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What's in my tank?

Discussion in 'General questions about care.' started by reader101, Nov 29, 2006.

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  1. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    :confused:
    Recently I lifted the water dishes (which are at the coolest, shallowest part of the tank with aq. gravel beneath) and discovered in the gravel, which has a tiny pool of salt water from spills, the following:
    a tiny creature, about 1/16" with what appeared to be a 3-segment body, almost transparent, with about 6-8 tiny flippers and dark spot of front; more or less swimming/paddling in the water around gravel.
    I've heard and read about a lot of different kinds of parasites, but never anything like this! Nothing like a maggoty-type worm or water-type bug.
    As far as I know, it's still there, in the water around the gravel; doesn't seem to affect hermies.
    :eek:
     
  2. tengo cangrejos ermitaños

    tengo cangrejos ermitaños (Small Crab)

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    if its living in the salt water then it could be some type of zooplankton, or it might be some kind of arthopod like sand fleas. As far as I know, freshwater diving beatles and creatures of that nature can't live in saltwater (or at least I've never heard of them doing so) so that pretty much rules out anything I could hope to identify it as :( Something tells me its some kind of plankton, I'll see if i can find any info about it and will post if i do.
     
  3. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    Ok, here's the real question. I'd like to know the exact description of zoe amoeba phase. Although I know it's virtually impossible to breed hermies in captivity, there is the remote possibility that an already-pregnant female may have dropped an egg or two...and what really makes me suspicious is that it is thriving in the salt water/beach gravel puddle. I know one of the necessary stages requires cooler ocean water. Also...I'm certain it's not a type of plankton, as it quickly vanished after I lifted the saline dish - it has a brain. Really reluctant to dredge it out. Quite certain there are no insects in tank.
    Appreciate any help you can be. Maybe the best description I can give is that it looked like a mini brineshrimp. (And no, my hermies don't get brineshrimp).
    :)
     
  4. tengo cangrejos ermitaños

    tengo cangrejos ermitaños (Small Crab)

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  5. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    It certainly did. Based on what I was able to observe - 3 seg. body, clear, 6-8 legs, black (eyes) head, it seems the swimming crab zoe (saved the pic., don't know if I can send it) most aptly describes what I saw. Thanks, and all suggestions are appreciated!
     
  6. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    Zooplankton I am not familiar with. Is it not more saltwater that they live in, feeding on plankton (currently causing massive blooms and dead seas)?
    As for sand fleas, I bake my (play)sand at 300 F. for an hour or so; that should kill anything! Diving beatles, etc. (even surface skimmers!) aren't even a possibility, and I am very familiar with mosquito larvae,ha ha - they don't do well with salt!
    Any other suggestions much appreciated. At least I know to look for something when I get up the nerve to get down to the sand/fine gravel/salt-soaked corner! I don't know whether to remove or nurture it! I'm the first to agree lhc's cannot breed in captivitity; however, there is that one tiny possibility of purchasing a "berried" (with eggs) hermie. Although I'm beginning to wonder how many more surprises they come up with, it's a case of "I'll believe it when I see it." But then...who knows everything they're capable of?;)
    Thanks again. Like I said, would appreciate help from others.
     
  7. crazy4crabs

    crazy4crabs "Second Molt In Progress"

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    I would keep it and see what happens... what it turns out to be. make sure to take lots of pics for us!
     
  8. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    I have not disturbed it as yet for that very reason...even if it might be 1 in 1,000 odds. The reason I'm desperate to identify it is to make certain it is nothing that can harm my hermies, as there's appox. 20 in the lg. tank at various stages; although the main tank hermies are doing exceptionally well, I do not want to move them if it is something else. O/W (otherwise) I'm going to have to find a pretty small shell!
    Whatever happens, I can send it to the University of Guelph Vet. Research for identification.
    I HAVE to know what it is! Almost afraid to lift water dishes...I can tell you right now that it's too tiny for even my best camera to pick up - and just about clear, at that!
     
  9. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    I just found an old thread titled "breeding" in this forum. If you check it out, you'll see a picture of "Megalops" - the hlc zoea larva.
     
  10. crazy4crabs

    crazy4crabs "Second Molt In Progress"

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    thats so cool. to get super tiny shells go to lieka craft store and get a small bag of crafting shells. I have tons of shells with openings under .5mm if you want or need them. good luck with whatever it is
     
  11. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    Thanks for the offer, but if it ever did turn out to be a zoea larva, the odds against it surviving are tremendous. It happens that I have a chestnut tree, which snails make beautiful chestnut shells out of, so I do have a few tiny shells on hand, and they are beautiful!
    Meanwhile, if anyone who posted on the breeding thread or currently can provide imput, I'd be grateful.
     
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