Originally Posted by chodovet
Well Karen, you were right! I had a plague of mosquitoes. Must have scooped up a mosquito egg raft or two with the duckweed. What a nightmare!! There were so many. I killed a bunch of adults (used the vacuum to suck them off the wall and ceiling), and scooped a bunch of pupae out of the tank. Even grabbed a couple of wild mosquitofish (Gambusia sp.) from our outside tank and threw them in there even though nitrites were still high. I moved some filter media from my established tank to help speed up the nitrite conversion. We were leaving for a few days on vacation so after killing as many adults and pupae as I could, I covered the open parts of the top in plastic wrap.
When we got back, no more mosquitoes, and the fish were (somewhat surprisingly) still alive! Also, the nitrites are now measuring at 0 and the plants exploded. Will add photos later. I need to do some plant trimming and re-arranging, things are getting crazy in there
What a mess - I guess I learned my lesson! I should really have known better, having spent the last 6 years studying vector-borne diseases..!
OMG! I've never been so sorry to be right in my entire life! What a nightmare! I'm laughing only because it sounds like a nightmare SNL skit, and because I actually paid for my mosquitos including crazy shipping, too, from a seller on Ebay, which is pretty funny in a dark comedy kind of way - actually paying for my mosquito nightmare. The saran wrap on the tank cracked me up - great idea. They were sitting ducks for your fish, so to speak. I'm not surprised your fish lived. They never had it so good.
To make you feel better - all of my mystery and sort of scary things like planaria have all disappeared, thanks to the wild cory cats I added to my tank, and I haven't had any problems, so odds are you will be fine, too. Those tetras are so pretty! I added a school of 26 cardinal tetras to my tank and they're gorgeous. I love the little schooling tetras - so pretty.
If I had to do it over again, I would not have added snails deliberately. They will eat your plants, no matter what people say, I've learned. Shrimp do a great job cleaning the tank and they don't eat the plants. I'd just add a bunch of shrimp instead of snails, if I had to do it over. For any algae problems, I have a UV filter. And I just pull out the hair algae that shows up. The snails won't eat the hair algae anyway. I never had shrimp before. They're really cool. My tetras are keeping the shrimplet population in check - ouch, poor shrimplets! But, they don't get them all. I was afraid of a shrimp explosion, but I'd rather have that than the snail explosion I got.