Possible Daphnia in water BUT NO ANSWER TO HOW THEY GOT THERE!!

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by amy3589, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. amy3589New MemberMember

    Hi, I am very new to this forum. I have been taking care of fish for two years now. I have had the tank i will be speaking about since April 21, 2015. The tank is 36 gallons. Right now I have a Redtail black Variatus and a Zebra Nerite Snail. i have had those two since March 12, 2016. On May 30, 2016 so last Monday, I added in four new fish (all female): 1 Panda Platy, 1 Gold Crescent Platy, 1 Mickey Mouse Platy, 1 Sunset fire wag Platy. I thought I saw the start of ich on my Mickey Mouse Platy, but at this point I think i am just paranoid because the ich has barely grown since yesterday. Thinking I had ich in my tank, I bought a new heater since mine broke a while ago. I raised the temperature and it is currently at about 86 degrees Fahrenheit. A few minutes ago I checked on my tank and noticed a little brown thing moving about my gravel. I noticed a few more as well! Of course I freaked out and started researching. At first I thought that i possible was seeing the ich parasites, but then i learned you cannot see them by the naked eye. I think they are Daphnia because they are brown and moving through my gravel. However, all i added in is FISH! not plants.. i noticed many said that they can hitch a ride on plants. I have never had any live plants in my tank at all. I posted this in cleaning and equipment because could the daphnia come on my new heater??? It was in a box without water so I highly doubt it but that is the only possible explanation I could think of. The last water change I did was on May 21, 2016 so a while ago. Howver that still doesnt answer why I am just now seeing Daphnia and why/how they even got here in the first place! I HATE BUGS. I really want to get rid of them even though I have read they are harmless. Can anyone shine some light on what Daphnia do and how to get rid of them and HOW THEY EVEN GOT THERE! Before people start saying that I should clean my tank more frequently, I already know. I am a current high school Junior taking very hard courses on Varsity track. I dont have very much time to test/clean as I did last year.... Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  2. Pikachu13131

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    Daphinia eggs can hatch even after being dried out for years,but if this heater was new they did not come from there.they came from the LFS water or their not daphinia.
  3. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    If they are daphnia, don't worry about them. They're pretty neat, actually! Think of them as bonus pets you didn't have to pay for, and a sign of a healthy aquarium, actually. Daphnia are usually quite tiny, though. How large are your critters?

    I suspect your fish will likely eat them if they can catch them. A tasty treat for them as well.

    Don't think of them as being "bugs". And actually, try not to be bothered by bugs, either.

    When you start to study insects, spiders, etc., you may find them to be quite fascinating. Especially if you can arrange to look at them up close with magnification.

    I'm not sure what you may have in your aquarium, but they may not be of any real concern. A good close-up photo will help us to identify the mystery critters. And that gets you into another fascinating hobby - macro photography. Just what you need: Another time-consuming hobby to distract you from your studies. ;)

  4. OP

    amy3589New MemberMember

    I attached some photos I took with my iPhone... Low quality :( But if it is not noticeable, on the middle rock its the oval/circle shaped thing. you can tell it moved from the first and second. i dont think it is visible in the third

    If I never had any live plants how would they get in in the first place? I got this tank from a friend a year ago. i am not sure if they ever had any live plants. But i cleaned the tank and all I put in there that was the same was a few large black rocks, but I cleaned those too. I rinsed off the filter head and output tube before putting it into the tank as well a year ago
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2016
  5. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    All kinds of small critters can come in with new fish or the water in which the fish are transported. Since various creatures start out as eggs, the eggs can be microscopic, and you'd never notice them until they got large enough to see.

    I can't really tell what that critter is, but it may well be harmless.

    We sometimes get blooms of tiny crustaceans in the water coming into our water treatment plant. Of course, they get filtered out of the finished water, but we see them scooting around in the filters themselves. Some of them are so small that you really need a good microscope to appreciate any of their detail. Hundreds could swim around in a drop of water.

    Upon close inspection, they're often quite beautiful.

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  6. OP

    amy3589New MemberMember

    I am assuming they are daphnia just based on their size and shape. I did not pour any of the Petco (where I got the fish from) water in my tank with the fish so I am assuming they were attached to the fish by eggs or some drops of water containing them got in when i fished the fish out with a net. This has just never happened and I am pretty freaked out. I do not even want to touch the water... Will they eventually go away or will I have a problem if they continue multiplying? I am going to lay off on feeding for a day or two and see if my fish eat them and if i notice less of them
  7. Pikachu13131

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    Why don't you want them?
  8. OP

    amy3589New MemberMember

    I really do not like bugs in the first place, in or out of water. I am afraid that when I do water changes and if I get water outside of the bucket and on the carpet or walls or room that they will infest the room. I might sound insane, but I just hate bugs so much. I never had live daphnia in my tank and I do not want them hurting my fish at all and I do not want them to cloud my water and make more trouble for me either
  9. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    If they're daphnia, they're really kind of good.

    When I was a kid, I had an aquarium that had nothing in it but a large mass of filamentous algae along with daphnia and hydra. I'm sure there was more in there that I couldn't see, but it made for a self-sustaining aquarium that required only that I add distilled water as it evaporated. It ran for years.

    It was fun to watch the daphnia scoot around and see the hydra catch and eat them from time to time.

    Not to gross you out, but for your aquarium to be healthy, it requires a large ecosystem of bacteria and other microorganisms that you never see, but without which, the fish would die. When you have an aquarium, you really have a lot more than just the fish in there even if you don't always see the other tiny critters.

