name that bug...

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by guinnessguy, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. guinnessguy

    guinnessguy

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    i was checking in on my tank today... all i have now is a coral banded a turbo snail and a pencil urchin. but anyway, i was checking in on them and i noticed these really TINY white specks, that appear to be thriving in my tank. they seem to hang out near the bottom half more towards the substrate. and they are small (maybe a millimeter in length, longer than they are wide.) the ones i can make out the details on look almost like a really tiny white bug, with a tiny head and a mini little thorax and some kind of short flagella like tail used for movement. i'm thinking maybe they are brineshrimp larvae?maybe? soo... what are these things...? i've tried to find mention of them in my saltwater books, but i cant get anything, so i figured id throw this up here and hope i don't look too dumb :rolleyes: any help of any kind is greatly truely appreciated. thanks!!
     
    guinnessguy, Aug 17, 2005
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  2. guinnessguy

    minireefer

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    What you are most likely seeing are Copepods and/or Amphipods. These are shrimp-like crustaceans that dwell in the substrate as adults, but during their larval and juvenile stages are most often free swimming.
    Because of the complex number of families, genera, and thousands of species contained within the Phylum Arthropoda > Class Crustacea > Subclass Copepoda, and Subclass Malacostraca > Order Amphipoda / Order Amphipoda groups , we are not going into detail about the taxonomy of these organisms, but here are some basic facts about these tiny crustaceans.
    There are both pelagic (free swimming), and benthic (bottom dwelling) bugs.
    Copepods occur in all types of aquatic ecosystems; freshwater, estuarine (brackish) and marine.
    Amphipods are mostly found in marine ecosystems, but there are some freshwater and terrestrial species.
    They are just a few of the tiny animal organisms that make up zooplankton, which contributes to the make up of plankton.
    These creatures eat phytoplankton (tiny plants and algae that also help make up plankton), small microzooplankton (the division of zooplankton that are smaller than 200 microns, or 1/127th of an inch in size), and detritus.
    Only a few of the thousands of species of copepods and amphipods known are carnivorous or parasitic, and these are rarely found in a saltwater aquarium system.
    For many saltwater fish and other marine species, copepods and amphipods are a primary food source, both in nature and in captivity.
    Because these tiny organisms are a natural part of the plankton food chain in the ocean realm, they are naturally going to occur in a saltwater aquarium environment. They are also micro-cultured as food for various species of adult marine animals, as well as used and tested as a food source in the research of culturing and rearing all kinds of tank-raised fry.
    Copepods and amphipods most often appear in closed aquarium systems after live sand and/or rock has been added.
     
    minireefer, Aug 17, 2005
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  3. guinnessguy

    guinnessguy

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    thx

    Thanks, Jasen. I used to think the copepod and its like were microscopic. ( I was obviously misinformed) Also, while checking out my new copepod colony, I noticed a single worm like thing crawling on my glass. It was about 3 or 4mm long, white, and it had very small but distinct segments or possibly spines..?? My first guess is bristleworms so I'm going to check my books and every bit I can find on the forum here. Is this a real problem? Or no big deal at all?

    <<nevermind... found an older post that is pretty much where im at now. worms/bugs = fishfood = happy fish. i love this forum>>
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2005
    guinnessguy, Aug 18, 2005
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