FAQs about Flatworm Chemical
Related Articles: Pest Flatworm Control by Anthony
Calfo, Flatworms (incl. Planaria),
Worms, Featherduster Worms,
Related FAQs: Flatworm Control, Predator Control, Chemical Control, Flatworms/Planaria 1, Flatworms 2, Flatworms 3, & FAQs on: Flatworm Identification, Flatworm Behavior, Flatworm Compatibility, Flatworm Selection, Flatworm Systems, Flatworm Feeding, Flatworm Disease, Flatworm Reproduction, & Fish Worms Diseases, Worm Identification, Worms, Fire/Bristleworms
"There are a number of chemical controls for
these pests, but the "cures" do carry some risk of
collateral damage. I'd check on the many hobbyist message
boards to hear what other hobbyists are using."... Make
arrangements, contingencies... should troubles arise. RMF
Polyclads... Maybe Pseudoceros pardalis Leopard Flatworm.
<The Mighty Quinn!>
I got your email address from a friend of mine and I’ve seen your sage
advice online a couple times; so I thought I’d bounce a problem I’ve been
having off of you.
I’ll try to keep this as succinct as possible, but I’ve been fighting
polyclads for over 2 years. Can’t seem to catch every last one of them in my
500 gallon reef.
Here’s a thread I started a while back
Most people seem to catch a couple of them and then done with it, but for me
they seem to keep coming back. Do you have any advice on getting rid of poly
clad worms for good? Maybe a better trap design? Is there a reef safe
medication that can knock them out for good?
<No reef safe item.... killing off a bunch of "worms" indiscriminately in an
established system is bad karma, and often bad news for all the other life>
I’d appreciate any advice you can give to me. I’ve kept 4 clams in a
separate quarantine tank for over 4 months and they’re growing fine.
Any clam added to the display meets its demise within a month or two.
<Oh, not so good news>
Display has been clam free for over 4 months, but I’ve witness the polyclads
subsisting on Stomatella snails.
Ph. 8.1 – 8.3
Clams were in at least 300-400 PAR.
Thanks for your help.
<Let's have you read here:
and the Related FAQs files linked in the tray above. Please do write back w/
your observations. Bob Fenner>
Re: Polyclads; control 5/20/16
Thanks for the reply. I've read over your FAQ and the thread attached and
haven't found exactly what I'm looking for. Here's what I gathered.
1) There's no failsafe in tank treatment for polyclads.
<Correct... some baiting, trapping is about the best approach (other than
2) Traps or active hunting is the only way to somewhat purge a system of
3) Polyclads are on many clams that come from the wild and don't seem to
become an issue until they're in a closed aquarium
4) Once you have them breeding in your system it's pretty much impossible to
get them all out.
<Thank you for this synopsis>
Is there a medication or dip that could be used as a bath before putting in
quarantine to assure no pests are being introduced?
<Mmm; no... not w/o killing off all life practically... I am a big fan of
isolating/curing added LR (and not adding LS per se) to established
systems... about a month for observation is about right before introduction
into your main/display>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
AEFW... chem., bio. controls 1/22/14
What's the best course for action for eradicating AEFW?
<Mmm, there are a few approaches... mostly 'cides; chemical controls>
I've searched the site and come up with the below as possible in tank
1) Levamisole dosed at 28g per gallon, repeated each week for 4-5 weeks
along with a 50% water change.
2) Salifert FW Exit dosed at 4 drops per gallon, repeated each week for
4-5 weeks along with a 50% water change.
Are there other more effective in tank treatments or dips?
<Not IME; I'd go w/ #2>
Thanks for your time.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: AEFW 1/22/14
What's your opinion of fluke tabs @ 1 tab per gallon?
<Mmm; can work. Again, if poisoning the system, I'd go w/ Salifert...
Have you tried, considered bio-controls?>
Are any dips effective specifically: CoralRx, Revive, Iodine, RPS All
Out, or Bayer?
<Have no direct, first-hand experience w/ any of these... Anecdotal
accounts are mixed for all. BobF>
Re: AEFW 1/22/14
I have two Halichoeres Wrasses (Yellow Coris and Christmas), are there
other bio-controls I could try?
