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Re: Unusual aquatic catepillars(?)

M. Wilkinson wrote:

>At first I thought it was the snails going on a rampage since the fish
population was quite plant friendly. Then I noticed
>a little worm encased in some leaf litter inching it's way along the front
glass. I plucked him out and offer these
>observations. It was about 1/4" long with legs on the anterior end and
furry or spikey. It looked like a small catepillar.
>The beast had fashioned 3-4 detached leaves around itself and dragged it's
moflage around with him. It secreted some
>sticky goo that held the leaves together and anchored it's posterior end
to the leaf house. The worm could duck into the
>leaf house similar to a turtle hiding into it's shell. My tank was full of
these things. I probably found about 30 of
>these little worms and their leaf houses. They are difficult to see
because they blend in well.
>The catepillars are undoubtedly the reason for the plant destruction I
have been experiencing.

Those things are vermin!  I encounterd them  2 years ago.  They are the
nymph of some moth I believe.  Fish meds are ineffective against those things!
They have a weakness I discovered sometime back thanks to being an avid
HGTV viewer; use "Mosquito Dunks".  Its a non-toxic product containing
(B.T.) Bacillus thuringensis... a bacteria that destroys all forms of
"worms".  http://www.arcatapet.com/resource8.cfm  There is another form of
the product "mosquito bits" that are like mosquito dunk in M&M "mini" form
that is easier for you to use in an aquarium.  

The only other way to stop this bug is to do the "Citrus Canker
eradication" approach and rip out any plant w/in 5sq inches of affected
leaves.  Why?  There are always more present than you find.  I always add a
little "mosquito bits" to new plant shipments tank when I receive plants
from unknown sources as a "just-in-case" preventative.

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