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[APD] Red worms in my filter -- good, bad, or ugly?


I have a question that is not about plants but about fish and worms and
since you guys are the smartest bunch of folks I know, I figured I'd toss
this one out here.

I found what appeared to be a live bloodworm in my filter and I am stumped
as to whether it is a bad thing or not. I've tried to research it, and from
SkepticalAquarist find it might be a midge fly larvae, or from old
APD/killie posts it could be a red tubifex worm. Can someone help me here?

I have 23 young 3" discus in a 55 gallon tank, getting lots of food daily
and big water changes daily. I have air driven sponge filters and a Penguin
330 on the tank. The Penguin has the new refillable clamshell frames with
cut padding in them. I rinse these pads every few days in tap water, a wad
of floss in the basket and the 2 biowheels keep biobacteria going.

I opened some frozen bloodworms recently and fed too many too fast and it
looked like some made it into the filter on the other side of the tank
(although I usually slow the intake if I notice food floating over there) or
that's waht I figured when I saw some red worms imbedded in the pads but
couldn't get them out. They did not appear to be alive.

Then, when I stopped the filter during a water change, a live red worm
popped out of the intake, flopped and thrashed on the bare bottom of the
tank until my biggest discus snapped him up. It looked like the frozen red
bloodworms have reanimated --?

Now, I know it is not a mosquito larve, it was not able to rise by wriggling
and no mosquito could endure the turbulence in the filter to lay eggs. It
might be a midge fly, for I have seen some small flies in the house of
unknown origin. Could it be a tubifex worm? I feed a lot of beefheart and
other meaty foods, although the filter was hardly dirty, some descriptions
indicate it could be tubifex. And, finally, can anything that lives in a
dirty filter be safe to eat? Do I need to throw that filter pad out right

Thanks for your help,

Ann V

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