Odd little critters in an "empty" tank. Planaria? Cyclops?
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Odd little critters in an "empty" tank. Planaria? Cyclops?

This is a discussion on Odd little critters in an "empty" tank. Planaria? Cyclops? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have a little 5G that I set up as a soil-substrate low-tech tank. I introduced a few snails and a while bunch of ...

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Odd little critters in an "empty" tank. Planaria? Cyclops?
Old 04-06-2010, 03:17 PM   #1
 
redchigh's Avatar
 
Odd little critters in an "empty" tank. Planaria? Cyclops?

I have a little 5G that I set up as a soil-substrate low-tech tank. I introduced a few snails and a while bunch of plants to get it going. Snails are doing great (reproducing like mad- I can count probably 20 baby tiny pond snails without even trying. It's moderately to heavily planted.

I noticed today two interesting tiny critters...

one is a tiny white worm that crawls on things... I'm assuming some kind of nematode or planaria, all my research says they're harmless but signal a problem. No suprise there, the tank does have moderate nitrite levels. I'm waiting for the soil to establish so no suprise there.

There's also this other little critter... kind of reminds me of a gnat, only underwater.
Tiny dot... tan/ lightbrown... They crawl on the sides sometimes but normally swim... and they swim fast for they're size. I'm assuming they're just some little harmless critter, so I'm not worried but I am curious.

I don't neccesarily even want to destroy them. I watched a snail eat one of the wormy things... have no idea how he caught it. As far as I know he just kind of stumbled on it.

What are they? And don't ask for a pic, I can tell you now there's no way to get a good shot of either one.

Thanks!
PS I'm assuming they're planaria and nematodes... am I right?
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:18 PM   #2
 
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white worm like a hydra?
http://images.search.yahoo.com/image...sigb=12apbc8fr

otherwise your prob. right, a flat worm of some sort which is hard to tell without a photo. maybe you can locate what it looks like online and post a link.
you said you used soil and im thinking some sort of larvae was dormant in it, coming to life once underwater. same idea with the planaria ( or whatever it may be ) or may have hitched in on the plants you introduced. without a clear picture an exact ID is difficult.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:14 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
white worm like a hydra?

otherwise your prob. right, a flat worm of some sort which is hard to tell without a photo. maybe you can locate what it looks like online and post a link.
you said you used soil and im thinking some sort of larvae was dormant in it, coming to life once underwater. same idea with the planaria ( or whatever it may be ) or may have hitched in on the plants you introduced. without a clear picture an exact ID is difficult.

Well I can give better details...
the worms are abut 3mm long, whitish/gray/tan and about twice as thick as a human hair. Crawl very slowly (slower than snails, maybe the same speed as the slower snails), but fast enough to see the movement.. I don't think they're hydra...

The specks/dots remind me of a giant amoeba, round, maybe flat, with what seems to be cilia that allow it to swim. They are light brown.

I think they hitchhiked on a water hyacinth that was in a pond...
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:40 PM   #4
 
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do the fish eat them that you've noticed? or have you noticed them bother the fish or plants? on the saltwater side of things, certain flatworms can be pest to coral and fish.

if your collecting from the wild i suggest using a QT and/or treating with a treatment prior to introducing anything to a display tank to prevent this. ( and for anyone reading along, check your local laws and be respectful when collecting, always remember some places are protected as well as certain species )

if these critters didnt come in on the plants, my next guess is your soil or a bug in the house got to your tank and dropped larvae which i dont think is the case because you notice two different types of organisms.
ill say theyre a planaria, nematode, flat worm of some sort but hey what do i know lol.
if anyone else reading has an idea we can hope they chime in to share, otherwise i would keep an eye on them and see if they're bothering anything. personally if they werent noticeably an issue to anything in the tank and not reproducing at a fast rate i would keep them because why not. if they are a problem, or you dont want them, so forth i would try a gravel vac with every water change. i personally would try avoiding any chemicals for now. if you share any plants with anyone be sure to let them know of this before hand.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:08 AM   #5
 
those would be nematodes and either a type of copepode or crustacean, rotifer, cyclops, ect. Try looking at one under a magnifine glass. All are harmless I see them in most of my tanks. Especially in the morning when the lights first come on.
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:30 PM   #6
 
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oh I'm pretty sure they're completely harmless, I think the snail managed to eat one of the worm thingies. pure luck, he stumbled upon it.

There aren't any fish in the tank, but the plants seem to be doing fine.

Could the dots be some baby triops? I put some eggs in the tank about a month ago, and they never hatched.
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