Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Freshwater (and Terrestrial) Crustaceans Identification

Related Articles: Forget Crawfish Pie, Let's Make a Crawfish Tank! By Gage Harford, Freshwater to Brackish Crabs by Bob Fenner, Terrestrial Hermit Crabs, Invertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks,

Related FAQs: FW Crustaceans 1, FW Crustaceans 2, FW Crustaceans 3, & SW: Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction, Freshwater Shrimp, FW Crabs, Terrestrial Hermit Crabs, & Marine Hermit ID, Hermit Behavior, Hermit Compatibility, Hermit Selection, Hermit Systems, Hermit Feeding, Hermit Reproduction, Hermit Disease/Health, & Crayfish FAQs, Crayfish 2, Crayfish ID, Crayfish Behavior, Crayfish Compatibility, Crayfish Selection, Crayfish Systems, Crayfish Feeding, Crayfish Disease, Crayfish Reproduction,

Is that a Scud missile?

freshwater bug id, please 3/10/11
I am curious about a ' bug' that I found in my aquarium. I have attached a photo and a video
<<Unfortunately RMF can't figure out how to load, link...>>
of them under 60x magnification. I have searched various keywords in Google and read about freshwater insects on your webpage but am not finding anything that looks or sounds like what I have.
This was found in a 70 gallon freshwater tank with a few plants, with a CO2 injector, an Aquaclear filter, with river rock as substrate, and 6 guppies, 2 small Bala sharks, 4 Otocinclus, and 5 killifish. I had a bad habit of over feeding and have been battling a Nitrate problem. I found the bugs when I transferred the fish to a new tank for a while and drained the tank.
I first thought they were fry until I scooped one up for a closer look. The bug is grayish, 1/4 inch? has two eyes, antennae, many legs, and a shrimp like tail. They curl their tail in and out like a crayfish or shrimp as they are moving about and seem to like to keep their tails curled in. If you crossed a sea monkey with a ghost shrimp, this is what it looks like to the naked eye.
Under 60x, they look more like a flea. Their bodies do not seem segmented in any way that I can tell, and I never saw them sticking to the sides of the glass (like in many other people's posts).
I am guessing that the fish would love to eat them and chances are, they are harmless. I don't think they look like mosquito larvae but I wanted to be sure. Mosquitoes love me too much for me to want them in my house. I also think it is unlikely, as it is Michigan and we are just being thawed out now.
I hope that the pic/video transferred to you ok, as it looks pretty cool. I had fun with my kids' play microscope!
<Hello Pam. It's a Gammarus or something very similar, an amphipod crustacean that works much like woodlice on land, eating decaying plant material. No risk at all to your fish, and yes, likely to be eaten by anything with a taste for crustaceans, such as loaches or puffers. Cheers, Neale.>

Hey I have really small sand like bugs 5/4/10
I caught crawdads from a lake in Oklahoma and then these sand like things with squiggly tail and a dot with 2 almost claw like baby crawdads appeared in my tank would you know what they are
<Could well be baby crayfish. Cheers, Neale.>

Creature, FW Crust. 2/20/2010
I have a 20L freshwater RCS tank,
<Red Cherry Shrimp>
planted with a medium grain substrate. Parameters are 0,0,0, GH 13-14, temp 78, using a sponge filter with a powerhead. There are pond snails present, in all stages of life. My two questions are:
1) There are small white worm-shaped creatures on the glass, some being around 0.3cm in length, others less than 1mm. I believe they are Planaria. They aren't increasing in numbers (stable if not decreasing), but I am curious if they are a problem?
<Not likely, no>
2) There are small crustaceans. They are around 0.5cm long, have visible legs (unknown number), and swim by straightening their bodies and using their legs as propulsion. they are translucent with a hint of gray, are seen constantly scavenging the bottom, and I have observed them fighting with one another (or possibly mating). Their numbers seem to be increasing.
I am worried because one of my RCS just bred, and these are smaller than the creatures I am describing. I don't want to lose my shrimp. Can you help identify these?
<W/o pix or a better description, no. They are likely one of a few possibilities... Gammarids, Amphipods... Please read here:
I tried to snap a picture but they are so small my camera can't keep focus on them. Should I be concerned, or should I just let nature take it's course?
<I would try to identify these last... they may call for removal to protect your RCS>
I think the larger shrimp will eventually begin to eat the worms and these things, but I am worried nonetheless.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Creature 2/20/10
Read the FAQ (and others) and I am convinced they are amphipods. The first and last pictures within the link you supplied are strikingly similar (if not identical) to what I am seeing. Amazing photos. If these are indeed it,
is vacuuming the way to go?
<Can be>
Downside to that is that there are baby RCS now, smaller than they, who will be lost, too. I could filter water with
pantyhose and try to save the good guys, I suppose. Any thoughts?
<Mmm, drastic, but you could remove the desirable crustaceans and chemically poison the others... But maybe taking a wait and see, live and let live approach here will prove to be satisfying>
And thank you! Your site has always been an invaluable resource to me!
<Ahh, welcome. BobF>

