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Re: Worms

 Mike's tank (not Mike) has a worm problem:
> the piles of 'substrate' they eat off the bottom and
deposit over the gravel is becoming excessive. Those same
piles have been in the 90 gallon since I set it up but I
have never seen them in action. They have a real tendency to
burrow in the thick of plants rather than out in the open
but again, no evidence of root damage. I am convinced they
came in with the substrate and transferred tanks with some
plants. Any ideas on:

1) Identifying them (can be described as whitish/ pink up to
4 to 6 inches long... look like the worms on the pavement
after it rains down in Houston... not nightcrawlers)<

This does not sound like Planarians. Planarians would not
create piles of substrate and most are much smaller. They
look like Earthworms so they are probably a very close
relative : Aquatic olgochaetes. These produce mounds/piles
on the substrate surface, which is the material that passes
through their digestive system and which they deposit above
their burrows. To make sure look at one worm closely: if it
is segmented like an ordinary earthworm it is surely an

> 2) Potential hazards/ benefits they present

Oligochaetes eat decaying organic matter. They will make
burrows in the soil/substrate.  In land plants this is
beneficial since their roots prefer an oxygen rich soil. The
eathworms also distribute nutrients throughout the medium.
However in an aquatic environment plants are adapted to
anaerobic substates and the usefulness of nutrient dispersal
is questionable. Esthetically: the piles spoil the look of
the tank. If you have smaller plants such as Glosso, they
will certainly ruin the planting.

>3) How to manage the population?

Most fish will love a worm feast, as long as they are large


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