Flatworms probably mistaken for planaria - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-24-2013, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Flatworms probably mistaken for planaria

Just wanted to share this image I took of a flatworm in my shrimp tank. Ever since I took my Betta out of the tank all sorts of critters have shown up out of nowhere. These guys have increased in population by a significant amount in the last week (either that or come out of hiding).



At first I was worried they were planaria as I couldn't make out any detail due to their tiny size. They are about 2 mm in length at full size and 1/2 mm in width. But once I took some macro shots I could see they don't have the triangular head or eye spots, so they shouldn't pose a threat to my shrimp.

So just fyi boys and girls, there are some flatworms that live in aquariums that aren't planaria. I think flatworms get mass labeled as planaria pretty frequently and people may nuke their tank when its not necessary.

I thought the little dudes are cool atleast
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Last edited by Clemsons2k; 05-25-2013 at 01:13 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-24-2013, 11:44 PM
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I get flatworms even in my tanks with no livestock, not sure how they get there.. Even have them in brand new tanks with just aquasoil no plants or shrimp.. Show up about 10-14 days into cycling, i used to confuse them for planaria too, thanks for the post.
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Heres a couple more pictures to help people easier identify these guys in their tank without using a magnifying glass or macro photography.




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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 12:40 AM
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Oh this is timely, I just saw one of these in my former betta tank last night and figured I had a planaria infestation. Good to know they're harmless!
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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 01:17 AM
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I thought I might have planaria as well. I was freaking out! I just saw some pics/video of planaria, what we have is wayyy too small.
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 01:23 AM
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They are rhabdocoela. OFTEN mistaken for planaria and they aren't affected by meds used on planaria. They are harmless.
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ravensgate View Post
They are rhabdocoela. OFTEN mistaken for planaria and they aren't affected by meds used on planaria. They are harmless.
Glad someone confirmed the name. I had seen that name in a google search last week, but forgot to bookmark the page and couldn't find it again.

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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 01:44 AM
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yeah have a few of those guys + hydras.. not to worried about anything besides the infamous planaria .
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 02:39 AM
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yeah have a few of those guys + hydras.. not to worried about anything besides the infamous planaria .
Hyrda are certainly something to worry about if you plan on having baby shrimp.
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 03:20 AM
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Hyrda are certainly something to worry about if you plan on having baby shrimp.
yeah just have adult amano's in the tank - im good =)
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post #11 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 03:26 AM
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Yep freaked the first time I saw these guys, but they're harmless.
I keep a school of pygmy corydoras to keep the critter population down.
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post #12 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 04:40 AM
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hmm I feel like there might be a relation to this flatworms and amazonia... I have the same thing.
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post #13 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 04:46 AM
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hmm I feel like there might be a relation to this flatworms and amazonia... I have the same thing.
Not necessarily, I have fluorite and black sand and I have them too.
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post #14 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by aznrice247 View Post
hmm I feel like there might be a relation to this flatworms and amazonia... I have the same thing.

Nope, they come from overfeeding mainly, sometimes they show up even when you don't feed the tank. They are in all my tanks, inert pea gravel, FSS, Up Aqua, doesn't matter. Has no correlation with substrate at all IME.
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post #15 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 04:56 AM
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hmm then I really wonder how they come... air? water? oh jeez I hope its not from the water.
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