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FAQs about Micro-Crustaceans Identification 1

Related FAQs: Microcrustaceans/"Pods" 1, Microcrustaceans 2, FAQs on: Small Crustacean ID 2, Small Crustacean ID 3, Small Crustacean ID 4, Pod Behavior, Pod Compatibility, Pod Selection, Pod Systems, Pod Feeding, Pod Disease, Pod Reproduction, Amphipods, Copepods, Mysids, Brine Shrimp, Hermit Crabs, Shrimps, Cleaner Shrimps, Banded Coral Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating Shrimp, Refugiums, Crustaceans 1, Crustacean Identification Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

Related Articles: Micro-Crustaceans, Amphipods, 'Pods: Delicious and Nutritious By Adelaide Rhodes, PhD, Copepods, Mysids, Hermit Crabs, Shrimps, Cleaner Shrimps, Banded Coral Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating Shrimp

http://www.nova.edu/ocean/jthomas/apod.html or http://www.museum.vic.gov.au/crust/amphigal.html

If I could bother you or one of the other crew members with a snail and parasite, ID, 9/27/08 Thanks, Bob!!! <Welcome> If I could bother you or one of the other crew members with a snail and parasite, ID, I'd appreciate it. I have gone through all the snail ID pictures and descriptions on all the 17 plus pages and of course, like most people, no one has a snail "just like mine". I had it narrowed down to the three most common ones people ask to have ID'd, Nerite, Collonista and baby Turbo, but I went through that site you have linked that shows all of the shells of those and I could find a few that were similar, but, of course, none "just like mine". They are primarily nocturnal but do appear during the day. I find them every where. On the glass. On the rocks. And on the corals, especially Zoas and leathers. I've even found some under the microscope in water samples that I couldn't see with the naked eye. It does have a pattern similar to a sundial but it has a smooth shell and doesn't have the pagoda shaped operculum. They also appear to have calcareous egg shells on the rocks but they are not round or sesame seed shaped, they are more like a pentagon. <I don't see these in my ref. works either. Am sending your query to friend and "shell nut" Marty Beals of Tideline for his input> The parasites I got off of a small piece of Acropora and Kenya Tree that I was given by a friend that I had in quarantine. <Mmm, don't consider these parasites... other than "space"... perhaps predators... Am pretty sure these are Ostracods> They were both fine for about 3 weeks and then the Acropora went in less than 3 days. It started losing tissue at the base and went right up to the tip. The Kenya Tree started throwing off it's own branches but is still doing okay in quarantine. Since the Acropora was already lost, I did a dip in Iodine and all that came off were these little critters. I dipped one of the branches of Kenya Tree and found the same thing. One picture is magnified at 40 times, the other is at 100 times. You can barely see the critter with the naked eye. It looks like a flea with shorter legs. Iodine dip doesn't seem to kill the critters. They were even alive after a day in RO/DI water. You know microscopes are addictive when you have a reef tank. <Ah yes> Once you think you've seen everything in your reef tank, you are sadly mistaken until you've seen it under a microscope. Thanks Everybody!!!!! <I don't think these small crustaceans were/are the root of the Cnidarians health issues. Bob Fenner>

Hi Bob, Is it me, or do those look a lot like larval cirripedes? Cheers, Neale <Mmm, you may be right... will amend. Thank you, BobF>

bugs... SW Waterstriders? -08/27/08 Hi guys, I am sorry if I missed my answer in one of the archives but I am lost on what is in my tank. I just started a 35 gallon saltwater tank with live rock I bought from LFS. It has been running about 4 days and today when I opened the lid to test the water I found all these bugs swimming on the surface. They are the size of gnats and are black. I scooped most of them out but I don't know where they came from. It looks like there flying around but when I look at water level they are skimming the surface. They do not appear to be swimming around my tank. I have two other tanks and I am familiar with most of the common "bugs" but I could not find an identity for this one. Any help is greatly appreciated-thank you. <Hmm... sorry, it's really hard to say without a picture. Have you seen any more since? Best, Sara M.>

Uh... SW Waterstriders? really? 08/27/08 Hmm... I thought salt water pelagic insects were fairly uncommon (only five Halobates species).... and don't they have long skinny legs? But I don't know... Sara <Are rare indeed... the reason for my ? mark. Hopefully they'll send in some pix. B>

Re: bugs, SW 08/28/08 Yes there were more a few hours later. I put some in a bowl and tried to get a picture but they were to blurry. I used my magnifying glass to look at them and could probably describe it better. The head appears to be a light red and there are two long antennas on the head and what appears to be four legs and two antennas on the rear shaped like a V. The front antenna are the longest and some look like they have more than two. They are very small, the body is about this size -- Some are smaller and a few bigger ones. There were a few floating shells the shape of just there body this morning. I used my magnifying glass and could not see any crawling on the rock or glass and they are not swimming in the water. I am sorry no picture I hope this helps. <Hmmm... interesting. Bob thought of Waterstriders, but these don't sound like them (and pelagic SW Waterstriders are pretty rare anyway-- and they wouldn't likely reappear in any case). My "educated" *guess* is that they're some type of pelagic amphipod. Maybe like this one...? http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/sertc/images/rollovers/pelagic%20amphipod.jpg> They don't fly but they stay on the water surface. I am guessing they came on the live rock but I don't know of any bugs that hang out on the water surface. I know they sound kind of like amphipods <Haha... read my mind.> but I have never had any only on the water surface. <Ah, but there are pelagic (i.e. water-surface dwelling) amphipods. We just don't see them that much. They're not likely harmful (likely won't even survive long in an aquarium).> Thanks so much for your time. <Thank you for sharing with us, Sara M.>

Re: Uh... SW Waterstriders? really? 08/28/08 Hmm... from his recent additional description, I now think they're pelagic amphipods... kinda like this one: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/sertc/images/rollovers/pelagic%20amphipod.jpg What do you think? Sara <Oh, so they were/are underwater. B>

Re: bugs 08/28/08 The amphipod picture looked right on. <Awesome! ...glad you/we figured it out!> I had looked up the Waterstriders before contacting you and they did not look the same. Thanks again you guys are awesome. <De nada, Sara M.>

New Miniscule Shrimp! -- 04/28/08 Hey Crew -- <<Hey Dave and Laura!>> We made an interesting discovery in our tank today. <<Neat!>> We found a population of very tiny (1-2 mm long) transparent shrimp in our tank. <<Ahh'¦very cool>> We saw 2-3 dancing around a yellow sponge we have and about 3-4 in the tank part of our protein skimmer. They are definitely shrimp with head, legs, and tail. Definitely alive and moving with intent. <<Indeed'¦ >> We are curious what they could be. <<Very likely these are Mysids (Often referred to as 'Mysis' Shrimp). A beneficial detritivore and prey food item>> Two possibilities we thought of are: (1) Brine shrimp that survived the freezing process (we've been feeding our fish Spirulina enhanced brine shrimp for 9-10 months) <<No'¦>> Or (2) baby peppermint shrimp (we have two peppermint "ninja" shrimp that successfully took out our Aiptasia infestation when the tank started and are still around, having grown in size). <<A possibility but doubtful>> Any ideas? <<As stated'¦ Try a Google search re and see what you think>> Tank is a 55 gal, salt water, 1 sand goby, 3 Dartfish, 1 small fairy wrasse, a few tubeworms, and a snail. Lots of hair algae (we think turtle weed), which flows prettily in the flow created by our jets and spinners. Dave and Laura <<Regards, EricR>> PS. Thank you for all your help. We've been very dependent on your advice over the last year. <<A collective effort'¦and we're happy to have been of service. E>>

