Killing hydra with H2O2

faywayway

I have a hydra problem kicking up in my 10 gallon tank, and I really need some help. I've done lots of research as to the different methods I could use in eliminating them. My tank is a very heavily planted tropical tank with nerite snails, green jade neocaridina shrimp, and amano shrimp. I've ruled out some methods and have came to these conclusions. The ONLY METHOD I am willing to try is shooting hydrogen peroxide directly onto the hydra (please do not suggest the high temp method, ANY sort of medication or chemical because all of them will harm my snails and/or shrimp in some way and I am not willing to try that). I was wondering if anyone has tried this method with any sort of success. From what I've heard, and what I plan on doing, is that I can use 1mL of 3% food grade H2O2 per 10 gallons of water, in a blunt-tipped syringe and blast the hydra with it directly. I've heard it's safe for snails, shrimp, and plants, but I just want to be sure with my dosage. I would keep the filter turned off for an hour, then after that hour, turn the filter back on and perform a water change and suck up all the (hopefully) dead hydra. Does that sound like a good and safe plan?
The only other method I would possibly be open to is using a gourami or molly to hunt and eat the hydra. I could move all my shrimp to their own separate plastic container (with a small airstone inside for oxygen, and food), then once it looks like there are no more hydra left, take out the fish. My only problem with this is that I seriously doubt any LFS would be willing to let me "rent" out their fish for a week or so, but maybe I could ask? I don't know anyone else that I could give a fish to and I have other plans for this tank. Or I've heard that spixi snails will eat hydra, is this true?
I'm not sure what exactly to do but any help would be GREATLY appreciated. It's just very upsetting to see my new dwarf shrimp get continuously stung by these awful things and I was hoping they would be able to start a colony. Thank you
 

fjh

Just speaking from my own experience, I went on vacation and came back to a ton of algae and bba. It was also a planted tank that had bamboo shrimp and mystery & nerite snails in in. Now the main issue with the tank that let both these things get out of hand was the person caring for my tank over fed and I didnt ask them to do WCs while I was gone. So before you start adding things to your tank you might want to check why you had an outbreak of hydra to begin with.

Anyway moving on I used H2O2 on both the BBA and hydra. Every other day I would turn off the filter and spot treat with a turkey baster. I used 1ml / 5g. Let sit for about 10 minutes then turn the filters and stuff back on. I didnt siphon or anything but maybe I should have. 99% of the BBA was gone in 2 doses. The hydra took probably 2 weeks. Honestly once I got my tank as a whole back into good condition the hydra pretty much went away on its own - I'm not sure if the H2O2 really helped or not but its gone now.

If you have a lot of hydra then you might try the double glass w/ flashlight method to get rid of most of it first.
 
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richiep

First off hitting hydra individualy with a syringe is not going to work these guys are the masters at regeneration, now you say you are willing to remove shrimp to try a gourami, so it seem to me you've not done all the research available, the only way to kill hydra and leave everything in the tank with the exception of snails is with Planaria zero, 100% safe for shrimp so why not move the snails and do the job properly
 
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faywayway

Just speaking from my own experience, I went on vacation and came back to a ton of algae and bba. It was also a planted tank that had bamboo shrimp and mystery & nerite snails in in. Now the main issue with the tank that let both these things get out of hand was the person caring for my tank over fed and I didnt ask them to do WCs while I was gone. So before you start adding things to your tank you might want to check why you had an outbreak of hydra to begin with.

Anyway moving on I used H2O2 on both the BBA and hydra. Every other day I would turn off the filter and spot treat with a turkey baster. I used 1ml / 5g. Let sit for about 10 minutes then turn the filters and stuff back on. I didnt siphon or anything but maybe I should have. 99% of the BBA was gone in 2 doses. The hydra took probably 2 weeks. Honestly once I got my tank as a whole back into good condition the hydra pretty much went away on its own - I'm not sure if the H2O2 really helped or not but its gone now.

