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Old 11-17-2011, 07:00 PM   #1 
tlyons01
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Can anyone identify what this filter stuff is?

Ok, so I have 5 tanks all with filters running and have used sponges in all of them to help each of them cycle faster. In all of my filter media, this stuff is there. I don't recall ever noticing it last year when I had only one tank, and different fish in it. So I have sponges in all of them all the time, in case something happens and I need to use it. It does not move, I don't think its alive or anything, and my filters all smell really earthy, like a lake. Not in a bad way. I have tried searching the net for anything, couldn't find the same description anywhere. When I swish my filters, some of it comes off. Not all.

Any ideas? Both of the pictured media came from the same unit, and it has only been running for about 3 weeks in a cycled tank... It's extra. This stuff is all over my ceramic bio stuff as well...I am clueless
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:51 PM   #2 
thekoimaiden
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Do you have any plants in your tank? That looks like hornwort leaves. I just got some for my goldfish tank, and the dead leaves are all over my filter material. Can you give us any information about the consistency of the mystery substance?
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:14 AM   #3 
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Hornwort leaves are normally straighter though... These look like little worms of some sort...
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:10 AM   #4 
tlyons01
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Originally Posted by thekoimaiden View Post
Do you have any plants in your tank? That looks like hornwort leaves. I just got some for my goldfish tank, and the dead leaves are all over my filter material. Can you give us any information about the consistency of the mystery substance?
Hi, thanks for responding. Yes I do have live plants, though no Hornwart. As for the consistency, I have not touched it, however, during the process of changing a filter unit, I kept the media in tank water in a bucket. The next day, the stuff was in the water, kinda sank to the bottom and some of it dried on the sides of the bucket. Honestly, I don't have a straight answer. I found some in the bottom of the filter unit, and it swished around and was flexible looking. I have this in all of my filters, though, even in my tanks that have no plants. If I put a sponge into a filter unit that has the stuff in it, it will multiply and take over the new media as well. The only way to get it off of the filter, is to replace it. I hope this wasn't overload to your question, please let me know what you think... thanks in advance for helping, I really appreciate it
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:16 AM   #5 
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Originally Posted by Ajones108 View Post
Hornwort leaves are normally straighter though... These look like little worms of some sort...
Yes, I agree that it looks like worms, but when you watch it, they do not move. I do feed my fish frozen bloodworms, once a week. My other tanks have bettas in them, and I actually count out the amount that they get so I don't overfeed them. I originally thought that it was those getting sucked into the filters, but even if I don't feed the worms, these are in the filters. Would something like that be able to multiply, anyway? Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:32 AM   #6 
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Does it help to know that most of my intake tubes are covered with a prefilter sponge? I have actual worms that I can see that I am pretty sure come from the pre filters, when I squeeze them out, wriggling about in the water. I have just figured those were part of the microscopic organisms in the water. Maybe these "things" are just that, those worms sucked up and then dying in the filter?
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:47 AM   #7 
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Might'eve been something in the bucket, perhaps?

Looks like something I had once, but it actually turned out to be worms. I had about 5 of them attached to my filter, and about that size too. Where they came from I don't know. I just took my filter apart and cleaned it out really good, as good as I could with hot water with alittle bit of vinegar. So far they've not returned.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:49 PM   #8 
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After diligently cleaning one of my 5er's today, I have come to the conclusion, that perhaps these "things" are in fact, the worms I see wiggling around frantically in the water after messing with the pre filter sponges. I rinsed this tank filter today, when I took it out it did not have as much of that stuff in the filter, and the extra sponge in the unit had none at all. I observed Melvin after replacing the water and getting everything going again, he ate the live one that was wiggling and spit out the one that looked as though it came from the inner filter. So, are these worms normal? I am getting ready to research this, though I thought I would share here first, see what ya'll think... Thanks
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:47 PM   #9 
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Ok, after some researching I have come to the conclusion that they are, in fact Detritus Worms. The fact that I saw them after starting the filters again and I have live plants, and I am certain that I have been over feeding since I added the cory fry to that tank. I am gonna guess that they die off in the filter media? I am not sure, but at least I have an idea what I am looking at, and that most fish I think will eat them when they are alive. So, thanks for letting me bounce ideas off of you all, it sure helps to be able to think it out loud, helps get my wheels turning!!!
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:26 PM   #10 
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brown worms in filter media

I have these too, but if you watch closely you will eventually see them unattach from where they were down in the rocks (that you didn't even know where their unless you look very close) also and then wriggle in the water for a while. Then they grow wings and turn into small green flies. Lift the top off of your aquarium and look by the light and you will probably see a few flying around before they die. They don't seem to live long. I kid you not. It is crazy and I have no idea what they are or where they are comming from. I am tired of cleaning tons of dead ones out filter media every few weeks. I am going to try some prazipro to see if it will do anything to get rid of them. We'll see.
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