Is it safe to feed mosquito larvae to fish? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Is it safe to feed mosquito larvae to fish?

I have an old "rain barrel" (it's more like just a giant bucket) that I have ignored for a while. This year it developed quite an algae bloom and become thick and opaque green. A few weeks later the algae disappeared and were replaced by hordes of mosquito larvae. Masses of them. Every time I would move near the water they would flee to the depths in droves. I really do not want these guys to develop into flying adults, and I see an opportunity here for lots of free live food.

However I do not know how safe it is to feed "wild" larvae to fish. I've read that fish can develop dropsy from eating them. Right now I am testing them on my "junk" tank - basically a cruddy 55 gallon I bought as my first fish tank and is filled with invincible feeder rosy reds, which have survived every horrible condition imaginable, thanks to my ignorance as a novice.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 02:03 AM
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Feed them that insect goodness!

Never heard of such a thing.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 02:44 AM
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They're very nutritious. You might see your fish get more colorful and start breeding.
Scoop all of the larvae. Freeze any leftovers. You don't want the larvae to develop into mosquitos. It's unhealthy for you!

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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So should I be worrying about my very expensive cardinals and lyretail swords suddenly dropping dead because they ate a tainted larvae?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 02:57 AM
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I do this all the time. Your cardinals and swords will go nuts over them.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:47 AM
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there's no health risk to the fish. You on the other hand, maybe. If a mosquito that carries a virus like the west nile were to bite you, it'll be a problem.

You don't have to be paranoid about it but scoop up those larvae.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 05:04 AM
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I doubt tetras are being fed commercial flakes in the wild, they eat what they can.

I would scoop mine and individually sort them in another container with a eye doper, so diluting as much of their previous water. the only danger i can see is in the 'barrel water'.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 06:37 AM
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I usually just use a very fine mesh net (brine shrimp net, for example) and scoop up tonnes of these things from our rain barrel. The fish just go postal over them, and the colours that follow are well worth the two minutes it takes to scoop them.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 07:15 AM
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I need to get some buckets started.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 09:25 AM
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lots of people feed their fish mosquito larvae, and some people tub fish for the summer and let that be their food source while they are living outdoors. i agree with the above statements. Live larvae is a good conditioning food for breeding.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 09:59 AM
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I know what I'm netting out of my 20 gallon sludge tank outside today lol. Excited to see the fish devour my larvae!


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 08:18 AM
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I leave a couple tubs outside spring through fall with some oak leaves in the bottom so I get both mosquito larvae and bloodworms, it irritates a couple neighbors but no larva makes it to the bloodsucker stage of it's life.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Do the bloodworms come naturally or do you have to inoculate the water with eggs? Are there any special requirements for bloodworms?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 02:28 PM
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Alternatively, get some cheap guppies from the LFS and drop them in the barrel. They'll gobble up those mosquitoes in no time.
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