Ouch! What stung me?? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Ouch! What stung me??

I have a 29 gallon tank that right now doesn't have anything except 3 mystery snails, some trumpet snails, a nerite snail, and a ramshorn snail hitched a ride in from somewhere or another, probably from some plants I ordered. It has organic potting mix capped with aquarium sand, and a few plants and it's unheated.

I recently had a huge explosion of tiny things. Worms on the side of the glass which I assume to be nematodes, and now some little jerky tiny specks, maybe water fleas. I didn't worry too much about it, because I will soon have some fish in there to take care of those things.

Before I got this tank, the snails were in a 10 gallon. I remember having some vaguely itchy feelings in my hands after I cleaned the tank then. They shared the tank with a betta fish. but the tank was divided.

(I have a 3rd tank, a 10 gallon, undivided with a betta. Never had this issue over there at all.)

Well today, I was cleaning out the 29 gallon tank. I had some snail jello in there starting to disintegrate, and you could SEE all the nematodes on the glass gravitating toward it, so I decided to suck it out. I got out about 10 gallons and when I was done, I got an itchy sensation on my finger that slowly grew and grew to an all out STINGING sensation. Now I have a big hard welt on my finger. and my other fingers are starting to feel full like they are trying to swell a bit.

I did not touch an insect or anything. the only thing I did was clean out this tank.

the only thing I can think of is the hornwort I have in there?? an allergic reaction?

I"m confused.

I use prime in this tank and also a few drops of coral reef calcium every now and again for my snails. The ingredients to that is calcium chloride and ionized water.

Last edited by 2boys2fish; 10-31-2014 at 09:41 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 06:33 PM
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Its possible you might have gotten some freshwater hydras which are related to jellyfish and they stung you.

"Hydras of various species are very widespread in freshwater habitats. Some of them are so small that they are likely to be overlooked unless you are looking very carefully. Another thing that can make them difficult to see is the fact that they contract to what looks like a small blob of jelly if they are disturbed."

Its possible your "snail jelly" was a hydra instead?


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Last edited by Crossroads; 10-31-2014 at 06:37 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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The snail jello is food I made for my snails. I got the recipe from here. Maybe some of those tiny specks are hydras? Where might they have come from?

Google turned up nothing. Even now my finger is still swollen, but it's gone down a lot. I'm so glad you have a possible answer, because I was beginning to think I was going crazy, and had maybe touched a yellow jacket or something without realizing it. but there was no way because I don't keep the bucket outside, and the bucket was the only thing I touched, besides the water. I opened the door, started to dump the bucket, but a little plant was in there. I thought it was one of my little dwarf sagitarria, so I picked it up. But turns out it was a little bit of hornwort (not a fan after all) so I just plopped it back in the bucket, dumped, turned around to take the bucket to fill it up with water and stopped midway with the growing zinging in my finger. Maybe whatever it was was holding onto the hornwort?

today I purchased a couple guppies and a couple black neon tetras, because i"m afraid to clean the tank with those little bastards in there stinging me any chance they get. I saw them eating nematodes. I saw a guppy eat and spit out and eat and spit out one little hair-sized worm. Then a tetra went for it and abruptly turned. I don't know if it was a non-edible bit, or if it was the stinging culprit.

I hope they take care of whatever is in there.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:25 PM
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I had never seen the snail food recipe, but its possible some of the flecks could have been hydras and slipped in on a plant package. Not sure where they would have come from but the plants seem to be a possibility.

I've read some types of gourami eat hydras. Googling freshwater hydra s as well as hydra sting brings up some results on getting rid of the buggers.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks soooo much for solving that little mystery for me. I am very greatful.

I dont' remember if they gave me the recipe here or if they gave me a link to another forum with a recipe. but yeah, my snails LOVE snail jello. It is made with unflavored gelatin, crushed tums, a jar of baby food veggies and whatever else. I like to add a few frozen bloodworms and a chopped up blanch veggies of some type and some crushed algae wafers to mine. I put the mix into an ice cube tray and freeze them into cubes for the snails, and then pop them out and store them in plastic bags in the freezer. They come RUNNING for it. (or, as close to whatever a snail can do to run. ;) ) But that and the calcium drops have really helped their shell health and growth.

I love my snails.

Oh! and it's no longer unheated. I purchased a new heater today with the fish.
I wish I had known about hydras before I went to the pet store, I might have purchased a gourami or a molly as well. I read on google that they also are very fond of eating hydras.

Last edited by 2boys2fish; 10-31-2014 at 07:39 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, I took a picture of my snails eating their jello the other day. You can see the little creatures on the glass.



(sorry so large. I didn't know it would be that big. I don't know how to change it...I'm going to try to resize it and I'll be back...)

Last edited by 2boys2fish; 10-31-2014 at 07:48 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 08:10 PM
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The ones on the glass look like detritus worms which are normal not sure where the hydras would have came from though exactly


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I read about detritus worms. It says that them sticking to the side of the glass is an indication of low oxygen. :/ Maybe it was just so many of them competing for oxygen?

Since I put the fish in, there are way way waaaaayyyy less of them there now. I have 8 small fish in there now. But there was so many detritus worms that I was almost afraid the fish were going to overeat.
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