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Re: aphids and springtails

Chris Wells, Hugo Hoekstra and others replied to my inquiry about

> [From Chris Wells]
> Aphids don't always have wings.
> If you get a 10X magnifying loop and look at them the aphids have a
> sucker mouth tube that they stick in the plant and then a big abdomen
> and of course 6 legs.  The sucking does do damage to the plants and it
> even can transfer virus from other plants they may have fed on.  If you
> pick up the plant and see the sucker tube and the plants have little
> necrotic dots - you have aphids.

From this description and others posted to the list, I *think* I have
aphids.  They're black or a very dark color, and I've reconsidered my
flea-like description.  Yes, they do look more spiderish.  And no, they
don't jump.

I'm not going to try and remove them all right now.  I've got flowers and
three plantlets on the ozelot sword right now, and am trying to encourage my
crispus flowers to sprout seeds, as well.  Last time they did, I lost the
solitary young plantlet, so now that the plant is flowering profusely, I
don't want to mess with it.

I am flicking the ones that appear on accessible leaves into the water, and
as someone already noted in the archives, harlequin rasboras seem to have a
particular taste for them.

By the way, someone mentioned that quarantine would prevent aphids?  Just
for the record, I haven't added anything to this tank for a few months... I
did buy a bunch of new houseplants just before the aphids appeared, and one
hanging plant is right above the tank.  However, I've examined the plant,
and do not see aphids.

Alysoun McLaughlin
Wheaton, Maryland