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Aquatic earthworm eradication


xjasminex

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Hey everyone!

I need to pull all of my dirt sub and sand out of my tank due to dirt sifting up through my sand layer. I believe the problem is not my sand layer ( the sand layer is typically 2-3 inches deep or more in certain spots) but rather the colony of aquatic earthworms that I have had in my tank for probably years. I have had this problem with the last couple redirtings that I have done and have just thought It was me being a tard. But i have noticed this time that I can actually see the worms tunnels against the glass and see the dirt sifting up through those tunnels to the surface.

I actually think that these wormies are cool and a benificial part of the ecosystem that I'm always trying to cultivate in my tank. But since my tank is a tank and not a natural pond with predators and such they are in turn more harmful than good.

But now that I figured out that it's not me and that it's them I need to fix what's going on since it's starting I really negatively affect my tank and fish.

So now that I said all that I need to find out what the best way to get rid of these guys is.

These guys live in the roots of the plants and the dirt so when I replant they just get reintroduced in the roots of my plants into the new dirt sub.

I'm not a fan of bleach but if it must be done that I'll do it but I was hoping that there might be another way the manage this.

Thanks!

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Why do you want to get rid of them?  You say they are harmful, but not what harm they are doing.  People worry about substrate developing anaerobic pockets.  If the worms are tunneling through it this is unlikely to happen.  

 

To get rid of them you would have to remove all of the substrate, get all of the soil off the plants, disinfect the plants including the bare roots, disinfect the tank, put in all new substrate (and probably some new plants).  There is a chance of some worm cocoons being picked up by the filter, so you might have to disinfect that too.

 

It seems that redirting and replanting periodically and expecting the worms to proliferate is more practical.  You can clean out the adult worms in the process.  If you have fish in an unplanted tank, you can feed them the worms.

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Due to the dirt that shifts up into the water coloum my water parameters are off and I need to do water changes more often then what I had to do. My fish are symptomatic with red spots that go away when I do the water changes. And my filters are becoming dirtier quicker, silt is actually building up in my filters.

I wouldn't mind redirting once a year or so but I just did it in November.

I plan on removing all the substrate and replanting my plants in pots this time. To reduse the amount of work of replacing the whole tank. Plus I'll be moving my tank within the next year when I move and having plants in pots will make it way more easier.

Edited by xjasminex
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This pic is very similar to the worms. I am unable to get a pic of the actual worms because the are all in the substrate. Sometimes I can see them with their bottoms/heads just above the substrate but it's rare.

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Hi, Jasmine!  I find that if you put a nice layer of pebbles over the dirt, before laying your sand cap, things tend to stay in place much nicer. :)  It doesn't solve your worm problem, but it might help keep the dirt in place, even with them sifting.

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It's not a sand issue. I use the same pool filter sand as I did in the begining when I first started dirting my tanks. When I first did my tank it lasted a year or better. It's a pretty coarse/ heavy sand.

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