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Discussion Starter #1
Today i noticed my betta eating these little white worms thinner then hair and looks like small dust. I seen some attach to the glass and wonder what if they attach to my betta fish! Is this a big problem or what? I really am worried about these tiny worms he is eating. And there is this white stuff on my plants (Amazon swords, and these other plants i do not know what there are.) When i shake the plants all the white stuff goes into the water and it doesn't seem like worms but it's just white dust that clings to the plants. Please help if you know what this is!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I just found out it's called planaria and i don't know what to do! Can i get rid of them with Aquarium salt or what? And will these things hurt my fish!? Please help me! Also please read what i said above this comment!
 

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Planaria are not white, they're very dark in color. They're short, fat, and have a triangular shaped head. The only way you can get these into your tank is by adding plants that you did not dip or quarantine first. Planaria are carnivors and fish will not eat them. If you have them in your tank you will have to add medication to kill them.

Detritus worms are light in color, skinny, long, and you cannot tell the head from the tail. These little worms are in every healthy tank and are part of the little echo system in there. Think of them as trash compactors... they eat uneaten food and live under the substrate.

If you see drtritus worms above the substrate this means you have not kept the substrate clean (gravel vacs keep their population numbers down). What happens is they run out of oxygen because there's too much gunk, so they rise to the surface of the substrate so they can get more oxygen. This can be dangerous because they'll use up too much of the oxygen in the water column. This is bad for the nitryfing bacteria and can be dangerous to fish who use oxygen from the water column.

Do not add any medication to the tank to kill detritus worms. Do gravel vacs to bring down their population. You don't want to remove them all, just the majority of them. It's perfectly fine if your fish eat them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well, thanks for the info! Also my betta fish goes up for air so is that okay if there isn't a lot of oxygen in the water? And also how do i clean the sand i have in my tank. I used to have gravel in my 2.5gal tank but now i'm using a 5.5gal tank. So is there a way to clean the sand thoroughly? Also are you positive these worms will not harm my fish in any way? Thanks! Also i added some plants without doing the stuff you said. One more thing, are they harmful to humans?
 

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The nitrifying bacteria in your filter (they consume the ammonia in your tank) need the oxygen in the water column, even if your betta doesn't. ;)

I don't know how you would clean sand. My 20 gallon cichlid tank has fine sand, but the fish in there are constantly sifting it all over the place. I just vacuum up what's on the top of the sand with a homemade airline tube vacuum. I don't think I've ever seen detritus worms in there though.

Detritus worms are not harmful to humans. Check here just to be certain that detritus worms are what you're seeing. http://www.fish-as-pets.com/2007/11/planaria-detritus-internet-answers.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Hmm, the ones i see are not so long and thick the ones i see are way thinner then hair and when on the glass they move quite slow. Also can i put maybe two cory cat fish to sift the sand for me. I know how to care for them i did research but i know 2 isn't really good for them and it may be over crowding but some people say it's fine and i have a friend with a 20gal and he has two green cory cats. One more thing will cory cats stir up the sand enough so toxic gasses don't build up in the sand? I do have an airstone is that helps the water column whatever that is?! Thanks and sorry for so many questions! I just wanna know what's best for the fish! :D Lol one more thing again! xD The worms i am seeing is like litteryly 1-4 mm long. I'm not sure if they are babies or what. I have no clue how they even got here.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The nitrifying bacteria in your filter (they consume the ammonia in your tank) need the oxygen in the water column, even if your betta doesn't. ;)

I don't know how you would clean sand. My 20 gallon cichlid tank has fine sand, but the fish in there are constantly sifting it all over the place. I just vacuum up what's on the top of the sand with a homemade airline tube vacuum. I don't think I've ever seen detritus worms in there though.

Detritus worms are not harmful to humans. Check here just to be certain that detritus worms are what you're seeing. http://www.fish-as-pets.com/2007/11/planaria-detritus-internet-answers.html
I'm sorry to bother you again but can you please answer my questions above thanks :D
 

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Also can i put maybe two cory cat fish to sift the sand for me.
Depends on the tank size. Look them up at Live Aquaria and see what the aquatic veterinarians recommend for tank size.

One more thing will cory cats stir up the sand enough so toxic gasses don't build up in the sand?
It's better not to depend on a fish to do a specific job, or to add a fish to your tank to do a specific job. Just stir things up a bit when you do your weekly tank maintenance.

I do have an airstone is that helps the water column whatever that is?!
An airstone helps to provide oxygen to the water column and prevents bio-film from building up on the surface of the water. If you already have a fitler, then the airstone works in conjunction with that.


Lol one more thing again! The worms i am seeing is like litteryly 1-4 mm long. I'm not sure if they are babies or what. I have no clue how they even got here.
What was the question?

I'm sorry to bother you again but can you please answer my questions above thanks :D
Sorry, I was busy getting enguaged (finally!). I generally do not spend every day on the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Depends on the tank size. Look them up at Live Aquaria and see what the aquatic veterinarians recommend for tank size.



It's better not to depend on a fish to do a specific job, or to add a fish to your tank to do a specific job. Just stir things up a bit when you do your weekly tank maintenance.



An airstone helps to provide oxygen to the water column and prevents bio-film from building up on the surface of the water. If you already have a fitler, then the airstone works in conjunction with that.




What was the question?



Sorry, I was busy getting enguaged (finally!). I generally do not spend every day on the forum.
Thanks for helping me! I do have one more concern well not one but a lot. The worms seem to be multiplying and getting a lot pretty fast. Also if i stir up the sand do the worms tend fly every where? If they get to many can they find there way into my betta fish gills? And will the worms affect water quality. I have been doing more water changes to try to suck them up and got a brine shrimp net to try and scoop some out. The amount of these worms scare me. Oh yeah will cory catfish help oxygenate the substrate so the worms will stay down there and not come up for oxygen? Thanks so much for your time!
 

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Thats an extreme close up pic of a worm I once found in Blazes tank. It was actually really tiny I'm not sure how my phone managed to zoom in so close XD I remember putting AQ salt in the tank and I noticed it float up from the surface. Scared me half to death I thought my betta would die. I took the picture, cupped it and flushed it. Only one I've ever seen.
 

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Thanks for helping me! I do have one more concern well not one but a lot. The worms seem to be multiplying and getting a lot pretty fast.
If you're dealing with detritus worms, the only way to lower their numbers is to clean the substrate. I deal mainly with gravel, so someone would have to help you regarding sand.


Also if i stir up the sand do the worms tend fly every where? If they get to many can they find there way into my betta fish gills?
I don't know. Detritus worms are not physically harmful to fish.


And will the worms affect water quality. I have been doing more water changes to try to suck them up and got a brine shrimp net to try and scoop some out. The amount of these worms scare me.
You might not be dealing with detritus worms. I recommend adding a bunch to a container and taking them into a LFS (not PetCo or PetSmart... go to a local mom and pop type of place) and asking them what they think.

Oh yeah will cory catfish help oxygenate the substrate so the worms will stay down there and not come up for oxygen?
No, they won't.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have been away for 5 days and put a feeder block but tomorrow i'm going back home. I'm not sure if they ate off the feeder block or died off or even a population boom. Also there aren't any LFS close to where i live only petco and petsmart really. So once i get back i might see grown up planaria or just detritus worms. Hopefully i will be able to keep there population low. Also my sand is a little bigger grain then the really really fine sand. I use a gravel vac to suck up the sand but i stir the sand first. I still don't know how to clean the sand like i did with gravel before. I just have to hope for the best that they won't get too out of control.
 
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