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Hope someone can help. We set up a new 60 lite tank several months ago. It has substrate - Ada aqua Soil Amazonia with a top thin layer of gravel with several plants & drift wood The driftwood was boiled to get rid of tannins and bought in pet store. Being very new to the hobby we had the water tested at the pet store before buying several guppies. We were careful not to over feed. One by one the guppies died. The had no visible signs fungus etc, they would stop eating the stay at the top of the tank and the day before they died their back fins became very short over night with no signs of fungus/ white spots . We changed water daily 25 %, and used the ammonia test kit, no ammonia in the water . To save the other guppies we bought Melafix and pimafix, we didn’t finish the treatment since they died within days. We live in Western Australia so a lot of the remedies we found on the internet were not available here such as general cure etc.
After, we found white tiny worms, and lots maybe what appeared to be eggs on the aquarium glass especially at/or close to water line . We think it’s planarian but the odd thing is there are baby snails next to them and they are still alive. There are no worms in/on the substrate.
We took the tank apart- plants in a seperate tank and rocks and drift wood in boiling water, filter & part in bleach solution.
Question is how do we deal with the Amazonia aqua soil and gravel which are now mixed. I don’t really want to throw it out. The solutions on the net with dewormers are not possible here in Western Australia since I have not been able to find them or the drug - most dewormer are chewys. Do I pour boiling water but will that dissolve my soil granules. Can I use bleach solution / strong salt solution or will the the soil absorb it even if I rinse and use Dechlorinator? If I just rinse it well with water and dry it in the sun will that kill any nasties?
For the plants it’s been 4 days In a seperate tank - Alum is not available here And I am afraid the bleach solution will kill them since they are mostly root plants. I read that cream of tartar can be a substitute in baking for Alum has anybody had experience using this? Sorry for the long post very new at this Hoppy and don’t really want to give up yet. Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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Hi @Maggs,

Wow - slow down there. Don't over react!!! Think you have several issues, but good chance that planaria aren't one of them!

First Google planaria vs. detritus worms. If you have Amazonia soil, then you almost certainly have detritus worms. They are not a problem, maybe bit yucky to see if you have too much, but realistically a natural and inevitable part of a healthy tank. Planaria have characteristic triangular shaped heads. Detritus worms don't (they can be thin white cotton stringy, or fatter, floating in water, on glass or in substrate). Whatever worms you may have, they're probably not what killed your guppies!

So you've put your filter in bleach? The filter media / sponge too? :crying:
That's not such good news as you've probably wiped out all the beneficial bacteria that your tank has spent the past couple of months building up.

So might need a bit of disaster management. Sorry to say that what you've done so far might have caused more problems than it has solved. But don't give up! We've all been there with our first tank. First step, don't add any more chemicals, bleach, salt etc.

Let us know where you're at with the tank (photos might save an essay) and sure someone can guide you how to get everything back up and running and solve any problems.

Good luck, don't despair, you'll have a great tank soon enough!

Kind regards, James
 
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