Natural solution for planaria and other gross stuff?
So, I have a little 3 1/2 gallon tank I have a few RCS in. Yes they will be getting a much larger tank in the future. However, they have been in this tank for 2 weeks. I discovered a pond snail that hitchhiked in on some plants and left him alone. This morning I saw these teensy weensy little clearish things moving on the leaves and their movement resembled snails so I didn't think much of it. Then I saw them. These gross, super small worms on my tank walls. They are pretty much clear or white looking. I siphoned some off the walls and grabbed anything else weird floating through the water I could find. This is a fairly heavily planted tank, I try not to overfeed my shrimp only feeding every other day or every third day and what I feed is just a few fish flakes and a couple of pellets of Shrimp Cuisine...which is all eaten in under 1 hour. So I really do wonder how this little ecosystem has established in such short order outside of coming in on the plants. I've read about Panacur but would have zero idea of dose on a tank this small. I also read that folks use the granules which is odd to me since it comes in liquid form as well. I know it kills hydra, which I have not noticed...yet, but have also read success with killing planaria. I just ordered a nerite snail but now I'm wondering about other snails or life forms to take out these inhabitants. I hesitate to clean the whole tank because I don't want to kill my RCS by changing all of the water out right now. SOoooo.. help? If I can find one of these things again I will get out the macro lens and try to photograph it for identification.
Ok, upon close up this worm has a triangular shaped head. I've noticed something else that kinda looks like a seed shrimp....moves pretty quickly but I can't get a decent pic of it.
And of course another question. If I just up my gravel vacuuming and cut back on feeding even more will this eventually work itself out?
Here is a photo of it, doesn't look like what I'm seeing that's called planaria.
I have those too. I'm not exactly sure what they are but I think they are planaria or planaria related. They move in similar fashion. They definitely are not nematodes as those move in an S shape. They could be true worms but you won't be able to tell without a microscope. I personally suggest just controlling waste if you don't like them. They are completely harmless though.
Thank you for the post! I finally spent enough hours online to figure out they are detritus worms. I vacuumed the heck out of the gravel yesterday and siphoned some worms off the walls.. I DID find a couple of planaria in there and grabbed as many as I could get. I think keeping a check on the gravel and cut my feeding way back might be the trick. If I can't get things in check I will do 100% clean on the tank and cross my fingers for no casualties (shrimp casualties that is!). I've kept ghosties before with no luck but this is really my first run at a shrimp and plant only tank so apparently I have LOTS to learn about the environment in my little tank. Thank you again for the post...I'm glad to hear they are harmless but I'd be lying if I said they didn't give me the heebiejeebies! LOL!
Nematode ... there are 1000's of kinds and not all do the "S" thing.
They are common in new set ups and nothing to worry about for now. I believe the fact that you can see them is a good thing. They are searching for food. Keep up the cleaning and they will regulate themselves.
What is your water change schedule like?
Right now I've been doing about 20% water changes every 4 days. Remember, I've only had this tank set up for 2 weeks (since the 16th of March). I have not been vacuuming gravel because I had read to keep disturbances on the shrimp to a minimal. But between yesterday and today I've vacuumed 3-4 times, changed out about 60% of the water in the process. Tomorrow I plan on taking out the plants and disinfecting those, cleaning the heater and hidey holes and vacuuming the back side of the tank. It's hard to get to all the gravel with all these plants in here so tomorrow I'm going to do a little cleaning without doing 100% change on the tank. See if that will keep some of these things gone. And I may go down to once a week small feeding or maybe just on Mondays and Fridays. There is so much plant matter in the gravel I think this is where the problem has popped up. I feed them on an IAL leaf so very little if any of their actual food gets in the gravel.
And thank you for the post!
IMO don't worry about it. They are self regulating. 50% water changes weekly will be fine. In a week or two, they won't be visible.
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