I got flatworms...but are there two kinds?!

muzikalmatt

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
492
Reaction score
907
Location
Roanoke, VA


So I was inspecting my tank this evening when what to my wondering eyes did appear, dozens of flatworms which to my eyes brought a tear! To quote Michael Scott...



So after my initial freakout, I tried to remain calm and take some good pictures so I can figure out exactly what I'm dealing with. I suspect I may have two different types: Acoel Flatworms and Red Planaria Flatworms. Please take a look at the pictures below and let me know what you think I have and what's the best way to deal with them.

Red Planaria Flatworm on the rock?
0601201922a.jpg


Acoel Flatworms on the glass?
0601201933b.jpg


If you need better pictures, I can try to get more but it's tough to get these little guys into focus.

As far as treatment/eradication, I was thinking about picking up a yellow wrasse before I noticed these guys, so now I'm even more motivated to pick one up. I know flatworm exit is an option as well, but will it have any adverse affects on any of my more sensitive tank inhabitants like my feather duster, coco worm or flame scallop? Any advise is much appreciated.
 
Last edited:

TriggerFinger

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
1,754
Reaction score
2,193
Location
St. Louis
I’m not able to help with treatment or ID but your post made me laugh out loud. It seems like there’s a lot of flatworm posts lately, wonder if it’s their breeding season or something.
 

Albertan22

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
523
Reaction score
493
Location
Alberta
I think both your pictures are acoel flatworms. I have them right now in my coral qt tank and am looking for some flatworm exit to test on them. The coral qt is loaded with pods right now so should be a great test, unfortunately I can’t find any product locally (darned covid) so will be ordering online and waiting a week.
 
OP
muzikalmatt

muzikalmatt

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
492
Reaction score
907
Location
Roanoke, VA
I’m not able to help with treatment or ID but your post made me laugh out loud. It seems like there’s a lot of flatworm posts lately, wonder if it’s their breeding season or something.
Haha! Thanks, I'm glad I could make you chuckle. I'm trying to remain calm and keep a good attitude about it. No sense in crying over spilled milk right? ;)
 
OP
muzikalmatt

muzikalmatt

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
492
Reaction score
907
Location
Roanoke, VA
I think both your pictures are acoel flatworms. I have them right now in my coral qt tank and am looking for some flatworm exit to test on them. The coral qt is loaded with pods right now so should be a great test, unfortunately I can’t find any product locally (darned covid) so will be ordering online and waiting a week.
Whew! I hope that's the case as I've read that acoel flatworms are a little more benign than red planarias.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Albertan22

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
523
Reaction score
493
Location
Alberta
I’m looking at the tail, not the colour. The little ones in my qt are transparent with a little dot but the bigger ones are a lot more brown. I think they get more photosynthetic pigment the older they get. This is based on my observation, not literature. I’ve been watching them awhile to see if they cause any harm to the coral in the tank but will nuke them before I transfer the coral to the DT.
 

What is your most favorite type of reef tank?

  • SPS dominated

    Votes: 199 21.1%
  • LPS dominated

    Votes: 68 7.2%
  • Soft Coral dominated

    Votes: 36 3.8%
  • Zoa dominated

    Votes: 19 2.0%
  • Mixed Reef

    Votes: 585 62.0%
  • Fish focused

    Votes: 17 1.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 19 2.0%

Online statistics

Members online
2,218
Guests online
4,153
Total visitors
6,371
Reef Kinetics
Top