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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Betta, good neighbor, Daphnia, worms?

Ok... I've identified all the little black specs swimming around in my tank as Daphnia. I just added shrimp to both of my tanks, so I suspect they came in the water with the shrimp.

So, since they are harmless but need population control, what would be a good fish to keep with a Betta in a 6 gallon tank to munch on the Daphnia, or do I just give up on the betta and get some tiny fish instead?

And while I am at it, I saw a worm of some kind, about an inch long, moving down the glass of the aquarium. They are all over the glass. I have a photo. The tiny line that looks like a crack in the center of the pic over the air tube is the worm. Not a clue where these came from and I only see them in the one aquarium.
 

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Daphnia is sea lice...not likely to come in with freshwater shrimp...though I could be wrong, I was under the impression they were saltwater critters. lol

The worm is probably a little white worm called Plenaria. If your tank is well cared for, it likely hitched a ride in on the water you added from the bags. You're not supposed to ad water from other tanks as it can bring in parasites and diseases.

Keep your tank clean and don't over-feed, suck out all uneaten food later(I do it with a turkey baster so I don't clean too much and shock the system), the worms will die off.


As for things that will eat both the worms and daphnia, if that is indeed what it is, the betta will do that. Small fish will too, like endlers who can fit in there but not with a betta. Endlers will be great for it because they're small and love the stuff. =)


Basically I'd do a quick clean and try to suck some out, don't leave any food in there for too long, should clear it all up soon enough.
 

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Daphnia if that's what it is are in fact freshwater . It's a great food source for bettas and given a little time your betta should put a hefty dent in that population. I wouldn't buy any other fish to eat them .

However the color description being black I'm a little unsure that it's daphnia . I've never seen black daphnia and I have a live daphnia colony in a 2.5g in my closet right now .. 2 types of daphnia started that colony about 8months ago and neither were black ...

Worms are probably planeria which are a result of too much nutrients in the water . Meaning you'll need to change more of your water more often and be careful not to overfeed .


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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
My mistake on the water. One of those things that is so obvious it went right over my head. Won't make that mistake again.

There are only shrimp in the tank that have been there for a couple of days and I haven't fed them anything. The nutrients in the water are from dosing for the plants.

Honestly, they are very very tiny. The black appearance may be the result of the back lighting and duckweed filtered lighting. Out in the open water away from the shading, they appear more white. Under a looking glass, they appear to have the shape of a water flea, but they are very small and I cannot make out any detail other than the outline. They swim smoothly (no jerky movements), but I've never actually seen a water flea before up close so I am not truly certain what it is I am looking at.

With the worms in the tank (they are also floating in the water), would it be better to get the problem under control before adding a Betta? Probably a silly question. I've never encountered this before and just want to be sure. Also want to be clear on what I need to do now. Since feeding isn't an issue, scale dosing back or does that not apply? Anything else you can offer is most welcome.
 

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Yes scale the dosing back a bit and up the water changes . And that does indeed sound like daphnia . Not a bad thing really ! They are actually quite beneficial to an aquarium. Still a betta should be fine with all your concerns . The white worms you are seeing are harmless . Also another thing that fish love to eat ... However it also is an indicator too many nutrients are left over in your water column . So good news is that neither of these things you are seeing are bad for fish ..


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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you Agent13. Appreciate the info. and you've put my mind at ease.

For future reference, what role can the Daphnia play in the aquarium? I don't mind having another player on the scene to help with the ecology of the tank.
 

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Daphnia gobble up algae like nobody's business! That's a huge part of their role.. That along with being eaten as they are a very common fish live food .


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Discussion Starter #8
Then if I want to maintain a self sustaining colony of them in my tank, it sounds like it would be desirable to encourage algae growth, within reason of course.

And the worms. Been doing some more research on them and I think, by their appearance and movement, they are more likely Detritus Worms. Since both of these tanks have been cycling with neither food nor poop in the tank, and since I have been doing large water changes to bring Nitrate down and GH up, pretty sure they hitchhiked in with the shrimp, along with the Daphnia and snails. (snail eggs are floating in the water and I already have an outbreak in the tank). It also sounds like they will die off on their own without any food unless they feed off of something else I don't know about (decaying plant matter maybe?).

