Help! Way to get rid of drain flies in my turtle tank, Yahoo Answers

Help! Way to get rid of drain flies in my turtle tank?

Environmentally safe way to get rid of drain flies in turtle tank?

I have a water turtle who lives in a terrarium with a biofilter. The biofilter runs off of a bacterial balance which helps to keep the water clean and chemically balanced. The only problem is, we seem to be attracting drain flies to the tank and they’re invading! The carbon cartridges for the filter are designed to sit partially elevated out of the water to help mix oxygen into the water. and this is where the flies love to breed. Usually, with a properly balanced tank I can go for a month between cleaning the filters and it generally involves taking the filters out, emptying the carbon, rinsing it out and reassembling the whole thing with new carbon. Now, with these damn little flies, I have to take the entire cartridge out and throw it in the trash once a week. The flies get into the mesh of the cartridge and lay eggs. next thing you know you have a cartridge crawling with maggots. So far my turtle seems to be okay, but I dont’ want to take any chances. Suggestions? Ideas? I’d like it to be something safe (for the turtle) and effective. There is a mesh screen top on the tank. I took a standard reptile screen lid and added an additional layer of super fine mesh from a screen window to make the holes even tinier, but it’s not helping! The drain flies are still there! I tried a glass tank top but it raised the overall temperature of the tank to dangerous heights within just hours of installing it. Help!

Gnats and Worms in Aquatic Turtle Tank. How do I get rid of them? Are they harmful to my turtle and me?

I have a Red-Eared Slider and this winter I noticed that I had several gnats in my apartment and assumed it was just because of the cold weather outside. I noticed they seem to be really attracted to water so I find most of them in the bathroom and in the kitchen. One day when I went to clean out my turtles tank I notice several flying around his filter. I cleaned his tank like I normally do and then put him back and at his next cleaning I noticed the gnats came back (I hung sticky fly traps in the bathroom and kitchen and it seemed to get rid of them in there). I examined the tank closer and realized there were small red colored worms in the tank about a centimeter long and about as thick as a needle. I also found one in my bathtub and I immediately cleaned it and poured bleach down the drain. I am trying to figure out what I am dealing with here before I clean my tank so I know how to prevent it in the future. Are these worms parasites? Are they dangerous for my turtle? Are they dangerous to humans? After the tank is clean do I need to take my turtle to the vet for any shots or anything to kill these if they are harmful parasites? Hope I get some good answers here because I am really worried about my turtle! Thank you!

I didn’t buy any bloodworms I just noticed a bunch of gnats flying around and then another time I noticed the worms in the water. I do keep the tank clean its just that the gnats are attracted to the water (since I found them in my bathroom and kitchen too) and because of the cold weather I am assuming they came inside because its warmer in my apartment and then I guess they started breeding and a couple turned into a lot plus worms in the tank. Ill try cleaning it real good as you said and see if they stay gone and I have some of those sticky fly traps hanging in the bathroom and kitchen and that seemed to work their so I will put one over my turtle tank too. Thanks.

How to Keep Gnats Out of My Turtle Aquarium

Video of the Day

Gnats are non-biting insects found in damp habitats such as ponds, wetlands and even around your home in old bird baths or gutters. Gnats can find their way into homes, congregating around moisture for breeding. A turtle habitat makes a suitable gnat habitat, too. You can rid them from your turtle’s aquarium various ways.

Gnat Attraction

Adult gnats are naturally attracted to a turtle aquarium because a glass-sided enclosure holds moisture. This warm, damp environment inside is suitable for the growth of gnat eggs and larvae. The substrates in the aquariums provide the eggs and larvae with a food source. Growing gnats thrive on decaying plant matter, algae and stagnant water, which can exist in turtle aquariums even with proper care. Yu may consider using insecticides to remove gnats from your turtle aquarium, but consider alternate routes such as installing screen covers and cleaning the tank diligently. Insecticides are a temporary fix; many can harm your turtle and his living environment

Aquarium Cleaning

Relocate your turtle into a temporary tank. Remove all substrate from the tank; scrub the accessories with water and let them dry. Dump the water from the aquarium and spray it with fresh water. Do not add bleach or other harmful cleaning products. Instead, use turtle-safe cleaning products found at pet care stores. Scrub the tank down and rinse it out. Add new substrate and replace the accessories. Replace old filters. Fill the tank, start the filter system and replace your turtle. Clean the tank as often as you feel is necessary, such as when the water becomes cloudy. At a minimum, perform a thorough cleaning once per month.

