Ridding tanks of worms and planaria. - The Planted Tank Forum
 2Likes
  • 1 Post By en7jos
  • 1 Post By en7jos
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Elizabeth,NJ
Posts: 417
Exclamation Ridding tanks of worms and planaria.

I currently have three tanks.
One Aqueon Shrimp tank with yellow shrimp and a couple of nerite snails, one Fluval EBI Shrimp tank with a couple of nerite snails, and a 8 gallon tank I'm using as a medical tank for new plants before planting them into the other tanks
Currently, the Aqueon and medical tanks have little worms squiggling about and I recently discovered and Planaria in the medical tank as well. Is there a way I can be rid of these pest without harming the shrimp, snails and plants? I was thinking of transferring the shrimp nd snails from the Aqueon tank into the Fluval tank and empty out the Aqueon and clean the tank, substrate,filter, and wood with hot water. Would that work?

Also, I had gotten some Christmas Moss that came with a bunch of micro-pest and snails. Is there a safe way to clean the moss of the critters without harming the Moss?
ShadowBeast is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2020, 03:33 AM
Planted Member
 
en7jos's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Singapore
Posts: 298
You'll probably never get rid of the white wiggling detritus worms - they're a normal part of any healthy tank eco-system, just perhaps more noticeable in a shrimp-only tank where there are no fish to feast on any that come into view. Unless you have a major excess, don't worry about them. Any chemicals that will kill them will also be bad for your shrimp, so there's not much you can do anyway.

For planaria, get some "No Planaria". Perfectly safe for a shrimp tank if dosing followed correctly and accurately. I've used this several times recently to eliminate hydra from my shrimp tanks. See full write up on this thread:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...l#post11355019

For planaria, you may need to do the full 3-day dosing schedule (one day seems enough to get rid of hydra). It won't rid your tank of the other non-planaria worms though. Be careful if you have snails in the tank; I've found it safe for MTS, but others might be more sensitive.

Just be sure that you do actually have planaria worms though and not just some harmless detritus worms. Look for triangular head and cross-eyes etc, Google gives lots of photos to compare if you're unsure.

For your moss, what micro-beasts are you concerned about? Like detritus worms, many are signs of a healthy tank and you may do more harm than good in trying to get rid of them!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
en7jos is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2020, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Elizabeth,NJ
Posts: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by en7jos View Post
You'll probably never get rid of the white wiggling detritus worms - they're a normal part of any healthy tank eco-system, just perhaps more noticeable in a shrimp-only tank where there are no fish to feast on any that come into view. Unless you have a major excess, don't worry about them. Any chemicals that will kill them will also be bad for your shrimp, so there's not much you can do anyway.

For planaria, get some "No Planaria". Perfectly safe for a shrimp tank if dosing followed correctly and accurately. I've used this several times recently to eliminate hydra from my shrimp tanks. See full write up on this thread:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...l#post11355019

For planaria, you may need to do the full 3-day dosing schedule (one day seems enough to get rid of hydra). It won't rid your tank of the other non-planaria worms though. Be careful if you have snails in the tank; I've found it safe for MTS, but others might be more sensitive.

Just be sure that you do actually have planaria worms though and not just some harmless detritus worms. Look for triangular head and cross-eyes etc, Google gives lots of photos to compare if you're unsure.

For your moss, what micro-beasts are you concerned about? Like detritus worms, many are signs of a healthy tank and you may do more harm than good in trying to get rid of them!
Maybe, but they've become too abundant in my tanks. So I need to do something to eliminate most of them. I originally thought they were nematodes, but I think those only crawl rather than swim. But it seems like a complete cleaning of the tank with hot water might be my only choice to deal with the detritus.

Thanks for the advice on dealing with the planaria, I'll be sure to buy some "No-Planaria". I've only seen one so far, and luckily it wasn't in the shrimp tank.

With the moss, aside from some ramshorn and bladder snails, the container I placed the moss in was covered in these tiny worms. Might be baby planaria and/or baby nematodes.
ShadowBeast is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2020, 03:50 AM
Planted Member
 
en7jos's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Singapore
Posts: 298
Harmless detritus worms come in various forms - some are white wiggling pieces of cotton floating around in the water column, others look like tiny leaches that scoot around on the glass at surprising speed, others are mostly hidden in the substrate. As far as I am aware, only planaria are potentially harmful to your preferred tank inhabitants (but I know the others are still annoying and unsightly!).

