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Easy and safe way to get rid of water fleas etc.


ericshrimpspot
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Just wanted to share the method that I used to reduce the number of water fleas in one of my shrimp tanks. I never really had a problem with them hurting the shrimp and they are actually beneficial, but it got to the point that there were hundreds of thousands of them on the glass, and water changes/siphoning gravel wasn't helping much. So I got this idea and within two days I actually had to search the glass to find any fleas. I'm sure there is still a decent population in the gravel which helps breakdown organic waste, and by not using a chemical or med like fenbendazole, there isn't a massive die off hiding in the substrate giving off ammonia. I'm sure it's not a new idea, but I sewed a piece of screen into a funnel shape closed at one end, and put one of my smaller convicts cichlids in it. Put a piece of lettuce in to draw the water fleas in at night and it worked PERFECTLY with no lost shrimp. I'd assume this would work with any shrimp tank pest, as they exist more frequently in shrimp tanks due to lack of predators.

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Just wanted to share the method that I used to reduce the number of water fleas in one of my shrimp tanks. I never really had a problem with them hurting the shrimp and they are actually beneficial, but it got to the point that there were hundreds of thousands of them on the glass, and water changes/siphoning gravel wasn't helping much. So I got this idea and within two days I actually had to search the glass to find any fleas. I'm sure there is still a decent population in the gravel which helps breakdown organic waste, and by not using a chemical or med like fenbendazole, there isn't a massive die off hiding in the substrate giving off ammonia. I'm sure it's not a new idea, but I sewed a piece of screen into a funnel shape closed at one end, and put one of my smaller convicts cichlids in it. Put a piece of lettuce in to draw the water fleas in at night and it worked PERFECTLY with no lost shrimp. I'd assume this would work with any shrimp tank pest, as they exist more frequently in shrimp takes due to lack of predators.

That's a really good idea - could be altered a bit using plastic canvas etc - so long as the shrimp are not breeding and young shrimp present.  

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I love the idea. I would have to borrow a cichlid but the one tank with so many has tons of babies too. Do Cichlids do ok in the cool tank water? I know nothing about them.

 

I have thought about taking all the shrimp out, borrowing a cooler water predator for a weekend and letting them get fat while cleaning up the fleas and pond snails.

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I think any fish would do in the screen. Even goldfish and guppies would eat water fleas as they swim by. As for the baby shrimp it might be wise to either use a finer screen that the fleas can get through but the shrimplets can't or just take the chance that you may lose a few. For my pond snail issue in another tank I completely removed the shrimp and left a few yoyo loaches in the tank for a week or two. I've never seen another pond snail even though it is literally full of plants.

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I don't like to have any fish in my shrimp tanks. I personally think even "shrimp safe" fish will snatch up a baby shrimp if they have the opportunity. There really is only a couple absolutely safe fish to put in and they are strictly herbivores, like ottos and algae eaters. The problem is that while these fish may reduce the food available for pests, they also reduce the biofilm available to shrimp, and they will not eat water fleas etc.

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I don't like to have any fish in my shrimp tanks. I personally think even "shrimp safe" fish will snatch up a baby shrimp if they have the opportunity. There really is only a couple absolutely safe fish to put in and they are strictly herbivores, like ottos and algae eaters. The problem is that while these fish may reduce the food available for pests, they also reduce the biofilm available to shrimp, and they will not eat water fleas etc.

I agree - When I look at my algae covered tank sides, I sometimes have to use a magnifying glass to tell the difference between the baby shrimp and the water fleas so I doubt a fish would care about which mouth sized morsel to slurp up.

 

I have 2 bettas but I would have to remove all the shrimp and then up the temp to make it safe for a betta. I have thought about doing this though.

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Just wanted to give an update. After just a few days there are almost no water fleas in sight other than a few amongst the gravel. This tank didn't have much breeding going on in it, and I hadn't had new babies for about three months. I counted four or five berried and almost all the remaining females had saddles. Could be the weather change, but I find it more likely that a large number of water fleas stress the shrimp and contribute to slow breeding as well.

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This looks like something Han could make and market out of his small mesh stainless screen....if it's baby shrimp proof then it's good to go.  I have a school of Celestial Pearl Danios that are very predatory with detritus worms, etc. but I hate to catch them up after turning them loose in a shrimp tank.  I think this would solve my problem!!! 

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Han...they will go through your ss filter guards because I have caught them in a sieve from the hob water flow.

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