Itty bitty bugs? NOT planaria, what the heck? YUCK! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-06-2007, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Itty bitty bugs? NOT planaria, what the heck? YUCK!

I just did a small water change and I have been looking for fry in my removed water. I wait for the gunk to settle in the bowl and then look for them. I noticed a lot of the gunk wasn't settling down at the bottom like it usually does... then I saw them! HUNDREDS of tiny little somethings that I think are bugs?

I have no clue what these are. All fish are healthy, my water params are good- (0 amm 0 nitri 5 nitra) and the tank looks good too. I just removed some water because I have been feeding my fry (Hikari First Bites Food for Fry) and I wanted to make sure I got some of that left over food out.

They are VERY small about the size of a period on this page, or slightly larger. No visible legs. They are not floating in the water but seem to be bottom creatures.

Any ideas as to what they are and what I can do?


Pardon the pun, but I'm hooked!
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-06-2007, 12:21 PM
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Welcome to the jungle of fish keeping, lol. I have them in all of my tanks now and I think it is simply a signs of a healthy ecosystem.

As for what they are, they could be: copopods, water fleas, or something else similar. If you find a fish that will eat them let me know I think maybe shrimp would find them a delicasy but haven't been able to find cherry reds yet so I haven't tried them yet.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-06-2007, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Healthy= good BUT,

I guess I just toss out these bugs with the old water down the drain and not worry about it at all? I have never seen them before, and figured they were a Daphnia (water flea) or similar, they are a crustacean (I felt the shell when I crushed one) but is it ok to have SO many of them?

There were literally what seemed like hundreds of them in this 1 1/2 gallons of water that I siphoned out with my gravel vac.


Pardon the pun, but I'm hooked!
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-06-2007, 04:16 PM
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I don't know how many is healthy and how many is too many. I know my population fluctuates from time to time but I have seen literally hundreds of them when I squeeze out the sponge and do a really thorough gravel vac, sometimes maybe 1000's and I only have 10 gallon tanks. I would have thought the population was a direct result of feeding/overfeeding but they are filter feeders so I assume there is something microscopic they are eating that causes the population explosions.

One thing you can do with them is to send them to local elementary, Jr. High or High schools for biology experiments. My step son took some to his high school and they spent a couple days examining them.

Just watch out for hydra because about 6 months after I started to get large numbers of those little "things" my hydra population went completely nuclear on me. And I didn't even know I had hydra at all.

As for the water form a water change, I water my plants with it so they become fertilizer.

You should try taking some of the "gunk" and putting it under a microscope. I have nematodes in my gunk also but their numbers are not anywhere near as large.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-06-2007, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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hmmm, I have no desire to see what I'm putting my hands into or I won't be able to take care of my tank!

I think hydra look like those huge blow up things that highway car dealers use (in NJ anyway) to attract attention. Ever seen them with the flying hair and arms? But thank you for the tip. I will keep my eye out. How do you remove them or get rid of them?

I read on line somewhere that adding some coppersafe will slowly kill them off. Not an option for me though since I have a snail, a shrimp and many corys including fry, in that tank.

Speaking of fry, I'm nowsure that is part of the problem. I didn't know exactly how much to feed the fry so I know for sure I overfed them for a few days, and lots of the miniscule fry food dropped to the bottom, hence the water change. Add that to my naturally high pH and I created the perfect habitat for these little buggers.

I wonder if the snail, ghost shrimp, and corys eat daphnia?

I've noticed some funky slimy stuff in my other tank. I thought it was from the snail in the tank but now I'm beginning to wonder...

Ah, live and learn.


Pardon the pun, but I'm hooked!
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