Pests? SW "Pod" ID ... 04/11/2008 Hi. <<Hello there>> Whenever I change my filter pads I find five or six critters crawling around in them. They are very small. Their body is about 1/16" covered by a shell with a spike-thin "tail" that extends another 1/16". They curl up or wiggle around like crazy when I pull the pads out of the water. Are they Isopods (they are skinnier than the isopods in the pics on your site)? Do you think they are harmful? <<If they are isopods, then you will want to be getting rid of them. Do they have legs down the side? or not? If they do, then yes, i would agree on isopods. If they don't, then i would be tended to lean toward copepods, which are fine and a good food source in the tank. Do please check out this link which has a two photo's, next to each other to compare the differences between "Iso" and "Cope"pods. http://www.xtalworld.com/Aquarium/hitchfaq.htm>> I also have some little worms that are about 1/4"-1/2" long. I find them occasionally on the glass and in the filter media. Should I worry about them? <<Quite possibly Sipunculid worms>> Thanks, Brendon <<Thanks for the questions Brendon, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Re: Pests? 04/11/2008 Thanks for the link. After looking at the photos I think they are amphipods, so I've got nothing to worry about. <<Thanks for the follow up, glad that's what you have you can rest easy now. Good day and regards. A Nixon>> White things that go bump in the night - Pods! 2/1/08 Hi Guys, <Hi there, Josh.> Thanks for all your advice and info! My tank is quickly turning into a thriving community! <Yay!> So, I recently upgraded my tank to a beginning reef tank and added some live Fiji rock and I've been getting some critters I wanna make sure are healthy. <Okay, but you're going to need a teeny tiny stethoscope for that. Sorry, just kidding!> I see thousands of little white specks running all around my tank, I believe that I've read that those are healthy right? <Almost assuredly so, and beneficial as well.> They run really fast and I have no idea what they are eating. <Likely detritus, algae.> But mostly my concern is this: along with these white specks I've been seeing some larger ones (about a half a centimeter long) that look like little centipedes and are stark white. They have antennae that are about half their body length and are very shy.. At first I thought maybe I had gotten a little ghost shrimp when I had caught a brief glimpse of one before, but at night there appear to be a good handful if not more...could you please tell me what they are and whether they are good? That's about all I can say to describe them except they run across my rocks really fast and dive into holes when they see me or the lights turn on.... <Heheeee! Here he comes again - Run!! Seriously, they're almost certainly harmless, beneficial crustaceans commonly referred to as 'pods', a general term that includes various amphipods, copepods, and isopods. What you're describing could be any number of species - perhaps munnids or Gammaridean amphipods/'scuds'. Without a photo, I can't be sure. I can, however, tell you that this is a good thing, and a sign that you're well on your way to having a successful reef tank! Here are some links for you to look through to help identify your little critters: http://home2.pacific.net.ph/~sweetyummy42/hitchpods.html Be sure to check the associated links listed at the top of the following WWM site as well as the FAQ's within: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/podidfaqs.htm .> Thanks, Josh <You're very welcome, Josh. Take care. -Lynn>

White bugs in reef: Likely Copepods -- 1/19/08 Hey guys, howzit? <It's going great! How may I help you?> I have just a quick question regarding my new reef. I have about 40 pounds of 6 month old live rock mixed in with 30-40 pounds of fresh live rock in my 70 gallon bow front. In only the 4th day of running the new set up I've noticed VERY small, barely visible to the naked eye white bugs on the glass. Some stay still, some moved in a very fast movement like a scurrying bug. Do you guys know what these critters might be. Good?? Bad?? <Good. They're harmless, beneficial crustaceans that hitchhike into our tanks via live rock and make tasty snacks for our fish! They're commonly referred to as 'pods', a general term that includes various amphipods, copepods, and isopods. What you've described sounds a lot like copepods. They're extremely small, tend to zip here and there with jerky motions, and survive on bacteria, detritus, and algae. Please see this link for more information and comparison (time to pull out the magnifying glass!): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i1/Pods/pods.htm Another possibility is a type of isopod called a munnid. These are herbivores that get up to around 2.5-3mm long, and are completely harmless. Here's a photo of one from my tank. http://wetwebfotos.com/usermedia/high/0/2470_145.jpg There is one other possible candidate, but it's significantly larger than a copepod -- and much easier to see. Gammaridean amphipods, also called 'scuds', are extremely common and shaped like a comma, or the letter 'C'. Their curved/arched bodies are very distinctive and easy to recognize. They're herbivores/detritivores that size-wise, get up to around 5mm+. I've seen some that were almost ½'. Please see this link for more information re: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-09/rs/index.php There's also a wealth of information at WWM regarding pods, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/podidfaqs.htm The above information and a magnifying glass should be enough to help you to make a positive ID!> Thanks for all your help. <You're very welcome. Take care --Lynn>

Pod ID: Munnid - 12/24/07 Hello, <Hi there, Jesse.> Happy Holidays, <Right back at you!> I've tried online and can't get a better ID by myself. Can anyone tell me if this is an amphipod, copepod, or isopod? <Isopod -- in the family Munnidae, commonly called a Munnid. They're harmless/beneficial little herbivores, less than 5mm in length. Please see the following links for photo comparison/confirmation, and general info: Dorsal/top view: http://wetwebfotos.com/usermedia/high/0/2470_145.jpg Ventral/underneath: http://wetwebfotos.com/usermedia/high/0/2470_88.jpg General info about halfway down this link at "Herbivorous Isopods": http://www.ronshimek.com/Animal%20Groups%204%20Crustaceans.htm > My clowns and cardinals do not eat them but they love eating the little copepods (half a mm and smaller). <Interesting. Munnids are definitely a food item that fish usually go for.> This pic shows the unidentified at about 2mm long, they range a half to 2.5 mm. <Yep, most I see are around 2.5mm to 3mm (not including antennae).> There are hundreds in my 60 gal. tank. I wish I had a better picture but it's hard to do at that size. <It sure is!> Could I buy a fish that will eat them to control their numbers? <Yes, but I wouldn't worry about them. They're harmless and add to the diversity in your tank.> Thank you, <You're very welcome!> <Take care. -Lynn>

