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Getting Rid of Red Flatworms

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ajkochev View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 27 2013 at 2:57pm
I'm getting a lot of the red flat worms. My tank is small, what would be good to get rid of them in a small tank?

Tank:
5 gallon hex
Setup Dec, 2012
1/2 gallon vacuum and water change weekly.
Distilled water used for top off and WC.

Everything looks good, params are where they should be, just a lot of flatworms starting to populate.
Tank: .5 Gallon Pico
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2013 at 3:00pm
Flatworm Exit should do the job nicely but that kind of depends on what stock you have in the tank and how sensitive they are.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajkochev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2013 at 3:04pm
I have:
Mostly hardy, general run of the mill soft corals and some plating montis. A large featherduster worm, cleaner shrimp and bali star. A few standard CUC inverts. No fish.
Tank: .5 Gallon Pico
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aceofspadeskb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2013 at 3:05pm
Melanurus wrasse.

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=15+1379+2285&pcatid=2285
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aceofspadeskb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2013 at 3:06pm
scratch that...5 gallon tank.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2013 at 3:12pm
Originally posted by aceofspadeskb aceofspadeskb wrote:

scratch that...5 gallon tank.
 
My thought too until I saw tank size. A coris wrasse might help but that is not their favorite food like the melanarus.
 
I've had potters wrasse that ate them also, but again a bit large for 5 gallon. Best bet might just be the chemical warfare.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2013 at 7:52pm
Flatworm exit and call it good.  Stuff is amazing.

Adam
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2013 at 7:57pm
Flatworm Exit or other like product (a few other companies sell something similar.) You can also use PraziPro, but it's a little too good.

Follow the directions with FWE...siphon out as many as you can first.

Also, study after study has shown that wrasses do not actually ingest the flatworms, and if a piece of flatworm brain tissue remains, it can regenerate itself. Wrasses can help control them by nibbling, but they're not 100%.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hogie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2013 at 8:50pm
+1 to flat worm exit. Cleaned mine right up when I had a had an outbreak a while ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2013 at 9:30am
Aloha.

There is a chemical that does a great job eradicating Flatworms and it is less costly than FW Exit. It's called Levamisole Hydrochloride and I have some. For a 5 gal tank it would take like $5 of the stuff. I would be happy to help you clear up this problem. Here is the thread we did which discusses the modified procedure that saves a lot of the hassle and ensures nothing in the tank is lost. This thread is located in the WMAS Reefkeeping Tips:

How to eradicate pest Flatworms: http://www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=31636

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Mark Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2013 at 11:19am
Levamisole is a pig dewormer and has been shown time and time again to cause 40-60% losses in sps...which the OP stated he has.

I have not tried the above "modified procedure" but I would highly caution against levamisole. There are much safer treatments, such as FWE.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beege29 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2013 at 1:49pm
+1000 on flat worm exit, good stuff, i used it one time to kill 1000's of the litlle buggers, need a healthy waterchange after they are all scooped out or filtered out though. And it didn't harm a single coral (sps and lps) or fish.


Edited by beege29 - June 28 2013 at 1:50pm
90 gallon mixed reef
30 gallon sump
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2013 at 2:55pm
I have not heard of those studies but I'm not sure it matters. In my use of Lavamisole using the method of close observation during increasing dosage, I cannot remember ever having problems with SPS. I have seen too many hobbyists ruin their tank with the full dosage procedure because they had no idea there was such a massive population of the little buggers. (For every visible flatworm there are dozens more.)

A large population of Flatworms dieing all at once can poison the water to the extreme. It could be a response similar to the defense mechanism of a Sea Slug or as Flatworm Exit suggests in the instructions, their toxic body fluids expelled as they die, but one thing is clear - It can be lethal to almost all organisms.

I encourage use of the modified procedure for both products. I believe it is a logical approach to the use of such powerful chemicals in the infinitely variable environments of our reef aquariums. For me, it also makes things a lot nicer because it is so much easier to change AC than do large water changes. Speaking of the variable environment of each different aquarium, I also suggest that if a reasonable attempt with one product does not complete the job, try the other product. (Unfortunately, I have seen a few Flatworms hang on at 2x full dosage.)

That's my 2 cents.

Aloha,
Mark Hug



Edited by Mark Peterson - June 29 2013 at 3:05pm
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