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Substrate dwellers.



Substrate dwellers.

There has been some interesting discussions on various
life forms that inhabit our freshwater aquaria.  Folks
who keep fish and/or plants usually refer to these
life forms as "pests".  We can't see the forest for
the trees.  Algae, snails, worms, leeches, bugs, and
other aquatic invertebrates routinely make their way
into our aquaria in spite of our use of chlorine
chemical warfare.  

I will be the first to bleach a new plant and wonder
why I haven't seen Cyclops, Daphnia, etc.  There are
many, many, interesting freshwater creatures.  Just
ask any fly fisherman - crayfish, fairy shrimp, scuds,
pill bugs, beetles.  We keep daphnia, cyclops, hydra,
ostracode, gammarus, nematodes and other creatures as
a live food sources.  I know a very successful
aquarist who keeps "daphnia" cultures with gammarus
(small shrimp) and a worm (dero sp).  

There are many animals and algae that are desirable
but there are also many that are undesirable.  One
man's garbage is another's treasure, if you will. 
Know what you have before you introduce it to your
tanks.

I recently picked up a copy of Robert Pennak's
"Freshwater Invertebrates of the United States".  Even
a used copy is expensive, but it is an interesting,
college style text that covers many interesting
aquatic animals.

As freshwater plant keepers we have a notion that
algae and "pests" are bad.  The marine hobbyists have
embraced their creapy-crawlers, why don't we?  

Food for thought, eh?

Chris
newellcr at yahoo_com


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