Water Mites

Infamousnation

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May 27, 2018
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Hi this is my first post. I put some swords in a tank recently. I noticed an explosion of copecods, so I was observing them with a 10x lupe. I noticed a TON of what looked like ticks or spiders the size of copecods. Without magnification they just look like brown specs. I couldn't get a very good picture. They did not appear to be active like the copecods and gammerous shrimp.

Anyone know about what these things eat? I find them creepy, not at all cool like other inverts.
 

Allwissend

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Hi InfamousNation, welcome to the forum!

Small aquatic arthropods are notoriously difficult to differentiate down to genus level and depending on that they may feed upon crustaceans, insects, biofilm, algae or plants. I agree with you that they are very creepy looking especially seen under the microscope.

As general characteristics of Trombidiformes (mites) you will see 4 pairs of legs, no abdominal segmentations, legs with 6 segments and terminal claws.

Further key words to research : Hydracarina --- geek way to say water mite.

Small fish like tetras or Microrasbora will quickly feed upon your copepod and mite population.

Hope you have fun here. What types of tanks do you keep ?
 
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Tim Harrison

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I often get these at start up of a new scape, they're a source of free live food and eventually disappear after adding critters.
 

Acthnici

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I have a small Betta fish tank that I put a sword plant in two months ago. In the past month, the leaves slowly became translucent, starting at the edges and moving towards the stem. I noticed little brown specs as described. Do these mites normally kill the plants? I'm new to the tank thing as I have previously kept all my Bettas in bowls.