Re Creature, FW Crust. 2/20/2010
Just an update for Bob:
I found a neat way to remove the said amphipods. I took some airline tubing, zip-tied it to a steel rod of a similar diameter, and used that as a vacuum (of sorts) to selectively remove the amphipods.
The ultra-narrow diameter was just enough to suck them up, but not remove copious amounts of water in the process. The steel rod allowed focused targeting . Drained all into a bucket to ensure no loss of desired life, and I got 8 of the 10 I found in 15 minutes. Thanks again!
<Thank you for sharing your "killer tech." Brandon. BobF>

Crazily mis- over-stocked FW sys.... w/ induced prob.s... Crazy! Oh, and HH ID 7/23/09
I was wondering if you could help me out with my Freshwater tank problem.
<Am trying>
I have a 90 Gallon tank. which is home to 3 Aruwans, 3 Oscars, 2 Silver dollars, 1 clown knife fish and a Giant Pink Gaurami.
<Yeeikes! Way too crowded... and only going to get worse... All this, these animals won't live well or long in this small volume>
The tank has 1 External Filter , and two submerged filters, 2 air supply pumps. Gravel Substrate and two tank ornaments.
The water temperature is at a steady 78 deg and changed 25% every two weeks.
<I'd change this amount weekly>
About a week ago I've noticed a lot of tiny white bubble like creatures in the tank, very similar to tiny fish eggs. Now they seem to be moving around the tank and sometimes cling on to my Oscars. Yesterday my clown knife fish died unexpectedly ( No symptoms of being sick or hurt).
<Stress alone...>
These white creatures are now all over the gravel and some on the sides of my tank as well.(Photo attached)
can any one tell me 1).What are they? 2) How can i get rid of them?
<Small crustaceans of some sort... Perhaps Cladocerans... not harmful... Best to "be rid of them" by simple vacuuming, cleaning of the gravel... BUT, you need NOW to move, separate the life you list... READ re the needs of these species. They can't all live in a ninety. Bob Fenner>
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you

Re: mis- over-stocked FW induced prob.s 07/23/09
Thank you Bob Fenner for your advice I will try it.
<Ah, good>
Hopefully I will be able to write back "problem solved" Also I have just setup another tank so will be moving the Oscars out soon.
Thank you once again.
Vishwas Shetty
<Welcome my friend. BobF>

Goldfish Health\Water Fleas\ Lymphocystis 3/19/2009
<Hi Carolina>
We had have a fresh water tank for at least three years, recently we noted little bugs in the water.
<Likely Cladocerans or Daphnia (water fleas) They are usually harmless, although they can indicate that you are overfeeding. You can read more here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwcrustfaq4.htm>
One of our fancy gold fish (we have 2 in a 30 gal tank) has two white growths: one on its head, and the other on its body side. It does not look like cotton, but we treated against fungus with no results, it is not shiny but looks similar to cauliflower.
<Likely Lymphocystis, a viral disease in fresh and saltwater fish. There is no real treatment other than to keep your water quality up and letting the virus run its course. You can read more about it here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/virdislymphf.htm and here:
http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/management/Lawler_Lymphocystis.html >
If you can give me some advice I'd appreciate it.
<See above>
<You're Welcome>

Unidentified freshwater critters 12/14/08 Dear crew, Can you please help me identify these bugs that are running amok in my freshwater invertebrate tank (Red Cherry Shrimp and Melanoides sp.). I don't think they're parasites, they seem to eat whatever the shrimp eat and hang out a lot in the sponge filter and in the sand. They do swim in the water column and appear to have a pair of antennae when observed with a magnifying glass and measure maybe 1-2mm. I don't intend to try to eradicate them as they don't appear to do any harm, but I would like to know what these might be, just out of curiosity. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Evan <Evan, I can't really be certain from the photos you sent, but my assumption is that these are nothing more than copepods. They're completely harmless, and indeed edible, and should be taken by some of your fish, particularly anything that sifts the sediment (for example dwarf cichlids). Now, when invertebrates "run amok" in aquaria, it's often a good sign there's an excess of organic matter, i.e., food for them to eat. So cut back on the portions at dinner time! If need be, stop feeding altogether for a week, and the snails and shrimps will do just fine on algae alone. Otherwise, don't worry about them too much. Heck, if this was a marine reef tank, you'd be happy to see these chaps! Cheers, Neale.>

