Big Worm in my Tank, Help. Have picture...
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Big Worm in my Tank, Help. Have picture...

This is a discussion on Big Worm in my Tank, Help. Have picture... within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I took this picture today. It was atleast 4 inches. All wasn't visible. I am really freaking out. Is it an earthworm. I fed ...

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Big Worm in my Tank, Help. Have picture...
Old 11-06-2013, 04:49 PM   #1
 
Big Worm in my Tank, Help. Have picture...

I took this picture today. It was atleast 4 inches. All wasn't visible. I am really freaking out. Is it an earthworm. I fed my catfish earthworms when i was fishing this spring. A few days ago I thought I saw small thread like worms about an inch long. I hope they are earthworms, but now I am scared to put my hand in there. lo
l
Will they hurt me? What are they?
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:56 PM   #2
 
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i would have thought an earth worm would have drowned by now ?
i hope someone can help out here,have you tried to catch and remove ?
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #3
 
Well, at first I just thought wow an earthworm lived and that would be good for my plants. Then the thought occured what if it isn't. I would have a lot of digging now to find him. My husband says he has seen worms in springs and they can survive, but are they earthworms and harmless? I will say that I got all of my rocks from a creek bed here. It would be a spring fed creed that comes down a ridge here in Tennessee. Could something have grown from that? I collected the rocks 3 years ago. Previously I had it set up as a marine tank and had loads of bristle worms. and other worms. Could one have survived and stuck to the glass or something? Under the rim? IDK

I have some strange red aglae that crusts on the glass once in a while and it looks alot like what i had in my marine tank. The structure and color. I scrape it and it comes back but not many.

I'm bewildered...
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
 
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gosh,i hope you find out what it is..
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
 
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Weird!!! Looks like a red worm, the type you would use in a worm farm, how its alive is beyound me.....
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:34 AM   #6
 
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i'm just wondering if you could email the picture to a zoo ?
and ask if someone there could identify it for you ?
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:51 AM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by willow View Post
i'm just wondering if you could email the picture to a zoo ?
and ask if someone there could identify it for you ?
I see your british willow, we would call them bramlings or red worms mate, we collectect them from farm court yards in about that steamy pile of cow manure, these worms turn waste products into a reuseable plant fertz, i used to have a wormery and the juciey liquid what collects in a res for feeding plants you allway got worm liven in this gunky liquid, so they can adapt to life with out oxgen and being under water, willow our earthworms are diferant from the states, ours being bigger lob/blueheads/due worms to there earthworm/ night crawlers/ redworm am sure we bought night crawlers when bass fishing in florida. What would explain how they got there. From your spring fishing, again we need a expert to explain its morf from land to water how its orgins manage life with no air.

Pritty harmless and cool the more you think about it. And a wee education on worms there for you willow
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
 
Question I asked a professer here at tn tech. This is his answer:

After looking at the picture, my earlier response to you appears to be correct. The eggs of these Oligochaetes (proper name for these worms) are put in cocoons that are highly resistant. They would be able to survive what you have done. If you want to get rid of them, you will need to completely change out everything and sanitize your tank, and filter. When you sanitize your filter, your tank will not be able to support many fish initially until a bacterial fauna is well established. If it were me, I would not worry about it.

He thinks they came in with the rocks when i set my aquarium up.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:40 AM   #9
 
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Hullo Catzmuze (cute SN!!!), and welcome to TFK!!!

Ug! Critters in the tank (that we didn't put there!) are always cause for concern. . . creepy stuff, neh!?
I'm no pro, and I've never seen anything *exactly* like this, but I'm fairly sure that its a freshwater Oligochaete of some kind. I'm sorry that this isn't saying terribly much. . . . this class encompasses everything from the humble earthworm to the tubifex worms we feed our fish!!! There are thousands of them, ranging in size from microscopic to massive - and I'm honestly not sure exactly what it is you have in there. . .

The GOOD news is that - to the best of my understanding (and I'm not a pro!), these guys are harmless. You don't have to worry about sticking your hand in the tank - it's very unlikely that it'll cause you harm in any way.

I can't imagine how it got in there to begin with - perhaps introduced as a baby with some other live worms as wormy by-catch, and somehow managed to survive hidden for all this time!

If it were me I'd scoop the little brat out with a net, cup, or siphon. Just get it out of there, so you don't have to worry - heck, even keep it in a jar on the windowsill - looks like a pretty cool critter to watch and learn about - if you like that kind of thing! ;)

Regarding the "small thread like worms about an inch long" you mentioned. . . assuming that they aren't babies to big daddy Oligochaete . . . a bit more information on these guys may better help me get you a proper ID. If they swim in a way that reminds you of the letter "S," and are more or less hidden until you disturb them, it's very likely that they're nematodes - a type of roundworm. Many call these 'filter worms' or 'detritus' worms.' Again, NOTHING TO BE WORRIED ABOUT as far as your personal safety (and the safety of your fish) is concerned! These guys are completely harmless, and the fish will take care of them sooner or later! It may help to do a video search on YouTube for 'nematodes in the aquarium,' if this is what you have, you'll recognize their distinctive swimming style with no trouble. :)

The only thing about nematodes that you might have to worry about is that if there are too many of them, it *typically* is indicative of a tank that is being over fed, or could use a bit more cleaning. They'll often live in the substrate or the filter until disturbed, so you may want to limit your feeding, and be extra sure to keep conditions as clean and pristine as you are able. Could also be that they were introduced with other live foods or plants - just thought I should throw that information out there in case there is something you can do to improve your maintenance on this tank.

Sorry that I can't get you a more definite ID on this fascinating worm! I'll ask around and see if any of our other members have a better idea - or hopefully someone else will stumble onto this thread who can be more of a help. In the meantime I really don't think this big guy is anything to be overly concerned about.

I hope that helps you out somewhat? Please keep us up-to-date on how this develops, and WELCOME to TFK!!! Always good to see a new face! ^__^

Best of luck with the wormy round-up!!!
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Last edited by Chesh; 11-07-2013 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:44 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catzmuze View Post
After looking at the picture, my earlier response to you appears to be correct. The eggs of these Oligochaetes (proper name for these worms) are put in cocoons that are highly resistant. They would be able to survive what you have done. If you want to get rid of them, you will need to completely change out everything and sanitize your tank, and filter. When you sanitize your filter, your tank will not be able to support many fish initially until a bacterial fauna is well established. If it were me, I would not worry about it.

He thinks they came in with the rocks when i set my aquarium up.

HAHAHA! Yeah, that!!!

Once again I MUST remember to hit the refresh button before replying to a thread that has been opened on my browser for a bit!!! Glad to hear (belatedly) that a true professional is in agreement with my thoughts on this - personally, I wouldn't worry about breaking down the entire system for these guys. A few weeks of careful maintenance should take care of the problem, I'd think - and you wouldn't put your fishy friends at risk! Just my thoughts! At the very least I'd TRY the soft and careful approach before doing anything so dramatic as a full tank tear-down. . . But I know many people are terribly skeezed out by worms, so if you feel like you MUST to get rid of every one ASAP - go for it, but be very careful to keep those fishies safe as your tank goes through the cycle all over again!

Again, good luck - and keep us informed!
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Last edited by Chesh; 11-07-2013 at 10:47 AM..
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