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anastasiam

Parasites vs. Water dwelling creature?

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Hello everyone!

I was just wondering how to tell the difference between fish parasites that have escaped into the water and other water dwelling creepiness.

My question comes up because I keep finding these squirmy things in my tank water. I'm currently doing a fishless cycle on a 55 gallon using an established filter, and now I'm starting to see small worm things floating around :sick

Thanks in advance everyone!

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Can you get pics of them?

Generally speaking, if they are living unattached to the fish they are likely not harmful to your fish.

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I'm currently doing a fishless cycle on a 55 gallon using an established filter.

Usually, a fishless cycle is a process of creating a colony of beneficial bacteria for your filter and tank. If the filter already was established, which I assume means cycled, you could add fish immediately because you already have at least a small colony of BBs.

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Aren't parasites microscopic?

Not all. Fish lice are quite visible, for example. :o

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Ah, yes. I guess I've only dealt with the microscopic buggers not fish lice. Chilodonella was pretty ugly under the microscope but at least I had to go to some effort to see it. I think it would creep me out if I could see the thing hanging off my fish! :yikes

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I remember your thread on Chilodonella and the crazy salt you have to raise to kill it. :o

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Yep and I'm not convinced that totally eradicated it. My poor fish. :( RIP Dorothy and Shoomey

They lived quite a while after the treatment but they were never very active after all that salt among other things we tried. Let me tell you, I learned my lesson on QTing the hard way! That was before I found Kokos. :wacko:

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Unless you have sick fish in the tank, it's very unusual to find parasites free in the tank. Parasites by definition need a host. Usually what is shed by an infected animal is an inactive form of the parasite -- eggs, cysts, etc. that will not grow until picked up by a host, although they may persist in that inactive form for a long time. These are not going to be swimming around in your tank and are not something you would be likely to notice anyway. Sometimes an intestinal worm will be discharged from the gut, but it will die quickly.

So you can be pretty sure that anything you observe swimming in your tank -- as opposed to something you get from a scraping -- is free living.

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Oh awesome! So anything with out a host wouldn't live very long by itself? I was just worried that maybe I got something nasty from the filter media.

After doing some long research, I'm starting to think they are blood worms...

This is someone else's tank, but this is what they look like:

I was just beating my head into the wall to where they came from, but I realize (after a pair landed on me earlier today. Blech!) that its breeding time for gnats and midges.

I hope I'm semi right at least, and thanks for all of the help!!

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