The Battle with Red Planaria Flatworms

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by AquaNerd, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. N1Husker

    N1Husker Well-Known Member

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    I have a coral banded shrimp and he didn't do anything, but they do eat bristleworms. I got a melenurus wrasse and he wiped them out in two weeks and I had allot of them.
    None since.
     

  2. racin2438

    racin2438 Well-Known Member

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    Good article, I got some some how not a lot but they multiply fast.I always dip but still some to in there. I will try the preditor things first.

    My LFS, said I could also do a cup of RODI with 10 drops of hydrogen peroxide and a baster and blast them. It has been working , I'm seeing less and less.

    But impossible to see on rocks.
     
  3. DecanoLA

    DecanoLA Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys,

    I have had this problem with planaria also. They where EVERYWHERE !!!! covered entire rocks !!!!! mostly didn't harm corals until they just started to grow on top of them. But they did seem to kill zoas , by irritating them or not letting them open up... anyway:

    I tried all of the chemical solutions, including flatworm exit (in three different occasions!!!!), followed by a 200 gal water change (tank was 75 gal) each time....
    I have to say that chemical really kills them off... the whole tank turned red !!!! it was raining planaria !!!! it was crazy... The fish and the corals didnt like this, obviously, but in a couple of days were open and eating and all... the flatworms seemed to have disappeared... HOWEVER... in a couple of days I spotted a few... then some more... the next week a couple more... and in about 2-3 weeks I was just were I began :( flatworms everywhere.... I think it might have to do with a lot of liverock, or places with low flow, maybe the chemical cant get everywhere... who knows...

    I was just about to quit... and someone mentioned trying some specific wrasses... I already had a 6-line (mean critter) that wasn't touching them, so I thought I would give it a try, I was desperate...

    I managed to get my "fish guy" to find me some African Black Leopard Wrasses (2)... and while I was at his shop, I saw a cute little coris wrasse and I took him as well... Needless to say the Leopard wrasses were shy at first and it took some days experimenting to get them to eat frozen food, but they acclimated well... and in a couple of days or weeks KABOOOOOMMM !!!! the flatworms were gone!!! not a single freakin one !!!! I really thought it was a miracle... I don't know if it was the Leopards or the coris or what... but they were annihilated !!! I was sooooo happy..

    Then in the end the 6 line chased the leopards around so much they jumped out :(
    But I haven't had a single flatworm ever since (this 3 years ago)...
     
  4. Browner20

    Browner20 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I have had some red/brown flatworms but they have really exploded at times and then severely reduced w/o any intervention by me. Currently reduced to very few confined to basically one rock. They have always had a rock or two where they are predominantly found. Any ideas on why that is?
     
  5. Browner20

    Browner20 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Probably have 20 or so that I can see but they are all huddled into a crevice in one rock. Fish include blue/hippo tang, oc clown, six line, and a coral banded butterfly(probably just a temp resident after he polishes off the last couple aptasia). I do feed heavy amounts but infrequently (2-3) times per week. Everyone is fat as can be but do you think the 6 line is snacking in between feeding?
     
  6. nelson.jdautobody

    nelson.jdautobody Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully I will never need to use this information but I'm tagging this great read just in case ;)
     
  7. Sense of nature

    Sense of nature Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed a few... no problems I'm aware of yet( besides brown jelly disease :( ) maybe they instigated my outbreak?
     
  8. racin2438

    racin2438 Well-Known Member

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    Does one have to have the bio pellets and gfo off too.. when treating with the FWE, my reactors are in line not independent of each other. Or would I have to fill all three reactors with carbon. ....?.?????
     
  9. N1Husker

    N1Husker Well-Known Member

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    I had a flatworm problem and I was told to get a Hoevans (Melanurus) Wrasse. I went to the LFS and finally found one and put him in the tank. I mean these red planria flatworms were all over everything. I had high hopes for that Melanurus Wrasse and he did not disappoint, within two weeks I couldn't find a flatworm in the tank. He is a beautiful fish, very fast and he keeps the tank in check. He has a permanent home and has earned his keep, besides, he is gorgeous.
     
  10. Carmen

    Carmen Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I didn't think my Melanurus did anything for the flatworms. I sent him back to the fish store when I saw him swallow a Peppermint shrimp practically whole. So I still have the flat worms. It seems like I don't see them for a while, then I'll one day I'll walk by the tank and the poor Flowerpot coral is just covered in them. Now they are starting to bother the ric mushrooms. I have been removing the ones off the rics manually. Impossible to do this with the Flowerpot as it closes up as soon as it's touched. I've dipped it in RODI water and they come right off. But the ones on the inside can't be reached once the coral closes up. Regarding the Flatworm Exit, does it kill snails? I would love to use it and would be glad to start up a carbon filter. Don'[t want my snails to die though.
     
  11. N1Husker

    N1Husker Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if it kills snails or not. I am very reluctant to use chemicals in my tank. I don't think that every Melenurus will eat the flatworms, they are fish, some do, some don't. I do however, before I put a coral in the tank, dip it in Coral Rx for 10 minutes followed by a dip for 5 minutes in Flatworm Exit. I then rinse it in fresh RO water. That has seemed to have kept them out of my tank.
    if it were me I would try the Melenurus again before using Flatworm Exit.
     