The invaders... Amphipods - 11/26/07 hi guys<Hi Chris> I have a predatory 240g tank with 200lbs of LR, about a week ago I discovered small things looking like shrimp zipping hole to hole on my LR, after doing extensive reading I have come to the conclusion that I'm dealing with mantis shrimp. <Not at all! What you are dealing with is the friendly amphipods!> I have a Picasso, undulated, Pinktail, niger triggerfish, Brazilian horned eel, lionfish, wrasse, grouper, yellow tang and 3 urchins, my question is: will my fish eat the mantis shrimp not giving it a chance to grow or should I try to eliminate the invaders? and are any of my fish in danger? (they're almost a cm long and more then 25 of them zipping around, they hide when I turn the lights on) <These are fine and your fish will probably eat them faster than they can reproduce! Here is some reading on them... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i1/Pods/pods.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amphipodfaqs.htm > thanks for your time<Hope this helps, Rich...aka...Mr. Firemouth> Chris

White Bugs... Likely Copepods 11/15/2007 Hello again, <Hi Worried Julie, Anxious Mich here> I have a 28-gallon tank that is about 3 months old. <OK.> I have a maroon clownfish, Firefish, neon goby, cleaner shrimp (who molted this morning) and some snails & crabs.. I added about 10 pounds of live rock last week. Everything seems to be fine until now. <Quarantining new purchases will save you time, money and emotional tolls in the long run. Please consider doing this in the future. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i4/quarantine/Quarantine.htm > I'm seeing a ton of what look like white bugs all over the back and side glass. They are too small to gather a description. I can see them moving about the glass. They are about the size of a pinhead, maybe smaller. What do you think they are? <My guess would be Harpacticoid copepods. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i1/Pods/pods.htm > How could I have gotten them? <Likely came in on your newly acquired live rock.> Are they going to cause any problems? <Actually these are quite desirable. They are an excellent food source for your fish. The population will likely wax and wane.> What should I do. <Watch and enjoy.> Worried Julie <No worries here Julie, Mich.>

What's This... Two of The Same Pics of Hair Alga... New Pic of Amphipod 8/22/07 Hmmm... I thought it was some kind of macro algae due to it large size and thickness the pics are very close up in macro mode. <Is a macro alga, just not a beneficial one. I personally would remove, but if you enjoy it let it be. I would just be careful that it doesn't spread too much.> the plants are silver dollar sized....on them were little critters I will attach another pic of the critter that I was able to get a better pic of <Yes a decent pic. Is an amphipod not a copepod. Copepods only have one eye that is generally centrally located. Your pic appears to show a peripherally positioned eye. I suspect this is a Scud, a Gammarus shrimp (Gammaridean amphipods) that are beneficial detritivores and make tasty natural snacks for you livestock. They commonly hang out on hair algae. More here and related links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amphipodfaqs.htm > thank you sir <Mmm, no sir, not a sir, but you are welcome nonetheless. Mich>

Centipede? Mmm, No, Definitely Not a Centipede... 7/5/07 Can you please identify this creature that came out of the rock today? <Mmm, hopefully.> It was going after a piece of krill that we dropped. <I see it.> Is it something to be concerned about? <Unlikely. I'm having a difficult time discerning the overall length of this creature. If the total is less than a 1/4 of an inch, it is likely a Scud or a Gammaridean amphipod. Gammarus shrimp are harmless and desirable detritivores. If it is significantly longer, and more like a worm, then it may be a Bobbitt worm (Eunice spp.). Eunicid worms can be predatory, but are usually efficient and beneficial scavengers.> Thanks
<Welcome! Mich>

Shrimps? Amphipods? 4/17/07 Hello Folks. <Hi> Love the site. I've spent many hours browsing its pages with fascination ever since I started up my 30 gallon tank last September (7 months ago). <Good to hear.> I've been wondering what these fellows are (see attached photo) for quite some time. I have seen similar descriptions from other submissions on your site, but the visitors in my tank seem quite a bit larger than "plankton." At first they started out as many thousands of these very tiny (smaller than ant sized) mainly white/translucent guys living in the live sand bed (but crawling up onto the glass at times.) They were easily visible during the day. But over several months they have grown in size (main body over 1/2" long), but much less in number. <Probably seeing two different organisms, smaller copepods and larger Amphipods.> During the day I can barely catch a glimpse of a few of them in the shadows/crevices/caves within the rock. Then, tonight, I was taking some night photos with a flash camera and I managed to catch this picture. Several HUNDRED of them seem to swarm out at night, like cockroaches. <Nocturnal.> I am hoping they are simple detritivores.... so I may ignore them (although, they are a bit creepy.) <Quite efficient cleaners, and a sign of a healthy tank.> What do you think? Thanks! - Dennis <Do a Google search on Amphipods, I think this is what you are seeing.> <Chris>

Krill like creatures... No Photo... Likely Scuds -- 4/10/07 Hi Crew, <Hi there, Mich here.> I have been seeing some creatures in my wet/dry sump on the sponge that I can only describe as "miniature krill like looking creatures". They dart around between the sponge. I have checked my water quality and all parameters are fine. My system is a FOWLR marine aquarium. Could you tell me what they are and how to get rid of them? <Do they look like the ones pictured here? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amphipodfaqs.htm I'm guessing you are seeing Scuds or Gammarus shrimp (Gammaridean amphipod). They are beneficial detritivores. You want to keep them in your system. They are natural foods for you fish. You may want to do some reading about refugiums, you will likely learn a lot. More here and related links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i1/Pods/pods.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/refugium.htm -Mich>

Mystery Pod? 1/23/07 <Hi Jonny, Pufferpunk here> I just saw one of those mystery creatures that come out of the live rock after dark. Always a fun time, eh! <One of my favorite things to do after lights out, is to go around with a flashlight & check out the little roaming critters, that come out at night. Good time to check for predators too. > Anyways, I have no clue what I just saw, and I have no clue on how to do a search on it. Anyways, this little guy came from an opening at the base of my rocks next to the sand layer. He honestly looked like a small to medium sized cricket. He was sandy/tan in color, not quite a 1/4 inch in length. He appeared to have about 4 legs, maybe 6. His body was slightly curled so his head portion was lower then the haunch of his back. While in the hole, he was ass-out and upright then all of a sudden he pulled a move straight from the "Alien" movies and used his legs to flip around to the roof of the cave (cave was slightly larger than he was). I turned the flashlight on him and he stuck around for a second or two then scurried back into his dwelling. Any idea on what this Sea Cricket is? I'll try and snap a picture, although I've had the rock for quite some time and this has been our first meeting. Do you know of any shrimp or shell-less invertebrates that curl up in a ball like fashion (i.e., the bad guys that I should be worrying about) like that? It's hind legs were a bit larger than the front legs and appeared to be in the later rear portion to the body, but this might have been an illusion (meaning I don't think he had a prominent tail/thorax (I think that's what you call a bug butt) type hind end). It was almost like one of those soft-to-the-crush type cockroaches with the big ass and long antennae. If that means anything to you. I look forward to you response Mahalo, Jonny Boy Ok, let me add on to this. My camera just died before I could get a shot. It definitely has many many legs and is curled up. It is roaming around the live rock right now. He has a skinny section of his back that runs the length of his body.....He's more of a brown color and has white stripes that run perpendicular to the length of his body.....fully stretched he is probably longer than a 1/4 inch <Look here for your creature: http://home2.pacific.net.ph/%7Esweetyummy42/hitchpods.html ~PP> Jonny

