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Hi everyone, this is the first post I've made here. I discovered el natural tanks about 6 weeks because I wanted to plant our a 55G I have that use to grow out my baby pond goldies and wanted an alternative to CO2 set-ups. Anyway, I decided to practice with a 1.5 gallon that I got at a garage sale for $2. I dug dirt out of the yard, then did pea gravel with hornwort and some creeping jenny (stuff I had on hand). Never had any ammonia or nitrite problems, or even tea-colored water. It's been up and running for about 2 weeks now, and last week I put in 10 red cherry shrimp.

Yesterday I noticed this stuff on top of the gravel:



I thought that the CRS weren't eating my dropped pellets and this was the mess, but then when I looked more closely i saw that there were a ton of teeny weeny white things that are ALIVE!



As if that's not enough weirdness I have a few of these things:



To give you an idea of the size, the leaves in this pic are hornwort:



They seem to move by extending a feeler and pulling themselves along.

Does anybody know what these things are??? Do I need to clean the whole thing out? Thanks much for any help!
 

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Lol enjoyed this post. I have no idea what is in your water but digging things out of your yard will do that to you. You don't know what organisms are growing in the dirt. Somehow they are growing in your water now. I wonder what is the best way to handle dirt from the yard. Spread it thin and sunning for a few days first? Like your pictures though.
 

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Well, I've just spent about an hour watching the behavior in the tank. The cherry shrimp apparently like eating the tiny little white things! I watched my biggest one just shovelling them into her mouth! And those wormy, stick-looking little things seem to be eating the dead duckweed from the top of the tank. They get themselves up there, get covered in the dead pieces and then slowly make their way down the sides of the tank, and sort of just sit there with it. Mind you, I don't have tons of dead duckweed up there - just a bit here and there around the edges. They don't seem to bother the shrimp, and if they're gonna eat dead plants they're welcome to stay!

I'll keep my eye on it. I've been googling like a nut and have had no luck on id so far.

BTW - the plants are doing great, the creeping jenny has new shoots coming up through the substrate and roots from the older parts growing down into it. The shrimp seem happy and the water parameters look good (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite - the ones I really worry about).
 

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That's good the shrimps eating some. I would put a fish or two in it. I'm sure they would love these high protein morsels.
 

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Just a quick update for anyone who cares (that would be Alex I believe:lol:). Tiny white things are gone! I guess the shrimp ate them all. I still have the stick-worm things, and they still seem to be happily eating up dead duckweed! I've also got 3 pond snails in there that I didn't notice before (the hornwort came from the pond).

I couldn't put a fish in, because the only one I've got that would really have worked is my 4 MO goldie, and in a 1.5g I was scared of ammonia! He was the only one I managed to save this season, as my good old dependable female goldie got egg bound and died this spring[smilie=f:.

The plants are on the way for the 55g and I'll be planting it out this week! I'm excited because it looks like I can probably do this.



Hmmmm - I've got a 29g empty and doing nothing - gotta get planning:D!
 

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That stick bug looks crazy! Can you take some more pics? I have never seen anything like that before! I used to have a lot of cyclops in my NPT until I added shrimp. I never saw the shrimp eat them, and the shrimp are slow compared to the little buggies, but they have dwindled down.
 

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The things that make little cases of dead leaves may be midge larvae. They are harmless and will one day emerge as little midges---the kind that dance in clouds, not the kind that bite.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was thinking that they might be larvae of some kind. Definately not mosquito or midge, though (did some Googling on the midge for a pic). I'll try to get another pic today; it's hard, as they are tiny and really don't like to have their pics taken!
 

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Many of the larva of caddis flies make structures of stones, wood, leaves, and similar materials.

One kind of larva of midges is the familiar bloodworm, which we often buy frozen for fish food. I have seen the tiny midge "hatch" from the head of the comparatively large bloodworm. It reminded me of a space capsule separating from the giant rockets that launched it.

Bill
 

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I think that is funny! You have inadvertently found something that will live in your tank and feed your shrimp. If you go on vacation you could use that instead of an automatic feeder.
 

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This morning I, too, found a creepy critter in my fish tank

I used soil from a place near the river (most fertile soil I could find) so I figured I might get a few aquatic buggers in there.. I'm just worried that they're bad buggers and not good buggers

I didn't get a picture but I am, as you can see, an amazing artist



I only saw one and it was around 1/4th-1/2th inch long.. I checked google and didn't see anything that it obviously was :(

It swam by undulating in a sort of "S" pattern
 

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OK, TO INFORM YOU ALL, THE SMALLER BUGS, THEY ARE NOT THAT BAD, THE WORM THING WITH THE FEELER, WELL MY CHERRY TANK GOT THESE, ALL MY CHERRYS DIED !!! yes there dead,! I dd dome research, found out the only way to kill these and the hydra, I have in my tank is t get this dog dewormer, its called safegaured, and you can only use 1/10th of a once in a 10 gallon to rid yourself, I dug alot out by hand they make me sick !!! and they are verywhere !!! THE LIVE UNDER THE GRAVEL AND THE ONLY REASON YU SEE THEM up top is because there is ALOT of them now, and they dont think there have a reson to be scared, well they WILL eat your shrimp, & snials, I watched mine eat snail, drag a ramshorn 2wice its size to the middle of the tank, (5 gallon) when I came back with the net they were gone !!! telling you this squirmy guy, he is NOT good. you must get rid of them !! I am buyinng the safegaured monday and dosing my tanks, I have pics of these things out of water !! tell you I tried to dig them out, I cant get them all, freakin worms !! nasty !! and I have filtration ! and NO dirtkl and I will tell you these bugs' DID NOT COME OUT OF YOUR PEAT, OR DIRT, NO WORRIES, they grow somwhow from overfeeding, and not enugh filtration ... I am overfilyering my tank now, and have changed the rock, I am getting the dewormer mn, I will give updates !!
 

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Geez, nasty. I wonder why these topsoil I get from homedepot are devoid of any creepy crawlers. At least what I can see with my naked eyes and both my tanks look just fine. Dang, your description will prevent me from ever digging dirt from the back yard at least not unless I bake them.
 

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This morning I, too, found a creepy critter in my fish tank

I used soil from a place near the river (most fertile soil I could find) so I figured I might get a few aquatic buggers in there.. I'm just worried that they're bad buggers and not good buggers

I didn't get a picture but I am, as you can see, an amazing artist



I only saw one and it was around 1/4th-1/2th inch long.. I checked google and didn't see anything that it obviously was :(

It swam by undulating in a sort of "S" pattern
that sounds like a form of mosquito larvae
 

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If it swims with an s-shaped motion and is shaped more-or-less like a worm, it could be the larva of a midge. Bloodworms are an example of one kind.

If that's what it is, it is harmless and fish love to eat them.

Bi
 
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