getting rid of flatworms

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by reefer2b, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. reefer2b

    reefer2b

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    I finally figured out what these things are; I should say I finally found the pic on melevsreef.com
    It seems getting rid of them isn't the easiest of tasks. I tried siphoning them the other day when I cleaned the tank. I don't think but a few actually made it out of the tank. I was wondering what you might have done to get rid of these things? I'd rather add another fish than use a product since everything says these worms can make your take somewhat toxic when they die.
    Also, are there any other sites that show pictures for identification of things. I've got another group of worms? that I'm not sure what they are.
     
    reefer2b, Mar 23, 2009
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  2. reefer2b

    RyanG ^*Eternal Dumbass*^

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    Flatworm exit, lots of siphoning, large waterchanges and carbon.

    First manually remove all that you can.
    Dose flatworm exit,
    siphon out all that you can see
    do several large water changes
    run carbon

    Good luck they are a lot of work to get rid of and can be risky as they are toxic. Wrasses are known predators of flatworms too if that helps.
     
    RyanG, Mar 23, 2009
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  3. reefer2b

    cthegame

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    ryan has you covered
     
    cthegame, Mar 23, 2009
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  4. reefer2b

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    I agree,Ryans got it covered..
    Bout all you can do is dose the flatworm exit and siphon em out as they die.
     
    yote, Mar 23, 2009
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  5. reefer2b

    daugherty part time reefer

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    on the end of a siphion tube tie a pair of pantyhose to it for a strainer and than use the flatworm exit and start to siphion them out as you are doing it let the water drain back into a sump or a bucket if you use a bucket have someone there to help you so that you can just plug the end of the tube when the bucket gets full and dump the water back into the tank that way you dont have to try and start a new siphion. than when you think you got all you can get out start running tons of carbon to clean the system of any toxic crap. than repeat in a couple days. you probably have hundreds and hundreds of them in the rock that you cannot see.
     
    daugherty, Mar 23, 2009
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  6. reefer2b

    Reefrookie Not so new anymore! VIP Member

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    If you have red planaria flatworms, the pantyhose will not work on the real small ones. They will go thru it. I suggest using a sump sock to strain into. That will get them all. I had to dose FE twice ( both times a stronger dose than suggested) to get them under control, and I still syphon a few out a week.I am not suggesting you to overdose with FE, but that seems to be the only way it worked for me. I used a lb. of carbon for every 50 gal. thru 3 power filters, to remove the toxins. After the carbon treatment, I did a 40 gal. water change. Everything faired pretty well in the tank. Corals closed for a day, feather dusters turned stringy for a day, and all my fish were very aggressive for a few hours after. I guess I would be too!:twocents:
     
    Reefrookie, Mar 24, 2009
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  7. reefer2b

    JAG107

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    Read up on Interceptor, its a flea medication for dogs available as a prescription from a veterinarian. I know little about dosing this, but I think from what I've read it's great for acro eating flatworms and other pests.
     
    JAG107, Mar 24, 2009
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  8. reefer2b

    simpleman

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    Interceptor works great for Red Bugs, it will stun AEFW's long enough to shake them off a coral ( I've never heard of it killing them) Flatworm exit works but it's a serious chore. Personally I got a couple wrasses and they cleaned the FW's up. If you run FW exit make sure to run carbon. Whatever you do I wish you good luck..
     
    simpleman, Mar 24, 2009
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  9. reefer2b

    reefer2b

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    Thanks for the help. I've only got a 29 Gal tank with four fish. I think I could handle one more since I still don't have problems with ammonia or nitrates. Any particular type of wrasse better than another? I've got 2 clowns a Coral Beauty and a Royal Gramma. The only fish with an attitude is the Coral Beauty but it settles down after a day or so. The clowns just kick some sand around the new additions then leave them alone.
    I might get some exit the next time I go the LFS.
     
    reefer2b, Mar 24, 2009
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  10. reefer2b

    reefer2b

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    Now that I know that when these things die off they are toxic I was wondering if maybe that's what the real problem with my fish was a few weeks ago. I noticed a bunch of dead worms on the bottom of the tank but not knowing what they were I didn't give it much thought.
    When you say run carbon. Do you mean through the filter? Should I run extra carbon bags in the filter?
     
    reefer2b, Mar 24, 2009
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  11. reefer2b

    Reefrookie Not so new anymore! VIP Member

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    Correct

    Use a canister or power filter with the carbon. I don't think just putting it in a media bag full of carbon is going to do anything, and I would not recommend it when using FE. You need to get the toxins out as fast as you can.
     
    Reefrookie, Mar 24, 2009
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  12. reefer2b

    DaveA

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    I siphoned out hundreds, maybe thousands, of flatworms. I did it several times. Then I dosed with FWExit. I used the recommended dosage (5 drops per 4 liters - and then after 45 minutes since there were some still living another 2.5 drops per 4 liters). It didn't kill them, so I was going to do another 2.5 drops per 4 liters, but there wasn't enough. The instructions says one bottle is enough for 300 gallons (I have 140), but it didn't kill many flatworms. It did kill a few which I siphoned out. I thought I had put the carbon on too early (I don't know if the carbon removes the FWExit), so I bought another bottle, and started with the 7.5 drops per 4 liters. After 45 minutes, I dosed the rest of the bottle (which was only a little bit). None of them died in the second treatment. I didn't put the ccarbon on or turn the skimmer on for hours. Since none of the FWs died, none of the fish or corals ever looked sick.

    I've been sihponing them out, but they keep coming back and they're killing my zoas.

    What do I do? Is a reef safe wrasse the only option?
     
    DaveA, Apr 7, 2009
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  13. reefer2b

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Some of the smaller wrasses would help with the flat worms.
     
    yote, Apr 7, 2009
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  14. reefer2b

    JAG107

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    Yellow coris wrasse is supposed to like FW. Not a guarantee, but they're cheap. Worth a shot maybe. It might not eat a whole infestation of them, but it may keep the numbers under control, I dunno...
     
    JAG107, Apr 7, 2009
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  15. reefer2b

    reefer2b

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    I got a six line wrasse. He picks at them but there are way to many. I'm thinking of trying the FWE. I'm going to take as many rocks out of my take as is possible without making a huge mess and put them in a tub of salt water and dose them in that. Hopefully they'll die in there and not foul up the tank water. I'll syphon what I can out of the tank then dose my tank without the rocks in there. I figure that way there'll be less fw in the tank to mess it up and harm the fish. Any leftovers will be the job of the wrasse. I still need to go get the FWE and extra water.
     
    reefer2b, Apr 8, 2009
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  16. reefer2b

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    If your infestation is so bad that you have thousands of them, then a wrasse is barely going to make a dent in their population. They are breeding so much faster than any wrasse could ever eat them.

    I'd suggest dosing the Flatworm Exit again, but using a stronger dose and leaving it in longer this time. With a really bad infestation like yours, medication is pretty much the only solution :(
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 8, 2009
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  17. reefer2b

    simpleman

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    I had a small infestation of FW's that a yellow coris wrasse wiped out in about a week.
     
    simpleman, Apr 13, 2009
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