I.D. my Gastro and micro-crustaceans? 1/16/07 Hello WWM crew: <Hello, Beverly. Graham T. with you tonight.> I love all the information on your site, you have been a big help to me as a new nano reefer. <I know exactly what you mean! Thank you for using us.> I have a couple of species that came on my live rock about 6 months ago that I have not been able to positively identify. <Happens, there *is* more life on the reef per square inch than anywhere else...> Unfortunately, I don't have a camera to take pictures of them but I think you may be able to get me in the right ballpark. <Will surely try...> The first one is a snail-type. Has a white abalone shape shell about a centimeter in length with slight gray marbling. The body is white about 2-3 cm. in length. It has a head like the trunk of an elephant and it uses this to graze on the live rock, looks much like a cow grazing. <Ahh... This is actually more of a "nose" than a mouthpart. Hard to say what sort of snail you have here, though maybe a Nassarius snail. There are many snails with this proboscis. they use it to sniff for their food as it diffuses it's scent into the water. > It also has two very long antenna. Lately, it has taken to climbing to the highest point on the rock and squirting stuff into the water, kind of looks like he's/she's sending up smoke signals. <Mmm... sort of like, sperm?> I'm hoping that's enough info to at least get me in the right direction for identifying. So far haven't found any pictures at all close. <Well, like I said, there are *many many* proboscis-equipped snails that range from harmless to ruthless murderers.> The other critters look like mantis shrimp from the pictures but they are only 1cm. long and have been reproducing like mad and have babies that are 1mm. in length. I've had them for 6 months and they never get any bigger. Do you know what kind of shrimp they may be? <If I have to guess, I'd say they're a type of amphipod... but I can't be sure with just a verbal description. Try this: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amphipodfaqs.htm and see what you think.> I know this is a lot to ask (especially w/o pictures) but if you could point me in a direction that has pictures or more detailed (not scientific, I really don't understand the info when it gets that accurate) but just layman's info for help in identification I would be very appreciative. <See above.> Thank you for your consideration and whatever help you can offer. <You are welcome to my assistance, Beverly. Consider a little guy to devour the littler guys. -Graham T.>

Unknown Creature - 11/11/06 Hi, <<Hello>> I love your site. <<Thanks!>> I recently noticed hundreds of tiny white creatures on the glass walls of my tank. <<Cool>> They are smaller than the head of a pin and are barely visible under a low powered microscope. <<Copepods likely>> I sent a small picture of one of them. <<Mmm yes, a drawing actually...but a good/descriptive drawing>> Sorry if the picture is vague but it was all I was able to see. <<Enough to go on/venture a guess>> I know that there are probably many types of certain species but is there a certain group you can put this organism in? <<Indeed...I believe it to be a Harpacticoid...a copepod>> Is it possible to tell if it is harmful or not? <<These are beneficial, even desirable organisms. Many of the creatures you keep will consume these very quickly>> Thanks for any help you can give me, <<Happy to share. Eric Russell>>

Infant Hermits? 10/10/2006 Aloha Bob, <<Hey, this is Lisa :D>> Perhaps you could shed some light on this mystery for me. <<I shall try!>> I have a 50 gallon salt water reef tank. Fish and 3 Hawaiian red legged hermits are the only creatures in it. One of the hermits was hanging out on a patch of algae for most of yesterday. This morning when I fed the fish, I noticed some (a hundred?) tiny white dots on the same patch of algae. Upon further inspection, these tiny white specks are mobile, and slowly moving all around on the algae. Are these baby hermits? <<Nope, they're 'pods.>> If so, how do I help them live to adulthood? I always thought they wouldn't reproduce in a tank. <<'Pods require no intervention on your part.>> Thanks for any info or advice you may have in this area. Mahalo! <<Not crabs, but a nice addition to the bio-diversity in your tank!>> Sheila (surprise crab mommy) <<Lisa.>>

-Velvet? Nope Tis Pods- 9/4/06 <Justin with you tonight, who is up WAYYYYYY to late for his liking :) > Greetings! I had a tank infestation of what I strongly believe to be Amyloodinium around 8 weeks ago. I had it about a year before with the unquarantined introduction of a Coral Beauty, and thought I conquered it but nevertheless it came back. Lesson learned, always quarantine and keep water quality high! As far as treatment goes, too little too late. Two damsels survived, but all the other fish were too far gone. The damsels are in a quarantine tank that I treated with copper. I also gave them a freshwater dip with Meth Blue before going in and they seem to be doing well. <Do be careful with the copper, don't use tank on scaleless fish and or for q/ting corals or inverts now. best to mark and set aside as coppered.> Rather than dosing the FO show tank with copper I chose to just let it go fallow for six weeks or so and theoretically get rid of or severely weaken the Amyloodinium, eh? However, on the eighth week I am still noticing small white specks on the glass; about half are stationary and half seem to be moving. They are about the same size as a grain of sugar, looking very much like what infected the fish. They are all about the same size. I can scrape them from the glass and they will reappear a day or so later, with various amounts (sometimes only a few, sometimes they're all over the glass). They are barely visible to the naked eye, but I can still absolutely tell that some of the specks are moving about. Patience is a virtue, yes, but I'm getting a little eager to get the tank going again at this point ^.^ <Those aren't Velvet cysts, but amphipods, copepods, etc, beneficial micro fauna, the bottom of the food chain.> Would I be correct in assuming they are Amyloodinium tomonts, trophonts, etc? I realize it's kind of a wild shot, asking this through an email, and I suppose without a photo or sample that identification would be difficult. However, is it possible for Amyloodinium or some other parasite to last this long (almost 8 weeks) in a fallow tank? Could they continue their life cycle without a fish host? The only things I left in the tank were 4 Blue-legged hermits (still going strong) and a clump of some sort of algae. Is it possible they can continue their life cycle with the crabs or algae but not become a problem? A week ago I added 35lbs of Lalo live rock (very very nice, from Drs. Foster and Smith). My only hope is that a tank sterilization is not necessary, since I really don't have money to just replace the live rock. I figured I'd have to wait another month or so anyways to let the rock cure. Any invincible parasites ring a bell? Any experience with this sort of problem? Perhaps these specks are not Amyloodinium, but some benign thing that is always around. Never noticed it on the glass before though..... On a good note, I have a new Rubbermaid sump that's working very well, and 475gph though the 75gal tank. New heater, Poly Filters, life is good. The Euro-Reef skimmer works like a charm, and with no clearance necessary to remove the skimmer cup it is absolutely a great product. Thank you for the recommendation on that, and thank you for your help. You guys (and gals?) do a great job with the site and it's a great resource I'm glad to have. I probably would not still be in the hobby if it weren't for the huge amount of info on here. Thanks Again, Bryan, PA <New rock you added as well as the old rock being fishless has allowed the copepod population to grow and is definately a sign of a healthy tank. At this point slowly adding fish over the next few weeks would be fine, but do go slower to allow the biofilter to catch up with each addition. Q/t the new ones so you don't have to do all this again. Good luck with your tank.> <Justin>

