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Great. I Think I Have Worms!

Discussion in 'More Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by TheBettaSushi, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    So I just noticed a bunch of tiny and I mean tiny little white worms in my tank. I wish I could get a decent photo but they’re so small, I just can’t get my camera to focus. I have magnified it but still can’t get a clear view. These things are literally less than a millimeter and look like little white strands. When trying to take a photo, they look somewhat transparent against the glare of the glass. The strange thing is they are slithering above the water column right underneath my glass top as well as in the water on the glass. They are slithering quite fast and slithering in somewhat of a straight line from what I can tell.

    I can’t tell if they’re detritus worms as I’m trying to keep my tank as clean as possible and did a 30% water change just yesterday and stirred up the sand as well.

    I had a little mishap a few days ago when my brother decided to put one of my Anubias plants attached to rock into a nerite snail quarantine tank then placed it back into my main betta tank a day later.

    My betta has been eating these creepy crawlers and I’d be more content with that if I knew what these little worms really are.

    I feed my betta daily except on sundays when I do a water change and I consider that his day of fasting. I feed different types of food that consist of either 3 pellets, 4 Fluval bug bites, 2-3 frozen mysis shrimp, 4 frozen brine or 1 frozen bloodworm (not all at once during the day of feeding... I rotate these foods to every day so he gets something different daily).

    I do have driftwood that has white fuzz on it so I’m assuming it’s just excess carbohydrates leaching out. I was worried that it could be hydra on the driftwood but when I touch it with a bbq skewer, they don’t ball up like I have read online.

    My tank is fully cycled and the current is minimal so that my betta doesn’t get thrashed around in the tank.

    What could these things possibly be?

    Should I stop feeding for a few days?

    Is it something other than detritus worms from what you can see with these horrible photos?

    I’ve had detritus worms before but they weren’t teeny tiny like these so now I’m kind of concerned that maybe something was transferred over from the snail qt to my main tank.

  2. CaptAnnDuchowWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds like detrius to me. And from the first pic i would say that is what they are. Free fish food!!

  3. TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    That tiny though? They’re like microscopic!!!! Should I not feed my betta for 3 days and let their numbers dissipate?

    I found an old magnifying glass to try and get as close as I could to see these things. They are on the underside of the top of the glass above the water line. Can’t get to the underside of the glass top (except with a glass magnet cleaner) as the top isn’t removable.

    Are these baby detritus?


    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  4. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    Detritus worms, not babies, just a smaller species. "Detritus worm" just refers to several thousand species that are commonly occurr in aquariums but don't cause harm to the inhabitants. Definitely not planaria, so you don't have to worry about that.

  5. TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    I’ve had detritus worms before. They were small wiggly things but not as small as this. These look like dust particles and don’t bother going back down into the sand when the lights are on... is it because I have algae on the glass? Do you think that if I don’t feed my betta for a couple of days, they’ll start to go away?

    I test my water every day and everything is great. Ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 5-10 (depending on when I dose my fertilizer). GH is 4-5 and KH is 2-3 depending but ph is always a stable 7.6.

    Filter is baffled but I do have a very slight current however plants don’t sway. My betta doesn’t appreciate the flow any higher then it is now.

    I want them gone... how do I get rid of them?

    I couldn’t eradicate them years ago and I ended up tearing the tank down. However I do not want to do that again.
  6. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    Yes you've had detritus worms, we all have, but none of us have had all the species. I've got one species that has a red head and get 2" long, still detritus. I've got another that is fat and has spots, basically moving circles about 1/8". I have itty bitty ones, they're all different.
    You probably won't be able to get rid of them tbh. Small ones like that won't attract the attention of a betta, so your betta won't eat them. They could have come from the tap or a plant or something, since you don't know the source, you won't be able to ensure a new tank won't have them
    Do they look like copepods at all? The pics just look weird.
  7. TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    Yikes. I wasn’t aware that there were different types! I’m not sure what they look like to be honest. I can’t get close enough to see anything besides a tiny white spot. Some wiggle in the water when they detach themselves from the glass. The ones on the glass move in a straight line. My betta has been picking them off from the glass so I’m sure he’s eating them. I think they came from the snail since one of my plants went into qt with it then back into the betta tank. I don’t remember seeing them before that unless I wasn’t paying extremely close attention until now.

