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Planeria Worms

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</STRONG></DIV><H1>Worms in the tank!</H1><DIV id=Qtextbox><P><STRONG>Author: Marie</STRONG><BR><BR>Hi guys

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Apparently nothing goes smoothly, at least not in my tank. Yesterday, while I was sitting glued to the glass (almost like my BN) ignoring all the household duties, I noticed short, thin, white filaments on my driftwood. Then, to my horror, they started to move! After careful observation, I concluded that these creepy crawlies are actually WORMS. Obviously thriving in my perfect (?!) little eco system. They must?ve come with the plants as the driftwood has been dry a couple of years and boiled a couple of hours, but they obviously inhabited it with delight. I also saw a few crawling up the back glass and a few being sucked by a filter. And a couple of them were devoured by the bristle nose!

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So, here comes a question (or two). Anyone had these worms in their tanks? Should I do anything at all? Also, parts of driftwood have some grey cotton wool like growth on them that fish don?t graze on. And I?d hate to part with the driftwood as Java fern and moss have nicely attached themselves to it and BN often resides on it too.

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Any suggestions appreciated.

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</P></DIV><H2>Replies »</H2><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: Melbourne Bill</STRONG><BR><BR>Yes I have had these little white filament "worms" in my tanks and have never been able to get a definitive answer to what they are except that they are harmless. Some fish (eg kribs) go into a feeding frenzy when these worms appear - other fish (eg apistos) just seem to ignore them. So I would do nothing about them.

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The cottonwool growth on the wood is some sort of fungus/algae thing (as a non-botanist I sort of think of them as the same - sorry Magica) which seems to be almost impossible to destroy (even Melafix doesnt work) and doesnt seem to do any harm and no-one seems to want to eat it. However java fern when it grows seem to keep this growth under control. And anubias and banana lillies seem to do their bit also. I think this growth on the wood makes a pretty natural looking environment.

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Ok all you people who can get nice plants to grow, tell me differently. I confess that plants in tanks or gardens hate me and generally refuse to grow apart from java fern, anubias and banana lillies which my LFS keeps on telling me are impossible to kill.

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</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: YeW2001</STRONG><BR><BR>Hi Marie,

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Bill's right these little worms are harmless - I must have a look at one one day and see if they are anelids or flatworms.

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Regardless of what they are, they can be an indicator of overfeeding - so check that you aren't feeding your fish too much. I feed mine once/day - the food is gone in under a minute.

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I think pl*cos & bristlenose cats that rasp at wood will remove the fungusy growth.

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</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: Marie</STRONG><BR><BR>Hi MelbourneBoy and Yew

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It's good to know that those little horrors mean no harm! I guess they'll have to stay where they are and keep the fish happy. I didn't realise how densely populate my tank was!

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Yew, you are right, I definitely overfed - empty tank! (when I tried my hand at fishless cycling).

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Thanks

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: CID in OZ</STRONG><BR><BR>The little wormy things are most likely Planeria

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and are harmless

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BUT if they have a tenticle like head they could

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be Hydra which are no probs with any thing bigger

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than young fry

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Do a search and check the results

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Hope this helps

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Chris D

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: Cichlid Boy</STRONG><BR><BR>I had a massive infestation of such worms a couple of years ago. Thousands and thousands of the damn things, all over the glass etc. My fish started dying off and I quickly began water changes, treatments, even scr@ping them physically off the glass etc to no avail - every last one of my fish died.

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It really put me off cichlids for a while, as I'd spent a fortune setting up the tank with beatiful males.

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Only this year I've come back to cichlids and am having a lot more success (touch wood!).

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I can assure you that the worms I had definitely were NOT 'harmless'...

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: E4G13M4N</STRONG><BR><BR>Testing my memory here

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But Planeria worms are harmless and these may not be the ones in Maria's case..

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Planeria worms live in the substrate and are only really seen when the gravel hasnt been cleaned for some time, as they breed rapidly and overpopulate the gravel bed. They are then seen on the glass etc.. They are also the favourite food source of most Gourami's

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I would suspect the loss of fish was to another problem..

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The biggest killer of Africans is ammonia as the higher the PH is, the more lethal a small amount of ammonia becomes..

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Not sure of type of worm it is in Maria's case but ive seen them before in tanks with driftwoods and most fish seem to enjoy these..

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^Mark^

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: Marie</STRONG><BR><BR>Well, CichlidBoy, you scared me! I'm sorry about your loss, but I hope it was caused by something else and not worms. These ones in my tank seem to be only on driftwood. I don't know about the gravel, I washed it really well before putting it in the tank and have vacuumed it since (and I've had the tank set up for only about a month now). I haven't really noticed the worms anywhere else except on driftwood and a few on the back glass a week ago. So far their numbers don't seem to be increasing at an alarming rate. I think that the bristlenose has been feeding on them too.

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Why do they like driftwood? I noticed them hanging inside that grey cotton wooly stuff (I've been removing the stuff by hand just in case)

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