AEFW Treatment Quick Step by Step

Discussion in 'Boom Corals' started by BoomCorals, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. BoomCorals

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

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    I have had a few people recently ask for help with AEFW treament after a customer of mine recently mentioned how I was helping him with the steps to treat his tanks before he receives his coral order from me. I thought I'd write a very quick, down and dirty, step by step in the most effective method to rid your tank of AEFW.

    To start, don't panic. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it will take hard work to rid yourself of this pest. I'm going to already assume you have identified you have AEFW through dip, bite marks, eggs. It should be noted AEFW are VERY hard to see on coral, so you should look instead for the bite marks or eggs. Eggs will only be found on skeleton, rock, frag plugs, etc - never on live coral tissue.

    Step 1 - You need to remove all acropora from your tank. You do NOT need to remove SPS species that are not acros, so for example, Montipora, Stylophora, etc are NOT acropora and therefore AEFW will not affect them nor feed off of them. When you remove the acropora from your tank you must also remove any encrusted parts from your rock with a chisel or screwdriver, etc. You have to have all traces of acropora out of your main tank/system. This includes all tanks plumbed together as AEFW when hatched can go into the water column and affect other tanks as well.

    Step 2 - Place all of these acros into a basic QT system. Egg crate, bare bottom tank, heater, powerhead, and GOOD lighting. You want to ensure that nothing else is in this tank including fish, so that the amount of water changes you need to do is kept to a minimum. But, you will need to do water changes. You also don't want rock, etc, as AEFW can attach to that and then you're not able to kill them with dips.

    Step 3 - Your main system must remain without any acropora in it for a minimum of about 2-3 months. This allows any new AEFW eggs to hatch, grow, and then die off from starvation.

    Step 4 - Once every week for 2 months, dip all of your acros in something like revive or coral RX for about 10 minutes. Shake them off before removing in order to get any AEFW off.

    And that's about it. The process itself is simple, just time consuming and a lot of work. I should also mention, you must be prepared to lose colonies/frags of your coral. Between the stress of being pulled into QT and AEFW and dips, it's simply unavoidable. But hopefully, some will survive and after the fallow period, they can go back into your main tank and you can move forward from there!


    Edit: To be clear, I do not have nor have I ever had flatworms. I dip then QT everything that comes in, break off plugs/rocks/bases and toss them, do multiple dips, and visually inspect all pieces for at least two weeks. If I even see a flatworm come off of a piece I dip, the entire piece goes into the garbage and it will never even go near my tanks. I have however, helped people who have had them as I also do service for local aquarium owners in my area, and I offer advice to people here on R2R. I'm trying to provide this information to help people who are in that unfortunate position.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  2. Berlibee

    Berlibee ReefHacks Team R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Build Thread Contributor

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    Good info!
     
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  3. xionggotstyle

    xionggotstyle Member

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    You forgot to mention Bayer! Its better than Coral RX for Flat worms.
     
  4. xionggotstyle

    xionggotstyle Member

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    You forgot to mention Bayer! That works better for Flatworms!
     
  5. Pedoconfuego

    Pedoconfuego Well-Known Member

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    Step 4 should be dip once a week. Dipping every other week will allow the cycle to start over and eggs can hatch.

    Why do you suggest to put corals into a separate tank to treat for aefw? Dipping from the display works fine as long as you don't have huge colonies grown onto rocks.
     
  6. BoomCorals

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

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    It takes about 3 weeks for newly hatched aefw to get to egg laying size, so once a week isn’t really necessary. But if you want to dip once a week anyways, you can.

    You have to remove them from the display otherwise they can be on rocks or lay eggs on rocks and thus dipping the coral can miss aefw.
     
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  7. Pedoconfuego

    Pedoconfuego Well-Known Member

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    Missing a flat work is going to happen doing these treatments for the first time which is why I always like to say dip once a week. I don't remember off the top of my head how long it takes for eggs to hatch and for new worms to lay them but I am pretty sure dipping every other week is risky, especially if you miss a worm. If your dipping every week you can miss a worm and not risk starting the cycle over. If you are to laid back with aefw they will make your life hard. Dipping every week will make you look at every coral often enough to do the process right. I have had to start the process over when I skipped a week and found new eggs laid right on the flesh of a staghorn, which could likely mean that a newly hatched worm laid eggs after 13 days.
    The worms stay on the coral or on the base of the coral. They don't really crawl around on the rockwork at all. I always suggest dipping from the display to keep the process simple and less stressful for the owner and the corals.
    One more thing to add for people that have these worms. The dipping process should be followed by a very through wash in tank water to make sure no worms are still stuck on the acropora. I used three tanks one for dipping, one for cleaning stragglers and one for holding the newly dipped pieces for observation after the dip.

    Good write up though! Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. BoomCorals

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

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    You make a good point, and I think it's enough that it warrants changing the recommendation. I'll change it to say one dip a week, thanks! As to dipping from display, I'm trying to keep it simple vs saying "if you're in this situation you could do this, etc." Also they usually do crawl off the coral to lay eggs. It's extremely rare they lay eggs on good coral tissue, most times they will crawl onto the plugs or the rocks to lay the eggs, which is why I simply recommend removing from the DT.
     
