This study investigated the effects of marine copepods, Acartia tonsa as live feeds on the survival and growth of Clarias gariepinus larvae in the hatchery. A total number of two hundred newly hatched larvae were fed for three weeks. The fish were assessed for survival, growth and nutrient utilization on weekly basis. The results obtained indicated that there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in the physico-chemical parameters of the water in the study period. The values of the water were within the ideal range for aquaculture practice. The microbial analysis of the experimental waters indicated that total heterotrophic bacteria, vibro, total coliform and Salmonela/Shigella were identified. However, total coliform count and Salmonela/Shigella were less than thirty (<30) in all the water samples. Survival rate (%) and growth of the fish significantly (P<0.05) increased as the experimental period increased. Moreover, there was steady reduction of the microbial flora as the fish gets older. The condition factor was less than one in all the treatments at the end of the third week. An indication that Acartia tonsa can serve as a starter feed for C.gariepinus larvae.