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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a 10 gallon aquarium with 4 African Dwarf Frogs residing. Awhile ago they had laid some eggs that I had tried to care for. All of them ended up dying except for one tadpole that I left in the adult tank that lived for about 10 days. I was really shocked at how he was living without me feeding him.

I ended up losing him as well (I assume the parents had eaten him) Two days ago the frogs had laid another 50ish eggs. But the next day they were all gone.

This morning I looked at the surface hoping to see a tadpole. To my surprise, I noticed VERY tiny white worms floating on the surface. I have a picture here. They are so tiny, you can just barely see them to the right of the picture.

What are these? I've read around and saw other people asking a similar question, but everyone else's worms seems to be bigger/swimming. Mine just sit there floating. Some wiggle around.

The reason I told the above story is; I assumed these were what my tadpole was feeding off of before he disappeared? Is it at all possible these worms could have destroyed the tadpole eggs? (I only ask because I read about planaria which could eat eggs/fry) The eggs are a bit bitter than them, but there are so many I don't know if they all could have caused some damage.

Since I have 4 African Dwarf Frogs, and they eat bloodworms, it's very possible there's extra food in the tank. I normally only feed the frogs 1-2 times a week though.

Do I need to be worried about these worms, or can I leave them there as a food source for any possible future tadpoles? (Crossing my fingers for more!) I don't want them to overrun the tank though. My adult frogs don't even seem to notice them, so they won't help keep the population down.

Thank you for any help. Sorry for writing so much, I just want to be as specific as I can.
 

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are they perhaps springtails? they appear as little white specks and sometimes "spring" about when disturbed....
it could also be detritus worms... they look kind of like lint...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm. The detritus worms seem to be much bigger than what I have. What I have are at most 1mm long, and they only float on the surface. The only springtails I could see look more like bugs. Maybe I'm not seeing the right pictures?

Thank you for the suggestions. :)
 

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I've seen tiny tiny white worms in my tanks without any fish... they're about 1 millimeter long and very very thin, if I didn't look carefully, I'd think it was dust or lint that gathered on the aquarium glass. If it's something that small, I really don't think it's much to worry about. Unfortunately I don't know much about frogs :( let me see if I can find someone for you....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Exactly! I thought it was little specks of dust until one moved.

I just don't want them to be able to kill the eggs/tadpoles, or overrun the tank. I'd love to have them if they are a good food source for the tadpoles. (If I ever get anymore)
 

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Hmmm! Mystery bugs are always interesting. . .

Nematodes are what come into my mind, too - also known as detritus worms. Though these guys do reach a much larger size, they start life off VERY small. The only thing is. . . I've never known them to sit still on the surface of the water, unless there were floating plants involved - in which case, you wouldn't see them without moving the plants, and they get right to squirming for cover! Nothing still about Nematodes.

Springtails are another good guess, but I've never known them hold still, either!

Hrm. . . This one might have to remain a mystery - at least until/unless they get bigger. This time of year it's very possible that these could be the larvae of some insect or another who randomly happened by.

Congrats on your taddies!!! Though I am sorry to hear that they didn't make it, it's wonderful that you were able to rear that first group for almost 2 weeks! That's a feat MUCH easier said than done with ADF, and speaks volumes about the quality care you must provide! Great work!

I'm not sure if it's good news or not, but I doubt your mystery worms had much to do with the demise of the poor taddies. It is REALLY difficult to raise ADF tads from eggs (especially in the tank with mom and dad, as you've noticed *cries*) The taddies need to be fed several times a day with very small foods - and water quality must be maintained perfectly throughout. It could very well be that they had been eating these little wormies, but perhaps their food source more or less ran out at about the time that you lost them? Whatever they may be. . . I'd get rid of them, unless you are able to ID them positivity. From what reading I've done, the majority of random insects to end up in an aquarium are harmless (with a few notable exceptions that *tend* to be easy to ID), but better safe than sorry is always my default opinion as a paranoid aquarist! I know I'd be devastated if anything happened to my lil' froggy friends that was preventable by me, though at the same time the realist in me does recognize that it's probably fine! Might be a fun idea to look into starting a culture of Daphnia or some other such tiny critter to feed the next batch with?

