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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been searching for weeks to identify these little white worms. I really dont think they are Detritus and they inch around to move so I don't think they are rhabodocoela.

They almost literally "hang" out near the surface and often found in swarms around weaker plants.

I really want my Water Lettuce to survive so I appreciate any help!

Picture attached with a ramshorn snail for scale.
 

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You probably dont want to hear this but they sound like detritus worms. what makes you think they arent? They are eating your weakened plants like you said. They are feeding on the dying material. They are an eye sore but good for your tank. No fishes or invertabrates have dropped yet? Thats good, that means the worms arent attacking your livestock. I heard hydrogen peroxide can kill them, or a bleach solution. Your water lettuce may be dying from something else and those worms are just eating what remains. also, what are your nitrates? Sometimes worms moving up means dirty tank or lack of oxygen, so check your co2 if yoyure dosiing
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You probably dont want to hear this but they sound like detritus worms. what makes you think they arent? They are eating your weakened plants like you said. They are feeding on the dying material. They are an eye sore but good for your tank. No fishes or invertabrates have dropped yet? Thats good, that means the worms arent attacking your livestock. I heard hydrogen peroxide can kill them, or a bleach solution. Your water lettuce may be dying from something else and those worms are just eating what remains. also, what are your nitrates? Sometimes worms moving up means dirty tank or lack of oxygen, so check your co2 if yoyure dosiing
I welcome your info! I could easily be wrong.

I mostly think they are not Detritus because of the seemingly thousands found near the surface. I have never found any that are any longer than the stubby and absolutely tiny ones.

It sounds like Detritus glide or wiggle to move? But these inch like earth worms.

The nitrates in the tank are definitely at Detritus breeding conditions (not good at 30 ppm) in a well planted tank.

It's a deep tank so I could imagine less oxygen at the bottom. I currently don't have a way to test co2.
 

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What is your surface agitation like? Is there a lot of it or not so much? If I don’t have ample agitation I find some at the top eating feeding on the thin surface film That sometimes is difficult to see. Can you take a video of them ”inching”. I‘d say detritus as well but that’s just going off the description and the one pic. But you said here are thousands of them? How big is your tank? I want to believe you but a thousand white worms is giving me doubts. 30ppm nitrates is high but not insanely high. 🧐
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What is your surface agitation like? Is there a lot of it or not so much? If I don’t have ample agitation I find some at the top eating feeding on the thin surface film That sometimes is difficult to see. Can you take a video of them ”inching”. I‘d say detritus as well but that’s just going off the description and the one pic. But you said here are thousands of them? How big is your tank? I want to believe you but a thousand white worms is giving me doubts. 30ppm nitrates is high but not insanely high. 🧐
Hello! If I understand surface agitation would just be a typical waterfall filter for a 35-gallon tank pushing light bubbles about 3rd of the way down. I am attaching a video link! Should be a much better reference than my original picture. In this video, you can see a cluster of them actually hanging at the surface like bats. They are about that dense all around the surface of the tank in areas that are not agitated. The area shown is a little under an inch of more than 6 feet of glass. The numbers feel alarming to me. Inching.mp4
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Finally discovered that the little creatures in question are likely Gnat Larvae. The ones in thousands hanging from the surface.

They do infact harm young plants in these numbers, like my water lettuce.

I will attempt to increase surface agitation.
 
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