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Old 04-03-2012, 10:52 PM   #1 
Draug Isilme
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Feather Duster like... thing.. >.>?

So I have a 5g, nicely planted. I've been pretty busy, so I've been letting water changes slide for the past few weeks (and I ask that no one reprimand me because I've made sure during the few weeks the water quality is still in check so once it gets past a certain point of evaporation/an inch to an inch and a half from where I normally have it, I make sure to change it... but so far I've never seen a lick of ammonia or any problems with the water quality which is why I allow myself to get by with it). I do have tiny snails, which I've somewhat excepted unless I happen to squish them... I also have an apple snail and one hm betta in the tank and I wanna say some water fleas but they don't seem to bother anyone. They've been all living together harmoniously for a good while....
but recently when I finally got to sit down and really look at my tank, I noticed this weird looking brownish tuby stuff in the front. It's too small to take a picture, I think (If I can, I'll post them but no guarantees)... but anyway, I didn't think much of it... Then I thought I saw something move! I scooted in as closely as I could and I saw these weird flowery, spiky things poke out from the brown looking tubes.... My fish happened to be trying to get my attention at the time, so right when he swooped by, the flower like things retracted... and came back out... I tested them again by tapping lightly and of course they did the same thing... Anyway, I'm wondering if these things are some sort of feather duster? They remind me a lot these worms.... but everything I've come across thus far are more about saltwater feather dusters.... I'm really not sure what they are >.< I assume they aren't causing harm to my tank... The thought does somewhat concern me, but I feel like since they were able to grow in my tank, the idea of the 'ecosystem' in my tank is fairly healthy and that's why they sprouted up... Of course, I don't know anything about them so ya never really know xD If anyone can help, I'd greatly appreciate it- I can't help but think they're fascinating to say the least... although if they do cause harm or only come about when conditions are poor then I'd definitely like to know!!
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:01 AM   #2 
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Okay, so with all the digging I've done thus far, I've come to a possible conclusion. Hydras!

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/inde...ond/worms.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydra_(genus)

If that's the case, at least it means my water is good quality >.>;;.... I've been staring at these little guys with a magnifying class xD They're so weird looking... and interesting...
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:32 AM   #3 
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If I found a mini freshwater anemone on the walls of my tank, I would freak out XD I think its funny you have an ecosystem going on there haha...
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:41 AM   #4 
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Hydras can get established in freshwater tanks. However, be careful- the tentacles do have cnidocytes which give them the ability to sting, which is how they catch their prey. I would get rid of any that you see and watch to make sure they don't come back. Hope this helps!
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:04 AM   #5 
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Hydra are pretty much a threat only to the smallest of fish..
If you have all that going on, you may be feeding too much. A lot of fish enjoy chasing water fleas. And the only thing I know of that would eat a hydra is a large snail, try putting your snail near it.

Last edited by Olympia; 04-04-2012 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:33 PM   #6 
Draug Isilme
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Heh, I was kinda freaking out at first, but I think it's more fascination now... Never seen anything like it before!
I figured since they grow really small (like 10 millimeters was it?), their stinger/poison injecting tentacles wouldn't really bother my fish or snail. If my snail eats it, though, then I suppose that's just extra nutrition for her xD I do have water fleas and one of the main sources hydras feed off of are daphnia (which their diet consists of algae and bacteria) so I don't really consider either of the species being in the tank a bad thing...
I feed my snail algae wafers so even though my algae problem has gone down (there's still a small bit here and there, but overall there's not really much in there for it to count), it won't dismiss small particles of algae stuff that gets left behind- I have a mix of gravel and sand/plant substrate so I'm not able to siphon out EVERYthing, but again my water quality hasn't been showing signs of ammonia or anything of the sort so any debree that gets left behind isn't really noticable for my liquid tests... Even so, I'm not going to lean towards over feeding because I've actually been feeding my snail less algae wafers since controlling her feeding habits will help to slow her shell growth- and I'm trying to make sure she gets good even growth so her shell will stay healthy/tough on all sides. My betta, I feed twice a day, but it's usually 3-4 pieces (mostly three) each time. There are occasional moments when a piece or two hit the floor of the tank, but it's very seldom. My betta never seems to notice the water fleas, at least from what I've observed since I've noticed them in my tank (which has been about 6 months)... So I suppose having the hydras will help lessen the number of daphnia for me.
That aside, apparently seeing creatures like daphnia and hydras show good water quality and that the ecosystem in your tank is healthy- at least that's what all the research I've come across about the two have shown me, but that's just my research... It seems like unless I were to take the tank completely apart and start from scratch, I won't ever really be rid of either since daphnia are so tiny I can only get rid of the ones that get siphoned out of the tube. And apparently hydras can break into segments and grow just like any worm would. Not to mention hydras don't age, so they're technically immortal xD I think seeing as how their threat in the tank is little to none, I'll keep a few in there so I can observe... I don't know many people- well... any that have hydras in their tanks, so I think it'd be an interesting thing to keep for the time being.... If things start to look like they're going ary, however, I'll definitely start working towards getting rid of them.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:13 PM   #7 
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Hydra are fry predators. But if u are goin eco route then let them eat the fry! But on the note of water quality daphnia tip I just went to a pond store with indoor old fish tanks all nasty and such and the daphnia were in the millions the tank was under hanging plants that r regularly fertilized so daphnia aren't a definate sign of "good" water quality! Also I used to harvest live food from my local mud pit of a swamp and the hydra would appear in the seperation tanks for the different foods. If eco is what u want then go with it! But if u want rid of them chlorine does wonders just pull ur snail, fish, and tender plants and do a few 90 percents. Gd luck
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:21 PM   #8 
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Yes, I probably should have been more specific...they aren't really a threat to full-grown fish but could become an annoyance if they are established in great quantities. I would mostly remove them because I really don't like other critters becoming established in my tanks but it's up to you ;)
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:47 PM   #9 
Draug Isilme
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Luckily it's too small of a tank to breed in and even so, I'm lacking the equipment/knowledge on the do's and don'ts of breeding so there won't really be anything to worry about as far as fry are concerned ^.~ I still clean my tank out every once in a while 'cause I know while it's a small ecosystem like thing going on, it's still 'man made' and needs to have a helping hand here and there. I don't let anything really thrive if ya know what I mean...
The only reason why I figured things like daphnia and hydras were a sign of 'good water quality' was because the things I read more or less said them being there is a sign that the water is clean/not very toxic so they're able to inhabit the tank, but I haven't really dug a whole bunch into it so I can see where there are still possibilities of small organisms surviving in less inhabitable places.

All that aside, I appreciate the input from everyone ^.^
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