Help! Worms Everywhere!

shannon767

Member
Hi, I noticed a blurry white spot on the side of my 10-g tank, and when I looked closer, I saw that it was a swarm of what looks like tiny white worms. I then looked and saw that they were all throughout the water column. They are EVERYWHERE! The shrimp don't seem to be bothered by them, but I can't imagine this is okay. So I did a 50% wc last night and again today. Today I also replaced the filter on my intake tube and rinsed off all of the filter media (of course, that was done with the tank water, but I'm sure I rinsed out more worms than I left in).

My details:
10 g , black sand -no dirt
~50 cherry shrimp
Lightly planted, mostly java ferns with a little bit of moss

A few more details, in case it helps: About a week ago, I noticed a bunch of white stuff on a piece of wood in the tank. Of course, it was hydra, so I took it out, scrubbed it, and replaced it. I have been watching for them to come back, but I didn't see them on the wood. I cleaned the tank last week and pulled out an ornament, which dislodged a lot of the sand. Could that have caused this invasion? I don't know what to do!

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me!


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Silister Trench

Member
Welcome to the grosser aspect of shrimp keeping! Actually, this happens in many fish-less tanks. Most of us never knew or forget that the natural balance between aquatic animals and their ecosystem is both give and tank on either side and these Detritus Worms in a shrimp only tank are a great example on what fish are good at - always hungry and up for a quick bite! Most tanks have detritus worms yet we rarely ever notice them because tanks are stocked with fish and fish eat these every time they see them in the water.

  1. reduce the amount you feed and don't put food directly on the substrate. Instead use a fish feeding tube or a dish of some kind
  2. if possible adding a few small fish will go a very long ways when it comes to reducing their number.
 
  • Thread Starter

shannon767

Member
Silister Trench said:
Welcome to the grosser aspect of shrimp keeping! Actually, this happens in many fish-less tanks. Most of us never knew or forget that the natural balance between aquatic animals and their ecosystem is both give and tank on either side and these Detritus Worms in a shrimp only tank are a great example on what fish are good at - always hungry and up for a quick bite! Most tanks have detritus worms yet we rarely ever notice them because tanks are stocked with fish and fish eat these every time they see them in the water.

  1. reduce the amount you feed and don't put food directly on the substrate. Instead use a fish feeding tube or a dish of some kind
  2. if possible adding a few small fish will go a very long ways when it comes to reducing their number.
That makes perfect sense! Thank you so much. I wondered where I went wrong. I am going to add a small group of schooling fish. Thank you!
 

Silister Trench

Member
shannon767 said:
That makes perfect sense! Thank you so much. I wondered where I went wrong. I am going to add a small group of schooling fish. Thank you!
No problem! Just let them be hungry and they'll fix your worm problem. I've used neon tetras and they made quick work of my worms. Not all of them are gone, but enough
 
  • Thread Starter

shannon767

Member
I added a school of celestial pearl danios last night and I literally don't see any worms anywhere. So either they all got eaten or they got scared and are hiding in the sand. LOL. Thanks again for your help.
 

Silister Trench

Member
Glad it's working! Those worms seem to have enough intelligence to be concerned about self-preservation in my own experience. You'll probably notice them free-floating after a water change. Minimizing food in the tank goes a long way to decimating their population. I also shut off my filter for 4 hours on more than one occasion, which causes the worms to enter the water column where the fish easily picked them off. I had it really bad where if food hit the substrate within 6hrs it would be white with worms feeding it in that spot.
 
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