Hydra & sensitive shrimp - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Hydra & sensitive shrimp

Shortly after introducing the long-awaited OEBT, there's suddenly hydra on the glass, appearing out of nowhere. The obvious responses like medications or overheating aren't options as the tank is full of baby shrimp, various nerites, and a mystery snail, with a chopstick snail on the way.

Are pond snails my only option?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 03:39 PM
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use panacure-c it apparently doesn't harm shrimp. I did one small dose. It killed all the hydra over-night and I didn't lose a single shrimp, just make sure you do a water change because it will also kill any detritus worms. It's also really cheap.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 04:01 PM
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Rather than immediately move for some kind of treatment, try manual removal.

It's not always easy but I've never had to treat for them. Just have to put in the effort to stay on top of things. I've usually been able to get rid of them in less than a week.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 07:10 PM
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Don't use Panacur-C or Fenbendazole. Those will harm your snails and could make your tank inhabitable for fancy snails for 6-8 months at least.

Manual removal or fish probably 'safest' bet.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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This is bizarre: when the lights came on, the hydra were simply...gone. The greenish smears on the glass are nowhere to be seen. Would they migrate en masse or did something have a feast? My money's on the mystery snail if so.

For future reference, do they attach themselves only to hardscape or will they anchor on plants too? I assume sand isn't a good grip.

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Last edited by Rainer; 02-04-2020 at 04:05 AM. Reason: ETA: they're still there, better eyes confirm; I simply can't see them well today.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 07:29 PM
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They'll anchor to anything they can, as far as I know... including giant shrimp and pre-filter sponges.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer View Post
This is bizarre: when the lights came on, the hydra were simply...gone. The greenish smears on the glass are nowhere to be seen. Would they migrate en masse or did something have a feast? My money's on the mystery snail if so.

For future reference, do they attach themselves only to hardscape or will they anchor on plants too? I assume sand isn't a good grip.
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They'll anchor to anything they can, as far as I know... including giant shrimp and pre-filter sponges.
And they move, so keep that in mind. Just because you don't see them on the glass doesn't mean they're not still in the tank.

I've used this - https://www.amazon.com/Merck-Safegua...4-3e7a9c0027d0

Others have suggested against Fenbendazole, I advocate for it in a shrimp tank. Used it a few times to take care of planaria and hydra in my tanks. I'm very bad about quarantining plants...
The thing with Fenbendazole is it will kill some of your snails, but Malaysian trumpet snails, pond and bladder snails will be fine, your chopstick might be fine as well but you'd need to research. Not sure on the Mystery, you'd have to check that as well. Nerites would have to come out, and you'd want to run carbon for a while before trying to introduce them back. And only add one back at a time to make sure the tank is safe, I didn't do that and lost a couple nerites in a 10 gallon shrimp tank early last year. I recommend medication in this situation because manual removal is tedious and not guaranteed to eliminate the problem. If they are in your filter, hiding in planted areas where you may not see them, etc.., you're going to keep having Hydra. Hydras reproduce asexually - the mature hydra will form a "bud" that will turn into another hydra and then break off. Imagine a cell splitting, basically. Also, if you smash them and break them apart, each smashed piece can regenerate and become a new hydra.

Just providing the flip side of the coin here so you can weigh your options.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 09:52 PM
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I had hydra in a shrimp tank. I added otocinclus and a few glow light tetras and the hydra got eaten.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions, though I don't see any good choices in the near-term.

Meds - nowhere to rehouse the snails and am concerned about long-term toxicity.

Fish - I think they'd prefer the baby shrimp to the hydras as long as there's a choice.

Manual removal - they're difficult to see even on the glass. How could I possibly get those on the hardscape or in the moss?

@somewhatshocked, I'm assuming your infestations were in planted tanks too. How did you find those not on the glass?

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 04:25 AM
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If you can catch all the shrimp that could end up as fish food, you could literally just stick them in a bucket with an air stone (or not) for a few days and allow the fish to get to work.

Ottos aren't likely to eat shrimp though...
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 04:42 AM
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By using long tweezers to scrape them loose and a pipette to immediately suck them up. Some can just be sucked up with a pipette if you work at them a bit.

I find them by verrrrry carefully going over every square inch of the tank. May take an hour in a large tank but it's worth it not to have to dose anything. It's not really difficult and I've never put in a ton of work at it but my janky method works well enough that I've never had to treat.

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Manual removal - they're difficult to see even on the glass. How could I possibly get those on the hardscape or in the moss?

@somewhatshocked, I'm assuming your infestations were in planted tanks too. How did you find those not on the glass?


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, @somewhatshocked. I had an eagle-eyed teen pore over the tank; he could only find the ones on the glass, though of course there must be many others somewhere. We'll remove the ones on the glass, then I'll find him a large magnifying glass and hope for the best.

@Zoidburg, wish I could catch them all but there's a good amount of dense, bushy moss and rather porous rocks in the tank as well as a canopy of floaters. I'll ask the LFS about a temporary oto if the glass treatment isn't enough.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 07:28 PM
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You would need a few ottos if you really wanted to go the otto route... I don't know how good they are at actually eating hydra, I just know that they are a sensitive species, do best in groups of 6 or more and consume biofilm and algae - like shrimp. Certainly wouldn't hurt to ask the LFS though!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 08:11 PM
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Ottos are meat eaters?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 08:29 PM
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Otocinclus will eat what will fit into their mouth - including juvenile shrimp. And their diets are heavy on Aufwuchs and microorganisms, so they're definitely consuming critters.

They are probably the least likely fish to hunt, however.

edit: I'm actually not sure if they hunt or show hunting behavior in the wild. I've only ever seen footage of natural habitats that are far too murky to really "see" anything. Seems doubtful, though, since they stick together in huge shoals.

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Ottos are meat eaters?
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Last edited by somewhatshocked; 02-05-2020 at 08:59 PM. Reason: edit
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