Black Pepper Size Critters in FW Tank - 7/2/08
Greetings from Georgia! <And reciprocal salutations for Hertfordshire!> We apologize is this is covered elsewhere on the site, as we found reference to white copepods, but not our 'bug.' Our 125 gallon community FW tank (1.002 salt) has been up 15 months. It has 2-3 inches of LFS gravel. <Ah, 1.002 definitely qualifies as "brackish" -- that's about 4-5 grammes of marine salt mix per litre of water, or about 10-15% the normal salinity of seawater. Great for livebearers, killifish, and other species that appreciate slightly saline conditions.> For the first time, upon vacuuming the gravel and changing water, our white buckets had 100's, perhaps 1000's of black (dark brown?) specks smaller than pepper grains moving furiously in the bottom of the siphoned water yesterday. I have never seen them before. <Likely only copepods, ostracods, aquatic insects or similar.> They seem to cling to larger detritus in the bottom of the bucket. Under a hand held magnifying glass, no visible legs, eyes, spots, antennae, stripes, etc turned up. Still looked like black pepper. Our fish are healthy; these are not on the fish that we can see. These are not visible in the tank. <OK.> They died pretty quickly in the sunlight in 2" of the water outside at 90 degrees F daytime temperature. <How mean!> What are they, are they harmful or good for the tank? <Harmless; indeed, somewhat beneficial as they will be helping to speed up the decay of detritus in the substrate, preventing anaerobic decay. They will also provide a certain amount of food for species that graze on or sift the substrate. If you have an excessive number of them, it likely implies that there's a lot of organic matter in the sediment, which implies you are either overfeeding your fish or under-cleaning the substrate. Either way, controlling the food supply will go a long way to restricting the population of these organisms.> Many thanks, Don <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Black Pepper Size Critters in FW Tank - 7/2/08
Many thanks, Neale, we appreciate your advice. <Most welcome!> I have visited your area years ago, I think it dates back to the Bronze Age; I visited after that! <I see!> Thanks for clarifying that we are indeed "brackish." We will watch the overfeeding. <Very good.> Your answer begs the question: Since we need (want?) the gravel substrate to anchor our many plastic plants (oxymoron?), the UGF is along for the ride and we don't see getting rid of the UGF, it does the job. <Quite; UGFs can work very well, provided their limitations aren't a problem for your particular set-up. Turned into a reverse-flow system by adding a canister filter to the mix instead of powerheads/airstones and you have one of the single best filtration systems around.> What is the thinnest we can go on depth of the gravel and still accomplish the UGF function? We understand too deep is bad (anaerobic dead spots), and too thin does not accomplish the mission. <I'd recommend 8 cm/3". Does of course depend on the grade of the gravel; finer gravel will provide more surface area per unit depth.> It would seem that vacuuming and cleaning are simplified with a minimal thickness of gravel. We operate two Aqua Clear 400 power heads (1 in each back corner), and also a Fluval 405 and a Fluval 305. Again this is a 125 gallon tank with no live plants, and approximately 50 community fish. The gravel is on a raised plastic tray. We remove plastic plants, caves, etc to gravel so there is never a dead spot due to a fixed decoration. <Ah, I suspect a reverse flow system is precisely what you need. All you do is connect the canister filter outlet to the inlet of the UG filter plate. So water gets filtered mechanically by the canister (removing silt and organic debris) and then pushed from underneath the filter plate up through the gravel into the tank. As it goes through the gravel, the ammonia and nitrite are removed. The really big advantage is that the gravel now becomes 'self-cleaning' because silt and debris can't settle into it; instead the upwards flow of water constantly cleans the gravel, pushing fine particles into the water column.> Thanks again for your time and efforts toward this fishy fun. Cheers, Don and Rosemary <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: the incurable itch, now unid'ed FW crustacean 9/2/05 Okay, I just seen something. I was feeding my fish and crawling on one of the apple snails was a bug, it looked like a common flea that you would find on a dog or cat. It was brown and big for an aquarium bug. I thought it was a bug that fell in my tank and was going to drowned but it just crawled around on the snail and it was carrying a little sac. It carried the sac some where near the snail's eye and then I lost track of it because the snail retracted into its shell, now comes the weirdest part. I think the bug crawled into my snails butt and is just sitting there because I can see a brown thing through the skin and I don't think it is poop because it isn't falling out. I am not 100% sure though. I just put the apple snails in the tank a few days ago and I KNOW they are healthy because they were born here in a 20g tank down stairs where they have lived without fish for several months. My step dad also has some of the snails including the mother in his 60g tank and I have never before seen anything like this bug in my tank. It is way too big for me to have missed crawling on one of my fish. Any ideas? <Is very likely one of many freshwater crustaceans. Very likely not harmful> It didn't look like fish lice, or fish fleas, it was way too big, it was like at least the size of the apostrophe on the keyboard. Oh yeah, also that is not a rock on the bottom it is bog wood. <I see, thank you> Again thanks for your help. I need it! I have to admit that I am sort of freaked out about this and I am feeling pretty down. I had high hopes about getting back into the hobby and was planning on adding either a few Kuhlis or some dwarf frogs to the tank but it seems like my tank will never be healthy. <Mmm, give it time... could be chemical/s leaching from the bog wood... try removing this for a few weeks, the carbon...> I have had problems right from the start despite all my efforts. I hope I can get through this with all my fish and my tank intact. <There is something likely very simple at play here... to be found, fixed in time. Bob Fenner>

