Tell me that someone else has these growing in the filter... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Tell me that someone else has these growing in the filter...

I cleaned the power filter today and had the sponge soaking in tank water for several minutes. When I pulled it out, the bottom and sides of the plastic container were covered with hundreds of miniscule critters. They looked like leeches with a triangle shaped head. Que estan?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 02:30 AM
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They are most like planaria. To slow moving tank inhabitants they may be dangerous.

Terrestrially, they will eat other worms to extinction.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 02:31 AM
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Flatworm perhaps?

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, that's them. Planaria, or flatworms.
.
But, what do I do about them? Are they dangerous to snails and shrimp?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I searched the site and found several references to flatworms and various similar creatures. Many folks seem to think that they are actually an indication of a healthy tank. Sure freaked me out at first.
.
Interesting thing is, I don't ever see them in the tank proper, substrate or on the glass. I guess that the tank inhabitants (cherry red shrimp, various denominations of snail, cherry barbs, panda cory) are feeding on them. There are no predators in the filter though.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 04:17 AM
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I on occasion see my newly aquaried cherry shrimp eating little critters off of the glass. I belive smaller fish would find them rather yummy.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 02:18 AM
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I found these critters son my glass after lights out recently. I don't normally see them anywhere (canister included) but my fish seem to be fine.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 02:40 PM
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I have them too, I was also FREAKED out when I first noticed them, but all the research I found says they are harmless.

They were the only source of food for the 15 or so angel fry I got from another breeder and the got big and fat eating them. They are in all my tanks, but much less common in tanks with my young YoYo loaches and fry- they eat em up quick. They are too small for my big fish to take any interest, but the little guys love to snack on them.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 03:11 PM
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Yup. We tend to think the only life in there ought to be fish, plants, algae and just what we put in there. At least that's what I thought before. And I suppose if you've got a fish only tank that might be the case. Then I saw nematodes. Then I was really freaked when I saw some sort of flat ribbon worm undulating through the water before diving into the substrate like one of the sandworms from Dune. It had to've been really tiny when it was introduced, but it's about 4" long now . So I got out a magnifying glass yesterday and was observing down near the substrate line in front in the glosso ... there's all kinds of stuff bouncing around in there! Copepods I guess, I tentatively identified some cyclops and possibly daphnia. If I have any fry in future I'm not going to have to worry about what they're going to eat!

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