Live food... or parasites?

                       Subject:                               Time:2:38 PM
  OFFICE MEMO          Live food... or parasites?             Date:7/9/95

Hi everybody,
I'm new to this group and started my first planted tank a couple of months ago. It is 10 gal, and has Crypt. wendtii, Ludwidia mullerti, Bacopa caroliniana, and Java Fern. It has no fish yet but will have cory catfish and a few tetras.

The plants are all doing well, my main concern before adding the fish is with some of the free-loaders that came with the plants. I would like to think that these critters would be a short-lived source of live food when I add the fish, but I also imagine that it would be naive to assume that there is no possibility that any of them are parasites because they are living well without any fish. I have read all that I can, but would now like to call upon your collective experience for guidance.

Besides the expected (Acute Bladder) snails  I also observe:

- free swimming planktonic worms (also seem to be in the gravel), about 1cm long and as thick as a hair, whitish, wriggle like crazy.

-scales on the glass and UGF uplift tubes, about 2mm across, milky colored with a dark cyst on top. These do move about the glass but not fast enough to be visible.

-green daphnia like animals, they may even be daphnia, but I have also read of similar descriptions of a "fish louse."

-some tiny (<1mm) worms that slither around on the glass and probably in the gravel as well. Yellowish color.

Do any of these sound like a familiar threat? If so, my preferred solution would be to treat the tank with a plant safe drug, dye, etc. that would wipe out all of these inverts, then do a water change, rather than tear down and sterilize the tank. Even if none of these require immediate action, can anybody confirm some plant safe medications for future use? I have learned my lesson and will sterilize any new plants from now on.

Thanks much,
mark_pellegri at nt_com