help - worms in substrate: 10mm rectanglar head transparent + 2mm white - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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Question help - worms in substrate: 10mm rectanglar head transparent + 2mm white

My friend found that the substrate in his 50gal tank was full of worms. There are two kinds: one is about 10 mm long and 2-3 hairs thick with brownish/transparent color. Instead of having rounded heads like regular worms, these have flat/rectangular ends. The second kind is white, about 2 mm long and more worm-like. The large worms don't move much but the small/white ones wiggle. He said there were hundreds of them just under the substrate in the front glass where he could see (and who knows how many more there are throughout the whole tank.)

Does anyone know
(1) what these worms are and whether they are harmful to the fishes,
(2) if there is a treatment for this condition, and
(3) where these worms might have come from?
My friend thinks it's from the plants (perhaps the potted ones?) I ordered for him. Could it be from the fishes or the substrate (Eco-complete and flourite)? I feel bad about his condition because he had been running a problem-free bare tank until I got some plants for him. Since then, he got algae, snails and now the worms. So, if you have any idea on how to deal with this worm situation, please let me know. Thanks.

By the way, he only feeds his fishes dried foods (flakes, bloodworms, tubifex etc.) most of the time, and frozen brine shrimps occasionally.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-29-2004, 01:36 PM
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i had worms that sound similar to the ones you described (two distinct types of similar sizes) although they did not appear simultaneously...
someone on a puffer board suggested that they might be planaria and are harmful to fry... however i'm pretty sure planaria are only dangerous in that they 'signal the presence of overfeeding' (and i overfeed my puffers but there's no wasted food, probably just more fish waste)
actually my fry subsided on these worms until they were large enough to eat blackworms so they definately aren't harmful to the fish. and the adults gobbled them up with fervour!
personally i don't believe it has anything to do with the substrate... i would, however, point fingers at the plants... i noticed the larger sized worms after adding a well rinsed clump of java moss and the smaller ones showed up after adding an ozelot sword...
if biological filtration can handle it i would start changing the filter media over the course of a couple of weeks and vaccuum vaccuum vaccuum...
sorry, that's all the help i can offer!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-29-2004, 01:57 PM
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I've had that before. I noticed at the time that the adult fish would be after me every time I'd vaccuumed, so they could eat these worms up. However, I decided to heavily vaccuumed the substrate and after a while, I was not able to see any more worms. The fish were not happy, though.

20 gallon planted: Plants: Rotala macrandra v. broad leaf, Rotala macrandra v. narrow leaf, Ludwigia repens, Red Tiger Lotus, Green Tiger Lotus, Cabomba carolina, Driftwood. Fish: Harlequin rasboras, pigmy corys and a common pleco. 65 watt Coralife Aqualight 10K. DIY carbon.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-29-2004, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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After searching on the internet, I also think that's what my friend got. Thanks for sharing the experience. At least, now we know that there is no need to strip down the whole tank and start it over.
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