THINGS in my water? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
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THINGS in my water?

I'm in the middle of cycling my 6 gallon tank, and lately I've noticed tiny things in the tank. I'm not sure what they are, if they're harmless, or if I should be taking steps to kill them.

I don't have any pictures because they're so incredibly tiny that none of the pictures turn out. I think there's at least three different types -

1. Tiny white grains, almost like sand, crawling slowly around on the driftwood.

2. Tiny round things that look like air bubbles that move jerkily in the current. I' not entirely convinced they are't just air bubbles, but they move sort of strangely. Also, I think I've seen them settle on the glass.

3. Minute, translucent, white, worm-like things that wiggle crazily around in the water column. I think they might have antennae or tentacles? They're too tiny to tell for sure though.

There are also some tiny little ramshorn snails, but at least I know what they are an how to handle them.

Pretty sure these all came in with the live plants. This is my first planted tank, so I haven't had much experience with hitchhikers. How worried should I be? Can these things be contained? Is it time to tear everything down, bleach the whole tank, and start again?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 04:41 AM
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i believe that you will find most, if not all of your answers on this thread:

Let us know what they might be, but I believe what you have are mostly harmless (copepods and seed shrimp)
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 03:26 PM
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#3 is probably detritus worms, also harmless. They turn into fish food when you get fish!

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 03:27 PM
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Where did you get those plants so I can "aquire" some of those "bugs" ?
The ones that move/w a jerky motion I believe you will find on that thread that they are water fleas. The worms are likely detrius worms. Free fish food if you have small fish or will have. Not sure about the other one(s).

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback, it's good to know that I don't need to panic.

The link was really helpful, Krabs! It's hard to tell, because of the tiny size, but I think I have seed shrimp and daphnia. Still not sure what the worm things are - they don't look flat like planaria.

Vanish, I googled detritus worms, but it's hard to make a positive id because the darn things are so tiny and wriggly. I hope you're right though!

Raymond, I got the plants from a local hobbyist. Her plants were very healthy and, apparently, teeming with tasty fish snacks.

I'm planning to put a betta in this tank. Do you think he'll hunt these, or will they be too small for him to bother?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 06:41 PM
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The first tank I did a fishless cycle with had all kinds of little things growing in it. A couple different types of worms, daphnia, some insect larva, and a handful of unidentified things.

Once I put fish in the tank, they promptly disappeared.

I wouldn't worry much, with the cycling process, you are adding energy (light, ammonia), and developing a tiny little ecosystem. light is growing plants and algae, ammonia is feeding bacteria, algae and bacteria are being eaten by various worms and microorganisms, which in turn are being eaten by slightly bigger (but still really tiny) organisms, etc.

They are currently getting big and plentiful enough that you notice them, but that's only because there is nothing to prey on them (fish).
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