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We all know it’s fun to have an aquarium at home. After all, it’s a beautiful addition that makes your living place more aesthetically appealing. Fishkeeping is also a rewarding hobby to many, however, it comes with its own issues. Receiving unwanted attention from mosquitoes and bugs is one of the common problems you might face.
Fish tanks are susceptible to mosquito breeding if the water in the tank is still and has no movement to it. But, it’s not much of an issue you can’t deal with. All you need is some amount of surface agitation in the tank using filters, bubblers, or spray bars of your choice that will prevent the mosquitoes from laying eggs on the water.
Interestingly, you can also let your fish feast on the larvae. I mean, why not? It’s the free live food that also happens to be nutritious.
If you want to know more about dealing with mosquitoes and other bugs attracting fish aquariums, this article is for you.
What You Should Know About Mosquito Larvae?
Some of you might be new to fishkeeping or probably curious about how you got these tiny pests on your fish tank in the first place; for that reason, this section will help you get a better understanding.
Moreover, you must know how to identify the mosquito larvae so that you don’t mistake it with something else (harmful) you got on your tank.
The metamorphosis process mosquitoes go through are of 4 distinct stages consisting of egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
After sucking out blood from humans or other animals, female mosquitoes lay eggs (100-300 at a time) on the surface of the stagnant water. You might know that male mosquitoes don’t bite, but females do because they require protein from the blood for the development of their eggs.
The eggs hatch within a week of getting in contact with the water, and the larvae emerge, called wigglers. Mosquito larvae look like a small hairy worm with a round head and narrow-body hanging upside down. It feeds on algae, fungi, plankton, and other microorganisms for evolving into the next stage. Mosquito larvae may live on the water for around 14 days or more, depending on the water temperature.
It hangs near the water surface and breathes from the siphon tube at the end of the abdomen. At this stage, mosquito larvae molt (shed skin) 4 times to become pupa, called tumblers.
The mosquito pupa floats at the surface and does not eat. It lives in the water for 1-4 days before finally emerging into an adult mosquito. Before taking the first flight, it will rest just above the water surface until the wings and body get dry and hard.
This is the entire life cycle of a mosquito. We hope you have got your doubts cleared by now if you had any.
Does Fish eat mosquito larvae?
Yes, some fish types eat mosquito larvae. It may surprise you but most fishes we see in acquisitions do eat larvae. Here are some fish types that love mosquito larvae as a part of the natural process.
From the famous Goldfish to Koi including guppies, minnows, and more. Do you know there is a fish called Mosquito fish?
Yes, it exists. It is named after its favorite dish mosquito larvae. In fact, many people grow mosquito larvae to feed their fish.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes In Fish Tank?
Generally, it’s not the fish tanks that invite mosquitoes to infest your home. The only reason you may find these bloodsuckers surfacing in your tank is probably due to the stagnant water.
Below are some of the most profound methods to help you get rid of mosquito larvae from a fish aquarium and making sure it won’t grow again.
Method 1: Introducing Surface Agitation
Naturally, you can get rid of the larvae growing on your tank by creating water movement, especially on the surface. If the water in the tank isn’t still, the larvae would not be able to evolve to the next stage and would eventually die.
For that, you can use a hob filter depending on the size of the aquarium. Additionally, you can go for bubblers or spray bars for better water circulation.
Always make sure to keep the nozzle pointing towards the surface because that’s where you need most of the agitation to prevent mosquitoes larvae.
Increase the flow rate gradually so the fish can get accustomed to it because you don’t want to cause stress to your aquatic pet.
Method 2: Use Mosquito Dunks
If you have a tank that is big enough to create constant water movement, you can go for the Mosquito Dunks. It’s an EPA registered natural mosquito larvicide that is 100% safe to use in animal watering troughs and fish habitats.
Depending on the size of your aquarium, use the right amount of Mosquito Dunks. For detailed information on its usage, refer to the instructions given at the back of the packet. You can buy it online from Amazon or your local fishery.
We don’t recommend putting any chemicals because that could cause harm to the aquarium life.
Method 3: Let the Fish Eat the Larvae
This is probably the easiest way to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching.
Most people think that there are only certain varieties of fish that eat mosquitoes, but that’s not entirely true. Pretty much any surface-dwelling fish that is bigger than mosquito larvae would gobble this live food.
Goldfish, guppies, and bass are somewhat more efficient, to name a few.
Initially, your fish may not show any interest in eating the larvae. In that case, you could try cutting back on the amount of food you provide on a daily basis. If you are spoon-feeding yummy micro worms to your fish every day, they won’t need to go to the surface to eat the larvae.
The trick is to get your fish a little hungry by holding back on the food for a day or so, and I can assure you they will munch on the mosquito larvae right up. You will not see it swimming freely on the surface.
Method 4: Changing Water
If this is the first time you have come across mosquito problems in your aquarium, simply scoop the larvae out and see if that works before trying anything else.
In case the larvae seem to grow again, consider changing the water. Dump it all down, scrub everything in the tank, and let it dry in the sun before you start over.
Moreover, conducting regular water changes helps prevent pests from populating, removes excess food, and promotes maximum growth.
How to Get Rid of Insects from Fish Aquariums?
Well, it’s not only mosquitoes, but fish tanks may attract some other household bugs too.
It’s very much possible to encounter bugs both outside and inside of the tank. You may find roaches hiding at the nooks and crannies or pretty much anywhere it’s dark, moist, and warm. Mostly, it’s the spilled over fish food, moisture, and hiding spots that attract the roaches to the tank.
Some bugs can find their way to get into the aquarium. However, the terrestrial ones can’t swim and will die, eventually becoming a snack for the inhabitants. You don’t have to worry about aquatic bugs such as worms and water fleas, your fish will eat them too.
These bugs are little harmless beings and good food for your fish, but for the sake of hygiene and sanity of your aquarium, you have to take care of a few things.
Fishkeeping requires maintenance and utmost care. Don’t leave room for laziness, and be diligent if you have decided to pursue this hobby.
Do proper aquarium maintenance on a regular basis. When you provide food to your fish, make sure you are not spilling it all over, inviting the roaches to feast on. Also, do not overfeed your fish because the leftovers will attract bugs.
Ensure regular water changes that help clean up waste and decomposed food building up at the corners.
Change the aquarium filter media at least every 3 to 4 weeks and give the filter housing a quick rinse. Clean the intake tube if you find any algae and debris collected on it.
To prevent the household bugs from getting inside the fish tank, cover it up with a top net. It may not be nice-looking, but it works efficiently.
The bottom line is: having fish tanks doesn’t automatically make your home prone to bug infestations. Regular maintenance is the key to preserve a safe and healthy aquarium environment.
If you aren’t putting in the time and effort to take proper care of your fish tank, it has ample reasons to attract mosquito larvae and bugs.