Protective Barriers

Protective barriers like screen covers can help keep out gnats and other insects when placed on the top of your turtle aquarium, but only if you get the right kind. When shopping for a cover for your aquarium, do not shop for solid covers made of glass or plastic. Louvered plastic won’t work, either: The cover has to have tiny holes, such as a screen, to promote air circulation and leave out the miniscule bugs. Without holes, the temperature and humidity in the tank with increase and create a dangerous environment for your turtle.

Aquarium Upkeep

Besides cleaning properly and regularly, you can adopt some other proactive measures to prevent gnats from setting up camp. Remove and clean substrates such as rocks, pebbles, plastic plants and floating turtle docks as needed. If you use real plants in your turtle tank, replace them before they start to decompose. If you place any fruits or vegetables in your turtle’s aquarium for him to eat, remove them if he does not eat them within a few hours. Having a separate feeding tank also helps prevent gnats.

See also:  How to Get Rid of Midges in Garden or Backyard - Patio Yard - Garden

What are these tiny little bugs in my turtles tank?

I clean my turtles tank every week but i’ve just noticed these tiny little brown bugs running around all over the bark in the tank. Where did they come from and will they harm my turtles?

3 Answers

I’ve experienced these little bugs. They’re little flies or silverfish or springtails. (even though they don’t really seem to fly) They likely come from eggs dormant in the bark or were attracted to the food, but likely the bark.

If you have any live plants in soil, they could have come from that and gotten into your turtle enclosure. They could also grow in the turtle poo too.

They are a bugger of a thing to get rid of.

However, just to make sure, take a close look at one of those bugs to make sure it’s not a mite or a tick. Reptiles are prone to those. Type mite or tick into a search engine for an image of one. If it is mites or ticks, which from the sound, I highly doubt, but if so, you’ll have to clean the tank top to bottom, change everything inside, and you’ll need to get a treatment solution from your petstore. But again, it doesn’t sound like that’s the problem, so there’s really not an actual harm to the turtles.

If the conditions are too moist in the bark, this is what helps these buggers (the flies) multiply.

But no they won’t really harm your turtle.

They’re just annoying and they are hard to get rid of.

It’ll take a thorough cleaning. Remove and (replace with new) all plant material too, including any branches and bark. Thoroughly disinfect the water dish, top and bottom.

You might consider using moss or sand as a substrate. They absorb moisture better and keep in humidity.

I actually like the pine fresh cat litter too. Some turtles are stinky. However, if you mist your turtles’ tank all over, pine fresh would not work well. If you don’t mist, and just use a water dish, then pine fresh would be very easy and very absorbent for turtle waste.

Those indoor-outdoor green carpets are good too, and easy to keep clean. Cut a few pieces to fit, and exchange them out when you clean the tank. Clean the carpet and put it back in rotation. And they’ll be better with moisture.

Or, you could add a small lizard or tree frog and let them have at those pesky bugs. But really, even a hundred frogs won’t put a dent in those bugs.

And lastly on those little flies, they will get out of your turtle tank and infest the rest of your house if you have live plants, or have any kind of organic matter outside of the fridge, ie. potatoes, fruit, etc. So, cleaning the turtle tank pronto will help keep them from spreading.

How to Keep Flies Out of a Turtle Tank

Video of the Day

turtle image by pearlguy from

Items you will need

Nearly empty jam jar

Sticky fly traps

Turtles have a peculiar smell that can attract flies and other bugs. Fortunately, there is an assortment of tricks to get rid of the flies in your home, as well as preventing them from getting in to begin with. Use the flies’ keen appetite for powerful smells to your advantage by luring them into various death traps. You also can use Mother Nature’s creation: the Venus fly trap.

Keep your turtle tank clean. You want to clean it once every two weeks to keep the smell to a minimum. Flies are attracted to the smell, so it is important to limit odors.

Put a screen on the tank. This will likely collect flies on the screen and provide you with ample opportunity to set up a trap near the tank.

Put your tank into an area away from open windows and doors; this way the flies won’t be attracted to the turtle’s smell.

