I have white worms in my tank!!??? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
I have white worms in my tank!!???

So I've been trying to get a 10 gallon tank cycled. I just put in some decor and of course that stirred up some debris. When I got finished To much shock I noticed that swimming around and crawling on the glass were lots of tiny white worms about 1 cm long. Is this normal? I read a article and I think it's planaria. Will this hurt the cycle? Should I clean the tank? I really have no clue what to do. There are no fish in it but I would like to put some in soon. If anyone can help me with this, please do! Thanks.
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post #2 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 07:48 PM
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Planaria are non-parasitic flatworms
However there are some parasitic worms out there.

Is this what you see? This is planaria
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post #3 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 07:51 PM
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I've heard of some white worms in aquariums that are actually very beneficial. They eat the fish waste so it may be a good thing

Yes, I really do love my goldfish as much as you love your child.
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post #4 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
Originally Posted by JokerBoyX View Post
Planaria are non-parasitic flatworms
However there are some parasitic worms out there.

Is this what you see? This is planaria
No this is not what I see...unless that picture is blown up. Like I said they are 1 cm big so I can't make them out too well.
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post #5 of 27 Old 04-13-2009, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
Please someone help!!!
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post #6 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 06:31 AM
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Planaria are flatworms and members of the Platyhelminthes phylum.

Planaria are often found in aquariums with uneaten food. The planaria won't hurt the fish, but they are a symptom of too much gravel containing too much uneaten food, and that is not good for fish. They require a food source, which means there must be excess food wastes in the tank to support them.

If examined closely have eyespots as well as protrusions from the sides of their heads. Although they do not harm fish, they love to feast on eggs, and therefore are dangerous if breeding egglaying fish.

A clean tank is the best defense against becoming overrun with Planaria.

Free-living, non parasitic flatworms are common in lakes, streams, ponds, and other freshwater habitats. Planaria, usually dark brown, greenish, or tan, are found in shallow water underneath submerged rocks or vegetation. They can glide over the surface of objects and are sometimes upside-down on the underside of water surface film. The body of Planaria is non-segmented and bilaterally symmetrical. The head is triangular shaped and contains two eyespots that detect light. Worms can shorten and change shape using muscle cells whose contractions are controlled by a primitive nervous system. Asexual reproduction allows a new head and tail ends to form by a process of tissue regeneration. Sexual reproduction is also possible after worms exchange sperm; worms are hermaphroditic. After internal fertilization, numerous zygotes are deposited into a small, dark capsule, called a cocoon, which is about 1 mm in diameter. The cocoon is attached to submerged rocks or plants and, after further development, small worms emerge from an opening in the cocoon. There is no larval form.

Here are my recommendations of getting rid of them

1. Clean Your Aquarium. In particular you should clean your gravel with a Gravel Washer.

2. Add Aquarium Salt to your aquarium up to a maximum of 1 Tablespoon for each 5 gallons of water.

3. Don't Over React. Clean your gravel every day with the Gravel Washer. When you've removed 20% of the water, stop and top your aquarium back up with tap water. Repeat this procedure every day.

4. It may take several days of gravel washing to get your gravel really clean. When it is finally really clean, begin removing gravel, until it is at most 1/4" deep. If you have an under gravel filter you'll need some more advice.

5. Add Quick Cure. Each day after you clean your aquarium and wash the gravel, treat with quickcure.

Repeat steps 1 to 5 listed above, until you don't see the worms any more. This procedure will take several days and require quite a bit of your elbow-grease, but it's the safest method for the rest of the fish in your aquarium.

Reduce the amount you feed your fish, as well as the frequency of feedings.
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post #7 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
Okay so now I'm starting to think it's not planaria. What you guys are describing is not what I see. What else could it be? I'm getting worried because I've now noticed it in my 55 gallon. I've only seen a few. As for the 10 gallon it's infested! What is a gravel washer? To be clear the worms are white in color, they are 5mm in length and less than 1mm wide. They squiggle around the tank and sometimes attach to the walls. The majority seem to dwell in the subtrate. I'm freaking out, I don't know what to do. Please help!
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post #8 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 11:28 AM Thread Starter

I took a look at one of these things under a microscope. This is what it looks like.
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post #9 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 02:29 PM
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take a picture of them so we can know exactly look like
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post #10 of 27 Old 04-14-2009, 02:39 PM
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Worms of Concern
Anchor Worm
Young anchor worms are free swimming crustaceans that bury themselves into the fish’s skin. It takes several months before the worm becomes visible in form of holes or ulcers on the fish's body. After laying eggs, the worm dies off.
Since the worm can not be removed by hand, a potassium permanganate bath for about 20 minutes should cure it (dosage 10ml/l).
Thorny Headed Worm
Visible symptoms are white or green threads on the gills. The fish often scratches on objects in the aquarium.
The thorny headed worm is similar to the anchor worm, only smaller in size. It attaches itself to the gills. The cure is also a potassium permanganate bath for 20 minutes (dosage 10ml/l).
The symptoms are mucus covered gills and/or body, red spots on the skin, fins appear eaten away, as well as rapid breathing.
Flukes are flatworms and are similar in appearance as Ick and can be better viewed with detail through a magnifying glass. Flukes will destroy the gills and kill the fish if left untreated.
The best cure is a potassium permanganate bath for 20 minutes (dosage 10ml/l).
Threadworms are internal fish that sometimes emerge from the fish's anus. This parasitic infestation can be fatal if not treated in time. Preferred treatment is parachlorometaxylenol soaked fish food and a bath in the same for several days (dosage 10ml/ liter).
These external parasites are visible on the skin, gills and fins of the fish and are similar in appearance to Ick.
Since they attach themselves to the fish, the best method of removal is a bath in a salt solution for 20 minutes (dosage 2.5 % salt to water). During the bath, most of the leeches will simply fall off; the ones remaining can be removed with a pair of tweezers.
Copper sulfate has been used to successfully remove and control less harmful worms. Over time, copper has been found to do more damage than good concerning the overall balance of the aquarium. The side effects of copper are rarely in relation with the possible benefits.
I have heard that you can build a trap for them...i dont know if it will work or not but anything is worth a try at this point

How to build a worm trap
Next to commercially available worm traps, it is fairly easy to make one at home. All that is needed is a plastic container or jar with a lid.
Using a razor blade or sharp knife, the lid is cut in X shape. The corners are then pushed slightly inward to form an opening in the lid. The size of the opening varies, depending on the size of the creatures to be trapped.
For the trap to work properly it is important that the worms do not see the "bait" but rather smell it. The container should therefore not be transparent.
For bait, clam and shrimp meat can be used as well as any fish meat available. The bait should be prepared in a way that is small enough for the worms but just short of being mashed up totally.
The container is then placed in the area where the worms are suspected and kept there over night. Adjustments to the size of the lid opening and the bait source can be made for optimum results.
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