  9. illumnae

    illumnae Member

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    Hi! I very unfortunately found that I have aefw in my tank. I had about 80 colonies in my tank so it wasn't feasible for me to set up such a huge qt and I decided to dip from the display. However, what I did was to break off all the encrusted corals from my rocks and remove all the rocks from the tank, leaving only the sand. I then used eggcrate to make a large rack to hold all the corals during the treatment process. I have 2 racks and swap them after every dip to ensure the aefw don't survive and lay eggs on the rack. The racks are washed in freshwater and dried during the week. I dip the corals weekly and blow them off using a small wavemaker before placing them back on the rack. I was told 6 weeks of dip is sufficient.

    Today was the third dip (so about 15 days after the first dip). I still see dead aefw flying around the tub after the dip is completed but less than the previous 2 dips, and I still found eggs on 2 colonies after the dip - one had only a few eggs and what looked like recovering bite marks, while the other had 2 big patches of eggs and many fresh bite marks. I glued over the eggs on the first one and threw away the other one.

    Is this normal or did I mess up somehow?

    Also, how strict is the timing on the dips? I dip every Saturday. Is it ok if one week I dip at 2 pm and another week at 6pm? What about if I dip on Sunday for one of the weeks instead of Saturday?

    Thank you!
     
  10. BoomCorals

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

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    You could go as long as 10-14 days between dips. I would do no more than 1 dip every 7 days. Freshly hatched aefw take about 3 weeks to get to egg laying size.

    What are you using for dip and how long do you dip?
     
  11. DSC reef

    DSC reef Coral wasted R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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  12. illumnae

    illumnae Member

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    I'm doing a dip every Saturday so effectively once every 7 days. I dip using KCl at a dosage of about 2 tsp per gallon as recommended by FarmerTy. I have seen dead aefw in the tub every dip so far (in decreasing quantities) so I assume it's effective in killing them. I was worried because I'm still seeing eggs today.
     
  13. BoomCorals

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

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    I think the issue is that it may only stun them at first. I know TY is still testing this so you may want to change to a different dip. For example if you use coral RX for 15 minutes, it won’t kill the aefw immediately but it stings them or makes it easy to blow them off the coral. BUT it WILL kill them within an hour. So even if they go back into the tank they will still die. KCl may not do that. If they survive the KCl dip and remain on the coral and it doesn’t kill them like coral RX does... That could be why you continue to see fresh eggs. If it doesn’t kill all of them during your dip and doesn’t attack their nervous system like coral RX etc does, then it’s not a good choice for large scale dipping like what you’re doing.

    It’s something I hope to test for TY the next time I either receive a shipment that has aefw on a piece or I find them in a local service customer tank etc.
     
  14. BoomCorals

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

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    Also are you seeing new eggs or are these old original eggs. The eggs can take 2-4 weeks to hatch and are unaffected by dips.
     
  15. illumnae

    illumnae Member

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    Ugh, I chose to go ahead with KCl because a number of reefers told me Coral rx was not effective in killing aefw, only stunning them. Bayer is not readily available where I am.

    Could the eggs be leftover unhatched eggs from day 1? If they take 21 days to hatch, my 3rd dip is only 15 days from day 1.

    So effectively I should reset the clock and restart with coral rx? Or should I check again next week for fresh eggs? It would be day 22 next week
     
  16. illumnae

    illumnae Member

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    Ugh, I chose to go ahead with KCl because a number of reefers told me Coral rx was not effective in killing aefw, only stunning them. Bayer is not readily available where I am.

    Could the eggs be leftover unhatched eggs from day 1? If they take 21 days to hatch, my 3rd dip is only 15 days from day 1.

    So effectively I should reset the clock and restart with coral rx? Or should I check again next week for fresh eggs? It would be day 22 next week
     
  17. illumnae

    illumnae Member

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    Ugh, I chose to go ahead with KCl because a number of reefers told me Coral rx was not effective in killing aefw, only stunning them. Bayer is not readily available where I am.

    Could the eggs be leftover unhatched eggs from day 1? If they take 21 days to hatch, my 3rd dip is only 15 days from day 1.

    So effectively I should reset the clock and restart with coral rx? Or should I check again next week for fresh eggs? It would be day 22 next week
     
  18. BoomCorals

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

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    I’m not sure who said coral RX is ineffective at killing aefw, but that’s patently false. Revive and Bayer also work. I wouldn’t reset the clock necessarily but switch dips. Keep looking for fresh eggs.
     
  19. illumnae

    illumnae Member

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    Thanks! So long as there are no more fresh eggs on week 6 I should be fine to stop dipping and start the tank up again?
     
  20. BoomCorals

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

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    I would think so yes.
     
  21. illumnae

    illumnae Member

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    Thank you very much!
     
  22. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Valuable Member

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    Hi Matt,

    Most new SPS hobbyist are not going to QT since we still trying to figure out how to keep SPS alive in our display tanks. So I got to thinking about this and could not find any good information but everyone saying you need to do such and such when new ideas are mentioned. Has anyone conclusively determined if AEFW can move from a tank to tank that share a common sump? With isolated acros and daily inspection it could be possible to catch any pest before they have a change to spread through the overflow, filer sock, return pump, tank, and onto new host! I know this would not work for fish parasites but coral eating pest that lay eggs and live on the coral and are pretty much food once in the water colum. I kind of look at this the same was a dipping corals, its not 100% effective since you can miss eggs and even some pest. Adding corals to a 2nd tank as a precaution seems like a good idea and im sure people do it but no one speaks of it. I would like to know if anyone has an proof of this I believe that AEFW experience years ago wanted to test this theory but Im sure their flatoworms killed all their testing frags and they lost funding or something. lol
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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