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RE: 100 small white worms

>>"Jamie Johnson" wrote...>100 small white worms, ~1 mm in size.
>>...verified they were planaria

Dennis J. Harney replied with:

>Be very sure they are planaria.  I too had what I thought to
>be a harmless infestation of small, ~1 mm white worms.
>Under a dissecting scope, they had segments and setae
>(little hairs at each joint).  Their mouth area did not look
>very harmless.  The closest thing I could compare it to was
>a worm of the genus Camallanus.  Making a long story short,
>I scoured the web to no avail and 2 weeks later, everything
>in my tank was dead.  The fish would begin to bloat, die,
>and then worms would stream out.  The tank was dense with
>them.  I tried a few different worm meds and even physically
>filtering them out along.  Nothing worked.  After everything
>was dead (except one lone danio which is still in a tank,
>alone with chara--"stonewort") I bleached the entire tank and broke it
>The very next day I found a ref to this "whiteworm scourge"
>and a remedy which will probably kill your plants;
>Levamisole hydrochloride at 5 ppm (parts per million)
>followed by a 100% water change in 24 hours.  A comercial
>product was referred to called "Nilvera" but it is not water
>soluble so I do not know how it would be used.  The common
>usage for Levamisole hydrochloride is a cattle drench and
>dewormer for ostrich (hey I am just telling you what I read
>:).  You can probably get it at a feed store or a vet.
>I realy hope what you have is not what I had.  One friend of
>mine swears it was shistosomiasis.  I think it did come in
>with some snails so maybe that theory is not as ridiculous as it sounds.

I've had both types of these worms in my tanks in the past on different
occasions. Planaria tend to remain attached to surfaces, like the glass. One
end is stuck on and the rest of the worm waves gently in the current. If you
reduce the amount of organic matter(food mostly) in the tank, they'll die
off eventually and are fairly harmless. The first time I encountered the
aptly named "whiteworm scourge", as Dennis calls it, I attempted to kill
them with copper over an extended period of time to no avail. As Dennis
says, the fish eat the worms and because they retain them in their bodies
you can't kill them with the standard medications or even diatom filter them
out.  Everything was bleached and I started over. Several years past without
my seeing them again.
I purchased a large plant order last May, and I quarantined all the plants
in tanks(not the same ones that had the worms from before), set up with
Flourite gravel, DIY CO2, and full spectrum lighting. It was a blessing that
I did as the plants contained those white worms. I should also add that
these worms are about 1/8"- 1/4" long when full grown and swim in an
undulating manner. When the tank is infested, they first show up as tiny
white "comas" floating through the water. The water takes on a milky hue as
100's and 100's appear. I was able to use "Clout" to eradicate them in
fishless tanks because they weren't being expelled continuously from the
fish. The fish seem to harbour these parasites and because they don't eat
the medication, the worms are never completely killed. Basically, I highly
recommend quarantining all new plants and fish. I've finally achieved a more
patient approach to this hobby as it is a necessity. Could forget again, I
guess. Hope not !

Susan Romano