Shut all the doors and windows around your home. Screen up the doors and windows if it is too hot to keep them closed.

Clean out anything in your home that might attract the flies, such as food. Keep food stored in the fridge or cupboards.

Kill the flies that already have penetrated your home by swatting them with a rolled up newspaper or magazine. You also can use a fly swatter. Try spraying them with bug spray, though this can be harmful to humans and pets. Make sure pets and animals don’t breathe in the fumes and be cautious yourself when spraying the bugs.

Hang sticky fly strips at the outside of doors and widows to prevent the flies from coming in the home. Put a Venus fly trap in various areas around your home. These plants will eat the bugs.

Pour enough water into a nearly empty jam jar to fill it one-quarter of the way full. Swoosh the water around and screw the lid on tightly. Poke a hole in the top of the lid with a screwdriver or other sharp object, making it big enough so a fly can enter it. The fly will become trapped and it will drown.

Get rid flies in turtle tank

General Care Discussion :: I finally found out what the bugs are in my tank

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 5:15 am I finally found out what the bugs are in my tank

I found out that a friend of mine knows a herpatologist at his pharmacy school. I chased the flys around the tank and got them into a ziplock bag and managed to get some of the little tiny ones without wings in it too. He too it to the professor and he said they are called Moth Flies , also known as Drain Flies . I looked that up on the internet and found tons of sites about them. Reading the information and looking at the pictures, that is exactly what they are. He said they are attracted to the water and the humidity in the tank. Here is one of the websites I found that talks about them.

Apparently, many people have them, not just in their tanks, but they are so small, that many people dont even know they are there. Yuck! I’m just happy that I know what these annoying guys are now. Hopefully this will help solve the bug mystery that other people might be having.

How to get rid of tiny flies near turtle tank?

For the past few months, I’ve been noticing these tiny little flies (smaller than fruit flies) on my windowsill adjacent to my red eared slider’s tank. I’ve had the tank for three years now, but I’ve only recently had problems with these bugs. I vacuum them up, but they keep coming back. The windows are closed, so I don’t think they’re getting in through the windows, but I have no idea how to get rid of them for good! I don’t know how they’re getting in. could they be breeding in the turtle tank, despite the constant water flow?

See also:  Tortoise Trust Web - Newsletter articles

How do I get rid of these guys for good? The room is clean, and the water is changed quite often in the tank.

2 Answers

The only way you are going to get rid of these little flies is to clean the entire tank very thoroughly. That means take it all apart and really clean every part. the best part of this is that when you are done you have a really clean tank for your turtle and secondly . no more little freaking flies.

  • Log in to reply to the answers Post

Once you have flies, it is very difficult to get rid of them. I had gotten them where my poison dart frog tanks were.

I got the advice to put a few jars of sweet juice, water and sugar, or fly traps around the cage. They are quite stupid, and they just fly in and die in the water. They are pretty much harmless, I have never had a problem with them in the house, other then them just being there. My darts ended up eating most of them. (:

It is probably nothing you have done, these guys just pop up out of no where and tick everyone off!

How do I get rid of gnats in and around Tortoise Enclosure

How do I get rid of gnats in and around Tortoise Enclosure

I have a Leopard Tortoise named Lukara that’s about 11 months old.

I have her on repti-bark bedding, with a large non-porous water dish, dried orchard grass and Mazuri Tortoise Diet readily available. About 3 to 4 times a week I provide her with fresh greens and the occasional Carrot. Fresh food is removed within about 2 hours of being placed in her enclosure. Water is changed daily.

I try to keep her take very clean, picking up any droppings I see during daily inspections yet I have gnats in the bark and buzzing around.

I’d appreciate some pointers on how to get rid of them without accidentally harming Lukara. Also in the same corner of the room are my 3 Tarantulas, they’re separated in their own containers but they all share the same air, so whatever solution cannot harm them either (In case anyone was offering any aerosolized solutions)

Help! Flies, flies everywhere in my terrarium!

