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View Full Version : A swarm of crawling sand particles - help!



jmai86
08-10-2007, 06:54 AM
I just noticed a massive swarm of what looks like whitish crawling sand particles. Now, sand is not alive, so I have deducted through powers of reasoning that they must be live organisms!

It's covered in colony spots half of my 30g single flowerhorn tank, and there can be seen some crawling on the glass.

I did some research and I think they might be planaria, but these don't look like worms.. so I'm not sure.

The flowerhorn looks to be in normal behavior so I don't think it's harming her..

Any help is appreciated!

Dave66
08-10-2007, 07:02 AM
I just noticed a massive swarm of what looks like whitish crawling sand particles. Now, sand is not alive, so I have deducted through powers of reasoning that they must be live organisms!

It's covered in colony spots half of my 30g single flowerhorn tank, and there can be seen some crawling on the glass.

I did some research and I think they might be planaria, but these don't look like worms.. so I'm not sure.

The flowerhorn looks to be in normal behavior so I don't think it's harming her..

Any help is appreciated!
Those are copepods; tiny crustaceans which appear when the fish are overfed and nutrient levels are high. They are detritus eaters, and are harmless. Usually benthic fish eat them, and if you see fish picking at plant leaves, that's what they are after.

Dave

jmai86
08-10-2007, 07:40 AM
Thanks alot for the info, so should they just disappear soon if I cut down on the feeding and do some gravel cleaning?

Dave66
08-10-2007, 09:33 AM
Feed smaller portions two or three times a day and the 'problem' will solve itself; vacuuming them isn't necessary. The 'pods will reach equalibrium, and its unlikely you'll see more than a couple time to time. Feed no more than the fish consumes in a couple minutes. All larger established planted aquariums have 'pods; most aquarists don't see them as the fish eat the visible ones.
By the way, if you've a magnifying glass, the common benthic copepods look like odd horseshoe crabs.
Dave