Worms In My Tank

  • skit73
  • skit73's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 7
  • Thank you received: 0

skit73 created the topic: Worms In My Tank

I have 2 Tiger Oscar about 8inch in size. Since 3 months ago, I noticed tiny little worms in my tank everytime i change the water of the tank. Initially I thought little of it, but it is starting to worry me.

I change water once a week. Due to this problem, it is usually a complete change. I only feed my Tiger Oscar feeder fishes once a week and they are usually on cichild mini-palltes.

I have even put them on medication recommended by the pet shop, but the problems still persists. I always notice loads of tiny white worms in the tank whenever I change the water every week.

By the way, my 2.5ft tank does not even have any sand. So it's a rather plain set-up.

Anyone can advice me on this matter?

Steven:unsure:
#2005
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • skit73
  • skit73's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 7
  • Thank you received: 0

skit73 replied the topic: Re:Worms In My Tank

Here's a pic of my 2 babies
#2006
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • OFL
  • OFL's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Founder of OFL
  • Posts: 13309
  • Karma: 38
  • Thank you received: 414

OFL replied the topic: Re:Worms In My Tank

A tank of 2 1/2 feet is not really big enough for Oscars unfortunately. They could possibly be introduced by feeder fish as well

The worms you describe sound like planaria. They could well be flat worms. They often come in on substrates and plants and thrive if you overfeed. Even though they look unsightly, they won't actually cause any harm to your tank. Getting rid and usually involves stripping the tank down which is a real pain in the backside. Just try and harvest as many as you can and keep cleaning them out, a lot of work unfortunately.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
#2008

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 472
  • Karma: 7
  • Thank you received: 0

Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:Worms In My Tank

How many gallons does your tank hold?

THE TROUBLE WITH PLANARIA WORMS?

By Majid Ali
Adapted from an article which first appeared in the March 2003 edition of Ryedale Reporter Magazine, Ryedale Aquarist Society, Yorkshire, England
Aquarticles

On many occasions fellow aquarists have sought my advice on 'infestations of aquatic parasites' which have suddenly appeared in their aquaria. Upon further investigation these infestations have, thankfully, proved to be of a harmless planarian nature.

Planarian worms are tiny, thin and milky white in appearance. They are distantly related to flukes, and some of these worms have been implicated in skin slime problems with marine fish. They are usually seen slowly gliding over the surfaces of the tank, surfaces of the glass and under the lid of box filters.

These particular worms are, at times, a problem. How do they manifest? They usually become visible when:-
1. An aquarist has overfed his/her fish.
2. The aquarium gravel is not hoovered accordingly.
3. Aquarium ammonia levels have risen.

If present in small numbers Planaria can be dealt with by eliminating the above, but when larger numbers are involved they become a problem. I have tried the following methods to try to clear them:-
a) I have used a variety of white spot cures, tonic salts and aquatic bacteriacides etc. without any real success. Fellow aquarists have claimed some success using Sterazin (Waterlife product), Anti-crustacean Parasite (Interpet) and Parasite Guard (Sera) but I have yet to try these particular products myself.
b) Sometimes removing the fish/aquatic livestock and raising the tank temperature, for 24 hours, to 35 C can rid a tank of Planaria.
c) Drastic - but strip the tank down, boil any gravel and scrub the decor clean, and leave everything to dry for a week (remembering to change any filter material). Unfortunately there is no guarantee that once the tank is re-established the problem may not quickly resume. A second strip down and washing with a bleach solution may be the answer?
d) Natural predators may help. Apple Snails, Hong Kong Plecs. (coldwater), Whiptail Catfish, and any Limnivorous Catfish (Mud-eaters, e.g. Twig Catfish and Bubble-nesting Catfish, who are constantly searching throughout the tank for vegetable matter, detritus, micro-organisms and tiny crustaceans), are among the species that will (usually if left unfed for a few days) eat away at Planaria on a long term basis. In the short term Betta and Pelvicachromis (Kribs.) species will eat small amounts of Planaria.

Please note that Planarian worms can get into the gills of aquatic livestock and cause irritation, leading to fish etc. becoming jumpy and starting to scratch against the decor. I have witnessed this with Axolotls, and when a friend's Red Cap Oranda was constantly rubbing against the decor with no signs of a disease infection. We ultimately discovered that an abundance of Planaria in the tank had caused this problem.

As we touched on earlier, Planaria can be a problem with filtration equipment, particularly of the box and Fluval type varieties. To rid such equipment of Planaria try one of the following:-
1. Strip the filter and give it a good scrub.
2. Pour boiling water in and on the filter (especially through the holes).
3. Immerse the filter in hot water which contains a mild solution of bleach.

Warning - Research carried out by Tim Henshaw at Bolton Museum (Lancashire, U.K.) indicates that Planaria carry a toxin on their surface. This toxin is particularly potent towards any species of shrimp and glass shrimp.

As Planaria are parasitic, can they harm humans who come into contact with them? As far as my research indicates there are no recorded cases, but always make sure that you wash your hands well following contact and that any cuts etc. are covered prior to work with Planarian problems.

