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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Substrate worms!

Ok, so we've all come in contact with these... Little worms that sometimes develop in the substrate, and can become quite a nuisance. Does anyone know what they are, where they come from, and whether they are harmful or beneficial to the aquarium? I've always considered them fish food. But they can get pretty annoying when they start crawling on the glass .
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 03:07 AM
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Are these worms red? I would think tubifex worms. But I have yet to hear of tubifex crawling on the glass.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 05:54 AM
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If on the glass it sounds like Planaria.

In college....so no aquariums for a while.....
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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They are mostly buried in the substrate. I think they live off of mulm, because people who don't gravel vac their FO tanks tend to have them. They are light colored, and semitransparent. They are also literally the thickness of your fingernails. You can see their bodies pulsing as they move around, and when you stir up the substrate, you can see them wiggling as they are floating around (the fishes are quick to come in here ). They're definitely not tubifex, and they can crawl on glass when the glass is not cleaned/has a little algae they can stick to I guess. I'd post a pic if I could, but damn these things are small .
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 03:12 PM
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i had some in my tank a few years back, i believe there from overfeeding. all you need to do is vaccuum the sub feed less and in a couple of week you should have no more. btw there harmless!


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2007, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks James, Spypet had them on that thread. Here they are:

They are harmless, and they are caused by low maintenance. Now spypet said fish don't eat them.... not my experience however, my RTS, neons, zebras are pretty quick to snag them. So I don't know if it's a good idea to keep them around. The big tank is too hard to gravel vac (125GAL) and I think its just not worth it. IMO they are an excellent, renewable source of fish snacks
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-12-2007, 11:30 AM
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gouramis especially enjoy them and will hunt them out more than most other fish

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 02:14 AM
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Wow, i was just about to start a thread asking what these were, as I have encountered them in my 5.5 rcs tank. The only thing is though, is that Id on't know how I got them because I definitely do not over-feed my shrimp- in anything, i underfeed them. I only give them a few HBH bites (they are the size of rice grains) every once in a while because I have enough live plants and a sponge filter for them to eat detritus and algae off of. I also have some planaria in there as well now. All posts so far have said that these little white worms and planaria are harmless, but is there a way to get rid of them medicaly? I can not in anyway vaccuum a planted 5.5 planted shrimp tank, and I am at a loss of ideas.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-16-2007, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Searun, I think they should go away by themselves. They don't necessarily need leftover food. Shrimp waste and other detritus seems plenty for them. But eventually, their population should get too large for the amount of food. If you wait a while their numbers should naturally decline, and possibly go away on their own. I've seen them come and go, like a diatom outbreak. But your tank is small, and its much easier to notice them . Anyone else got any ideas?
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