Sorry I couldn't be more help - hopefully someone else will be along to give more solid input. CONGRATULATIONS on a breeding pair of frogs, though - and for getting those lil' babies through for 10 days! You should be really proud of yourself - that isn't an easy thing to do!

Best of luck to you - and please do keep us posted! I'd love to see a journal/log thread following your frogging adventures - unless there is one already, if so - LINKS PLEASE!!! ^.^
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Aw thank you so much for the comments. :D I was so sad when I lost that guy. But look what I woke up to this morning!


(Hope that's not too big) Two tadpoles! (Looks like more because of the reflection)

I saw three little tadpoles floating on the surface in the big tank. I was only able to scoop out two before I lost the third one. They're still in their upside down stage. xD It's always 30C in our apartment, but I'm going to get a small lamp to make sure they're warm in their new little home.

The worms are still there, but they have not increased in size at all. I ended up scooping some with the tadpoles, and I can see them munching on the worms. It's almost a blessing. xD They never seemed to eat the powdered tadpole food I had.

I am quite paranoid because I love my little froggies and I went through a looot to get them. (They aren't sold easily in my area - higher price range too, esh) I've been keeping a close eye out on them and the worms don't seem to be causing any problems. I'm stuck between letting my tadpole munch on them and keeping an eye out, or cleaning the entire tank out to be sure nothing happens to my frogs.

At least I can update if I ever figure it out. Are there any worms that do not grown in size? Or at least, grow very slowly?

Edit: Thank you all for the help so far! I really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm unable to edit my above post, so I'm very sorry for double posting.

I shined a light into the main aquarium, and these worms are very attracted to light. That might be why they are only floating to the top? (That's where the light it) I can see a few stuck to the tank glass towards the bottom, but I also noticed that when my frogs go up for air, they knock some of them from the surface and the worms wiggle around until they hit the tank side glass. So they definitely don't swim much at all. I see a few bigger ones, but none are bigger than 2mm at this point.

I'm started to get grossed out by them now. But now I'm wondering if they are all over the tank, that might be near impossible to clean them all out without having to take all my frogs out and wash the entire tank. That'd be very hard to do in my apartment.

Blah!
 

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Only way I can think of to get rid of them, since they seem to be mostly on the surface, is if you have a siphon for when you do water changes (the tube part of a gravel vac.) Use the tube without the gravel vac attached, and when you start removing water, take the tube and face it towards the surface of the water...as close as you can, to where it draws off the worms from the surface into the tube and down into your bucket.

I hope that explanation made sense! I can post a video if I didn't get my meaning across :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I took a bucket and took it across the top of the water. There's a lot less worms but still oh so many. I'll try your suggestion next. I'm waiting for everything to settle before seeing how many I have now. I'm looking into buying aquarium gloves so I'll feel more comfortable cleaning all the gravel with the gravel vacuum. It does seem to be great food for the tadpoles, but the more I look at them the more grossed out I get. xD

I've had these frogs for about 1.5 years now, and I've never had this problem. I even fed them a lot more than I do now. This seemed to have happened right after I got the tadpoles.

Looking at them in the tiny bowl, they seem a lot more active than when they were in the big tank. They are moving in all levels in the tank (top, middle, bottom) and move a lot more. But the ones in the big tank just sit there floating. There's no difference except the size of the tank. Same water.

I think I'll just have to accept the fact that I have no idea what these are. I'm happy to read that they are most likely harmless. I just don't want them to overrun the tank, as they are already gross to look at. xD If they can't reproduce, I'm sure at some point they'll all die off if what caused them isn't still there. For now I'll keep clearing off the top of the water while sometimes harvesting them for the tadpoles in the small glass. Once they grow, I'll clean everything. It will still always bother me that I don't know what they are. xD But I'm so happy for the advice given to me here. :)
 

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Congrats on the taddies, by the way!!! SUPER CUTE :)

Oh! Another idea...try using a brine shrimp net. These can be bought either online or some local fish stores have them. The material is basically like t shirt material, if not thicker. Theoretically they should be able to catch the wormies....I use this net to catch mosquito larvae.
 
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