Need help planning tank restart for vermetid infestation

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rueric

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Hello all,

Looking for some guidance regarding my plan to restart my tank due to an infestation of vermetid snails.
I've read mixed reviews as to whether or not to tear down, some say to deal with it, some say i'll never be 100% free from it, some say tear down is the only way.
I have looked up basically every YouTube video, forum and fb groups and came to the conclusion that it might be the best approach to just restart my tank.
This will give me an opportunity to redo my aquascape

Running a Fluval Flex 32G with the following fish:
2 Clowns
1 Cleaner shrimp
1 tuxedo urchin
2 hermits
2xnessarius snails, 9xbumblebee snails, few astrea snails.
NO corals yet (looking to start building up to it in the coming months once I am vermetid free)

Equipment I have on hand:
15lbs of new reef saver dryrock
2 Brute trash cans (1 for RODI, 1 for mixed)
multiple heaters
extra pumps
20G breeder
extra powerheads

My goals:
- Be vermetid free
- Keep as much of my livestock as possible without re-introducing vermetid into the system
- Complete the process in the fastest time possible

Here is my current proposed plan, hoping the fine members from this forum can help educate me on gaps or better alternatives

Transfer to spare tank:
1. Fill 20G breeder with the DT water
2. Move existing live rock into the 20G breeder
3. Move fish, inverts into 20G breeder
4. I'll need to buy a hang-on filter during this reboot period

Cleaning existing tank:
1. Drain remaining water
2. Remove substrate
3. Fill the tank with tap water mixed with a few gallons of vinegar
4. Run the system for a week
5. Scrub off backwall (Contains mix of coralline algae and vermetid)
6. Completely dry off system (week)

Transfer back to DT:
1. Cycle DT with new (rinsed) dry rock
2. Move livestock back in

This is where I can use some help to determine the best steps..
What is the best way to re-cycle the tank? I'm thinking of a few options here..
A. Use the spare tank water (Afraid of re-introducing vermetid eggs back into DT)
B. A chemical solution (which?)
C. Good ol' fashion cycle with my dry rock (Possibly longest but safest)

Questions:
1. Is my cleaning of the existing tank sufficient to rid all vermetids from my system?
2. Should I get rid of all my snails or keep the ones that don't appear to have any vermetid growing on them? (I can visibly see the shells infested with vermetids)
- The bumblebee snails are new and the nessarius don't appear to have any vermetids growing on them.
3. What else am I overlooking? My fear is not knowing what I don't know.

Thank you for reading my long post, really appreciate the guidance!

vermetid-fan.jpeg vermetid-rock1.jpeg vermetid-rock2.jpeg
 
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sfin52

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You can always use a tobby puffer. I'm not sure its possible to keep them out
 

Idoc

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I wouldn't use the existing water again...especially if you are going to this much trouble to break down the system and clear out the vermatids. You will eventually re-introduce them into your system, but at least now you know to do regular maintenance to remove any new ones you see very quickly. An option is to setup a separate coral quarantine tank where you can place new corals for a couple of months in order to watch them for pests like this...it doesn't have to be anything big or fancy since it isn't a grow-out system, but rather just a monitoring system.

Any bacteria in a bottle will work. I like Bio-Spira... Just throw in some food to help get the ammonia going and the bacteria to take off populating your new clean rock.
 
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rueric

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I wouldn't use the existing water again...especially if you are going to this much trouble to break down the system and clear out the vermatids. You will eventually re-introduce them into your system, but at least now you know to do regular maintenance to remove any new ones you see very quickly. An option is to setup a separate coral quarantine tank where you can place new corals for a couple of months in order to watch them for pests like this...it doesn't have to be anything big or fancy since it isn't a grow-out system, but rather just a monitoring system.

Any bacteria in a bottle will work. I like Bio-Spira... Just throw in some food to help get the ammonia going and the bacteria to take off populating your new clean rock.
How long does the Bio-Spira take to cycle the new tank?
 

Idoc

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How long does the Bio-Spira take to cycle the new tank?
Probably a week... I use it all the time to cycle fish quarantine tanks without any ammonia issues. I typically set up the quarantine tank the day or two before expecting to get a new fish...add BioSpira...add a pinch of food to get the cycle going. The first week, I monitor the ammonia levels closely, but typically just add a little more each day to add additional bacteria into the population.