Pods In The House! Dear WWM Crew, I just transferred my live rock from one tank to another. I noticed something on several pieces that resembled a small cotton ball. They ranged in size from 1/4" to 1/2" diameter and appeared to be in spots that the fish could not reach. The fish tank was thriving so I assume this life form is ok. <I'd have to see a pic to make a solid ID on this one...> I also encounter small 1/8" long critters when I clean my particulate filter. They are almost see through and will squirm when touched. Any ideas? <I'll bet that these are amphipods of some sort. They are highly sought after by many hobbyists, and are generally desirable scavengers. In fact, many fishes, such as mandarins, love to eat them. You will often encounter them in refugiums or other parts of your system where they can grow free of predators (like mechanical filter pads! Consider yourself and your system lucky to have a thriving "Pod" population!> Thanks once again for your web site. Brian S. <And thank you for stopping by! Regards, Scott F.>

Free Swimming Parasites in Infected Tank? Hello WWM Crew! I think your site is great, it is one of the most comprehensive sites on the aquarium hobby I have seen. Anyway I have a question. About 2 weeks ago, I had an ich outbreak in my 60 gallon which housed a dog faced puffer and a tomato clown. I quickly quarantined the fish and am hesitant to use copper in my main tank because of the live rock and things that live in it. <Agreed, I do not like to use copper in display tanks and would never use it in the presence of liverock.> I've decided to let the tank fallow for a few weeks <One full month, please else a few of the cysts may still survive to re-infect your fish.> and while I was looking at my tank, I could see these little white things floating around and a few of them were swimming. They looked like little oval dots with tiny tails. Could this be ich in its free swimming stage? <It would be difficult to impossible to see Cryptocaryon free swimming with the naked eye. It is much more likely that this is some sort of plankton. It is one of the indirect benefits of fallowing your tank. The populations of pods blossoms without your fish predators.> They almost look like baby sea monkeys. Any help is much appreciated! Ron <Best of luck to you with the Ich! -Steven Pro>

White things - they're alive! Hello, my 150gal FOWLR has been running for about 2 weeks now and everything is going well. I've noticed a few tiny white bubbles on the inside glass for a few days but today there seemed like more and upon very close inspection they appear not to be bubbles but tiny white creatures! I have to strain my eyes but they are definitely moving around under their own power, they look like tiny white scorpions scurrying along, thousands of them. What could they be, is this safe? Scary! I'm hoping to add the first fish next week...Thanks! Mike <Very likely no worries... some sort of micro-crustacean. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/invertfa.htm and the linked FAQs beyond. Bob Fenner>

Re: white things - they're alive! Wow, I got the man himself that time :) Thanks Bob, I did read that section just now, got ahead of myself and asked before investigating because it seemed so weird. Here's the best shot I could get of what I'm hoping are copepods? thanks again! Mike <Most all the smaller species of crustaceans that "pop up" in our aquariums are beneficial... might be amphipods, other groups, but most likely copepods. Bob Fenner>

White insects (pods) This is probably a stupid question , but I have to ask! <No problem, Don here> I have white little things all over the back of my reef tank (they look like small maggots). any ideal what they are and do I need to worry ? <A natural progression of a healthy tank. What are they? Food! Your fish will love them. You can scrape them off if they are on a viewing pane, if not sing to them every morning so they will be happy and get big, fat and juicy! Mmmmm> thanks Alex

Micro-crustaceans Thanks for getting back to me so soon. I've been really worried about what these things were. <no worries... they are very desirable copepods, amphipods and other desirable zooplankton> I did get a picture, decent I hope. I've attached the full size picture and the zoomed in picture. Hope these are OK. On the zoomed picture, I think I can see some antennae on the bigger one in the middle. Also, could these things come from the bag of "living" aragonite I added to aid in the cycling of the tank? <not at all... I'm embarrassed that some folks in the industry sell such products as "live". Your got your "bugs" from live rock, live sand, fish water, algae or plants added, etc> I hope they're not disastrous. Thanks again. <so much to learn :) Do enjoy the journey. Anthony>

Bugs... 3/28/03 Hi,<Hey there!> I have a fairly new, 4 month tank. Percula clowns have died in the tank about a month ago. I have waited for any parasites to clear, but still kept the snails and hermit crabs. I have just introduced 2 new, 3" percula clowns and some live rock, yesterday. Today, I see one of the clowns breathing very heavily and had white bubble like spots on his body, and even on his eye. I will give him a freshwater dip today and hope it helps.<FW dips are a good start. But I would like to see some quarantine tank holding first.> The weirdest thing, though, is that I noticed that the sides of the glass had little specs of dust on them. They weren't there before, but I got a little curious so I took a magnifying glass and saw that they were not dust! There are hundreds, maybe thousands of these bugs attached to the inside of the tank! They look like roaches with short curled antennae on one side and long straight antennae on the other side. Are these parasites? How do I get rid of them, or are they normal? Is this what caused my first set of fish/anemone to die? or did it likely come yesterday from the live rock?<Most likely a form of pod. Have you tried looking through WWM's Google search feature? It should help you!> Please help.<Hope this helps and good luck!> Sammy<Phil>

'Pods in all their splendor. <Hello, PF with you tonight> I have many questions and you have already answered many in the past. Thanks for all your help. I have a 90 gal tank with 90 lbs Kaelini rock and 2-3" fine sand bed setup on 1/10/03. (will be upgrading to 4+" with fine aragonite sand. I will be adding this directly to existing sand base with current inhabitants which is 1 coral beauty and asst. of Turbos, scarlet and red tip crabs. Is this ok to do and do I have to qt the sand?) About 1.5 months ago we noticed small white worms on the glass that at first looked like microbubbles but they definitely move on their own. We determined that they are beneficial we hope. About 2 weeks ago in my CPR 1800 gph overflow box I noticed what appeared to be 1 tiny Mysis shrimp that I feed the fish/inverts in there. I thought it was dead but it was definitely alive. Today when cleaning the sponge in my overflow there must have been 6 or 7 that I removed. They look like tiny white shrimp. I do not see them in the tank or sump. Are these creatures a problem? and this may sound crazy but can they or any other parasites be transmitted to humans? Thanks <These are amphipods and/or copepods. Handy dandy cleaners and a cheap source of fish food, nothing to worry about. As for parasites, the odds of catching parasites from a SW organism are much lower than FW. But, and it's a big one, watch out for infections from siphoning water (don't drink the water!) or from cuts on your hand. Wash your hands with a non-perfumed soap (and skip the anti-bacterial, all soap by it's very nature is anti-bacterial) before and after working in your tank. Use a clean towel to dry with, preferably one that you don't wash in soap and is strictly for the aquarium. I buy a pack of those cheapie clean up towels at Costco every year or so (my wife runs off with mine, hence the replacements). That way I'm sure I'm not introducing any detergents or softeners to the tank. Well that went a little far afield, but I think it answered your questions. Have a good night, PF>

