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Fish Tank Forum • View topic - Planaria worms and how to prevent them.
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Planaria worms and how to prevent them.

Articles on general fish keeping

Planaria worms and how to prevent them.

Postby Mick » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:48 pm

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Planaria worms are actually a flatworm and are loosely related to flukes, tapeworms amd othere parasitic worms. They are often seen in aquariums that tend to have excess food added which the fish do not consume and rests in the substrate waiting to be devoured by other inhabitants. The planaria are capable of reproducing asexually as well as sexually but they cannot fertilise their own eggs. The young are stored in cacoons until they are ready to emerge, however there is no larval stage. They possess horn like protusions from the sides of their heads and they do have eye spots which are sensitive to light intensity, this is why they normally appear sliding up the tank glass when the lights are out. They are quite capable of regenerating themselves into two worms if sliced in half.

Although they are not directly harmful to fish, they do relish feeding on fish eggs.What is more harmful to the fish is the uneaten food that is left in the tank substrate. Fish will actually see these worms as food and nibble away at them but they are a warning that the tank is not as clean as it should be!!!

The best way of removing these from the tank is to do a thorough gravel vac everyday for a week and reduce the ammount of food being fed to the fish. They are sensitive to salt, adding a small dose wil also reduce their numbers.
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Re: Planaria worms and how to prevent them.

Postby rosst » Tue May 05, 2009 10:50 pm

Good Information on these relatively harmless 'intruders'.....loads of people panic when they see them, but it's basically a sign that there is too much waste food left in the substrate.

> (I had a batch of Angel Eggs once wiped out by them, when I used to have gravel substrate in. - I removed the gravel and gave the Tank a good clean up and solved the problem for the next time that they laid some...)
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Re: Planaria worms and how to prevent them.

Postby The Lizard » Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:14 am

When I was cleaning out my tank the other day, I was using a gravel vacuum. When I checked the bucket there were around 100! EEEEEWWWW!!!!!!
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