Bugs in the vivarium

janice

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I have a ten gallon tank home to one c. orientalis; it is divided into land and water with a Duetto50 filter in the water. There are three ferns, creeping fig, moss, and polka dot plant on the land, as well as tillandsias growing on the cork bark. In the water there is some Java fern, Java moss and some cryptocorynes (sp?). I have a piece of driftwood in the water, protruding over the land part, for Flame ( my son named her) to get out if she feels like it. So....I have noticed bugs in the viviarium. There are gnats, but also some tiny hoppy things that live on the wood (I think); they also float on top of the water. The little things are kind of blueish gray, and there are quite a few of them. Any ideas on what they are, and if they are a problem? Are the gnats a problem? Thanks!
 
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paul

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I have had the same thing in my vivarium, usually on driftwood like you said. These little bugs are springtails. They dont cause any harm, and they are kind of cool. I dont know about the gnats, but my guess is that they are fine.

Paul

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alan

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They won't hurt your newt, and even help to keep the tank clean to a very small extent. I'm told that some people object to insects flying around their house. Can't think why...
 

joe

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Some bromeliads (and your Tillandsias may qualify in this regard) benefit from insects. When they die, their decomposition adds to the nutrition for the Bromeliads. There are even a few select Bromeliads that actually trap insects (Catopsis berteroniana and Brocchinia reducta)for protein. So unless you've got something that appears to be an infestation of sorts damaging your plants, it doesn't sound like the presence of the insects is a problem.
 
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^imp^

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If the soil in the land part of the tank is boggy, the gnats are probably living off that decaying organic matter. If you look closely, you may spot a few tiny white worms on the substrate. Usually not a big deal, but I might worry about root-rot if the soil is too boggy.

^iMp^
 
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