Worms?? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,
Sorry if this is the wrong area to post this, it's my first time posting here and I figured.... eh, worms are inverts, right?
I recently planted a 37g and all was well. I was watching and relaxing when I saw what I thought was a stray piece of root floating about... until it started wriggling. Furiously. I'm talking, first-metal-concert-having-the-time-of-his-life type wriggling; clearly it wasn't just a weird flow pattern. I'd estimate he's about 1/2" to 3/4" long and very thin. I managed to snap a few (awful) pictures when he was floating in front of a black background (heater). He eventually found his way back to the substrate. If anyone can ID and/or answer the following, I'd appreciate it:
1. Will he harm fish? I don't have any yet, so I guess now's the best time to figure that out!
2. Will he contribute significantly to the bioload? (My instincts tell me the answer is "he will when he reproduces" but it doesn't hurt to ask)
3. Will he harm plants?
4. If he's gonna cause problems, how do I get rid of him?

I'm willing to stock lightly to accommodate if necessary, but if they're going to hurt fish or plants I'm afraid I'll have to get rid of them. I'm honestly hoping to let the little guys party on.

Update: just saw one that's shorter, thicker, and pink.
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 03-21-2018 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 07:11 PM
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No way to tell what he is from the pic, but could be planaria which is a problem for shrimp. Since your tank isn't stocked, this is very easily remedied. Go get some fenbendazole and treat the tank with that. It's dog dewormer, but also kills problem worms we come across in the aquarium.

No harm to fish, no impact on bioload, won't hurt plants.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 01:36 PM
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Looks like planaria. Look for its head. If it's like triangler and work is fat its planaria. Do as suggested above or use some planaria kill medicine.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 05:41 PM
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Those pictures really aren't clear enough to tell. There are lots of totally harmless worms that like to take up residence in our aquariums that I think many people still freak out over and want to eliminate. Most any white worm and people proclaim 'planaria' which has been happening forever on the internet when detritus worms are way more common and harmless. Heck not even all species of flatworms are harmful, despite being generally unsightly. In my experience it's only the larger planaria that are often darker colored or the roughly same size larger white ones that will actually attack healthy shrimp. Though all kinds will be found on dying or dead animals and I think in those cases people sometimes mistake being attacked for the planaria simply doing what's natural and being a scavenger. In those cases it's really no different from the same way shrimp will pick and eat at dead tank mates but people tend to freak out over it because it's a worm I guess. But I'd look up what detritus worms & rhabdocoela look like and compare with what you have as many, many people still mistake rhabdocoela especially for harmful planaria when they're harmless but unsightly.
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Last edited by blissskr; 03-17-2018 at 12:53 AM. Reason: added more info
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help, everyone! After some more research, I'm fairly certain that they're harmless detritus worms. Thanks again!
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