Scuds? Question 

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Ebreus

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After seeing a mention of them by MissNoodle I decided to go a googling.
These things sound great, barring the potential of them eating my Java Moss.
I'm considering trying to get ahold of a culture of them but I'd like to hear a bit more before coming to any decisions on them.

My current stocking is 4 Guppies and a breeding population of Bladder Snails. I intend on getting Amano Shrimp fairly soon.
I know the Guppies will be snacking on them but if I get a large culture they should be able to establish in the tank and survive having guppies hunting them... I'll just need to make sure not to increase the guppy numbers too much.
I'm not expecting much in the way of Scud/Snail interaction. I'm thinking they'll mostly leave each other alone and go about their 'cleanup crew' duties.
I have no idea what to expect from shrimp/scud interaction. They seem to have a pretty similar niches and that's concerning to me.
 

MissNoodle

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Id raise them in a separate container. Just add a few here and there to the tank as live food.
 
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Ebreus

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MissNoodle said:
Id raise them in a separate container. Just add a few here and there to the tank as live food.
Yeah, sounds like a good idea. Shouldn't be too hard to make a decent home for them.
 

Brizburk

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I never noticed that they ate my Java miss..... You should get them!!! You'll love them. So will your fish.


I don't remember having issues with scuds and shrimp... Scuds are so much smaller than shrimp and very fast. They'll find hiding places in driftwood, plants and substrate.
 
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Ebreus

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Brizburk said:
I never noticed that they ate my Java miss..... You should get them!!! You'll love them. So will your fish.


I don't remember having issues with scuds and shrimp... Scuds are so much smaller than shrimp and very fast. They'll find hiding places in driftwood, plants and substrate.
The article said some species will eat plants, especially mosses, if they don't have enough algae to eat. Detrivores shouldn't be a threat to them like herbivorous species.
My concern with Scuds is that I was advised to let the tank mature for months building up biofilm and microflora for them to graze on in addition to any food I provide them. My takeaway from the article was the Scuds also like that stuff.
 

CichlidJynx

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I’ve only had issues with scuds eating baby shrimp but since you have Amano I wouldn’t worry. I keep a culture running by itself and scoop out some for feedings
 

Brizburk

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Ebreus said:
The article said some species will eat plants, especially mosses, if they don't have enough algae to eat. Detrivores shouldn't be a threat to them like herbivorous species.
My concern with Scuds is that I was advised to let the tank mature for months building up biofilm and microflora for them to graze on in addition to any food I provide them. My takeaway from the article was the Scuds also like that stuff.
That may have been why, the tank was mature.
 

Oriongal

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I have scuds in all my tanks. Livebearers, bettas and tetras love to snack on them.

But, even in a mature tank they can reach a concentration where they will start stripping plants, especially mosses. And once you have them established in a tank, there's no way I know of to get rid of them except to break the whole tank down (and filter, they'll colonize that quickly as well.)

Here's what scuds did to my shrimp tank, once they reached a certain tipping point (before/after pics took about a year, in a 10 gallon tank with no fish keeping them in check):
20190330_164604.jpg
20191211_162700.jpg

The Java moss on the back wall was first to go, then the fine-needle plants like cabomba, then they would get down in the substrate and eat the roots off the dwarf sagittaria. They've nearly destroyed the two Amazon swords and some smaller java ferns; the only thing that has escaped attack so far is a bacopa or rotala with fat succulent-type leaves.

I have put a pair of sparkling gouramis in there now, and a scarlet badis. I can afford to lose some shrimplets if they snack on those instead.

I have seen the female gourami catching scuds, she's pretty good at spotting them resting out in the open. Not sure if the other two are eating them, haven't seen it yet if they are.

I'm also going to be moving everything into a 15 gallon at some point; new substrate, new filter, soak the remaining plants in a peroxide solution before putting them in the new tank, catch the shrimp and fish with a coarse-mesh net and pick out any scuds big enough to be caught with the shrimp. Still not confident even that will get rid of them, but maybe the gouramis and badis will take care of any that make the move.

I'll definitely think twice before putting them in a planted tank without a good predator population again. That was my favorite tank until they stripped it nearly bare.
 
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Oriongal said:
I have scuds in all my tanks. Livebearers, bettas and tetras love to snack on them.

But, even in a mature tank they can reach a concentration where they will start stripping plants, especially mosses. And once you have them established in a tank, there's no way I know of to get rid of them except to break the whole tank down (and filter, they'll colonize that quickly as well.)

Here's what scuds did to my shrimp tank, once they reached a certain tipping point (before/after pics took about a year, in a 10 gallon tank with no fish keeping them in check):
20190330_164604.jpg
20191211_162700.jpg

The Java moss on the back wall was first to go, then the fine-needle plants like cabomba, then they would get down in the substrate and eat the roots off the dwarf sagittaria. They've nearly destroyed the two Amazon swords and some smaller java ferns; the only thing that has escaped attack so far is a bacopa or rotala with fat succulent-type leaves.

I have put a pair of sparkling gouramis in there now, and a scarlet badis. I can afford to lose some shrimplets if they snack on those instead.

I have seen the female gourami catching scuds, she's pretty good at spotting them resting out in the open. Not sure if the other two are eating them, haven't seen it yet if they are.

I'm also going to be moving everything into a 15 gallon at some point; new substrate, new filter, soak the remaining plants in a peroxide solution before putting them in the new tank, catch the shrimp and fish with a coarse-mesh net and pick out any scuds big enough to be caught with the shrimp. Still not confident even that will get rid of them, but maybe the gouramis and badis will take care of any that make the move.

I'll definitely think twice before putting them in a planted tank without a good predator population again. That was my favorite tank until they stripped it nearly bare.
Ouch. That looks exactly like what I don't want to have happen in my 50 gallon. I'm thinking the suggestion of keeping them in a seporate tank and only adding a few for live food purposes, or just going with baby brine shrimp that couldn't do this.
 

Oriongal

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To be fair...where there are predators, I haven't had that happen.

These are grabs from my 'fishcam', the outside pool where my guppies and swordtails are (also some stray rescue glass catfish and various corys, mostly Schwartz). The whole bottom of it (it's about 5 feet diameter) is now covered in Java moss, as deep as the largest sponge filter you can typically find. I periodically have to pull some out because it starts getting into the pump intake box, and choking off hiding places under decorations. Plenty of floating hornwort in there that I have to periodically pull some out as well.

6516492131209933-1581806341496.png
6516492131209933-1581805838744.png
6516492131209933-1581806325083.png

The pool is full of scuds as well, but the fish population keeps them in check. The scuds in there also seem to congregate in/on the floating water spangles and duckweed, without making any dent whatsoever in those. Anytime I want some scuds all I have to do is grab a handful of the water spangles and I'll end up with 3-7 scuds wriggling around on my palm.

The 20 gallon tanks I have with tetras or swordtails (and scuds) aren't having the same issues as the shrimp tank has had, at least thus far. The scuds in those seem to mostly be concentrated in the canister filter, the only place they're safe from predatory fish.

It's good to know what they can do if unchecked, but if you have fish that will eat them I think they can be kept under control. At least so far...
 
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