I have a critter in may tank that worries me - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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:shock:

I was doing a 20% weekly water change on some my tanks today (we have 10 in all) and noticed a worrisome creature. This tank is a 55 gallon planted tank, with three 5-6 inch goldfish, a weather loach, and several siamese algae eaters. One of the goldfish was attacked about 2 weeks ago by a pleco, that has since been re-homed in another tank. This fish is still recovering, and lost about 20% of his scales on his tail area. He's looking pretty rough, but eating OK. The other two fish are doing fine.

The critter reminded me of a leech. I ran into several of these while vacuuming the gravel. They were tan colored, between 3/8 and 3/4 inch long (depending on individual.) When sucked into the vacuum tube (the larger diameter tube), they'd try to cling to the side of the tube, and eventually, lose strenth and let go. I'm not sure, but I think that the creature was triangularly shaped (cross section.) The diameter of the worm (for lack of a better word) was about the same as the diameter of a pin, but that did change as the worm contracted and elongated.

Several things come to mind and need to be mentioned.

1. I have two other goldfish tanks, another 55 and a 125. Did not see any of the critters in the other tanks. These are planted too.

2. I have not seen the creatures attached to the fish. I even looked in the gills.

3. My three goldfish tanks have been "off" for about two months. I have attributed the problem to the purchase of 4 fish, 3 of which have died. 3 of my other beautiful fish have died too, though I did think I was through the worst of it. The fish seemed to improve a great deal after treatment with praziquantel. They still don't seem quite as frisky and happy as they should.

4. My hope is that the creature may well be harmless, and could have arrived as a hitchhiker along with some plants.

BUT - I sure don't want to be ignoring something that needs treatment.

Any ideas out there?

Gratefully,

Lucy

12 tanks
125, 20L, 2 29H, 4 10, 3 55, 1 40
All planted. 125, 40, and 2 55 very fancy goldys
55, 29, 2 10's tropicals and livebearers
2 10's guppies
20L, 29 high light, soil, DIY CO2, high planted, tropicals, Angels, loaches, gouramis, barbs etc.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 04:29 AM
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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:?

Hi!

Nope. I'd say it's MUCH larger. I've seen planeria very rarely on the glass of my guppy tanks. These reminded me of leeches or eels. One end of the critter would stick to the side of the tube, like a leech.

My gut reaction is to not worry, but again, I don't want to be ignoring something I need to treat. Especially since these Goldfish have been OFF for a while. On one had, if someone ID'd it and could give me a treatment, and the fish felt better, I'd be thrilled. But, on the other hand, I don't need a problem.


Thanks for trying! I REALLY appreciate it!

Lucy

12 tanks
125, 20L, 2 29H, 4 10, 3 55, 1 40
All planted. 125, 40, and 2 55 very fancy goldys
55, 29, 2 10's tropicals and livebearers
2 10's guppies
20L, 29 high light, soil, DIY CO2, high planted, tropicals, Angels, loaches, gouramis, barbs etc.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 03:25 PM
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Was it reddish in colour and segmented?


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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Hi!

Reddish maybe. Kind of a tan, not dark, not light. Caramel colored.

Have an idea?

Thanks!

Lucy

12 tanks
125, 20L, 2 29H, 4 10, 3 55, 1 40
All planted. 125, 40, and 2 55 very fancy goldys
55, 29, 2 10's tropicals and livebearers
2 10's guppies
20L, 29 high light, soil, DIY CO2, high planted, tropicals, Angels, loaches, gouramis, barbs etc.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 03:41 PM
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Was it segmented though? Like an earthworm?


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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Hi again!

Meant to add that it's too small to see if it's segmented.

Lucy

12 tanks
125, 20L, 2 29H, 4 10, 3 55, 1 40
All planted. 125, 40, and 2 55 very fancy goldys
55, 29, 2 10's tropicals and livebearers
2 10's guppies
20L, 29 high light, soil, DIY CO2, high planted, tropicals, Angels, loaches, gouramis, barbs etc.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Hi AGAIN!

I'll see if I can find one again today and try to look under a magnifier or microscope. Duh. Shoulda done that yesterday.

