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[APD] Re: Bugs in my aquarium or Fighting the mighty mites

Hi all, I've noticed i have small bugs in my tank crawling on my 
cyperushelferi! I think their bugs anyways, they're dark, very small (1mm big), and they 
move like bugs. Just wondering if anyone knows what they are and if they're 
thanks Byron

Hello Byron,

I'm a new comer to this list so if I were you I would take this advice with a 
grain of salt and wait for somebody else to respond to your post.  Maybe what 
I say will provoke somebody into doing that.

First of all, I don't know what they are because I am not an entomologist.  
But in my opinion they are probably very dangerous.  They could even constitute 
a threat to national security.  If you want to get rid of them, you could try 
dipping the plants in alum water.  One heaped teaspoon per liter of water for 
no less than 5 minutes and no more than 3 days.  Use your powers of 
observation to determine the time.  Keep the plants warm though.  Alum works on higher 
order organisms.  Unfortunately, your still probably going to have bugs on 
your substrate that will crawl back up onto your plants.  Persistent little 
buggers, aren't they?

I don't understand why your fish aren't going after these little guys.  Are 
your fish vegetarians?  Don't you know you shouldn't be keeping vegetarian fish 
with plants? <g>

Another idea is to treat the tank just like you would for ick.  The little 
bugs probably wouldn't appreciate the formalin in Quick Cure very much.  
Afterwards you could remove it by filtering your water over activated carbon.  Just 
be advised that some of your animals may not tolerate formalin.  Also Quick 
Cure can dye aquarium sealant.  And I don't know for sure if the plants would 
tolerate it although there are a couple of posts in the archives that say they 
would.  But hey this is war, we're fighting vicious little bugs here, so we may 
have to take some collateral damage.

You could try using Hydrogen Peroxide.  You would have to isolate your fish 
first.  Disconnect your filter and drop an airstone in it to keep the bacteria 
happy.  5 ml/l of 3% fresh, newly purchased, as in not old and flat, Hydrogen 
Peroxide under bright lights until you see that the bugs have desisted and are 
no longer moving.  I would not do this for more than an hour though.  
Afterwards, you should do a 200% water change.  I would flush, fill, flush and then 
fill again if I were you.  Then take your least prized fish and put him into 
the water under close scrutiny to see how he does before reintroducing the rest 
of the fish.  Hydrogen Peroxide doesn't leave a residue and the substrate will 
do a lot to exhaust its activity.

The above mentioned remedies are only speculative and may have a delayed or 
even immediate deleterious effect on your plants.  Not only that, the bugs 
might survive.  I checked the archives for a solution but did not find one.  That 
doesn't mean it's not there somewhere.  Truth is, if you can't live with these 
monstrous evil terroristic little bugs, you may have to tear down your tank 
and disinfect it.  By this I mean separating out your fish and plants while 
disinfecting the tank.  An alum or bleach dip should work on the plants.  Hope 
the fish don't need to be treated for bugs!

And so, "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!"

Sincerely, George Mangen

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