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Critter night??

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sharkbaitx2

Active member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
38
Location
Federal Way, WA
It seems to be the night for questions re: identifying hitchhikers. I discovered my own today with the appearance of a multitude of tiny white or near transparent ones crawling over my LR and LS. It appears that they've got 8 legs and 2 antennae and at approx. 1/8" - makes it hard to see, not to mention counting legs. They're appearance doesn't bother me as much as the apparent "egg sacks?" hanging from LR in various places. These "sacks" may extend downward as much as a 1/2 " and seem to be plentiful. The 55 gal is in its 5th week of waiting for the initial cycle - will it ever occur?- . Ammonia, nitrate and nitrite are all zero with a good ph. I've haven't read anything about these critters and I'm concerned if the sacs break and the tank is filled with these guys. Any ideas?
 

cookiemn

Chicago bound!!!
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
226
Location
Kirkland
If they look like fleas, I beliee those are anthropods (I hope I spelled that correctly). I have them all over my tank. They are scavengers as well as food for some fish.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
I think cookiemn hit it on the head. Sounds like it could be an amphipod. There are so many tiny critters living in Live Rock that it is hard to ID on description. More times than not, they are great detrivores to the system. As far as the egg sacs go, do you have any snails yet? Some snails leave eggs that appear as little white circles on glass, while other types leave long strings of them. Is it possible to get a picture of the "egg sacs"?

Now, I'll overload you with pod links...lol I hope you find some of these beneficial!

Here is a pic of an amphipod taken from Hitchhiker FAQ Rock and Surface page


OK - I'm having trouble with the links, so what you'll have to do is on the amphipod page, CLICK on the MAIN MENU to see the different types of pods. For some reason the url is the same for the different pods and it just brings it back to the amphipod page. :(
Amphipods

The Infamous Detrivore

Pills, Parasites, and Predators: Isopods in the Reef Aquarium

Copepods and Ostracods
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Charlie, populations of pods will grow, then when the food source becomes short in supply, the population will die back, and grow and die back....I don't think there would ever be too many. However, the one type of Isopod (Cirolanids, I believe) can be predatory on fish and inverts....so you really wouldn't want a large number of these in your system.
 

sharkbaitx2

Active member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
38
Location
Federal Way, WA
Thanks for the overload of info. I've tried to attach a photo of the "sac". Its about 3/8" long by only 1/8" wide in the center of the photo hanging from the LR. All in all they sound benign. Any suggestions for livestock that would enjoy this foodsource? In a 55 gal with 10 gal sump and the only inhabitants being a damsel and 1 shrimp.
 

MCSInc

Reef Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
259
Location
Sedro Woolley, WA
Abundant pods?

If you had an unlimited supply you could have a Mandrian. But unlimited would be the key word because without them he would probably starve.

I have a scooter blenney in my 30 gal and the pods are extinct.?. No luck in the 100 gal either since the fish in there like them also. BUT Jud got my refugiem up and running yesterday and I am hoping they can multiply in there where no one can get to them. Also we put a natural overflow on it so a few will get pulled into the 100 gal without having to go through a pump to help keep it reseeded.

MCSInc~Candy
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Sharkbaitx2, did you have trouble attaching the photo?...I'd love to see it.

Candy - Good point on having a refugium....providing a place for the pods to propagate in - be sure to include little rubble piles. You are exactly right about Mandarins starving without a continued pod supply...unless you can teach them to eat. Personally, I don't think a mandarin should be in a tank smaller than 100 gallons, especially without a refugium or being mature. Just something to keep in mind...it doesn't mean it hasn't been done before.
 

sharkbaitx2

Active member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
38
Location
Federal Way, WA
Amphipod sac photo ???

O.K. Nikki,
I think that I've figured out the technical stuff now. Here's that photo that I took earlier of that 1/2" white sac. It is the largest and the most developed but there are several smaller ones nearby. The base appears to be split slightly. Thanks for all the photos from Hitchhiker FAQ - and yes there ARE snails running hither and yon about the tank. Egg casing ??
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Sharkbaitx2 - LOL - Sorry about the information overload...I'm really good at it...lol. Anyway, the picture isn't clear enough for a definate ID, but here is what I'm thinking. What you have seems to be a sponge. Since your tank is only 5 weeks old, it will be full of nutrients the sponge is feeding off of (they are filter feeders)- which explains why you are seeing a few developing. When you look at it, does it seem sponge like? To me, it looks as though there are cilia at the tip? Here is a link to a picture of a sponge...it isn't the one you have, but I think you will get the general idea. If you think it is still an egg sac of some sort - do you think you could pull it out and take a photo of it?

Encyclopedia of Marine Life
Click on the sponge picture (top left) then scroll down in the left column and click on:
Scypha Ciliata - 8th one down
I'm not saying this is the sponge - just using it as reference
 

ScottT1980

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
129
Location
Raleigh, NC
Agree with Nikki 100%, sponge... I have these in many dark areas in my tank, overflow, plumbing, etc...

Take er easy
Scott T.
 

Curtswearing

Mantisfreak
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
2,203
Location
St. Louis, MO
I have some of these occassionally in my sump. Their populations seem to wax and wane depending on the amount of nutrients in my tank. Great post Nikki!!!
 
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