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Old 08-30-2020, 05:15 PM   #1
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Worms! I think detritus worms but need reassurance

I was just vacuuming the tank and changing water and noticed little white worms swimming. I have never seen them in the tank before (tank was established in mid Jan), but got some neocaridinia about 6 weeks ago with a guppy grass plant and that might have introduced them. They are about 1 cm long, hair thin white worms, swim in a whip motion. They look like a piece of plant root, but are clearly swimming. I do not see any now that the water is changed and everything has settled back down.

Based on Googling, I think they are detritus worms, but wanted to check. Do any parasitic worms fit that description? Trying to figure out if I need to treat the fish. Obviously need to step up tank hygiene.

Tank is a 15 gal fluval flex. Only has 2 fancy guppies and 1 endler, some neocardinia, and a couple of nerite snails, so pretty sure it's not overcrowded. Has a number of plants.

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Old 08-30-2020, 07:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by nanana View Post
I was just vacuuming the tank and changing water and noticed little white worms swimming. I have never seen them in the tank before (tank was established in mid Jan), but got some neocaridinia about 6 weeks ago with a guppy grass plant and that might have introduced them. They are about 1 cm long, hair thin white worms, swim in a whip motion. They look like a piece of plant root, but are clearly swimming. I do not see any now that the water is changed and everything has settled back down.

Based on Googling, I think they are detritus worms, but wanted to check. Do any parasitic worms fit that description? Trying to figure out if I need to treat the fish. Obviously need to step up tank hygiene.

Tank is a 15 gal fluval flex. Only has 2 fancy guppies and 1 endler, some neocardinia, and a couple of nerite snails, so pretty sure it's not overcrowded. Has a number of plants.


As long and they donít have a triangular head youíre fine (planaria). The only time I remember parasite worms was this red worm in my gravel at the same time my fish were dying off... But at the same time i believed it as old tank syndrome because I couldnít keep up with water changes while studying SATís in high school haha. But while worm paper thin sounds like detritus worm which almost every healthy tank has.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:31 PM   #3
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Your description sounds like detritus worms. They are harmless.
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Old 08-31-2020, 01:26 PM   #4
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Thank you!

Whew. Glad they aren't parasites. I'm somewhat phobic about parasitic worms in people or animals (one friend loves teasing me about it when we get sushi) and got super freaked out seeing these guys swimming. They definitely look exactly like photos/video of detritus worms, so will try to set my yuck reaction aside and leave them be, other than more vacuuming, less food.
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