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Old 09-12-2006, 06:46 PM   #1
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Tiny, TINY White Critters

About a week ago, I began to notice TINY little white critters in my Eclipse System 6 (6-gallon) freshwater tank. They are barely visible and so are too small to photograph well. I'll try to get a shot of them later with my digital microscope.

In addition to being extremely small and whitish in color, they appear to be roughly oval in shape, are mobile (they seem to both swim and crawl around, though its hard to see if they have fins, legs, cilia, or whatever), and appear to mainly be living on (and apparently eating) spot algae on the acrylic tank's sides. Some are also on a Java Fern plant, but don't appears to be damaging it at all. Neither my plants nor my fish seem affected at all, so I'm not overly concerned, but I am VERY curious as to what these little guys might be.

This tank holds 4 Neon Tetras, 3 Otocinclus Catfish, 1 Java Fern plant, 1 Wisteria plant, and 3 Aponogeton plants. This tank has never had snails, and I'm fairly certain these are not snails. I had a few ghost shrimp a while back, but these don't look like shrimp larvae to me (plus the shrimp died over a month ago). They aren't Planaria and don't appear to be worms (they don't have a worm-like shape and don't move like worms).

Any ideas?
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:59 PM   #2
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daphnia maybe? i have no idea without a pic lol
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:25 PM   #3
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Do they dart around alot? If so I had the same thing in my tank recently. I think they were copods. Not 100% sure though. I haven't seen any in a week or so.
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:31 PM   #4
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Its probaly a damsil fly larvae.

Does it look like this
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:47 PM   #5
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Its definitely not damsel fly larvae, but could very well be daphnia... I'll try and get some pics later; my new Mac Pro just arrived and I'm migrating my user files and applications to it now. It should be done in about an hour, so maybe I can try the digital microscope then...
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:56 PM   #6
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its planeria it sounds like
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:07 AM   #7
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They definitely aren't Planaria, either. I had those in an older tank and am familiar with their appearance and how they move.

They do dart around a lot, Peyton.

My Mac Pro is set up now and working great. All my apps and files transferred from my old Mac smoothly (I love not having to reinstall my apps when I get a new Mac). I'm pretty tired, though, and so will try and get the pics tomorrow.
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Old 09-13-2006, 01:00 AM   #8
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dart in 6 inch spurts? look like tiny shrimp?

might be scuds. which is good.
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Old 09-13-2006, 01:39 AM   #9
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Almost certainly copepods, they're harmless critters, small fish will eat them. They are also a good water quality indicator, won't live if the chemistry (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate) is unbalanced.
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Old 09-14-2006, 12:21 AM   #10
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Here are two pictures, taken with my digital microscope at 60X magnification. I'm sorry about the poor quality, but it hand to be hand-held and the critters were moving around (more like 1-2 mm spurts, Guest).



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