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Old 05/16/2018, 08:31 AM   #1
Mock
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Question Red Planaria Flatworms

To make a long story short, the tank was neglected.

250 gallon display with about 150 in sump and frag tank.

To add to that, it went through my wife getting cancer in 2011 and myself getting cancer in 2013, three kids and being on the back shelf for a few years in between.

About 3 years ago it started having an issue with planaria worms, the little red ones, not the big clear or brown ones. Flatworm exit was used to the tune of about 3 times, to no avail, they always came back.

After about a year now, these things have hit plague levels. Not meaning a few but a gazillion. They now cover the sand and the rock work, never harming the corals but EVERYWHERE else.

We are looking at a complete tear down. Removing all the rock and just basically cooking it in the Arkansas sun, placing the sand in baskets and washing it and letting it cook in the sun as well and restarting the tank after every last thing has had its chance to hit 110 degrees in the back yard. (of course the livestock would be taken to the lfs)

Any thoughts, ideas or input is welcome.


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250g In-Wall, 75g fuge, 40g sump, 20g frag tank, Aqua Euro PS-400, RK Elite, 2x400w 14k Halides, 270w T5 supplements, 2 MP40s, 2 WP40s, MRC-6

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Old 05/16/2018, 09:01 AM   #2
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They're pretty easy to suck up with a siphon. Before I tore everything down, I'd start with trying to remove as many as possible that way.

I've got them in my tank now. I have some tubing that I attached a length of rigid tubing to and I use that as a vacuum. I'll get the siphon going and send the water through a filter sock as I vacuum a bunch of them out of the tank. You're not removing any water from the tank, so you can do it for a long time. I use a turkey baster to get them into the water column and away from the corals if they won't let go on their own. That suction can damage the soft corals that they seem to prefer to live on.

Adding a wrasse that will eat them, additional rounds of Flatworm exit, and the routine of sucking them out physically may get them under control for you without completely restarting the tank. You may never get rid of them, but you can beat them back to acceptable levels.


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Old 05/16/2018, 09:11 AM   #3
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These are totally different than your average flatworm. They do not live on corals. Not a single coral I have is affected by these things. They litterally COVER the sand bed though and the rock as well as the glass.


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NO3-2, P04 -.02, Alk 7.8, Cal 400, Mag 1480
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Old 05/16/2018, 10:01 AM   #4
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Have you tried a Six Line or Leopard Wrasse?
The Blue Damsel even has been reported to be a highly effective hunter/consumer of them..


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Old 05/16/2018, 10:15 PM   #5
2_zoa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mock View Post
To make a long story short, the tank was neglected.

250 gallon display with about 150 in sump and frag tank.

To add to that, it went through my wife getting cancer in 2011 and myself getting cancer in 2013, three kids and being on the back shelf for a few years in between.

Any thoughts, ideas or input is welcome.
Iím going to assume a bit here......
Iím very happy that you both beat the cancer!!!! Damn nice to have you both still with us.

On the tank, given what youíve been through. Me, not having experienced anything like that. Itís hard for me to think that flat worms will cause you to throw in the towel and start over.
As has been mentioned, Iíd start with a natural predator like a wrasse or two. You can always remove a fish or two and keep just one after their populations have been reduced or eradicated.


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Old 05/17/2018, 07:14 AM   #6
Mock
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LOL, Yes, we both beat it. We have survived the kids too so far.

We talked a little about it last night and we are going to give the predators a chance. Its a lot of rock, a very established tank and I dont like the idea of tearing it down if we dont have to.

I plan to keep this thread going for both my records and for others who are overrun with these things.


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NO3-2, P04 -.02, Alk 7.8, Cal 400, Mag 1480
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Old 05/17/2018, 07:18 AM   #7
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I have a 25 year old 75G established tank. Five years ago Red Planaria infestation came up. While Flatworm Exit kills flat worms, it does not kill all of them. After three treatments, I realized that I have made them resistant to chemical eradication.

Get a Wrasse eating fish. I used a Melanarious Wrasse. They are not mean like 6 line can be.


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Old 05/17/2018, 02:17 PM   #8
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Six line wrasses can be tyrants. I have a Hoeven's wrasse and they are reported to do a good job on flatworms.


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Old 05/17/2018, 04:16 PM   #9
Subsea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2_zoa View Post
I’m going to assume a bit here......
I’m very happy that you both beat the cancer!!!! Damn nice to have you both still with us.

On the tank, given what you’ve been through. Me, not having experienced anything like that. It’s hard for me to think that flat worms will cause you to throw in the towel and start over.
As has been mentioned, I’d start with a natural predator like a wrasse or two. You can always remove a fish or two and keep just one after their populations have been reduced or eradicated.
Mock,
This is good advice. I used Melanarious Wrasse. On your size tank they will get > 4”. There temperament is sooo peaceful. You could put several in your system. Cost about $20. Did I say they were beautiful fish with lateral lines of orange, green and blue.


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Old 05/17/2018, 07:21 PM   #10
NO3
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destroys flatworms in the matter of a few days


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Old 05/18/2018, 07:17 AM   #11
Mock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subsea View Post
Mock,
This is good advice. I used Melanarious Wrasse. On your size tank they will get > 4Ē. There temperament is sooo peaceful. You could put several in your system. Cost about $20. Did I say they were beautiful fish with lateral lines of orange, green and blue.
I have had a Melanarious Wrasse, he lasted about 2 weeks, did nothing and come up missing. I put a tub of sand in for him and everything. I can only assume he didnt use it, got eaten while sleeping or something. Never found him.

Levamisole anyone?


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250g In-Wall, 75g fuge, 40g sump, 20g frag tank, Aqua Euro PS-400, RK Elite, 2x400w 14k Halides, 270w T5 supplements, 2 MP40s, 2 WP40s, MRC-6

NO3-2, P04 -.02, Alk 7.8, Cal 400, Mag 1480
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Old 05/18/2018, 12:07 PM   #12
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I have the same problem going on in one of my five tanks. I bought a yellow Cori's wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus) in an attempt to fight them. While the population seems to be dropping I cannot say for sure that it's due to the wrasse. Perhaps it is eating them but it's a less preferred food to pods.


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Old 05/18/2018, 12:11 PM   #13
Subsea
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Quote:
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I have had a Melanarious Wrasse, he lasted about 2 weeks, did nothing and come up missing. I put a tub of sand in for him and everything. I can only assume he didnt use it, got eaten while sleeping or something. Never found him.

Levamisole anyone?

Obviously there are exceptions to every rule. My wrasse is alive after 5 years and yours died in less than two weeks.

Melanarious Wrasse eats Red Planaria as well as most members of detrivore crew. They feed as well on oyster flesh. I starved him to first get him started. There are no visible flat worms in my 75G Jaubert Plenum tank set up for 25 years.


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Current Tank Info: 10,000G. Greenhouse Macro Growout

Last edited by Subsea; 05/18/2018 at 12:18 PM.
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