White Worms In Fish Tank

If a fish tank owner sees white worms, it’s likely because there are some problems that need to be fixed. Make sure you know which white worm you’re dealing with before making any changes to your tank. Only then will you know if you need to use a dewormer carefully or just give the animal a good cleaning. Misinformation about how to use dewormers may hurt or kill fish by accident. In this article, we’ll introduce three main types of white worms that can appear in fish tanks. We’ll also give helpful tips on how to get rid of them.

What Are The Tiny White Worms In Your Fish Tank?

The study of underwater ecosystems is a fun hobby that can keep you busy for a long time, but some people may find things that make them scratch their heads. One of the things that might make you scratch your head is seeing little worms moving around in the substrate or along the glass. So, what are these tiny white worms you find in your fish tank?

Red Betta fish
Red Betta fish

1. Detritus Worms

Detritus worms are members of the phylum of annelid worms, which also contain segmented worms, including leeches, tubifex worms, and earthworms. They resemble white-brown, pointed ribbons that move through the water and between the rocks. Detritus worms are detritivores, which means they only consume organic trash that has already decomposed; they are safe for your fish.

2. Rhabdocoela Worms

The Rhabdocoela worms in your aquarium are a type of flatworm that lives in fresh water and eats bacteria and microalgae. These flatworms are harmless and won’t eat your fish or shrimp. Rhabdocoela worms may also be found in large numbers on dead plants or fish.

3. Planaria Worms

Planaria are a type of flatworm that eats other things since they are predators in nature. You don’t want to keep these worms in your aquarium for too long. Planaria is mostly a threat to shrimp and small snails that live in freshwater.

What Are Detritus Worms?

Detritus worms are a large group that includes all the species in the phylum Annelida, such as leeches and earthworms. These tiny worms look like white, reddish-brown, or gray strings, and they move like an earthworm. Even though these little wiggly worms look like something out of a nightmare, they are pretty common in the aquatic hobby, and most aquarists have them and may not even know it. The fish won’t get sick from these worms, and they can be a good addition to the aquarium. 

As their name suggests, detritus worms eat dead things in the substrate and break them down. But even though they aren’t dangerous, most aquarists don’t want to see detritus worms when they look into their aquarium. It is because the number of these worms tends to grow quickly when they are fed too much and cared for less. Like all living things, detritus worms need oxygen, and if the amount of oxygen drops, the worms will start to come out of the substrate.

The easiest and safest way to get rid of detritus worms in your tank is to stop feeding them and do more tank maintenance. During the water change process, gravel siphoning will help get rid of these worms. Make sure you don’t overfeed your fish and do a 20%–25% water change every month to keep your water quality at its best.

Colorful Gold, Yellow Molly Poecilia sphenops aquarium fishes. Shallow dof. Poecilia sphenops is a species of fish, of the genus Poecilia, known under the common name molly.

What Are Planaria Worms?

Planaria, which are also called “flatworms,” are in the class Turbellaria. They are closely related to tapeworms and flukes, which are also flatworms that are parasites. Depending on what they are eating, they can be white, reddish brown, black, or even pink. The detritus worm has a long, round body, but these flatworms have a flattened body and a head that is shaped like a triangle and has two eyespots.

Most of the time, an infected animal brings them into the aquarium. Planaria are hard to get out of an aquarium once they are there. These worms are always looking for a meaty meal, and they don’t mind eating food that has already been eaten. Planaria usually can’t stick to a fish that is swimming or an invertebrate that is moving quickly, but they will bite a shrimp or fish that is sleeping or not moving. 

Planaria can grow back into whole organisms from each piece if it is cut into pieces. They can only be gotten rid of with tried-and-true methods like cutting back on food, vacuuming the gravel, and changing the water. Unfortunately, these methods won’t get rid of them completely from the aquarium. Using medication to get rid of worms is the best way to get rid of planaria for good. 

Where Did The White Worms In Your Fish Tank Come From?

Seeing those tiny worms emerge from the substrate can be alarming. But you should take it as a sign that the water is not in good condition. Most of the time, the white worms get into tanks in pretty harmless ways. They are skilled hitchhikers and can easily move from one closed environment to the next, just like snails and other pests.

The white worms in your fish tank get into aquariums through fish, plants, and the substrate. If you moved substrate from one infected aquarium to another, you might have taken hundreds or thousands of worms with you without knowing it. White worms like to latch onto leaves, roots, or on the skin of the fish.

Declining tank conditions are usually causing white worms to proliferate at a rapid pace. When their food source becomes abundant, the worms can grow and reproduce rapidly. It doesn’t take long before there are well over a thousand worms living there. When the tank gets dirty, the levels of ammonia and nitrate go up, the water gets a little bit more acidic, and the levels of oxygen go down, which makes it easy for white worms to live and grow.

