Want to learn how to get rid of water fleas in a fish tank?
These are some of the things you would not want roaming inside your fish tank, but it could be depending on the water conditions. In most cases, fish tank owners let their fish take care of the problem, but this is not always possible.
This often depends on the type of organisms living inside the fish tank. If you don’t have the right fist, water fleas will continue to be a problem!
What are some reasons why water fleas come on in the first place?
- Water temperature in the tank
- water quality
- Types of Tank Living Organisms
This includes where the water fleas are, how many are present, and how living organisms are reacting to their presence.
What are water fleas?
Water fleas are commonly found in freshwater habitats. The most famous water fleas are in the Daphnia genus. Daphnia occurs in ponds and rivers throughout North America and Europe. Typically, in aquarium lingo, when we talk about water fleas, we are referring to daphnia.
The water flea is microscopic, measuring only .01-.12 inches in length. They consists mostly of:
- One head with one antenna
- A trunk and abdomen enclosed in a case called the carapace
They use antennae strokes to propel their bodies through the water. The diet of the water flea usually consists of algae and microscopic organic matter particles. So, when it comes to your fish tank, are these little crooks friend or foe? Insect or friend?
Are Water Fleas Bad for My Aquarium?
“Having fleas” clearly sounds less than desirable. First, let’s remember: Daphnia are not actually fleas.
Water “flea” are small shrimp. Well, technically not shrimp, but they are crustaceans. This means that they are completely aquatic. So, don’t worry – they won’t soon run out of water to feed you and your land-based pets.
With regard to the health of your aquarium, let’s assess the potential hazards. Here’s what we want to make sure water fleas aren’t:
- Directly harassing or harming your fish and other aquarium animals
- contaminating or damaging water quality
- This can also affects the aesthetics of your tank
They’re not the worst thing in the world to see, but it’s understandable if you don’t want to see them.
Or, maybe you don’t mind some, but rather get rid of them when they become too much. So, we will review below how to get rid of water fleas in fish tank.
However, the good news is that Daphnia will not cause any real harm to your aquarium. They are not bad for the water or the fish. In fact, plenty of fish species will be happy to have them around to snack on.
Many owners choose to buy or cultivate Daphnia.
Many other varieties of crustaceans and other small visitors are equally harmless to your fish tank. If you see something unfamiliar, it’s best to identify it first and then consider whether you want to get rid of it.
How to get rid of water fleas in fish tank
They are all relatively simple and can be implemented without much time or expense.
1. Let Your Fish Do the Work
This should be the first method you should try and also the easiest, all it takes is patience. Give them some time before moving on to other methods.
If you want to give the fish a little encouragement, skip feeding it. This may help them to see the local food supply floating right under their noses. It will also slow down the flow of new organic matter that daphnia feed on.
Small fish like to eat Daphnia. If your current rooster is not taking the bait, you can choose to add some new small fish to your tank.
Water fleas are considered a delicious treat by many fish. However, if none of your tank dwellers seem interested, move on to some more proactive methods.
2. Change your tank water
This is a common concern and it is something that most fish tank owners are going to mention at one point or another. In short, if you want to learn how to get rid of water fleas in fish tanks, you’ll want to start by changing the water.
They are feeding heavily on suspended particles of organic matter. They’re getting fat, and they’re having kids. Changing the water in your tank will directly remove the fleas’ food supply which will allow them to re-populate. You can flush out the fleas and replace the existing food-filled water with new water that is clean and free of particles.
Just remember that water changes can be stressful and potentially dangerous for your fish. Don’t change all the water at once, and follow standard recommendations for safe water changes.
Instead of replacing 50% of the water, you want to aim for a higher percentage. The goal is to drive out water fleas and give your fish tank a fresh start.
There’s going to be a bit of legwork and you’ll need to use a high-end water changer to get the job done. However, this is something that will be worth the trouble once the water flea is gone!
Take your time changing the water and keep an eye on the pH level at all times. You don’t want the water changing to disturb the rest of the environment in the fish tank.
3. Use an Organic Aquarium Cleaning Product
An organic fish tank cleaner is one of the best solutions available for this problem.
Biological tank cleaners help reduce organic waste. Waste particles are caused by overeating or overcrowding – but even healthy tanks will have some amount of waste.
These products are designed to aid in your cleaning process. But they are a helpful tool in your fight against water fleas because they help deplete their food supply. Simply search for a product that is suitable for your aquarium, and follow the directions on the label.
- Quick Removal of Water Fleas
- Safe to use
Using this type of cleaner can be an easy way to eliminate the problem without much thought. Just follow the instructions and see things turn out right for you!
4. Use the Blanched Zucchini Trick
The best-known home remedy for water fleas is the blanched zucchini trick.
First, blanch a zucchini. Cut off a piece and put it in your tank. Water fleas should be attracted to zucchini, and they will attach themselves to it. Once you see it, simply remove and discard the zucchini.
The whole process shouldn’t take more than a few hours, but you may prefer to leave the zucchini in the tank overnight, then remove it in the morning. A person who is serious about learning how to get rid of water fleas in a fish tank will want to start here.
5. Empty the Filtration System
Have you taken the time to check your fish tank’s filter?
A lot of owners won’t think about the filtration system and it’s going to make the water quality in your tank worse. In short, water fleas become trapped in the filtration system, causing them to spread further.
This is an important responsibility for anyone who is thinking about getting rid of water fleas safely and effectively in your fish tank.
6. Install a ScreenTop
Most fish tank owners prefer their tanks to be topless. Easy to maintain but it invites mosquitoes.
So, instaling a screen top or a lid that covers your fish tank will go a long way in preventing water fleas. Finding a right dimension will be the challenge. You can try the local reptile pet store or try to DIY. The screen top can be made of netting material so it is quite easy to find.
7. Flea Repellent Plants
The ultimate natural remedy to get rid of fleas is to seek help from specific plants to help repel these biting insects. There are a range of different plants that repel fleas.
Plants that keep fleas away:
- Penny Royal
Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Water Fleas in Fish Tank
If you’ve been battling with water fleas, we hope you found this guide useful. Remember that water fleas are not harmful to your fish or the quality of your water. Even though they seem to be holding power, their presence is a minor problem and one that you can easily fix.
Each one is going to work and this will make it easier to keep the fish tank clean and free of water fleas.