Mysterious floating creatures
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Mysterious floating creatures

This is a discussion on Mysterious floating creatures within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Hello, Seconds ago, I noticed microscopically small white creatures zipping through my 10 gallon betta tank. They are tiny, but visible if I look ...

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Mysterious floating creatures
Old 06-27-2010, 06:17 PM   #1
 
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Mysterious floating creatures

Hello,

Seconds ago, I noticed microscopically small white creatures zipping through my 10 gallon betta tank. They are tiny, but visible if I look closely enough. I would have passed them off as some sort of debris, if they were simply floating in the water. Except the things (I am so sure that they are live creatures) zip around as if they can swim. I am afraid to find out what they could possibly be. I am wary of anything living other than my fish and plants.

When the plants I ordered online arrived, I just unpacked them and stuck them in the tank. Soon afterward I saw many baby snails climb their way up the microswords. I got rid of all of them, or so I thought. Last week, I disposed of two that I found during a water change. They were pond snails - a pesty type. The very next day, I noticed egg sacks on the undersides of my elodea leaves. I promptly removed those leaves. There weren't any more eggs as far as I could tell. I wonder if these floating things are baby snails. They are impossibly small! But I am very suspicious of those eggs...

Please help me reason this out. Unfortunately, I do not think my camera can capture the white flecks because they are so small.

Thanks a bunch.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:52 PM   #2
 
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well you din't clean the plant before you put it in... and yes those are baby snail larvae. go to the lfs to get parasit medication ask them to tell you the dosage.i had that problem with worms once it went on for quite some time.in the end i had to put the fish in quarantine with worm meds meant for humans cause it dint work in the main tank as the worms were in the filtering system. cleaned everything to do with the tank with hot water to get rid of the worms in any stage.drastic measures yes as the worm keep coming back after a while
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:55 PM   #3
 
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Or they could be Planaria Worms here is a site with info on them. I had them once before I knew how often to change water in my bettas tank.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planarian
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:29 AM   #4
 
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If the white "flecks" are swimming it's also possible that it is daphnia. Harmless, and fish love to eat them.
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:22 AM   #5
 
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i don't think we should make any assumptions here maybe they are food maybe parasit i say get rid of them before the fish get sick.prevention is always better then cure
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:50 AM   #6
 
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Here's the thing:

I now see two types of critters. One is more globular - at this point, I can't tell if it has snail parts. It's too hard to tell if they have shells or not. Because they are so tiny, I rule out snails. I saw pictures of just-hatched snails, and they are much more visible to the eye and recognizable than what is in my tank.

The other white thing is linear. It definitely moves like a worm and I can see it squirming around on the glass. I don't know if it's planaria - I've handled some planaria before, but when they were a lot larger than mine, if mine are indeed planaria. I'm so sad that I have parasites! I can't blame anyone for not cleaning my plants before putting them in the tank, but the plant store did not instruct me to do so. Do you suppose I got the parasites from the plants? Is it necessary to do treatment? I don't really have much money, and I am hesitant to add chemicals to my tank. In addition, I don't have a quarantine tank. The betta is doing fine. His behavior is normal.

Please advise me what to do. Thanks so much for your help.


Edit:
More info:
I routinely change my water with a gravel vacuum. The live plants cause a lot of mess, so I suck as much of the dead plant leaves and such during every water change. I do 40-50% every Wednesday. I never have excess food in the tank. The betta eats all the pellets I feed him. Could it be the small amount of decomposing leaves scattered on the gravel that encourages the planarians? With most of my microswords gone, I think the amount of decaying plant matter will decrease a lot. The only leaves I have to keep sucking up are elodea leaves, but they don't shed that much.

Last edited by nacho; 06-28-2010 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:56 PM   #7
 
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First comment is, don't dump stuff (chemicals, medications...) in the tank until you know exactly what is in there, and even then only if it is absolutely necessary.

It is more probable that what you have is harmless, as several members have already mentioned. There is (or should be) a large variety of microscopic and some not-so-microscopic life in a healthy aquarium. I have fish regularly spawning in most of my tanks, and periodically fry will survive, several sometimes. As they are unseen (by me) and are very tiny, they need minute zooplankton as food, and they find it in the aquarium. When half a dozen 1/4 inch tetra fry suddenly appear around a chunk of wood, I know they have been eating something, and it wasn't fish food that I added.

There is a complex inter-connected web of life ongoing in an aquarium. Don't disrupt it with chemicals and antibiotics, you can do much more harm than good. If something in the tank turns out to be a danger to the fish, that's different. But find out exactly what it is first, don't jump to conclusions.

Second issue I want to comment on, is snails. I cannot fathom why an aquarist would be worried about snails. They too are a part of natural life, and healthy life. They do a lot of work for the aquarist. They will not become a problem (assuming they are the common small snails like pond snails, bladder snails, Malaysian livebearer) unless something is wrong in the aquarium--too much food, dead fish, etc. So think of them as helpers, not a hindrance. I have hundreds (i couldn't begin to count them) of Malaysian snails in my tanks, and I love it. Nothing burrows through the substrate like they do, keeping it clean and fresh for the bacteria and plant roots, a cleaning method I could never manage with all the paraphernalia we can buy.

However, if you want to reduce them, use sensible methods like removing the egg masses (pond and bladder snails lay gelatinous masses of eggs on plant leaves and the aquarium glass that are easy to see and remove), using bait like zucchini or a lettuce leaf at night, etc.

Don't ever use snail eradicators as these chemicals will affect the tank in other ways and will affect fish even if not noticeably.

Byron.
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:47 PM   #8
 
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Yes, I am very hesitant to add chemicals in the water. Your post reassures me, Byron! As long as my fish is doing fine, I shouldn't be worried. Thanks for your advice.
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