The Planted Tank Forum banner

Daphnia? Good sign or bad sign?

15336 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  mistergreen
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

Dwarf Hairgrass
Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis
Ludwiga arcuate
Bacopa (Bacopa Caroliniana)

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

Thanks in advance,
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

· Registered
563 Posts
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.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.