The Battle with Red Planaria Flatworms

Ty Hamatake

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Oh man, this thread gave me flashbacks to when my tank was infested. I let it get way out of hand and didn't get it under control until I moved tanks. Once all the fish and corals were out I pretty much overdosed the tank (I can't remember what I used to save my life) to like 10x the recommended amount, swished the frags in a pretty high concentration, then dosed the new tank to the recommended level. It may have been excessive but it worked...

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v10king

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Ive tried getting rid of flatworms with flat worm exit and it didn't really work at all, they just came back. I had to break down entire tank and quarantine everything then they disappeared. I recommend Bayer dip for everything that goes in to the tank to ensure no new flatworms get into the main display.
 

N1Husker

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Would a coral banded shrimp take care of them?
I have a Coral Banded Shrimp, he didn't touch them. I have also tried Flatworm Exit and it works well as a dip, along with Coral X, when I get new corals, but not overall in the tank. Only after I got the Melanurus Wrasse did I finally get rid of them and I haven't seen any since.
 

dnahas

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Lol yup that's why I study hard on pest control!
Imagine this..
A solution to planaria at less than a tenth of the cost of FWE..
yup it is true!
I am actually going out tomorrow to purchase more planaria (I kinda ran out lol) to get my dosing stages more accurate.
Absolutely no damage to the tank as long as cleanup procedures are followed :) (planaria toxins)
Thank you !
How did the testing go?

I finally created a r2r account to report some interesting results.

I may have stumbled upon a flat worm solution with Lanthanum chloride. I gave up on FWE and bought a melanurus and decided to move some flatworms into his QT tank. When QT was complete I still had flatworms in the tank. I started testing methods to remove turf algae from some rock in the QT, and wanted to fist remove phosphate from the tank. With just the rock and some SPS frags combined with too lazy to use the 5 micron filter socks, I dropped lanthanum chloride straight into the tank. It's a 20G tank and I did not care too much on the dosing so I added 20 drops. After an approximately an hour I noticed the drying flatworms in strings that look the same as if I had just dosed FWE. I dosed 20 drops 48hr later, and probably 30 drops(all that was left in the bottle) 48hr after that.

One week later, It's premature for my results as I am not sure if I have irradiated them. I may have some small ones, but I cant find my magnifying glass.

Now I am curious if it was the sudden drop in alk, or the Lanthanum phosphate that had an affect on the flat worms.
 

Luis Figueroa

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How did the testing go?

I finally created a r2r account to report some interesting results.

I may have stumbled upon a flat worm solution with Lanthanum chloride. I gave up on FWE and bought a melanurus and decided to move some flatworms into his QT tank. When QT was complete I still had flatworms in the tank. I started testing methods to remove turf algae from some rock in the QT, and wanted to fist remove phosphate from the tank. With just the rock and some SPS frags combined with too lazy to use the 5 micron filter socks, I dropped lanthanum chloride straight into the tank. It's a 20G tank and I did not care too much on the dosing so I added 20 drops. After an approximately an hour I noticed the drying flatworms in strings that look the same as if I had just dosed FWE. I dosed 20 drops 48hr later, and probably 30 drops(all that was left in the bottle) 48hr after that.

One week later, It's premature for my results as I am not sure if I have irradiated them. I may have some small ones, but I cant find my magnifying glass.

Now I am curious if it was the sudden drop in alk, or the Lanthanum phosphate that had an affect on the flat worms.
I hear the problem with fwe is that if you don't get them out soon the leech toxins into the tank after dying, is that correct? You mention you dosed the lanthanum chloride into the tank and they showed the symptoms of using fwe but did you suck them out of your tank after you saw that or leave them in?
 
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dnahas

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I hear the problem with fwe is that if you don't get them out soon the leech toxins into the tank after dying, is that correct? You mention you dosed the lanthanum chloride into the tank and they showed the symptoms of using fwe but did you suck them out of your tank after you saw that or leave them in?
FTR I am of the belief that the FWE is just as if not more than toxic than the dying worms. This is a in a tank that was about to be drained. No I did not get them out.

