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Thread: Eliminating Planaria Flatworms !! My 1st hand experience

  1. #1
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    Default Eliminating Planaria Flatworms !! My 1st hand experience

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    Planaria Flatworms are redish brown in color and are generally about less than 1/4" long and in maturity they can grow a bit longer . They are known to be harmless in certain extent and only feed on small invertebrates such as pods and Rotifers and other unknown small in tank creatures. They are not known to feed on corals and are considered less harmless in comparison to other flat worms . These breed and multiply rapidly from few to hundreds over night if not controlled and if there population outgrows they can be harmful to reef as they mature . These flatworms are known to be notorious hunters in search for their food and usually gets spotted at night on glass or acrylic walls of the tank . The way these can harm corals is as they crawl upon them in search for live food ( invertebrates ) they block the light from getting to them . Thus the coral does not get enough symbiotic nutrient nourishment or plankton food and they start slowly starves to death. Also they carry some sort of toxin within their body as a chemical defense to fight against their predators. This toxin will release from their body upon their death which is even more harmful for the entire reef .
    There are many products on the market these days claim to work and eliminate the flat worms from the reef tank . I happen to encounter Planaria Flatworms couple weeks ago and spotted them here and there over the glass walls . After reading several articles online about them I was a bit relieved that they were not as bad and an immediate harm to my reef that I had to treat em over night . Several reef related websites have discussion regarding them to gain as much as knowledge about these creatures . A lot of folks suggested and had some good experience with some reef safe wrasses that feeds on live food within the tank but than again they cannot completely eliminate flatworms but rather keep them under control . Also with the my tank size and with open top I did not wanted to try a wrasse . After much reading and determination that it's time to treat my tank I took a chance and bought a Salifert Flat Worm Exit product for less than 15$ online . I wanted to be well prepared so I started the process slowly. This is what I did .

    My tank
    57 gln DP with 20glm sump
    Roughly 45gln or less of total water Volume.

    Salifert suggest 1 drop per gallon of water to treat flat worms and repeat the process with adding 2 drops per gallon if 1st treatment is unsuccessful .

    1st Day

    Hooked up the chiller and over the course of day I dropped the water temperature at 74 degrees ( reef safe temp . Under colder conditions their immune system slows down and they don't breed rapidly )On the side I started preparing 25 gln of saltwater . At night when lights went out I siphoned as many as flatworms I could for few minutes.

    2nd Day

    Water temperature is 74 degrees and 25glns of Salt water is ready . At night again I siphoned as many as flatworms I could .

    3rd Day

    Tank is been running at 74 degrees .
    Hooked up chiller with the spare 25gln water set aside for water change and temperature was adjusted to 74 degrees also .

    I took 1 gallon of water out of my tank in a container and added 50drops of Salifert FlatWorm Exit . I mixed the water for few minutes and pour right in front of the tunzes into the tank . Tunzes were turned to full blast for the period of time . After 30 minutes I started observing less flatworm on the glass as they were dying off and floating in the Water every where ( kinda like when u feed the tank) . Immediately I started siphoning them as much as I could and waited another 15 minutes per instruction ( total process 45 min).

    After total of 45 min I did a quick 25 gln water change . Make sure when ever this big water change is done all the water parameters needed to be adjusted same most importantly temperature , Salinity and PH . As soon as the water change was done I added I believe 1/4cup of fresh carbon to remove all the toxins from the dead flat worms left in the tank that they might have released .

    After this treatment I did not spotted any flat worms in the tank . However I suspected that their might be few left that I Coudnt see and they might have also laid some eggs . Any ways after a week I treated the tank again with half of the dose just to be on a safe side and this time ran it through for about an 1 hour or more since it was dosed less . Again water change was done and carbon was replaced and now I have happy reef .
    Last edited by LuckySingh; Mon, 4th Aug 2014 at 06:09 PM.
    Thanks
    Lucky...
    Addiction for ur reef will never let it cease to grow!!!!!!
    by lucky singh
    NEW BUILD COMING SOON

  2. #2
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    How long does it take for flatworms to hatch from eggs? (Was 1 week enough time?)

    Do you plan to do a 3rd dose?

    Do your corals, fish, or invertebrates show any ill effects from the Flatworm Exit?

    Christopher

  3. #3
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    Default Eliminating Planaria Flatworms !! My 1st hand experience

    Don't know how long does it takes eggs to hatch out . With no ill effect on any of my live stock I was certain to run another treatment just to be on a safe side
    How ever I never spotted any flat worms after 1st treatment . It's pretty much how safe to feel to run a chemical experiment . As I mentioned a lot of folks would just add a wrasse in the system with hid or miss chance and sometimes they do consume a lot of flatworms .
    I don't plan to run another 3 rd dose unless required .
    Thanks
    Lucky...
    Addiction for ur reef will never let it cease to grow!!!!!!
    by lucky singh
    NEW BUILD COMING SOON

  4. #4
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    Just a follow up...

    Did your two treatments do the trick?

    Christopher
    Last edited by cbianco; Mon, 11th Aug 2014 at 11:08 AM. Reason: wording

  5. #5
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    Default Eliminating Planaria Flatworms !! My 1st hand experience

    Quote Originally Posted by cbianco View Post
    Just a follow up...

    Did your two treatments do the trick?

    Christopher
    1st treatment was quite successful . I ran another just to be on a safe side. Since my tank is not that big running 2 treatments was not as bad . However they recommend to keep doing until u succeed . They recommend 1 drop per gallon . I have talked to several folks and they have used up till 2 drops per gallon with no ill effect . I guess the key is to observe your tank afterwards if needed a repeat water change . Carbon is must in this process . Large water change can cause much more worse effect than anything else if parameters are not adjusted

    And I have not seen any flatworms since than
    Thanks
    Lucky...
    Addiction for ur reef will never let it cease to grow!!!!!!
    by lucky singh
    NEW BUILD COMING SOON

  6. #6
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    Good to hear.

    Thank you for summing up the use of FWE for us.

    Christopher

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    Great write up Lucky! Thanks for all of the info.

  8. #8
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    Nice write up. What are your thoughts on using iodine as a coral dip before you add to the tank? Especially since most say it is a way to help prevent pest from coming into the main tank. What is your preventative or any members preventative from having pest go into your main tank? Dont mean to hijack your thread
    [FONT=franklin gothic medium][SIZE=3]20g JBJ hydra 26
    90g DSA [/SIZE][/FONT]

  9. #9
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    I've always thought of iodine as a healing remedy rather than a pest remedy myself.

    Christopher

  10. #10
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    I use reef dip coral disinfectant by seachem when I add any coral and the things that come off the coral surprise me.
    [FONT=franklin gothic medium][SIZE=3]20g JBJ hydra 26
    90g DSA [/SIZE][/FONT]

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