NANFA-L-- Red water mites -- poisonous?

Jase Roberts (
Mon, 08 Aug 2005 16:08:49 -0400

Hi All,

Curious what folks know of red freshwater mites. I have a fairly large one (well,-in-least it's very clearly visible to the naked eye) that has been living in my tank for a couple of weeks. What surprises me most is that my fish (juvenile bass and sunfish) have not eaten it. No other soft-bodied invertebrate could last more than a couple minutes in this tank. I've seen the fish take notice and approach it on many occasions, but they never attempt to eat it even though it would be a trivially easy target.

Are these mites known to be poisonous to fish? Given the avoidance behavior, it definitely seems the red is a warning color to potential predators. (As with bees or butterflies.)

Also, are any of these mites parasites on fish? This guy seems harmless enough, but just want to be sure it's wise to allow it to continue living in the tank.

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