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Old 08-08-2012, 10:28 PM   #1 
newfiedragon
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Question itty bitty bug infestation

I was looking at one of my fish tanks today and I noticed that there seemed to be an infestation of microscopic bugs all over the inside of the tank! At first I thought tthere was a bit of dark algae in the bottom of the tank until I saw a small dot swim away. Then I saw that they were all over the place.

So I have to take apart the whole tank and clean it out. The gravel is a write off, but does anyone know how to make certain that I can make sure that I get rid of the bugs on the rest of the tank?

I'm planning on filling the tank with chlorine water mixed with A LOT of AQ salt, but is there anything else I should do? Also, is it possible to get them out of my moss ball? Currently the moss ball is in some chlorinated water, hopefully killing the nasty little critters.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:32 PM   #2 
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ewww! Did you buy any plants recently? Maybe they were in the moss ball to begin with
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:38 PM   #3 
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Ewww was my reaction, too. There were literally millions in there! I considered the moss ball as a possible source, but I've had the moss ball for at least a year now, and I've never noticed them before.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:54 PM   #4 
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ever thought of buying some rosy & cherry barbs to eat the bugs?

I think that would be more entertaining than nuking the tank.

What ratio of chlorine to water are you using?

Also you should try to shoot a video of the tank before. You never know these bugs could be perfect fry food.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:18 AM   #5 
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It's perfectly normal to have some microfauna in an aquarium and they can come in from poor husbandry or in plants. Sometimes they just show up. They can look tiny, like a layer of dust on the inside of the tank until you look close enough and see them swimming or they can be larger and more noticeable. Here's a good site to look at when it comes to microfauna:

http://www3.sympatico.ca/drosera1/fish/worms.htm

It's mostly about worm-type microfauna but they have sections about other types as well.

One thing I've noticed is that chlorine doesn't seem to touch many species of microfauna... I QT my plants in tap water (without conditioner) and still end up with things in my tank. Most of them are harmless - especially the teeny tiny ones and they can actually be beneficial in multiple ways (whether as mini janitors or live fish food).

Upping your water changes temporarily will certainly reduce numbers in the water column. I had an infestation in Kaze's first tank that seemed absolutely impossible to beat but with an extra 30-40% water change a week it helped clear most of them. If you're tank is cycling the last thing you want to do is empty it and blast it, but if it's one you do 100% water changes on anyway then it doesn't really matter. You shouldn't need AQ salt or any treatments for the tank as these things are most likely just microscopic lifeforms but you must do what gives you peace of mind
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:33 AM   #6 
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The bugs are very microscopic and do look like dust. I wouldn't have noticed them but for that one bigger dot that started swimming. They're everywhere in the tank.

My biggest concern is that my fish has been acting funny lately and has lost weight. I thought it might be because of his age (he's around 2 yrs old) but now I'm wondering if it's because of the bugs. So just to be certain, I'm going to try to get rid of them. I've already put him in another bowl.

The tank is only small, a 2.5g that only has him in it (turns out he's a bully and has terrorized a snail to death and ripped apart a ghost shrimp...he doesn't get any more roommates).
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:50 AM   #7 
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That's perfectly understandable. I don't know all that much about the correlation between his weight loss & behaviour change and the bugs but I am aware that a massive infestation can cause problems - I'm just not quite sure as to what those problems are.

I hope your fish is all right soon, I'm sure the cleaning will perk him up!
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