I hope you have enjoyed this article. If you can add any information, particularly on livebearing fish which may eat Planaria, please contact David (via the contact details above) who will feature any 'Feedback' in a future issue of Ryedale Reporter (mailing you a writer's copy in return), as we still have much to learn about these and many other parasites, who our 'fish friends' have to contend with in aquaria.

Contact for editing purposes:
email: Editor, Ryedale Reporter: davidplaty@davidmarshall5.wanadoo.co.uk
Date first published: March 2003
Publication: Ryedale Reporter, Ryedale Aquarist Society, Yorkshire, England
Reprinted from Aquarticles:
Sept. 2005: Posted by Mike Talbot, of England, as part of the database of his msn group: africanriftlakecichlids. ARTICLE USE:
Internet publication (club or non-profit web site):
1. Credit author, original publication, and Aquarticles.
2. Link to www.aquarticles.com and original website if applicable.
3. Advise Aquarticles
Printed publication:
Mail two printed copies to:
David Marshall,
16 Potter Hill,
Pickering.
North Yorkshire
YO18 8AA
England
And one copy to:
Aquarticles.com
#205 - 5525 West Boulevard
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6M 3W6
Canada

Ken, 51, NJ-USA (2 Tiger Oscars)
Need to give away one healthy 1 year old Oscar if you know of anyone interested. See the adoption thread for photos. Thanks!
#2010

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • skit73
  • skit73's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 7
  • Thank you received: 0

skit73 replied the topic: Re:Worms In My Tank

Dear Administrator (osacarlover)

Thanks for the advice. Forgot to mention that the worms are also present on weeks that I do not supply my babies with feeder fishes and I do not have any plants in my tank.

I suspect it could be deal to overfeeding... but than again, I only feed them once a day with cichild mini-pallets and my babies doesn't like eating it at all. Most of the time, they will just eat it and spit it all out again, making the water very dirty and murky.

I will however, as per your advice and current practice, give my tank a complete clean out on a weekly basis. This had been ongoing for 3 mths already, not sure how long i will have to keep doing this.
#2011

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • skit73
  • skit73's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 7
  • Thank you received: 0

skit73 replied the topic: Re:Worms In My Tank

Dear Joliet Jake (Admin),

Thanks for the very informative article. I will try disinfecting my filter and scrubing every inch and corner of it. Will look for a catfish to add to my tank as well. Really hope to end this ordeal soon. I think my 2.5 ft tank holds about 20.5 gallons
#2014

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • OFL
  • OFL's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Founder of OFL
  • Posts: 13309
  • Karma: 38
  • Thank you received: 414

OFL replied the topic: Re:Worms In My Tank

When you clean your tank out, the very careful with the filtration. Assuming you have a healthy biological filter, you don't want to kill the bacteria. Wash the media out in existing tank water and remove as many worms as you can find. However, these type of parasites are a little like having a snail infestation, a real bitch to eradicate.

Increasing water temperature to around 33 or 34°C can eradicate pests like this. However, you have to remove the fish when doing this and it also depends on what your heater settings go up to.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
#2015

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • skit73
  • skit73's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 7
  • Thank you received: 0

skit73 replied the topic: Re:Worms In My Tank

Dear oscarlover,

Thanks for the tip again. On the part of water heater, I had it removed last month as I thought that the warm water was the cause of it. I'm in Malaysia by the way and the tempreture is usually around 28-33 degrees. My heater was set at 28 and most of the time, the water in the tank feels really warm. I thought the warm water was the cuase of the flat worms, that was why i had the heater removed.
#2016

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • OFL
  • OFL's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Founder of OFL
  • Posts: 13309
  • Karma: 38
  • Thank you received: 414

OFL replied the topic: Re:Worms In My Tank

If they are flat worms, or something similar than eradicating them completely can mean completely stripping the tank down. Reduce feeding will certainly help to stop them multiply quickly. The easiest way to eradicate them completely would probably mean cleaning the tank completely, including filtration. I would not be in favour of doing this unless you had another tank for the Oscars that was completely cycled. I really don't think that the Oscars are suitable fish to cycle tank. People may disagree with me, but I don't really think they're quite as hardy as a lot of people make out. They do have a tendency to develop nasty diseases if for instance, exposed to poor water conditions for any period of time. It can take up to six weeks or more to cycle a tank properly, in this time, you would have less than suitable living conditions for an Oscar. For this reason, I would try your hardest to keep your biological filter healthy. This may mean that you may have to live with some worms. Don't worry, they will not cause any harm.

Try removing them manually for a while and see how you get on. Reduce the feeding and see if their population diminishes.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
#2017

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • skit73
  • skit73's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 7
  • Thank you received: 0

skit73 replied the topic: Re:Worms In My Tank

hey! A Big THANK YOU to all the advices and help received. The worm problems in my tank has been greatly reduced!!

Since my posting some weeks ago, I have cleaned out my tank, stop giving my babies feeder fishes and fed them lesser.

The results, well... :whistle: :side: :blush: :lol: :silly:

1) My babies are only fed 3 times a week and they no longer refuse to eat the Tetra Cichild mini sticks. Infact,they are cleaned out all the time.

2) The water is less dirty and the clearity of the water remains clear even after 2 weeks!

3) The worm problem has been solved almost 90%.

Thank you once again!
#2670

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Big-KenDRACO
Time to create page: 0.112 seconds