Need to ID/get rid of worm - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-20-2011, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Great info! FWIW, I fully admit to previously over feeding and believe that is the root cause. It is a habit I've been working on diligently. :)
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post #12 of 15 Old 12-21-2011, 02:47 AM
Yes which is why when I have around 30 fish in a 20 gallon, leave it for two weeks the nitrates are 7ppm... I'm lucky if I test each tank for nitrate twice a year. I don't really care how much the tank is producing, what I care about is how much nitrogen is going into the tank. When I moved here I tested the tap water then setup my tanks and never tested any of them for nitrate in the 6 months I've lived here till your last post. The filterless was 0ppm which I expected since there is basically no stock in there. My 20H with all ~30 little fish was 7ppm and the big 55 with its heavier stocking was around 15ppm. The 20 and 55gallon and high-tech so they get fertilizers. One of those fertilizers is KNO3, which is adding nitrate. High productive planted tanks are nitrogen sinks, they will usually demand more nitrogen then normally available.

You see it as pollution, which its not. Its just nutrient excess if its building up, its simply shows inefficiency IMO. It can be dealt with via water changes or you can use natural means(plants). I normally change 50% weekly regardless of levels on all my tanks. At home weather it was 40ppm or 0ppm in the tank it got a 50% water change with the 20ppm tap water. Thus I rarely tested and just accepted that test as a general idea of how the tank was functioning. Also I can't deffer red from red all that well from their silly color card.

After testing my tanks in response to your last post I got thinking. Basically I realized how nitrogen starved my filterless soil tank was, since I normally exclude it from dosing. So when I added nitrates to the other tanks yesterday I included it. I retested it just now and *poof* its got 20ppm of nitrates. The way I view things it should be a much happier tank for now.

My parents well water has 25ppm according to lab tests and my useless API test kit at those levels.In the USA nitrate levels are limited to 44ppm so here it is well within the accepted level. That level is normal of it and has been consistent for the last 9 years. They run a daycare out of that home, we have to have the water tested since its a private well and it does pass drinking water standards. We use it as drinking water and always have. The natural springs down the road have the same nitrate level so its normal for our area. Also pay attention to what nitrogen is being measured, our water report is in Nitrate-Nitrogen(NO3-N) which is different from just nitrate(NO3-). Nitrate-nitrogen is limited to 10ppm in the US, so perhaps this is what you are talking about. However the API test booklet mentions it on the nitrate test page. Nitrate(NO3-) tests give readings 4.4 times higher then Nitrate-nitrogen(NO3-N) tests. Which is why the number on our water report is usually really close to 5ppm NO3-N. I only know this because I was once confused by the majorly different reports of the lab and my API kit, till I finally figured out they were reporting the same thing in different ways =/

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #13 of 15 Old 12-21-2011, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by shunyata View Post
Great info! FWIW, I fully admit to previously over feeding and believe that is the root cause. It is a habit I've been working on diligently. :)
good stuff!!

For most people overfeeding is habitual.

Those worms will continue to spawn and will continue to exist in the tank. The question being is how to get them under control and stop being an eyesore? Regulate and limit the feeding and regular cleanings are the fist line of defense.


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post #14 of 15 Old 12-21-2011, 08:46 AM
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thank you for the post / reply. I believe we are on the same page. I didn't know about the NO3- vs NO3-N difference. That is totally new information for me. I usually focus on the ammonia +/- electron but I don't have planted tanks anymore. Here in our area of Canada, our well water had a reading of 0 for nitrates so I too had to dose the tanks when I had them.

now we digress... and hope the OP has a better understanding of how weekly water partials work (although there is more).

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post #15 of 15 Old 08-26-2012, 12:12 PM
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Excess food may not be the problem

I have a tank I use to prep my water changes in. I move water from this tank to the tank with the fish in it. My prep tank has no gravel, has never had any fish in it, has never had any food added to it, and tests 0 for ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. It has planaria in it. I have treated it with No-planaria several times. They always return. The only thing in the tank they could be feeding on is algae. I vacuum the tank regularly to remove algae, but it isn't possible to remove all of it. Based on this information I have concluded that over feeding, while an undesirable condition, is not the cause of a planaria infestation. It is a condition I doubt can be avoided. I suspect many hobbyist have an infestation and are unaware of it.

I will also add that I treated the main tank (the one with fish in it) with No-planaria. It did kill my blue snail.

I have cory cats which feed on the planaria. I clean the tank regularly, at least once a week. I have decided since the planaria are harmless to the fish, to live with the situation.
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