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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. I am trying to find ways to exterminate these little buggers. I know it’s believed these are harmless however this has not been my experience. I’m not sure how they’re doing it but they’ve eradicated my snails. ALL of my snails are dead and it happened as these guys started taking over. It was pointed out to me that there’s a direct link with water quality so I fixed that. Gravel vacced at the expense of my shrimplets several times and tried new snails only to watch them retract and die again. I’ve cut back a lot on my feeding but it’s also directly affected my shrimp growth. Reading up I found a post where someone wanted to try removing the shrimp and treating the tank with anchor lift. Since they are closely related to shrimp this would wipe out the adults and hopefully the eggs? (If not then keep the shrimp out for the entire duration of the repeat dosings until all the eggs are gone). If I then re treated the substrate and all media with something to return it to a shrimp safe state would the anchor lift still harm my shrimp once cleaned up? Again, these are deff not harmless. Whatever they are doing is causing my snails to retract and stay in their shell till they die. I have guppies in there for now but they eat the shrimplets too. And then as soon as I take them out they come out of the substrate and it looks like this all over again.
1029608
 

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Do you have better photos of them, perhaps? That would help us properly identify them. But... if your shrimp are dying, it's not because of those little critters.

What are your water parameters?

Temperature
Ammonia/ammonium
nitrtite
nitrate
kH
gH
TDS

Treated tap water or remineralized RO/DI water?

What kind of substrate do you have?

Where'd you get the shrimp? How old were they? What kind?

What kind of medications have been used in the tank? Have you tested for copper?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess I didn’t specify. The shrimp are not dying. It’s only the snails. I’m guessing because they have exposed soft tissue? The shrimp were purchased from shrimp fever. I’ve had them 8 months before the bugs showed up. I acclimated them and then dumped the water as directed. I use treated tap water (prime) and copper safe fert (thrive S) they are fed with vitalis shrimp pellets and zucchini.
the substrate is like sand but is more of a coated plastic heavy pellet so it looks like black sand. Can’t remember the brand but it’s from the pet store made for aquariums. Paid through the nose for it. I’ll get the parameters when I get home tonight. No promises in a better picture for now. The guppies have pretty much drove them in the ground

Do you have better photos of them, perhaps? That would help us properly identify them. But... if your shrimp are dying, it's not because of those little critters.

What are your water parameters?

Temperature
Ammonia/ammonium
nitrtite
nitrate
kH
gH
TDS

Treated tap water or remineralized RO/DI water?

What kind of substrate do you have?

Where'd you get the shrimp? How old were they? What kind?

What kind of medications have been used in the tank? Have you tested for copper?
My parameters are ph7, amonia 0.25,nitrites0, nitrates 40. Gh5, kh3. TDS 245. I was able to take pictures. I’ll post them below

Here’s what I got off an ornament
 

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Honestly, they look like Zebra Mussels but the photos aren't clear enough to be certain. They also look like average little critters that are common in planted tanks.

Are they free-swimming? Do they move around with any sort of speed?

Are you using liquid test kits? That'd be necessary in order to determine if you have an actual ammonia/ammonium reading. Nitrates could be a little high, depending on several factors. gH is likely a little low for what you're keeping but it's honestly not a big enough deal to worry about because stability is more important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Honestly, they look like Zebra Mussels but the photos aren't clear enough to be certain. They also look like average little critters that are common in planted tanks.

Are they free-swimming? Do they move around with any sort of speed?

Are you using liquid test kits? That'd be necessary in order to determine if you have an actual ammonia/ammonium reading. Nitrates could be a little high, depending on several factors. gH is likely a little low for what you're keeping but it's honestly not a big enough deal to worry about because stability is more important.
they are free swimming and pretty quick. Even zig zagging in the water. I wish I could post a video. They are smaller than the tip of a needle so In order to get a good picture of them I would need a microscope. I’m currently on the hunt for one to borrow because at this point it’s consuming me. I spent all day looking up seed shrimp and traps. I can’t see how any of the traps that were suggested would catch anything this small. Amazon had low ratings for the 2 I found.
Ive got a guppy in the tank right now to eat them but some research showed unless they crunch the shell they are designed to pass through unscathed. She is ready to release some fry so hopefully they will be less bothersome to the shrimp.
Yes I use a liquid test kit because I find the test strips in accurate
 

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If they're swimming quickly, they're just regular little critters common in our hobby and nothing to worry about. They'll disappear over time. For me, it's a sign of a healthy tank. I honestly don't think you should do anything to try to get rid of them. One thing that may be interesting for you is to start a separate jar habitat for them. Maybe with a random plant, some moss, something like that.

If you want to get better photos of small things, you could consider getting a cheap macro lens kit for your phone on Amazon or one of the auction sites. Usually US$10-$30 but probably CA$700-$25,000, since stuff in the great frozen north always costs more. Most just clip on and some have a sticky-ish backing to hold them on the phone temporarily. They're really nice to have for tank stuff in general.