Lucy

12 tanks
125, 20L, 2 29H, 4 10, 3 55, 1 40
All planted. 125, 40, and 2 55 very fancy goldys
55, 29, 2 10's tropicals and livebearers
2 10's guppies
20L, 29 high light, soil, DIY CO2, high planted, tropicals, Angels, loaches, gouramis, barbs etc.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 03:58 PM
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No problem :-) If anything it will be a fun little experiment for you :-)

Truthfully, I don't get freaked out when I discover critters any more... I've found in most of my tanks when I find something "big" its ususally harmless and interesting to watch at the very least.


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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgerold
They were tan colored, between 3/8 and 3/4 inch long (depending on individual.) When sucked into the vacuum tube (the larger diameter tube), they'd try to cling to the side of the tube, and eventually, lose strenth and let go.
From your description, it sounds like leeches. I have those in my filter, in the tank they probably get eaten. Feeding live food every so often I find all kind of interesting critters in my tanks. Just as Gareth said... don't worry too much about them, although they are parasites, they are probably not the cause of fish deaths.

:mrgreen: http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plant.../msg00374.html


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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 06:39 PM
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I had those too. I got them from when I was feeding my tank black worms when I had my tank a long time ago and just restarted. Now I don't feed live foods do to parasites. They never harmed my fish what, they were always in the gravel. I thought they were pretty neat, I had one that gotten about 3 inches long.
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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 07:33 PM
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Scary...if it was me(the live food thing)....I have no idea what it is, but I do agree if its there(not on the fish, etc), its mostly harmless.

Anyway, i really dont like feeding live food to my fish anymore. All sorts of problems can arise, plus I dont really know what the live food have been given themselves, so I stick with pellets/flakes, and fresh veggies once in a while, and the occasional daddy long legs/spider...lol. Actually, my dad is freaked out by spiders so he is the one who feeds them that.

Also, I heard from sombdy in the LFS that live food can cause the hole in the head diseas in larger fish...is this valid/true?
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 08:47 PM
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It wood be awesome to see a Krib or a Cichlid rip it apart and eat it! :lol:
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Hi!

I like to feed some live food. The guppies and smaller fish like tetras, etc absolutely LOVE grindals. That's pretty much the extent of what I feed live, though I've tried whiteworms, and Fruit Flies. The fish never seemed to get the hang of the FF and the whiteworms just don't reproduce rapidly enough. The grindals reproduce so fast I can usually feed them once a day or every other day to everybody (small). They're too small for the goldfish to enjoy. I like to feed the goldies frozen food from time to time, bloodworms, etc. They love the frozen food (including peas!).

My plants do surprisingly well in the goldie tanks. They ignore anubias, swords, java fern. Those plants seem to have tolerated the extensive cleaning we have to do to keep those tanks clean (20% H2O changes weekly, gravel vac.) I do add home made CO2 and that has really improved the growth of the swords and java fern AND the anubias.

I'll try tonight to find one of the critters to look at more closely.

Thanks everyone! I feel better about it, but I won't let it drop. I still worry about the goldie's just not being as up as they usually are. Has anyone experienced this? Do goldie's get more sluggish in the winter? Their lighting hasn't changed, but I wouldn't be surprised if they can still tell.

Lucy

12 tanks
125, 20L, 2 29H, 4 10, 3 55, 1 40
All planted. 125, 40, and 2 55 very fancy goldys
55, 29, 2 10's tropicals and livebearers
2 10's guppies
20L, 29 high light, soil, DIY CO2, high planted, tropicals, Angels, loaches, gouramis, barbs etc.
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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2003, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Hi!

I'm kinda proud of myself. I found one of the critters and grabbed my microscope (bought from EBAY a few years ago) and my digital camera, crossed my fingers, and snapped some pictures. That was the easy part!

Now I hope that I post the image properly. If not, perhaps someone can help me out. The image is located at: http://www.lakesdoodles.com/critter.htm

To answer an earlier question, I'm still not sure if this "worm" is segmented. It isn't to the naked eye, but it looks somewhat segmented when it contracts, but not when it's extended fully (3/4 inch long.) Color is pinkish tan.

Now, I'll try the image:



Any ideas?

Thanks a bunch!

Lucy

12 tanks
125, 20L, 2 29H, 4 10, 3 55, 1 40
All planted. 125, 40, and 2 55 very fancy goldys
55, 29, 2 10's tropicals and livebearers
2 10's guppies
20L, 29 high light, soil, DIY CO2, high planted, tropicals, Angels, loaches, gouramis, barbs etc.
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