How to Get Rid of Planaria Worms in Aquarium

If you discover white worms in the aquarium it could be the very unpopular Plagegeister Planarien. You should try to get rid of these pests as soon as possible. In this article you can find out what planaria are, how you can recognize these worms in your fish tank and how to fight this worm infestation.

What are planaria worms exactly? Planaria are Turbellaria and belong to the flatworms (Plathelminthes). There are about 3000 different species, most of which are free in the water, rarely on land. These worms in your tank are direct consequence for overfeeding and extra waste, so consider lowering the amount of food you give to your fish. Planaria trapped with the planaria trap:

Sand aquarium substrate

How to recognize planaria worms in a fish tank

Planaria worms are relatively easy to recognize. These worms are several millimeters long and light colored. If you look at them closely you can see a triangular head. This triangular head is a very clear sign that you really have planaria in your aquarium. If you can’t see a triangular head, examine the worms again with a magnifying glass and then you should be sure, if it is planaria or not.

How to get rid of planaria worms

If you are sure that you have planaria worms in your aquarium, you should take the following steps to fight them.

Using Panacur

This you need to get Panacur. This is a prescription product and should be obtained from a veterinarian. Especially Tylomenia and antler snails should be very sensitive. But before you start dosing, you should carry out the following steps. If you were to dose the product immediately, the many dying planaria would put too much strain on the water and destroy the balance of the water. Therefore please pay attention to the following steps. Do not feed them at all on the 1st day, neither fish nor shrimps or other animals in the aquarium. On the 2nd day, shortly before the light goes out in the evening, take a planaria trap and place it in the aquarium according to instructions. After 2 hours remove the planaria trap and clean it thoroughly from the whole planaria. Repeat this as often as necessary until the yield of planaria worms decreases significantly.

Per 100l aquarium water you take about 40ml Panacur. Panacur is difficult to dissolve in water. Therefore you should dissolve it before in clean water. Take a container, which you can close completely (canister of distilled water, drinking bottle or similar, but make sure you throw the bottle away after use so that nobody can drink from it anymore!), fill it with water and Panacur and shake it vigorously for several minutes and start adding it to you aquarium.

Now wait 5 days, during this time the aquarium must be well ventilated. In perfect scenario, use a bubbling stone and an air pump. After 5 days, do a large water change every 2 days. Do this for 6-8 days with at least 70% water. Vacuum all dead planaria that you can see.After about 1 week you should also clean the filter. Now the aquarium should be planaria-free. However, Panacur does not kill planaria eggs. Therefore you should repeat the treatment with Panacur after 3 weeks to kill any hatched planaria.

Using planaria trap

Planaria worm trap

If there isn’t a lot of planaria worms and you are patient, it could be enough to just use a Planaria trap to get rid of the worms in you fish tank. These planaria traps are very effective, once the worms go in, there is no chance of them getting back out.

Worms in you aquarium can be a real annoyance and you should look to get rid of them as soon as possible, or the situation with them will go out of control and they will destroy all the ecosystem that you have created. The steps are not too difficult, but require some degree of patience.

Ready to clean your fish tank from these worms? Here is a summary of the things you will need and can order from Amazon by clicking the name of the item:

To reduce the chance of worms in your aquarium, learn how to clean a fish tank.