Since you're using liquid test kits, you could try testing ammonia a couple times and holding the tube up against a sheet of white paper in bright light. That will help you discern the difficult-to-read color. I'm betting you don't have any ammonia and it's just tough to read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If they're swimming quickly, they're just regular little critters common in our hobby and nothing to worry about. They'll disappear over time. For me, it's a sign of a healthy tank. I honestly don't think you should do anything to try to get rid of them. One thing that may be interesting for you is to start a separate jar habitat for them. Maybe with a random plant, some moss, something like that.

If you want to get better photos of small things, you could consider getting a cheap macro lens kit for your phone on Amazon or one of the auction sites. Usually US$10-$30 but probably CA$700-$25,000, since stuff in the great frozen north always costs more. Most just clip on and some have a sticky-ish backing to hold them on the phone temporarily. They're really nice to have for tank stuff in general.

Since you're using liquid test kits, you could try testing ammonia a couple times and holding the tube up against a sheet of white paper in bright light. That will help you discern the difficult-to-read color. I'm betting you don't have any ammonia and it's just tough to read.
lol. It is tough to read. I wasn’t sure so I asked my daughter and she looked at it for a second and said .25 without flinching

This weekend is supposed to be rainy and I’m home alone so I’ll be fussing with that tank more. It’s a 5 gallon fluval spec. I had hot glued sponges to the sidewall intakes and I’ll be taking them off to clean. Not sure how I’m gonna proceed with putting them back on. I’ll have to gut it out. Might as well go full on scrubbing at that point and comb the substrate. If the substrate can handle it I’ll either bleach it or bake it. Give the plants a bleach dip and put it back together. Once the water is right I’ll move the shrimp back in
 

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so if they snails died off it could be because they didn't have food. Between these littles critters, shrimp, and snails; the snails were probably just always the last to the food sources and died of starvation. I recently started a shrimp tank and this happened to me as well. I try to keep out the snails and manually pull them when I see them. But the little guys are there, a few of the worms are in there too. Like they said above, they don't hurt the shrimp and seem to be a sign that more than I meant to live in there can. which is cool.

The other thing I did... there were repercussions, but I put in some Sparkling Gourami to clean them up, they did. But they also got a few shrimp. So maybe think about getting a few Ember tetras or something shrimp safe like that. The gourami decimated them but too fast for me to make sure that's where it stopped. But when I pulled them out the little things returned but seem to have subsided in their numbers now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So it’s been a very busy weekend sorry for the late reply. I didn’t touch the tank other than a quick water change. My guppy had a handful of fry so they’re handling it for now. But in the meantime I remembered I used to have about 5 Chili rasboras in there before it all got crazy. They must of been keeping the balance all this time and not interested in eating baby shrimp. So I’ll be keeping the fry stocked in that tank for the time being. Summer is starting and I don’t have any money to dump into an online fish order for more chilies so I’ll have to wait till my lfs can get some in. It could be awhile until we get some restrictions lifted enough to get decent fish in.
 

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If they are seed shrimp/ostracods, they are the best for algae control.

I had a lot of them and my tank surfaces were pristine. I then bought a sparkling gourami and killifish and they were all cleared out within a few days. Now I have algae again. It's a trade off
 

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I have fought with these guys myself, and there is no point. You can't win. People said, feed less (that was never a problem for me) keep the tank clean (also not a problem), water changes etc. I had a similar problem where I noticed a couple, and then my otocats died, and then they exploded in numbers. When I realized how well they were cleaning the rocks, it was obvious that they outcompeted them for food. They can live off the smallest amount of food, and they are resistant to nearly everything. BUT, they will subside, at least they did for me. This is a video I posted a while back using a magnifying glass - this is what they look like when they are swarming somewhere . They swim around and others have said they look like "drunk bumblebees" when doing so. I had two different tanks with them, and overtime I realized that they were very helpful with managing algae and their numbers definitely balanced out to where I didn't notice them anymore. I also used some fish that liked eating them (most don't because their shells are hard), so that helped haha. I had success with a dwarf gourami as well as dwarf emerald rasboras. There are some varieties of seed shrimp, but on one photo you took, there appears to be stripes, which doesn't quite look like an ostracod to me.
 

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People said, feed less (that was never a problem for me)
What they really mean is limit their food source. That may mean algae, aufwuchs, fish waste, stuff near a filter outflow, decaying plant leaves.

BUT, they will subside, at least they did for me.
They do subside when their food source is limited.

Really, it's an overreaction to try getting rid of them or even snails. Their populations will not explode if they don't have an overabundant food source. Both are beneficial for tanks and clean up where you otherwise cannot.
 
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