Freshwater bristleworms? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-09-2007, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Freshwater bristleworms?

They look like miniature versions of their saltwater bristlewom cousins, and they behave very much like those. They emerge from what appears to be a mucus tube and resemble tiny caterpillars. The worms have been found in a shrimp only tank, and I am assuming that they hitchhiked on some moss. (I am assuming that freshwater would kill a marine bristleworm.) I have tried to get a picture of them...but no luck. Are most freshwater bristleworms scavengers, too? Is there any other freshwater worm that resembles a tiny caterpillar? Would they pose a threat to shrimplets....or will the larger cherry shrimp eat the worms as a nice snack? Is there any other possible id from my description?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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They seem to be Midge Fly Larvae (Chironomid Larvae). Eww.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 12:26 AM
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There are thousands of aquatic insect species that resemble tiny caterpillars (including a few actual caterpillars). If the darn things didn't have a tendency to fly out of the tank when they mature, I think we'd all be trying to get them!

How big are yours? They sound interesting.

OOh just thought of something to do with my vacant tank (if I decide I don't need to keep the spouse).
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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They are tiny. I'd estimate they are about 1mm x 4mm. They are tannish to greenish...I have read that midge fly larvae can be red, tannish, or green. Hmmmm.....

Two other possibilities?

1. shore fly larvae
2. fungus gnat larvae

Other than mosquitos, what wormlike larvae can survive in fresh and saltwater? If anyone knows, please answer.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2007, 10:28 PM
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Thousands and thousand of species of insects...most of the flies, many beetles, neuropterans, caddisflies, etc...

But not salt AND fresh. Relatively few insects live in saltwater (especially not ocean). Mosquitoes are freshwater and while a few species tolerate brackish water, they really aren't saltwater critters.

I think it's a good bet to say that just about no wormlike critters, larval or otherwise, survive in both salt and freshwater.

Anyway, easiest way to identify your larvae is to let them mature and capture the adults. Adults are MUCH easier to ID!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-12-2007, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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It will be very interesting to see what these things turn out to be. I put one of these things found in my freshwater tank in full strength saltwater overnight and it was still alive in the morning.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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I have found some adults of this worm on the surface of the water. They are a green gnat type bug that seems to get trapped by the tank cover. I change the water in this tank once a week....and the bugs were too decomposed....not to mention too tiny to get a picture. I will update again when I get a picture of whateveer the f*** these things turn out to be.
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