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Are these microworms? Or something sinister?

gurtak

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I recently got African Dwarf Frogs for my lil' brother and have just noticed, if I look REALLY close, that there are these tiny worms swimming around.

They are white, about 1/2mm long, and threadlike. They congregate at the surface, but can be seen swimming through the water as well. At first I thought it was just debris, but they move in irratic patterns so I'm quite sure they're alive. I would post pictures but they are too small to capture, which also makes checking online difficult so I'm hoping to find a clever clogs on here to confirm.

The reason I ask is that I have baby axolotls (props to @esoteric) needing small live food and microworms would make a nice change. On the other hand, if they could be something else (eg parasitic) I'm gonna freak out about cross-contamination.
 

dragonlady

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Hi,

What you have sounds like Planaria - a type of flatworm related to tapeworms, not what I would consider a viable food source. It sounds like you have excess food in with your frog tank but these guys are not harmful to your frogs, just an annoyance. I would do a bit of housecleaning in your tank but I can't recommend these guys as alternate food for your babies. Take care!
 

John

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I don't think they're flatworms. To me they sound like some kind of free-living aquatic nematode. Microworms are not aquatic.
 

dragonlady

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I am corrected. Thanks, John.

I missed the swimming around as the slug like Planaria tend to hug the walls. Neither are detrimental to your tank though, and the housekeeping I mentioned should clear them up if you are concerned. I didn't think microworms were aquatic but didn't want to say as I wasn't sure.
 

Jennewt

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It sounds like the things colloquially called "threadworms". I don't see any reason NOT to try feeding them to the larvae. Threadworms are slightly larger than microworms, and should make a good meal. If you are seriously worried, try putting one or two larvae in a separate container and give them some of the worms and make sure they are OK.
 

gurtak

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Thanks guys, I didn't expect so much feedback so quickly.

Unfortunately it appears I was too late with my question. I can see just a few worms in my adult axolotl's tank and judging by their size they have been there for more than a few days. Perhaps I blamed the frogs unfairly.

I'm glad to hear that no major alarm bells are going off with anyone. I will give the tanks a good clean and keep an eye out for any health problems.

Just in case it changes the diagnosis these worms do in fact cling to the glass, but can also be seen swimming through the water. And I can now see worms 2 or 3mm in length but still a hair's width.

We've only had the frogs for a week so I hope there's nothing I could have done so wrong to cause it in that short a time. However that does mean a rather dramatic population increase for such a short amount of time.

Will post again if anything new crops up.

Thanks again for all your help.
 
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