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Daphnia? Good sign or bad sign?

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So I have this 10g planted tank (see image below) ...and i have been seeing these small little tiny creatures everywhere for a while now. I think they are Daphnia, because I'm not sure what else it could be. They are small round white bugs -- too small to pick up on my phone camera (although you can kinda see it in the image below in the intake sponge). They jump around the tank, they're mostly on the bottom of the tank or in my filter intake sponge.

I don't mind them, but I want to know if this is a good sign or bad sign of a healthy aquarium? If they break down waste and help keep my planted tank clean, etc? Or could it be any other kind of bug?

additional note*
I haven't done any water change for... i dunno... 5 months.. (don't judge me) ...because I want to try to create a balanced aquarium. (minus the added ferts/DIY CO2/carbon filter) ...all dwellers seems to be fine I put very little food for the one molly and ammonia levels are always good. I also trim my plants every 1-2 months






Plants:
Dwarf Hairgrass
Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis
Ludwiga arcuate
Bacopa (Bacopa Caroliniana)

Home of:
50-100 RCP
1 male black molly
4 nerite snails



Thanks in advance,
lostraindrop
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fish think they are yummy...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought they were copepods too, but I dont think they are. I see copepods in my tank that have two antennas and a tail (that look like copepods when I google it).... but these round ones look really round and have very short hair-like things on one side (that you can barely see). And there so much more of these than copepods that I see. I'm going to take a video and upload so you can see. Is Daphnia a good sign of healthy aquarium, just like copepods?
 

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I don't know what they are, but I must say your tank looks really nice for a tank that never gets any water changes! If these little buggers bother you get a schooling fish like green neon tetras or whatever you prefer and they will take care of them in no time!
 

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Good video aid pertaining to your questions. I can't provide a 'definite' answer from viewing your video, hard to say with certainty. Put under magnification would probably reveal some definite answers. Maybe someone else could chime with a higher degree of certainty. I do think you are on the right track though... with your reference of size. Sayurasem mentioned copepods with 'jerky movements'. Daphnia and copepods both make those type of movements.

Daphnia are considered good water quality indicators by water professionals (Daphnia Magna are used often in a bioassay to monitor water quality). As to copepods: I've never encountered any problems with small populations established within my tanks. This is just an opinion (for what it is worth & taken with a grain of salt per se) - I think that overfeeding and water quality deterioration factor into large populations of copepods forming in an aquarium.
 

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whatever they are, I can say with ALMOST certainty they are harmless, and more than likely beneficial. Amphipods, copepods, daphnia, etc all eat decaying plant matter, detritus, un eaten food and algae. There are a few exceptions to that, and i think they all come in the form of fish parasites. But i think it highly unlikely that you would see them in such a large number if they were parasites.

That being said, I would think that its possible that having such a high number of them is an indicator of excess nutrients in the water...uneaten food or decaying plant matter. Or could just be that there are no fish in there eating them. But me personally....i think your tank looks great, and i am always a fan of higher biodiversity in an aquarium. The more things living in harmony together in an aquarium, usually the more stable it is.

Also, at this point, its not really ammonia you need to worry about. With all those plants, and only one fish, you probably wont ever see ammonia register on a test again. But without doing any water changes its nitrates that you may need to worry about. Nitrates can become harmful. I certainly am like you though, I do much less water changes than i should, and seem to get away with it just fine.
 
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