Help me I've got fleas I have a 6 gallon fish tank with 4 fancy tailed guppies, a Chinese algae eater, and an ugly sucker fish of some sort. I do not know the name of the sucker fish, but believe that after I bought him and put him in my tank, is when the problem started. I have some sort of fast breeding crustaceans taking over my tank. I have broken my tank down and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned it on several occasions, but they keep coming back. They seem to start down in the gravel, then you can see them look like they are floating up to the top, just to swim back down. After a week or so, they will start up moving and down the walls of the tank, almost marching like an army. I have asked several pet stores and they sell me stuff to treat the fish with, even though I have tried to tell them that the fish are fine. The fish will not eat these things and these things do not attach themselves to the fish. I even dipped some out of these things out of the tank and took it to several places that sell fish. They don't have a clue what they are! I looked at 3 under a 5X's magnifying glass. They are light tan color, shaped like a football with black dots (I could not see any legs), and feel like a piece of sand. I hope you can help me with getting rid of these, because I really do enjoy having a fish tank. < I think you have a species of daphnia or water flea. Some small red species are edible to fish, but others are hard and fish do not like them. I suspect that your gravel or some live plants may be responsible. If you used a inexpensive natural sand then I think the local river bed may have contained some of these critters and it took them a little while to reproduce in the numbers you now see. The red ones feed on algae particles in the water. In fact some green water would be required to keep them alive. I have seen something similar to what you describe in with pond plants and duckweed all the time but I am not sure what they eat. Since you have such a small tank I would take the tank apart. Then I would wash the sand thoroughly in a five gallon bucket along with the decorations. Carefully add a cup of bleach and let everything soak. The water fleas should be floating to the top of the bucket dead. If not then add another 1/2 cup of bleach. If everything is dead then I would get some rubber gloves and wipe down the interior of the tank with the bleach mixture. Rinse everything good at least three times. Put everything back and check the chlorine levels in the water. Add a water conditioner to remove any remaining chlorine residue. Your tank has now been sterilized and you have no biological filtration so you will have to carefully watch the ammonia levels until your tank gets cycled again Don't add any of the water from the container with the fish. Pour the fish into a net and place them back in the tank.-Chuck>

