AEFW, Flatworm Stop and Lifecycle Questions

Discussion in 'General SPS Discussion' started by jda, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    There is a local in town that I help with his SPS tank. He has some special needs and is not the best QT or dipper (generous... he never does) and he got some AEFW. He bought the big jug of Zeo Flatworm Stop and has been doing a double dose for about two months. Even in his most infected colonies, there are still flatworms, but we are not seeing any more eggs... anywhere.

    Does anybody know how long a acro eating flatworms can live?

    I know that folks have routinely posted that the Flatworm Exit has not killed the worms, but is it possible that it will interrupt their lifecycle with continued use and eventually the lack of reproduction will rid them? Has anybody used this for long enough to know?

    Has anybody else experienced this? He does use it at double the recommended dose.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Tahoe61

    Tahoe61 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018 Partner Member

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    Would like to know myself.

    :)
     
  3. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    I have read some anecdotes that they can live up to six months if there are acros for them to eat on. We will probably continue at a double dose for more than six months and continue to watch for eggs... if no more eggs, then this is great news. There are a few other promising posts that people saw eggs disappear when using, but it does not appear that the use was continued for long enough to eradicate them this way... rather the wanted the adults dead now instead of dosing until they all died without laying new eggs.
     
  4. Pedoconfuego

    Pedoconfuego Well-Known Member

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    I think they just don't hurt the coral enough to lay many eggs and when they do they have to lay them under the base of the healthy corals so they are hard to spot. That's why I never saw any when I dosed a friend's tank. Fws with daily basting and the right fish and shrimp I believe it's possible to keep them in check enough to break their cycle and eliminate them. They are very easy to blow off while using the flatworm stop.
    I am now wondering if wormwood is that key fws and how it works on the acropora skin.
     
  5. Big E

    Big E Well-Known Member

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    Eggs are easy to miss especially if the corals aren't cut completely from a rock or plug and remounted on a new sterile surface.

    Back when AEFW first showed up people tried to use levamisole (flatworm exit active ingredient).......... you would have to to use such a high level that the dips would do it's share of killing corals.

    They would spit on a double dose of flatworm exit.......I doubt a double dose would do much of anything. I you do some searches on RC archives you can probably find out
    what level of doses people were experimenting with.

    Tropic Marin Pro coral cure was the best dip I ever used to kill acro flatworms and other pests but it is very harsh on acros. It won't kill them but it takes more time for the acros to recover from the dip versus say Bayer for example. I'm not sure how smooth skin acros would handle it.
    I only mention it as it would be more likely to break a cycle. I don't believe all the other popular dips have a 100% kill rate.......most just stun the worms.

    I don't know the life cycle of the worms, but imo long periods of not getting rid of them has more to do with poor planning or protocols, ineffective dips. I'm guessing but it probably takes 3 months for a baby to get to an adult size large enough to show bite marks, lay eggs or show coral stress.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  6. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    I was able to treat a tank using levamisole. About 5x dose and LOTs of flow... once the slime got off of the worms, they would die pretty easily, so I put every powerhead that I had blowing into the colonies and left the med in there indefinately (Dr. RHF opined that it would probably not be effective for more than a day before it broke down). I lost some starfish and snails, but it was just a frag tank. They never came back. I don't know if I would do this in a full-blown reef, but I did have sand in there.

    We moved the really badly infected frags to plugs and drilled holes in the rock to mount them - then we put them back where they were. They are clean of eggs... the skeleton and the 3" plugs. I suppose that some could have gotten off of the plugs and laid eggs on the rocks, but all of them doing this? When I first convinced him that he had a problem, there was probably 75-100 batches of eggs.
     
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  7. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    I dipped a whole pile of easy-to-get-to colonies and there was not nary a flatworm - none. Some of these had hundreds last fall.

    I went back and looked at his account we started treatment in September... so 5 months so far.

    I am not nearly calling a victory, or anything, but there might be something to this long-term. He has two more of the large bottles and we are going to finish them, but we cannot find a flatworm anywhere.

    I guess the ultimate test will be to stop dosing and see if some of the nasty basturds that are hiding-out come back... but that is another job for another day a few months from now.

    ...anyway, wanted to share.
     
  8. BoomCorals

    BoomCorals www.boomcorals.com R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Most species of AEFW from hatching to death (assuming no acros around to feed off of) can live for about 4 weeks from what I've read and from those that have done testing.
     
  9. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    These have plenty of food. This is more of a how long before they die a fat-and-healthy death without leaving children behind. 5 months is looking pretty good.
     
  10. BoomCorals

    BoomCorals www.boomcorals.com R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Ah. They die shortly after they reach egg laying size which is also about 4 weeks.
     
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  11. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    I just dipped and inspected every colony and there is nary a worm left in the tank. None. No signs of eggs either. He has 1.5 of the larger bottles of Flatworm Stop left, so we are going to finish them. I am quite excited to report that I think that this might have worked.

    This is definitely worth a shot for anything battling these tiny little ********... at worst, it knocks them back to undetectable levels and at best it might inhibit their reproduction capabilities.

    ...this will be short lived since he has the patience or discipline to start to QT or dip, but maybe I can convince him to continue his arrest on new stuff... the tank is quite full anyway.
     
  12. BoomCorals

    BoomCorals www.boomcorals.com R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    That's interesting. Next time I see some AEFW come in on a piece I'll have to do some testing!
     
  13. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    Don't do that... just kill them!

    I doubt that you will want to feed them acros and keep them alive for 6 months to see if they end up failing to eventually reproduce. :)
     
  14. HolisticBear

    HolisticBear Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    So Zero's Flatworm Stop has a different active ingredient than Flatworm Exit or is it different concentration / different inactive ingredients?

    I'm dealing with Flatworms (not AEFW). I'm trying a Coris Wrasse, if that doesn't cut them down in a few weeks, was considering Flatworm Exit.
     
  15. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    Yes. Flatworm Exit is levamisole, which you can buy as a livestock dewormer in the form of Prohibit which can treat thousands of gallons for pretty cheap. Flatworm Exit appears to be mostly based off of wormwood, but I have only guess about this based on the taste and smell.

    AEFW will laugh at normalish does of Levamisole (Flatworm Exit) even though they work just fine against regular red planaria.
     
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  16. erky

    erky Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Would love to know what exactly is in KZ's product i have looked but have never found the active ingredient or even what else is in it.
     
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  17. BoomCorals

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    Their whole life cycle is usually only about 4 weeks from hatching to laying eggs. Wouldn't take too long I'd think, they'd either lay eggs and die or not lay eggs and die haha. I have small 10g tanks I set up for little experiments like this, and the acros get tossed afterwards. I toss anything I see that comes in that has AEFW/eggs normally anyways, so really don't lose anything here.
     
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  18. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    I wonder if there are more than one kind? The ones that Dr. Rawlinson was messing around with had longer lives than this, but they were still not long lived by any means.
     
  19. BoomCorals

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    *snicker* ;Yuck
     
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  20. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    It has been a month with no more dosing. There is not a flatworm to be found. I am about ready to declare victory on this battle. I will declare victory in another month.

    In the end, about six months of a double dose of Flatworm Stop EVERY DAY appears to have eradicated them.
     
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