Help!!! Unknown critters in tank!!!

For the discussion of any creepy crawlies that may have taken up residence in your tank, including mites. Please note that isopods have their own forum.
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Kermie16
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Help!!! Unknown critters in tank!!!

Post by Kermie16 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:55 am

Looking into tat today and thought I saw something moving and sure enough found a small almost clear looking critter in the tank!! Not sure what it is. It's the first big I have found in our tank. What do I do??? I scooped it out and put it in a Baggie to try to get a pic. This was the best I could get. It moves really fast and almost the size of a grain of sand. If you look closely it is dead center little ghostly white in pic.
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Crabinski
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Re: Help!!! Unknown critters in tank!!!

Post by Crabinski » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:44 pm

We all want to freak out the first time we see what is most likely a perfectly harmless food mite. Was this invader near a food dish or wood item such as a branch or log hide? If so, it's a food mite for sure. They show up in most tanks periodically and then die out. The best way to keep them from hanging around is to remove all fresh foods after 8-12 hours, rake the substrate for bits of food and seek out any food stashes your crabs may have created.

This is the link to "Mites - The Good, The Bad and What to Do" in the FAQ and Care Guide section:

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92530
PPs are Big Enzo, Charles Paris and Mr Pinch
On the Big Beach in the Sky: Murray, Gino, Oscar, Gordon, Ignatz, Harry and King Felix the Pale
Also Mom to Imogene the Syrian Hamster

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Kermie16
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Re: Help!!! Unknown critters in tank!!!

Post by Kermie16 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:06 pm

Crabinski wrote:We all want to freak out the first time we see what is most likely a perfectly harmless food mite. Was this invader near a food dish or wood item such as a branch or log hide? If so, it's a food mite for sure. They show up in most tanks periodically and then die out. The best way to keep them from hanging around is to remove all fresh foods after 8-12 hours, rake the substrate for bits of food and seek out any food stashes your crabs may have created.

This is the link to "Mites - The Good, The Bad and What to Do" in the FAQ and Care Guide section:

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92530
It was in front of the mobani wood structure. I usually take out all fresh foods the following morning from night before just to try to avoid critters :/ I don't have any pill bugs in my tat because I just hate any insect - they creep me out! But, would it help to have some to help maintain the tat and keep away critters?? Do I need to take the wood out and bake it or soak it to clean off any other mites?? Should I take off the top layer of sub? I have 2 crabs molting and 1 digging around probably to molt soon. The food mites don't disturb the crabs? Ugh. Hope not!

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Crabinski
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Re: Help!!! Unknown critters in tank!!!

Post by Crabinski » Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:18 pm

Taking off the very top of the substrate is something I do periodically, just as part of a more thorough spot clean, so, yes, it'll help remove the food mites. Removing and cleaning wood items is always a good idea to help prevent mold and dislodge any mites that may be hiding there. I have several wood pieces (mopani, grapewood, mesquite) so another can be rotated in while the one just removed can be cleaned. When mites are present, I scrub the wood with a wet paper towel to remove them, then soak the wood in SW for a few hours (that helps prevents mold and mildew) and then put it outside in the sun to "bake" dry -- you can also bake it on a low setting (250-275) for about 1-1 1/2 hours.

Bottom line is that food mites cannot harm hermit crabs in any way so don't worry about that angle. I don't have any roly-polys in my tank, either, but they aren't a bad idea as they are scavengers just like the crabs and will help keep the 'tat clean from food particles.
PPs are Big Enzo, Charles Paris and Mr Pinch
On the Big Beach in the Sky: Murray, Gino, Oscar, Gordon, Ignatz, Harry and King Felix the Pale
Also Mom to Imogene the Syrian Hamster

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Kermie16
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Re: Help!!! Unknown critters in tank!!!

Post by Kermie16 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:45 pm

Thanks, Crabinski! Will get to doing some clean up today! Appreciate your advice :D

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Kermie16
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Re: Help!!! Unknown critters in tank!!!

