Need red planaria advice

DavidS

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Hi Everyone,

So I have a red flatworm infestation in my 38 G tank with hang on back refugium, skimmer and Phosban reactor.
I bought some Flatworm Exit which I intend to use this Sunday when I make my water change.
As far as I can tell it is quite an infestation. I see several "mats" of them on the LR and some on the glass.
I have a good deal of LR and a DSB so I'm sure what I'm seeing is just a small sampling of the total population.
I have been taking out as many as I can, manually, for the last week. Seems to be no end.
I'm therefore wondering what I would need to do to get rid of these critters.
I'm concerned about the effects from the die off after using FE and how it would effect the other members of the tank.
Fish include a Yellow Tang, Flame Angel and a 6 Line Wrasse which has shown no interest in the flatworms.
I have quite a number of corals, including some expensive ones (Scolymias, WD Tenuis and an Orange Passion Acro). I don't like the idea of losing any of my corals, especially not them.
I also have a fairly large size Zoa Garden on the sand and was wondering if they might release Paly Toxin if they are stressed out; creating a double whammy.
I've already read the instructions for the FE and I have a general idea on how to proceed but I was wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation and what they may have done and how it turned out.
Thanks
DavidS
 

DavidS

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Thanks for the advice
The 6 Line hasn't been able to handle the worms and doesn't seem interested, anyway.

So beginning tomorrow morning, I will start the treatment with Flatworm exit.
here is what I plan to do:

1. remove as many as I can manually
2. Will not be aggressive dosing the FE, rather I will start slowly. I'd rather make two treatments then be too aggressive.
The instructions calls for about 28 drops, for my tank. I will start with 20. If I see no activity, I will add another 10.
3. Normally I skim for 6 hours at night. I will be wet skimming from the get go.
4. Will be running Rox carbon actively via a Phosban 150 and passively in a filter in my HOB refugium.
5. I anticipate clearer water due to the heavy carbon use. Accordingly, I will half the intensity of my Radion lights.
6. I have already prepared 30% water change and have plenty more RODI water to make more on the spot.

My goal is to minimize stress to all other tank inhabitants.
I'll let everyone know how things turn out
 

DavidS

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For anyone that may be interested:

Began treatment at 10:30 AM, yesterday. Within seconds the visible flatworms were on the move. Withing minutes they were dying off. Netted some and began water change.
(Did a 50% water change staggered over an 8 hour period).

Affect on Corals:
Zoas closed up within minutes of treatment - but they reopened several hours later.
Blasto closed up but is looking better today.
Acros appeared unaffected by the treatment.
Orange Setosa is off color (tan rather than orange) and also a bit of a coloration issue with my grafted Capricornus. Nothing major.
Inverts:
Coco Worm is Ok but I haven't seen any of my red legged hermits.
Serpent Starfish is not sending out his tentacles as much from under the rocks.
FISH
Within a short period of time my Yellow Tang and Six Line Wrasse were obviously stressed while my Flame Angel appeared unaffected.
In the case of the Six line; I never observed him eating any flatworms prior to treatment, but once the dying or dead flatworms began floating through the water column he began picking them off.
Predictably, shortly thereafter, he began waving his pectoral fins furiously and swam in a. upward orientation. He was like into nighttime.
I haven't seen him today. He may be hiding in the rock work or dead.
The yellow Tang is doing much better. Swimming in the open and accepting some food.
The Flame Angel, however, is spending more time in the rock work, than usual, but is coming out for food.
UPDATE
Just went over to the tank to see how things were going. I thought I saw one of the red legged crabs and when I went over I noticed it was a red legged crab, but dead and minus its shell. It was actually right at the side of the carcass of the Six Line Wrasse.

CONCLUSIONS

I'm hoping that the carbon will remove any remaining toxins and the Yellow Tang and Flame Angel will survive, as well as the other members of the tank.
It's ironic that I thought that the corals in the tank would be most stressed by the treatment. Instead it was the other way around.

My original intention was to perform 2 or more treatments to get rid of the flatworms (yes they are still around).
For that reason, I intentionally dosed about 20% less than what was recommended for my tank size.
I am thankful I did this. Had I dosed anymore it could have killed the other fish.
If I had overdosed the FE it may well have wiped out the tank.

Based on my brief experience with this product, I would say that it may well work in a Frag or Coral tank that does not have any fish. Otherwise it's a gamble.
And you definitely DO NOT want to add this product if you have animals that may eat flatworms.

My final thought is since I still have the flatworms in my tank and I do not want to use flatworm eXit are there any animals that will go after the flatworms.

Is it possible this Six Line was a "Dud" and most Six Lines will eat the worms?
Intuitively it occurs to me that if they ate too many wouldn't they be poisoned by it?
If anyone has actual experience dealing with this, I'd really like to hear from them.
Thanks
David
 

Reefer Nista

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I have flatworm exit on the way here as it is noticeable. I noticed the dead ones which looked like the snails claw that pushes it over or ahead. Then I saw more and now have in the bigger tank downstairs. Red slime is present but not as bad as 2 months ago when I started Vibrant. Then I saw them. Red Slime is almost not there, just stained a little but holes where they live is awful. I have attached some pictures and would love to know what the round one is. I have fear about medicating, but its necessary.
 

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Caseyoidae

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I’d use a turkey baster to blast them into the water column. If the sixline won’t eat them try a melanarus. Mines a killing machine lol I swear he just kills pods for fun and lets my angel eat them. Some have also suggested yellow coris.
 

