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QUESTION... Yet another isopod!!


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Just a bit ago I spotted another isopod. I went to get the net and I was not able to capture it. Becasue they are so fast, it makes catching them nearly impossible.


As of now I only have rock in my tank. I would eventually like to add fish but cant as long as these things are in there. Since these things are parasitic, wont they eventually starve and die? Or are they like roaches, indestructable living off of anything and everything?



This is a nightmare! HELP!!!! :(

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Maybe I can be a bit more helpful than the others. If it's a parasitic isopod, it won't survive without a host. i'm not sure about the amount of time required for it (and all possible eggs and hatchlings, if they're aroundd) to die. Probably a couple of months (2) would be sufficient, I'd think.



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I had ONE in my 30 gallon and it attached to my hand while I was cleaning the glass. I'd had alot of fish disappear and didn't know why until then. I read someone on reefcentral who uses large slow moving fish as prey. You put a large slow moving fish in your tank to allow the pods to attach and then because it's slow you can easily net it and remove the pods. Just place the fish back in the tank and keep doing the same process until the fish is no longer bothered by them.

I didn't have to use this method but I have not seen any more of these pods and all my fish are doing very well. just an idea

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I agree with Steve and would leave the tank empty of fish for about two-three months (to be on the safe side) so all would "probably" die from starvation. I have read about the large, slow moving fish and the other options were more drastic.

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Sorry, I was pressed for time earlier. Some fish are reported to eat them I think. One specific suggestion were hogfish. I even believe someone on RC used them successfully to get rid of a parasitic isopod problem in their tank.


In the wild some hogfish provide a "cleaner" function esp. during their juvinile phase, plus they are definitely a pod predator, so this makes sense....

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So many of them look so closely alike. I just signed up to RC and asked Dr.Ron. Hope to hear from him soon.


Will be interesting to hear his thoughts on this as well.

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If you scan the article linked to your last post, you'll quickly get the idea you have a fish eating monster in your tank. However, if you read it, you'll see that the type you have is not one you have to worry about.


From Shimek...


"Sphaeromatids are small bugs, generally less than a centimeter in length. They are common scavengers in many shallow marine environments, including coral reefs, and they are harmless to reef aquarium inhabitants."

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I kind of wonder if it isn't a cirrolinid (sp?) isopod though. Plus the described behaviour of it clinging to the fingers isn't a good sign IMO. Dr. Ron can definitely give you some good info. You have a good pic - make sure to post that with your question.

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check out this quote from Dr. Shimek:




Thanks...I read that already.


Well, then, reexamine the diagram(Figure 1) and photograph (Figure 3) showing the various types of isopods, and note the arrows showing the "tail fins" on the male sphaeromatid isopods. Note also that such "fins" are absent on the predatory cirolanids.


Your images are blurry, but I can see said "tail fins" on your bugs.


They are, therefore, sphaeromitids. They are harmless scavengers. Enjoy them for their biodiversity.

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Breathing a MAJOR MAJOR sigh of relief here. After reading the article posted above and I just got word from them too that this is a safe thing for my tank I feel better. All this time I thought I had the bad one. And from the looks of the back end of this thing, it does appear to be safe. Thanks a bunch all !!!

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