Ostracod, mostly known as seed shrimp among aquarists, is not actually a shrimp but a crustacean. Sized from 0.1mm to 0.5cm, seed shrimps come in various colors. That is because Seed shrimp is a collection of several related species. They are all collectively called Ostracoda. Seed shrimps are mostly deemed as pests and will infest your tank if introduced.
What is Shrimp Seed?
Don’t get confused seed shrimps with shrimp seed. Seed shrimps are ostracods. But, Shrimp seed are seeds of Shrimp bred at a commercial shrimp seed farm. These seeds later grow as adult shrimps which are available as food for human.
Are Seed Shrimps Bad?
Seed shrimps are not evil creatures. They are not harmful, and some fish eat them. But, they are not pleasant to the eye. Therefore people see them as pests.
How seed shrimps become a pest infestation?
Seed shrimps can produce highly resistant cysts to survive in any environment, including extreme temperature changes.
They are Parthenogenesis creatures that produce eggs that can develop into an embryo without being fertilized by a sperm.
Once seed shrimps get into your tank, they begin reproducing on large scales.
It will take a matter of time for them to grow into an eye-aching population.
Unfortunately, many fish tank owners notice them once they are infested enough to see them as pests.
How To Get Rid Of Seed Shrimps?
- Regular vacuuming
- Persecutor fish like guppies
- Seed Shrimp Traps
Getting rid of seed shrimps is easy. Getting rid of seed shrimps eggs is the real challenge.
Regular vacuuming seed shrimps via an aquarium vacuum is an effective method of getting rid of seed shrimps.
Another successful method is to add persecutor fish like guppies.
Guppies like to eat live food like larvae and adult seed shrimps, making them an excellent seed shrimp infestation solution.
Guppies like to stay in groups, so make sure to put at least six guppies into your tank.
And make sure that your current fish are compatible with guppies before getting some.
Seed Shrimp Trap
Seed shrimp trap is a catch pen to remove seed shrimps from the aquarium. It is easy way to Get Rid Of Seed Shrimp.
You put bait inside the trap and let the trap sit for a while in the bottom of the tank.
Sometime after, seed shrimps go inside the trap to eat food.
Due to this trap’s mechanism, seed shrimps cannot go outside the trap after getting in.
You can then take the trap back, remove the seed shrimps, and repeat the steps.
This trap is useful in catching adult seed shrimps and will not work on smaller ones.
To get the best results, you should use this trap and other discussed methods, vacuuming and adding predatory fishes.
Where Do Seed Shrimp Come From?
Seed shrimps may come from an aquatic plant or old gravel you put into your aquarium.
And they also can come with the new addition of fishes to your tank.
Seed shrimps are so small that people can’t recognize them properly or don’t see them at all.
Because of this reason, seed shrimps that come with new fish will be ignored.
Because of high nutrient levels and available food sources, they reproduce very quickly inside your tank.
Will Peroxide Kill Seed Shrimp?
No. Hydrogen Peroxide can remove algae, kill bacteria and stops fungal infections, clean the tank and add pure oxygen into the water.
It is an excellent solution to clean your tank once in a while. But, H2O2 cannot kill plants, fish and inverts if used in small amounts.
Given that, you should not use large percentages of H2O2 as they can destroy everything in the tank, including living beings.
What Fish Eat Seed Shrimp?
However, for them to eat seed shrimp, you have to starve them. Then they will go after instincts and eat ostracods.
For a rule of thumb, feed less, and your fish will get rid of them.
Will Guppies Eat Seed Shrimp?
Yes. Guppies will eat seed shrimps. Actually, they are an excellent choice to get rid of seed shrimps. They eat both larvae and adult seed shrimps. They will even take care of the seed shrimp eggs.
As soon as the eggs hatch and come out the larvae, guppies eat them. So, they are a brilliant choice to stop the infestation of seed shrimps.
Do Betta Eat Seed Shrimp?
Yes. Just like guppies, Bettas also eat seed shrimps as a part of their diet.
Betta is a carnivorous animal that eats mostly insects and insect larvae. As betta fish is an aggressive fish, you should keep only one male fish if your tank is small.
Seed Shrimp Infestation
Small amounts of seed shrimps are not considered an infestation. When you limit feeding, your fish tend to eat seed shrimps and control the population.
However, in some tanks, seed shrimps grow in large amounts. The reason behind this is mainly overfeeding your fish. When seed shrimps get more leftover food, they tend to reproduce more and more.
Then seed shrimps growth take over the tank, and you’ll see only seed shrimps all over the aquarium.
That is called seed shrimp infestation, and it is an eyesore.
If this happens, you should try controlling the seed shrimp population with all three methods discussed above; vacuuming, adding predator fish and using seed shrimp traps.
If you use all three methods and still can’t control the over-population, you have to get rid of the tank and buy a new one for your fish because it is full of seed shrimp eggs.
Seed shrimp eggs are very resistant and indestructible even temperature shocks, and higher CO2 levels can’t destroy them.
That leaves the only way to get rid of seed shrimps is by leaving your precious tank.
That is why you should control seed shrimps when they first appear in your tank.
Do They Harm Plants?
Seed shrimps don’t harm plants if the plants aren’t already rotting.
They are harmless creature for both fish and plants. They are a good food source for predatory fish in your tank.
Seed shrimps are considered pests just because they tend to reproduce fast, and they don’t look nice.
Otherwise, seed shrimps would be an excellent addition to your tank as the fish can feast on them.
What Seed Shrimp eat
In vernal pools, seed shrimp are very common. They are mostly found in the lower strata, where water meets soil. They get their food from here.
Filter feeders suck in food particles along with water while allowing the water to flow out.
They consume the following foods:
Bacteria, Protozoa, and Algae Particles of Detritus