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Strange "fish" bred in used water storage

2933 Views 18 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Flint
Last night I was looking at my catfish babies which are growing like crazy, and I happened to look at my used water which was stored nearby. I saw something moving, and put a light on it and found numerous very tiny things flitting about. They are long and skinny, tiny (about like a newly hatched egg), stay at the top mostly and flit around nearby. Different sizes, though all very small. Even with magnifying glass, I can't figure out what they are. They look vaguely like a shrimp but have never seen shrimp that small.

So anybody have any idea what they are? They are way too small for a picture, the best I can do is put a sketch in, but can't really see their legs. Are there other beings that can inhabit old water? Not microscopic, but at the limit of visual recognition. I thought shrimp usually are on the bottom, not at the top. I think they hatched out of brownish knobs that are on the side of the glass -- don't look like any eggs I have ever seen. But they are fast, flit every which way, and seem to socialize with others. I am stymied! Shape is generally like this:
[looked up Bamboo shrimp -- is this a possibility?]


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Maybe one of these?
Langston University Aquaculture
It's probably some sort of water bug or larvae.
I should have said a small FW catfish tank, inside

I looked and most of the larvae and grownups were outdoor bugs, not usually indoors. Mine is an indoor tank, with my catfish babies in FW in a small 2.5Gal. When I looked at shrimp, some seem to be similar to mine, which are in the leftover water which I use to wash out filters and plastic plants. I was very surprised to see these things, all by themselves.

The catfish parents were in a tank that had some plants from a store, so it is possible that the shrimp eggs were in there. Then when I moved the babies to their own tank, I took the plants with them. And finally replaced a lot of the water to add new water -- hence the used water nearby. It is strange that the shrimp eggs stayed on the plants, moved over to baby tank, and then hatched out in the old water. If they grow more, I might be able to do a better sketch of them -- and add some antennae and claws. If they ARE shrimp, it says that they can exist safely and happily with Cory catfish. That is good, because I once wanted to get some shrimp, but never did.
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That could be -- and they are???

That is a similar shape and has the legs sticking out, so what are they? I saw it said something about wrigglers... but aren't most small larvae wrigglin' around anyway? Hah! Only difference is, mine are more robust -- are thicker in the body...hmmmmm

It better NOT be mosquitoes!!! I absolutely hate them as they bite me ferociously, and the big angry wallop stays forever. If that is what they are, they are going to be fed right away to my catfish, snails, or other predators.... certainly don't want to raise mosquitoes around here!
I'd be willing to bet they are mosquitos. But hey, fresh, live bloodworms for everyone!
Went to LFS and looked at shrimp

Because I needed some stuff, I went to my LFS and looked at a bunch of different shrimp that they were selling. Black shrimp, peppermint shrimp (?), and others of a clearish body. Looking at them, I still think mine might be shrimp... some were very tiny in a Betta tank, had to use a magnifying glass to see them closeup. The body is what I was looking at; they have a body that was the same width most of the way through. And then the fluttering tail at the bottom. The claws (or whatever they are called) that grabbed junk to eat was what I also looked at. If I can look at my "thingees" and see any claws, that should be more helpful. And those antennae too are very noticeable. Please let it be shrimp and not mosquitoes...!
Problem to resolve is the eggs seem to stay with the momma

According to one source, the eggs stay underneath the mother's body while getting into the hatch stage, so how did these eggs get into the water -- no Momma seems to be around. Ah, the mystery of it all -- do any shrimp have eggs laid on driftwood, plants, or rocks, and not on mother's body?
Not that I know of off the top of my head... You mentioned brownish knobs.... Did they look like the eggs towards the back of this photo? ETA - there are some against the plants among the larvae as well.
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Thank heavens, I don't have mosquitos

Now that I see them in that picture, I really DON'T have those things, as mine look totally different. Mine are much heavier through the body, don't have the large head, and don't appear similar enough to be the same. I can't figure out what they are yet, but am pretty sure they are not mosquitos.

