What are the little bugs in my aquarium? - Part 1 Cyclops

It can be interesting and sometimes challenging to identify all of the little lifeforms in your aquarium that you didn't intentionally put there. I'm going to do a series called "What are the little bugs in my aquarium?" as I find and manage to get photos or video of the various little critters that somehow make it into my tank.

These first ones are a type of copepods known as cyclops because they have only one eye at the front, but you'd need a microscope to see that kind of detail. I used a cell phone zoomed in to get this shot. That light green thing they are all gathered on is a part of a pea. 

You can tell cyclops by the two front legs that stick out to the sides like antenna and the split tail. These guys are popular as a live fish food and for that reason, you probably won't see them (or not many of them and not for long) if there are any fish in the tank, but my shrimp don't hunt them down, they might eat them when they are dead, but they aren't going to chase them down. They are pretty harmless. and as I have learned, they seem to swarm to blanched peas, but they will eat just about any leftovers.


  1. What things do you feed your shrimp?

    1. So far, they mostly eat algae and biofilm that was already in the aquarium from sitting without any animals in it for a month while it was cycling, and they do eat some of the plants (mostly the dead parts). When I feed them (every few days) usually it's fish food. So far I've tried a couple brands of flakes that we have for the other fish, they weren't too keen on flakes. I've tried the Aqueon betta pellets, because if you pre-soak them they sink, they like those quite a lot. Hikari Crab Cuisine, much like the fish pellets, but they sink better, they like those a lot too. And I've tried Quattro 2, they weren't too fond of that. but when there's live plants and algae too why would you opt for freeze dried? ...and since our betta was getting a blanched pea on Sunday, we made up a few extras and gave them to the shrimp. They liked that better than the packaged Quattro 2 vegetables.I have yet to try anything from the wild (nettle, dandelion leaves, etc.) but that will come.

    2. Ok thanks for letting me know, i just got 6-7 red cherries but they're always hiding so its hard to ever see more than 1-2 at a time.

    3. I think that is the thing they do best. Mine are often hiding too.
      A protein rich meal like fish pellets or the Crab Cuisine will make them act more lively for a little while. I hear it's not good to feed them that too much though. have a little dish that you can serve it on so it's easy to lift out the leftovers after a few hours before it goes bad or becomes more of a meal for worms. Best way to keep worm population down is not to feed the worms, just the shrimp. They don't eat a lot, especially if there are other food sources like algae in the tank.


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