Found a worm in my tank...

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Brinn2397

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So I was doing a water change and saw a little worm on my nerite snail. I’m pretty sure it was a detritus worm, still a little unsure. I’m wondering if garlic or aquarium salt will kill them. I don’t have many options because I have scaleless fish, invertebrates
 

Colin_T

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Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week.
Reduce the dry food going into the tank.

You can try salt.
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate will affect some plants. The lower dose rate will not affect plants.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that.
 
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Brinn2397

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Thank you for the tips. I do have Cory cats, angelfish, and a gourami. Will 1 tablespoon per 20 liters still be okay?
 

Colin_T

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You can add 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres and see how it looks after 24-48 hours. You can increase it to 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres if needed (with the fish you have).
 

AbbeysDad

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I had detritus worms suddenly appear in a tank that I was culturing daphnia. I fed them to swordtail fry. I wouldn't fret about seeing one and suggest you just up your housekeeping game (gravel vac and water changes) ...and I would NOT add salt as that seems like an over reaction to seeing a single worm.

Edit: Yes salt kills many pathogens and unwanted creatures, but it's hard on fish and plants. Like medicines, I treat salt (and increased temps) as a last resort and in the last 20+ (out of 50) years in the hobby have never used it in an aquarium. (I only use salt for hatching brine shrimp and regenerating my nitra-zorb filter.)
 
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Guppylover3x

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I had detritus worms suddenly appear in a tank that I was culturing daphnia. I fed them to swordtail fry. I wouldn't fret about seeing one and suggest you just up your housekeeping game (gravel vac and water changes) ...and I would NOT add salt as that seems like an over reaction to seeing a single worm.

Edit: Yes salt kills many pathogens and unwanted creatures, but it's hard on fish and plants. Like medicines, I treat salt (and increased temps) as a last resort and in the last 20+ (out of 50) years in the hobby have never used it in an aquarium. (I only use salt for hatching brine shrimp and regenerating my nitra-zorb filter.)
I agree with AbbeysDad.

Salt is a natural irritant to fish and can be tough on them. Unless treating for white spot or a protozoan infection I would avoid the use of it.

Unfortunately most of our fish tanks have some sort of type of worm, even if not always visible to the eye. The best way to tackle them is keeping a clean tank.

Best of luck!
 
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FishGuest5123

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Cut down on feedings and the detritus worms will go back into the gravel. Simple fix :) As far as salt goes, I ride the line on it. It has a lot of beneficial uses but not as a constant additive to the tank. Some fish can’t tolerate well. I mainly use it when a fish is ill and gills are affected as it improves gill function.
 
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Brinn2397

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Before I noticed a worm I cleaned once a week, I started doing water changes every day now because now there are hundreds of little white hair like worms floating around. And I noticed a red bump on my sterbai Cory cats. I’m thinking about buying API general cure
 

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AbbeysDad

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You just don't get detritus worms like that in a clean tank. I'm guessing you weren't gavel vacuuming and uneaten food/detritus built up down under in the substrate. I don't know that the red mark on the Cory has anything to do with the worms, I would do a few serious gravel vacs and water changes and monitor the Cory. The General cure is up to you....I just don't like adding chemicals to an established display tank. If you feel you need to treat with chems, consider a hospital tank which could be as crude as a 5g bucket (although a 5-10g tank is better).
 

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