    Here are some more photos I just took with s magnifying glass. I think this is the best it’s going to get in regards to photos.

  8. WTFish?Well Known MemberMember

    Looks like copepods, maybe seed shrimp, harmless.
  9. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    Maybe a type of flatworm, most are entirely harmless. Most detritus worms are flatworms, so it's nothing to be concerned about
  10. TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    Seed shrimp? Never heard of that before. Do those look like white dust particles? I wonder if my nerite brought it into my tank. Is that even possible?
  11. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

  12. TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    That was one of the first articles I read. Didn’t help much because I really can’t see their head as they’re extremely tiny! It’s barely visible unless you stare at the glass really closely. At first you think it’s just particles but they aren’t. They’re moving up and down the glass.
  13. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Yea all I see is a speck. Lol. I was hoping it would help.
  14. TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks for trying. Yup they look like white dirt but they’re moving alright. If you expand one of the magnified photos that I uploaded, it looks like they have legs and antennas. Maybe it’s just my eyes or there’s debris on the glass but they look like little bugs. I don’t know what a copepod, seed shrimp, detritus or any worm would look like when magnified. The only worm I had were really thin, white long stringy ones a long time ago. Those were 10 times the size of what I have now. What the heck could they possibly be??? I’m so stumped. I don’t know how to treat it or remedy it if I don’t know what they are.

    Does anyone see the antennas and legs or is it just me??
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  15. FishMommerValued MemberMember

    Ugh. Good luck!

    Also, I am not trying to stalk you and your tank issues, but seriously? I now think my 2nd tank could have some? I am sure I could be paranoid now, but it could also be true. Saw a strange white thing (very visible) on the black intake sponge. Hmm.. If they are Not harmful, I hope my fish eat them and get rid of them all! :p I think I only see 1 maybe 2 and not sure if it is a worm for real or just a white piece being moved by the filter... Going to check out the link above later.

    All the best to you!!!
  16. TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    Lol no worries! Stalk me all you want lol. I have realized that what I have isn’t slithering like a worm would... they’re like walking or crawling or something. I want to know what the heck they are! It’s driving me nuts!
  17. FishMommerValued MemberMember

    Any chance you are just seeing movement from the filter/water movement? Maybe with something so small it is just giving that appearance? I am hoping that is the case with what I see. It's just odd as it is white, or maybe it is a piece of root that found it's way to the sponge?

    Add the fact that I have never had plants in an aquarium before I am extra paranoid of any tank invaders. :blackalien:
  18. Kathryn CrookWell Known MemberMember

    Buggy buddies!

    I love them!
  19. TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    Nope. Some kind of critter is there alright. There’s a bunch of them. At first I thought it was just white fuzz debris from the driftwood floating in the water but when I saw them crawling on the glass and on the underside of the top glass above the waterline, I knew I had bugs or worms or something. They are extremely difficult to spot. You have to really stare at the glass and focus. Once you do that, they’re visible and you can see them moving up and down the glass. My betta picks at it when he sees them so I know he’s eating them. I just want to know what they are.

    I don’t think I’ve ever introduced anything from my plants because I buy the tube plants from petco/petsmart that have the gel on the roots. The only time I purchased a plant from my LFS was my java fern and it was in a tank with other plants. However, I’ve had that plant since the start of my cycle (end of January- beginning of February) so I think I would have noticed something before then.

    But... I did get some dragon stone from another LFS and it was in their tank. However, I soaked those stones in boiling water and kept them soaked for over a week while cleaning and brushing them off.

    I also had the Anubias from my main tank taken to the snail qt then back to the main tank without my knowledge so it could have hitchhiked from the snail to my tank through the plant/rock. Although I cant be certain if these things were there before or after the fact as I never really paid that extremely close attention until after my plant was put back in my betta tank.

    So many possibilities and honestly I don’t really care how they got there. I only care to know what they are and if they could be harmful to my betta.
  20. Kathryn CrookWell Known MemberMember

    They arent. Very likely just copepods that naturally show in tanks and prove your tank is healthy. There is not such thing as a “sterile” tank. Cycle of life and all that. The buggy buddies eat algae and leftover food, so they are healthy for your tank.