Tubifex worms


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Hi

I built a small wildlife pond last November, it now has daphnia and ramshorn pond snails living happily in it. (No fish).

Just bought some pond plants but noticed some red tubifex worms in them. Don't mind some to add to the ecosystem, but could they become an infestation without any natural predators?

My pond only has a surface area of about a square yard.

Claire, UK
 
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addy1

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Looks like the feed on decaying plant matter, so it would seem to me they would be a good thing.

From the net

These red tubifex worms look just like earth worms, and are totally aquatic. They like to clump together when feasting on decaying organisms.

Tubifex tubifex, also called the sludge worm, or sewage worm, is a species of tubificid segmented worm that inhabits the sediments of lakes and rivers on several continents. Tubifex probably includes several species, but distinguishing between them is difficult because the reproductive organs, commonly used in species identification, are resorbed after mating, and because the external characteristics of the worm vary with changes in salinity. These worms ingest sediments, selectively digest bacteria, and absorb molecules through their body walls.
The worms can survive with little oxygen by waving hemoglobin-rich tail ends to exploit all available oxygen, and can exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen through their thin skins, as with frogs. They can also survive in areas heavily polluted with organic matter that almost no other species can endure. By forming a protective cyst and lowering its metabolic rate, T. tubifex can survive drought and food shortage. Encystment may also function in the dispersal of the worm. They usually inhabit the bottom sediments of lakes, rivers, and occasionally sewer lines and outlets


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Thanks Addy1.

I was thinking that myself, but I wouldn't want them getting out of hand, maybe they self-regulate their numbers depending on their environment?
 
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addy1

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Maybe, I really don't know, but if they run out of food I doubt they will keep procreating............. at least they will help eat up the dead stuff.

You could add a few minnows, like rosey reds, they will eat bugs and feast on the worms. They would do fine in a pond that size and are a pretty pink. I have some in my non filtered lotus pond
 

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