the objective of the present work was to investigate the influence of four diets on population growth, development, total length, dry weight, and nutritional value of two zooplanktonic species, moina micrura and diaphanosoma birgei. the four dietary treatments were: algae alone (a); algae + vitamins (av); algae + ration (ar); and algae + ration + vitamins (arv). growth rate peak for both species occurred faster with av treatment. in general, av treatment for m. micrura showed better results for intrinsic rate, fecundity, and embryonic and post-embryonic development. on the other hand, longevity and total spawning number were better with ar treatment (p < 0.05). vitamin and ration treatments produced the best results in d. birgei species (p < 0.05). the highest percentage of protein and lipids for both cladocerans was verified for ration treatments. carbohydrate was higher for the treatment containing algae alone (p < 0.05). generally, diets containing ration and vitamin showed better results in cladocerans development, with water quality adequate for culture systems. ration and vitamin diets may also be used in high-density cultures in the laboratory.