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How To Get Rid Of Copepods In Your Aquarium Fast!

After recently publishing our article going over how to get copepods off your aquarium glass, we noticed a number of people reaching out with a number of questions relating to how to get rid of copepods from your aquarium.

We know that copepods can be the bane of a fish keepers life as the spoil the look of your tank and can draw the eye ruining your viewing pleasure so we wanted to publish this article to help our readers who are having problems with copepods in their tank.

The best way to get rid of copepods in your aquarium is to add fish species that will eat them in large numbers with wrasse often being the best option for most tank setups.

There are a number of chemical products on the market that can also help deal with copepods but they often present a risk to any coral in your tank while also not performing as well as they claim.

In the majority of aquariums, copepods don’t present a risk and many fish keepers will leave them in their tanks as they can actually offer a number of benefits. In addition to being a nutritious food source for many fish species, copepods will also consume a decent amount of algae and detritus relative to their small size.

They also tend to product far less poop than some of the commonly used snail species for the same task but they do have the downside of being unsightly.

Will Copepods Come Back After Being Removed?

Copepods can come back to your aquarium once you remove a batch of them if you add substrate, live plants, rocks, decorations or even fish that have copepods or their eggs on them.

These are the most common ways that copepods will end up in your aquarium and you can keep on accidentally re-adding them to your tank accidentally if you don’t take precautions.

This is why there are so many controversial posts on social media about removing copepods from your aquarium tank with some people saying that the methods that are shared don’t work.

They do, it’s just that the person posting keeps on accidentally re-adding the copepods to their aquarium on a regular basis so it appears that they don’t work.

This is far more common than people realize, especially if you keep a planted tank or change your substrate on a regular basis.

Speaking of substrate and copepods, if you get your substrate from a wild location such as a beach or river bank then there is a moderate risk of you constantly adding copepods to your aquarium each time you change your substrate so always try to purchase a high-quality aquarium substrate to reduce the risk of copepods getting into your tank in this way.

What Are The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Copepods In An Aquarium?

The best way to get rid of copepods in your aquarium is to add a copepod eating fish species with wrasse often being the best option for most setups.

Alternative fish species that will eat copepods include copper band butterflies, clownfish, chrysiptera damsels, and scooter blennies but there are a number of additional species that will eat copepods in lesser amounts.

We have a dedicated article going over what fish eat copepods that you may find helpful though and we would recommend that you read it given the chance as it goes into more detail on using fish to get rid of your copepods.

We know that there are a couple of other methods available but second only to a full tank clean, we feel that copepod eating fish species are the best way to get rid of copepods in your tank.

Although we did add a number of species that will eat the copepods in your tank, wrasse are definitely the best option with most wrasse species being excellent options for getting rid of copepods due to eating them at a much higher rate than the other species.

Second to wrasse has to be clownfish with the majority of clownfish also eating a large amount of copepods too but clownfish tend to host a specific area of your tank and only eat the copepods in that area rather than the full tank like wrasse.

Should I Use A Chemical Treatment To Get Rid Of Copepods?

There are some chemical treatments on the market that are advertised as being able to help you get rid of copepods in your aquarium but they are controversial and definitely get mixed reviews.

This is usually due to the products being overpriced and under-delivering with some of them doing little to nothing to get rid of copepods in your aquarium.

In addition to that, many people who keep marine tanks will often keep corals and anemone in their tanks that are usually very sensitive to having chemicals in their water.

If you are keeping either of these in your tank then we would highly recommend against using a chemical product to get rid of the copepods living in your tank and just pick up one of the fish species recommended in the previous section of the article.

As many people who keep marine aquariums will know, clownfish and anemones can work very well together potentially pushing clownfish ahead of wrasse when it comes to eating copepods in certain tank setups.

Depending on how you have built out your aquarium though, there are a number of different fish species that work and due to the high price tags and questionable performance of many of these chemical copepod treatments, we would recommend that most of our readers avoid them for better options.


That brings our article going over how to get rid of copepods in your aquarium to an end and we hope that we have been able to help you better understand that the best way to get the job done and rid your tank of copepods is a copepod eating fish species. Just keep in mind that if you do currently have a heavily stocked tank, it may not be suitable to add a new fish due to a lack of space so you may have to tolerate the copepod population until you can add new fish to the setup.