Nobody likes mosquito bites which is why I am going to show you 5 different ways to deal with this problem. In addition, you will also learn:
- What kind of fish can solve this problem for you without affecting your shrimps
- What commercial products can help to solve this problem quick
- A fast way to just kill them all!
Get fish that will eat them
The natural way to take care of mosquito larvae is have some fishes that eat them. The best candidate will be guppies. They are the type of fishes who likes to eat at the floating surface (top feeders) so larvae are perfect food. Best of all, they usually do not disturb other fishes and definitely will not eat your shrimp. One might still chase them but that is all the ‘damage’ the shrimps will take. Personally, I have never seen guppies chasing after my shrimps. They like to swim in the upper half of the tank. Of course, keeping the guppies well fed is key.
Shrimplets are another matter entirely. Guppies probably will eat them if they are not hidden among the plants. If you intend to use guppies to keep the mosquitoes away, plants might be necessary if you want your baby shrimps to survive.
Protip: if you only intend to keep guppies to eat the larvaes, I suggest getting just one to avoid any conflicts. Also get the male guppy so that you don’t have to deal with the pregnancy issues. Female guppies tend to carry a lot of eggs!
Stronger water flow
Another way to prevent mosquito from breeding in your tank is to have a stronger flow at the water surface. Mosquitoes tend to hate that and will not lay their eggs under such conditions. You can do this easily via a small powerhead or a small filter. Once installed, check that the waves cover the entire surface. If there is any quiet surface spots, mosquitoes can still use areas. However, you need to balance that with having too strong a water flow that might disturb the shrimps.
Net them out
If you notice the larvae are looking more like tadpoles, then they are already in the maturity stage. I would suggest at this point to just scope them out with a net and flush them down the toilet. At this stage, it will take about a week or so before they evolve to actual mosquitoes thus not allowing you the time to get a fish or install the powerhead.
Use a mosquito dunk
Another easy way is to use a mosquito product call mosquito dunk (Image right). It is biological in nature ( Bacillus thuringiensis) and can be safely used in the aquarium. They last for 30 days and kill the larvae before they become fully fledged mosquito. I have never try them personally but they seem safe, given that they have been registered for mosquito control in over 50 states.
Install a screentop
Most fish tank owners like their tanks to be ‘topless’. It is easier to do the maintenance but that invites mosquitoes. So, a simple solution is to get a lid that covers the top of your fish tank well. Finding one will the right dimension will be the challenge. You can try the local reptile pet store or attempt DIY. The screen top can be made from netting material so it is pretty easy to find. Whether you have the sewing skills is another matter though.
Will shrimps eat mosquito larvae
One commonly asked question is whether the shrimps can eat the larvae and dispose of the problem. Sadly, that is not the case or this problem will not even present itself. Most shrimps are simply too small to make eating the larvae possible.
Mosquitoes laying eggs in your shrimp tank is a common problem. My personal preference is to use a fish to kill all the eggs. However, if you are concerned about the fish attacking the shrimps then the other 4 methods should provide sufficient alternatives. Happy mosquito hunting.