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Accidentally got tiniest baby waterbugs

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#1 Betta132

  • NANFA Guest
  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 07 June 2016 - 09:59 PM

I recently caught a whirligig beetle for my waterbug tank. The beetle didn't survive eight hours with my baby toebiter, but it laid eggs in the transport cup, and those eggs have now hatched into about twenty quarter-inch-long wiggles. And no, they aren't parasites- they have tiny legs and jaws and beetle larva heads, they're definitely mini beetle larvae. 

And, when I looked into the bug tank, I found about six miniscule backswimmers puttering around. Evidently those also laid eggs. 

So now my tank has one half-inch-long toebiter and a bunch of teeny-tiny waterbugs. They're far too small for the biter to eat, but I might take it out for awhile and see if I can grow the assorted bugs up. What's the best way to do that? Should I just put in a big handful of leaf litter to help grow infusoria and the like? I added a Java fern from my copepod-filled betta tank, and I can see copepods puttering around, but there aren't very many and definitely aren't enough for all the bugs to eat. 

I'm not trying to grow all the baby bugs up, but I'd like to give them half a chance at surviving for awhile, just to see what happens. 

#2 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 08 June 2016 - 01:25 PM

Fine-chopped blackworms ought to work for the beetle larvae, and maybe fruitflies or gnats for the backswimmers?  Put a piece of ripe fruit out, wait for a bunch of tiny flies, put a plastic bag quickly over it to catch the flies, then freeze the bag.  I think they will eat freshly dead flies.

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

#3 Betta132

  • NANFA Guest
  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 08 June 2016 - 04:08 PM

Will they even eat dead things, though? I have Cyclop-Eeze if so, and I can easily get assorted drowned flying insects to put on the surface for the backswimmers. 

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