If you have a lot of hydra then you might try the double glass w/ flashlight method to get rid of most of it first.
The outbreak was caused by new plants, and feeding isn't a problem because I do not feed my shrimp or snails as there is plenty of biofilm and algae for them to feed on. I do however have quite a few copepods and I think water fleas so I'm going to keep doing water changes to reduce their numbers.
Thanks so much for this information, it's really helpful. And did you say you had shrimp and nerites in the tank that you treated? Did the H2O2 not harm them?
I'm not familiar with that method but I'll look into it, thanks so so much for the info!

First off hitting hydra individualy with a syringe is not going to work these guys are the masters at regeneration, now you say you are willing to remove shrimp to try a gourami, so it seem to me you've not done all the research available, the only way to kill hydra and leave everything in the tank with the exception of snails is with Planaria zero, 100% safe for shrimp so why not move the snails and do the job properly
I have done research, but not a ton as I was hoping to maybe get some quick help here. I do know about medications like Planaria Zero and Fenbendazole but as I really really love my snails and do not currently have any other tank I could put them in, I would only use this as a desperate last resort, only after trying the H2O2 method for a few weeks first. Thanks for the input.
 
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ZMAN3

The way I see it, the solution that is going to be easiest for you and the least invasive is to kill them with heat. Also, you can do it without killing any of your buddies:

1. Pull out all of your shrimp and snails and place them in a 5 gallon bucket full of dechlorinated water. Add an air stone if you want.
2. Pull out your filter media and also place it in the bucket (not 100% necessary but a good precaution).
3. Turn your aquarium heater all the way up and drain 25% of the aquarium water from the tank (make sure the heater stays submerged).
4. Put some dechlorinated water in a large pot on the stove. Use a thermometer to get the water up to about 120 deg. F. This shouldn't take long.
5. Add the water to your tank and keep an eye on the temp with a thermometer. You want it between 105-120F. If you don't hit 105, remove water and go heat some more on the stove.
6. Keep the tank water between 105-120F for 2 hours. This shouldn't harm the plants. After two hours, make sure you don't see any live hydra.
7. Once you are sure they are all dead, do a gravel vac to pick up the dead ones and place bags of ice cubes in the water to cool it back down to your normal temperature and add everything back in.

Just think, you can get rid of them in 2 hours instead of keeping your eyes glued to the tank trying to hunt them down one by one!
 
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fjh

The outbreak was caused by new plants, and feeding isn't a problem because I do not feed my shrimp or snails as there is plenty of biofilm and algae for them to feed on. I do however have quite a few copepods and I think water fleas so I'm going to keep doing water changes to reduce their numbers.
Thanks so much for this information, it's really helpful. And did you say you had shrimp and nerites in the tank that you treated? Did the H2O2 not harm them?
I'm not familiar with that method but I'll look into it, thanks so so much for the info!
Yes, I left everyone (fish, shrimp, snails, plants, everyone) in the tank when I treated. The nice thing about H2O2 is it breaks down into water and oxygen fairly quickly in an aquarium. So dont deliberately blast them with it and they should be fine (at least mine were).
 
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faywayway

The way I see it, the solution that is going to be easiest for you and the least invasive is to kill them with heat. Also, you can do it without killing any of your buddies:

1. Pull out all of your shrimp and snails and place them in a 5 gallon bucket full of dechlorinated water. Add an air stone if you want.
2. Pull out your filter media and also place it in the bucket (not 100% necessary but a good precaution).
3. Turn your aquarium heater all the way up and drain 25% of the aquarium water from the tank (make sure the heater stays submerged).
4. Put some dechlorinated water in a large pot on the stove. Use a thermometer to get the water up to about 120 deg. F. This shouldn't take long.
5. Add the water to your tank and keep an eye on the temp with a thermometer. You want it between 105-120F. If you don't hit 105, remove water and go heat some more on the stove.
6. Keep the tank water between 105-120F for 2 hours. This shouldn't harm the plants. After two hours, make sure you don't see any live hydra.
7. Once you are sure they are all dead, do a gravel vac to pick up the dead ones and place bags of ice cubes in the water to cool it back down to your normal temperature and add everything back in.

