View Full Version : Earthworm hitchhiker?

02-20-2011, 10:58 PM
So today I was rearranging some of my plants, in particular my java fern. When I pulled it out of the gravel I noticed an odd wiggling. I looked closer and there was a very live, very red, red wiggler earthworm clinging to the roots. This java fern has been in my aquarium for 2 weeks.

This lead me to a few questions can earthworms survive(and preferable thrive) in my gravel for extended periods of times, or will they simply stick to oxygen rich zones around the roots? Will they help aerate the gravel as they do above ground, and contribute to converting the mulm to usable nutrients? Will they contribute an excessive amount of nitrogenous waste? Basically, should I remove him from the aquarium and toss him into my compost pile, or leave him be?

02-21-2011, 12:59 AM
Earthworms usually come to the surface of the yard when its raining as they are usually die when underwater for too long. Could it be a live tubiflex worm you have? See attachment.

02-21-2011, 01:39 AM
I found a 10cm earthworm in my tank when i pulled it down last. Suprised me no end cause i didnt think they survived underwater, but this one sure did and was thriving!

02-21-2011, 02:31 AM
Earthworms do not survive underwater. It could also have been a California blackworm.

02-21-2011, 02:58 AM
I stand corrected on the earth worm under water therory.

02-21-2011, 05:58 AM
Strider and Troy-
This is definitely some form of annelid, the only difference I noticed between this worm and the worms in my compost was that this one was a much deeper shade of red. It is ~5-6 inches(12-15cm) long and 1/8 inch(2-3mm) thick with a clear ring separating 1/3 of its body from the other 2/3's.

That is some very encouraging news. Did you transfer him to another tank?

What form of nitrogenous waste do worms produce? Is it ammonia/ammonium like fish, some form of urea/uric acid? Or elemental nitrogen, maybe? If urea/uric acid would this be safe for fish(black neons, guppies and eventually kuhli loaches epcifically)?

Thanks for the responses so far! :ssmile:

02-21-2011, 09:44 AM
The only live worms i have fed to the tank was garden worms, this was definately a garden worm and it was very much living in the substrate.

I didnt move it to another tank i fed it to the fish, which was its original purpose of being in there *L*

Lady Hobbs
02-21-2011, 11:35 AM
I won't feed my fish earthworms for that reason. I've fed them in the past only to have them crawl into the substrate and drown and rot in there. It is very unpleasant to be cleaning your gravel and get a worm stuck in your python! I will give them earthworm flakes, shrimp flakes, beef flakes.....anything......but live worms. I refuse to feed them dried tubifex worms as well.

Earthworms drown which is why we see them laying in the street dead after a heavy rain.

02-21-2011, 10:05 PM
We see some drowned after heavy rain, certainly not the complete population that exists in that area. So some must be able to deal with the inundation or there'd be certain areas that would be completely devoid of worms.

Dunno, all i know is the worm i found (and the few i found before) were definately earthworms