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Feeding insects from outside Q's

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Post Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:05 pm
checkie_check Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 167
So I accidently left a bucket of water outside for a while with some plants. Now it is filled with mosquito larvae and a bunch of other insects.
some looks like miniature versions of mosquito larvae and other stuff.
So I was wondering if there is any health risk of feeding these insects to my fish?
since I don't want to take any risk on my fish.

Can mosquito larvae carry parasites or other bad things that can harm my fish?

Any input and experience is gladly appreciated.
Thanks

Post Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:51 am
alcimedes Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 323
Location: Coon Rapids

I think the only thing you'd really want to watch out for would be dragonfly or damsel fly nymphs.

You didn't mention what kind of fish they were, but anything larger than the smallest fry would find them a wonderful snack I'd expect.

Cylcops could be a problem, or hydra if you have really tiny fry in the tank.

Post Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:33 am
born ready User avatar
Level 6 Member
Level 6 Member

Posts: 673
Location: Stillwater
I have kept containers outside for many years and fed the resulting aquatic fauna to my fish without any issues whatsoever. If you just put out a container, it is very likely that all you will ever have in there are flying insect larvae: predominantly various kinds of mosquitoes, but also midges (bloodworms) and only once did I ever get dragonfly larvae. Dragonflie larvae are carnivorous and a big one will catch a smaller fish and suck the juices out of it. HOWEVER, they look very different from the other larvae and tiny ones will be consumed by the fish just like mosquitoes, so I wouldn't worry about that as long as you visually check before you feed.

Since your bucket or tub has never had any contact with the wild aquatic world, I would never expect to see hydra, cyclops or anything else which might endanger fish fry. I have collected from wild ponds and those creatures, and other unpleasant ones, are very much present there though. I inoculated my tub years ago with some pond water because I wanted daphnia. Now, in addition to all the larvae, I do get daphnia from my 30 gallon tub for most of the Summer and Fall, but I also introduced cyclops by accident at that time and have those as well. I have read that cyclops can attack fry, but I have fed this to many fry (maybe not the tiniest of fish fry though) and never seen any issue from the cyclops.

I encourage everyone to put a bucket in a shady part of their backyard, throw in a few dead leaves and wait a few days for the fish food to start appearing. As long as you are diligent about collecting the mosquito larvae (which your fish will love and benefit from very much), you are doing yourself and your neighbors a big favor because every raft of eggs laid by a mosquito in your bucket is one that isn't laid somewhere where they can mature and bite people. I wouldn't talk about it though because the neighbors may not understand this and I have heard that in some towns this is technically illegal because they want all mosquito breeding opportunities removed; even the ones that are really mosquito death traps.
Andy

Your tanks aren't too small. Your fish are too big.
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