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Re: Hydra Dammit-What now?-a quick poll

> Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 01:07:27 -0400
> From: "Paul E. Turley" <turl at eriecoast_com>
> Subject: Hydra Dammit-What now?-a quick poll


> So, how many of you have Hydra in your planted tanks?

I get them once in a great while.

> How many of you take active steps to prevent it?

I never do. The cures are just too easy.

> How many of you would tear a tank down to eliminate it? I'm already
> planning this, I just wanted to poll everyone for feedback.

Not a chance. Tearing down a nicely-planted tank is heresy!

Hydra are only a problem if you have small babies, for they don't damage
anything else, AFAIK. There are two really *easy* cures:

1) Starve them. They *must* have live food, so don't feed bbs for a few
weeks and otherwise keep the tank clean enough of food to eliminate serious
infusoria clouds. They starve to death. Most adult fish can easily stand 3
weeks of starvation, if healthy.

2) If you simply *must* feed bbs, then use formaldehyde. I buy the 37%
"Formalin" o/e at the drugstore, for the fish-store stuff is too weak and of
questionable stability at such dilution levels (2-3%).

3-5 drops per 5G of the strong stuff, applied every other day for at least
three or four treatments should do the job. You will also lose other
egg-eating inverts, like planaria, when you do this. Snails may not like it
too much, but I doubt if it will kill them at that concentration.[Never has
for me.]

Formaldehyde is quite unstable, so plants, mulm and other organics in the
tank break it down quickly. That's why repeat is needed. There is no need to
carbon filter, afterward, as with other medications. It is vital that you
spread the treatment out for a week or so, for they do not expire on the
first treatment even if you up the dose to be uncomfortable to fish or
harmful to plants. Just keep up normal water changes after treatment.

Formaldehyde is a strong tanning agent (cross links proteins) so use proper
care to keep it off your fingers and don't breathe the fumes. [If it was as
carcinogenic as advertised, we wouldn't have so many taxonomists around to
confuse us with fish renaming schemes every few years. ;-)]


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

                      Stop passing new laws!*
       Repeal some dysfunctional ones. It will do far more good. 
for the latest outrage (and a good chuckle). :-)