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parasites in 5 gal tank?

Posted by macman CA (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 26, 05 at 1:57

i recently bought an electric blue crayfish and was forced to put it in a new tank. its in a 5 gal glass tank right now (by itself) until it outgrows it. last night i noticed that there were small white spots flicking around the tank which i, at first, thought were baby crayfish (altho far too small). some of these tiny white bugs looked like they had they crayfish type tail; an oval body and a heart shaped "tail", while others looked like what can best be described as what sperm looks like under a microscope (white body, thin tail). i also noticed some very minute worms on the walls of the aquarium. they're about as thick as a strand of hair, only about 1mm or so long, and pink/red in color.
my main concern is if these are parasites or not and if they are, can they be harmfull to crayfish. i bought some elodea which i put in the tank brefly (2 days), but had to take out cause they looked like they were dying. im wondering if this may not have been the mode of introduction of these pests into the tank.
my other main concern is that i have a crayfish in the tank, and that most medicines attack invertebrates and would kill the crayfish as well. i've heard of using salt water (im assuming not table salt) to avoid any such problems, but i have ZERO experience with that, and would be afraid of doing damage.
i am planning to do a water change tomorrow- probably about 50-70% (altho i might do 100% change).

any advice would be greatly apreciated. thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: parasites in 5 gal tank?

Sounds like a couple things. The elodea(anacharis) you added probably had pond snails or pond snail eggs on them. They are harmless and actually help to remove algae somewhat.They do multiply rapidly but usually are balanced with food supply(algae). In a larger tank most loaches do a great job at keeping them at low numbers, almost non-exisant.However a 5 gallon is no place for them as the smallest variety grows to about 5" (I think). If they start to over populate place a piece of wilted lettuce in the tank , weigh it down with a rock, at night. In the morning throw it out with the attached snails. If necessary repeat.The other "sperm" looking things sound like planaria worms that develop from "meat" type fish food. They are harmless and annoying . possibility is over feeding of theese "live" foods, freeze dried or frozen. If you got the elodea from a pond their could be mosquito larva also (blood worms). Do a yahoo search on hees things to see if they look like what you have. If you have not cycled the 5 gal. do not remove more than 25% of the water. Do you have filtration? The elodea is good to have to help awith any ammonia that may be present.Try not to use any medication until you have correctly diagnossed. Some medications areharmful to i nvertabraes especially ones with copper in them.

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