Freshwater shrimp? Dear Crew, We have unfortunately had a small tragedy in our freshwater tank (240L, ph6.5-7, temp 75-77, nitrates 0, hardness 3-4)...in with our neon tetras (11), black widow tetras (6), Otos (5), Rams (3), Corys (6) we had had 5 "red claw shrimp". Now from the pictures on your site and on all of the other freshwater shrimp sites, they look like ghost shrimp, but are a reddish/orange color. We bought them from one of the LFS staff who lives in our area and breeds them in her tank. The biggest of these fellows is about 2 inches long, and the smallest about 1 inch. Until yesterday all was well (how can you tell there's going to be a but) but yesterday evening I noticed small red shrimp on its back, scrabbling a bit. I thought this was strange, so turned him over and moved him into a sheltered corner, he seemed to be struggling, so I wondered whether he was molting and turned off the tank lights to minimize stress and left him to it. This morning at work I have received an e-mail from home telling me that small red shrimp is no more. So now I have 2 questions, first of all, do you have any ideas what species these fellows might be? and secondly, what could have killed small red? his legs and claws looked strangely pale and he seemed sort of bunched up (cramp?) but apart from that we have no clue... Any suggestions would be useful, we want to prevent the same happening to the other 4. Thanks for your time. Nicola <Hey Nicola, sorry to hear about your shrimp. It is hard to get a positive ID without a good picture. The common ghost shrimp will not reach 2in. Take a look at the link below, is it one of these guys? http://www.calacademy.org/research/izg/SFBay2K/ghostshrimp.htm My first concern would be water quality. I would do a good water change, and add a poly filter to absorb metals and many other contaminants. Keep an eye on the other shrimp, if it starts happening to the others we will know that it was not a molting complication and can start troubleshooting from there. Let us know how it goes, Best of Luck, Gage.> Nicola Blay, BSc, MSc International Zoo Veterinary Group

Re: football shaped creatures I bought some live plants for my freshwater aquarium at the pet store some time ago. Some other stuff must have come along because pretty soon I had some snails. I also got hundreds of little "bugs". These things are barely visible. They scoot around in the tank. Under a microscope they look like little footballs. Their bodies open up like a clamshell and little hairs come out of the opening and propel them around in the water. <<Not sure exactly what they'd be but they are most likely harmless. I've heard of similar creatures in other tanks, most of the time they seem to go away on their own after a bit. You might use the Google search box at www.wetwebmedia.com to see if you can find anything similar. It is a good idea to fully quarantine any new plants just as you would new fish to prevent these types of things and also diseases from getting into your system.>> The only thing in my aquarium is a little African frog and some of the snails. The frog is fine, but the snails keep dying. I don't know if the little bug thingies are responsible for the high snail mortality rate, or if it's something else. Any ideas???? Russ <<I doubt these are causing the death of the snails. FW snails multiply very rapidly and I'm sure there is a lot more die-off than most people generally notice just because there are usually fish and other distractions in the tank. I wouldn't worry too much about it unless it is causing problems in your ammonia/nitrite levels. Ronni>>
Re: football shaped creatures After a little more research I discovered that these things must be some kind if ostracod. <Yes! Nice pic!> They look like this except their shape is more like a football. Supposedly they eat algae. I couldn't find anything that said they were harmful to snails. <No, they're (ostracod crustaceans) aren't> So these little guys seem to be thriving but even though I change over 50% of the water every two weeks my snails keep dying?? <I would check the difference between your new and old water and store and match their characteristics before using. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm Bob Fenner>

Shrimp/Crayfish As a Valentine's Day gift for my two sons, my husband purchased two African Clawed Frogs, while the man at the pet store was trying to catch the albino frog, he came across a little guy my oldest son likes to call "Pincher." He gave him to us for free since he wasn't sure what he was. I think he's either a shrimp or crayfish of some kind. How do you tell the difference between the two? He's about 1 inch long with two pinchers and a grayish/brown color and a flat fan like tail. I would greatly appreciate your answer. Thank you. Susan <Hi Susan, generally crayfish are larger than shrimp. It's hard to say without a picture. Does it look like any of these: http://www.thekrib.com/Fish/Shrimp/ Regards, Gage>

Shrimp/Crayfish I am going to try and get a picture sent to you of "Pincher". <Awesome> I looked at the site you sent and couldn't find any one shrimp that looked enough like him, they all resembled him but not enough for me to say he's a shrimp. The only other way I can describe him is he likes to hoard food, he at first didn't mind the African Clawed Frogs but then suddenly started to chase them around and even pinched off some of the little albino frogs toes. <Maybe a crayfish, they are pretty aggressive.> He has dug himself a little home in the gravel under a decoration in the tank. I know this probably doesn't help you much more, so like I said I'm going to try to get a picture sent to you. Thanks for all your help. <In my experience freshwater shrimp will usually do their best to hide and avoid confrontation with anything and everything. This sounds like a crayfish to me, I named mine "fish pinchin' crawdad" I'm working on a country song about him. A picture would be great. Regards, Gage> Susan