Usually, when a tank is in balance, these worms are self limiting. Over feeding can cause an outbreak, but I've had outbreaks in new tanks that have received zero food, so that isn't always the issue. It could also be a buildup of muck in the substrate that is the root cause. In short, remove the food supply and the worms will self limit. Lots of worms means there is lots of food coming from somewhere... usually. Unless you have active soil which for me seems to support it's own host of fauna without any outside help!

The thing is, you can break your tank apart, clean everything with boiling water etc, but you're not going to remove all of the worms. If there is sufficient food supply, the few remaining worms will soon multiply again and you're back to square one! On the other hand, all the cleaning can well upset the beneficial bacteria in your tank such that it's balance is more out than before, resulting in more outbreaks of unwanted fauna, algae, etc.

My advice would be to vacuum the gravel lots to remove any buildup of muck, be careful with feeding and perhaps underfeed for a while, and bide your time until the tank settles back down and these worms self limit. Trying to eliminate them all is probably going to be impossible and do more harm to the tank than good. Unless they are actually planaria in which case do the full No Planaria treatment right away!

Good luck ! James =]
ShadowBeast likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
en7jos is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-30-2020, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Elizabeth,NJ
Posts: 417
Just discovered a new worm in my med-tank. it looks to be around an inch and a half long and looks like an underwater earthworm. Just saw it swimming, it has a flat body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by en7jos View Post
Harmless detritus worms come in various forms - some are white wiggling pieces of cotton floating around in the water column, others look like tiny leaches that scoot around on the glass at surprising speed, others are mostly hidden in the substrate. As far as I am aware, only planaria are potentially harmful to your preferred tank inhabitants (but I know the others are still annoying and unsightly!).

Usually, when a tank is in balance, these worms are self limiting. Over feeding can cause an outbreak, but I've had outbreaks in new tanks that have received zero food, so that isn't always the issue. It could also be a buildup of muck in the substrate that is the root cause. In short, remove the food supply and the worms will self limit. Lots of worms means there is lots of food coming from somewhere... usually. Unless you have active soil which for me seems to support it's own host of fauna without any outside help!

The thing is, you can break your tank apart, clean everything with boiling water etc, but you're not going to remove all of the worms. If there is sufficient food supply, the few remaining worms will soon multiply again and you're back to square one! On the other hand, all the cleaning can well upset the beneficial bacteria in your tank such that it's balance is more out than before, resulting in more outbreaks of unwanted fauna, algae, etc.

My advice would be to vacuum the gravel lots to remove any buildup of muck, be careful with feeding and perhaps underfeed for a while, and bide your time until the tank settles back down and these worms self limit. Trying to eliminate them all is probably going to be impossible and do more harm to the tank than good. Unless they are actually planaria in which case do the full No Planaria treatment right away!

Good luck ! James =]
Just thought of this, but couldn't I treat any plants with stuff that isn't shrimp-safe, for snails and other pests in a tank without the shrimp and wait a week or two and rinse off the plants before transferring to a shrimp tank?
Also discovered a new pest in the med-tank. Looks like a flat earthworm.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-01-2020 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
ShadowBeast is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2020, 02:26 AM
Planted Member
 
en7jos's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Singapore
Posts: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowBeast View Post
Just thought of this, but couldn't I treat any plants with stuff that isn't shrimp-safe, for snails and other pests in a tank without the shrimp and wait a week or two and rinse off the plants before transferring to a shrimp tank?
Could do, but what about the majority of the snails etc that are in the substrate? Won't they simply reinfect your plants when you put them back in?

Also, depending upon the chemicals you use, even trace amounts remaining on tank equipment can impact sensitive shrimp months or even years later. A few weeks and a good rinse may not be enough to remove everything from the plants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowBeast View Post
Also discovered a new pest in the med-tank. Looks like a flat earthworm.
Like a leech?

Have you considered manual removal using a planaria and/or trap perhaps?


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
en7jos is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2020, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Elizabeth,NJ
Posts: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by en7jos View Post
Could do, but what about the majority of the snails etc that are in the substrate? Won't they simply reinfect your plants when you put them back in?

Also, depending upon the chemicals you use, even trace amounts remaining on tank equipment can impact sensitive shrimp months or even years later. A few weeks and a good rinse may not be enough to remove everything from the plants.



Like a leech?