I set up a 30 gallon terrarium about two and a half months ago. It is being invaded by tiny gnat size flies. I tried the insecticidal soap route, which seemed to work, for a little while. Then I thought the natural way and purchased two venus flytraps, but the gnats/flies seem to be winning. Now that I have the venus flytraps, I cannot spray the soap. I sometimes think that the gnats/flies are in the soil? This is all overwhelming me and I would love to hear your feedback. The idea of beginning again, from scratch is daunting, but it would certainly be better than admiring my terrariuim of flies! Thanks for any input.

Comments (23)


Im wondering if they are tiny moths? I had a problem with tiny moths that I thought were flies in one of my set ups, I bought Anoles (3) and they took care of the moths but once the Anoles were removed they always came back, they are in the soil, and the ONLY way to get rid of them is to take you set up apart and clean everything! Im talking EVERYTHING! Remember, I speak from expierience! Good luck! =)


Will it be possible to save any of the plants? My maidenhair is especially lovely. I hate the thought of getting rid of everything, but if I must.

Related Discussions

huge wall over my sectional couch!!

Help me turn my 1920 craftsman into a Bavarian German style

Need help decorating my fireplace and living room.

Need help on neighborhood survey questions


You can keep all of your plant =) just clean the roots under cool water, be sure to keep the roots moist during the whole redo =) and if you have any broms or any other plant that hilds water in them be sure to empty the water and rinse them too.


ok no, you do not have to change and clean out everything in your terrarium

what you have are just common fungus gnats. they live in the soil and lay their eggs and everything in the soil. it will be very hard to get rid of them unless you do clean out everything.

The easiest way to keep everything in check is to get a couple of sundews (drosera) or even butterworts (pinguicula). they will put a large dent in the gnats and almost completely get rid of them. i had this same problem when i started my terrarium, but luckily i had a couple butterworts and soon enough there were tine little gnats getting stuck to the surface of the plants.


sundews (drosera) need a specific habitat to grow happily, unless you can dedicate your whole set up for them,and others like them, it will be very hard to set up a small section of it for them, unless you have a huge tank I dont think they will survive? the plants you have, and the sundews (drosera) live in a completely different habitat =) but you can try it if you want =) it was much easier, and cheaper, to do a clean out.


Dews & butterworts expensive? Not hardly.

Many BBS carry them for $4-5. Of the 2 I would lean toward the dews, they seem more forgiving to me. If you tank has enough moisture to make the gnats that much of a problem, then it is likely moist enough for dews. You could, just to make sure, leave the dew in the bottom portion of the container it came in and just make sure the media there is always very moist. When you first add the dew to the tank, do NOT remove the cover of its container for any long period of time — just leave it open a crack. Over the course of a week or more, leave the container open more & more until you finally remove it completely. Why, you ask? You will need to get the dew acclimated to your tank’s humidity conditions. [Very similar to the need of getting a plant that has been growing indoors slowly acclimated to the light intensity & other conditions when moving it outdoors.]


«Dews & butterworts expensive? Not hardly.
Many BBS carry them for $4-5″ Never said they were expensive =) just said it was cheaper to do the cleanout,if the infestation is as bad as it sounds, one dew just wont «dew» LOL! clean out is just about free, unless you have to buy soil/substrate, which will cost just about the same,but the moths will be there allways, no matter how many dews you have, the clean out will get rid of them permanately, but the choice is up to you allinarow, we’re just trying to answer the question, Help! Flies, flies everywhere in my terrarium! LOL! =)

See also:  Lice and Scabies: Treatment Update - American Family Physician

«the clean out will get rid of them permanately»

Fungus gnats seem to show up no matter what. The dews & butterworts pretty much wiped out my fungus gnat population in my bog tank. Thinking of adding a dew to my orchid tank.

Aslo completely tearing down a tank and redoing it seems like a lot of work to go to.


My tank was infested, I cleaned it out, which wasnt a lot of work, unless a person isnt used to doing such things (no disrespect) and they have never returned, and although the moths themselves will seem to be gone when the dews are used, there are always eggs, and the way to get rid of them is to clean out the set up, no ifs ands or buts, I only want to be sure that the problem is taken care of permenately, but as I stated before, the choice is yours =) Here are a few pics of my «moth free» terarium =) yes, thats my big head self in the reflection! LOL!


» I cleaned it out, which wasnt a lot of work, unless a person isnt used to doing such things (no disrespect) and they have never returned»

No offense taken but still disagree w/ ya. IME [and that of other folks I know], seems the fungus gnats always come back — though not necessarily right away. If yours haven’t, kudos to ya!