Post by Kermie16 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:20 pm

Found some in the shell shack on second level crawling around the shells :/ Not near any wood or food up there. Still could be food mites? Looked a bit different. No hopping or flying though.

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CallaLily
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Re: Help!!! Unknown critters in tank!!!

Post by CallaLily » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:06 pm

What's That Bug in the Crabitat
Mites: The Good, The Bad, and What To Do

FYI: if they are food mites 1)they're harmless and 2)extra cleaning very rarely gets rid of them for good.

Here's what I do to help keep their numbers down when I see them:
-remove fresh foods every morning.
-clean the Water dishes every day.
-check for foods hidden around on the surface and remove.
-scoop out a bit of the surface of the substrate where food has fell and under/around the food dish.
-wipe down the glass every day.

This only keeps numbers low and after a while they seem to vanish completely, but they do randomly pop up again from time to time. It's just something you sort of have to deal with. Some crabbers see them a lot, some hardly ever. They're harmless and help clean up a bit. Not saying I would let their population get crazy. That would be annoying for me and I would think the crabs.

Adding pill bugs or springtails to your crabitat might help keep their numbers down, simply because of competition for resources.

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Kermie16
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Re: Help!!! Unknown critters in tank!!!

Post by Kermie16 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:22 pm

CallaLily wrote:What's That Bug in the Crabitat
Mites: The Good, The Bad, and What To Do

FYI: if they are food mites 1)they're harmless and 2)extra cleaning very rarely gets rid of them for good.

Here's what I do to help keep their numbers down when I see them:
-remove fresh foods every morning.
-clean the Water dishes every day.
-check for foods hidden around on the surface and remove.
-scoop out a bit of the surface of the substrate where food has fell and under/around the food dish.
-wipe down the glass every day.

This only keeps numbers low and after a while they seem to vanish completely, but they do randomly pop up again from time to time. It's just something you sort of have to deal with. Some crabbers see them a lot, some hardly ever. They're harmless and help clean up a bit. Not saying I would let their population get crazy. That would be annoying for me and I would think the crabs.

Adding pill bugs or springtails to your crabitat might help keep their numbers down, simply because of competition for resources.
Thanks, CallaLily! I went ahead and overnight soaked all of the wood structures in MSW and baked them this morning. Also cleaned out and boiled all of the shells from shell shack and placed new shells I keep on hand for swap outs. I scooped up most of the top layer with a plastic spoon so not to go too deep, just surface. Haven't seen any since yesterday :) Have a group of zebra pill bugs on the way from isopod connections, who, BTW, have GREAT customer service!! My kids and I are not as adventuresome when it comes to searching for pill bugs in our back yard since around here, you never know what you'll find :shock: Will keep up the regular maintenance as you recommended though :D Thank you!!!


Adavis728
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Re: Help!!! Unknown critters in tank!!!

Post by Adavis728 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:48 pm

I have had an issue off and on with these tiny bugs in my crabitat. I do a full clean out and they stay gone for a bit then here they come again! They are almost usually in and around the food dish and I know mites like that are harmless to my crabs. My question is do they come from the food? Are they just permanently in my tank? They drive me crazy! Is there a way to post a short video bc I would love for someone to tell me what they are! I keep my food in the freezer and remove/change their food dish everyday. If i can find a way to post a video that'd be great! Thank you!

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LadyJinglyJones
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Re: Help!!! Unknown critters in tank!!!

Post by LadyJinglyJones » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:52 pm

They probably dissappear for a while because you take out the free roaming, breeding population, but aren't able to get rid of eggs and reeeeeally small juveniles completely. Then eggs hatch and gradually mature, and increase, until you can see them again.
"Gaze upon the rolling deep..."
Quince the fat tailed gecko; Amazonian minnows; and now Harry & Luis, Bede & Aster, Chandra & Jace, Pax, & Piccolo, my adopted PPs.
RIP Vegita :(

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