Other Inhabitants - Pond Life

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Other Inhabitants


Some times, after harvesting some small container in a natural pond, with some specimen and samples of soil, alga and plant, it can happen to see in the acquarium occasional and very interesting gueests. In most cases such small critters are not going to breed, sometimes they manage to become permanent guests.
The variety of life forms in natural ponds or vernal pool is so incredibile that each time it is possible to  discover new ones. The same pond, in different periods of the year could reserve many surprises.

ISOPODS: Asellus
Isopods are the most diverse in form and the most species-rich crustaceans of the superorder Peracarida (isopods, amphipods, tanaids, and their kin). Isopods are common inhabitants of nearly all environments, and they are unusual among the Crustacea for their ubiquity. Approximately 500 species colonized freshwater habitats including lakes, rivers, streams, underground waters, thermal springs, the water held in certain tropical plants, and anchialine/cave habitats, where they often display associated specializations.
Hot to raise: I found one in my acquarium one day, some 2 millimeters small. After 2 months it is noe 21,5 cm long. It is mostly nocturnal and he feeds on sinking fish pallets. As they reproduction is not partenogenic it will not reproduce.

Like all mites, Water Mites are close relatives of spiders. Like spiders, they have eight legs and soft bodies. They live in marshes, ponds, and lakes. They like shallow, still water with lots of plants.
Water Mite larvae are parasites, and they need a host to live on. Some insects chosen to be hosts include dragonfly naiads, damselfly naiads, fly larvae (including mosquitoes), true bugs, and stone fly nymphs. One insect may carry around up to 20 mite larvae. Water Mite larvae munch on their host while it carries them. When a mite larva has grown enough, its exoskeleton (outer shell) becomes bag-like. The larvae stays inside the bag and changes to a nymph. As it changes, the "bag" stays attached to the host.

When the nymph is ready, it leaves the host. The nymph has eight legs and looks a lot more like an adult Water Mite.

Gammarus is an amphipod lt crustacean genus in the family Gammaridae. It contains more than 200 described species, making it one of the most speciose genera of crustaceans.[2] Different species have different optimal conditions, particularly in terms of salinity, and different tolerances; Gammarus pulex, for instance, is a purely freshwater species.
How to raise: I found one after harvesting a pool but it never happened a second time. I have never seen an adult one in the pool too. The small one lasted for around 3 weeks, getting a little bigger then it disappeared. According to on-line informations, gammarus can be raised using green alga and  fish pellets.

The rotifers (Rotifera, commonly called wheel animals) make up a
phylum of microscopic and near-microscopic pseudocoelomate animals. They were first described by Rev. John Harris in 1696, and other forms were described by Anton van Leeuwenhoek in 1703. Most rotifers are around 0.1–0.5 mm long (although their size can range from 50 μm to over 2 millimeters), and are common in freshwater environments throughout the world with a few saltwater species. Some rotifers are free swimming and truly planktonic, others move by inchworming along a substrate, and some are sessile, living inside tubes or gelatinous holdfasts that are attached to a substrate.

PROTOZOA - Stentor
Stentor, sometimes called trumpet animalcules, are a genus of filter-feeding, heterotrophic ciliate protists, representative of the heterotrichs. They are usually horn-shaped, and reaching lengths of 2 millimeters, they are among the biggest known unicellular organisms.

PROTOZOA - Vorticella
Vorticella is a genus of protozoa, with over 16 known species. They are stalked, inverted bell-shaped ciliates, placed among the lt peritrichs. Each cell has a separate stalk anchored onto the substrate, which contains a contractile fibril called a lt myoneme. When stimulated, this shortens, causing the stalk to coil like a spring. Vorticella species mainly live in freshwater ponds and streams—generally anywhere protists are plentiful.
How to rise: I have not yet really understood how to ensure a nice growth of vorticella. They sometimes appear as a white milky stain on the glass of the acquarium and fast develops to cover the whole surface. As fast as they appeared, they disappear. I am trying to understand if the PH or water pollution play a role.
They can be nicely observed with a 60-100x magnification (pocket microscope).



Cloeon dipterum is a species of lt mayfly with a Holarctic distribution. It is the most common mayfly in ponds. It has long, hairy tail appendages and can swim well with a wriggling motion.


The soldier flies, are a family of flies. The family contains about 1,500 species in about 400 genera worldwide. Adults are found near larval habitats. Larvae can be found in a diverse array of situations mostly in wetlands and damp places in soil, sod, under bark, and in animal excrement and decaying organic matter.


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