Amphipods, Copepods, or Worms, oh my! - 7/31/03 Hello to everybody there, <Hello to you Travis> I have had my tank set up for a little less than a year. It's a pretty good system. The reason I'm writing is because today I noticed little pink colored bug or worm things. <Hmmm> They move real fast along the glass there is hundreds of them. <Fast is relative my friend. Sounds like some sort of copepod or amphipod, but maybe even some sort of Planaria or bristleworm. The possibilities are endless.> I didn't see them the other day. <Hmmm. Not unheard of but....probably there the whole time> They seem to be mating, with every match, one being a rose color and the other a real light pink? <Maybe sexual dimorphism. Interesting> Please try and search for me, I have a have come to the conclusion from one of your links dr. Smet (something) <Not familiar> that they are isopods and to remove everyone of these little creatures almost microscopic). <Nothing drastic here. No need to panic. Let's get a positive ID here first.> Please help me. I know there are thousands of species of small tank critters and most are good <Agreed> but some are blood suckers that will kill my fish. <Also agreed> I would send a picture but I would need a microscope attached to a camera. <That small, eh> Thanks, T P.S. if you really want a picture let me know and I will reply to your reply with an attachment. Till then I can Figure out a way to take a picture. <Please try to send a picture. Also, observe them. Really look at the behavior of the specimen. Are any attached to your fish? When are they most active? Do they seem to inhabit a particular area of your tank? Your best physical description and a picture as tight and focused on the subject as one can get. -Paul>

Parasites As Houseguests? Good Morning, <Hello! Scott F. with you today> I have an unusual situation which involves an unknown parasite... At first I thought they were pods, but not too sure now...This past weekend I purchased an additional 10lbs of cured rock for my 2 month old tank. Yesterday, I came home and found a swarm of pinhead size parasites swimming at the top of the tank... what's unusual about this is they disappear when I turn off the lights. They are quite small but appear to be white/opaque and/or reddish in color (in fact I noticed a red one attached to my Chromis) not sure if the lights in the tank are playing tricks on me. Anyway, my Yellow Tang appears to have white spots on his fins now (not sure if the ich is related to the parasites I just described), and unusually, my cleaner shrimp has been spending his whole time on the new live rock. I tested the water, and everything seems normal... water temp at 78degress... any thoughts what this might be? Andy Volkoff <Hmm.. Interesting situation, Andy. It's hard to say what the "pinhead-sized" creatures were...Maybe not parasites, but possibly some sort of small crustacean or worm? Possibly harmless, but hard to say from here. A picture would be very helpful...I think that the Ich on the tang may be coincidental. or not. If the rock came from a healthy, fish-less system, it seems unlikely, though not impossible for the Cryptocaryon parasite to be present...I'd keep a close eye on the tank for a while to see if any of the other fishes become ill... I'm glad that the cleaner shrimp seems "interested" in whatever is on that rock...You may need to resort to more drastic actions (such as letting the tank run "fallow", while treating the affected fishes elsewhere) if a widespread ich outbreak occurs. Otherwise, careful observation is your best ally right now...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F>

Amphipods on live rock - 9/05/03 Hello, Great website, I wish I would have found it sooner (have made lot's of mistakes). I just received about 30# of Florida Aquacultured Live Rock tonight. I put it my 75 gallon tank, where I plan to cure it (no fish). <fine> After about an hour of placing the rock in the tank I noticed tiny whitish, bug like creatures crawling on the rock. <likely amphipods> They look like little elongated aphids, or something. Are these mantis shrimp? <Not likely. More like natural lower food chain animals more inline with zooplankton. Check this out: http://www.nova.edu/ocean/jthomas/apod.html or http://www.museum.vic.gov.au/crust/amphigal.html> Will they overtake my tank? <they could...... and this is a great problem to have. They will eat detritus, algae, and leftover foodstuffs.> One more, unrelated question (sorry). I added couple of inches of crushed coral for my substrate. Was this a mistake if I plan on this eventually being a reef tank, should I take it all out and replace it with sand? <Well, sand is natural and ideal. I have a 3 inch crushed coral substrate bed myself. I have had it for three years with a low occurrence of nitrate spiking. What ever looks good to you.> Thanks in advance for your expertise, <Our pleasure to serve you. -Paul>

Small crustaceans of some sort Hi <Hello, Kevin here> I have noticed some critters on my tank that move like worms the back end looks like it is split and they are a light brown or beige color can they be shrimp <Likely amphipods, would need a picture for a positive ID.> I did add what appeared to be a peppermint shrimp carrying eggs before I noticed these critters <Peppermint shrimp youngans will swim around, where as pods will scoot and crawl around. I hope this helps! -Kevin> thanks Manny

Strange things going on Hi folks After my last bout of ich I am again fallowing tank this time for 2-3 mo.s maybe more. I'm in the third week and my copepod population is exploding, <Is one of the good byproducts of running a tank fallow.> all water parameters good, corals and other inverts doing well. My question regards the huge number of shrimp like creatures that appear when circulation is turned off. These are about 3-4 mm long very visible as shrimp and have a pinkish red head and I am seeing even larger molts in the tank. <Neat.> I have 1 skunk cleaner about 2 mo.s now and I had coral banded which I lost when I raised the temp to combat ich (I think I raised it too fast) could one of these have spawned? <A possibility... could also be something else. The lack of predators in the tank will make all sorts of things show up.> I also have found a turquoise colored ball looking thing on a rock that has several openings and about five anchor/tentacle looking things that appear to be holding it in place. It sort of has a lobular appearance and shrinks up when I squirt water at it. It's about 1/2 inch diameter. <Perhaps a tunicate.> And finally my orange Ricordea is splitting and has attached a foot to a piece of loose rock. Now this piece is dangling with rock in mid air. Do I wait till it falls off or cut it and super glue it down somewhere? <I'd wait, then mount it.> This Ricordea also has four mouths is that normal? <Hard to say what normal is sometimes. Captivity itself is abnormal.> thanks mark <Cheers, J -- >

Tiny Critters (shades of Don Ho) I have a 110 gallon tank I set up around New Year's day which just cycled (used live sand and only 10 pd.s of live uncured rock). I haven't added any fish yet am in the process of setting up a quarantine tank with some of the cycled water. There are some "critters" in the tank. Lots of very small (pin-size), white circular worm-like things on the glass and something that looked like a rolly polly (isopod?) that dug itself into the sand. Are these harmless or should I be worried? <You shouldn't be worried unless you see small bug-like invertebrates hanging from the sides of your fish. Most likely these bugs you saw were either Amphipods, Copepods, or Isopods. In this case, they're harmless> The aquarium store sold me uncured rock and said it would be ok for a starter tank and would help the cycling. Now I wonder if I introduced some things that I shouldn't have. I really enjoy reading your book! <I agree, Bob's book is very informative.> Thanks!!! <No problem. Take Care, Graham.> Elaine