Just think, you can get rid of them in 2 hours instead of keeping your eyes glued to the tank trying to hunt them down one by one!
Thanks for the helpful info. I have already bought hydrogen peroxide and syringes yesterday, so I'll try to use that method first and see how it goes. If it doesnt seem to work, trying the heat method seems worth a shot, but are you sure my plants or at least most of them would be okay? I have quite a lot in my tank so it would be pretty costly if a bunch of them died, as 105ºF for two hours seems awfully hot and possibly damaging.

Yes, I left everyone (fish, shrimp, snails, plants, everyone) in the tank when I treated. The nice thing about H2O2 is it breaks down into water and oxygen fairly quickly in an aquarium. So dont deliberately blast them with it and they should be fine (at least mine were).
Okay cool, if it's possible I'll probably take out as many of my little guys as possible just to stay on the super safe side. Thank you so much though, I will definitely try this!
 
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richiep

You leave any shrimp in there and they will be dead with the heat method why you are messing this way i don't know, you say you can't move snails out because you have nothing to put them in now your moving everything out,
Unless h202 is measured exactly right you will overdose and start killing things, spot killing is a bad idea and won't get rid of all the hydra
H202 is a chemical and if done right will work, if you move shrimp out they need to be in the same tank water, put them in dechlorante will kill them.
These are drastic measures your using with a high degree of risk, yet you fail to see the easy way putting your tank at risk.
I'll step away now and wount intervene any more.
 
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Tallen78

The way I see it, the solution that is going to be easiest for you and the least invasive is to kill them with heat. Also, you can do it without killing any of your buddies:

1. Pull out all of your shrimp and snails and place them in a 5 gallon bucket full of dechlorinated water. Add an air stone if you want.
2. Pull out your filter media and also place it in the bucket (not 100% necessary but a good precaution).
3. Turn your aquarium heater all the way up and drain 25% of the aquarium water from the tank (make sure the heater stays submerged).
4. Put some dechlorinated water in a large pot on the stove. Use a thermometer to get the water up to about 120 deg. F. This shouldn't take long.
5. Add the water to your tank and keep an eye on the temp with a thermometer. You want it between 105-120F. If you don't hit 105, remove water and go heat some more on the stove.
6. Keep the tank water between 105-120F for 2 hours. This shouldn't harm the plants. After two hours, make sure you don't see any live hydra.
7. Once you are sure they are all dead, do a gravel vac to pick up the dead ones and place bags of ice cubes in the water to cool it back down to your normal temperature and add everything back in.

Just think, you can get rid of them in 2 hours instead of keeping your eyes glued to the tank trying to hunt them down one by one!
This method worked for me a while back in a 20g I placed all the fish and live stock and drained the tank as low as I could siphon and refilled with 110 degree water after a few hrs I did a heavy gravel vac again removing as much water as possible refilled tank and haven’t seen one in about 4-5 months
 
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faywayway

You leave any shrimp in there and they will be dead with the heat method why you are messing this way i don't know, you say you can't move snails out because you have nothing to put them in now your moving everything out,
Unless h202 is measured exactly right you will overdose and start killing things, spot killing is a bad idea and won't get rid of all the hydra
H202 is a chemical and if done right will work, if you move shrimp out they need to be in the same tank water, put them in dechlorante will kill them.
These are drastic measures your using with a high degree of risk, yet you fail to see the easy way putting your tank at risk.
I'll step away now and wount intervene any more.
I don't have many shrimp at all so it wouldn't be too hard to get them all out, and I have something I could put snails in temporarily but not long-term.
I know the H2O2 method probably isn't the best but I'm just trying to explore other advice as well. I'm only considering it bc I've seen lots of people successfully kill algae with it and figured maybe it would work for the hydra. The only reason I'm leaning away from the easier medication method is because I've read that those medications are completely toxic to nerites which wouldn't be a problem if I could get all the medication out of the tank within a short-ish time. The sucky thing is that lots of people have said that those medications will linger in the tank for many months or it may never go away. I have 10 nerites and I'm not really sure if I want to invest in a whole new separate tank to house them in, and who knows, maybe the new one could get hydra or planaria or something too. Unless you've had experience with the medication where it was safe for nerites to be moved back in within a certain amount of time? I'm just trying to evaluate all methods as I haven't chosen one yet and still don't know exactly what to do as none of them seem perfect or good enough..

