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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My soil substrate below my gravel was taken from a wetland area in my front yard for my 46 gal. bowfront low tech. Set up for 6-7 months now. I noticed these little black flat worms in the soil. I figured they are part of a balanced ecosystem and just did'nt worry about it. I have heard elsewhere here that black worms are good.

Thing is, now i'm getting so many worm castings (little piles everywhere) that it's making water changes and vacuming a nuisance. If i let it go i can not see my gravel eventually. :icon_cry:

I have thought of a kuhli loach or something but i have crystal red shrimps i'd like to see populate and i do not want anything eating the young. I already went through that w/ a peppered cory. He's gone now...(at lfs)

I suppose i can just vacume once a month but...any suggestions?

thanks
 

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I don't know much about shrimp but logically you choices seem to be:

1.
Start over. Use the same dirt but let it dry and then sift it. Do a trial with in a bucket to see if your sifting got all of the worms out.

2.
Put a few loaches in the tank. I would use a loache bigger than the kulli. For they may be difficult to remove. Put the shrimp in another tank. After a month take the loaches out and sell or trade. Then put the shrimp back in. For anything that will eat the worms would probably eat the shrimp hatchlings.

Otherwise it will be a constant problem.

Seems like a product you could sell on a forum or craigslist.org.

Wish you had a thread on the tank.
 

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...2. Put a few loaches in the tank. I would use a loache bigger than the kulli. For they may be difficult to remove. Put the shrimp in another tank. After a month take the loaches out and sell or trade. Then put the shrimp back in. For anything that will eat the worms would probably eat the shrimp hatchlings.
GREAT ANSWER :proud:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks,

i figured that the loaches will prob eat the young shrimps.

I don't have another tank right now but maybe i could transfer the shrimp this winter to a new tank then proceed w/ the loaches.

do you think that the loaches can get all the worms? If not i would be back to square one again, some time after returning the shrimp.

darn, i just finally set the tank up for the shrimp (removed fish except ottos). They have been surviving w/ the competition but now they should make lots of babys.

problem is the worm piles of castings are a bit messy. Not a big deal but it would be nice not to have to deal w/ it.

interesting though, i bet some folks may want a black worm population for feeding their fish...

maybe i should just sell/trade the shrimp to a new home and get some rams and or other fish and loaches. I can see why some of us here have many tanks! :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Seems like a product you could sell on a forum or craigslist.org.
do you mean sell the black worms? I wouldn't know how to catch them w/out stirring up a lot of things...

Wish you had a thread on the tank.
Yeah, sorry. just have'nt had the time..

thanks,
kirk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Don't CRS also have a lot of castings? Mine do.
the piles i'm seeing are quite large in relation to CRS...

Have seen worm casting substrate sold.

Could you not put the shrimp in a 10 G. New 1 is $13 or less on craigslist.
I do not have nearly enough casting production for selling fertilizer. That's what compost piles are for. It's still enough to remain unsightly in the tank, although i bet it's a healthy ecosystem.

i'll consider a small tank somewhere, probably this winter as i will have more time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
here is the normal substrate:


piles, are they black worm castings?






can anyone identify the source of these castings?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The castings look like the same color of the soil i put in below the gravel. Eventually most or all of the soil that is below the gravel will be on top to be vacuumed out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
bump
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Doesn't anyone know what these are? See pics in thread.

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
anyone?
 

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it looks like it could be mold/fungus from overfeeding. I get something similar in my tank when i overfeed. Its ugly but harmless. could be the same thing.

Take a close look at it. is there a regular web-like pattern on the substrate? Clear some of the loose stuff off the top to get a better look if necessary. Is it only happening in spots where you typically drop food?

Not sure , just takin a shot at it...
 

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It is castings. I think it would be a shame to get rid of the worms. Sure it is problematic, but you have the opportunity to discover some surprise outcome/effect; potentially, a very interesting new technique or application could be found. It is a unique setup which may not be replicated anywhere for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
it looks like it could be mold/fungus from overfeeding. I get something similar in my tank when i overfeed. Its ugly but harmless. could be the same thing.

Take a close look at it. is there a regular web-like pattern on the substrate? Clear some of the loose stuff off the top to get a better look if necessary. Is it only happening in spots where you typically drop food?

Not sure , just takin a shot at it...
i have vacuumed it up readily w/ the siphon, and there is no web-like fungus beneath or within but interesting thought. I am also sure not to overfeed. i probably feed less than most... thanks.

It is castings. I think it would be a shame to get rid of the worms. Sure it is problematic, but you have the opportunity to discover some surprise outcome/effect; potentially, a very interesting new technique or application could be found. It is a unique setup which may not be replicated anywhere for a while.
Yes it is turning out to be unique. When i first thought of soil for the plants i figured why not just use an already aquatic balanced soil?

That happened to be in my own yard. We have a small waterway that runs over the yard. Constantly saturated at the least. That's where i carefully removed just enough soil for the tank. There were these little flat black worms that cruised through the soil, and i decided to ignore them since they were natural.

The tank does seem to be doing well, and i have had minimal filtration. Just a sponge filter to begin with for the first 8 months and now a hang on back aquaclear 70. The water parameters are fine. I am considering a canister...

The substrate is completely covered now but I am getting used to it - after all it's much like a natural pond or waterway.

Wasn't that the point in the first place? :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's so much easier to just let go of control after all. A little tough in the beginning.

Though, I am much happier when i surrender to nature and simply enjoy the beauty that develops all on it's own.

Thanks for the reminder...
 
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