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Tiny White Bugs In Aquarium


Anybody who retains a saltwater fish tank or reef aquarium will most likely discover what seem like tiny white mites swimming round within the tank water at a while or one other.

However what are these creatures? How did they get into your tank? And, are these water fleas dangerous to your aquarium?

Hold studying to search out out!

What Are These Tiny White Issues In My Fish Tank?

To start with, don’t panic!

The tiny white mites you may have in your tank are almost certainly amphipods or copepods. These tiny animals dwell within the wild atmosphere and in closed aquarium techniques, too.

These minute creatures are literally innocent crustaceans, relatively like super-tiny shrimp. Throughout maturity, these critters dwell deep within the substrate the place they continue to be unnoticed. Nevertheless, throughout their larval stage and as juveniles, the ocean mites, as they’re additionally generally known as, are free-swimming, and that’s when aquarium homeowners discover them.

Widespread Worm Species

You may additionally discover a couple of of the bugs caught to the glass viewing panes in your tank. Don’t confuse the “pods” with Planaria worms that you may additionally see crawling up the glass. These tiny buff-colored or white worms can discover their manner into your tank on crops or on new fish. Largely, they dwell unseen within the substrate, venturing out at night time to feed. 

Once more, Planaria are nearly the most typical sort of worms that you simply discover in your fish tank. The worms are innocent to your fish, however they could be a signal that your water high quality and basic tank cleanliness want consideration. 

How Did Amphipods And Copepods Get In My Tank?

Amphipods and copepods often discover their manner into your fish tank as hitchhikers in dwell rock, sand, and aquarium crops, relying on the species of critter you’re coping with. 

Largely, these innocent residents stay invisible to the bare eye. Nevertheless, when the water temperature is hotter and there’s loads of meals accessible, you would possibly see a bloom of those “pods.”

Copepods are present in all aquatic ecosystems, together with brackish, marine, and freshwater, whereas amphipods happen primarily in saltwater, though there are a couple of terrestrial and freshwater species, too.

What Are Copepods and Amphipods?

There are millions of species of copepods and amphipods that make up the plankton soup that’s generally known as zooplankton. These creatures dwell on phytoplankton, that are microscopic algae and crops that drift by means of the water column, microzooplankton, and detritus.

Are “Pods” Harmful To Fish?

Of the 1000’s of species of “pods” that exist, only some are parasitic or carnivorous, and people are very hardly ever encountered in marine or reef aquarium techniques. 

In actual fact, many marine species feed on amphipods and copepods as their main meals supply, and a few hobbyists breed these creatures in a refugium particularly to be used as dwell meals for fish for grownup fish and homebred fry.


One other creature that you simply would possibly encounter in your aquarium is the isopod. Isopods are additionally generally known as fish lice, pillbugs, and roly-polies, and so they happen in all marine habitats. There are a lot of species of isopods, most of that are fully innocent, consuming algae and basic detritus.

Nevertheless, a couple of isopods are parasitic or predatory and may current a hazard to some reef animals.

How Can I Get Rid Of Water Mites?

Most aquarists are very happy to see a thriving inhabitants of free-living copepods and amphipods of their tank because the creatures present a meals supply for fish. 

These “mites” are a part of a wholesome marine ecosystem, and they’re additionally an important meals supply for a lot of aquatic species. So, eliminating these tiny guests isn’t deemed to be obligatory by many hobbyists.

Nevertheless, when you’ve got any issues, there’s a protracted record of pure predators that may gladly assist preserve the “pod” inhabitants below management for you. 

“Pod” Eaters

All of the species that I’ve listed under relish sifting by means of the sand or selecting on the dwell rock to seize certainly one of these tasty little snacks. I’d level out that many of those species should not appropriate fish for novices, as they are often difficult to maintain within the dwelling tank, and so they want a secure, excessive inhabitants of “pods” to maintain them.

  • Mandarin Fish
  • Sand-Sifting Gobies
  • Firefish
  • Angelfish
  • Wrasse
  • Seahorses
  • Shrimp
  • Crabs

Additionally, many species of sentimental corals and small polyp stony corals feed on plankton and plankton byproducts.

As talked about above, all these creatures want a reasonably heavy inhabitants of bugs to outlive. You possibly can complement your tank’s provide of home-grown provides of “pods” by shopping for some to be used as fish meals from a specialist provider and elevating them in a refugium or different micro-culture system. Then you possibly can merely harvest the bugs and feed them to your fish.

Many marine shops and on-line aquarium product suppliers promote dwell meals colonies.

Different Strategies Of Removing

If you happen to don’t have bug-eating creatures residing in your aquarium, a inhabitants of “pods” is usually a nuisance. 

Typically, when dense numbers of those water mites are current in our tank of their free-swimming life levels, they will irritate your fish by crawling on the fishes’ pores and skin. You would possibly see your fish flashing in opposition to objects within the tank or shaking in response to the irritation that the bugs may cause. That may be extraordinarily tiring and traumatic for the fish, doubtlessly resulting in extreme well being issues.

In that case, you’ll need to defend your fish by eliminating the bugs. One of the simplest ways to do this is to make use of a HOB model canister filter with a really high quality pleat cartridge or high quality micron sleeve put in that can filter the mites out of the water fairly rapidly.

Out Of Sight And Out Of Thoughts

Fish tank and live plants

Do not forget that as soon as the free-swimming bugs attain maturity, they are going to disappear into the substrate and crevices in your dwell rocks, the place they are going to stay hidden and innocent. Many fish and inverts will take pleasure in snacking on any “pods” that they discover, so that you would possibly want to let nature take its course and go away the bugs undisturbed.

In Conclusion

I hope you discovered our information to these tiny white bugs that you simply generally see in your marine tank useful. If you happen to did, please keep in mind to share.

Usually, copepods and amphipods should not dangerous to aquarium residents, truly offering a useful meals supply to many species of marine fish. Nevertheless, these tiny creatures could be an unwelcome irritant to your livestock, through which case you possibly can take away them simply just by filtering the “pods” out of the water.

Did you may have a inhabitants of free-swimming water mites in your tank? Did you do away with them or enable them to remain? Inform us within the feedback field under.


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