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[APD] Re:Ostracods

Robert Hudson said:

.............Totally harmless to plants. They feed on decaying organic material. I used to have tons of them until I put freshwater puffers in my tanks.

There is at least one species of Ostracod that is not harmless to plants. It is oval, about 3 mm long, and has a point at the rear end of its shell. It eats plants. In tanks where I did not have fish, it got numerous enough to eat Crypt leaves right down to the midrib. I finally got it under control by growing the infested plants in aquaria with fish. I thought I could get rid of the Ostracods by rinsing off a plant and then placing it in a jar of water for a week or so and then rinsing the plant again to rinse away the baby ostracids that hatched from the eggs. That didn't work because, apparently the eggs hatch at various times. Six months and dozens of rinses later, the plant was still producing baby ostracods. I know that during the 6 month period the babies were always rinsed away before they became adult, and therefore they must have all come from the eggs that were on the plant at the start of the period. I have concluded that the only way to get rid of that Ostracod is to keep fish with the plants for at least two years.

Paul Krombholz in sunny central Mississippi
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