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RE: In defense of planaria
In my experience, I have only seen planaria blooms [or a noticeable
presence] in tanks whose fish have been fed very rich, protein based diets
such as one gets with home made paste foods using beef heart/shrimp as the
main ingredients and who's maintenance [water changes, gravel vacuuming,
etc.] leave something to be desired. Small, uneaten pieces will be covered
I am sure most planted tanks have a couple of planaria, but blooms usually
don't happen unless there is an imbalance of some sort.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matt Hirvonen [SMTP:mdhirvon at facstaff_wisc.edu]
> Sent: Monday, October 09, 2000 5:00 PM
> To: KillieTalk at aka_org
> Subject: In defense of planaria
> Hmmm, much as I hate to... I have to disagree with Wright's comments on
> planaria. There are many species which range from microscopic to about
> 1/2" in length. Most have the arrow-shaped head, but some do not. They
> primarily detritus feeders, eating decomposing organic matter. In that
> sense they could be seen as a beneficial addition to the aquarium, i.e.
> maintenance engineers. Altho I concede that they may eat the occasional
> egg, given their fondness for decaying matter, it seems likely that given
> choice they would prefer "bad" eggs.
> Like infusoria, planaria are likely to be found in any aquarium that has
> been set up for more than a few months - especially if it contains live
> plants. I would argue that if you don't have planaria in your tanks they
> are too clean. And any treatment that would kill planaria would probably
> also kill beneficial organisms (bacteria, infusoria, etc...), so think
> twice before attacking your tank with copper cures, or bleach, you might
> not be doing your fish a favor.
> OK, those of you who are practicing planaria-phobes, hit me with your
> worst planaria-related death and destruction scenarios ;-)
> >Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2000 09:26:36 -0700
> >From: Wright Huntley <huntley1 at home_com>
> >Subject: Re: nervous newbie...
> >Planaria get up to 3/8" long, are flat (hence the common name
> >and have a diamond-shaped head with two obvious "eyes." If you have them,
> >get rid of them before they get in a breeding tank, as they are expert
> >Tinier, thread-like worms are one of several (probably harmless) species,
> >and not usually something to worry about.
> Matt Hirvonen, Ph.D., Associate Scientist
> University of Wisconsin, Dept of Psychology, 1202 W. Johnson Street,
> Madison, WI,53562
> (608)262-0808 office, 262-0852 Lab, 262-4025 Fax
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