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 placed in fresh water to feed the fry and generally the fry won’t 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 most active at night. In an Aquaponic System, the scud is a scavenger eating organic plant materials, algae and leftover 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 trout’s complete diet so you can see why they can be important to an Aquaponic System.