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This was another random invert interest I was having as of late.

If anyone is aware of any cursory legalities concerning owning or keeping Hydra in the home for any length of time, please do inform me, firstly. Some of the more in-depth experts might know something or two about this one.

I of course, refer to pond hydra. Heres a photo, courtesy of Google - http://www.isi.edu/robots/self_heal_html/hydra.JPG

I was hoping to continue some studies into this species. Some of its traits are of great interest to me and I'd really like to learn as much as possible about them. I remember when I was a child and we were catching minnows in plastic bottles when I was really little, I came across one of these on a pond weed I had put in the bottle. I have never seen one since.

Interestingly, the dam which the species lived in, became somehow polluted. I still recall when I was about 14 I went back to the dam, and the water looked murky and milky, but when you looked closer, it was thousands upon thousands of tiny white balls (thats the only way I can describe them) that were free-floating, not moving, and certainly not alive. They were about a single mm or a mm and a half in diameter each.
Consequently, this dam was drained. Fish stocks died. Pike died. Wild water birds died. The resident black Coots never returned. Humans werent allowed to touch the water and there were signs up everywhere. It was a really weird state of affairs.

I have never found a Hydra since that day, when I was a child. I'd love to see them again. Someone once told me "Hey, buy some water plants from the local aquarium and youll probably get some on them." or something. I dont know if this is true or not though, you'd think aquarists; of all people; would sterilise their plants and aquaria of unwanted species before customers buy them, no?

Anyway, any information on this species; where or how to obtain it without having to resort to sticking my face in the local lake, any problems, legalities, red tape etc of owning it you may know, anything at all, I'd love to know more.

Yes, I know the green species (at least) needs sunlight on some level or another. Yes, I know, water fleas should be fed, correct?
And fresh water, not salt. I'm not near the anemone stuff... yet, haha. xD

Thanks for any advice given!
 

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I love hydras they are so cool.
I don't think aquatic plant suppliers sterilise their plants the heat would kill them I think they quarantine them for 2 weeks before sale so your friend may be right.
Try looking in shallow slow moving streams and ponds in the countryside they are usually stuck to plant stems and occasionally pebbles.
They do eat daphnia and brine shrimp but lager specimens take small tadpoles in the wild so I'm sure things like bloodworm would be suitable.
The only other thing i know about them is that they are A-sexual so if you manage to find one you will soon have loads and loads.
Good luck with your hunt and let us know if you find any.
 

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I have only ever found them on one occasion - I have a small container pond which has a lot of plants in it. I noticed a green film last summer and whilst investigating other things, noticed some Hydra.

All I can say is that they are wonderful little creatures, although these were far smaller than the size reported in the little Collins guides, and yet another supposedly common invertebrate which I struggle to come across!
 

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You'll be able to get them from UK based entomological supply places. They are a staple of a lot of undergrad/high school work. I'd try somewhere like Blades-bio (Blades Biological).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I love hydras they are so cool.
I don't think aquatic plant suppliers sterilise their plants the heat would kill them I think they quarantine them for 2 weeks before sale so your friend may be right.
Try looking in shallow slow moving streams and ponds in the countryside they are usually stuck to plant stems and occasionally pebbles.
They do eat daphnia and brine shrimp but lager specimens take small tadpoles in the wild so I'm sure things like bloodworm would be suitable.
The only other thing i know about them is that they are A-sexual so if you manage to find one you will soon have loads and loads.
Good luck with your hunt and let us know if you find any.
Thanks. I'll have a look. Many of the slow moving streams in this area where I live are heavily clay-based, and I think the water is often too pure/mineralized or a lot of species. Even algae fails to grow a lot of the time, much of the water is very... coppery, for lack of a proper description.

I guess I could always just drag a load of Elodea from somewhere and see whats attached. I hear tell they tend to detach when their resident plant is moved too much or something of that nature.


Thanks GRB and Gomjaba for the assist in any contacts that might have them. I'll look into it. Any further suggestions anyone has, feel free to throw them on here. : ) Many thanks! Off to check those links now. : )
 
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