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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 5 gallon aqueon aquarium. It's been running for about 2 months now. This morning I found wiggling worms stuck in the filter. Some are all black but another type is small, skinny, black/white stripes with black head/tail.

It's freaking me out. I've never experienced worms before. I have sand substrate and I had 2 cory cats but one died about 3 days ago and I couldn't understand why. I do water changes often, everyday to every other day and I'm dosing with Prime to finish up the nitrogen cycle. Two days ago, my ammonia was at .25 and nitrate was at 10 (nitrite tester kit on its way). About two weeks ago I went away on a trip and wasn't able to change the water for 5 days but other than that I've been very much on top of water changes.

What types of worms are these? Are they harmful to my fish or me? I'm a bit of a hypochondriac and I'm about to throw the whole filter away. I attached two pictures. Best I could take unfortunately. Any thoughts??? Thank you!

Edit: I don't see them on top of my sand. Maybe they're under it and when I stirred up the gravel while cleaning they came up and got sucked up into the filter.
 

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They look a bit like planaria worms (and the white ones could be detritus worms), but I've never dealt with any personally before. Have you added in any new plants? Live plants or snails can often bring in little worms like that or if you overfeed they might develop. They're not harmful to the fish unless there are fish eggs in the tank, but they're probably unsightly and you probably want to get rid of them.

If I were you, I would do a complete tank clean out. Get new sand, wash the filter out if you can, scrub the tank walls, wash all the items inside the tank, and then let the fish back in once it's cycled and the water perimeters are all set. Try to start fresh and see if they come back. But since I'm a freak about that sort of thing, that may be a bit extreme!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They look a bit like planaria worms (and the white ones could be detritus worms), but I've never dealt with any personally before. Have you added in any new plants? Live plants or snails can often bring in little worms like that or if you overfeed they might develop. They're not harmful to the fish unless there are fish eggs in the tank, but they're probably unsightly and you probably want to get rid of them.

If I were you, I would do a complete tank clean out. Get new sand, wash the filter out if you can, scrub the tank walls, wash all the items inside the tank, and then let the fish back in once it's cycled and the water perimeters are all set. Try to start fresh and see if they come back. But since I'm a freak about that sort of thing, that may be a bit extreme!
I am too and the thought went through my mind to do a complete cleaning. Nope. No new plants and they're all silk plants. I did have a third Cory that died while I was away on that trip. Some of the pet store water from that bag he came in was poured into my tank when I added him. Could they have come in the water without me noticing? If not, it could be over feeding. When I started with the cories I would put a whole wafer and it was too much food for them. Now I cut them in quarters but it still leaves some uneaten food on the sand. Before I do it I'll wait and see if other members have encountered them before I do it in case it is too extreme. I appreciate your input!
 

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Detritus worms, yes. I don't see any Planaria. Could have come in the fish-store water and been encouraged by overfeeding. They won't bother the fish. But, if they bother you, I agree with Panzer -- do a complete cleaning and start again. Getting a cycle going is not a big deal done this way CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial

Hi, Sky. You've been on here as long as I have.

Welcome to the forum, TankTank.
 

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Thanks! It seems like a great place so far!

Do you think you could maybe help me out with one of my fish questions? I have a thing posted about my one month old suddenly getting black on her ventral fins and maybe you can ease my mind a bit more. I figure if you've been here a while you've seen a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Detritus worms, yes. I don't see any Planaria. Could have come in the fish-store water and been encouraged by overfeeding. They won't bother the fish. But, if they bother you, I agree with Panzer -- do a complete cleaning and start again. Getting a cycle going is not a big deal done this way CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial

Hi, Sky. You've been on here as long as I have.

Welcome to the forum, TankTank.
Hi Hallyx! It's been a while! It's good to be back in the hobby and "seeing" familiar faces. I'm upgrading to a 45 gallon tank which is fun ;)

Thanks for you're input. I've been thinking that these may be fly larvae. The reason being that we get flies in the house sometimes and they tend to get stuck at my window. This aquarium has an opening in the back where a fly could have come in through. If it is the case, I'm now looking at some glass canopy options to prevent this from happening again. It's awful seeing these worms! I saw a thread in another forum where someone had the same issue. My instinct is to throw the filter away. I don't mind following the two sentence guide again. Better safe than sorry!
 

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I have not seen a lot of fly larvae and, not being focused on entomology, I wouldn't know one maggot from another, nor if those are in fact maggots.

I agree with and compliment you on your careful approach. Let me know how it goes.

And, welcome back to the forum.
 
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