Mystery Shrimp - Fun with Freshwater Inverts Hey all, <Hey, Chris> I have a rather odd hitchhiker that came with my bumblebee shrimp today. It's about the size of a large ghost shrimp, it's pincer arms are about as long as it's body <This alone screams "Macrobrachium!" Now, Macrobrachium *what* is the question.> and are sort of banded in alternating pale red and grayish-black. LFS said it'd snuck in with the bumblebee shipment and hadn't injured/killed any of the bumblebees in the couple weeks it had been in their tank at the store, but they're not sure what it is. <Fun!> Well, due to various chaos today involving having to return/exchange the tank I got for Xmas (Marineland 10gs apparently have different dimensions than All-Glass 10gs), having to take relatives to the zoo for their annual Zoo Lights event, discovering I either need to buy an adaptor for the power cord and/or change the outlet the tank was going to be plugged into, my new 10g didn't get set up like I'd planned it to be. <Boy, when things go wrong!> So, for the night, the bumblebees (and unknown) all got placed in a 1 gallon tank with an airstone and some algae wafer bits. A short time later, both my sister and myself observed this unknown shrimp would wander the perimeter of the tank trying to pinch the tails of all the bumblebees (who'd jump out of the way). <Oh yes. Macrobrachium shrimps almost all are aggressive meat eaters. Fish, shrimp, anything that holds still long enough to be nabbed, are all at risk.> So the unknown got moved to a separate 1g, where he's mostly watching the bumblebees in the tank next door. <Dreaming of snacking, I'm sure.> (The bumblebees now appear much happier, munching away on the algae wafer and exploring instead of sitting in groups along the walls) <Probably feeling a touch safer, now that they're not potential meals!> So, can anyone ID this critter? <Your photos are quite unclear (no offense, just an observation) and therefore very difficult to tell anything for sure.... is it possible to get him into a position against a solid background? It'd be especially nice to be able to see his first pair of legs, their shape, color, etc. From what you've given me, the best rough guess I can give you is Macrobrachium japonicum.> I'm probably going to try and take him back, unless someone can convince me he'd be better behaved in the 10g with the bumblebees (and future fish inhabitants) rather than how he acted when stuffed into a 1g with them. <I would not expect him to change his ill manners, not at all. But it certainly might be fun to hang on to him in his own tank, see what he grows up to be! I'm sure he'll worm his way into your heart, even with an unbeatable appetite and a bit of a bad disposition.> I'm hazarding a guess it's some kind of Macrobrachium, perhaps? <Almost definitely.> The object it's sitting on in the photos is an airstone if that helps with scale at all. Given the day it's been, you're probably going to tell me I just got a future 5" monster shrimp that eats fish or something ;) <Well.... ;) I do believe you're reading my mind! I'm not at all certain on his ultimate size, though. I'd guess somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of inches. Small fish would likely be at risk, and small shrimp, as you've observed, certainly aren't safe. But again - don't give up on him just yet! He may prove to be an endearing little dude, well deserving of his own tank. Give him a chance, if you can.> Thanks again for any help you're able to provide, Chris <You betcha.> --Addendum-- A friend located this photo that sort of looks like the unknown shrimp: http://www.shrimpcrabsandcrayfish.co.uk/Shrimp.htm?Longarm.htm~mainFrame (scroll down to Striped-Hand Prawn and click on the image). Although this site's photo is a bit redder than the one I have appears. <This picture looks very much like Macrobrachium japonicum to me.> And it seems to be the only site on the internet that uses the name Striped-Hand Prawn (aren't common names fun to deal with?) <Ugh. I think the world would be a far less confusing place if we simply scrapped ALL common names. *sigh*> Also, I already checked through the photos at http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.html#GroÃarmgarnelen to try and ID it with no luck (Remembered the site from when it was pointed out to me in the forums by vintage_fish <Hey, that's me! ;) > several weeks ago in regards to a different species) <Try this one: http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.cgi?action=show&artNo=220 . Do please look very closely at the faint striping on the legs (I bet this is a juvenile or young female) and compare with your shrimp. Also, try a Google search on Macrobrachium japonicum and check out some of the pics that come up. If at all possible, try to get a clearer pic on a plain (perhaps black) background. In any case, a fun little fellah to find out more about, if you can spare a tank for him! Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Mystery Shrimp - Fun with Freshwater Inverts - II Hi Sabrina, thought you might get that e-mail ;) <It strikes me that there simply aren't that many shrimp-obsessed people around.... *sigh*> Thanks for the help, I think you may be right with the species, maybe this one just hasn't gotten its full color yet since it lacks the markings along its sides. I located this site: http://www.aquajapan.com/encyc/shrimp/palaemonidae/macrobrachium/japonicum_e.html <I've seen that one, hoped you'd Google the name and find it - glad you did> That has two pictures of females, the lower one reminds me a little more of what mine is. I'll try to get a better photo sent in (or posted in the forums) soon, still trying to figure out proper fish photography with a digital camera (best results so far have been with tank light off and flash on in that 1g). <"I feel your pain" - my shrimp photos are currently far worse than yours, so don't feel bad, not at all!> The bumblebees are now in the 10g (blending in with the Fluorite), <They are goo at that.> I was going to try reintroducing the bully in the 10g after a few days (and after I add some rockwork for hiding spots) but given this info, I'll just keep him in the 1g while I figure out what to do with him. <A good plan. Surely you've got room for a smallish tank somewhere? He'd probably be fine in the 1g for a while.> LFS has informed me their return policy on livestock only applies to dead livestock. < .... That's simply insane. And stupid. And insane. So, let me see if I've got this right.... They won't take it back and sell it, but if you kill it and bring it in, they'll refund you? That's.... Insane.> Happily, one of the other Aquamaniacs moderators has offered it a home if I don't/can't keep it, since she has two "shrimpzillas" already that she was sold as ghost shrimp (she thinks she's narrowed down the ID of hers to either Indian or Thailand prawns). <Heh, if it weren't that shipping costs suck, I'd gladly offer the li'l guy a home. Do consider keeping him, I think you'd have fun learning about him. The larger, aggressive shrimps can have a lot of personality (or seem to, if you're a shrimp nut like me!).> Thanks again for the help, Chris <Any time. Wishing you and your shrimpums well, -Sabrina>
Bugs in the water 4/29/08
As my friend looked into my tank tonight she asked me what was in the tank. I told her it was just water junk because I had pulled the filter cartridge out for an ick treatment. I was wrong. There are a whole bunch of small bugs at the bottom of the tank. We have not added anything into the tank recently. I had emailed your website a while back with questions about some problems we had with our mollies. It was suggested to change the water and to use a section of a hose to siphon it out, because we were low on money and couldn't buy one. We happened to have a hose we were going to get rid of and cut a section of it out to use. I would imagine these bugs came from the house and are quite happy living in our tank. I don't have a clue if the fish are being affected or what they are. They are a very very light tan color. The only thing i can describe them as is a round little bug. It appears as if there are quite a few of them now. I would love and advice on what to do! Thank you!! -Tara <Mmm... need a better description... likely this/these are either aquatic insects or some sort of crustacean. Might be harmless, might not be. Bob Fenner>
Re: bugs in water 4/30/08 I was able to get some decent photos of the tiny little bugs in our tank. I also took a video of the tank and you can see them swimming around. <Neat... do have a rather definitive type of locomotion...> They seem to stay near the bottom of the tank and crawl on the rocks more than swimming. I hope the video but I am not able to attach it to this email, if you would like to view it let me know and I'll try to post it online somewhere. <Try You-Tube...> I cropped the pictures to reduce their size and show only the bugs. Thank you!-Tara Tara Hendricks <This/these are very likely Ostracods... Seed Shrimp... harmless, and quite interesting. Bob Fenner>

