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Re: 100 small white worms

>From: "Dennis J. Harney" <harneyd1 at muohio_edu>

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

If they had segments and setae, they would be Annelids, namely freshwater
oligochaetes.  Camallanus is a nematode and should not have segments or
setae.  Also, Camallanus is entirely parasitic and does not have a
free-living stage, except a brief swimming stage as tiny larvae.  These
must be eaten by invertebrates, such as Cyclops, and then the invertebrates
have to be eaten by the fish.  .  Are you sure the worms were coming out of
the dead fish?  The freshwater oligochaetes are scavengers, and it seems
more possible to me that they may have been feeding on the dead fish.
Obviously something caused the death and destruction, but I doubt it could
have been the worms you describe.

>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.

Schistosomes (blood flukes) wouldn't kill the fish.  Tiny swimming forms,
called cercariae emerge from snails and swim in the water or hang at the
water surface until they are picked up by the final host, which, are either
water birds or mammals, depending on the species of schistosome.  Fish are
not known to be hosts of schistosomes.

Paul Krombholz, in central Mississippi, with severe storms and possible
tornadoes on the way.