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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been reading about scuds off & on for a while now. They intrigue me. I'm one of those people that enjoy the mix of critters in the tanks - I love my snails for instance, lol. Would scuds be an interesting addition, or would they be a nuisance? Mostly I have larger tetras - Columbians and Buenos Aires in one tank, and they both cruise the bottom for leftover food flakes or bloodworms. If so inclined, would they be able to eat the young scuds? Can scuds overpopulate, and if so are they easy to trap?

I realize I could cultivate them in a separate tank if raising as food, but I'd like to add to the biodiversity in the regular tanks themselves. My lfs sells ghost shrimp, but for 60 cents a piece, and I don't know if they would survive the fish (or even if my tank conditions are suitable for them).

Thanks for any info!

oh, I should add; if I decide to get some, how do I know they are disease/parasite free? Are there sellers that guarantee such a thing?
 

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I've had ghost shrimp in previous tanks, and they never lasted too long. maybe there is more info available on them now, and what sort of conditions they need to breed. I'm not entirely sure, but I think I've heard that they may actually be a brackish water shrimp, acclimated to fresh water.

I also tend to be in favor of critters like snails and whatever can find a niche, so long as they aren't harmful to the primary inhabitants (fish, plants)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't realize scuds ate plants (other than decaying matter), so they are no-go. I wonder if the shrimp would be too expensive just to have as live fish nibbles...not something I had considered. I don't think I'd like to see cherry shrimp, etc., being eaten! For some reason the scuds, looking more like terrestrial bugs, wouldn't bother me in that regard - lol.

oh well, it was just an idea...
 

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I've been reading up on live foods lately and have wondered about scuds too. The main thing that has made me think they weren't a good idea is that I've read they will eat plants. You can find cultures from sites that sell live foods that claim to be parasite and disease free, if you decide to go that route...

I do wonder how big a pest scuds would be in a tank that had fish though. When I read about them being a problem, it is usually only in shrimp only tanks. With fish hovering around, I kind of think that they might spend most of the time hiding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just had to share - I was looking up vids on youtube about scuds, and I found one from just this past November where a guy has a new 55g tank. He has cherry shrimp, scuds, gold tetras, and pea puffers and a crayfish. When he ordered the scuds he said the evilbay seller sends extras and had dragonfly larvae. So this guy with the tank is all over it - "yea, send me some!" He thinks they will be cool in the tank. I feel like I should go back & warn him about them - the seller obviously sells critters for fishing. So instead of getting dragonfly larvae, he gets sent a crayfish! He's all excited about that, too! On top of that, he's showing his plants and shows some that are all brown. He says "yea, they don't look so good, I found out I planted them upside down." But they're still that way - he's waiting for new growth to come from the bottom.

I should tell him about us so he can get some helpful info...I wonder if I could find it again.
 

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Scuds like most animals will feed on anything if not provided food. Scuds have left my mosses alone when I provided ample supplies of flake and algae wafers but as soon as I had stopped, my mosses were the next food source.
 

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I used to culture scuds in a tub along with killifish, so they do have their uses for a closed system like that. I put all my plant cuttings in it and the only filtration was an airstone under a big pile of sandstone. There where all kinds of bugs and critters that grew in there, stuff thats probably in all or most planted tanks but never make it to adulthood because of fish, and the tub was indoors.

That just gave me an idea. try running an airstone in a small tank and keep all your trimmings in it, let all the little bugs grow and get crazy. When you got enough throw them in your tank for a treat. Ive thrown all kinds of bugs in the tank, fish will eat most anything.
 

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I didn't know what scuds are before this and googled it online. Looks kind of like shrimp. Just out of curiosity, how do you get rid of scuds once it inhibits a tank?
 

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The lfs I go to has tons of scuds in the planted tanks, I have gotten several in my tank as a result of piggybacking on plants. I currently do not have fish in the tank as I just planted it and am od'ing on excel and CO2 for the HC to get rooted properly, so the scuds have free reign pretty much. They spend most of their time on the driftwood (eating diatoms I'm guessing). They haven't bothered the plants at all. Having kept reef tanks for years I recognized these as amphipods (often called gammarus by reefers), and took it as a good sign that they were in the tank. Dwarf cichlids are incredibly fond of eating scuds as are several types of loaches, so for anyone keeping apistogramma or rams theyre probably good to have in the tank provided they dont get out of control.

I have heard that they will predate shrimp larvae, so probably best not to have them in nano tanks with small shrimp. Seeing them in my tank actually gave me the idea of doing a small refugium to provide live foods for the fish when i finally add some.
 

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Scuds don't tend to last long in a tank with fish big enough to eat them unless you've got tons of cover that the fish can't get into. My main tank is heavily planted--but even under the driftwood is accessible to the fish as it's almost all raised to give space for corys and shrimp to hang out.

Never had scuds last more than 3-4 days in that environment. If they have enough cover, though, they can potentially establish a breeding population. Without predator fish in the tank--they can quickly become a nuisance. Shrimpers tend to dislike them because they can out-compete shrimp for food and are prone to eating mosses.

I've got a small population in a 3g vase along with a few cherry culls and a pair of hybrid endlers---the adults are big enough to not get eaten, but anytime there's been young ones around, the endlers finish 'em off. It's a no-tech vase so I only feed very little to help preserve water quality. As a result, scuds are nibbling away at the xmas moss I'm trying to get established on the driftwood.

Once they're established in a tank, it's crazy hard to get rid of 'em short of breaking the tank down. They'll burrow into the substrate, cling to plants even after you've lifted them out of the water (unless you want them to) and are fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Cindy with your tetras scuds are not going to over populate your tank, if they survive at all.
Yea! That's what I want to hear! I do worry a bit that the scuds might be too big to be of interest to my tetras - The Columbian Tetras are 2 inches, and the Buenos Aires Tetras are 2.5" - 3" in size. But the mouths on the Columbians aren't as big as on the BATs. But they all have big, bad teeth - my plants can attest to that. Since scuds can apparently be trapped (like snails can) I don't really worry about over-populations anyhow - maybe that's just naive of me. Still I think the more creatures I can get to thrive in my tanks the better. Honestly, I would be tremendously thrilled to have a mucky tank - a slice of a real, rocky and slity creek, with all the critters found in nature - that would be interesting to watch! As you can tell, I'm not one for pristine, manicured tanks, I like the wild side - lol
 

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Even if your fish can't eat the adults, they will be able to eat the young ones.

I had scuds in my grow-out tanks. When they got to high population levels I moved my Betta into the tank that needed to be culled.
 
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