Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Jmort04 01-25-2014 10:52 PM

Organism identification
So I look into my tank and closely examine the back of the tank. I typically do not clean the back glass of the 75 gallon tank. When I was looking on the back glass for purple algae growth, I found these little white worm looking things. I have snails so at first I thought they were babies and than realized that these were skinny and wormlike. They are curled up as well. Any ideas?
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Sylverclaws 01-25-2014 11:24 PM

The only little white worms I know of in home aquaria are Planaria. Planaria are flatworms, related to flukes and tapeworms. They typically aren't harmful to fish, but they will feast on eggs from fish, possibly from snails too.

Even though Planaria do not harm fish, they are an indicator that the aquarium has a problem. They require a food source, which means there must be excess food wastes in the tank to support them.
Biggest cause of this is...well, lack of cleaning(you said you don't clean the back glass, I'm wondering if you miss other things in the back area like the substrate...), over-feeding too.

Best cure is a good clean of your substrate and scrub that back window! Try to suck out the worms you see first though, and then throughly clean out your substrate....this may not get them all, but you can manage it by paying closer attention to your cleaning and don't skip areas(of course you don't want to do all the areas all at once as it can shock the beneficial bacteria in your tank...but should be alright if you don't tamper with the filter. However this means they may be in your filter too).

There might be better ways to get rid of them, the only one I know of is to start cleaning properly and get rid of them. Hopefully others can give you ideas. Most of these critters hate salt, but I don't know about plenaria.

Jmort04 01-26-2014 09:20 AM

Thanks for your help. You are exactly right. I clean the tank almost weekly however I do not clean behind my rock in the substrate right in front of back glass. Thanks for the help.
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wake49 01-26-2014 09:51 AM

What kind of snails? Those could very well be the eggs. Do you have a pic?

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Ogre44 01-26-2014 10:20 AM

I'm not sure you get planaria in saltwater tanks.
Would these be little feather dusters of some sort?

badxgillen 01-26-2014 11:52 AM

If they are white spirals that are calcerous,tough to the touch,then they very well could be tube worms...harmless. Salt water planaria can be a big a nuisance.Pics?

Jmort04 01-26-2014 06:01 PM

How do I add photos? I read how to do it on this website however, it does not give me an upload from file option. It only lets me pick a link from the internet for some reason.

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