Planaria EXPLOSION - no uneaten food - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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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
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 05:12 PM
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my guess would be algae/plant waste probably. I have had the same problem in tanks where I dont have anything in them at all so dont ever feed but they still multiply


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 11:04 PM
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If they turn up again, perhaps just borrow a goldfish and let him clean the gravel. He'd love that, I bet.


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My current project, a 65 gallon aquarium stocked with vernal pool fauna.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Should I have kept the planaria alive? Are they good for the plants in any way? I hear that they kill snails which is a good thing, but they also kill baby red cherry shrimp which I am hoping to get someday.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 06:10 AM
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They also eat cory eggs.

Fenbendazole those creepy creatures by all means.

I have some low grade fire red cherry's when your ready $2 each.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 03:45 PM
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Are you sure its planaria and not detritus worms?


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vanish View Post
Are you sure its planaria and not detritus worms?
Omg you are right. I googled planaria vs detritus worm and found out that what I have are just harmless detritus worms. Too bad I killed them. They are good for plants and substrate.

The funny thing is, when I google planaria aquarium, most of the hits show images of detritus worms! How misleading!

Thanks for the info!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 03:00 AM
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Yeeep lots of miss information out there, planaria are very easy to spot and id though so I dont know why so many people get em confused and spread the confusion!


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Omg you are right. I googled planaria vs detritus worm and found out that what I have are just harmless detritus worms. Too bad I killed them. They are good for plants and substrate.

The funny thing is, when I google planaria aquarium, most of the hits show images of detritus worms! How misleading!

Thanks for the info!


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Yeeep lots of miss information out there, planaria are very easy to spot and id though so I dont know why so many people get em confused and spread the confusion!
Its because planaria are relatively rare so there are no photos to show. Apparently detritus worms outnumber planaria by over 1000 to 1 ratio.

Even detritus worms are not commonly seen because they are eaten by fish. Mine exploded because I have no fish in my planted tank, not because I was overfeeding. Ha ha
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