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Daphnia, the “water-flea,” has long been popular for simple physiology studies because its heartbeat is easily viewed under the microscope. Daphnia is also a popular food organism for Hydra and other invertebrates.

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Maintenance Alert

Maintain Daphnia in indirect light at 18 to 24 ºC. Large cultures can be set up in 5- or 10-gallon aquariums in aged tap water. Feed by adding 100 mL of a rich culture of a unicellular algae three times a week. Daphnia also eat yeast from suspension—prepare by adding a pinch of active dry yeast to 100 mL of warm water and let stand 2–3 hours.

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The “water-flea.” Daphnia has long been popular for simple physiology studies because its heartbeat is easily viewed under the microscope. The effect on heartbeat caused by changes in temperature and by the application of specific drugs to the culture water are readily reproduced experiments. Daphnia is also popular as a food organism for Hydra and other invertebrates.