This method worked for me a while back in a 20g I placed all the fish and live stock and drained the tank as low as I could siphon and refilled with 110 degree water after a few hrs I did a heavy gravel vac again removing as much water as possible refilled tank and haven’t seen one in about 4-5 months
Did you have live plants in that tank?
 
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Tallen78

Did you have live plants in that tank?
Yes I do mostly floating it’s a killifish tank but a lot rooted plants I left every thing in the tank because I had hydra on a lot of the wystera I had floating it all survived and is still healthy and growing and on the up side it got rid of a large number of pest snails that snuck in
 
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faywayway

Yes I do mostly floating it’s a killifish tank but a lot rooted plants I left every thing in the tank because I had hydra on a lot of the wystera I had floating it all survived and is still healthy and growing and on the up side it got rid of a large number of pest snails that snuck in
Okay, I may or may not try this method just because I have so many different plants and don't know how certain ones would react to such high temps for over an hour. Thanks though!
 
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richiep

I don't have many shrimp at all so it wouldn't be too hard to get them all out, and I have something I could put snails in temporarily but not long-term.
I know the H2O2 method probably isn't the best but I'm just trying to explore other advice as well. I'm only considering it bc I've seen lots of people successfully kill algae with it and figured maybe it would work for the hydra. The only reason I'm leaning away from the easier medication method is because I've read that those medications are completely toxic to nerites which wouldn't be a problem if I could get all the medication out of the tank within a short-ish time. The sucky thing is that lots of people have said that those medications will linger in the tank for many months or it may never go away. I have 10 nerites and I'm not really sure if I want to invest in a whole new separate tank to house them in, and who knows, maybe the new one could get hydra or planaria or something too. Unless you've had experience with the medication where it was safe for nerites to be moved back in within a certain amount of time? I'm just trying to evaluate all methods as I haven't chosen one yet and still don't know exactly what to do as none of them seem perfect or good enough..
Fenbendazole lingers a long time in some cases 12 months planaria zero dose not linger after 11 days two water changes and your good to go my concern and what other dont realise is you have shrimp as well, fish only dose h202 you can dose h202 with shrinp but not the syringe method h202 must be calculated to the amount of water in the tank to keep your shrimp safe, if you've only 4 shrimp your not to worried about then thats fine h202 will dissipate in a few hrs ready for your snails, you will also kill some biofilm with h202 and may have an affect on your filter but its been proved to come back to normal within a few days without having drastic affects, I can see everyone's points but what was missed was the effects thus as on shrimp if done wrong.
Whatever route you take i wish you the best, and will watch your progress
 
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faywayway

Fenbendazole lingers a long time in some cases 12 months planaria zero dose not linger after 11 days two water changes and your good to go my concern and what other dont realise is you have shrimp as well, fish only dose h202 you can dose h202 with shrinp but not the syringe method h202 must be calculated to the amount of water in the tank to keep your shrimp safe, if you've only 4 shrimp your not to worried about then thats fine h202 will dissipate in a few hrs ready for your snails, you will also kill some biofilm with h202 and may have an affect on your filter but its been proved to come back to normal within a few days without having drastic affects, I can see everyone's points but what was missed was the effects thus as on shrimp if done wrong.
Whatever route you take i wish you the best, and will watch your progress
Okay, I did already impulsively buy the H2O2 so I'll just give that a chance for a while and see how it goes. And yes thank you I will dose very carefully. I am moving soon though so I'll have to put all the snails and shrimp in their own little containers anyway, so maybe I can just carefully does H2O2 while they're not even in the tank. Because yeah they definitely could be harmed with the other methods and I don't want that. If unfortunately the peroxide doesn't work adequately enough I'll definitely look into using planaria zero then. By then I would probably be desperate and could temporarily house my nerites in a container or maybe even small tank with an air stone until it's safe for them to go back into the main tank. To test the safety I'll buy a cheap nerite from my lfs, let it acclimate to the tank and see how it fares.
Thanks for the helpful advice and I will definitely be following up with an update in a few weeks
 
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