Re: Microscopic Algae eaters.

From: Chris Teichreb (
Date: Wed Jun 30 1999 - 10:15:42 PDT

Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 10:15:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: Chris Teichreb <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg2392$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Microscopic Algae eaters.

Hi Chris,

> it in the jar. So here's my question. The jar with the hyacinth
> has been at the window for over a month, and has some microorganisms
> in it such as cyclops, really big osteocods, and several different
> unidentified worms. I noticed years ago already that when I put a
> jar of water by the window, it does not develop algae if the
> osteocods are present. Searching on the web, I found out that they
> are detritus eaters. Are they algae eat ers too? They never seem
> to hurt my plants themselves. Would using them seem like a good
> method to grow my aquatic utrics. and alds.? All I really found on
> the net was their diet and distribution ranges. Any opinions or
> facts would be welcome.

        There are literally hundreds of species of ostracods. Some are
detritivores, while others are herbivores. Given their size, it is
unlikely that they'll do any damage to your plants. The plants are just
too big for them to eat! If you see them on the plants, they're probably
eating any algae, bacteria, detritus which is on the plant.

        I'd definitely use them, since they don't harm the plants, and
provide a food source for your Utrics and Aldrovanda. Copepods and
rotifers are good too, although some of the copepods are predators and
will consume other micro-organisms.

        If you want more information on ostracods, _the_ expert on their
ecology is a guy by the name of Delorme (can't remember his first name
offhand). If you can get to a university or college, you should be able
to find some of his papers and monographs describing ostracod ecology.

> Also, I have noted that any time I use substrate of any kind in my
> plant jars or aquariums, algae grows significantly faster than in a
> bare bottom setup. I do rinse whatever I use well. I would like to
> grow my U. Purpurea in the submerged form instead of the floating
> form I have now, but I need something to keep it down with, but
> everything I use seems to backfire on me. Any ideas?

        By substrate do you mean soil, or aquarium gravel? With both,
detritus will sink down and accumulate releasing nutrients over time.
With the soil, it will leach out nutrients into the water over time. Try
an inert rock, such as granite or quartz, which is large enough to easily
remove for cleaning, and doesn't leach out nutrients or salts into the

> Thansk again.
> Chris F.

Happy growing,


Chris Teichreb
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Jan 02 2001 - 17:32:00 PST