Now I admit that my tank maintenance has been fair. I keep the filters clean and have settled into a regular water change regimen (25% each tank twice weekly); however, I have allowed the diatoms and algae to run wild and have pretty much left the substrate alone in preparation for the shrimp. Now if the detritus worms have been there all along, seeing them work their way into the water and up the tank is a bad sign (not enough O2 in the substrate). I'll have to be careful at this point.

How's my reasoning, and am I missing anything? Probably am since this is my first time with these critters.
 

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Well if you have a snail outbreak you most certainly do have poop in there ... Which would explain the detritus worms . Snails have a heavy bioload for such a size critter .


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Discussion Starter #10
Even tiny newborn snails? They just arrived in the tank... a couple of days at most. Not doubting you, just very surprised. Sounds very much like it is time to get the snails out.
 

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Tiny newborn snail, no...many tiny newborn snails, yes. =) The plus side is the babies do like to eat a lot, but yeah, they'll also be pooping a good deal too, and many creatures find their poo to be...well, food, it's full of plant debris usually and will draw in the nasties like worms of not cleaned up.

Careful, those few snails can become thousands in mere months. I got slammed too, went from like twelve to more than three hundred in about a month, and then that number pretty much tripled in one more month. Thankfully my crayfish love them, and the two wild ones I had temporarily did nothing BUT eat them. >>; But you can't have one in a tiny tank, so you will have to do your own population control.
 

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Baby snails are crazy poo factories ! I have just 1 in my .5g pico tank and because it's close to eye level and easy to see into and it's shocking how much poi that tiny thing creates .

If you want to get the snails and detritus worms under control it's easy enough with good gravel vacuuming and a slightly more aggressive cleaning schedule for a bit.

And yes.. A bit of algae will help sustain the daphnia .. Would be nice if I could get daphnia to survive in my nano tank... The nano fishies would be so happy .. Darn picky eaters


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Snails are helpful and assist in keeping the tank balanced. With that said, remember I own about 2 dozen crayfish and when the snails get thick the crayfish dine well. I actually use large quantities of snails to condition my females.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Given the aquarium size which is small, a snail works for me, but dozens upon dozens doesn't. Started putting zucchini in the aquarium at night until I can setup a proper snail trap.

Also starting a more frequent water change and cleaning schedule for the one tank as the other is snail free.

And though the theory of keeping a colony of Daphnia going in the aquarium fascinated me, the reality of it is that if it were possible, more people would be doing it rather than setting up a separate tank and colony. Too bad. The idea of having a variety of critters, both large and small, as a part of the ecosystem in the tank appeals to me :)
 

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You want a good snail trap try putting a bit of cucumber in a bowl and sink it. Mine don't like zucchini as much, but pop in some cucumber and they flock to it. In a small bowl, you can pull it out within an hour or two usually with dozens on it, but wait a few more, remove what's there and try leaving one overnight.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Did a couple of 50% water changes, vacuuming the gravel. The detritus worms have all but disappeared. The Daphnia have thinned out a little, but what remains are still going strong. The snails have also pretty much disappeared, but I don't think from the cleaning. I watched them. They barely moved and simply melted down.

In addition to eating algae, do Daphnia also eat decaying plant matter? I have a little bit of dead duckweed at the surface that they congregate on. You can see them all over the dead duckweed as it drops below the surface.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thought I should revisit this thread. What I thought were Daphnia are actually Amphipods. Had no idea what these were or what they do until recently.
 

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rpadgett37, something I noticed in your original post that nobody else picked up on, you should NOT be putting water that you receive fish/inverts/plants in into your tanks. It is the quickest road to disease outbreaks that can kill off your entire tanks. :thumbsup:
 

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rpadgett37, something I noticed in your original post that nobody else picked up on, you should NOT be putting water that you receive fish/inverts/plants in into your tanks. It is the quickest road to disease outbreaks that can kill off your entire tanks. :thumbsup:

I said it. It's in the second part of the very first reply. It's nasty stuff sometimes indeed, never know what you're adding in from other tanks. Plus, stressed fish release a lot of ammonia into the water by pooping and peeing a lot. c.c
 

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I said it. It's in the second part of the very first reply. It's nasty stuff sometimes indeed, never know what you're adding in from other tanks. Plus, stressed fish release a lot of ammonia into the water by pooping and peeing a lot. c.c
Sorry I missed that, Sylver!
 
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