Re: bugs in water, FW Ostracods, video 5/1/08 I haven't been able to see them close enough to see how they are moving. It almost looks like they glide across the rocks and when they do swim in the water, I can't tell how. I got the video uploaded. It isn't that great, trying to capture tiny things, in water, through glass, isn't too easy. They are the small dots that kind of randomly appear. I'd find one that was moving and it would be gone before I knew it. Sorry I was moving a lot, I was trying to find a spot where they were most active. You definitely can't see them up close but you can see them in the water a few times. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edq-K70Etdc Tara Hendricks <Makes one appreciate the "nature shows" doing such work eh?! Thank you, BobF>

George in Greece... worms, copepod... ID 03/16/08 Dear Bob, As you can see in the photo there are two types of worms and one type of copepod (freshwater). <Can barely make these out> We are extremely interested in finding out the following: a) species and if not, genus or even family. b) are they harmful to fish (esp. fry) Your response will be greatly appreciated. George & Marina <The blue thing is obviously some sort of dipteran larva; the red things perhaps small oligochaetes, but it's difficult to say. In either case they're fish food rather than a problem! Fish fry *might* be harmed -- I've lost baby Corydoras to planarians, for example. But I suspect that the usual problem is that if the water (or substrate) are "dirty" (bacteria-laden) enough to support these small life forms, newly-hatched fish are at greater risk of fungal infections. So in my case at least, the planarians didn't kill the Corydoras fry, but simply attacked the moribund ones. That'd be my guess, anyway. Cheers, Neale>

