If white worms appear in the aquarium, which crawl like snakes along the glass walls of the tank, then you have nematodes. These are representatives of white worms that multiply quickly and survive in the most adverse conditions. They do not cause much harm to the aquatic environment and its inhabitants, but they make the reservoir unattractive.
Nematodes live everywhere: in the ground, water, next to water bodies. In total, there are more than 24,000 representatives of this species in the world. Some individuals reach 8 meters in length, but small nematodes from 0.3 to 8 mm in length start in aquariums.
They are thin, white worms that float freely in the water, in the ground, or on the sides of the aquarium. Their appearance suddenly. They will instantly appear in a pond with fish. You can bring them along with algae purchased from the pet store, so aquarists recommend that all plants be rinsed thoroughly before planting in the tank.
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Nematodes are parasitic worms. They can even live in a person. Plants that are chosen by nematodes rot at the roots and die off. Some nematodes can live on large fish, causing them inconvenience and causing serious illness.
Nematodes are not hermaphrodites. They have males and females. Females are longer and thicker than males. They lay eggs for reproduction. Remarkably, flatworms reproduce faster in polluted aquatic environments.
To fully live and reproduce, nematodes need a little – a humid environment. In the absence of moisture, the worms die.
How to get rid of Worms
The main reason why a nematode appears in an aquarium is purchased plants that have not been processed prior to planting in the tank. Therefore, experienced aquarists strongly recommend keeping new plants in quarantine for two weeks to prevent any unwanted guests from entering the pond with them.
Parasites in the aquarium can appear due to excess food. If the fish cannot cope with the food that you give them, it settles on the bottom and becomes a favorable environment for the development of parasites.
But not everything is so sad. If thin worms appear in your aquarium, there are simple and effective ways to get rid of them.
Aquarium nematodes are excellent food for fry and fish. They are especially fond of mollies, gourami or other labyrinth fish. Introduce representatives of these fish into the aquarium, and after two to three days the worms will completely disappear.
If a nematode appears in the aquarium due to excess food, you need to buy a more powerful filter, and also thoroughly rinse the tank. In order not to get worms in the ground, it needs to thoroughly siphon the soil twice a week, and halve the portions of feed.
One of the most effective control methods in how to get rid of worms is to increase the temperature of the water. Parasites have different in high survival rates, but a sudden change in temperature will be detrimental to them. Before that, do not forget to remove other living inhabitants from the aquarium, otherwise they will die along with the worms. Be extremely careful before transferring fish and plants to another tank so as not to trap the worms with them. When the water temperature is high, add table salt to the aquarium.
Another proven and effective way to deal with worms is snails. The coils will gladly eat all the worms in the aquarium, but then you have to get rid of them. The coils also multiply rapidly, filling the entire reservoir.
It is more difficult to deal with parasitic nematodes that are attached to fish and plants. They start in fish through waste, rotted plants or infected leaves. When fish are infected, you need to find a carrier of the parasites. The infected individual is transplanted into a separate tank and treated. If a parasitized fish is not quarantine in time, it will infect the entire aquarium. But here the difficulty arises, because it is impossible to recognize an infected fish at the initial stage. Her appetite may increase slightly, and her activity decreases. As the parasites spread, external signs appear: the abdomen swells, and the fish completely loses its activity.
To destroy the parasites, you will have to resort to chemistry. Aquarium stores sell effective pest control products. They are produced by large companies: Tetra, Medica. One package of the drug is for a 400 liter tank. Together with parasites, you can kill other parasites: carp lice, tapeworms.
Another effective preparation for fighting parasites is using Sera Med Professional Nematol. It destroys all kinds of worms and a liquid solution with a dispenser. It is necessary to pour the drug into the reservoir according to the instructions and wait for it to work. You won’t have to wait long: after a few hours, the worms in the aquarium will die, and the internal parasites will die within the first day.
Many beginners fear that nematodes will crawl onto them when cleaning the aquarium or replanting infected fish. These are unnecessary fears. Nematodes can only get into humans by eating raw fish.
If aquarium parasites appear, you do not need to panic. The nematodes on the glass of the reservoir are completely safe. Many experienced aquarists breed nematodes in their aquariums to feed their fish. If they cause inconvenience to you or the inhabitants of the aquarium, try one of the above methods. And you will forget about parasites forever.