Have you considered manual removal using a planaria and/or trap perhaps?
Do bladder snails burrow in substrate? I guess I could/should do is remove the substrate. It's only small batch of a big bucket that I received from AquariumPlants.com some years. So I still have plenty of non-infected substrate I can use. I'm thinking of trying a different strategy with the substrate anyway, I'm thinking of leaving the tank bottom bare and fill up little cups and plant the plants in those to minimize the amount of hiding places.

I guess I will have to research the chemicals and see if anything can neutralize it after it's been used, but until then, I guess I will have to closely inspect every plant I plan to transfer and any new plants I get(just need to find my magnifying glass now).

It might've been a leech. I first saw it burrowing into the substrate and it looked like a mini earthworm, then I saw it swimming in the water, in which I saw that it had a flat-body, then I saw it moving on the glass like an inchworm.
I later discovered a swimming bug yesterday as well. I caught it and put it in a small container and caught three more today. They have short bodies, bulgy eyes, and look a little like spiders minus a pair of legs.
ShadowBeast is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-06-2020, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Elizabeth,NJ
Posts: 417
I've found a video of what the worm looks like here
, another video had commenters identify it as a Ribbon Leech, but I can't find any decent data on it.

I've finally identified the water bugs as young Dragonfly Nymphs(darter sympetrum), I don't know whether it's a good idea to release them?
ShadowBeast is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-08-2020, 02:45 PM
Planted Member
 
en7jos's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Singapore
Posts: 298
Glad you managed to find your answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowBeast View Post
I've finally identified the water bugs as young Dragonfly Nymphs(darter sympetrum), I don't know whether it's a good idea to release them?
Depends whether they are native to your area or not. Are the plants new and if so are they locally grown or imported from another state / country? Good to release them if you can be sure they are a native species, but not good to release if the eggs were laid on your plants in another part of the world.

Strange how we think we are in control of our tanks, but then how Mother Nature likes to remind us who's really boss with all these little "gifts". Seems we are merely a guiding hand, even at the best of times!

Have a search for "Foo the Flowerhorn" on YouTube and watch some of the videos of his low-tech Walstad aquariums. The way he perceives every aspect of his tanks (including the unexpected / unwanted guests) with such interest and respect really opened my eyes to a whole new way of viewing my tanks and this hobby. His commentary always focuses on the need to "find balance" in a tank; for me probably the most important thing I've come to understand since getting back into the hobby. Tear downs, chemical treatments and other such nuclear options are rarely a good way to restore balance, if you see what I'm getting at.
Blue Ridge Reef likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
en7jos is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2020, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Elizabeth,NJ
Posts: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by en7jos View Post
Depends whether they are native to your area or not. Are the plants new and if so are they locally grown or imported from another state / country? Good to release them if you can be sure they are a native species, but not good to release if the eggs were laid on your plants in another part of the world.

Have a search for "Foo the Flowerhorn" on YouTube and watch some of the videos of his low-tech Walstad aquariums. The way he perceives every aspect of his tanks (including the unexpected / unwanted guests) with such interest and respect really opened my eyes to a whole new way of viewing my tanks and this hobby. His commentary always focuses on the need to "find balance" in a tank; for me probably the most important thing I've come to understand since getting back into the hobby. Tear downs, chemical treatments and other such nuclear options are rarely a good way to restore balance, if you see what I'm getting at.
Well, I got the plants from two sites. Aquariumplants.com(which is in Florida) and Wetplants.com(which is from New York), I'm in New Jersey, so if they came from Wetplants.com, I think it's safe to release them. Not so sure if they came from Aquariumplants.com

I ended up just doing a tear down and only used hot water on the tank itself, the rocks/driftwood, and the filter(minus the media) and just did a light rinse on everything else. The substrate needed a cleaning anyway and unfortunately, I forgot that the substrate cleaner needs C-batteries to work anyway. The shrimp are doing fine and none died, I think the Nerite snails were the ones who caused the substrate to get dirty as if I remember right, they a heavy poopers. Still seeing worms, but not so many(I wasn't feeding so much in the first place). I try to scoop up any worms I see and can get to. I'm glad there were no other pest in my shrimp tank. I lost my first batch of shrimp years ago to a insect nymph, and I'd bet a leech would go after them as well.
ShadowBeast is offline  
Reply

Tags
christmas moss, pest, planaria, worms

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome