How To Control Mosquito Larvae In An Aquarium?

Many mosquitos lay their eggs on the surface of the water whether the water is fresh or stagnant. The mosquitos usually lay their eggs at night time ranging from 100 up to 300 eggs. The eggs look like a black powdery substance floating on the surface of the water. You can see that they are about ¼ inch long and ⅛ inch wide. The eggs start to become mosquito larvae within 24-48 hours and in unison.

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Mosquito larvae are not much of a problem to the fish tank. However, to naturally get rid of them you have to keep your fish tank water moving or simply put tank top net in order to prevent the mosquito from breeding or laying eggs in your aquarium.

What Are Mosquito Larvae?

When the eggs hatch on the surface of the water they become mosquito larvae. They are also called “wigglers” which look like a small hairy worm. The larvae live in the water for around 4-14 days depending on the temperature of the water. Mosquito larvae cannot breathe underwater so they come up to the surface of the water to take in oxygen through a breathing tube called a siphon.

The mosquito larvae need an excess amount of food and energy in order to mature. They eat algae, fungi, plankton, and any small thing that comes towards their mouth to nourish all the energy in order to grow. Other mosquitoes such as Toxorhynchites and Psorophora are the largest mosquitos to ever exist and feed on other mosquitoes larvae sharing their habitat.

Moreover, they shed their skin multiple times until it becomes pupa which develops into a flying mosquito in 2-3 days.

Do Fish Eat Mosquito Larvae?

There are certain types of fish that feeds on mosquito larvae. This helps to control mosquito larvae to fully develop into an adult mosquito. Fish such as the mosquitofish, goldfish, guppies, Koi Carp, Tilapia, Minnows, and many more are known for their larvae eating capabilities. It is a good way to get rid of mosquito larvae and preventing them from harming your aquarium and also the surrounding environment.

It also depends on how big your fish tank is and the temperature as well. Certain fish such as Koi Carp cannot eat many larvae so combining it with other fish by researching can help you avoid larvae in the fish tank.

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Are Mosquito Larvae Dangerous?

It is a natural thing that mosquitoes come to lay their eggs in aquarium especially the one with standing water. Most of the fish that we keep in the fish tank feed on the larvae preventing them from evolving to their final form.

So, there is not much to worry about when mosquitoes come and lay eggs in your aquarium. It is also a great source of live food for the fish and as long as they keep eating the larvae, it is totally safe.

How Long Do Mosquito Larvae Stay In Water?

From the day the female mosquito comes to lay eggs in the fish tank, the process slowly takes place as it first seeks stagnant if not freshwater. Most eggs start hatching within 48 hours which then develops into mosquito larvae.

The larvae then stay in the water and frequently comes to the surface to take in oxygen and develops into a pupa in about 5 days. After they develop into a pupa it only takes them a few more days to become a full-fledge mosquito.

So, with a total of around a week, they stay in the water search for food until they are mature enough.

How To Control Mosquito Larvae In An Aquarium?

As much as they do not cause any major trouble to the fish and the aquarium, some people are worried about the harm it may do to the fish. As all of the fish do not feed on the larvae some might want to get rid of them or keep them in control. To avoid them turning into a mosquito that is willing to suck the blood out of you, following these steps might be taken into consideration.

Changing The Water

Frequent water change is a solution to every problem and this one is no exception. Changing the water frequently can wash away the momentum of the surface and help maintain the freshness of the water. This will help prevent water from being stagnant and mosquitos are less likely to visit and lay eggs.

Learn more about how to change the water of an aquarium.

Larvae Eating Fish

As mentioned earlier, there are fish that eat larvae which can help you solve the problem. Fish such as mosquito fish, goldfish, guppies are known to eat larvae. So, as long as you have them in the tank, they will do the work for you. This is one of the best ways you can apply to control mosquito larvae in an aquarium. But make sure to check the temperature of the water before adding the fish as not every fish can adapt to the same temperature.

Keeping Your Tank Top Netted

By simply adding a tank top net you can prevent mosquitos from even entering the aquarium. If you do this they cannot reach the surface of the water in order to lay eggs thus, preventing the larvae.

Get extra information about ‘Why Do I Need A Lid For My Fish Tank?’ from here.

Movement Of Water

The movement of water plays a very important role in making sure the mosquitos do not lay eggs. The larvae cannot survive in moving water so you must keep the motion of the water. Since the mosquitos only look for standing water for laying eggs.

The filters and pumps in the fish tank can help water aeration and movement of the water in order to prevent water from standing still and also clean as well. They are more attracted to still and stagnant water.

Tetra Decorative ReptoFilter, Terrarium Filtration, and Tetra Whisper Easy to Use AP150 Air Pump for Aquariums are the products that I would recommend.

Reduce Vegetation

Mosquito larvae seek food in order to mature so to prevent them from growing into an adult mosquito we can reduce vegetation which is the plants that we keep in our fish tank.

By doing this the larvae cannot feed on any food and will eventually die. By cleaning the algae and the food supply that the larvae feed on you can prevent them as well as make your fish tank aesthetically pleasing.

Chemical Larvicides

If there is an uncontrollable number of larvae that require a large action, chemicals can be used in order to prevent them from growing in numbers. Pyriproxyfen and methoprene are chemicals that can be used to prevent insect growth hormones.

Moreover, these chemicals prevent mosquito larvae to develop into adults. These chemicals sure disturb the aqua ecosystem so make sure to take the necessary steps while following this procedure.


Mosquito larvae can be a problem to some but most of it can be easily solved with few simple steps. They do not cause much harm as long as they do not get the chance to grow into adults.  They do not harm fish as they only consume the waste from the fish and algae that are present in the water. The only thing that is of concern is the sanity of the fish tank after the eggs are developed. The whole environment gets stagnant and dirty which most of the aquarists do not like.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Baking Soda Kill Mosquito Larvae?

Using baking soda isn’t an effective method to kill larvae. It can just be used to disinfect the fish tank and not completely solve the problem.

Can You See Mosquito Eggs In Water?

You cannot see mosquito eggs in water unless you use a magnifying glass because they are tiny. Even the mosquitoes are so small so you can just imagine how small their eggs might be.

How Can You Prevent Mosquitos From Breeding?

You can prevent this from taking place by simply not letting to collect any stagnant water or by using a net on top of the fish tank.

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