I think all bottled bacteria are very similar and will cycle tanks in about the same time period.
 
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rueric

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Probably a week... I use it all the time to cycle fish quarantine tanks without any ammonia issues. I typically set up the quarantine tank the day or two before expecting to get a new fish...add BioSpira...add a pinch of food to get the cycle going. The first week, I monitor the ammonia levels closely, but typically just add a little more each day to add additional bacteria into the population.

I think all bottled bacteria are very similar and will cycle tanks in about the same time period.
This is good information! Are you suggesting to apply the Bio-Spira to my spare tank instead of reusing existing tank water? Or are you referring to the part where I bring them back to the DT?
 

monkeyCmonkeyDo

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I would set up a holding tank for my fish and coral. Drain the tank. Let it dry. Run vinegar. Clean it. Rinse it. Set it back up with all new sw.
Your purple coralline might make it or it might turn pink and white and die.
These are the spider web worms? Idk if really that big of a deal.
Maybe add more of a small micron filter to catch whatever foods they are eating and growing from... hths
D
 
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rueric

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I would set up a holding tank for my fish and coral. Drain the tank. Let it dry. Run vinegar. Clean it. Rinse it. Set it back up with all new sw.
Your purple coralline might make it or it might turn pink and white and die.
These are the spider web worms? Idk if really that big of a deal.
Maybe add more of a small micron filter to catch whatever foods they are eating and growing from... hths
D
Both sides of my media baskets have filter pads that I recently installed to try and catch foods however, I'm only feeding pellets (no corals)

Are you suggesting to keep the live rock in the tank and just let the vinegar kill off the worms on the rock?
 

saltgogi

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I used bumblebee snails with a lot of success. I'm sure they will be back since I see them in places where the bumblebee snail cant reach (overflow and sump). Hopefully they multiply enough to keep the bumblebees fed or i'll probably buy a few more later down the road. That infestation does look like something i'd start over with as well though. I think it's hard to be competely rid of them in the hobby unless you have a separate quarantine tank for corals and even then it's hard. Good luck
 

mdb_talon

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Dont reuse any water. Add ammonia and then bottled back to new dry rock tank and cycle. The water wont do much for you. The bottle will. If i were going to the trouble you are i would never reintroduce the snails without a long QT. In fact you may be back in the same spot if you start adding anything without long QT.

I would also start planning to make sure this does not happen again even if one or two find their way in. They are filter feeders and to multiply in such a manner there must of been a ton of "food" floating around the tank. Less feeding, mechanical filtration, etc will hopefully help you keep population manageable if they get back in
 
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rueric

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One concern I have with the Insta-cycle.
will my tuxedo urchin survive since the tank would probably be too new to have any food (algae)?
 

fuelman

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Unfortunately my 240 looks as bad as yours does I would only transfer the fish back to the tank after cleaning no snails, pumps, wave makers, heaters nothing. if you have extra use those & clean the one's from the tank & put them on the shelf for a while. Young Vermited are microscopic you can't see them without a magnifying glass till they make their shell house. They could be on anything slow or stationarity. hiding in the smallest crack or crevice. if you want a real chance at a clean restart don't trust anything. Even your plumbing might have Vermited in them, mine does. Scrape & clean every inch of anything that's a part of the original tank, or replace it.
 
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fryman

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OK I was totally going to say tear down over vermetids is over-reacting, they are manageable and most have them ...

Then I saw the pics and OH MY GOD, holy vermetids batman! I've never seen it that bad. You have my sympathy.
 

homer1475

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You can help your situation with the teardown, but do not think you will ever be free of them. Kind of like bristleworms, they are just part of owning a reef tank. Never had a tank wothout them, never to the plague proportions the OP has them, but they have been in ever tank I've owned.

Only one way they got this bad, overfeeding. Similar to bristleworms, thier population will wax and wane according to their available food source. Unfortuantly unlike bristleworms, when vermetids die, they leave thier hard shells behind so you never really know what their population is like.
 

Idoc

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This is good information! Are you suggesting to apply the Bio-Spira to my spare tank instead of reusing existing tank water? Or are you referring to the part where I bring them back to the DT?
Probably both! Water isn't going to carry much in the way of nitrifying bacteria from one tank to another anyhow. The bacteria reside in the substrate and rocks.
 
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