View Full Version : Parasite? Should I worry?

12-20-2003, 07:10 PM
I have a 40-gallon tank with 6 (now 5) adult and 2 juvenile African cichlids. The tank has been set up for over a year and a half. We added two new adults back in June and a new juvenile in October (from my tank at work, perfectly healthy, had her for a few months before transferring to home).

Today I was doing a water change and cleanup and I noticed these little "strings" in the water. Then I noticed they were moving on their own. They are white, very small in diameter and the largest one was only about 1/4" long. I have never noticed this in any of my tanks before and I'm wondering if I should be worried or if anyone has an idea of what the heck this is.

The fish had been doing fine. Emphasis on HAD. After the cleaning, I noticed one of the adults looking a bit peakish. This afternoon, it was obvious that the rest of them had been picking on him. Seems strange, because he's one of the biggest... did the others notice he was weaker (i.e. sick) and start attacking him or what? I just finished giving him a proper burial :( And now I'm worried to death. No pun intended.

Any clues?

12-21-2003, 12:32 AM
hook worm possibly.
what temp is water?
try putting some salt in.

12-21-2003, 08:56 AM
Thanks, ander. I added some more salt last night because I had been out for a while and forgot to get more on my last water change. The temp is 78-80 degrees.

If it IS hookworm, how did it get there? Will it make my fish sick? Will it make ME sick? Ewwwwwwwwwwww....

okay, gross out session over. Thanks for the ideas.


12-21-2003, 11:22 PM
they could also be a harmless white worm that sometimes appears in tanks that have a lot of detritus in the gravel.

12-22-2003, 07:18 AM
I haven't been able to find any in the water since my last post. But that may be because everything has settled back down after the cleaning. I guess it could be what Gypsy suggested but I can't imagine how that would happen since we vacuum the gravel every time we change water.

At least I know if they don't go away, my ravenous little babies will eat them at first sight :o)

02-16-2004, 10:41 PM
Same problem here and now mine are white flies. what the foogaze?

02-16-2004, 11:11 PM
coppersafe and salt will do it, sounds like planaria to me

02-16-2004, 11:12 PM
they are indeed harmless, but i dont believe anything that looks like a worm can be harmless, i had a black worm prob once and that wasn't harmless........:(

02-16-2004, 11:15 PM
what happened with the blackworms, mermaid? ( are they the same ones for feeding ?)

02-16-2004, 11:17 PM
are you talkin to me or mermaid? lol

02-16-2004, 11:32 PM
OOPS! sorry usa...I think I need to go to bed...I was talking to you :)

02-16-2004, 11:33 PM
they attached themselves to several of the livebearers i had att (at the time)

02-16-2004, 11:42 PM
GET OUT!!! WOW...I feed those to my sevs/angels/eel all the time...never would have guessed.

02-16-2004, 11:44 PM
well the mistake i made was that i tried to pour a few in, and the whole thing went in. Needless to say, I was vacc'ing them things up for about 2 mo.s straight.......

02-16-2004, 11:44 PM
so just don't pour the whole thingin and let them colonize and you'll be fine lol......:ok: