Need help identifying white “bugs” in aquarium.

taylor811

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About an hour ago I went to go feed my fish. It was a little darker outside so I turned on the aquarium light. I noticed what looked like to be just white specks. I feel like they have been there for a while but upon closer inspection I saw the white specks on the aquarium glass and much to my surprise they were moving. I knew right away I needed to figure out whatever this was. I looked it up but I’m finding so many different answers that I had to come here. The tank is somewhat newer (I bought it about two months ago) so I don’t even know how long these things could’ve been here and I feel a little dumb for just noticing them now. They aren’t just on the aquarium glass they are also floating all around in the water but I’m not sure if it is because of the filter pushing them around. If anyone could help me identity what it is and whether it’s something I need to worry about please help they are super small and there’s tons of them.
 

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eatyourpeas

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I can't quite tell from the picture, but they could be either daphnia or ostracods. Both good for the aquarium, so no need to worry. Did you buy plants? Sometimes they hitchhike that way. What kind of fish do you have? Some fish love eating them as they are very nutritious, and will also help keep the tank clean.
 
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taylor811

taylor811

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I can't quite tell from the picture, but they could be either daphnia or ostracods. Both good for the aquarium, so no need to worry. Did you buy plants? Sometimes they hitchhike that way. What kind of fish do you have? Some fish love eating them as they are very nutritious, and will also help keep the tank clean.
I have two plants one is an Anubias and I can’t remember the other but I’ve had them for a little while now longer than the current tank. I have a betta fish that I got a little over a year ago. This is my longest living betta so far. I’m pretty new to fishkeeping and I’m learning a lot as I go along. He’s had a few health problems but he’s a trooper. Either way I’m super cautious of anything at this point.
 

eatyourpeas

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These are images for both daphnia and ostracods. See if they match your little guys, and if they do, you have nothing to worry about. If you see the population get large, it may be a sign that you are overfeeding or the tank is not clean enough, so they are a good barometer.

1607808225662.png

1607808368209.png
 
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taylor811

taylor811

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Update: I went to feed him today he swam very sporadically like he was afraid. I just checked his water and it seems the nitrates are very high. How do nitrates raise in levels and do you think it has something to do with the bugs?
 

eatyourpeas

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When was the last time you changed his water and vacuumed the substrate? Nitrates are caused by excess feeding and fish waste. The presence of the ostracods is an indicator that there is a lot to eat in the tank.
 
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taylor811

taylor811

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When was the last time you changed his water and vacuumed the substrate? Nitrates are caused by excess feeding and fish waste. The presence of the ostracods is an indicator that there is a lot to eat in the tank.
Ever since I got the tank I would do a weekly water change. I thought I could take a break and skip a week because I initially thought since it’s a bigger tank I wouldn’t need to do it as often but I assume that is not the case. The last time I did the water change was the week before last week. i added some stuff to help reduce the nitrates in his water after I did that he started swimming around like normal again. I still plan on doing his water change soon.
 

eatyourpeas

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How much water do you change? If you suspect nitrates, larger water changes may be better than adding chemicals.
Also, can you post a picture of the whole tank?
 
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Nitrates get in the water in 2 ways.

1. In some regions, tap water has a lot of nitrate so if tap water is used for the tank, the tank will start with the same amount of nitrate as the tap water.
2. The nitrogen cycle. The beneficial bacteria turn the ammonia excreted by the fish into nitrite then into nitrate. Since there are no bacteria in our tanks which remove nitrate, it builds up. We do water changes to remove this nitrate. Overfeeding fish leaves uneaten food in the tank which decomposes to make ammonia, which is processes into nitrate by the bacteria. Fish poop left in the tank decomposes to ammonia which is processed into nitrate. Water changes remove nitrate; cleaning the bottom of the tank and the filter removes uneaten food and fish poop so less nitrate is made in the tank.

Uneaten food and fish poop will also provide food for small creatures in the water, and the more food they have, the more of them that will grow.


What did you use to remove nitrate? As far as I'm aware, the only way to lower nitrate is by taking some water out and replacing it with water which contains less nitrate.
 
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taylor811

taylor811

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How much water do you change? If you suspect nitrates, larger water changes may be better than adding chemicals.
Also, can you post a picture of the whole tank?
I try to do a 25% water change each time.
 

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taylor811

taylor811

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Nitrates get in the water in 2 ways.

1. In some regions, tap water has a lot of nitrate so if tap water is used for the tank, the tank will start with the same amount of nitrate as the tap water.
2. The nitrogen cycle. The beneficial bacteria turn the ammonia excreted by the fish into nitrite then into nitrate. Since there are no bacteria in our tanks which remove nitrate, it builds up. We do water changes to remove this nitrate. Overfeeding fish leaves uneaten food in the tank which decomposes to make ammonia, which is processes into nitrate by the bacteria. Fish poop left in the tank decomposes to ammonia which is processed into nitrate. Water changes remove nitrate; cleaning the bottom of the tank and the filter removes uneaten food and fish poop so less nitrate is made in the tank.

Uneaten food and fish poop will also provide food for small creatures in the water, and the more food they have, the more of them that will grow.


What did you use to remove nitrate? As far as I'm aware, the only way to lower nitrate is by taking some water out and replacing it with water which contains less nitrate.
I used tetra easy balance plus. It says it’s supposed to reduce nitrates and regulate ph.
 

eatyourpeas

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You do not have enough plants to consume nitrates, so my guess is that you may be developing algae on the glass and the little critters are having a feast. Try for a larger water change. @Colin_T will be able to give you better advice.
 

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