It happens that aquariums are invaded by pests! And these “guests” cause great concern among aquarists, although most of them are inherently harmless. But sometimes these fears are not unfounded since the presence of these organisms in large numbers in the aquarium is a sign of deterioration of the fish habitat. In addition, this indicates the carelessness of the aquarist to some details: low-quality live food is used (in which these organisms may be present), or decorative material from natural reservoirs that have not been properly processed is used.
Such pests are unpleasant to look at and create certain inconveniences. Although they do not directly harm fish, their presence is a warning signal and cannot be ignored.
- 1 Acroloxus
- 2 Aulophorus
- 3 Water hoglouse (Asellus aquaticus)
- 4 Water mites (Hydrachnidae)
- 5 Hydra
- 6 Daphnia
- 7 Infusoria Peritricha
- 8 Infusoria Vorticella
- 9 Infusoria Stentor
- 10 Zoothamnium arbuscula
- 11 Snail Planorbidae
- 12 Rotifers
- 13 Rat tail maggots
- 14 Livoneca (Livoneca amurensis)
- 15 Black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia Illucens)
- 16 Dragonfly larvae
- 17 Larvae of a Whirligig beetle (Dytiscus)
- 18 Hydrophilidae larvae
- 19 Bryozoa
- 20 Roundworms ( nematodes ) and Stylaria
- 21 Ostracods (Cypridopsis vidua)
- 22 Slime mold
- 23 Aquatic flatworm (Dendrocoellum lacteum)
- 24 Poduridae
- 25 Ranatra
- 26 Snail leech
Water hoglouse (Asellus aquaticus)
A representative of the order of isopod crustaceans, ranging in size from 1 to 2 cm, can be brought from standing, slightly marshy ponds, where decaying organic matter eats from the bottom. It is quite simple to recognize a water hoglouse: by two pairs of antennae. One of the pairs is short, the other is almost as long as the body of a crustacean. The eyes are faceted, the body is clearly segmented into 8 segments and covered with a thin layer of chitin. Safe for fish, an excellent fodder facility.
Water mites (Hydrachnidae)
The first truly dangerous uninvited aquarium guest on our list. Remember the myth of the Lernean Hydra, it immediately becomes creepy, right?
Coelenterata animals ranging in size from 2 to 20 mm. This name speaks for itself, the hydra is actually a digestive system with the ability to reproduce. At one end, it is attached to some object, for example, a stone, and catches prey with its tentacles. Eating fry of a fish, for a hydra, costs nothing. It can also hurt adult fish by damaging them with stinging cells located on the tentacles. Hydra has two ways of reproduction: division (budding) and ordinary sexual. That is, if you cut the hydra in two, you really will get two hydras in a myth. Hydras are brought into the aquarium mainly with natural decorative objects that have been poorly processed.
How to get rid of hydra in an aquarium?
It all depends on the size of the hydra population, and the species composition of your aquarium. Gourami, as well as other Anabantoidei: Siamese fighting fish, Paradise fish, Dwarf gourami, eat hydra and can cope with a small population themselves. If there are a lot of hydras, in our opinion, the best way out is to resort to modern achievements in aquaristics, special preparations against hydras, such are in the product line of all well-known manufacturers of aquarium chemistry, most often such preparations are made on the basis of heavy metals, for example, copper. but many years of experience and numerous trials have allowed scientists to create drugs that can kill hydra and not harm the fish.
This is how hydras look in the aquarium:
And finally, 2 very extreme methods: temporarily relocate all fish, and raise the temperature in the aquarium above 42 degrees Celsius for an hour, the hydra should die, but keep in mind that not all beneficial bacteria tolerate such a temperature, and such an aquarium bath, with with a high degree of probability it will strike the biological balance in it.
The latter method can be compared to nuclear bombing, it should be resorted to when absolutely nothing helps – this is a complete restart of the aquarium, with draining all the water, flushing the walls, boiling the soil and decorations and other horrors.
Small crustacean (size from 0.2 to 6 mm) of the genus planktonic crustaceans. Crustaceans move in long leaps, for which they received the second name – the water flea. It is actively cultivated by aquarists as food for fish, and can also bring other benefits to the aquarium: bacteria and unicellular algae serve as the basis for daphnia’s nutrition, thereby daphnia can prevent blooming in the aquarium.
