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Old 01-09-2013, 01:06 PM   #1
hXcChic22
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Default Anyone have any insight about "Detritus Worms"?

I did a major overhaul of our 10 gallon tank because it was overflowing with java moss. I stirred up the gravel and there was a LOT of gunk in it, which I figured was probably what is helping the java moss to do so well. The funny thing is, that tank only gets fed a tiny amount maybe once/twice a week because there are only a few inhabitants (few white clouds - down to one now, a cherry shrimp, two kuhli loaches, and now a betta) and it still was so dirty.

Anyway, after refilling the tank, I noticed some small white squigglers in the water. I looked them up and they don't seem to be planaria because they're free swimming. Seems they're probably "Detritus worms" and I am finding mixed information on them. Should I try to get rid of them in some way or are they relatively harmless?
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:01 PM   #2
Maine_Fish
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Originally Posted by hXcChic22 View Post
I did a major overhaul of our 10 gallon tank because it was overflowing with java moss. I stirred up the gravel and there was a LOT of gunk in it, which I figured was probably what is helping the java moss to do so well. The funny thing is, that tank only gets fed a tiny amount maybe once/twice a week because there are only a few inhabitants (few white clouds - down to one now, a cherry shrimp, two kuhli loaches, and now a betta) and it still was so dirty.

Anyway, after refilling the tank, I noticed some small white squigglers in the water. I looked them up and they don't seem to be planaria because they're free swimming. Seems they're probably "Detritus worms" and I am finding mixed information on them. Should I try to get rid of them in some way or are they relatively harmless?
I had the same problem in a 29 gallon tank. I use pool filter sand in my tanks, and when doing water changes, I give the sand a stir. When I stirred the sand in this tank, hundreds of these little guys got kicked up and squirmed through the water. They were white, thin (just a little thicker than a strand of hair), and averaged about 1/4 of an inch long. I came to the conclusion that they were detritus worms...though I can't guarantee my diagnosis was correct.

From what I read, they are harmless to fish, but I still wanted to get rid of them. Over a period of a couple months, I was pretty much able to get rid of them with frequent water changes (50% twice a week) and making a conscious effort not to overfeed.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:43 PM   #3
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Better than harmless, they keep your gravel from getting choked solid. Unsightly, though, to be sure.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:10 PM   #4
hXcChic22
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Eh, that tank is in a corner of a back room anyway. I don't see any today (now that the tank has settled and is all pretty again) and there were so few that they didn't bother me. Good to know that they're not going to be a problem!
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40 breeder - tons of Loaches, White Cloud Minnows, Clown Pleco
10 community - Kuhli loaches, feeder Guppies, pond snails
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