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Mike 08-25-2010 02:08 PM

Cleaning glass without killing copepods
I'd always wanted copepods in my aquarium, but even after going to such lengths as buying an in tank refugium and adding two bottles of live tigger pods I never managed to start a population.

That is, until I performed a series of very large water changes several weeks ago that reduced my nitrates. While they aren't as large or "colorful" as tigger pods, I now have what appears to be a healthy copepod population, as they are all over the glass.

I have been so pleased to see them that I haven't cleaned the glass in some time, but the algae buildup is beginning to get out of hand. I highly doubt there's anything that can be done, but I figured I'd ask:

Is there any way to get the tiny copepods to leave the glass so that I won't kill them when I go over the glass with my magnetic glass cleaner? Or do I have to "say goodbye" and hope there are enough of them in the live rock to carry on the population?

Pasfur 08-25-2010 04:40 PM

This is kind of like saying "how do I kill the weed without killing the grass". No problem Mike.... if you see copepods on your glass then you already have a thriving population.

Inga 08-25-2010 04:49 PM

Don't suppose you could post a nice picture of them so I could see if this is what I have on my glass? Why do you like having those? If it is what I have, as I am wondering how in the world to get rid of them and have been changing more water lately to do so and Yes, I scrubbed my glass. There are still some there but a whole lot less. Can you tell me what they are good for?

Pasfur 08-25-2010 04:52 PM

Copepods look look like small clear tics on the glass. Amphipods look like small little worms (very small). These are types of microfauna that populate the live rock and sand bed. Not only do they contribute indirectly to the denitrification process, but they are also an excellent natural food source. When you see your fish picking at "nothing" on the glass, rock, or sand, they are most likely eating microfauna.

bearwithfish 08-25-2010 08:40 PM

and they indicate a very healthy system!!!!!!!!! as you get live stock they will eat them off but they are really great for the tank in other respects such as eating at waist in the live rock from the nocturnal critters you dont usually see. and they assist in cleaning the sand bed as well

Inga 08-25-2010 09:12 PM

And I was all excited that I was getting rid of them. :roll:

Mike 08-26-2010 05:06 AM

Thanks, guys. I decided to compromise by only scraping the front of the tank. I suppose that I like having them because they signify to me that I'm doing something right, Inga. Plus, I know they're beneficial.

I was very freaked out by the white worms or maggots that appeared to be crawling through the ball of cheato algae in my tank until I realized that they were large amphipods. Of course, before deciding they were amphipods and not worms I panicked and thought they might be a parasitic type of isopod. I don't know where these copepods and amphipods came from because I had this cheato algae in my tank for a while and saw nothing. My wife isn't a huge fan of them and still refers to them as "the maggots". :-P I, on the other hand, am considering getting more cheato to bolster their population. The only problem is that one of my new emerald crabs seems to enjoy unraveling the ball of cheato, and stray cheato all over the place is unsightly.

bearwithfish 08-26-2010 07:09 AM

often when a tank is building a population (as i have learned i believe from Pas and a few others) you dont see them as they take refuge in the live rock and sand bed once the tank gets really stable the population explodes and they are every where i have TONS in my tank and in the Cheato in particular....

Inga 08-26-2010 07:16 AM

when they first showed up in my tank, I thought they were plant debris but each day I would flick my lights on in the morning and there would be more and more. As the day went on with the lights on, they would diminish some. I was a bit nervous because it seemed there was getting to be so many, tens of thousands, or more. The wall in the back was covered and thick with them in some spots. I scraped the glass with a magnet scraper and started doing more frequent large water changes. I also missed a day feeding each week (something my fish never did) and my hope was they would start taking care of the population since they had shown no interest in eating these things in the past.

I still have some but the wall isn't thick with them anymore in the mornings. I guess I won't worry so much about them, then. Thanks for the information.

Wait a second... I just noticed you both have salt water. I don't, mine is fresh water, are these the same things or do I have something different?

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