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Urgent help please, bug infestation?

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28 Jun 2022
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What the heck is this? I’ve never personally seen an algae like this. It appeared a few days after increasing lighting on my aquasky by about 10%. Unfortunately I have to have a lot of things floating right now as I only have temporary setups in totes as I’ll be moving in the near future. My light is still less than 50% on what isn’t a super high output fixture in the first place. It’s also about 8” above the setup.

It’s newly cycled so still getting settled. Parameters are good and it gets ferts.

This stuff appeared seemingly overnight and spread very quick. I had diatoms too, but cleaned them up a week ago and not sure if they’re still gonna be an issue. There are Buce in here that are still iffy on whether or not they’re gonna survive or not so I want to keep them clean of algae and I also don’t want to be always disturbing them cleaning their leaves.

Any suggestions?

This is about a 5 gallon shallow tote with one Betta in it. I was gonna order some otos to clean it up, but they like groups and I didn’t want to add too much bio-load. However, I could order a group and let them clean and then move them to a bigger tote I have with some cherry shrimp.

I have heard about hillstream loaches as an alternative to otos as you can keep them singly. Are they as good of an algae eater though?

The cherries can’t go in there as I tried that experiment and the Betta harasses even the bigger ones. Can’t really try Amanos as the size you buy them at is too small. The Betta probably wouldn’t bother a full sized one.

Could do a pleco, but they’re more picky on what they want to eat.

I’m trying to out compete the algae with good growth of course, but since it’s a new setup it’s hard to know I just need to wait it out or not or I need to cut lighting down. If I cut lighting down too soon other growth could be hindered.

Any thoughts welcome

After posting on a couple FB groups nobody knew what it was. Disconcerting that some very experienced people never experienced it.

After that I continued to dig and this is as close as I could find to the problem, but alas no solution as it seems to happen more in aquaponics and I’m not positive it’s the same thing.

A couple things make me doubt it a bit.

-no moths in my apartment and that’s what lays these

-they are also in my other tote, but on the black airline tubing where they show up a lighter brown and not black

Otherwise though they look pretty close.

Here is the Reddit thread on the Lead Miners


I’ll include a pic of my plants.
EE7CF064-9DC1-4E39-86CD-72B64B61386D.jpeg
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I’ll include a pic of my plants.
Those are the tubes made by <"non-biting (Chironomid) midge larvae">. They might be "Blood worms", but are often other Midge larvae that are clear and don't contain any haemoglobin.

tubeworm.jpg


Could we have a full-tank shot of the plants?
This is about a 5 gallon shallow tote with one Betta in it.
Small, even for a Betta, and you can't add any more fish and particularly not sensitive ones like Otocinclus spp.
I have heard about hillstream loaches as an alternative to otos as you can keep them singly. Are they as good of an algae eater though?
About as unsuitable as is possible. Have a look at <"Glide">
The cherries can’t go in there as I tried that experiment and the Betta harasses even the bigger ones. Can’t really try Amanos as the size you buy them at is too small. The Betta probably wouldn’t bother a full sized one.

Could do a pleco, but they’re more picky on what they want to eat.
All also incredibly unsuitable, Cherry Shrimps might do, but I'm pretty sure the Betta will eat them.

What about <"Red Ramshorn (Planorbella duryi) or Tadpole (Physella acuta) snails">?

cheers Darrel
 
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FirstClassFish

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Hi all,

Those are the tubes made by <"non-biting (Chironomid) midge larvae">. They might be "Blood worms", but are often other Midge larvae that are clear and don't contain any haemoglobin.

tubeworm.jpg


Could we have a full-tank shot of the plants?

Small, even for a Betta, and you can't add any more fish and particularly not sensitive ones like Otocinclus spp.

About as unsuitable as is possible. Have a look at <"Glide">

All also incredibly unsuitable, Cherry Shrimps might do, but I'm pretty sure the Betta will eat them.

What about <"Red Ramshorn (Planorbella duryi) or Tadpole (Physella acuta) snails">?

cheers Darrel
Interesting.

I will get more pics.

I wonder though, I’ve seen no midges in my abode? I am in a garden apartment so do get some insects, but the only flying things have been tiny black, what appear to be fruit flies or similar. Could it be them, as again, no midges.

How do I best eradicate them, if this is what they are?

Sorry my choices would be inappropriate for 5 gallons from when I thought it was algae. I thought 5 gallons could handle a trio of otos or one loach.

I disagree that a Betta can’t thrive in 5 gallons though. Anyhow, I want the best for all my critters and these are only temporary setups. I have just bought 5 aquariums, but I don’t want to transfer this problem to any new setup and want to know how to make sure I do what I need to do to not contaminate new setups.

One person on a FB group posted a very similar looking pic of his setup that gets them on his sponge filter that is up against the glass and where detritus forms. So he feels it’s a bacteria.

His is lighter brown, which is what mine looks like when it’s on the black airline tubing in my other setup and in other spots not on the plants.

