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Old 06-23-2013, 06:32 PM   #1 
chanelephant
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Question Need advice about treatment of nematodes, cyclops, & hydra




First off, I have a 5 gallon planted aquarium with 1 male vieltail and 2 otocinclus. The betta eats hikari bio betta gold and kens premium betta crumble along with the occasional blood worm. The otos get shelled fresh peas and 1/4 hikari algae wafer but they seem to prefer eating the dietris from indian almond leaves, sometimes skinning a whole leaf down to its veins within a day. The temperature is between 78 and 82 depending on the time of day or the season. However the temperature change is very slow and gradual. The plants include elodea, thai rice patty plants, bamboo, japonica, java moss, marimo, and a 2-3 unknown plants that were gifted. I keep a buffered filter with activated carbon. When I do water changes, I use prime, stress zyme+, the entire seachem plant care system, ada nature aquarium, and black water extract. Also, occasionally I will add kordon fish protector and amquel plus ammonia detoxifier. I regularly keep 2 indian almond leaves in the tank as well.

About 3 months ago I added some elodea to the tank and soon after I noticed that the tank had small, slithery worms which my betta was eating. I thought they were planaria but have since identified them as nematodes. There were very, very few of them but I still vacuumed the gravel well and reduced the amount of fish food in the tank. Each water change since then has just "unearthed" more and more of them. I did an 80% water change yesterday because there was a carpet-like patch of the nasty things on the side of the glass closest to the lamp. Today I really am freaking out because there are WAY more nematodes all over the place but also I have hydra attached to my gravel, plants, and a few other surfaces and tiny, quick moving, ball-shaped parasites which I believe may be cyclops crustaceans. I also noticed a small snail out break which was seemingly not present before.
I researched a bit and I decided to order Panacur and Levamisole online because I want to get rid of this before it gets any worse. Are these pesticides safe to use in conjunction with one another? Is there a more effective way to rid my tank of these pests? Is there anything I mentioned above that seems like it may be contributing to the outbreak of these worms and how I can further prevent them? Are they adding any stress to the nitrogen cycle and do they cause ammonia spikes as they die? I read that the nematodes and cyclops are beneficial to an aquarium but there is SO MANY OF THEM. I think they may be what the hydra are eating to stay alive. I'm really worried about the hydra stinging my fish and that if I end up with a malicious pest in the aquarium I won't notice it amongst the rest of these things . Any advice is welcomed, I'm desperate!

Last edited by chanelephant; 06-23-2013 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:46 AM   #2 
Kiara1125
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Honestly, I have nematodes in every tank. I would say don't feed your fish as often (you spoil them and its great! xD) and increase water changes. They'll die from starvation and get sucked up during water changes. Also, your betta will feed on them. I would try to not feed your otos as often. Snails are actually really good scavengers, so they're fine in your tank. It's sooo hard to try and get rid of them. I enough watching them eat the leftover food and algae in my tanks.

So, the betta will eat the nematodes and cyclops. As for the hydra, their stingers aren't deadly enough to kill the betta, not sure about the otos. Like I said, I would do more water changes. Try using a gravel vac and sucking them up, or use a turkey baster. You can also take out the betta and otos and clean the tank really good. Take out any plants or decor and get everything off them in clean water. Gravel vac the gravel and stir it up really good. You can even drain the tank, make sure the gravel is clean the best you can, and refill the tank. Remember, you don't want to use vinegar or anything, just use clean, fresh water.

Next time, be careful when buying plants. That's most likely where these pests came from.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:09 PM   #3 
chanelephant
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okay thanks! I feed my otos a bunch of food because i read somewhere that they are happy when the are fat. maybe the stinging wont kill the fish but just stinging at all makes me cringe because he already had an ammonia burn from when a shrimp died in his tank and i didnt realize it for a couple days (shame on me ). it reminds me of when i accidently brush up against this really painful stinging plant in my backyard, thats how i imagine the hydra stings would feel to him. the betta has been eating the little worms but there are SOOOO many. its incredible. I will just do more frequent large water changes. Luckily i've had my betta since he was 1 month old so he is acclimated to the water here by now so it shouldnt be a problem for him. as for the pesticides i ordered, i will try Levamisole first and leave the panacur around in case that doesnt work out. if anyone else has anything to add i am open to suggestion.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:26 PM   #4 
Kiara1125
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Be careful with the fish for the pesticides. Also, I know what it's like to miss things in the tank. Anyways, good luck! :)
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