At this point i still can not find any flatworms in my test system.
 

Alex C.

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I've battled with planaria for about 2 months in a mostly softies tank (mushroom, sinularia, zoas, gorgonian, anemones) with two monti plates in a nano tank (25l).

First I tried the recommended FWE treatment with the entire set of instructions, with timing, adding fresh carbon and doing a large (~55%) water change. That seemed to work for about a week until I saw some again. Then I tried the treatment again, which seemed to work for another week or so. The final round was simply treating every 2 days, without carbon and without even siphoning the dead worms anymore for about 4 times in total. It's been 3 weeks since I saw the last red planaria.

Haven't lost any corals during the treatment and only the mushroom looked really stressed during the treatment.
 

Ezeke1

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I've battled with planaria for about 2 months in a mostly softies tank (mushroom, sinularia, zoas, gorgonian, anemones) with two monti plates in a nano tank (25l).

First I tried the recommended FWE treatment with the entire set of instructions, with timing, adding fresh carbon and doing a large (~55%) water change. That seemed to work for about a week until I saw some again. Then I tried the treatment again, which seemed to work for another week or so. The final round was simply treating every 2 days, without carbon and without even siphoning the dead worms anymore for about 4 times in total. It's been 3 weeks since I saw the last red planaria.

Haven't lost any corals during the treatment and only the mushroom looked really stressed during the treatment.
I'm just trying to inderstand but Did you dose for a total of 8 days with treatments every 2 days during that period? Were any of your inverts affected?

I've been dealing with red planaria for close to a year and Ive spent alot of money on flatworm exit but they always manage to come back. My latest effort is to combine flatwormX treatment with natural predation like a christmas wrasse.
 

Alex C.

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I'm just trying to inderstand but Did you dose for a total of 8 days with treatments every 2 days during that period? Were any of your inverts affected?

I've been dealing with red planaria for close to a year and Ive spent alot of money on flatworm exit but they always manage to come back. My latest effort is to combine flatwormX treatment with natural predation like a christmas wrasse.
That's exactly what I did; the initial treatment killed 75-80% which I siphoned out. You can space it out though, for example you can treat every 4 days for 4 times to also kill the newly hatched planaria. It's a matter of timing so maybe you might need to do it again after another 4 days. You can also try overdosing on your own risk

Visibly affected:
- Brittle stars: depending on how much I overdosed, the brittle stars were curling up on the sand, though they did recover after 6hrs treatment and adding the carbon back
- Cirratulid worms: a few of them died with every double dose (so 8 drops instead of 4)

Unaffected: Asterina stars, Cerith snails, Dove snails, Blue legged hermits, Sexy shrimps


I'd be inclined to say that some corals (like Cribrinopsis anemone, some kenia trees, and pulsating xenias) were also a bit stressed, though I did overdose more than Salifert recommends and I left the treatment running for 2-6 hours until re-adding the activated carbon. My next approach was to double dose and leave it running wihtout carbon for 24 hours.

I wish you good luck
 

ReeferSurf

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I got tiny ones... couldn't identify them. They smaller then ants at the moment and they look more long rather then fat when they small. So I dismissed it for the two weeks as flatworms. I notice them moving on glass and the glue area of frags.

Bottom is what mine looks like but red/purple in colour.

http://www.captivereefs.com/forum/attachments/basics/unusual-flatworms-should-i-concerned-flatworm-jpg-3910d1323328762

I guess I will do the FWE treatment but I wouldn't be able to vac them up, looking from above as they still so small.

Better to do FWE treatment 3 times over 3 days, running carbon after each treatment then do a 50% water change or should I be doing water change after each treatment?
 
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Joe Batt

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Is there any reason not to use Flatworm Exit and Red bug treatments whilst new corals are in quarantine just incase there are flatworms or redbugs?
The water amount is limited in the quarantine tank and it's unlikely to affect anything else since by definition its quarantine ......
 
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Alex C.

