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Insects on floating plants - any suggestions?

rubadudbdub

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27 Oct 2015
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Hi folks. My tanks have become host to these little insects living on the floating plants. There are loads of them. Other than just binning the whole lot, does anyone have any fish and shrimp friendly suggestions for getting rid of them? They love the frogbit, which is a new admission and possibly how I acquired these bugs.

Any entemology enthusiasts know what they are?
 

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zozo

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That's lice - aphid's :) they can fly, thus come from outdoors. I have no idea of a good fish and shrimp safe remedy... Other than spraying it off the plants with demi water and it turns them into fish food.

I once had them in the emerged Hydrocotyl tripartita and seen the fish feed on them. They can completely destroy a plant in a few weeks time... As they did with my H. tripartita

I know that spraying Nicotine tea is very effective... But i was reluctant to try this for a fish tank... Maybe someone else can tell if this is safe or not.
 
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Wolf6

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Maybe try the solution you'd use for lily beetles: submerge the pants for a while. Maybe by putting an upside down sieve or something over them, leaving them like that for a day or so till the bugs have been properly drowned/eaten? Or clean a few plants by hand and bin the rest, should regrow fast enough.
 

dw1305

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Oldguy

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suggestions for getting rid of them?
Look like aphids. Possible treatments (I don't have a magic bullet)
1) Remove plants and wash under running water.
2) Remove plants and spray with water/washing liquid solution as per house plants and then wash under running water.
3) As in (2) but with Neem oil added to the mix and again wash under lots of running water.
4) Place plants in a deep container and fill container with carbon dioxide and cover with clingfilm to keep the gas in. (C02) is very toxic to insects.
5) Rinse plants in the tank so that the fish have insects to eat. If they like the food then you have a free live food culture.

Personally I would go for (4). You can make CO2 from washing soda, from a hardware shop and citric acid powder from a supermarket. Put a little water in a bucket, put plants in the bucket. Put a jam jar or similar with the dry ingredients in it in the bucket. Add water to the jam jar, instant fizzing, and cover with clingfilm.
Repeat gassing frequently. Plants should love it.

At the moment I am trying (3) on emergent anubias leaves which have a light mealy bug infestation. I use a small plastic scent sprayer and mask the tank surface with one hand while spraying with the other. The plant is large and would be difficult to remove without a lot of disturbance.

Never ending with conservatory plants. Some would favour a biological control to aphids and similar but I am wedded to chemicals. Each to their own.

Good luck & I hope things work.
 

zozo

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I know that spraying Nicotine tea is very effective... But i was reluctant to try this for a fish tank... Maybe someone else can tell if this is safe or not.

Not such a good idea after all... It actualy seems to be a fish sedative :) Thus No Go...
https://www.diplomarbeiten24.de/document/368081

In other cases, it might be good to know... Tho i had a laugh too about a few study authors. - Strange and Schreck, 1978 :p
 
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rubadudbdub

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27 Oct 2015
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Thanks for all the suggestions folks. I fed some to some fundulopanchax gardneri I have, before accidentally seeding another tank with aphids. I hadn't thinned the plants for ages so this weekend I went with plan B and washed a few and binned the rest. I decided to run a very fine net around the tank surface as quite a few went swimming as the plants came out.

Even with all this I've found stragglers that have colonised the washed plants. With fewer plants to colonise and fewer aphids, hopefully it will be easy enough to pick the remainder off by hand.
 

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