Red Worm Deep In Substrate

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Forums' started by Thoughtsprocket, May 22, 2019.

  1. Thoughtsprocket Valued Member Member

    Greetings everyone! I haven't been here in quite a while. I have a 20 gallon high that has bee running since around 2013. I started it with Eco Complete and have never changed that except to add some small river rock. It has had different live plants over the years. I have kept only Half-black Yellow Leopard guppies in it with cories, otocinclus cats, and nerite snails with zero apparent problems in a long time. Recently, I rehomed all of the guppies (generations of them) because I would like to keep other species. I was doing a deep siphon cleaning of the substrate and found a long, thin red worm that's about 3 inches long. I've never seen this before and wonder what it is and where the heck it came from. I've never fed live bloodworms, so if that's what it is, I am surprised. can anyone help me out by telling what kind of worm it is? Why do I have it? I'm still working on the substrate, so I haven't discovered more...yet.

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  2. Gypsy13 Fishlore VIP Member

    Hey. I’ve had everybody handy take a look. Differing opinions. Find any more? Could you put it in a clear glass of water and take a pic? Bloodworms make little tunnels in sand. Just wiggle through gravel and can get 14”-20” long. I hope you find another one! Catch it alive. :)
  3. Thoughtsprocket Valued Member Member

    Thanks for asking other people. No. I haven't gone back in there again, though I plan to later today. That one was alive albeit obviously damaged from the syphoning. I got rid of it. After researching and hearing from someone on another forum, I believe it's a Black worm (called this even though they can be red like this one), also known as a tubifex worm, that most likely hitchhiked in on one of the new plants that I purchased. I should have fed it to my tank inhabitants. If I find more I'll snag photos. Thank you for responding!
  4. Thoughtsprocket Valued Member Member

    I have resolved my issue on my own by removing as many of the tubifex worms as I could find by sifting through the substrate. I'm pretty certain there were a few left behind, but I needed to get the tank re- scarped and the fish back into their habitat. So far my nitrates are much the safe zone. I can't help but wonder if that many tubifex worms were adding to the bio-load, but I'm not a hitchhiker worms expert. My understanding is that should there be some left in the substrate, they won't harm anything and my corydoras will enjoy snacking on them should they poke up from the substrate.
  5. Gypsy13 Fishlore VIP Member

    Yes they eat detritus. And corys eat them. So do danios and minnows. And they’re harmless. :)
  6. notBrandon Valued Member Member

    Free food haha. Super nutritious.