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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just wondering if anyone has ever deliberately kept aquatic insects in their tank? I know it happens on accident, but has anyone conciously added aquatic insects? Many of the insects out there would be innapropriate as they would eat your livestock, but I know of a few local aquatic insects that are vegetarians. I wouldn't want to go out and catch them and bring something unwanted like parasites into my tank, but on the other hand it does appeal to adding some reality to the tank. Am I crazy, or could this work? Oh and I'm not talking about snails. I'm thinking more along the lines of beetles.

(btw I do know enough about entomology to know what would pose a threat to my fish and what wouldn't so this isn't a totally nutty idea.)
 

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There are lots of different kinds of insects that you can keep in a tank. However almost all of them are difficult to keep through more than one generation because they need more room. Most of the ones that have aquatic nymphs or larvae will want to fly away when they turn into adults.
 

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Like those water beetles that float on the top? They might look cool, but you can't make them happy. I suggest not putting them in your tank. You can't provide them with enough space or a correct habitat. 10 gallons isn't truly enough for a fish to live in, let along 20 or 30 gallons. Let the beetles survive at their homes.

I also suggest you don't break the law next time you're at a petco or petsmart.
If they catch you on video next time, you can end up in handcuffs paying a fine.


-Gordon
 

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Once I saw a strange thing in my tank, some kind of larve. Only saw it a few time tho. But one day before doing a wc. Their it was, sitting on the top of my tank... a baby dragon fly. Coolest thing I've seen

I had two dragon flys hatch in one of my tanks several years ago out of some plants I bought from the LFS. They were small (spindle size) and powder blue and I let them go outside possibly introducing an invasive species.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know Dragonfly nymphs are predacious. Unfortunately most of the neat aquatic insects are. And my tank is to small to support any kind of insect I would like, I was just wondering if anyone else has done this because it seems neat.

Also to set the record straight on that whole Petsmart thread because I'm catching a lot of flak for that thread, I had no idea that the usually do feed them better. I've since been set straight and next time I go there I plan on talking to someone about it. I'm sorry I got upset and tried to make some fish happy.
 

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I used to work at a small zoo, and we had a freshwater insect exhibit in the aquarium. I remember we had water scorpions that were shipped in from somewhere in Arizona, and then the toebiters. Oh gods I hated the toebiters. They were about three inches long, could fly, and after seeing what they did to feeder guppies and crickets, I didn't want to go in the tank again. At least the piranha and I had a feeding system worked out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's an awesome story! Toebiters are really cool looking, but they are pretty intense little monsters. Waterscorpions are pretty cool to, we get them around here.Truth be told if I could keep any water related animal it would be a fishing spider, but that's definately not possible. It's just so cool seeing a huge spider balancing most of its weight on the waters surface. To bad they eat fish, are gigantic, and need a big bank to thrive I guess.
 

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Cool and somewhat relevant story...

Was at the local Petsmart checking out the new arrivals when the ladies at the cash registers started flipping out...I went over to see what was going on and there was a toebiter crawling into the store!! They had no clue what it was or where it came from. I told them what it was and that it is a locally indigenous species and one of the managers got me a little container to put it in. My kids are in love with it, it's almost as long as the deli cup is wide!! I keep thinking about keeping it as it's supposed to be relatively easy, but I think me and the kids are going to release it at the pond :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is cool! I've only seen a live toebiter once, but my dad had an extensive collection of insects, among them one the biggest toebiters I've ever seen. I had a similar situation to your experience once, all of my coworkers were wigging out when I arrived, because there was a Dobsonfly outside, and everyone it was afraid It was super toxic. If only they could have seen it as hellgramite in it's larval stage!
 

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Haha that's awesome! I LOVE Dobsonflies! I have a pic of my son with his hand next to a huge male for comparison. He was hanging out on the screen door!

My Giant Water Bug is going on a field trip monday to my son's school for "insect week" LOL! We set her up temporarily in a ten gallon tank with a screen lid so she'll be happy over the weekend. Then when they get home we're going to release her in the large pond out front (not a koi pond ;) )
 

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I'm thinking of collecting a water scorpion (Ranatra spp?) in May to eat some of my Endlers, since no one will buy them and I cannot ship them. I also have a kiddie pool of dragonfly larva, about 150 of them, which I believe will hatch this year. They didn't hatch last year.
 

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The local zoo has those water skippers and those underwater spiders. That would be pretty cool to have. Of course you'll need to keep shrimps too so the spiders have something to eat. Oh, and a tight lid is a must.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ooh, getting an outdoor pond full of dragonfly nymphs is a really good idea. Been toying with the idea of setting up a pond in the backyard as there is really nothing in my yard. The problem would be my water loving dog.

Those aquatic spiders would be pretty neat too, if I had the setup. Plus where would you even get those? Sometimes they sell insects at reptile cons. but its usually pretty standard stuff, mantids, tarantulas and millipedes. Fun thought to play with.
 

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For the water spiders, I'd check online (where we are lucky to be able to get darn near anything!) but check state regs first. We have a small pond at the moment but are surrounded by larger (1/2 to 5 acre) ponds/lakes. I love the myriad of life in them! In our own pond we get frogs, water striders (one of my faves), whirligigs and all kinds of cool stuff. We've been lucky not to have a turtle show up yet.

How did you happen to get a pond full of dragonfly nymphs? I'm curious, cuz that's really cool!
 
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