How To Get Rid Of White Worms In Your Fish Tank?

When you set up an aquarium, you want to make sure that your new pets will be safe and healthy there. You can add new fish and plants over time. This puts your tank at risk of getting new bacteria, parasites, or even white worms. You can take the steps below to get rid of white worms in your fish tank.

1. Clean Your Fish Tank

Take the fish out of the tank and put them in a temporary tank. Take out the plants and other things that are in the aquarium. Soak them for about 15 to 20 minutes in a mixture of 5% bleach and 95% water before running fresh water over them, letting them dry in the air, and putting them back in your tank.

2. Clean Your Gravel

You should also vacuum the gravel in your fish tank, making sure to get into the nooks and crannies and remove as much of the worms as possible.

3. Regularly Change Water

One of the main reasons why there are more white worms in your fish tank is that the water isn’t clean. Don’t change all of the water at once because the fish need time to get used to the new water chemistry. When the environment changes quickly and drastically, the fish can go into shock or stress. It’s enough to change 30–40% of the water at once. 

4. Don’t Overfeed

Most of what white worms eat is food that is left over and sits on the gravel. Do not give the fish too much food. Worms will die of hunger. You should only give your fish as much food as they can eat in five minutes.

5. Don’t Put Too Many Fish in Your Tank

When there are too many fish and plants, waste builds up, and oxygen and pH levels go down, which helps white worms to live and grow in your tank. To get rid of them, keep a good balance. Worms will multiply quickly if there is too much garbage. At some point, the worms will start to compete for oxygen, food, and space.

6. Keep a Good Filter in Place

Make sure to clean the filters on time and give the tank enough oxygen. Poor filtration makes the water dirty. This will make white worms and other parasites start to grow in this water. Try using mechanical filters because they take the least amount of work.

7. Remove Food that Hasn’t Been Eaten

Take out any food that hasn’t been eaten yet. If you don’t, it will just pile up and give white worms a chance to live in it. Worms like Detritus would eat food that had already been eaten. This will make them quickly have more babies in your tank.

How To Prevent White Worms In Your Fish Tank?

Treatment is just slightly superior to prevention. White worms are usually unnecessary in your aquarium to begin with. Learning how to keep them out is possible. The following are some methods to prevent white worms in your fish tank:

1. Inspect New Plants and Fish 

Do not introduce them to your aquarium if you notice any white worms on them. They can be manually dewormed or dewormed by dipping them in a solution first, before adding them in your fish tank.

2. Don’t Overfeed Your Fish

White worms are attracted to uneaten food. White worm infestation in your aquarium may result from overfeeding your fish. To prevent this, only give your fish as much food as they can consume in a few minutes.

3. Keep Your Tank Clean

White worms love filthy aquariums. Weekly partial water changes and frequent cleaning of your tank will help prevent white worms in your fish tank. If the water’s quality is maintained, worms will find it less appealing.

4. Use a Dewormer

To stop white worms from entering your tank, use a dewormer. Make sure to use it in accordance with the directions on the packaging. You can also immerse fresh fish and plants in deworming treatments.

5. Remove Dead Fish from Tanks

White worms frequently infiltrate tanks through dead fish. Remove a dead fish from your tank as soon as you can. Before adding additional fish to your tank, you might want to quarantine them first. This will give you time to keep an eye out for worm activity and prevent them from getting in your fish tank.

6. Remove Dead Plants

White worms can be attracted by dead plants. They should be taken out of your tank as soon as you can. To prevent white worms, keep your tank clean and free of clutter.

7. Avoid Overstocking

Overstocked fish tanks might allow white worms to get into aquariums. This is due to how quickly the water quality deteriorates under these circumstances. Maintain a comfortable stocking level in your fish tank.

What Are the White Worms on Glass in Fish Tank

Small white worms that are only a few millimeters long and crawl along the glass in your fish tank are either roundworms or flatworms. Nematodes look more skinny and wiggly than planaria, which are flatworms (roundworms). Both are no more than 4–5 millimeters long. Both are harmless to fish and thrive when there is a lot of trash in the water.

To get rid of these worms, just stop feeding your fish for 3–4 days since they often eat them. The fluke is a parasitic worm that can be seen on the fish’s skin or gills. This oval-shaped worm is only 0.3–0.5 millimeters long, but it can spread and often kill fish. f you see this worm, remove the fish immediately and treat the tank with an anti-parasitic medication.

