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Sheldon13

Nematodes?

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Sheldon13

I’m pretty sure this is the place to put this question. I need help identifying worms.  They are about 2mm, rounded head and point at the tail end.  I have viewed them with a magnifying glass and I can see a bit of segmented green on their insides but they are smooth on the outside.  I think they are beneficial nematodes but there has been a population explosion in one of my tanks.  I’m not overfeeding, but there is a lot of decaying wood and leaves, as well as live plants in the tank.  

 

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Edited by Sheldon13
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Zoidburg

Sounds like detritus worms.

Sometimes they'll pop their heads out of the gravel and "wave" around.

Or if they go swimming, they swim like a snake. Their head is stable and pointed in one direction while their body slowly curves back and forth.

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jayc
On 8/13/2018 at 1:50 PM, Sheldon13 said:

 I’m not overfeeding, but there is a lot of decaying wood and leaves, as well as live plants in the tank.  

Your description and picture definitely shows that these are detritus worms, not nematode or planaria. Good job id'ing them @zoidburg.

If you are not too bothered by them, just leave them as is. They are not harmful, and are great decomposters.

When you see them outside of the substrate, waving around, then you know their numbers have increased beyond the capability to cope for oxygen in the gravel. This is where you need to start removing them, as oxygen depletion in the tank will start impacting the shrimps or fishes. A simple gravel vac should be all you need at this point.

 

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Sheldon13

I have sand, so is there a good way to vacuum without sucking up the sand?  I definitely need to do that as there have been many of them swimming for several days.  

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Zoidburg

You could try putting the hose down into the sand for just a moment, enough to kick up the sand, then pull it back up so there's not enough suction to really pull at the sand... or maybe try stirring up the sand before vacuuming it?

Only time I ever had these was in a tank I picked up from someone else. After removing the last remaining shrimp that the previous owner didn't take out (probably a week old or less), I put kuhli loaches and a pygmy cory (picked up with the tank... there was only one) into the tank. That was the last time I saw them.

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Sheldon13

Well, as soon as I read your previous post  and responded I went into check on the shrimp. I have noticed that they had been a bit lethargic for a few days so I was worried after you said there was possibly low oxygen in the water. The only adult shrimp in the tank was dead when I went in there. So, I decided to take all of the shrimp out of the tank, replace 100% of the water, and clean the gravel with the hottest water out of my tap several times over to get rid of any worms. I’m sure I didn’t kill every single one of them, but their numbers would be drastically reduced. I’m sad that I didn’t make it in time for my little orange male. The babies are happy again and swimming all around the tank. Thank you so much for your advice as it may have saved many of them from dying in the next few days.

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jayc
20 hours ago, Sheldon13 said:

they had been a bit lethargic for a few days so I was worried after you said there was possibly low oxygen in the water. The only adult shrimp in the tank was dead when I went in there.

Phew!

Funny how the conversation started off as something completely different, id'ing worms, to something that lead to identifying a possible issue with the health of the tank. 

 

20 hours ago, Sheldon13 said:

Thank you so much for your advice as it may have saved many of them from dying in the next few days.

Go Team!

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Sheldon13

Now there is a new thing.  I thought it was just vegetation or biofilm, but I was looking at it under a magnify glass of 45x and a shrimplet bumped into it.  All of the little green dots sucked in together like an anemone does!  Then they just slowly relaxed back out.  You can tell how small they are based on the worms near them.  I can’t really see them without the magnifying glass. What are they, and are they harmful?

 

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Zoidburg

Possibly hydra or something else. I've heard some people say it could be scutariella or vorticella but I'm not sure... Treating a tank as if you had planaria should get rid of it, but whatever is used would be harmful to fancy snails.

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Sheldon13

I think hydra are bigger  These guys are so small I have to use the magnifying glass to see them.  I feel like this tank is just doomed to fail.  I cleaned it out a week ago because of the worms and now this!

I think you are spot on with the vorticella.  I found a video here: http://micro.sci-toys.com/vorticella and it looks just like their behavior.

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Zoidburg

I think someone would need to use a magnifier on a shrimp with vorticella to confirm it's the same thing.

I wonder what would happen if you put some food grade hyrodgen peroxide (H2O2) into a syringe and squirted them with it? Dunno if it would kill them or not.

I know salt kills it, but you don't want to add salt to a tank. Treatments that kill planaria should also work to kill them. (don't recommend Fenbendazole)

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jayc
On 8/25/2018 at 11:26 AM, Sheldon13 said:

I found a video here: http://micro.sci-toys.com/vorticella

Cool video.

 

Get rid of them asap.

Since they are on the glass it would be easy to remove them. Don't wait until you find them on the shrimp.

An aquarium scraper to scrape them off the glass, followed closely with a hose to siphon them out. That should do the job with chemicals.

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Sheldon13

Soooo...what I ended up doing was a salt dip for everyone for 5 minutes just in case they had any on them.  I put them in a holding tank, bare-bottomed (they hate that).  I completely cleaned out and scrubbed everything and started the tank fresh using some media from what I know is a healthy tank.  I checked parameters this morning and the tank was able to process 2 drops of ammonia so it should have no problem with 20 or so baby shrimp (non-orange shrimps are in a different tank already).  I did not see any parasites on the animals but you just never know so I'm glad I did the salt dip.  I felt really bad for them though and I could tell it was stinging them a bit as they were very jumpy.  Sometimes medicine doesn't feel great.  Everyone is alive and will be moving back to their tank today.

 

Thanks so much to everyone.  I have 6 tanks and every other tank is great.  I have no idea why this one is doing so badly.

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