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Planaria in filters?

This is a discussion on Planaria in filters? within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I was just wondering if you guys ever have problems with planaria growing in your filters. I have a HOB ...

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Old 27th July 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Planaria in filters?

I was just wondering if you guys ever have problems with planaria growing in your filters. I have a HOB on my axies, and the last couple times I've cleaned the aquarium I've ended up with clouds of planaria coming out of the filter- hundreds of them! The tank is a bare bottom tank and I remove uneaten food every day, so it's not from leftover food in the tank. I do feed them heavy, but only enough to keep their bellies plump. And if I don't feed them enough it's obvious, because they start nipping at each others' tails. I've had tons of other aquariums and I've never once had a problem with planaria- is it just something odd with this tank & its water, or do lots of axolotl tanks have them? My thought is that they may be more common in axolotl tanks since in other tanks fish eat a lot of the planaria, but the axolotls won't bother with them.

Thanks,
Ronnie



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Old 28th July 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planaria in filters?

Hi Ronnie,

I don't have this problem but i suspect perhaps your filter media is accumulating detritus that the planaria is feeding off. Do you regularly rinse your filter media and unclog your filter? In most instances you can just leave the planaria be. They are normally quite harmless.

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Old 28th July 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planaria in filters?

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Originally Posted by rnocera View Post
I was just wondering if you guys ever have problems with planaria growing in your filters. I have a HOB on my axies, and the last couple times I've cleaned the aquarium I've ended up with clouds of planaria coming out of the filter- hundreds of them! The tank is a bare bottom tank and I remove uneaten food every day, so it's not from leftover food in the tank. I do feed them heavy, but only enough to keep their bellies plump. And if I don't feed them enough it's obvious, because they start nipping at each others' tails. I've had tons of other aquariums and I've never once had a problem with planaria- is it just something odd with this tank & its water, or do lots of axolotl tanks have them? My thought is that they may be more common in axolotl tanks since in other tanks fish eat a lot of the planaria, but the axolotls won't bother with them.

Thanks,
Ronnie

They are common in most all freshwater aquaria, they just are not noticed in fish tanks as they are often eaten by smaller fish. With caudates, they run wild, given their size. Once you get them, they are all but impossible to get rid of, even with a complete tank tear down (which I do not suggest).

You can get a bit more information on this topic here:

Aquarium Invaders Part one and Two



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Old 31st July 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planaria in filters?

I fixed the problem- I threw in a dozen rosy reds. The axies ate them, but I watched the minnows going wild for planaria before they were eaten. After I rinsed my filter cartridge today I found a ton more floating in the tank again, so I guess I'll just pick up more rosy reds. But, there are definitely fewer planaria now than there were before I put the rosy reds in.

Rayson, they do live in the filter, and I'm sure it's from collected detritus. I rinse the cartridges normally every 2 weeks, sometimes only once a month. I generally just keep an eye on them and rinse them when they start to look cruddy.

Now that I think about it, I never saw the planaria until the other day, but up until about a month and a half ago, I gave them guppies fairly regularly. There were normally a couple guppies swimming around in the tank, which definitely would have helped keep the planaria population under control. I'm also guessing that in a tank with a gravel or sand bottom the planaria wouldn't be as noticeable, because they'd stick in the substrate.

And finally, I'm not concerned about the planaria- I know they occur in most every tank, and like I said in my original post, my guess was that they were more common because there weren't fish. I'm happy to know I was right. Thanks for the input, guys!



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Old 31st July 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planaria in filters?

Just a quick point to make, any feeder fish should be quarantined for 30 days.



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