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RE: Aphids

David Whittaker wrote:
> Paul Garrett has an infestation of aphids in a small tank.
> Well Paul, I have a similar problem which to date remains
> intractable. It affects most of my aquariums. As a problem
> it ranks right up there with black brush algae. It looks
> like ladybug predation is one more potential solution that
> the rest of us will not have to try. Carbon dioxide asphix-
> iation was innovative. Have you considered carbon monoxide?

> I had thought of introducing a small "slamander" to graze among
> the floating leaves. Anyone tried this?

I really like the idea of a predator up there, but I'm too chicken.
I'm sure the salamander would eat fry and any fish that would
fit in its mouth.  If you have a river tank or paludarium, perhaps
it would be more worth trying.

I had serious aphid breakouts in my tanks in the past when I had
lots of Limnobium laevigatum (frogbit).  I'd like to get some again,
as I got rid of it in a mad moment.  Anyway, the aphids were 
everywhere.  I ended up piling all the floating plants in a standard
spaghetti collinder, inverted it in the tank, and used an empty
cup to hold it under water (collinder floated up, pushed against
the cup, which was lodged under the hood).  This put the
upside-down collinder at least 5 to 6 inches under the water
line.  For the next twenty minutes, the little aphids would
float up to the surface in a steady stream.  The fish would pick
them off on their way up, or when they got to the surface.  Most
that didn't go up drowned.

It was GREAT!  I had fantastic live-feeding.  The neon tetras
didn't like them very much, but the harlequin rasboras *loved* 
them.  These are the best schooling fish I have ever seen, and 
I've kept a school ever since.

You could probably put *all* surface plants in there, leave it
for a few hours, and drown them all.  The eggs will probably persist,
but the fish pick at the leaves and eggs underwater and get what
they can.  Or, you may want to only dunk them for 10 to 20
minutes so you can re-establish your colony for later feeding.
In the colony prime, I would do this feeding once a week.  I once
dunked them for a few hours, and never saw an aphid again.