Worm prevention/management? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Question Worm prevention/management?

I love this forum and have been lurking for a little while now trying to learn more and more and decide how to proceed with my tanks, but something has been on my mind...

My tanks have worms.

I hate worms.

There are different types of worms randomly appearing in my tanks and that concerns me a lot. I think they came in on some plants and a mossball. My Walstad experement has worms too (it never shared anything with the other tank) and also worms in its soil. Sadly, I'm thinking about going without dirt in my future tanks. The plants in the Walstad tank were from a different place.

How common are worms?

How can I manage worms better to avoid such surprises in the future?

Does anyone have a worm prevention procedure that seems to have a good track record?

Should Potassium Permanganate work well to kill worms that can come in with plants?

I'm not really looking forward to discovering any leeches in my future set ups, so I would prefer to spare myself that experience too, if at all possible.

I don't want to give up on planted aquariums, but goodness, I hate worms! Can they get in through my skin and infect me when I do maintenance? Agh! :'(

Last edited by aquaticrobotic; 03-25-2012 at 11:08 AM. Reason: formatting
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 02:06 PM
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Can you describe the worms? Or, better yet, post photographs?

Nematodes and such are common in nearly every freshwater aquarium environment. Red Worms/Blood Worms often pop up on a regular basis, as well. Neither are harmful for your tank and are a good sign of aquarium health, in my opinion and in my experience.

If you keep shrimp, Planaria are a kind of flat worm you absolutely don't want in your tank, though.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 04:36 PM
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I can't keep worms in my tank. These were California black worms that I tried to establish. They all get eaten within a week by the flying fox, loaches, tiger barbs, and Firemouth.... The stupid worms keep going to the substrate surface and sitting there half-in and half-out of the sand.

I really don't see the problem of having worms. They are a natural food source for the fish and breakdown organic matter in the substrate to release nutrients for the plants.


https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...64_worm_1c.jpg


https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...65_worm_2c.jpg


https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...6_worms_3c.jpg
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 07:17 PM
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you cant keep a natural aquarium and not keep detritivores (such as most worms). they are natural, useful, and food for your fish.
if you want them dead though, copper sulfate is pretty toxic to inverts.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 02:47 AM
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Worms are pretty essential in converting fish poop into more plant usable material, and they wriggle around in the substrate, keeping things mixed. Plus as others have said, they make good fish snacks when they do pop up.

Keep in mind that copper sulfate will also kill off any snails/shrimp you are keeping or intend to keep in the future.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-26-2012, 03:33 AM
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Keep in mind that copper sulfate will also kill off any snails/shrimp you are keeping or intend to keep in the future.
why would it kill future shrimp? it should stay fairly soluble in the tank and get pulled out with large successive water changes.
if thats not enough, carbon filters it out to a minor degree, and prime will remove some copper as well. otherwise there are filter media specifically designed to remove copper.

on a side note, some shrimp are pretty resilient. i had 2 RCS in my betta tank (hitchhiked) and it got velvet. i treated with a full dose of CuSO4 for 7 days. the shrimp are still there a month later.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Can you describe the worms? Or, better yet, post photographs?

Nematodes and such are common in nearly every freshwater aquarium environment. Red Worms/Blood Worms often pop up on a regular basis, as well. Neither are harmful for your tank and are a good sign of aquarium health, in my opinion and in my experience.

If you keep shrimp, Planaria are a kind of flat worm you absolutely don't want in your tank, though.
The majority of the worms are a few millimeters long and lay on the glass or drift through the water. I've read that they could be planaria or nematodes.

I've seen one worm that was almost a centimeter long, it appeared to have segments and tiny spiky hairs along each side protruding from each segment.

There was another worm, very thin and white, 2/3 of a centimeter long thrashing violently on the glass bottom of the tank after I removed some sand. It appeared unable to get around.

Today there was a worm above the waterline! ' It was heading upwards. It was the longest I've seen yet, a bit over a centimeter long. Transparent white with tapered ends. It was squiggle shaped against the glass. This one disturbed me most of all.

In the soil substrate tank there appear to be brownish colored worms with tapered ends that mostly hang around in a curved shape within the substrate. There are also the very very tiny white worms drifting around in there and on the glass.

I was thinking about getting shrimp eventually but am still undecided.

Last edited by aquaticrobotic; 03-27-2012 at 09:22 PM. Reason: formatting
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by proaudio55 View Post
I can't keep worms in my tank. These were California black worms that I tried to establish. They all get eaten within a week by the flying fox, loaches, tiger barbs, and Firemouth.... The stupid worms keep going to the substrate surface and sitting there half-in and half-out of the sand.

I really don't see the problem of having worms. They are a natural food source for the fish and breakdown organic matter in the substrate to release nutrients for the plants.


https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...64_worm_1c.jpg


https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...65_worm_2c.jpg


https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...6_worms_3c.jpg
This was really interesting! Thank you for sharing. The first image agh! That is a huge mass of worms! I wish my fish would eat all of these dang things lol.

I'd consider adding my own colony of worms, but not knowing whats living in my tanks worries me.

I don't want to pick up any parasites myself and I also fear they might colonize the insides of my fish or be coming out of my fish.

I only have a bettafish right now. Sometimes I see him moving along the bottom and staring at objects and then he might peck the objects. He must be hunting some of the worms. Other times he seems to ignore the worms completely as they fly by him, Occasionally he will see a worm and move a towards it but change his mind.

Today a creepy worm I haven't seen before was above the water line and heading t the lip of the tank. Eek!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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why would it kill future shrimp? it should stay fairly soluble in the tank and get pulled out with large successive water changes.
if thats not enough, carbon filters it out to a minor degree, and prime will remove some copper as well. otherwise there are filter media specifically designed to remove copper.

on a side note, some shrimp are pretty resilient. i had 2 RCS in my betta tank (hitchhiked) and it got velvet. i treated with a full dose of CuSO4 for 7 days. the shrimp are still there a month later.

I've read that copper can get into the silicon and leech out in the future but I'd imagine there wouldn't be a lot.
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