Thank you. I really need to save everything, especially the Buce and of course I want the critters to be ok.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I am in a garden apartment so do get some insects, but the only flying things have been tiny black, what appear to be fruit flies or similar. Could it be them, as again, no midges.
It could be them, and they could still be "Midges". I'm 99.9% sure that is what the tubes are.
I disagree that a Betta can’t thrive in 5 gallons though.
It is a cultural thing to some degree, Betta can definitely survive in tiny tanks. Europeans tend to like larger volumes of water for any fish. I'll add in @dean he is a Betta guru.
<"Planting can make a difference">, dense planting will improve water quality and make it a more interesting environment for your fish. If he starts <"making bubble nests"> that is usually an indication that conditions are suitable.
I have just bought 5 aquariums, but I don’t want to transfer this problem to any new setup and want to know how to make sure I do what I need to do to not contaminate new setups.
Midge larva feed on suspended organic matter in the water and in the mud (reference). I would simply leave them be and accept them as part of the aquarium food chain.
What @Simon Cole says. It honestly isn't anything to worry about. I deliberately add a <"range of invertebrates"> to my tanks.

cheers Darrel
 

FirstClassFish

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Sorry for the late reply, but I just don’t have a ton of time right now.

In doing some research the bugs are almost assuredly fruit flies.

I cleaned up what I could of these “tunnels” in the setups around the time of my last post here. None came back in any great numbers. At this time I also set up traps around the apartment in the form of containers or bowls with malt vinegar, sugar, fruit, and dish soap. Common fruit fly trap, although I didn’t have apple cider vinegar on hand.

Only a couple of bugs were caught over about 5 days or so, as I was saying there aren’t many at all to be seen or I’d have been taking action aside from any aquariums, and there were a few here and there before I had the setups anyhow.

Well, I’m not sure if they completed their life cycle in the setups or what, but today there are more in the traps and more flying around than usual. So I guess perhaps they hatched out and were too small for me to see that in the totes?

The traps caught maybe a dozen and I killed a couple and I’ve seen a few more, so it’s not anything dramatic, but I need to stop this completely.

Any suggestions? Just more inverts? I have the pond snails and there are a few ramshorns I’ve seen and I transferred some from the setup that had more into the other one that had none or few. I had done that last week.

I didn’t notice they cleaned up the aquarium airline tubing that had the tunnels on them. They cleaned it very well and all of a sudden as previously they hadn’t done much to it.

I’d think the Betta would be feasting on these if they’re making it to a final larval stage, but I’ve not seen his belly full or anything.

It’s still partially a mystery for me and one I’m not enjoying at this point. Sorry, but I can’t accept them as a part of the food web when they hatch into my dwelling. I don’t think many people would.

Thanks again all!
 

FirstClassFish

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Nope, fruit fly's do not live in water at any life stage, they come in on fruit, terrestrial. Use some elbow grease and remove all tunnels that you can and suck out during water changes. Add more hungry mouths, one Betta won't cut it.....

Cheers
I am at a loss then. I’ll take some pics of the insects to share and help identify them. My traps that you would use for a fruit fly work pretty well.
 

Oldguy

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My traps that you would
Hi, I use UV traps for flying insects with a UV lamp that attracts them and electrode wires that electrocutes insects across the cross wires. Often zaps the wrong target insect. Though better than standing 24/7 with a fly swat. State cool and bend with the wind.

All good endeavour with your efforts.
 

FirstClassFish

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A fruit fly for sure. This is what I have. Nothing else in sight. Windows closed for the season for over a week now.
 

FirstClassFish

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I gotta say this is pretty lousy. A chilly response from some from the start from some, and then I show I have zero sign of it being what some are positive it is from a distance and there’s crickets. Silence before that point even.

These threads live on for a long time, and can help others down the road when they do searches. Searching old forum threads is one of the ways I learn a ton.

This was quite an unusual thing to have happen for a lot of people. Even people with much experience have never seen it. Many from other places asked me to follow-up because as long as we can learn and share it’s worth pursuing.

In a time where forums are dying due to FB groups and other reasons, I would think the “old guard” attitudes could be dropped to help encourage people coming back here, and here happens to be one of the few valuable forums left, and even it’s not very active anymore.

There’s always this assumption that because someone doesn’t know anything, they know nothing. I’ve actually been a member here for years. Never posted a lot, and couldn’t find my old login when I went to post recently. I’ve also been in the hobby on and off for decades and have been on thebarrreport and plantedtank, etc…forever.

Same thing with my other recent thread. A whole lot of why bother, skirting questions, etc…that’s also another topic where there’s not a lot of info on how to go about it in a practical matter, and where some often left out considerations were brought up. I know it will help many if it ends up fruitful. It’s not just one person you’re responding to.

I wish we could just drop all that.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I gotta say this is pretty lousy. A chilly response from some from the start from some, and then I show I have zero sign of it being what some are positive it is from a distance and there’s crickets. Silence before that point even........Even people with much experience have never seen it.
In a time where forums are dying due to FB groups and other reasons, I would think the “old guard” attitudes could be dropped to help encourage people coming back here, and here happens to be one of the few valuable forums left, and even it’s not very active anymore ....... Same thing with my other recent thread. A whole lot of why bother, skirting questions, etc…that’s also another topic where there’s not a lot of info on how to go about it in a practical matter, and where some often left out considerations were brought up. I know it will help many if it ends up fruitful. It’s not just one person you’re responding to.
Agreed all forums are under threat from FB. Facebook groups can be anything, I belong to some which are pretty good and I have belonged to some that weren't.

I'm sorry you feel we haven't been very helpful, but I'm not quite sure what you expect from us. We can only give answers to questions where we know them, and anybody who answers every question with a <"black and white answer">? Probably didn't understand the question.
It could be them, and they could still be "Midges". I'm 99.9% sure that is what the tubes are.
I would agree. I get them from time to time in a 'bucket pond' in the conservatory.
Having said that I'm 99.9% sure they are the tubes of the <"larvae of non-biting midges">.



I'm not an expert, but I've <"done an amount of work"> with <"freshwater invertebrates"> in both clean <"and waste water">.

The fly could be a fruit-fly (Drosophila sp.), unfortunately there are a <"huge number of fly species">, and they aren't an area where I have much expertise. Whatever they are I'm pretty sure they aren't related to the tubes.

cheers Darrel
 
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X3NiTH

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There’s over 200 species of freshwater Annelid, of those that form tubes are those in the Lumbricudilae species which are endemic to Siberia and North West USA. You are in the US but a lot of folks here are from the UK and won’t or very rarely encounter these in an aquarium so not surprisingly you feel there’s crickets for responses. I’ve never encountered these myself but I do have a number of Marine Tanks that have inordinate numbers of tube forming annelids (Spirorbids, Glomerulus and Spaghetti worms mainly), it’s not out of the question to have freshwater equivalents, whether they form Calcified structures or just aggregate debris together would likely be down to how hard the water is and what the pH is, you’d need above neutral pH waters to have longevity in calcified structure in freshwater.

The only definitive way to identify the worms would be sectioning the tube to extract the worm and then examine under a microscope.

:)
 

MichaelJ

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There’s always this assumption that because someone doesn’t know anything, they know nothing.
Hi @FirstClassFish, You will find questions here from incredibly skilled and knowledgeable people in the hobby asking questions that may seem obvious to some. We all have blind spots in our knowledge and experience base and there is always something new to learn or get a fresh perspective on. That's what makes this hobby so rewarding for many - especially if you have a genuine appetite for knowledge. The hobby touches on so many topics in a vast variety of sciences and practical skills. If someone comes across as assuming you know nothing in a demeaning way, just ignore them. Fortunately, that behavior is not very common on UKAPS.

Before joining UKAPS I had never been on an aquarium forum before, so my frame of reference is limited to UKAPS. At some point when I thought things went a bit sideways around here - with long-gone disruptive people - I started to look at other forums. It didn't take me long though to realize that the information level and cordiality here on UKAPS in comparison to some of those other forums I visited, is really high. In particular I like the matter of fact approach many takes to Q & A drawing from personal experience etc. Of course no-one is always right. The issues we encounter in this hobby can be really complex and often there are no straight answers based on the information at hand and there are a whole lot of things we don't know or don't even know that we don't know. Often members asking questions doesn't know what up front information is relevant and what is not. Unfortunately, people are often too quick pulling the trigger on answers without knowing enough details instead of asking follow-up questions (I am certainly prone to that myself).

Same thing with my other recent thread. A whole lot of why bother, skirting questions, etc…that’s also another topic where there’s not a lot of info on how to go about it in a practical matter, and where some often left out considerations were brought up. I know it will help many if it ends up fruitful. It’s not just one person you’re responding to.
I think you are making a very valid point. People are not on an aquarium forum to hear feeble answers like: "why bother" or "who cares" or at least answers without a bit of further elaboration. Whenever I see questions where I personally think "why bother" I move along to something else assuming I am ignorant on the issue, hence have nothing to contribute. People are here to learn and not to be put down and discouraged... We are already dealing with very obscure topics that hardly anyone except us, who find joy in this particular hobby, cares about.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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FirstClassFish

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I am sorry if I am or seem overly sensitive or over-reacted at all. I do think I make some valid points, but there’s also room to realize some people just simply interact differently than others and a lot is lost in the written word vs. an in person combination.

I’ll try and expand more on the actual bug issue, whatever it is, when I have more time.
 

Witcher

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I would simply leave them be and accept them as part of the aquarium food chain.
What @Simon Cole says. It honestly isn't anything to worry about. I deliberately add a <"range of invertebrates"> to my tanks.
We tend to forgot that we need full spectrum of nature in our tanks (including baddies and goodies), not only the higher plants and fish and nothing else. "Healthy" amount of algae, bugs and other stuff we don't like to see (because it may be unpleasant to someone's eyes) is a part and parcel of healthy aquarium. And Mother Earth.
 

PARAGUAY

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When we look at a tranqual peaceful pond ,plants a plenty and full of wildlife it's actually a different story under water. Fish face predation ,disease and a extential struggle for survival. There's a good book l picked up on a book market , that discusses this ,the first chapter is about a familys relationship with a family of jackdaws the second chapter is entitled Poor Fish .If anybody knows of the book .life house moves lost my copy . Can't remember the books name
 
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