I have observed something
several times in my
tanks over the years
and wondered what you
knew of it: Little,
thin white worms swimming
in the water and on
the glass. I was told
at one time they were
natural and harmless,
but that was ten years
ago. I just had several
mollies die and began
scrutinizing my tanks.
Seeing these worms swim
around gives me the
John. I'm pretty sure these are planaria, which
are flatworms and members of the Platyhelminthes
are often found in aquariums with uneaten food.
The planaria won't hurt the fish, but they are
a symptom of too much gravel containing too
much uneaten food, and that is not good for
food causes all sorts of problems, and uneaten
food in your aquarium may have been part of
the reason that your mollies died.
Clean Your Aquarium. Click
here to read about Cleaning Your Warm Water
Aquarium. In particular you should clean your
gravel with a Gravel Washer. Click
for more about a Gravel Washer.
Add Aquarium Salt to your aquarium up to a maximum
of 1 Tablespoon for each 5 gallons of water
in your aquarium. I seem to remember you have
a so-called 29-gallon aquarium, which probably
has about 25-gallons of water. If so, you should
add a maximum of 5 Tablespoons of Aquarium Salt.
If, for example, you already have 2 Tablespoons
in your water, add 3 more Tablespoons.
Don't Over React. Clean your gravel every day
with the Gravel Washer. When you've removed
20% of the water, stop and top your aquarium
back up with tap water from the faucet.
In your case 20% of 25-gallons = 0.20 x 25 =
5 gallons. Repeat this procedure every day.
It may take several days of gravel washing to
get your gravel really clean. When it is finally
really clean, begin removing gravel, until it
is at most 1/4" deep. If you have an undergravel
filter, email me back, because you'll need some
more advice, or click
here to go to another website with information
about how to remove an undergravel filter.
Add Quick Cure. Each day after you clean your
aquarium and wash the gravel, treat the water
with 1 drop of Quick Cure for each gallon of
water in your aquarium. In your case this will
be 25 drops once a day each day. Click
here for more about Quick Cure. You can
also replace the Aquarium Salt that you removed,
which would be 1 Tablespoon in the 5 gallons
Small fish such as baby mollies might eat the
planaria. I would try adding a few small fish
to see if they will eat the planaria.
steps 1 to 6 listed above, until you don't see
the worms any more. This procedure will take
several days and require quite a bit of your
elbow-grease, but it's the safest method for
the rest of the fish in your aquarium.
hope my comments help you. If you have a follow-up
question, please send me an email reply. Good
luck with your fish.
Hello, I looked for
answers to a question
about "anchor worms"
I couldn't find anything
in your site. I am having
a terrible time with
"anchor worms" (they
stick to the side of
Parasites? I guess they
are. It is a new tank
20 gal. and I haven't
had hardly a chance
to put new fish in there
yet cause they've all
been dying for one reason
or another, but I keep
seeing anchor worm,
how do I treat these?
Any response would be
Owen. I got your email, read it carefully, and
hope I can help you solve the problem with your
seen anchor worms a few times on goldfish but
have never seen them growing or climbing on
the aquarium glass. A few times I've seen one
or two anchor worms lying on the bottom of a
bare aquarium without gravel.
based on my experiences, I doubt that what you
see on the glass in your aquarium are anchor
worms. They may be anchor worms, but if you
told me that you saw something crawling on the
glass and the fish are dying, I'd have said,
"Aha, planaria", which are flatworms and members
of the Platyhelminthes phylum. The planaria
are caused by uneaten food.
Planaria won't hurt your fish.
They are a symptom of too much gravel with too
much uneaten food, and that may hurt your fish.
here and read the whole page especially
the part about cleaning the gravel. I would
recommend you give your aquarium all six steps
of the Recommended Treatment. Click
here for the complete details.
20% of the water each day, and gravel wash each
day, until the gravel is spotless. Treat the
water with Quick Cure and Aquarium Salt as recommended.
problems can be corrected with this treatment.
Finally be sure you feed your fish floating
food, and feed only as much as they'll eat in
10 minutes. Remove all the uneaten food with
a small net after 10 minutes.
to diagnose fish by email, so I may be all wrong
about this. But I'm giving you my best guess,
and I hope it helps you. If you have more questions
or need another guess from me, please email
Hello, I'm Brett from Nova
Scotia, I listen to every
one of your shows that I
can. I have a 20-gallon
tank, the water is a little
colored and I'm starting
your recommended treatment.
I have noticed on the side
of my tank small white specs
on the glass scattered all
over the place. A female
Guppy that is in there seems
to enjoy pecking at them
and eating them. I was wondering
if you know what this could
be and should I be worried
about my Guppy?
Thanks a lot guys,
Brett. The white specs are probably Planaria.
to go to the top of this page and read about
how to get rid of them.
are usually in aquariums with uneaten fish food,
which may be the cause of your colored water.
You should change 20% of the water in your aquarium
every day until the water is clear like tap
the Planaria will not harm your female Guppy,
but the uneaten food and discolored water may
harm your Guppy. So the Planaria are a warning
sign that the water in your aquarium may not
be good for your fish.
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