Microcrustacean ID 4/6/04 I can't find any pictures that look like this "thing." And I don't know if it's a friend or foe... It reminds me of a shrimp because it's front legs are similar to that of a shrimp (or praying mantis). It is about 1/2 - 3/4 inches long, white, with a dark strip down it's back. The picture is as close as I could get and the drawing is really bad but will give you an idea as to how many legs it has and where they are placed. Thank you for your time. Patsy <its tough to say here, Patsy. The pic, although not clear, is helpful because the image alone looks like a harmless detritivore. But the creature in the image looks rather odd and not necessarily safe (a hint of isopod in the blur with dark eyes). Do look up parasitic isopods on our website and beyond to see if any resemble your creature. You might also send a description/picture to Dr. Ron Shimek at reefcentral.com (he has a forum). He's very informed about such micro-organisms. Anthony>

Isopod? Watch those fingers/hands :) 4/6/04 These little critters started showing up in my girlfriends' new 20g Saltwater tank. I have looked at other pics on the net and they resemble some sort of iso/cope-pod. <yes... good call: it does look like it may be an isopod. Did you happen to buy any Atlantic live rock? (sponges, macroalgae on rubble/rock, aquacultured live rock or live sand)... common sources. Be careful, if it turns out to be a parasitic isopod. They can pinch/bite you too!> I haven't been able to find out if they are parasitic and harmful. The tank is fairly new, and would like to fix the problem if it is one soon! I have been able to collect one specimen tonight with an eye dropper, but they are very fast, and easier to view in water of course. Sorry if the pics seem a little fuzzy. Thanks in advance! Steve <do bait for them at night with a piece of fish meat (thawed food fish) to see if we can get a better look/picture for correct ID. Kindly, Anthony>

'Pod ID?.....these are strange ones Hi Crew, <howdy> I've noticed a few little critters in the upper layer of my tank when the pumps are off... They are noticeable because they have quite a jerky swimming action, sort of like a little tiny jellyfish the best description is a white dot, with four "legs" each terminating in a white dot, but with the whole creature maybe 1-2mm (1/16 inch) in length. They swim by opening and then closing the legs/feet, to give a jerky swimming motion. Any guesses?? best regards, Bob (UK) <sounds like some sort of microcrustacean... plankters. All good :) Do reference it (without a picture we cannot) by delving into some marine science books... perhaps even utilize the line drawings in Martin Moe's wonderful old "Marine Aquarium Reference" or his "Handbook... Beginner to Breeder". Anthony Calfo>

Shrimp loss/bug appearance link? I couldn't find an answer to this question but sometimes my wife has accused me of not looking behind the orange juice. I recently lost a cleaner shrimp.. just up and died. I was not too concerned about that but I have very very small white things on the glass surface of my tank. There are many. The fish don't seem to be affected. I have a hippo and two clowns and a wrasse plus some crabs and another cleaner shrimp. No problems with any of the fish but concerned about the white bugs. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, David <It is extremely likely that the appearance of the "bugs" has little to do with the timing of your shrimp loss... perhaps the latter's passing contributed something nutrient-wise to the water... but the small crustaceans you are seeing are unrelated otherwise. Bob Fenner>

Re: Shrimp loss/bug appearance link? what are the small crustaceans and will they be a problem to the fish? Thanks again. <Don't know even to the Class w/o a good micro-pic... likely an amphipod or copepod... take a look with a magnifying glass... on the Net and these names as a reference. Bob Fenner>

Microcrustaceans (4/28/04) Thanks for the info on my salinity/SG. <My pleasure.> It seems to be leveled out at the moment. But, I have another dilemma. I've noticed that there are tons of little what look like baby shrimp crawling all over the tank. <Lucky you!> I'm assuming they came on my live rock, since I haven't put anything in there. Is this a bad thing? <No> If so, what should I do about it? I've read about a type of shrimp (Mantis) that are pests and was wondering if that's what these are. <NO. Mantis shrimp are big carnivores. Check for pix on WWM.> They are so little yet it's hard to tell. <They won't get much bigger. IF they crawl, these are most likely amphipods and/or copepods. If they swim, they're most likely Mysis. Great live food. Read more by searching these terms on WWM.> Any suggestions? <Don't worry. Be happy.> Thanks Jen <You're welcome. Steve Allen.>

Nitrites and little white bugs Hi Blundell! I have some general questions: << Hi. >> 1. I recently mixed a batch of artificial salt into purified water in a 7.7 gallon tank. No fish, no rock, no sand, no nothing. Just a power head. I've had it running for about a week and when I took the PH today it was at about 8.1 or so but the Nitrite level was .05! My question is what is causing it? << I'm guessing some very small impurities in the salt. But that is nothing to worry about. If you were to add one teaspoon of flake food to that tank and test the water in a week that number would be much much higher. >> There's nothing in the water to produce ammonia! Am I missing something? 2. I have a 20 gallon container that I am using to cure live rock in. I have an 800 gph power head circulating the water. It's been in there for 3 days and I am using natural sea water. << You are fortunate to have that resource. >> I took the Nitrite and, as expected, it is off the charts. I took the PH and it is at about 7.3 or so. Do I need to take steps to raise up the PH or do I concentrate on getting the Nitrite level to 0 first. << I'd change water. I think that will solve both areas during this cycling process. >> 3. Is there anything I can add to lower the Nitrite level more quickly in either established tanks? << Hmmm, not really. I think move live sand and rock always helps, and then just giving it time. >> 4. I am seeing what looks like little white bugs is the best description I can use for these little critters in my 24 gallon marine tank. They are on the glass. I have some live rock in there, a Clown Trigger, a small eel, a couple of damsel fish and two small anemones. What are these things and how can I get rid of them? << Oh don't get rid of them. Most likely copepods which are very beneficial to your system. You want as many odd little creatures as you can get in there. >> Thanks so much for all your help! Martin << Blundell >>

