Violet Violet
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  • Posted on: 2011/9/3 23:05
White worms in tank - Planaria or Detrius Worms?? #1
A common question....here goes

Fishy Fishy posted here a years or so ago with regards to new evidence relating to Planaria and ?worms? in tanks, which has now been accepted in fishkeeping circles ? yay, she got there first.

Firstly, wise to check if these are actually Planaria (the more leechy-looking ones) or just Detritus Worms (the thread-looking ones that wriggle in the water and about 2-6mm long).

Clip from Youtube, this guy has both. The first thin white wriggler you see first is a Detritus Worm, the two that look more slug like and squat, although zipping round fairly fast, are Planaria (babies).

ID the worm here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NmcXUN9iw4&feature=related

Detritus worms feed of decomposing matter and whilst no threat to fish or tank inhabitants, they would indicate over feeding or lack of tank husbandry. Good tank, filter, substrate cleans and watching overfeeding should resolve the issue ? no other action. Indeed fish will eat them with relish once spotted.

Planaria though, are small flatworms and are carnivorous and their diet includes foods such as insect larvae, small crustaceans, fish eggs, other small living or dead tank mates and mostly arrive with plants. They can take on a fully grown snail/shrimp or a weakened fish and their presence is not related to dirty tanks.

Large adult Planaria having a go at shrimp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuHd_cP7FeY&feature=related

Chop them up or squidge them and they just multiply. Apologies, a foreign link (can?t find any UK footage just yet that shows this):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXN_5SPBPtM&feature=related

Very thorough and regular substrate vacuums to remove as many of the critters are recommended for both to strat with.

For confirmed Planaria, if the problem persists or gets out of hand anti-parasite treatments are ?usually? used.

This Planaria trap (DIY, just with food) could be very helpful though as a first try:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saU7S2ybskw&feature=related

The US favours a Planaria treatment called ?Clout? although I don?t think it can be bought in the UK ? see Ebay.com. Some treatments can knock out filter bacteria so it?s not a choice taken lightly as some planning needs to be undertaken first.

A quick look on google shows the following treatments used in the US:

Removal (Treatment) of Planaria:

There are several remedies that can rid a tank of Planaria, here are a few:

*Clout; this is probably the most effective treatment which contains 4-[p-(dimethylamino)-)O-Phenylbenzylidene]-2,5-cyclohexadien-1-xylidene dimethylammonium chloride; dimethyl (2,2,2-trichloro-1-hydroxy-ehtel) phosphonate; 1,2-dimmethyl-5 nitromidazole and inert ingredients as non toxic binders.
A negative of this treatment is it cannot be used with Piranhas, Metynnis species, scalelesss fish, bottom feeders, Marine Sharks, or Lion Fish

*General Cure; Not as strong, but still often effective and less harsh on delicate fish. General Cure contains Metronidazole & Praziquantel

*Jungle Parasite Clear; As with General Cure, not as strong as Clout, but still often effective and less harsh on delicate fish.

*Most Medications/Treatments that contain Trichlorfon (although this is very harsh on silver fish, arowana, and similar)
*Copper at .25 ppm can be effective for Planaria


FK can take no responsibility for these USA treatments of course. Posted here for keepers info only and I would assume personal research is undertaken first.

Interesting PFK thread I came across recently about Planaria too whilst mooching ? bit more info:
http://forum.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/showthread.php?t=75011

Wonder if this is worth a sticky for future ?worms in tanks? posts here, common with new set ups?
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cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 2012/2/29 8:46
Re: White worms in tank - Planaria or Detrius Worms?? #2
There is a product available called No Planaria, it is extract of betel nut and apparently harmless to fish/shrimps/filter, although it will also kill snails. Shrimp forums seem very excited by it!
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Violet Violet
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  • Joined: 2008/11/22 17:42
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  • Posts: 7209
  • Posted on: 2012/3/3 16:22
Re: White worms in tank - Planaria or Detrius Worms?? #3
Another new option from member Bungy here

Quote:

I breed shrimps and occasionally see Planaria which in a shrimp tank this is bad news - I use this stuff from Benebachi which works great and no harm to the shrimp.

http://www.benibachi.co.uk/cart/planaria.html.
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