Another type of ciliates. They are motionless, it is impossible to see a single infusoria with the naked eye, its size is slightly more than 0.2 mm. They often settle on the shells of mollusks, sometimes there is such a phenomenon as “false fungal disease of shrimp” – the overgrowth of shells by large colonies of Vorticella. In this case, Vorticella can be harmful by getting into the respiratory tract of the shrimp, thereby causing suffocation. If there are so many Vorticella that there are problems with them – there are too many bacteria in the water, the bio balance is seriously disturbed or simply absent – start adjusting it.
It is safe to say that these small brown to red colored snails have been encountered in their practice by 100% of aquarists. Most often they are brought in in the form of eggs with plants, or decorations that are bought. These snails are extremely fertile, and if favorable conditions are created for them: excess food, harder water, not very clean water, and algae on glass – you risk getting a real invasion of these snails. In general, they are harmless, but when they are located throughout the aquarium in large clusters, it is extremely unaesthetic, will you agree?
The methods of struggle are simple – no overfeeding, clean water. If the coils have multiplied, you can remove them manually, you can prepare various traps for them, the most primitive one is a cucumber, several dozen individuals gather on a half of a cucumber overnight. The best and most natural, in my opinion, method of fighting, as well as with the Acroluxus snails, is Helena. Well, if nothing helps at all, and you want to get the coils out as soon as possible, use the chemicals according to the instructions, but again, plant the noble snails so that they do not suffer.
Be careful this vide HAS SOUND!
Rat tail maggots
As you can see, these organisms actually look like a rat because of their “tail”, in reality, the tail is more correctly called not the tail, but the proboscis. Eritalis captures atmospheric air with this proboscis. The rat is the larva of a female fly, eaten by fish so willingly that it is unlikely to survive to the stage of an adult fly.
Livoneca (Livoneca amurensis)
A real aquarium vampire. Small crustacean parasitic in fish. Most often sucked near the gills or in the mouth. You can bring into the aquarium with fish brought from the natural range, that is, with wild ones. Single individuals are removed manually with tweezers. If the damage to the fish is multiple, use special medications. You can use just potassium permanganate, but this is dangerous, a small error with the concentration of the solution promises big problems, especially in sensitive fish, for example, Characidae. Fortunately, the Livoneca does not breed in the aquarium, since it must pass through the larval stage before adulthood, but at that time it will be almost completely eaten.
Black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia Illucens)
Soldier fly larvae is a fly, its larva resembles a worm 0.3 cm in size, its color is different, from white to light shades of brown. Both larvae and pupae are coated with a kind of calcium carbonate armor. It is safe for fish, feeds on the remains of food. Therefore, like a mantra, we repeat: it is not worth overfeeding aquarium fish.
Larvae of a Whirligig beetle (Dytiscus)
These creatures are very similar to tentacles, they grow in size from 1 to 3 mm in a colony, which is why they are very similar to corals in the Avatar movie:)
Do I have to deal with bryozoans? In response to this question, the opinions of aquarists differ, on the one hand, they eat ciliates and bacteria, this is useful, which means bryozoans are helpers and there is no need to fight. But we must make sure that they do not accidentally populate the filter sponges and begin to feed on nitrifying bacteria. If there are too many bryozoans, more frequent water changes, and aquarium cleaning will help.
Roundworms ( nematodes ) and Stylaria
Thin white worms do not present any particular danger, usually, the fish themselves cope with the nematodes by having a hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Ostracods (Cypridopsis vidua)
Be careful this vide HAS SOUND!
Strictly speaking, this is mold. Scientists believe that this mushroom is intelligent, it knows how to move, and is constantly looking for food, as soon as part of the mycelium stumbles on something edible – it immediately begins to secrete digestive enzymes. You can cleanse the organism from surfaces mechanically or use antifungal drugs.
Aquatic flatworm (Dendrocoellum lacteum)
Small arthropods up to 2 mm in nature live on the surface of ponds, in an aquarium they often live under a cover, where the optimal level of humidity is maintained by water vapor, and food sometimes falls on the ribs of the aquarium. They are not dangerous. The way to fight is more accurate feeding.
Refers to stick insects, water bugs, rather large, 3 – 3.5 cm, 1.5 cm of which is the respiratory tube. It feeds on aquatic insects, so in theory, it can be dangerous for small fish.