What are these white “bugs” in my aquarium? We noticed tiny white “bugs” crawling on the glass in our aquarium recently, and found out they are Copepods.
Copepods are tiny crustaceans that feed on algae, detritus, and other decaying matter and are found almost everywhere in the world, both in freshwater and saltwater. In a reef tank, they are part of a healthy ecosystem and are a good sign that things are going well. They are also a great food source and many aquarists buy these “pods” as food for certain types of fish, such as the Mandarin fish.
But how did they get in our tank if we did not put them there? They are yet another hitchhiker from the live rock, although beneficial, and not a pest like some hitchhikers. We have been feeding our reef with a product called Phyto Feast, which is made of microalgae, which is what Copepods eat. This probably explains why we have seen so many lately.
And in case you needed to know, Sheldon J. Plankton from Spongebob Squarepants is a Copepod!