How To Get Rid Of Detritus Worms In Aquarium? Find Out Here

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Having a fish aquarium is more than just about aesthetics in your room. Chinese culture of “feng shui” believes that it cultivates positive energy and vibe in your home and office to generate wealth and abundance. But first, you have to fulfill your responsibility by taking good care of them. Having Detritus worms in your aquarium isn’t taking good care of them!

If you own an aquarium, you must have noticed a colony of tiny little critters, known as detritus worms, building up in the bottom of the tank. 

They may seem insignificant at first. But ignoring them might not be a good idea. The sooner you get rid of detritus worms from the aquarium, the better. Here’s how…

Detritus Worms: What Are They?

Detritus worms come from the family of earthworms and leeches. 

They derive their name from their detritivore nature as they feed on decomposing organic matters like fish waste, plants, and leftover food in the tank.

You won’t even notice them at first. They are very tiny and usually reside at the bottom of the tank in between sand and pebbles. 

As natural cleaners, detritus worms are actually beneficial for your aquarium to maintain a balanced ecosystem. But the problem arises when they overpopulate.

The explosion of the worms’ population beyond threshold adversely affects the health of fish. 

It leads to bacterial buildup and reduction of food and oxygen for fish. And your aquarium won’t look as mesmerizing as it once used to be.

How To Get Rid Of Detritus Worms In Aquarium

You may be tempted to use chemicals like dewormers for your convenience.

From our experience, traditional dewormers and medications are totally ineffective against detritus worms. Worse, the chemicals are harmful to your fish.

The best way to get rid of detritus worms is to clean the aquarium regularly to avoid their build up beyond threshold level. 

The following section describes a few easy fixes to the problem of detritus worms in aquarium.

1. Changing The Aquarium Water

The simplest yet effective solution to detritus infestation is to change the water every few days. 

Start by shifting the fish to another temporary tank so that you can freely work on cleaning the main aquarium.

Remove everything from the tank. Scrub the bottom and walls of the tank thoroughly and clean all the plants and stones that you have used. Change them if necessary.

Fill the aquarium with fresh and clean water. Arrange the aquatic accessories and plants to make the fish feel at home. Fix the filter in its place.

Now it’s time to get the fish back home. Take the moment to identify fish affected by worms for necessary treatment.

We don’t recommend the complete overhaul of the water, but change it partially, ¼ at every cleaning routine. 

Fish may die when they experience sudden change in the chemistry of water in the tank.

2. Using Gravel Siphon Or Vacuum

If you are too busy to schedule a water change, you can save the day by using a gravel siphon or vacuum. 

It sucks up any harmful contaminants, food debris, fish waste, and even detritus worms from the bottoms and walls of the tank.

The benefit of using a gravel vacuum is that you can do it with the fish in the aquarium without harming them. It does not require you to change much water. 

3. Experiment With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is used as a popular cleaning agent in household and industries. 

You can experiment with hydrogen peroxide to get rid of detritus worms in aquarium. It is a bit extreme to add chemicals, but we found it quite effective against detritus worms.

Hydrogen peroxide prevent the growth of unwanted like bacteria, algae, eggs, larvae, and other unfriendly organisms in the water. 

The rule of thumb is to use 8 to 15 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution to 50 liters tank of water for the best results.

When in doubt, always seek professional advice so that you don’t harm your fish.

4. Install An Improved Filtration System

The job of an aquarium filtration system is to cycle the water to maintain a healthy aquatic ecosystem and prevent the growth of worms and parasites. 

However, the filters themselves tend to get dirty overtime. Make it a habit of cleaning them every once in a while.

It is best to get a strong mechanical filters that sucks up all unhealthy elements from the water and keeps the aquarium clean.

We found a sponge filter effective against detritus worms.

5. Follow Right Feeding Practices

Fish have no control over how much they want to eat. It is your responsibility to follow the right feeding practices to keep them healthy. 

Feed just the right amount so that there won’t be any leftover food or compost for the detritus worms to thrive on. 

You may want to control the use of live feed for your fish. 

Most of those foods act as gateway for the worms to enter the aquarium. 

Alternate with processed food or flakes to slow down their growth.

Use a gravel vacuum to remove any excessive food or decomposed particles from the bottom of your tank.

6. Controlling The Bioload

Do not overpopulate the aquarium with fish. 

More fish produce more waste, which creates a perfect breeding environment for detritus worms to build their parasitic colony. 

It also depletes the oxygen level and degrades the water conditions.

You can limit the bioload by reducing the number of fish and other elements that consume oxygen to prevent the growth of detritus in the aquarium.

Final Words

Do not panic if you see detritus worms in the aquarium. They are not a problem in themselves. 

In fact, they help to clean up the aquarium by consuming the waste and decomposed materials. 

It’s their uncontrolled growth that requires your attention and action.

You can get rid of detritus worms by following a regular aquarium cleanup routine and changing waters. 

Make sure that the filtration system is working. 

Chemicals like hydrogen peroxide should be used only if the case is severe.

The bottom line is to keep your fish healthy. Remember feng-shui!