Calling all worm exterminators! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Calling all worm exterminators!

Hey all. I have a problem with these little tiny worms (planaria /flatworm?) that are in my 25g shrimp tank. I know that they're typically caused by high No3 or excess waste/food and most people would tell me to do water changes, gravel vac or whatver...
The only thing is, I have TONS of little baby shrimp in there as well (and a growing snail population to boot)....I'm afraid of vacuuming up the shrimp. Does anyone have a suggestion?
I have a 3-4" clown loach in my other tank that I was thinking about moving over for the snails...not sure if it would eat flatworms. He doesn't bother the shrimp in his current tank, so that may or may not be an issue.
I just put a couple algae tabs in for the shrimp and within about 5 minutes, they were COVERED with the worms. They just seeped out of the substrate, which happens to be aquasoil, albeit a thin layer (1/2-1") since I don't have much in there aside from moss and some lower light plants. Any help?

-Ryan

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Nobody eh?

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 06:01 AM
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you could try vacuuming with airline tubing and have the end go into a bucket..then retrieve the shrimp from the bucket.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 07:39 AM
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I've used a pinch of fenbendazole (brand name: intervet panacur C canine dewormer) to get rid of worms before. There's a small picture of my old box of the stuff below for reference. I've heard of other dewormers that may be aquarium safe (Flubendazole, Metronidazole, Praziquantel, Levamisole), though I've never tried any of them. The Fenbendazole, however, didn't seem to hurt the fish or amano shrimp in my tank.

I would still use the medication with caution though. I gave up on trying to control the worm populations in my tanks a while ago since they're pretty harmless and tend to just go away after a while. I would recommend simply feeding your shrimp less - they really don't need a lot of food to do well.


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I'll do that. I'll do a light gravel vac this weekend and just try and be careful...Then, I'll simply cut off feeding for a week or so. There's enough algae and debris that the shrimp shouldn't starve. I'm very paranoid about putting a clown loach in there, as they may not even touch the worms, but might eat the shrimp babies.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 08:35 AM
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So I'm not sure if it'd work for FW, but in SW there's a product call Flatworm Exit that has actually worked for a number of us. Goodluck in your battle.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 01:26 PM
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I would advice anyone wanting to grow snails - esp. MTSs - in their tank against using fenbendatzole or flubendatzole in their tanks. I did and for almost a year no MTS survived in the tank. The stuff seems to stick to the substrate sand (don't ask me how) and kill off the MTSs even after vacuuming the bottom thoroughly dozens of time. The poor things were vigorous in other tanks, but as soon as a pioneer ventured in the dewormed zone, it would just lie lame on the substrate for a couple of days and then die. My last resort was to change the substrate...

Levamisole works great against nematodes and doesn't seem to harm anything else in the tank.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 01:47 PM
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ringram, back when I had the same problem, I was just as surprised as you are that no fish really eats those 2mm pale white plant worms. and like you said, the only way to get rid of them is by lowering your Nitrates primarily by cutting down on fish food. I've seen shrimp breeders use a glass petri dish or glass coaster to keep the shrimp food in one place and off the gravel during feeding, so perhaps that would help after you clean up the tank. BTW the way you dispense the food into the glass dish is by sprinkling the sinking food down a rigid plastic tube like the lift tube from an undergravel filter pan letting the pellets tumble down the tube into the dish, then lifting the tube out of your tank.


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 04:20 PM
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Here is a thread that I hope will help you.

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...eful-fish.html
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 04:32 PM
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Kelley, that was great! so a tiny Rainbowfish may eat plant worms but not shrimp fry,
according to that single poster's observation. shame that LPS rarely sell Rainbowfish.

I suspect that Trichopsis pumilus would eat plant worms as well since they are constantly hovering
over my gravel looking for worms, and will stay vigilant days after I had thrown in fresh Black worms
looking for any worm that may have survived the initial feeding when they burrowed into the gravel.
unfortunately being Gouramies, they would undoubtedly harass shrimp fry, and even nip at the adults.


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel*Swords View Post
I would advice anyone wanting to grow snails - esp. MTSs - in their tank against using fenbendatzole or flubendatzole in their tanks. I did and for almost a year no MTS survived in the tank. The stuff seems to stick to the substrate sand (don't ask me how) and kill off the MTSs even after vacuuming the bottom thoroughly dozens of time. The poor things were vigorous in other tanks, but as soon as a pioneer ventured in the dewormed zone, it would just lie lame on the substrate for a couple of days and then die. My last resort was to change the substrate...

Levamisole works great against nematodes and doesn't seem to harm anything else in the tank.
I had the strangest thing happen to my MTS after using levamisole. It was liquid pig wormer from Agrilabs and I had to consult with one of their experts for a few days to finally come up with what should have been a 3.63% solution. Well, my MTS all started floating about two inches from the substrate, I thought one was just climbing on a piece of hair that got in the tank, until I saw all of them doing it, then I thought I was tripping. After a minute, they would expel air bubbles and fall to the floor where they remained motionless, hanging out of their shells. The next day they were no where to be found so I called them all dead. 2 weeks later they all came out of hiding, I knew it was the same snails from the size of their shells. Maybe my dosage was higher than we intended (camellanus immediately started falling out of angelfish), but from now on I consider levamisole to at least have the possibility of being dangerous to MTS.


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 05:03 PM
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I had a worm outbreak a few years ago and found that bettas and zebra danios loved them. I think a betta would enjoy torturing baby shrimp, but danios might not. I had a pack of danios, and some would eat worms at will while others required them to be launched into the water column by me smacking the gravel hard with a magfloat. (My worms were mostly in the substrate, and none of the fish were much for digging.)
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 05:10 PM
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WOW I didn't think anything could kill MTS's
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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First off, I could care less about hurting the snails. The only thing in that tank that I give rat's arse about are the cherry shrimp. I have one ramshorn snail and probably 50+ pond snails in there also. The planaria are out of control. My wife was literally dry heaving after I showed her the 8-10 that were on the algae tab I dropped in there last night. I generally just feed them one or two tabs 1-2x a week, usually when I want to see how many I have, as they always come out of hiding for food....
I'll just cut off the food supply and perhaps pick up a couple of those rainbows that were mentioned -- Pseudomugil gertrudae --- Is there a common name these are known as? My LFS rarely uses latin names for fish or plants. Or maybe a different, small rainbow would work....Or perhaps pencilfish? I'll give it a try, while cutting off the food. the shrimp have enough to survive and I'll just try starving the snails and planaria.
I have quite the ecosystem going on in there, much to my chagrin.

-Ryan

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 06:41 PM
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I would reccommend against using Dwarf neon rainbows. In my experience they are violent shrimp predators!

I don't know the common name for P. gertrudae, but I think that they are called Gertrude's rainbow? Also, you could try threadfins. They have a peaceful demeanor and very small mouths. They go for the frozen brine shrimp that I have fed them, but I think they would be okay.

good luck!
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