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Re: Serious Insect problem

> > June Oshiro <idlewild at rci_rutgers.edu> wrote:
> > <snip, saw bubbles, ...>
> > I looked closely, and they are a
> > > thousand million little INSECTS living on the surface 
> > > of my tank!  They range from pale brown to pale red, 
> > > are about 0.5 mm long, and jump easily across the 
> > > water surface.  Ugh.  It's disgusting.  What are they?  
> > > How do I get rid of them!?!
> krombhol at teclink_net (Paul Krombholz) responded:
> If they jump, they are springtails, Order Collembola, and, in my
> > experience, they do no harm to aquatic plants.  They feed on algae at
> the
> > surface and on the sides of the tank just above the water surface.
> > 
> > Aphids do not jump and are very slow-moving.  they can be reddish to
> > brownish, but they are rounder than springtails.  Aphids can be a
> problem
> > for keepers of aquatic plants.  They feed on any parts of aquatic plants
> > that contact the water surface.
I've had this problem several times in the past.
My standard process to  control or remove the
insect population is to bunch all my plants up
under a collander (sp?) (spaghetti strainer) and
submerge them.  I invert a cup or use something
to hold the collander under water, and then sit
back to watch the insects float to the surface,
getting snatched up by rasboras and other fish.

I'll usually hold them under for 5-10 minutes,
and it's a big feeding frenzy.  Then, I'll let them
up to repopulate the top (it's like an automatic
live food culture.)  Eventually, I'll do this too often
or keep them under too long (about 20 minutes),
and the whole population will be gone or drown.

If you want them gone, you can probably drown
them all in the first attempt if you hold them under
for 20 minutes.

charleyb at cytomation_com