Now, what would lay eggs that take a while to hatch and look like those old "water seahorses" from long ago... no one might remember those tiny things that people would buy for their kids, and hatch out in water, and they were called monkeys, seahorses, and such. That is what they remind me of from when I was a kid.

I am not sure if the brown stuff on the glass relates to eggs or not... may just be something like debris from the water or algae developing. More than likely some brown algae. But the weird thing about these animals is they are very social, and seem to hang out close together. And really fly around very fast at times.

I wish I could find some shrimp eggs photographs that have just hatched to see if there is any similarity. Maybe the mother is in there somewhere, and I just haven't found her yet. In looking at some of the shrimps being sold on google, there is a lot of similarity with those and the bunch of them together. Man, this is really getting interesting... wish I could photograph one -- maybe I can with a macro lens...
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Ghost and Brine shrimp

I found out that brine shrimp are the kids Sea Monkeys for hatching out. And they can be unhatched for a long time, as is the case with selling them as eggs. They can be unhatched in a bag for quite awhile. Another mystery, why can they go for such a long time?

Now the picture below is a bunch of ghost/glass shrimp eggs, and look a bit like my eggs in the old water. Isn't this mystery a bit of fun, keep guessing everyone.


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"Brine shrimp eggs can lie in the desert for 10 years or more, waiting for the right environment, and then spring into life to start their life cycle again."

Brine Shrimp

"These eggs, also known as cysts, are metabolically inactive and can remain in total stasis for two years while in dry oxygen-free conditions, even at temperatures below freezing. This characteristic is called cryptobiosis, meaning "hidden life". While in cryptobiosis, brine shrimp eggs can survive temperatures of liquid air (−190 °C or −310 °F) and a small percentage can survive above boiling temperature (105 °C or 221 °F) for up to two hours.[8] Once placed in briny (salt) water, the eggs hatch within a few hours"

Brine shrimp - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If they are brine shrimp then I guess you'll have some great food for your fish, same with if they are mosquitos!
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Brine shrimp seem to be amazing animals

Those pictures of brine shrimp are out of this world -- they have an ability to last through an extreme variety of temperatures and salt concentrations. Maybe they could have been dormant for centuries; that single picture looks like something from Mars, ready to pounce on us unsuspecting people. Besides all the other things I am raising, now I have some brine shrimp? Good food for the fish, and good dancers in the water, if that is what they are.

My microscope is out for repair (LOL) so I have to think of another way to get some pix of the ones in my water. [They better NOT be mosquitos, ya hear]

I was hoping that they would be shrimp, but a larger size that I can have in the tank as another item for enjoyment. Some glass shrimp or some crystal ones would be nice. I can't believe that some are as much as $40 for a few, have you looked at all the varieties available? Only thing is, I have FW tanks with salt in them, for the Mollies, so have to figure out if shrimp can live in those conditions, too. Brine shrimp really like the salt, but it is way too much for my fish tanks. But will check on other, more agreeable shrimp.
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Brine shirmp need saltwater to hatch is the only reason I don't think that's what you have unless your holding water is salted for some reason?
It is not 80 ppt of salt, but there is some there

I know the average for brine shrimp to live in is about 80/1000, ocean salt water itself is about 35/1000 and my tanks have a little salt, but I don't know how much. I guess I will have to look when I test it -- usually I am looking for ammonia and nitrites. But it is brackish, and they can stand quite a lot of variation in the salt content. Mollies, which are my fish type, like it brackish, so I always add aquarium salt to water when I replace it, or start a new tank. Salt doesn't disintegrate or get lower, you have to add some to keep the water at the same level just when it is replaced. My Cory catfish are living in there, too, but it says they can stand it.

So my water IS brackish, but by how much, I have no idea -- looking at the back of the salt package and we see -- usually it is a tablespoon for 5 gallons, and possibly higher if I am treating a fish for something where salty water is a good thing.

Can they hatch in my brackish water, well possibly... now to see how to up the salt to a more Briny level...
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Aquarium salt doesn't create brackish water, marine salt does.

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