My tank has just recently finished cycling. Today I noticed a molly with thin, filmy poop. This afternoon, I noticed little white, hair-like stuff swimming around. Googled and whaddya know, it's nematodes.
Well, my question is, should I fast everyone and let them eat them, or treat it with an anti-parasite? I have Tetra Lifeguard on hand but it says it will destroy my cycle. I really don't want to bother with that if I can help it.
Should I QT my betta? Treat everyone together? Let it go? I don't know what is best, I see conflicting advice when I search.
Nematodes are small, thin, white/transparent free-living roundworms and the "swim" moving themselves in a wave like pattern (well, forming an S shape). If disturbed, they will swim around wriggling briskly. You can find them from the substrate and they are the ones that might appear from the filter when you turn it on. These ones are harmless, but as with any other "pest", if there's too many of them, you are either overfeeding or just not keeping the tank clean enough of debris, decaying plant matter.
Control - Proper tank maintenance (water changes, vacuuming the substrate, avoid excessive feeding) will keep the numbers down to unnoticeable levels. Copper treatments are effective, but should be used with caution. Nematodes are eagerly eaten by small fry and shrimp.
Notes - Most often, when an aquarist sees a Nematode, it is a simple scavenger, and of no harm to fish or plants. However, parasitic species exist. The general rule is if the fish and plants appear healthy, the worms are harmless.
If you're doing a fishless cycle you don't need to vacuum but if you've got fish in there then you do. If you're planted, don't disturb the plants. Just vacuum around them. If you're so heavily planted you don't feel you can do that then you probably don't need to.
Levels look good now :) How long has it been set up? I'd watch it for a while to make sure, but if you're sure you're cycled a weekly 25-50% with vac from now on should be fine. Probably on the lower end if you've got lots of plants.
I'm sure I'm fully cycled at this point. we did fishless first, and it appeared cycled around 10 days. I was eager to add fish and added 2 mollies and 2 platies and just did water changes each day to keep levels down. then about a week later added kuhli loaches and then betta. it was fine 2 days but then a loach went missing, so I messed with gravel and got gunk stirred, and I guess stress of that and new fish triggered a mini cycle. it's been almost a month now, fish for aalmost 3 weeks.
Lol, those loaches seem to disappear for long periods of time... They are super hardy. My brother has had two for five years and he never changes the water... I've been doing it for him since he brought them back home with him, but I almost never see them...
we did lose one sadly, I didn't know they didn't do good with salinity an our water was slightly brackish. the smallest ended up dying. the other two seem good though. w plan to get more soon so they have some buddies.