Now moths I’ve never had a problem with.

As far aas work, I still find it a pain. Now part of that could be due to being in an apt, hence a lack of room to really work .

On a different note:
I like the pink serated leafed plants in your tank. What are they?

What are the dimensions of the tank?


I had tiny moths, they were not flies or nats, but very tiny moths that were definatly breeding in the soil,as for the pink serated leafed plants, yeah, I USED to have the plant ID stake, but my beautiful and loving wife threw them out just last week, dont ask me why she didnt ask me about them first, but thats a whole other thing! LOL! they are common plants found at Home Depot or your local home improvment center, the dimensions are as follows: 24″ wide x 12″ deep x 32″ tall, I actually glued two tanks together(piggy back style) and the seam doesnt really bother =)here are three more pics, two are close ups of the plants that might help you ID them =)


Are your plants in pots? If so soak all your plants up to the rim of the pot overnight in a tub or sink to drown the flies and eggs.


Well. many thanks for all your suggestions. I have been daunted about redoing my tank, so it remains still with flies. I had (what I thought)a brainstorm! I picked up some fly paper and hung it in the tank, while very unattractive, it was certainly doing the job of «catching» these little buggers. I thought it a great idea, and that it would save me the trouble of a redo, but after seeing the amount of flies it caught, I’m not so sure. Four flypaper traps came in the pack, so I figured if the four don’t do the trick, I’ll redo. Well, I’m on my fourth roll and though the pop of flies seems to be diminishing, I’m sure there must be a gazillion eggs in the soil. I believe I will try one or two of the plants suggested and see if that will help, though I am seriously thinking of redoing.
Let me ask, is there anywhere to buy «soil» that is sterilixed of the little buggers? Or perhaps a soil-less mix? Thanks again for all your advice.


Doesnt matter if you get «sterile» soil =( if you dont get rid of the flies, moths, fungus gnats, or whatever they are, they will just hang around and re enter the tank and lay more eggs,thats why I used the anoles to gobble up the «things» then when they were all gone, I did a clean-out, been just about two years and theyre still gone, but if you want to try all the mentioned methods, go for it, hope at the end it all works out =)


Ok. iliketerrariums. say I buy these anoles, this means I have to take care of them! I mean, sure there will be plenty of «things» for them to gobble up, but I’ll have provide water and heat and etc. Also, my tank cover is that of a fish tank and there is a large opening, covered now by aluminum foil, and I don’t think that will keep the little critter in. And if it gets out, there will be a big fat kitty waiting for lunch!
«why I used the anoles to gobble up the «things» then when they were all gone, I did a clean-out, been just about two years and theyre still gone» When you did this clean out, was that the plants, the soil and the anoles? Guide me, oh wise one!


Alrighty then. I now have vivarium! I did some reading on Anoles and they don’t look too hard to care for. I purchased three today and I hope they have voracious appetites! Wish me luck! I’ll keep you posted.


LOL! Thats a funny one! Wise one? I think not, just went through the moth thing is all =) I dont know much more about terrariums than you! =) When you mentioned you had a terrarium I just figured it had a semi screen top, sorry for assuming =( » When you did this clean out, was that the plants, the soil and the anoles?» everything! yes, cleaned everything with near hot water, plants in cool water, removed all the soil from the tank, and removed all the soil from the roots too, cleaned everything else in near hot water and brush everything off, the tank too, then reset everything back up the way it was with new soil, added the anoles too!, now, the secret is, dont over water! the soil should be just moist enough to keep the roots from drying out, if any water starts to build in the soil it will sour and attract the flies, moths, and gnats, I just mist lightly once, sometimes twice a day with a regular old plant mister, I make sure that water gathers on the leaves a bit so the anoles have water to drink, they wont drink from bowls so this works out great, by the way, they will eat till the critters are gone! when they do, take them out to a temporary tank, take your set up outside, ( if there are any live moths they will fly away outside and not in your house/apartment) and go to town! Good luck and please keep us updated =)


I have had an anole in mine for over a year. The tank produces so many little insects that I have never fed him and he is doing just fine 🙂

No comments

Добавить комментарий

Your e-mail will not be published. All fields are required.