Explosion of detritus worms yet no fish food

B3TT45

I set up my first ever planted tank almost a month ago and it’s now fully cycled but in a waiting period (waiting for my plants to root better and grow taller before adding fish to give them cover). Only animals I’ve added are 2 nerite snails that are exclusively subsisting on algae and biofilm (there’s definitely enough to sustain them).

To give some context, I have aquasoil as my substrate and realized that I can’t gravel vac without sucking up the beads, so I just stuck with hovering the siphon over the soil and moving the water a bit to kick up some of the dust. It noticeably doesn’t get everything though. I recently decided to change my water change schedule to once every 2 weeks because it’s finally cycled and there’s only the snails providing waste - don’t want to crash the cycle or remove too many nitrates.

Within the last week or so I’ve noticed tons of the dreaded detritus worms on my glass and I feel like it’s getting worst, some days not as bad though. I even noticed tons of worms (even a creepy longer skinny one) hanging out on my driftwood as well. They’re everywhere!! It’s making me so squeamish and makes me not wanna touch my tank. I know micro fauna is good to have and all, but I don’t think this is normal.

I don’t feed my snails and obviously don’t have fish so I can’t think of why there’s a population explosion. I also dip all of my plants in alum before adding.

Anyone know what’s going on, what to do about it, and if it’s bad?

I’ve seen videos suggesting using turkey baster to disturb the substrate to get all the detritus out, but my plants aren’t really rooted well yet, it’ll for sure cause everything to float up.
 

GenF211

Yah me too. I’m fishless cycling a quarantine tank and finally reached the nitrite spike and POW….detritus worms floating everywhere, but dead from spike. Must have come in on plants. once you add fish, they will eat them up fast!
 

StarGirl

Yeah all of my tanks that didnt have fish went through a worm/copepod "phase" My 9g I started in May is just kind of getting rid of them.
 

B3TT45

I’m glad I’m not the only one! Every thread I’ve read has said that it’s always an indicator of some sort of problem, glad that’s not the case. Now I’m even more looking forward to adding fish haha
 

awilkinson871

They are probably eating snail poop...and they make alot. Since you arent vacuuming very thoroughly or often there is alot to eat. Once you add fish they will eat many of them, but they will never go away. They will just hang out in the substrate where you will rarely see them. Sometimes when I rinse my filter media they come out.
 

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