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Discussion Starter #1
Please can someone help. I have set up a new tank with live plants. The tank as been running for 6 weeks now and although the plants seem to be doing very well I have noticed some white worms. Having not yet introduced any fish I am unsure what they are or how they got there.

Please can someone help as I would like to start introducing fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info. They are indeed small white worms, and I feel better knowing they are not harmful to fish. However, I have no fish yet, only live plants and therfore I have not added any fish food. What other possabilities could there be apart from overfeeding?
 

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They could have come in with your plants. If you are feeding the plants, you are feeding the planaria. I believe they are in most water, and feed on small insects such as daphnia. What type of filtration are you using? And how is your water circulation?
 

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I had these before in my community tank and found a chemical that mentioned them on the label to get rid of them... don't remember the name but just check the chemical department and make sure it's live plant safe, mine was fish safe but i'm not sure if it was plant safe. It had you remove the filter while you did the dosage, while i did this, i did a water change and cleaned the filter with new water. They were gone in a matter of days. Hope this helps. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info,

I am using an external JBL crystalprofi filtration system and I think circulation is good as there is plant movement at all levels within the tank.

The tank has been set up for about 6 weeks now and I plan on adding some fish at any time now.

I shall check the chemical department for any cures but may have to relie upon fish eating the worms.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am feeding the pants two drops of ferropol 24 each day, so I am feeding the worms after all, typical!
 

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The varmits are not very attractive to look at and most likely as stated above were introduced with the plants, ive attached a very good article for your use. Good luck :)

<big><big>THE TROUBLE WITH PLANARIA WORMS? </big></big>​
<big>By Majid Ali </big>
Adapted from an article which first appeared in the March 2003 edition of Ryedale Reporter Magazine, Ryedale Aquarist Society, Yorkshire, England
Aquarticles
On many occasions fellow aquarists have sought my advice on 'infestations of aquatic parasites' which have suddenly appeared in their aquaria. Upon further investigation these infestations have, thankfully, proved to be of a harmless planarian nature.
Planarian worms are tiny, thin and milky white in appearance. They are distantly related to flukes, and some of these worms have been implicated in skin slime problems with marine fish. They are usually seen slowly gliding over the surfaces of the tank, surfaces of the glass and under the lid of box filters.
These particular worms are, at times, a problem. How do they manifest? They usually become visible when:-
1. An aquarist has overfed his/her fish.
2. The aquarium gravel is not hoovered accordingly.
3. Aquarium ammonia levels have risen.
If present in small numbers Planaria can be dealt with by eliminating the above, but when larger numbers are involved they become a problem. I have tried the following methods to try to clear them:-
a) I have used a variety of white spot cures, tonic salts and aquatic bacteriacides etc. without any real success. Fellow aquarists have claimed some success using Sterazin (Waterlife product), Anti-crustacean Parasite (Interpet) and Parasite Guard (Sera) but I have yet to try these particular products myself.
b) Sometimes removing the fish/aquatic livestock and raising the tank temperature, for 24 hours, to 35 C can rid a tank of Planaria.
c) Drastic - but strip the tank down, boil any gravel and scrub the decor clean, and leave everything to dry for a week (remembering to change any filter material). Unfortunately there is no guarantee that once the tank is re-established the problem may not quickly resume. A second strip down and washing with a bleach solution may be the answer?
d) Natural predators may help. Apple Snails, Hong Kong Plecs. (coldwater), Whiptail Catfish, and any Limnivorous Catfish (Mud-eaters, e.g. Twig Catfish and Bubble-nesting Catfish, who are constantly searching throughout the tank for vegetable matter, detritus, micro-organisms and tiny crustaceans), are among the species that will (usually if left unfed for a few days) eat away at Planaria on a long term basis. In the short term Betta and Pelvicachromis (Kribs.) species will eat small amounts of Planaria.
Please note that Planarian worms can get into the gills of aquatic livestock and cause irritation, leading to fish etc. becoming jumpy and starting to scratch against the decor. I have witnessed this with Axolotls, and when a friend's Red Cap Oranda was constantly rubbing against the decor with no signs of a disease infection. We ultimately discovered that an abundance of Planaria in the tank had caused this problem.
As we touched on earlier, Planaria can be a problem with filtration equipment, particularly of the box and Fluval type varieties. To rid such equipment of Planaria try one of the following:-
1. Strip the filter and give it a good scrub.
2. Pour boiling water in and on the filter (especially through the holes).
3. Immerse the filter in hot water which contains a mild solution of bleach.
Warning - Research carried out by Tim Henshaw at Bolton Museum (Lancashire, U.K.) indicates that Planaria carry a toxin on their surface. This toxin is particularly potent towards any species of shrimp and glass shrimp.
As Planaria are parasitic, can they harm humans who come into contact with them? As far as my research indicates there are no recorded cases, but always make sure that you wash your hands well following contact and that any cuts etc. are covered prior to work with Planarian problems.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. If you can add any information, particularly on livebearing fish which may eat Planaria, please contact David (via the contact details above) who will feature any 'Feedback' in a future issue of Ryedale Reporter (mailing you a writer's copy in return), as we still have much to learn about these and many other parasites, who our 'fish friends' have to contend with in aquaria.
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Discussion Starter #9
Once again thanks for the great info, I shall try a small scale clean, but do not fancy striping the tank as it is heavily planted. I shall also clean the filter.

With luck the introduction of predators will resolve the problem as I do not seem to have too many worms.
 

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i had these worms once that i can remember in my life, i actually did nothing but cut back on the feeding and added a clown loach, and the worms disappeaed, I also stepped up my water changes and gravel vacs during this period. which i think help evacuate some as well . i noticed in the article as well that higher ammonia levels contribute to these worms well being and the fact that your tank is relatively new and at 6 weeks may have just went thru its cycle, may have also helped these critters along.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That is good news as I am planning on purchasing a clown loach as the plants have also come with a few snails which should make a good snack.

I will probably buy one this weekend. I have been away from fish keeping for a few years, but seem to remember clown loaches do best in a shoul of 4 -5. Is this the case?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
once again thanks for the info, I shall let you know the outcome. what ever happens I will at least now have experience to pass on!
 

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Since you don't have any fish or inverts in there that you plan to keep, You can do a dose of dog wormer then 24 hours later do another dose. Then after another 24 house do a large water change making sure to vac the gravel and clean any out that has gotten in your filter. This shouldn't hurt your plants. Then when you add fish don't over feed or you will surely get them again.
 
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