Planaria are a type of flatworm that is often mistaken for a nematode. They are usually white or translucent and have flattened oval-shaped bodies. Planaria are not parasitic and will not harm your fish. In fact, they are often considered beneficial since they help keep the tank clean by eating algae and detritus. However, some people do not like the way they look and prefer to get rid of them.

Why Are There Hundreds Of White Worms In Fish Tank?

1. Not Cleaning Your Fish Tank Regularly

White worms like aquariums that are dirty. If you don’t change some of the water in your fish tank every week and clean it often, hundreds of white worms will be able to live there. If the water quality is bad, white worms would be as interested in it. Cleaning your tank helps remove hundreds of white worms in your fish tank.

2. Overfeeding Your Fish

White worms eat mostly food that has been left over and is sitting on the gravel. If you give too much food to the fish, hundreds of white worms might reproduc. Give your fish only as much food as they can eat.

3. Not Cleaning Your Gravel

If there is gravel on top of your substrate, you should take it out and clean it before putting it back in the tank. Some white worms might be there hiding in your tank gravel. If you use gravel from another tank, it might have hundreds white worms in it.

4. Putting Too Many Fish in Your Tank

When there are too many fish and plants, waste builds up, and oxygen and pH levels go down, which helps hundreds of white worms to live and grow in your tank. To get rid of them, keep a good balance. Hundreds of white worms will multiply quickly if there is too much garbage. Then, at some point, the white worms will start to compete for oxygen, food, and space.

5. Not Regularly Changing Water

One of the main reasons why there are hundreds of white worms in your fish tank is because the water isn’t clean. Don’t change all of the water at once, though, because the fish need time to get used to the new chemical makeup of the water. Fish can go into shock or stress when their environment changes quickly and in a big way. It can change 30–40% of the water all at once.

6. Not Keeping a Good Filter

If the water isn’t filtered well, it will be dirty, causing hundreds of white worms to populate in your tank. Make sure the filters are clean and that there is enough oxygen in the tank. You might also want to do the least amount of work by using mechanical filters.

7. Not Getting Rid of Uneaten Food

If you don’t get rid of uneaten food, it will just pile up and give hundreds of white worms a place to live. Worms like Detritus ate food that someone else had already eaten. This will make them have babies quickly and fill your tank with more of them. Get rid of any food that hasn’t been eaten yet to avoid this from happening. 

What Are The Orange And White Worms In Fish Tank Gravel?

The orange and white worms you see in your fish tank gravel are detritus worms. Detritus worms are annelid worms that look a lot like earthworms and leeches. They are so small that you might not notice them in your tank at first. Detritus worms are thin and pointy.

They will be in the sand or rocks in your tank. This kind of worm eats dead fish and plant matter, so it won’t hurt your fish. In fact, aquariums have a lot of them. Overall, they are helpful because they help clean your tank and keep a healthy balance in the ecosystem of your tank.

If there are too many detritus worms in your aquarium, they might be a bother. If you don’t clean your tank often, this will happen. As there are more detritus worms, there are less food and oxygen sources for them. This makes them climb up the tank to get to the top of the water.

FAQ

Are Small White Worms In Your Fish Tank Roundworms?

Two main kinds of small white worms could live in a freshwater aquarium, says Aqua Answers. Nematodes are round worms that look like hair and are also called Detritus worms. Flatworms, which include Planaria and Rhabdocoela, are the other type.

Are White Worms In A Fish Tank Linked To Swim Bladder Disease?

Some white worms are parasites and have their own symptoms, but not all of them cause SBD. Still, many of the small parts of a betta’s body are connected. So, a problem with the swim bladder can be a sign of a parasitic infection, as stated by Fish Lab.

What Are The Tiny White Worms In A Discus Tank?

Detritus worms are annelid worms that look a lot like earthworms and leeches. They are so small that you might not notice them in your tank at first. Detritus worms are thin and pointy, and their color is white-brown. They will be in the sand or rocks in your tank, as mentioned by Pets WebMD.

Are Small White Worms In Fish Tank Safe For Fish?

Small white worms in a fish tank are mostly safe for fish. Detritus is one type of it and this kind of worm eats dead fish and plant matter, so it won’t hurt your fish, according to Pets WebMD.

Recap 

There are many reasons for hundreds of white worms to populate in your fish tank. Some of the main reasons include not regularly changing water, not keeping a good filter, and not getting rid of uneaten food. In order to prevent this from happening, it is important to be diligent in cleaning your tank and removing any food that has not been eaten. You may also start getting rid of them by using mechanical filters,  cleaning your tank often, not overfeeding your fish, and many more strategies.  If you have too many white worms in your aquarium, they might be a bother. Just follow the tips we mentioned above, and you will see the number of white worms start to decrease in your fish tank.