    And biologists are finding more and more that the human body is very dependent on the huge colonies of bacteria that inhabit us. In fact, I've read that there are more bacteria cells in a human than there are "human" cells!

    Research is finding that a lot of the ailments that humans suffer from these days are caused by imbalances in our bacteria. My son, who is studying to get into medical school, tells me that recent research says that the bacteria in our gut can be responsible for us being either skinny or overweight.

    Transplanting the "skinny" bacteria from a skinny mouse to an obese mouse makes the obese mouse get skinny quite quickly, and the opposite is also true. And certain foods we eat tend to put the bacteria in us out of whack, causing all sorts of problems.

    My wife worked in a hospital for many years and said that the doctors and nurses who must wash their hands with anti-bacterial stuff whenever they enter or leave a patient room, end up with all kinds of sores and infections on their hands because they've killed off the "good" bacteria that should be on their hands, protecting them from the "bad" bacteria.

    And not to get even more gross, but people who go in for major surgery these days, who they know will be treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics, often have samples of their fecal material taken from their lower intestines so that it can be inserted after they're done with the antibiotics in order to re-establish their previous gut-bacteria. This is being found to be extremely beneficial. So-called "fecal transplants" are very successful in treating various maladies these days.

    Our bacteria are as important as any other organ in our bodies, it seems.

    So anyhow, my point is that you have to look at an aquarium as a whole ecosystem. And there are things going on in there that you may not see, but which may be essential to keeping the aquarium healthy.

    Daphnia are harmless, and perhaps beneficial. Don't think of them as something bad or scary. They're actually pretty neat, and won't harm you or the fish. They're really pretty cute!
  10. Pikachu13131

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    1.their not bugs their crustaceans
    2.what with the people on this forum being afraid of bugs?
    3.they can't crawl or survive out of water they won't infest your house
    4.they won't cause trouble,they have a small bio load
    5.they wont hurt your fish
    6.they don't live long after two months they will be gone
  11. OP

    amy3589New MemberMember

    Oh wow I never knew all that about bacteria! You did sell me on the point that Daphnia are not bad seeing how bacteria works and such. Thank you for all your help!

    1. I will start referring to them as crustaceans.
    2. From an early age I have had an irrational fear of bugs :/
    3. That is reliving
    4,5,6. Good!!! I just do not want to have an overload of Daphnia that would be overwhelming for my fish and tank alike
    Thank you!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2016
  12. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    I think one of the things that's made me appreciate bugs is that I have done a lot of photography, and macro work is something I really enjoy. And naturally, insects, spiders, etc., are great subjects for macro photography.

    They're pretty fascinating when you can see them up close. Some are like prehistoric or alien monsters, and some are very elegant and "friendly looking".

    One thing that's always amazed me is how harmless ladybugs look, but their juvenile form, their larvae, are horrifying-looking! They're harmless to humans, and do a lot of good eating aphids and other crop-damaging critters. But it's just funny how they start off so ugly and then transform into something so cute.

    Anyhow, it's good to be interested in all of these little creatures, I think.
  13. chromedome52

    chromedome52Fishlore VIPMember

    If they are in the gravel, they are not Daphnia, which bob around in open water in a sort of jerky motion. More likely they are Ostracods, which are like mini clams that crawl around on the glass and substrate. Again, aquatic Crustaceans, not Insects. These are less likely to be eaten by the fish, and sometimes do overpopulate in tanks with a lot of detritus. The photos weren't obvious, but the general shape and color of the brown spot does appear to be Ostracods. As for where they came from, I have never figured that one out myself. They often pop up in dirty tanks, apparently out of the clear blue.
  14. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    I agree. Daphnia skit around in the water. Ostracods can, too, but they sometimes are on surfaces.

    We get blooms of certain species of Ostracods at certain times of the year coming into the water plant filters. So they must go through population explosions out in the river and in our presedimentation pond.

    They are very tiny. I assume that they eat free-floating algae when it also blooms a bit.

    We sometimes net a lot of them using a home made gadget with polyester curtain sheer material as the net. It's extremely fine.

    Then we purposely put them in the aquariums here as a treat for the minnows to eat. They're irresistible to them!

    I really want to buy a digital camera attachment to use with a good microscope we have here at the plant. They're cheaper now than they used to be, so I may be able to afford one.

    One of the people here is a microbiologist. I know she and her grandkids would flip if we could capture some good images of some of the tiny "wildlife" that exists in our river, pond, and aquariums!
  15. OP

    amy3589New MemberMember

    Will they hurt my fish and nerite snail? I've come to terms on somewhat accepting them that they are there. I do notice that they do sometimes swim through the water but barely. I did research Ostracods and some people have mentioned that they are dangerous and harmful to fish. One of my fish just died yesterday, but I do not think the Ostracods are to blame. I just got her on Sunday so I believe it just has to do with that. Once I get home later today I hope to find no more dead fish. Will Ostracods kill and hurt my fish and more importantly snail? I'm worried because the snail is always where they are! Thank you for replying :)

    You seem to be very interested in pond types of fish! I do not share your interests in looking at live things under microscopes. More of a history person! I would be happy to give you these little critters in my tank to look at if I could!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2016
  16. KwigWell Known MemberMember

    I think the best way to keep them in check is to keep the gravel clear of detritus. I understand what it's like to be so swamped, single mom who's babysitter lives half an hour from her house and her work, and I work full time. But you have got to commit to weekly maintenance. You can find 20 minutes a week to get in there and get that gravel vacuumed. Your fish can't clean their own tank, they rely on you solely. I have faith in you! :)
  17. OP

    amy3589New MemberMember

    You are right! I will start doing it more weekly. Good luck with your business!!

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