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Interesting little buggers...

This is a discussion on Interesting little buggers... within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> =) This seems post seems to be growing into my own tank biography lol... I suppose I could ask one of the biology professors ...

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Interesting little buggers...
Old 01-22-2010, 02:28 AM   #11
 
=) This seems post seems to be growing into my own tank biography lol...

I suppose I could ask one of the biology professors here, or maybe I'll just poke around in the physics dept and see if I can find a microscope. =P

I'm really wanting to avoid a complete tear down as I've got several plants growing well, and a few new ones I don't want to disturb, as well as some snails and algae colonies I'd rather not lose.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm having problems with fish dying off, as I only had the one, and I think his death was at least in part to do with my (I'm ashamed...) carelessness. I went longer than usual without doing a water change, let the temperature get too low and introduced some new plants without washing them as well as I probably should have.

Anyway....
I think the plan from here is to get just a couple ghost shrimp or small fish (maybe white cloud minnows) and (as bad as I feel about it) see how they fare. I'll also see if I can get my hands on a microscope to try to identify these little specs. =)
Which brings me back around to:
Do ya'll know of any hardy fish that love to eat tiny bugs? =)
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:14 AM   #12
 
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I would think just about any fish that's not strictly vegetarian would jump at the chance to eat little aquatic bugs. It's kind of odd that your betta wasn't interested in them, honestly. What about some sort of dwarf cichlid, like a kribensis?
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:51 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7yl4r View Post
=) This seems post seems to be growing into my own tank biography lol...

I suppose I could ask one of the biology professors here, or maybe I'll just poke around in the physics dept and see if I can find a microscope. =P

I'm really wanting to avoid a complete tear down as I've got several plants growing well, and a few new ones I don't want to disturb, as well as some snails and algae colonies I'd rather not lose.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm having problems with fish dying off, as I only had the one, and I think his death was at least in part to do with my (I'm ashamed...) carelessness. I went longer than usual without doing a water change, let the temperature get too low and introduced some new plants without washing them as well as I probably should have.

Anyway....
I think the plan from here is to get just a couple ghost shrimp or small fish (maybe white cloud minnows) and (as bad as I feel about it) see how they fare. I'll also see if I can get my hands on a microscope to try to identify these little specs. =)
Which brings me back around to:
Do ya'll know of any hardy fish that love to eat tiny bugs? =)
If they're the same ones we have, our cory ignored them. Our betta picks at them once in awhile I think. I think they are copepods. Here's a simplified taxonomy key to use if you get your hands on a scope:

http://www.msnucleus.org/watersheds/...n/plankton.pdf

Assuming (always risky) that they are copepods...

Probably too small for a fish that size to trigger a selective feeding response. In fact after some reading and a couple emails, I'm apt to say that not many, if any, freshwater fish will feed on them selectively after they've passed the fry stage. Probably for the best as some freshwater copepods can be vectors for internal parasites. Numerous small invertebrates will prey on them, but most will metamorphose into flying insects.

If you like weird critters (and I get a sense that you might), you might try and find some hydra - they eat copepods, zooplankton and just about anything else they can get their tentacles on including small fish. The 'sea cucumber' type thing you found might have even been one. Would limit (or eliminate altogether) your fish choices, but you'd probably be the only guy on the block with a dedicated species tank for hydra. Would definitely take some creativity to flesh out the details, but I actually think this would be a very cool idea for a small tank.

Could not locate any definitive information, but can almost guarantee anything that sifts microfauna from the substrate will also eat them. Crayfish - almost guaranteed. Ghost shrimp - probably. Crabs - probably.

End note - the population of copepods in a freshwater tank will probably not support any of the above without additional feeding.

Last edited by FrogHerder; 01-23-2010 at 04:06 AM..
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:03 PM   #14
 
I too found a few (very few) of these critters in my tank. Could these be an indication of better maintenance required?
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:14 PM   #15
 
@ iamntbatman
That was my first thought too, but I think FrogHerder is right; they are too small too be of interest to most fully grown fish.

@FrogHerder
From doing more reading and observation I'm leaning more towards water mites I think. I'm working on getting a microscope and I'm looking forward to a definite ID. (thanks for the great link).
You're right about the weird creatures thing =) The hydras look right up my alley; it's unfortunate the potential issues they may cause for small fish, but I may keep it in mind anyway.
Glad to hear you think ghost shrimp may have a taste for them, I was thinking/hoping to hear that. I'm planning to get a few later this week.

For me, plants are just as if not a little more important than fish in my tank... so in that line of thought, I think I may use this as an opportunity to cultivate some bladderwort or waterwheel. =)
Aldrovanda vesiculosa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Utricularia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

@Morales2k
I think the presence of a lot of (my critters, at least) indicate that there is too much decaying matter(fish food or dead plant matter) in your/my tank. So.. yeah... probably. =) I'm taking much better care of my tank these days, and I'm hoping to see the situation improve.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:35 AM   #16
 
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Cool info on the bladderwort. Might even help control ich? Def not for breeding tanks tho (Feed me, Seymour!) :P

Definitely looking forward to the microscopy results. There are some copepods with shorter appendages, but 8 legs should be a dead giveaway for mites. If I had more time right now, I'd be doing the same. Real world biology rocks.

One last oddball to consider for the tank?

Microscopy-UK Micscape Microscopy and Microscopes Magazine

Freshwater Jellyfish

Keep us posted!

FH

Last edited by FrogHerder; 01-25-2010 at 01:38 AM..
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:25 PM   #17
 
Freshwater Jellyfish?
Really cool, but too difficult for me I think. =)

I just got a few ghost shrimp... they're floating in the bag now... but they are lunging at the 'mites' just on the other side of the bag. =) It's quite amusing, and I'm glad to see they're interested.

I'm going to see if I can track down a local source of bladderwort before ordering any. Also, the microscope is on the way. =)

Last edited by 7yl4r; 01-25-2010 at 12:28 PM..
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:16 PM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7yl4r View Post
Freshwater Jellyfish?
Really cool, but too difficult for me I think. =)

I just got a few ghost shrimp... they're floating in the bag now... but they are lunging at the 'mites' just on the other side of the bag. =) It's quite amusing, and I'm glad to see they're interested.

I'm going to see if I can track down a local source of bladderwort before ordering any. Also, the microscope is on the way. =)
Hope the shrimp don't eat them all before you can ID them.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:12 AM   #19
 
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Hope the shrimp don't eat them all before you can ID them.
lol. If that happens I think I'll have some seriously jumbo shrimp on my hands. =)
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:01 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by 7yl4r View Post
lol. If that happens I think I'll have some seriously jumbo shrimp on my hands. =)
Dunno why, but sometimes I get a seafood craving when I'm reading this forum.

Mmmmm... jumbo shrimp.
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