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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well when I came this morning to look at my ridiculously algae covered tank I saw very small white worms that seemed to be coming out of the substrate. Any idea what they are? No bigger than a piece of hairgrass and about 1/4 inch long

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most likely planaria. they can also be nematodes or some sort of tiny segmented species of worm. planaria are most common.

none are harmful and some fish eat them.
 

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Nope, worms aren't necessarily a bad thing in a planted tank. Planaria are awful, of course, and can be treated.

But if they're stringy little white things? They're likely nematodes and are essentially harmless - and serve as treats for any critters that will eventually live in the tank.

Worms aren't a bad thing. They're a natural part of your tank's ecosystem.
 

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I'm not sure, Ive recently noticed some in my tanks but I didn't feel the need to treat it, would be interesting to know a good cause for alarm
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I won't worry about them, just didn't know what they were when I saw them. Thanks

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So some folks say planaria are fine and others say they should be removed ... what's the argument/reasonings for both sides of that particular debate?
I think planaria should always be removed if you're breeding shrimp. Weaker/older adults and freshly hatched youngins tend to be taken down by them.
 

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There are so many different types of planarias.
Tiny ones (hairline size), and there are bigger like leeches size.

Planaria is not a parasite - so they do not pose danger to your fish or shrimp. (Ie they won't get inside their body and suck their bloods dry).

BUT, when you are breeding fish/shrimp, obviously, these worms would love
the eggs/shrimplets/baby fishies. So, if you are breeding, then get rid of them planarias.

I had planaria infestations in my tank during the cycling period both in my 3.5g and 10g. There are no fish in the beginning, so as some people suggested "feed less" does not work, because there is no fish.

But one thing for sure, they all disappear after 3-4 months alongside the detritus worm.

In chronological events:

Week 1: Cycling starts
Week 3: Start to see some tiny white planaria slithering on my wall.
Week 5: Introduced Oto and Danios.
Week 8: Planarias lessen and lessen
Week 9: Detritus Worms start to appear - danios loves to eat them. (They are round with tiny bristles on their bodies).
Week 12: No more worms.

At Week 5, the lessening of the planaria could probably because of danios or otos are eating them, but I can't be sure.....
 

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when i bred cherries in my 1 gal bowl, i was feeding it heavily and planaria booms happened frequently. still i had about 30 shrimp fry every few months when my one breeding female would have her eggs hatch. I dont think the planaria effect hardy shrimp that much. I do have SS grade crystal shrimp in that same bowl right now and am seeing a bigger difference in the amount of offspring that live, but then again there are lots of other factors like a hot summer and more sensitive shrimp species.
 

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Ahhh okay ... see it's that whole fish vs shrimp thing ... I still think in terms of fish and keep forgetting the world of shrimps have different rules of thumb and measures one needs to consider.
It is not easy containing and emulating an ecosystem that typically has a large canvas of the earth in a small 1-1000 Gallon box of glass. :proud:
 
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