Red Flatworms.... hundreds....thousands.... *#&*&#*$&*

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by koda_dad, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. koda_dad

    koda_dad Mr. Paranoid

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    Well...I am super unimpressed at the moment... I have been noticing this tiny red specs on my sand and on the bottom of my glass for a few weeks... and honestly I thought it was tiny pieces of nori that had been chopped up into tin bits by the powerheads....

    Well today I was thinking....there seems to be a lot more of these things... and on closer examination they also appeared to be all the same size which made me start to doubt my nori explanation...

    Well after some creative googling I am pretty sure what I have are Red Flatworms.

    I can only think that they came over with one of the corals I recently got... :frustrat::frustrat::frustrat::frustrat::frustrat:

    With my new tank coming...I want these things gone before I move into the new tank. The only thing I read online was using a product called Flatworm Exit... doesnt sound like the safest approach...

    I do have a sixline wrasse but I can say I have never seen him eat any...

    Anyone have any advice? Some other details... (58G, no sump, tailspot blennie, sixline wrasse, 2 - picasso clowns, purple tang, purple firefish)

    Currently they only seem to be on the glass and sand...but my thoughts are they have to be on some of the rock too....

    Also anyone have any good photos of a tank infested with these?
     
    koda_dad, Oct 4, 2010
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  2. koda_dad

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    Koda, flatworm exit is reef safe. I just bought some because I'm seeing them on my glass now
     
    BL1, Oct 4, 2010
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  3. koda_dad

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Use the Flatworm Exit. It's actually pretty safe. I think almost all of us have had to deal with flatworms at some point! It sucks, but Flatworm Exit is pretty safe and effective, so there are worse things you could be dealing with.

    If you have so many that you start to see them, then there are too many for a fish to handle. And fishes like mandarins and wrasses may eat them, but they may not.

    If you can see them on the glass and sand, they are most likely all over your rocks and corals too. They blend in very easily and are great at hiding.

    When you use the Flatworm Exit, just make sure you have some carbon ready to run for a few days afterwards, and that you have water ready to do some water changes right afterwards. The Flatworm Exit medication itself is not toxic to your tank, but the flatworms are when they die. That's why you should suck as many out beforehand as you can with some tubing attached to a powerhead, and suck up as many of their bodies as possible when they die.
     
    Bifferwine, Oct 4, 2010
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  4. koda_dad

    koda_dad Mr. Paranoid

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    If you get a sec could you snap a photo? Just want to see if these are the same thing....they sure dont look like they are moving..or like worms....??
     
    koda_dad, Oct 4, 2010
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  5. koda_dad

    koda_dad Mr. Paranoid

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    When should I do this?? Now? wait until I move some stuff over to the new tank?? thoughts?
     
    koda_dad, Oct 4, 2010
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  6. koda_dad

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Do it ASAP. Anything you move to the new tank will be carrying the flatworms. Treat everything before you move stuff over. Unless you want to treat the new tank again later on...
     
    Bifferwine, Oct 4, 2010
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  7. koda_dad

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    I can't find the pic I took but, they look similar to this [​IMG]
     
    BL1, Oct 4, 2010
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  8. koda_dad

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    If you can't see them, how do you suck them up after they die? I actually haven't dosed my tank yet because I don't have a way of running carbon yet.
     
    BL1, Oct 4, 2010
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  9. koda_dad

    koda_dad Mr. Paranoid

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    Yeah..I think thats them... suckers are small thats for sure.

    I call around tomorrow and see if I can find that flatworm exit stuff.
     
    koda_dad, Oct 4, 2010
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  10. koda_dad

    d2mini VIP Member

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    Here they are in my old 46 bow.
    Everything you see on the rocks that looks like brown/red algae is flatworms. Like you, i was looking at them for quite a while before i realized i had a problem. Flatworm Exit worked. I did have to do two treatments though.

    [​IMG]
     
    d2mini, Oct 4, 2010
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  11. koda_dad

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    BL1, Oct 4, 2010
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  12. koda_dad

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    They go into distress when the Flatworm Exit hits the water. They start moving very fast, writhing around, and they jump off of the rocks and glass, like they are trying to escape. They get very active right before they die. When I treated my tank, I was literally sucking the bodies off of the sand and out of the water column because dozens of them just jumped ship as soon as I added the medication. They started coming out of the woodwork! Luckily I didn't have too many in my tank -- I knew what they were when I spotted the first one, and got them when there were less than 40 or so in my tank!

    I had to add 10 times the dose of the Flatworm Exit on the box, and it still didn't kill all of them. I finished off the last few stragglers by freshwater dipping the rocks and corals they were on.
     
    Bifferwine, Oct 4, 2010
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  13. koda_dad

    koda_dad Mr. Paranoid

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    10 times the dose????? and that is still safe for sps and the fish?

    wow...
     
    koda_dad, Oct 4, 2010
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  14. koda_dad

    dcantucson

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    Sorry koda_dad. Those things sound like a PITA. Good luck getting them all.
    I'm sure once I get my tank up and running again, I'll get a plague of them since I haven't had them yet. :x: I'm trying to be the first here to have every disaster known to reefin'.
     
    dcantucson, Oct 4, 2010
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  15. koda_dad

    koda_dad Mr. Paranoid

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    Coming from you....that actually does make me feel better. I just cant get over a)how fast the multipled... and b) the pure number of them...

    My lfs has the flatworm exit stuff coming in for me....
     
    koda_dad, Oct 4, 2010
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  16. koda_dad

    Melosu58

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  17. koda_dad

    koda_dad Mr. Paranoid

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    Ok... this is interesting... I now have the flatworm exit and coral rx in hand... but when looking at the rock I cannot find a single flatworm... I still see 100's in the sand... but when this was posted originally there was easily a 1000 on the rocks?

    Could my sixline be eating them? or could they just be dying off?

    Thoughts? The more I read about flatwork exit the more paranoid I am getting about using it...

    I am also thinking about getting a melanarus wrasse which eats them exclusively. Then if that doesnt work try that the flatworm exit.

    I am perplexed as to how the population would be getting smaller not larger....
     
    koda_dad, Oct 12, 2010
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  18. koda_dad

    dcantucson

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    Could they just be less noticeable on the rocks?
     
    dcantucson, Oct 12, 2010
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  19. koda_dad

    koda_dad Mr. Paranoid

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    nope... I could see a thousand or more easily a few days ago??
     
    koda_dad, Oct 12, 2010
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  20. koda_dad

    bjohanson1234 .........

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    Flatworm exit works great. Just follow the directions and have a water change ready. I used it twice now and nothing but the flatworms died. Have a little tube with a filter bag attached to syphon out the dead bodies.

    It isnt the flatworm exit that can be harmfull, it is the toxins from decomposing flatworms.
     
    bjohanson1234, Oct 13, 2010
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