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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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whats eating my plants

Wondering if anyone can help me out. I'm noticing my plants are starting to get what looks like bite marks in them.
I though is was a deficiency in potassium at first. But now i'm really not sure. I's really looking like something is eating them.
8gal tank , crs and snail
- only also noticing a lot of limpets lately.
Any help would be great Thanks


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 01:22 AM
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You have some of the dreaded "aquatic caterpillers"

From your pictures you probably have 2-3 of them.

They're great at camouflaging themselves with the leaves they cut out to build a protective shell.

Once they get enough food, they'll turn into a moth.

Check the bottom of the leaves for these clinging pests.

Fish would love to eat them, but they have to SEE them FIRST.



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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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wow.. maybe that's it. Guess i'll start digging around for this thing.
wonder long is take for the different stages?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 10:58 AM
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The leaf mining caterpillars that used to inhabit my tank preferred to take chunks out of my anubias & java fern. You should be aware how SLOW those plants grow. I was NOT pleased.
  • Do what you can to locate the insects ASAP because they will make Swiss cheese out of your plants.
  • You don't want to wait for them to turn into cocoons/moths. That process should take about 1-3 weeks but I think it's determined by the amount of food they can find.
  • Fish & dragonfly/mayfly nymphs are some of their natural predators. Shrimp will probably eat them too. I'm basing this off of watching them come across a freshly crushed snail. They go absolutely buck wild crazy, grab the mashed snail & run off to find a quiet spot while they munch away.
  • Crush they limpets if they bother you, but see if your shrimp will eat them. They should since they're essentially a snail that looks like a clam.

FYI......The parts of your plants that these insects remove will grow back, but it will take a very long time & the leave will rarely ever look healthy again. You'll have to manually remove any of the damaged leaves unless you like that look.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the help. Looks like im going on a hunt
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