Needing help identifying red things all over the sand and rock

Discussion in 'Identification' started by ashex27x, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. ashex27x

    ashex27x

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    If anyone can please let me know what these red things are I would appreciate it. I have saltwater aquariums for 10 years and have never had these things and I have no idea what they are. I keep sucking them out of the sand and they seem to go down in the sand and then when I am done within 10 minutes or so they are back covering the sand. I thought it was an algae but they appear to move. Thanks for any help!!! photo (14).jpg

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    Sorry the pictures aren't that great. My lights are on a timer and I didn't want to turn them on and have to mess with the timer. I can post more pics tomorrow if need be. Thanks again!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
    ashex27x, Jan 25, 2012
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  2. ashex27x

    little_fish Moderator

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    eek!

    Those are flatworms, you kill them with flatworm exit. The treatment is safe, but the flatworms release a toxin as they die so its important that you remove as many as you can before dosing and then suck them up as they die. They jump into the water column so its pretty easy. Then run carbon for a few days and do another waterchange.
     
    little_fish, Jan 25, 2012
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  3. ashex27x

    Solarfall Totally Gnar

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    +1 littlefish

    They're a huge PITA species of flatworm typically called Planaria.

    They aren't parasitic or anything, but they multiply to the point where they smother everything in a tank they inhabit.

    If this tank is new and doesn't have any life in it yet use Flatworm Exit and double the dose it reccomends. If you already have fish and corals in the tank, be prepared for a long and painful struggle.
     
    Solarfall, Jan 25, 2012
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  4. ashex27x

    ashex27x

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    Thanks for helping me identify these things.

    My original tank was a 40 gallon which I had up and running for almost 10 years without any problems. I recently switched it to a 90 gallon which has been a very slow process to keep my 10 year old maroon clown fish safe. I bought a couple pieces of rock from a pet store which was out of someone else's tank and I think these flatworms came from that. I originally thought it was algae cause they didn't appear to move until I sat there staring at them for a long time.

    Couple questions... I have been reading on how to treat them and I don't want to take the route of using Flatworm exit just yet. Do you think I could get a handle on them if I siphoned every day and then use a little bit of the flatworm exit or maybe add a wrasse once they are almost under control. I do not want to loose my clown fish, I have had him too long..he even eats out of my hand!!!!
     
    ashex27x, Jan 25, 2012
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  5. ashex27x

    Solarfall Totally Gnar

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    I fought these things for a very long time while working at a pet store for a few years. It's really just one of those things you want to get rid of in one foul swoop.

    If you just have your maroon clown, just do yourself a favor and give the clown his own small tank and get rid of these things with a good old nuking.

    They WILL come back if you don't eradicate them, they reproduce like crazy and aren't a direct harm for fish or mobile inverts. But they look like hell and will smother corals and sessile inverts.
     
    Solarfall, Jan 25, 2012
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  6. ashex27x

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    If you can see them on your glass, sand and rocks, then it's more than any fish can handle naturally. And it looks like your tank is smothered with them. There is no other option with an infestation that bad than to use Flatworm Exit.

    Flatworms are one of the most common pests in this hobby. They can hitch hike in on rocks, corals, sand, basically anything you put in your tank. I have had to treat my tank for flatworms on multiple occasions. And that is a fullblown reef tank with 20 or so fish, tons of inverts and stocked to the brim with corals. I guarantee you -- almost everyone that has had a reef tank has had to deal with them at some point!

    As little_fish said, Flatworm Exit is very effective and safe -- but you have to remove the dying flatworms as they die. It's pretty easy to do, they start to freak out in the water. You can skim them out with a net, or attach a piece of tubing to each end of a powerhead, and put some mesh on the bottom tube, and vacuum them out like that.

    Here is a useful article:
    Melevsreef.com - Flatworms | How to eliminate them!

    I wouldn't waste any time... That infestation is BAD. It needs to get taken care of ASAP.
     
    Bifferwine, Jan 25, 2012
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  7. ashex27x

    Smitty

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    I used a turkey baster to remove them when I had them...and then used flatworm exit to kill any I missed. Make sure to do a nice water change a few days after treating.
     
    Smitty, Jan 25, 2012
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  8. ashex27x

    Drvillen

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    Been there, when I first started my tank. Posted on here before it got really bad, fortunately I was able to get a 6 line wrasse, did not feed him much and he went at them, within a week they had all disappeared. Holy crap that is a lot of flatworms!!! :death: to flatworms!
     
    Drvillen, Jan 26, 2012
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  9. ashex27x

    AmberSunrise

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    Yes those are definitely flatworms everyone has you covered on treatment good luck!
     
    AmberSunrise, Jan 27, 2012
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