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Re:Springtails vs. Aphids

In respect to the inquiry regarding Springtails Vs.  Aphids on the floating 
plants of an aquarium.   Springtails will often bounce off the surface of the 
plant when disturbed and are capable of comparatively rapid locomotion.    
Aphids will just sit on top of the leaf surface with their sucking mouth part 
stuck into the epidermis  in order to aquire juices from the plant.   

My experience with Springtails is that  removal of any dying plants  or 
leaves on the surface will result in their disappearance.    Aphids are 
harder to get rid of, but frequent  and persistent washing of the surfaces of 
the leaves and disturbance of their perch by frequent and persistent washing 
them off is the only safe way that I know of getting rid of them.    If they 
are sprayed off into the water, the fish often can be induced to eat them.   
The aphids seem to be quite harmful to most plants and it is well worth the 
effort to continually upset them into the water.   Another remedy is to  get 
all plant material beneath the surface of the water for a time sufficient to 
clear the infestation.   I have even gone so far as to drastically trim back 
the leaves and emersed parts of my aquarium plants.   Removal and washing of 
the plants is a very drastic measure and often results only in controlling 
-but not elimination of the aphid pests.   

The Springtails and Aphids are both insects, but the aphids do not have 
functional wings in the larval stage-the  plant juice sucking stage.

These and similar infestations, problems, and diseases  can often be avoided 
by quarantining any new plants for a sufficient period of time.

Elmer Morehouse

45 years into aquariums and still a complete novice.  Enjoy-Enjoy-Enjoy