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Re: Live Foods Digest V2 #150

In a message dated 98-08-12 16:01:18 EDT, you write:

<< This morning I discovered a bunch of largish white worms (bigger and
 than microworms or those wriggly white worms that I also have in this
 There were a few dozen of them, all attached to the side of the tank, in a
 loose, horizontal strip (which I assume is because of temperature, since
 tank has no circulation).
 Are these planaria, or something else?  Are they the same as the wriggly
 white ones, and just seem longer and thinner when they're moving?
 What are they?  Do they have any potential as a live food for community

From our critter page (http://members.aol.com/larval1/critters.htm) -- There
are many types of small worms and other critters that inhabit aquatic
habitats. Some arrive in your tank or pond by accident and some are introduced
deliberately as live food. Our purpose in designing this page is to enable you
to identify an organism and make an informed choice of how to deal with them. 

Planaria in general are harmless, usually appearing in large numbers only when
large amounts of food are present.  In aquaria, food typically consists of
excess fish food due to over-feeding.  There are several freshwater and marine
forms.  Some of the marine forms can get quite large.  Larger freshwater
species are themselves eaten, in some cases, by certain types of fish.  One of
the most common of the larger freshwater species (and used frequently in
Biology classes) is Dugesia.  Dugesia can reach a length of slightly over a
centimeter long and is further characterized by having an arrow shaped head
and a grayish color, not white.  

For more information please visit our critter page

As a note:  It is really hard for an expert - let alone the average fish
keeper to correctly identify the genus let alone the species from a
description such as the one above -- this is NOT a flame!  We would suggest to
anyone who is interested in identifying a critter that you take a picture of
them.  If you can't photograph them draw a simple picture -- or both.  Try to
put the size scale into the photo or picture -- either draw it in by hand or
use a ruler in the photo.

Once you have a picture scan it into your computer and post it on the web --
WAIT, we realize that many people do not have a scanner.  We also realize that
many people do not have their own site that can be accessed from the web.
However, we suggest this because a picture is worth a gigabyte of ascii.  In
addition, we do not allow downloading of  files sent to us electronically, so
a picture posted on the web is the only kind we will look at.  It is also a
good way of avoiding obnoxious stuff.

We realize that this type of  question (what is this bug -- insect lava --
critter?) comes up all the time.  So we are willing to do the following:  If
you snailmail the picture or photo to us at the post office box address below
we will scan it, put the scan on our site at
http://members.aol.com:/larval1/index.htm, and see if we or someone else can
identify it.  We will then post the identification and -- if the sender has
included his/her e-mail address with the photo -- we will post a reply
directly back to them.