a cool and darkened place. Half of the water changes daily.

Gammarus lacks food at home in the water, so keep it no more than a couple of days. They are treated before feeding.


Gammarus breeding at home begins in late spring - early summer. In warm places, gammarus are able to produce several offspring during the warm season. In cold waters, only 1-2 offspring.

Gammarus breeding begins before the female shedding process. Partners choose each other. When molting, the male helps the female to get rid of chitin residues and secrete the seed. His male smears on a chamber for posterity. After fertilization, the male is no longer involved in the rearing. Dark eggs are laid in the brood chamber. When breeding mormys, the number of eggs is 15–30. In warm waters, eggs hatch after 2 weeks, in cold waters after 1-2 months. In the chamber, the larvae grow to the first molt, and then leave the female. Larvae are already fully formed and are able to survive on their own.

Protein Poisoning

When feeding exclusively protein foods (gammarus) in fish and snails, protein poisoning occurs. The pet becomes lethargic, refuses food, does not move for a long time.

For treatment, protein is excluded from the diet and fed with plant foods.

Poisoning is often caused by poor quality food. It is usually sold by weight and contains impurities of soil, sand, twigs and bacteria.

Mormysh are sold in dried, boiled, frozen and live form. Prices depend on this.

Weight (g)Price (rubles)


  • Keep live gammarus for no more than 2-3 days.
  • Do not buy large portions of dried crustacean, its shelf life is 3 months.
  • Keep the amphipod in the refrigerator for no longer than a week (not a freezer).
  • Do not feed fish solely with mormysh.
  • Feed your fish not only protein foods.
  • Do not buy food by weight, only in unopened packages.

Gammarus is a great addition to the diet of underwater pets. High protein and beneficial nutrients balance your diet and make your fish healthier. Therefore, gammarus is the choice of many experienced aquarists.