There is something living in my Betta's tank 8/4/07 I have a Betta (over a year old). When doing a partial water change a few weeks ago I noticed very small black specks floating on the surface. Last night when feed my Betta I saw these little specks moving about on his rock and on the gravel below. There must be hundreds of them. I removed the Betta from his tank as a precaution. The local fish store doesn't know what these specks are. The fish seems fine, just a little irritated at getting moved out of his home. The tank has gravel, a plastic rock to hide in and a plant that grew from a bulb. Any ideas as to who the new neighbors are and should I be concerned about them? Thank you for you help. <Mmm, well... could be a number of types of life... worms, crustaceans of sorts... but not likely deleterious/harmful. A photo (micro) graph or loupe examination will likely get you to the phyla level in ID. You could bleach/destroy these (see WWM re), but I would likely ignore them. Bob Fenner>

Re: There is something living in my Betta's tank 8/5/07 Hi, <Hello again> Thanks for getting back to me. This morning I had to take our 4 legged pet to our vet, and while I was there I asked if she could put one of the little critters under a microscope and see what these specks looked like. She had not seen them before but they appear to be an oval crustacean. A first, it was just a brown/tan oval covered with hairs/cilia. When we continued to look, it would open up very quickly like a bi-valve or clam. <Ah, very likely an Ostracod... aka seed shrimp... See Google images re> Maybe it uses this action for movement, like a scallop?? We came to a similar conclusion as you, that it was harmless. Perhaps they have been in the tank along time, but with the warmer temps, their population exploded and they became obvious. Meanwhile, "Cosmo Bubbles Wong" has been returned to his freshly cleaned tank, and is once again happy. Thank you for your help, You know us fish mom's, we worry over everything. Susan <A pleasure to assist you. Bob Fenner>

Re: There is something living in my Betta's tank 8/6/07 Yep, it's an Ostracod! Fascinating little creatures. Thanks again. <Ahh! What a planet eh? Thank you! BobF>

Is this an isopod? 4/6/07 Dear Crew Members, <Deborah> I've spent the last few hours on WetWebMedia trying to find an answer to this question with no clear answers so, I'm once again turning to the crew. The filter on my 15GAL Fresh Water tank gave out last month and, while disposing of it, I noticed some little critters attached to the BIO-wheel. They looked very similar to isopods. <Yes> Since I didn't see any more, I forgot all about it. Today, I was doing a water change and saw multiple shells (possibly exoskeletons) from these same little creatures inside the tank. They all appeared to be dead but, they had gotten under the lip of the tank and into the light casing leaving remnants behind. All of my fish look great and none have anything attached to them. I'm attaching a couple of pictures in hopes that you can tell me what these are. Are they an infestation? <Mmm... I actually doubt it/this... as you would very likely see a more than decimation of your fish population... chew marks et al.> If so, how do I get rid of them? Either way, how are they normally introduced to the tank? Any help will be greatly appreciated, as always. Thanks, Deborah (tank rat) <These may be isopods... but more like "Wood Lice/Louse"... just having a drink so to speak... See Google with the term, "Freshwater Isopods"... and look at the images... Bob Fenner>

Re: Zoa and Amphipod Problems... Unrelated 3/21/07 Hello Mich I'm back again.. <Doug, it's been so long, what 24 hours, maybe more! Hee!> I'm seeing something very similar in my freshwater planted tanks as well.. They look similar to the ones in my SW tank just smaller.. Maybe .125" compared to .2-.4" in my SW tank.. These fw ones will eat pellets, cutup shrimp and catfish fillets.. They also like to rip moss to shreds.. This pic is of one tearing the fronds off of a piece of moss.. A friend took this pic.. <WOW! A great macro shot!> Are they similar? <Likely so.> Do you think there is a chance that the SW ones might eat meatier foods like the fw ones do? <Yes, they are detritivores... eat waste... dead foods, not living corals, thought they may appear to be as they will stealing food and cleaning waste from corals.> Thank you in advance for any info.. <You're welcome! -Mich> Doug Again I'm attaching a link to the pic because I don't know how to resize.. http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c306/fishnfst/gammashrimppic-1.jpg <This is a fine option. And again a wonderful photo, kudos to your friend!>

A Gammarid beauty!

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: