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How To Get Rid Of Ostracods In Your Aquarium!

Ostracods can be the bane of many fish keepers as they quickly multiply and swarm their aquariums with many people considering them unsightly and annoying.

This often results in a large number of questions each month about ostracods and if they are a friend or foe of fish keepers with many people asking if they should get rid of the ostracods in their aquarium or if they should leave them.

Now, this will depend on you, your goals for your aquarium, and what you have in your tank.

There are a number of species of ostracods and they are often one of the best clean up crew creatures you are able to have in your tank as they can eat huge amounts of detritus, algae, discarded fish food, and other things that can cause a number of different problems when it comes to the water quality of your aquariums.

This is why many people will choose to simply leave the ostracods in their aquarium if it is an out of view breeding tank rather than a display tank as they will often have no need to remove them due to the benefits that they offer.

Many people will only have their main aquarium though with it usually being treat as a display aquarium meaning that they often want to get rid of the ostracods in their tank as quickly and easily as possible so the information in our article below should be able to help you quickly remove the ostracods from your tank with ease.

How Do I Get Rid Of Ostracods In My Aquarium?

The quickest and easiest way to get rid of ostracods in your aquarium is to just physically remove them from the tank either by scraping them off your glass or by sucking them out with a gravel vacuum.

This does take a large amount of time and their eggs will often hatch and repopulate the tank but it is safer to any shrimp you intentionally keep in the tank as chemicals can cause problems with other shrimp you want to keep.

Snails can be a godsend when it comes to dealing with ostracod eggs in your aquarium though with both mystery snails and nerite snails being excellent options as they will eat any ostracod eggs that they come across in your tank.

A couple of snails coupled with the manual removal of the adult ostracods can often get your tank in order surprisingly quicky and rid it of all of the ostracods with a little time and effort.

If you don’t want to ever keep shrimp in your aquarium then there are some chemical products on the market, usually copper-based that can get rid of ostracods in your aquarium too but there are mixed reviews about their effectiveness of them with some people reporting that they actually harm the fish in their tanks.

One strategy that you are able to use is work on reducing the amount of food you add to the tank as infusoria is their main food source, if you have no intention of intentionally keeping shrimp in the tank then reducing the amount of infusoria in the tank will starve the ostracods.

“Life in a Water butt – Ostracodes” by Mick E. Talbot is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

What Fish Eats Ostracods?

If you want a quick and easy way to get rid of ostracods in your aquarium then adding an ostracod eater such as a betta fish, emerald rasbora or pea puffer can be an excellent option.

They will eat huge amounts of ostracods as well as their eggs and sometimes actively hunt the ostracods in the aquarium as if they are having fun by hunting the little critters down.

Although betta fish are probably the best option for the job, they are not suitable in all tanks so do some research for your tank size and tank mates to make sure a betta fish is a suitable option.

Second to betta fish, we would have to say that the emerald rasbora is the nest best option when it comes to the amount of ostracods they will eat but they are more suitable for a wider range of tanks so many people will go with emerald rasboras as their ostracod eater of choice.

When it comes to the pea puffer, they really can be hit and miss when it comes to eating ostracods and their eggs. Some pea puffers will eat huge amounts of ostracods but others will pay them no attention at all.

This can be problematic if you are specifically looking for something to eat the ostracods in your aquarium but many people love the looks of pea puffers and will add one anyway even if theirs doesn’t end up eating their ostracods.

Will Ostracods Eat All Of The Available Food And Die Out Themselves?

Although ostracods will often quickly swell their numbers in an aquarium due to there being plenty of food available for them, this food quickly runs out and the ostracod population in your tank will then start to self regulate.

Depending on the situation and how much infusoria is available for the ostracods to eat in the tank, this may be enough for their population to run out of food and perish.

This is a commonly overlooked fact amongst fish keepers when it comes to ostracods in your tank.

If you are able to wait a month or so for the available food in the tank to drastically reduce then you will almost always have a much easier job of removing the ostracods from your aquarium due to there being much less of them compared to the initial months of them turning up in your tank.

The later months also make it much easier for any of the ostracod eater fish that we mentioned earlier in the article to finish them off too due to their lower numbers of less ostracod eggs being in the tank.

People often want a quick, easy, and cheap solution for things but with ostracods, if you can wait four to six weeks, the job of removing them becomes considerably easier in the majority of cases.


That brings our article going over having ostracods in your aquarium to an end. We hope that we are able to help our readers better understand how they are able to easily get rid of the ostracods in their aquarium as many people choose to remove them. As we mentioned back at the start of the article though, ostracods do offer a number of benefits to aquariums with many people simply choosing to just keep them in their tanks and let them do their thing.