Jump to content

Hydra, the bane of my existence. Any tips? Also- warning-its a long post.


Recommended Posts

Disclaimer: All of this is due to my incompetence, so no, hydra didn't come to my house and rob me.

So I had a little 10g tank that had some plants in it (the main one I'll be talking about is some parrots feather I got. Now, I cannot confirm nor deny this was actual parrots feather, because there are so many species that look like parrots feather and hornwort and...ugh its making my head hurt. But anyways, I had a little HOB and a sponge filter in front of the HOB, catching the flow on the way out. The parrots feather was catching the bubbles and the flow between both the filters. It was a kinda new tank (not really though, the bacteria wasn't at least), and it started growing some kind of algae on the very fine leaves of that plant. I hear a lot algae is not necessarily bad unless its killing the plants, and I thought the couple of cherry shrimp I was planning to keep would benefit off of it, and I would just leave it there. Big mistake. Fast forward 2 or 3 months and it was a a lot thicker and small and black, just coating the plants. But I was still in denial. I forgot to mention, the algae was some staghorn algae. But I didn't know at the time. With the tons of pond snails I had, they were creating a ton of molm and poop in the giant pea gravel I had (that I recently covered up because I couldn't plant any plants in it), and from that there were a bunch of small cyclops and copepods, and Im assuming from that, there were a bunch of hydra. About 2 months ago I finally gave in and looked into what it was. I read that it can be treated with Seachem Excel or increasing flow and it was from a lack of CO2. I also heard it can kill Val and Anarchis, both of what I had. I figured I'd do a plant dip, and took out all my regular baby tears, which was barely growing in sand, and parrots feather. It didn't really do much but turn white/gray on me and I decided to cut everything off, and now the Baby Tears just stands out more. From there I watched and learned about balancing your tank (probably the video from Girl Talks Fish was the most concise but anyways..). I just added some plants, covered the gravel and heavily gravel vaccumed (not that much actually, and a lot was in my HOB, which is a Tetra Whisper 40 literally filled to the brim with sponge. Literally. It died down a little and now theres only a wall or 2 covered in it, but I assume theres still a lot in the algae- some I still have in my java fern or whatever else plants. I wanted to add some fish live livebearers (I was already planning to add some platies) but then I figured that since it was a 10 gal, the platies would not let the shrimp at least make a baby or 2. So I figured I would put some shrimp first before the platies. But then I remembered the hydra and it was back to square one. Anything I should do? Also, anyone have experience battling Staghorn Algae and it turning really short and thick, but stringy enough to not look like BBA? Honestly I just want to cut off all of the affected plants, add some new plants and forget about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On the issue of hydra - my advice is don't worry about it. It's been around for millions of years and self-replicates from a single cell. You can try medication, but every time you put something new in your tank, hydra could come back. If you feed live baby brine shrimp to your fish, hydra will also eat that and explode in population. I've heard that some gouramis find it to be a tasty treat. I think my rasboras have nabbed a few as well, when pickings are slim (such as Sundays - their "just a few spriulina flakes" day).

The "balance" that Irene talked about regarding algae and plant health - a lot of us are dealing with plant loss while trying to achieve balance. Many people suggest less light as a first resort to battling algae. Plants sometimes seem to be more difficult to understand than fish!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah...  In my own tank, I've seen hydra grow to big populations, and I've also seen them crash down to where I don't see them for weeks or months, with little intervention on my part.

I managed to rid myself of staghorn algae mostly by making sure I wasn't getting too many areas of very low flow, and cutting back on lighting hours and intensity.  Just know that different plants may have different light requirements.  I ended up keeping my java moss/anubias/java fern towards the periphery of my tank, and I have some flavor of hygrophila in the center, and that has worked out well keeping me (mostly) algae free.  At least, I'm algae free enough that the tank still looks fine.  Just know that it isn't an overnight fix.  Algae, especially things like staghorn, can bloom slowly, so it can also die back slowly.  I know the staghorn I had, you could tell when it was pooping out because it would go from a white-grey-greenish color to a noticeably red color. 

I personally did not have terribly great results with seachem excel and staghorn; I think I was dosing too much, and not changing water enough in the process.  It can kill if you spot treat, but if you have a lot, it's a slow, multi-day or multi-week project.  I ended up losing a juvenile white cloud and maybe some shrimp.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I've read all the comments (or most of them) about hydra not posing any "danger" to fish, BUT I found them to be really unpleasant to see whenever I looked into my 9-10 month old 20G tank, so I was determined to get rid of them. So, based on a number on-line favorable comments/recommendations, I ordered some PLANARiA ZERO from Japan. It took about two weeks to arrive. I followed the instructions and BAM!, at the end of the 5-day treatment I had zero hydra. None, nada, zip. Great product. I was, and am, a very satisfied customer.......

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...