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Description of the ostracod, how to get rid of them in the aquarium

The dominance of microscopic crustacean ostracods in an aquarium spoils its aesthetic appearance and gives a lot of trouble to the lover of ornamental fish. Getting into the aquarium with plants or other inhabitants, the ostracods quickly adapt to new conditions and begin to actively proliferate.

Even among experienced aquarists there is no consensus about whether to get rid of these crustaceans.

Practically all ostracods that can be found in a home aquarium have absolutely tiny sizes (from 0.3 to 2 mm). Among freshwater forms, there are individuals up to 10 mm in size, and free-swimming marine ostracods sometimes reach 30 mm.

On a short body, compressed from the sides and enclosed in a double shell, there are no segments. A transparent or opaque chitinous shell is usually calcified.

On the front of the body, there are two complex faceted eyes and one simple. Small crustaceans move with the help of two or three pairs of walking legs. Movement is provided by the striated muscles with which the limbs are provided.

The body of the ostracod is covered with setae, which are a kind of tactile analyzers.

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The mouth is formed by the developed upper jaws, equipped with lenticular tentacles, the upper lip and a pair of lower jaws. Breathing animal using the entire surface of the body.

The digestive tract is represented by the esophagus., the anterior stomach, the paired hepatic appendages and the intestine, which ends in the anus at the base of the unsegated abdomen.

The abdominal chain and two okolopharyngeal ganglia are the links that form the shell rock nervous system. Some representatives of this order completely lack blood circulation organs.

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Reproduction of crustaceans occurs sexually. Ostracod eggs can be laid in the water, attaching to the algae, or remain between the valves until progeny are released from the leaves.

In aquariums, the most common type of lower crustaceans is the ostracoda Cypris. The main ways of their entry into the aquarium:

Ostracods feed exactly the same as all crustaceans. Most of all they like dead organic matter (detritus), as well as bacteria and filamentous algae.

In reservoirs where there are too few remains of dead invertebrates and fish, ostracods are not as common. If there is plenty of food for them, then they begin to multiply in huge quantities, and this negatively affects the condition of other aquatic inhabitants. It has been observed that the population of crustaceans is growing more actively in herbal aquariums.

In shrimpers and aquariums inhabited by fish, especially predatory fish, ostracods are not many.

According to experts in the field of aquarium, microscopic crustaceans bring more benefits than harm. First, their presence in large quantities indirectly indicates that there is a sufficient amount of organic matter in the water.

Secondly, acting as a kind of filter, they purify the water and the walls of the aquarium, while practically not polluting the environment with their excrement. But some aquarists try to get rid of them as soon as possible.

They believe that the ostracods are uninvited guests. This presentation is based on the following factors:

  1. Lack of awareness. Novice aquarists mistakenly believe that small crustaceans are dangerous parasites that can cause harm to fish and aquatic plants.
  2. The aesthetic side of the issue. Not everyone likes that white dots suddenly appeared on the inner walls of the aquarium.
  3. Concern for other residents. Indeed, some shy shrimp start to get pretty nervous, being close to a colony of ostracods.

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