  12. Carmen

    Carmen Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to add another fish now. I've gotten a few (smaller) fish since then. I'm afraid the tank would be crowded. I know I should have followed the protocalls you stated, however being a new reefer, there were some things I didn't know about so here I am.

    Does anyone else know if it will kill snails?
     
  13. chaoha

    chaoha Well-Known Member

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    I have used flat worm exit before and it didn't kill the snails but it also didn't kill all the flatworms. I just got Flatworm Solution at lfs and it worked great. That was a month ago and no flatworms.
    You should siphon as many flatworms out as possible before using any chemical remover. They release a toxin when dying that can kill fish and coral. Water change and carbon should be used after treatment
     
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  14. Wiz

    Wiz Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I admit I did not read the first page of this thread. So if I'm being redundant forgive me. Have you tried velvet nudibranches?
     
  15. squareriggersailor

    squareriggersailor Well-Known Member

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    pipefish.jpg Flatworm Exit didn't work for me. It just ruined a really nice tank that has since been decommissioned because it was never the same after the treatments.

    I have had luck with Bluestripe Pipefish eating flatworms, plus they are feisty cool little fish.
     
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  16. Mustbenuts

    Mustbenuts Member

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    The get rid of those flat worms is super easy, depending on the size of your tank, just add 10 - 20 blue-green Chromis or other Damsels, stir up the worms to get them to float for a while and once the fish have picked up the taste of these flat worms they will completely eliminate them in no time at all.
     
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  17. Chris Adams

    Chris Adams Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    sailingboat and prsnlty like this.
  18. fragguy

    fragguy Member

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    Chromis (damselfish) species will take care of them.

    I'm sure that the Chromis solution will not work on all species of Flatworms but on the species that I had (which I believe is referred to as Red Flatworm Convolutriloba retrogemma and looked just like the ones pictured in the first post) they had no problem making them disappear. I placed 5 Chromis in a 350 reef that is well packed with live rock and corals.

    (Mustbenuts) You beat me to it. I got distracted and took to long in the reply box.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  19. Homebrwr

    Homebrwr Well-Known Member

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    So I had an infestation of these buggers a couple of months ago. I was doing water changes and siphoning out what I thought was algea. No experience of what a Flat worm is. Then one day I siphoned into a white bucket rather than a orange Home Depot bucket and noticed the darn things swimming.. UH OH !!!! I called on a friend for advisement. The following is the process I used. I didn't loose any fish but I beleive it might have effected some corals.
    After adding the Flat Worm Exit and seeing the flat worms dying off I used a net to remove as many as I could that were floating around in the display.

    1. 25% water change.
    > Make sure you are siphoning out all of the flatworms that you can see If you can see 100 there is 1000 in there
    > You should barely be able to see any at all. If this means it takes you a month to get to the point where you
    barely see them then it takes a month
    2. 25% water change with hardly any flatworms visible.
    3. Make up as much water as you possibly can and have it on hand ready to go in case you see a problem.
    I would have at least 50% ready to go so 80 or 100 gallons that is the correct temperature and salinity
    4. Have Activated carbon on hand, I use ESV .. there is no phosphates in esv
    >
    What we typically do is do this in 2 stages. 1 for preliminary treatment and to see if we have an OH **** moment.
    and the 2nd treatment to get rid of the remaining.. IF you do it all at once.. you are for sure to have some serious issues..
    >
    READY FOR DOSE / Preferably on say a Saturday where you will be around the carefully watch the tank. and in the morning.

    5. Turn Protein skimmer off… you can just put the air intake under the water …so its still running
    6. Dose the Standard dosage the bottle recommends
    7. wait 1/2 hour.
    8. If everything looks fine and no fish are gasping for air then you can precede to the second dosage that is in
    > additional 1/2 dosage of what they recommend.
    9. Thats it for the 1st dosage.
    >
    > If everything is ok, and you don’t have any issues then you should start in the morning right when the lights come
    > on and end as late in the evening as possible. you would then do the largest water change you can do. Add
    > the activated carbon . and then try to get your skimmer going which will over flow over and over again until
    > everything is removed from the system chemicals etc..
    >
    Also.. as the dosage is going on.. you can always siphone out what flatworms surprise you and continue to do so.
    > Remember the flatworms are toxic and they will redisolve back into the system and polute the system.. thats why we
    > take our time and do the water changes and use the carbon.
    >
    > Wait a couple of days.. no more than say 3
    > Make up your water again and have ready on hand.
    >
    > Follow the exact dosage above….
    > Except..
    > you start with the ending dosage..
    > which would be 1.5 times.. what it recommends..
    > Then you end with a total of 2 times what the recommendation asks for..
    > Make sense????
    > dose 1.5 then wait 1 hour or so.. then if everything is
    > fine.. follow up with the extra .5 dosage.
    >
    > That should be it.
    >
    > I CANNOT STRESS
    > ENOUGH>>>>>>>>>>>
    > that if you can see the flatworms.. there are thousands more that you cannot see.. and that is the real concern
     
  20. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you Chris :) That was an old post and my previous tank. Mine where not the r.p. version and were taken care of by Exit and adding some wrasses :)
     
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