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Thread: Spotted a few flatworms....I need some advice on a plan of attack!!

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    Default Spotted a few flatworms....I need some advice on a plan of attack!!

    Hello everyone,

    Last night and today I have seen some planaria looking little organisms cruising around on my glass and some of my frag plugs. After doing a search I have determined that they are some sort of flatworm. Right now they are not of biblical proportion, but I don't want it to get to that point. I saw that you can kill them, but that can toxify the water. I also saw that you can add certain wrasses to do the trick. My issue is that my tank is only 8 gallons and I don't know if that's too small for a wrasse, even temporarily. They are too small to siphon, and after reading that they put of poison when they die, I don't want to squish them on the glass. I have started a nice little coral collection and I don't want to lose everything. Any and all advice is welcome.

    Thanks,
    Bill
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    Senior Member Marshall O's Avatar
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    If they are just Planaria FW's, they are likely not a problem to corals. From what I know, issues can only be from when they cover a coral so much that they don't allow light to reach the coral. Otherwise, they are harmless. I have quite a bit in my 28 nano, but they don't go on any corals, and so I leave them alone. I have a Possum Wrasse in the tank, and AFAIK, it does not eat them. It's possible a wrasse like a Sixline would (from what I have seen, they are hit or miss), but an 8 gallon (and if it is an AIO, it is actually probably around 5.5 gallons) is too small to house one for very long.

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    Zoa Pirate cobraz's Avatar
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    Hey Bill.. who did you get frags from recently.. say in the last two weeks... ?
    The reason I ask - is I was hit by them after a meeting in Framingham...
    Lucky for me - I caught it early and been Red Flat Worm free for weeks.
    (Dipping does not kill eggs.)(Removing off plugs also may not stop them).

    Forget the wrasse approach as it is hit or miss.

    As for treatment - pick up some Flatworm Solution (Non harmful to Fish, Coral and Inverts)
    The problem is the dying red flat worms as they release toxins.
    - follow the instructions (no Carbon or Skimming for appox 30-45 minutes.
    Then change the 25% or more water and run Carbon and Skimmer... repeat every 3-4 days until you do not see them again.
    Typically 3 -4 times should break the cycle (Remember the eggs never die.) So repeats kill the cycle and reduce the numbers.

    Any more... PM - I can walk you thru this PITA pest that's easy to get rid of.
    Last edited by cobraz; 01-23-2014 at 01:52 PM.
    Jerry
    50 Gallon Cube with 20 Gallon Sump

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    Jeez I've added frags from like five different sources, private tanks and lfs. I always do a thorough dip so I figured I was good but guess not. My flatworms aren't the big red ones that I've seen in pics. Mine are very very small, like 1-2 millimeters. I can't siphoned them because of how small they are. I've been removing them from the glass with a razor blade and have never seen more than maybe twenty or thirty of them. I was thinking that the flatworm treatment was gonna be the best bet, but I had concerns because my tank is an 8 g nano. Thanks for the advice. Is there a particular brand of treatment that you've had success with?


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    Zoa Pirate cobraz's Avatar
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    Flatworm Solution - is the box name made by Aqua Vision Aquatics
    I am not impressed with Flatworm exit... it also works but the above did not harm and Inverts or Coral - no signs of stress.
    We have PMed as well... info for those following the thread.
    Jerry
    50 Gallon Cube with 20 Gallon Sump

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    Hey jerry your pm inbox is full


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    Senior Member GobyWanKenobie's Avatar
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    Be careful. Sometimes the treatment is more harmful than the pest. I wouldn't worry about these tiny flatworms unless you're sure they are hurting your corals. As far as I know, only the acro eating flatworms are bad. The rest are just a nuisance.
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    In 2 of my 14 G nano tanks I spotted some in the glass. As you describe them. After a week of taking them by hand i added a 6 line Wrasse on each tank . They dissapeared for some weeks. Suddenly I saw like 6-10 in one of the 2 nanos. Took them out of the glass and I never saw another one. Around 4 months have passed and I forgot about them until I saw this thread. I am pretty sure the fish took care of them, if not what else ?

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    If these are not the large red-photosynthetic flatworms and they are not concentrated on your corals then I think you should just ignore them. Not everything small that moves in a reef tank is something that needs to be killed.
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    Senior Member jokersplayground's Avatar
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    a yellow coris wrasse is a good flatworm eater. a other one is a dragon face pipe fish but that would need to be in a bigger tank. they love the taste for flat worms. but there main diet is copods and amphipods
    Joshua & Ashley
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    Senior Member Marshall O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokersplayground View Post
    a yellow coris wrasse is a good flatworm eater. a other one is a dragon face pipe fish but that would need to be in a bigger tank. they love the taste for flat worms. but there main diet is copods and amphipods
    While a Yellow Coris (H. chrysus) will likely take care of them, this is a ~5 gallon tank we are talking about here. That would not be fair to the fish IMO.

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    Thanks again to everyone who has contributed their knowledge and opinions. As it stands now, I have ordered some flatworm solution IN CASE there is a sudden epidemic, but for the meantime, I think ill just keep an eye on things. As you mentioned Greg, I have yet to see any damage to anything, so I'm in a holding pattern for now. It'll just suck if no one wants to trade or buy from my tank because of it. If anyone with flatworm experience is ever in the Worcester area and feels like stopping by to have a look for themselves, please feel free to PM me!!
    Thanks again
    Bill


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    Just an update,
    I purchased some Flatworm Solution, but have not used it. I've decided to keep an eye on things but leave well enough alone for the time being. These little planaria have yet to make me think they're plotting to either eat my corals or take over my tank. That being said, should I see any sort of "bloom", I will be dosing with FLatworm Solution, and I will post my experience at that time!
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    Senior Member mannysmusic's Avatar
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    Red planaria won't hurt anything. They are just ugly to look at. I would let them be. If you get a sixline wrasse or melanurus, usually they will eat them. When the planria die, they are highly toxic. Most of the time, you won't kill them all with flatworm exit and they come back. I had a Kole Tang die on me becuase of trying to kill off planaria in my tank. I eneded up getting a sixline and never saw them again

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    Just leave them
    We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong

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    Quote Originally Posted by mannysmusic View Post
    Red planaria won't hurt anything. They are just ugly to look at. I would let them be. If you get a sixline wrasse or melanurus, usually they will eat them. When the planria die, they are highly toxic. Most of the time, you won't kill them all with flatworm exit and they come back. I had a Kole Tang die on me becuase of trying to kill off planaria in my tank. I eneded up getting a sixline and never saw them again

    " 72 gallon bow mixed reef "
    " 24 gallon SPS dominant "
    + 1 to the six line fish as I wrote on this thread on previous post.

    Concerning tank size I have one with a clown on a 7 G tank that is very happy.

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