Shrimp? - Microcrustacean ID 1/7/06 Hi, <Howdy Liz.> I know a photo is the best way to go but these little creatures are too small. I have a SW tank with some live rock. I've noticed these very small (1mm - 2mm) grayish shrimp like creatures scurrying around all different parts of the water column in what look like groups of 25 - 40. They typically are active at night with the lights off. Any idea at all what they might be? <As you've expected, I can't give a definite ID. Many choices though I'd bet you're seeing Amphipods.> Also what creatures would eat them and keep population under control? <Many choices here also.> I currently have a Camel shrimp and 4 hermit crabs in a 55 gallon tank. <Start here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pericaridanfaqs.htm . Find out exactly what they are to help in fish selection. DON'T let someone tell you "Yeah, now you can get a Mandarin." These will wipeout such populations in days, then go on to starve to death, unless you take measures to keep a heavy population at all times. Many other choices you can make.> Thanks, Liz <You're welcome. - Josh> Killer Pods/Jaws IV 1/26/06 Hello, <Hi Dan> I just added a refugium with Chaeto to my 75 gal reef/fish tank about 3 months ago. The first thing that I did was get a piece of rock from a friend that had Mysis shrimp in it. Within about a month and a half my fuge was loaded with them as well as amphipods and many other types of pods and microcrustaceans. The other night, when the fuge lights came on, I watched for a while and noticed no Mysis shrimp zipping around like usual, also no amphipods or others. With a closer look I saw tons of a kind I have never seen before. They are a bit smaller than the size of a grain of rice and they are flat. They walk on about 10 hair thin legs and don't swim at all. They are whitish clear with a little bit of marking on their back... maybe faint brown. Then I saw two of them fighting and saw that they actually have pinchers like a praying mantis, or scorpion that fold in. I watched them eat a piece of flake food and observed them for a while. The only time I saw them use their pinchers was for fighting. Could these new pods have killed or eaten all of my others? <Sure sounds possible.> What should I do? <Dan, whatever they are they are definitely not pods of some kind because pods have six pair of legs and do not have pincers. To me ten legs suggests a decapod of some kind. Pretty hard to ID it without seeing it. I ran this by Dr. Adelaide Rhodes, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and she is more than willing to ID it. If you are interested, send a specimen in a small vial preserved in 70% alcohol to: Adelaide Rhodes School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences Box 355020 University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195 <Bob may or may not have read this, if he has he may have some input here also.> <<Nope>> Also, one more quick question, When I add Phytoplankton, does my skimmer take it out. Should I turn it off for a while after adding invert food? <Yes, it will remove some. I'd shut it down for an hour or so.> Thanks for any help, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Dan

OSTRACODS For Mr. Fenner: follow up regarding bugs/parasites - 03/07/2006 Hi Mr. Fenner, Just to let you know that I could finally ID the organism: they are ostracods. I found some info about them. Here is a link: http://www.gre.ac.uk/schools/nri/earth/ostracod/introduction.htm I could not find anything about them parasitizing corals so far. <Mmmm, I don't think this is likely... though there is an ever sliding scale twixt commensalism, mutualism parasitism, predation... and many intergradients> It seems they can even be a bonus for my mandarin. Although given the number of ostracods in the tank I think he may be ignoring them. I still don't get it why there is such a high concentration of ostracods on that torch coral thought... I guess I can only keep an eye on it. Please let me know if you have any idea or comments. Thanks! Dominique <Thank you for this update. I would leave these organisms be... much more likely to benign to beneficial... than harmful. Bob Fenner>

I'll take invert. ID for one thousand Alex 5/29/06 Hi. I have a 75 gal system with about 100 lb. of live rock. I have a lot of black pod clusters (8 to 10 in a cluster of 1/4 to 1/2 inch pods). <... very large for copepods...> They have multiplied a lot lately but I have no idea what they are and am having difficulty finding an applicable reference to them in your answered questions. These pods are jet black and quite hard. There are some on almost all of the rocks in our tank except the ones with large mushroom populations. What are they and are they detrimental to the health of my system? Thanks Bob <... Pods? What's that line from William Goldman's "Princess Bride"? "I do not think that word means what you think it does"... Do take the long read on WWM re invertebrate ID: http://wetwebmedia.com/non-vert.htm and the many linked files above... and send along a pic and better description if you'd like. Bob Fenner>

Marine Velvet...Copepod Invasion - 06/14/06 My tank currently has velvet and I have it under control and am letting it sit empty to cycle through. <<I assume you mean "velvet"...letting the tank sit fallow for 6-8 weeks is a good approach. I'm guessing you have had a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm >> But now I have an issue with little bug like creatures in my tank. I have looked in the pest control section of you site but could not find anything resembling these guys. These little white bug-like creatures are all over the glass. Each is about the size of the tip of a pen. <<Ahh...not pests...beneficial copepods. Do some reading here and among the associated links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/copepodfaqs.htm >> There appears to be hundreds of them all over the glass. <<Is a good thing>> At first I didn't think much of it and brushed them off of the glass, but now there seems to be little cockroach looking creatures about the size of a pin head crawling all over the rocks now. <<Likely amphipods...another beneficial (group of) organism(s). See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amphipodfaqs.htm >> I was just wondering what these things are. <<Beneficial crustaceans>> Is it possible that after I let my tank cycle the velvet problem out the fish will eat these creatures? <<Oh yes!>> Or what do can I do? <<Study and enjoy>> Does something need to be done? <<Nope...>> Thanks, Jonathan <<Quite welcome, EricR>>

Sea star and white bugs 6/31/05 Hi. Thanks for your reply to my starfish earlier this week. If you don't remember me, I have the 92 gallon saltwater tank, and a sandsifting sea star that won't go under the sand. He still has not went back under the sand, but is moving a few inches here or there. Well today I noticed there are thousands of white bugs crawling all over the glass in my aquarium. The live rock was quarantined and "cured" for 3 weeks in a 30 gallon trash can (don't laugh, it was much cheaper that way, and very easy). It has since been in my tank for 2 to 3 months. I just noticed these bugs, but they are EVERYWHERE on my glass. Could this be why the star is staying on top of the sand? <Yes, probably feeding on the pods.> Do they eat these bugs? <It's on their menu.> The bugs, which I have been reading on, could be copepods,<I'm sure they are pods.> but I'm not sure. They are tiny, white bugs. They crawl very quickly, have antennas, and what appears to be a tail? It is hard to tell exactly what they look like, for they are very small. Would my rock have already created these guys? <They were present in the rock.> Do I need to buy some fish to control them, like a mandarin fish? If so, by the time I quarantine him won't these bugs really be out of control?<Mandarins do enjoy the pods, and the more pods the merrier. Problem is that once the pods are gone the mandarin starves as they are difficult to acclimate to other foods.> Please help me, I have read all about copepods on your site, but don't feel satisfied that this is what is in my tank. I also checked another site trying to figure this out, and it said they may be parasitic, but I see no evidence of them on any of my fish. Do I already have something in my tank that preys on these things? To refresh your memory I have a 7" Regal Tang, 3" yellow tang, 2" and a 1" True Perculas, 2" yellowtail Damsel, 3" bicolor Pseudochromis, 2 Scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp, 2 sand sifting sea stars, 1 fancy red sea serpent star, lots of crabs and snails. Please help me, I was just sick at work today worrying my tank is going haywire!! It just ruins my day if I think something is wrong in there. Thanks so much for your wonderful site. I think you guys are the best out there. Sorry to be such a bother, too. Christy. <Christy, no need to worry. They are a very good food source and they will disappear shortly as some of the inhabitants will consume them. James (Salty Dog)>

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