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New Spare Tank... Worms?


Gardenuit

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Hi guys, sorry it's been a while since my response to my fantail fish with black lips - the black lips went away after another day or so, I think he was just stressed out.

Anyway, I set up my old starter 10g tank to have as a quarantine, and I began letting it cycle. Just for experimentation sake, I went to the store and bought a plant, and made sure to select it from a tank that had NO fish in it.

A week later there is an itty bitty snail crawling around my tank - no problems with this, I like him, and he's growing fast.

My question now is, I was watching him crawling around the bottom when I noticed a squirmy worm-like thing wriggling through the water swimming in and "S" or "figure 8" like shape. They're very small, and I can't catch them on a camera. I tried looking up what they might be around the internet but haven't found anything like them yet. I'm assuming they're some sort of larvae but I just don't know what.

Any suggestions?

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This sounds like a case of Planaria. Planaria are flatworms, related to flukes and tapeworms. They are quite small, and if examined closely have eye spots as well as protrusions from the sides of their heads.

Although they do not harm fish, they love to feast on eggs, and therefore are dangerous if breeding egg laying fish.

Even though Planaria do not harm fish, they are an indicator that the aquarium has a problem. They require a food source, which means there must be excess food wastes in the tank to support them.

If you have Planaria it's time to give your aquarium a thorough cleaning. Pay particular attention to the substrate, as that's usually where they find their food. Make sure there are no dead plants, or other wastes in the tank.

You should also take a hard look at how much you are feeding your fish. Usually the excess waste the Planaria are living on is the result of overfeeding your fish. Reduce the amount you feed your fish, as well as the frequency of feedings.

Finally, once you've cleaned things up, be sure to continue with regular maintenance and water changes. A clean tank is the best defense against becoming overrun with Planaria.

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Just as a side note - you should always disinfect plants you buy in 1 part bleach 19 parts water for one minute. Or a PP solution.

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Thank you for your advice, and yes the disinfection part I found out about later. The tank is bare bottom, and there are no fish in there - it was started fresh so fish have never entered the system yet; just the snail tagging along on the plant.

From your description, they are definitely living off plant waste, as that's the only food source for them in there. So I'll give the tank a good vacuum/water change and pay close attention to see if their numbers diminish.

So far I've counted 5 or 6.

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