Technically Not A "fish", But...

Discussion in 'Fish, Snail, Worm And Pest ID Help' started by AffableDragon, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. AffableDragon

    AffableDragonNew MemberMember

    Hi, I'm new here, so I'm sorry if this isn't in the right spot, but I didn't know where else to put this...
    So while cleaning the inside of the glass today, I noticed a TON of very tiny white worms on the side and near the top of the water. I checked the fish and they seemed fine. Regardless, I tried and managed to capture a worm and put it on a microscope slide (yes, I have one...nerd alert, lol), then took some video of it. Here's the video (You might want to mute it...also sorry for the poor quality)
    It's set to 4x in the video, by the way, if that helps at all.
    I'm not sure what they are or if they are dangerous, and I would include a pic of them actually in the aquarium, but my phone won't focus on them so I don't think that would be helpful.
    I also haven't been able to clean my 55 gal as often due to an ankle injury, so I'm wondering if these guys pop up when the nitrates get ludicrously high? There's already a ton of it in our tap (the test reads at least 40, maybe 80).
    Ok, so actual question: Does anyone know what they are, if they are bad, and how to get rid of them?
  2. Zerologist

    ZerologistWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! I never had that before but I am sure that someone here will be able to help you. :)
  3. MikeRad89

    MikeRad89Well Known MemberMember

    Planaria. They're from poor water quality usually from overfeeding. Do regular large water changes and a lot of gravel vaccing and you should be able to keep the population down.

    They're not harmful to fish.
  4. Mike A

    Mike AValued MemberMember

    I believe that these are detritus worms. These can be found in large numbers like you have in your tank and they come out onto the glass when they run out of oxygen in the substrate. Population explosions of detritus worms are caused by overfeeding or excess organic matter in the substrate (such as uneaten food). In response to the above post, I believe that they are not planaria because planaria aren't found in large numbers, which you see in your tank. Detritus worms are not harmful, but planaria are.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  5. MikeRad89

    MikeRad89Well Known MemberMember

    They are not detritus worms. I have had serious detritus worm outbreak and I also have a compound microscope.

    Under the scope the detritus worms are far thinner, move in a snake-like fashion, and have a segmented body on the microscopic level.
  6. OP

    AffableDragonNew MemberMember

    My brother has been helping me do certain things I trusted he could help with (like feeding), so it is definitely a possibility that he is overfeeding them...I thought my food was going down a bit too quickly. After looking at images on the internet, MikeRad89 seems to be right. The detritus worms look like they have segments and are far skinnier, which is definitely not how these look. Anyway, thanks for the help, guys! I'll have to have my brother do water changes while I watch, because there is no way I can run up and down the stairs since the tank is in the basement.