Worms?!?

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kreuztraeger

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This has happened in my fish tanks before, and nothing foul happened as a result. I have these threadlike white worms that float around in the water, occasionally contracting and bending around. Are they bad for the fish and is there anything I can do to get rid of them without much hassle?

Tank in concern is 20 gallon Long, containing one amazon sword and a 3" fantail goldfish with a power filter.
 

LauraMillar

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weird ive heard of and seen these before in a frog tank in work but have no idea what they are sorry but im curious to find out
 

Kyle

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I've also had little white worms once before in my current tank. When I looked around on the net, the mostly likely suspect I came across was that they were some kind of nematode that thrives when there is too much left over food sitting in the gravel of the tank. Some Nematodes are parasitic but most of them are harmless apparently, but they are normally taken as a sign that there is a lot of excess decomposing waste in the bottom of the tank:

look here to see if the picture looks vaguely similar to what you've been seeing.

if the worms are fatter and crawl on the glass, then they are probably planaria which also as far as i know arent 'bad' for your fish but again when their colony size is big indicates lots of decomposing matter and indicate you may be harbouring poor water quality as a result.

I got rid of them, by increasing the frequency of my water changes and gravel cleanings for a month or so, and watching how much I fed my fish more closely, haven't seen them again since.

hope this helps
 
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kreuztraeger

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They are floating free in the water. I don't see any on the sides of the tank.
 
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kreuztraeger

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The water quality can't be that bad. Nitrates are zero, of course the aquarium is already cycled, and I vacuumed the gravel just this past weekend.

Maybe I need a more powerful filter? there is some debris floating in the water from time to time. I have a 10 gallon filter on it right now. Should I switch to a 30? Tank is 20 gallons long - so it might be a little hard for the filter to circulate water in some areas.
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

Sorry to hear that you're having to deal with unwanted critters. Here is a link on Planaria:


Ken
 

Kyle

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Hello again,

That sounds very much like its a nematode if you are seeing it in the water wriggling, how many of them are you seeing? It's very odd considering what you say your tank readings are if you are seeing a lot of them...

You definetly could do with a bit more filtration, I'm not familiar with power filters but i would definetly think about upgrading to the 30 gallon at least, with the waste goldfish produce and the size of the tank a filter doing 10 gallons per hour is not enough IMO to adequately filter the tank.

Not sure what would help, again the only thing i can think is to maybe gravel vac once a week when you do your water changes for a while, and think about getting a bigger filter? I'm not too clued up as i said on Power filters, so maybe someone else can let you know for sure about the exact size you should have for your tank, but I definetly think you hit on it that you are currently under filtrated. Wether or not thats why the nematodes are appearing, it might be contributing to it but can't say for sure...

Anyone else have any thoughts?
 

Shawnie

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my nitrates are usually below 20 but I do spoil my fish when feeding...which is the main cause of these adorable(NOT) white worms LOL ...left over foods ......more gravel vacs and less feeding will take care of them...as well as your fish if they see them ....they love to eat them
 
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kreuztraeger

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Sorry, the filter actually turns over between 80-120 gallons per hour. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
 
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