Planaria EXPLOSION - no uneaten food
Correction: the worms are actually detritus worms, not planaria!!!
I have a detritus worm explosion problem despite having no fish.
It's a 125 gallon high tech planted tank (pressurized C02 @30 ppm, 100 PAR light to substrate for 6 hours a day) running for the past 3 months. It contains only eco-complete gravel substrate (no soil), is heavily planted, and receives traditional EI fert dosing plus excel. It contains NO fish, but has 9 amano shrimp. I never deliberately feed the shrimp - they eat only the brown diatoms in the tank (they are doing an amazing job). The shrimp seem healthy as they shed their shell every 2 weeks or so, and the brown diatoms never stop coming so their food supply is endless. The shrimp are unable to clean the glass so I can see that the brown diatoms are constantly accumulating. The plants are growing well with no sick or rotting leaves.
In the beginning, I would see maybe 5 tiny hair thin 5mm long detritus worms swimming in the entire tank. One month later (today) I am seeing maybe 30 to 50 worms every cubic foot of tank water (yikes!), visible only at night since they are nocturnal critters. The largest worms are 1 inch long and about 1mm or thinner.
Anyway, I dosed the tank with fenbendazole and all the worms are now dead. I just don't know why they had a major population explosion. What were the worms eating? Diatoms?
Last edited by mattcham; 10-23-2014 at 11:39 PM.
Reason: Detritus worms not planaria