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Is there any reason not to use Flatworm Exit and Red bug treatments whilst new corals are in quarantine just incase there are flatworms or redbugs?
The water amount is limited in the quarantine tank and it's unlikely to affect anything else since by definition its quarantine ......
It really depends on the ammount of flatworms, if there are any. As they die off, they release toxins into the water column, which can be fatal to corals. You can do a dip in a container where you have Flatworm Exit pre-dosed and then shake the corals to have the planaria fall off.

Since my last encounters I have treated another small tank with losing Xenias and beneficial bacteria (which triggered a bloom), although the treatment was a 5 days period without carbon.
 

rstrann

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If you have a flatworm issue, no matter how severe the infestation, I can't imagine ever resorting to chemical treatments before attempting to eradicate them via blue velvet nudi's. I had a massive outbreak of flatworms many years ago in a 180. Bought two nudi's and they rendered those flatworms EXTINCT within a couple months. We're talking thousands of flatworms, poof, gone. Traded them to a lfs that had an outbreak in a display tank. I haven't seen a flatworm in around 6 years in my 180. High flow can cause nudi's an issue, but I just turned it down while they gorged. Also took out a big hermit that I didn't trust while they did their thing.
 

2Wheelsonly

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If you have a flatworm issue, no matter how severe the infestation, I can't imagine ever resorting to chemical treatments before attempting to eradicate them via blue velvet nudi's. I had a massive outbreak of flatworms many years ago in a 180. Bought two nudi's and they rendered those flatworms EXTINCT within a couple months. We're talking thousands of flatworms, poof, gone. Traded them to a lfs that had an outbreak in a display tank. I haven't seen a flatworm in around 6 years in my 180. High flow can cause nudi's an issue, but I just turned it down while they gorged. Also took out a big hermit that I didn't trust while they did their thing.
Best advice ever, I literally lost thousands upon thousands of dollars in corals and fish by using flatworm exit. The problem with flatworm exit is that IT WORKS and works well. You will have flatworms all up in your rocks that you can't see. The risk of wiping out your tank with toxins is EXTREMELY high. I would ONLY use this product (FWE) if you detected them early but if you see a visible infestation that's difficult to manually remove then most likely FWE will be like dropping a grenade in your tank.

Get the nudi! :)
 

2Wheelsonly

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Ive tried getting rid of flatworms with flat worm exit and it didn't really work at all, they just came back. I had to break down entire tank and quarantine everything then they disappeared. I recommend Bayer dip for everything that goes in to the tank to ensure no new flatworms get into the main display.
FWE needs at least 2 - 3 treatments over the course of 2 weeks as mentioned in the product guide. You're not likely to get them all at once; if anything I would go with a smaller dose so that I don't kill every single one to help out with the toxins. These flatworm toxins pack a punch and will kill stuff in your tank.
 
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brad65ford

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Been leaving with them in my system, dipping when they are smothering hammers, gonnapora's other other corals. We all seem to be doing our own tests, wondering if anyone can convince BRS to do some testing for solutions to this pest.
 

Lninwa

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Several years ago I had these planaria worms in my 55gal. I failed to read the instructions completely so did not do a water change. Well you can guess what happened I lost many of my corals. I had to treat the tank a second time but did the water change. They never came back.
 

ChuzUThisDay

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Ohh flatworm :)
I absolutely love them!
Red, brown, clear, what ever color they come in are fun
Its true you MUST keep up on massive amounts of carbon and water changes.
Maybe its an illness I have but I have found 1 thing these guys absolutely will not tolerate and die a for sure death.

Peroxide
What's the secret mixture? I've been told that dosing 1ml peroxide : 10 gal tank water is the ratio for treating algae/cyano. Is this similar for treating flatworms?
 

Coronus

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Melanarus Wrasse! End of flatworms. Done!
No chemicals. Natural predators do it best.
Plus he keeps other pest in check as well. Awesome working fish. Might make quick work of your small snails. He wont touch the big Mexicans though.
Mellow personality. Hunts all day. Sees something on the rocks move and he gets it. Done!
 
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