Reefcowboy

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FYI
Ive been battling those for years. Have used bottles and bottles of Flatworm Exit, which work great, but they ways come back...
I've learned to deal with them. I have a display refugium plumed to my system and the planaria thrives in there while the main display is always clean because my coris wrasse eats them all. That is the only wrasse I've found that loves to eat them.
I plan on getting another for the refugium and know it will eradicate them because the planaria cannot blend in among algae, they stick out. Havent done it yet because I have to get a screen so the wrasse doesnt jump.
Trust me on this, this pest will linger in your tank. It is ok because if you get a natural predator they keep them at bay and you wont see them. They dont bother coral, unless are overpopulated.
Flatworm exit is only a temporary aid.
 

homegrowncichlid

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Personally, I believe the flat worms that we encounter in the hobby are already resistant to Exit, and require 2x or 3x the dosage. Flat worms have been in the holding tanks and transportation network for years, and I'm sure Exit has been used over and over again, resulting in resistant flatworms. A wild flat worm would be sensitive to it. If you use Exit, use it like an antibiotic. As for risks, I've had a tang suck up a dead flatworm and die instantly. It thought it was a pellet. Yes once the flat worm is dead, the mass must be removed somehow, as it contains toxins. (I also believe the toxin goes inert within a short time, because otherwise the entire tank would die out.) So, use Exit, till you see some worms die. Don't use anymore till their toxins breakdown or skim out, to keep the poison of the water as non toxic as possible. Wait till they clear up, and repeat. With each cycle you'll kill off (lets say 10%) and you'll kill them off faster than they reproduce, while keeping the toxins within tolerable levels. Eventually the worm population will drop down to almost nothing. At this point you can nuke the whole tank at 2 or 3x the dosage to kill the last 1% off. There would be so few worms now that their toxins would not be noticeable. Have I been able to get that last 1%? nope, just couldn't get rid of them in the past.
I also believe in natural predation, but you have to bring the population down to almost nothing before predators will keep them in check.
Darkness also starves out the flatworms, and I believe if kept in the dark, they will become less toxic as they get weaker/thinner.
In my current 5 gallon tank, the killifish I caught locally ate the flatworms up.
 

Reefcowboy

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Personally, I believe the flat worms that we encounter in the hobby are already resistant to Exit, and require 2x or 3x the dosage. Flat worms have been in the holding tanks and transportation network for years, and I'm sure Exit has been used over and over again, resulting in resistant flatworms. A wild flat worm would be sensitive to it. If you use Exit, use it like an antibiotic. As for risks, I've had a tang suck up a dead flatworm and die instantly. It thought it was a pellet. Yes once the flat worm is dead, the mass must be removed somehow, as it contains toxins. (I also believe the toxin goes inert within a short time, because otherwise the entire tank would die out.) So, use Exit, till you see some worms die. Don't use anymore till their toxins breakdown or skim out, to keep the poison of the water as non toxic as possible. Wait till they clear up, and repeat. With each cycle you'll kill off (lets say 10%) and you'll kill them off faster than they reproduce, while keeping the toxins within tolerable levels. Eventually the worm population will drop down to almost nothing. At this point you can nuke the whole tank at 2 or 3x the dosage to kill the last 1% off. There would be so few worms now that their toxins would not be noticeable. Have I been able to get that last 1%? nope, just couldn't get rid of them in the past.
I also believe in natural predation, but you have to bring the population down to almost nothing before predators will keep them in check.
Darkness also starves out the flatworms, and I believe if kept in the dark, they will become less toxic as they get weaker/thinner.
In my current 5 gallon tank, the killifish I caught locally ate the flatworms up.
FWIW, I've nuked my tank with 4x the dosage(was determined to kill them even if it risked the corals) and got the same results with them still coming back.
I did however notice if you treat repeatedly, every other day for three treatments or more you will get their population reduced dramatically. Sps coral's are bothered by it and some of mine didnt extend polyps for a good while after I treated he tank which tells me there is risk to flatworm exit.

Like I mentioned previously, a coris wrasse keeps them at minimum numbers a d they do not bother the corals so IMO get a wrasse and use the natural approach
 

brooklynreefers

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This is a pretty old thread, but alot of people don't know but scooter blennies will eat them 95%- 99% of the time. We use to have red flatworms all over our corals, even if they don't bother the corals.
I work at POTO and we use to have this problem and taking pictures use to be a pain because we would have to blow them off and then wait for corals to open back up.

we have found that 1-2 scooter blennies per 150 gallon system cleaned up the whole tank in very little time.

PS we have only notice they will eat the red planaria flat worms

You're welcome =D
 

D-Roms

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I just did my tank yesterday. I agree with everyone. Straight dosage just annoyed them. The worms speeding on the corals annoyed the corals so much that they closed up. I saw no worms on SPS but the LPS were infested, especially the gonis and elegance. With the corals closed, it was easy to use a length of airline tubing to suck the worms off the corals. Double dosage hopefully killed off the rest.
 

ben1020

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I have flatworm exit on the way here as it is noticeable. I noticed the dead ones which looked like the snails claw that pushes it over or ahead. Then I saw more and now have in the bigger tank downstairs. Red slime is present but not as bad as 2 months ago when I started Vibrant. Then I saw them. Red Slime is almost not there, just stained a little but holes where they live is awful. I have attached some pictures and would love to know what the round one is. I have fear about medicating, but its necessary.
The disc is most likely a snails operculum
 
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