<Mmm, genus Halichoeres wrasses don't do much for AEFW... generally will
only eat if blasted off and they're hungry. My fave hands-down
choices are members of the genus Pseudocheilinus; mystery, six-line...
Re: AEFW 1/23/14
A side note, I'm cycling/upgrading a new tank so I'm prepared to move
all unaffected livestock to the new tank, turn the current tank into a
QT and do whatever is necessary to remove these pests before relocating
the corals to the new tank (if possible).
<Best to treat all; the system... B>
Potential Coral Medication... for most every-anything
I am a fish biologist that has been working on the development of a new
fish medication for about 7 years now. The product is called
MinnFiinn and is available for Koi and goldfish at retail shops and has
been doing very well. It is also being used on many tropical fish
farms with great success and has been improving fish health. With
this we are close to having a retail product ready. It has also
recently been tested in coral and was very effective at eliminating
flatworms. I have included the account below.
Per our conversation the other day, I used MinnFiinn to attack
Acropora eating flat worms on 2 of the corals in my personal saltwater
The 2 corals were a tri-colored valida and a Tenus. Both of the
corals were exhibiting bite marks and degradating color of the flesh on
I also noted egg strings at the base of the coral, these
signs are classic cases for Acro eating flatworms.
I removed the corals one at a time from the display tank and placed
them in a small 2 gallon aquarium. The Tenus was dipped in Revive
first for 15 min to try to get rid of the flatworms. I did not
see any of the flatworms let go of the coral with this dip. I
then placed the coral in the same 2 gallon tank and started with a 1/4
dose of MinnFiinn for the tank. I started the 1 hour cycle and
observed the coral, I also had a hermit crab and a couple of
snails in the tank to see what happened to them. After about 30
min I was not seeing any signs of the flatworms or anything else
letting go. I upped the dose to 1/2 for the next 30 min. I
started to see some pests like red bugs start to leave the coral.
I also saw the egg clusters look like they were letting go. I did
not see any flatworms on this coral but I also did the other dip
with Revive prior to this dip. I used a turkey baster and blasted
the coral and a lot of the eggs and some flatworms came out. I
kept the coral in the dip for 1 hour then neutralized. I put the
coral back in my tank and since the color has come back in the coral
and I do not see any signs of the flatworms.
The second coral was a lot more dramatic, this coral is a
tri-colored valida, this coral was exhibiting half of the colony
with color loss and bit marks from the flatworms. I removed this
coral from the tank and put it in the 2 gallon QT tank. I dosed
the tank with 2 Ml of MinnFiinn. I told you on the phone that it
was 2 Ml per gallon but I was using 2 gallons of saltwater. The
dose is 1 Ml per gallon. After about 10 min. I noticed the
whole coral was alive with flatworms and they were running for
After about 30 min the flatworms were folding up like leaves on a tree
and falling off of the coral. I used the turkey baster and blew
the coral and flatworms were coming out all over the place. I
neutralized the tank at 1 hour and then placed the coral back in the
show tank. It has been 5 days and the corals color is coming back
and the polyps are coming back out.
I am very excited about this because to date no one has come up with a
treatment that will kill these pests and not damage the coral. I
will keep you posted on any other developments that happen.
I have a former Saddleback college student recommend I contact you to
look into ways of getting more testing done. From what i
understand there a few treatments for corals and a product able to do
what it did for Casey is in dire need.
<Only a few commercial ones of value>
Your name is very familiar. I have spoken for the SDTFS a couple
We may have met at one of these meetings.
<Mmm, quite likely. I too live in San Diego>
I would really appreciate your feedback and would be happy to speak
with you if you would rather than email. Please see my contact
<Mmm, about the best (fastest, most cost effective) means I can
think of would be to contact/attend some of the local marine/reef
clubs, offer samples; ask folks to send in, accrue testimonials. Do you
Any sort of legal paperwork, MSDS et al. done? Have looked over your
sites... Do you know of folks in the fisheries path. field? I'd
contact them for input as well. Bob Fenner>
Paul A. Curtis
AquaSolver LLC/AquaFinn LLC
Stylochus matatasi Flatworm... Clam et al. eater
By perusing your site, I have determined that we had & may still
have one or more of the Tridacna-eating flatworms in
I lost 2 clams in July, but also many snails. Then in August, I caught
a HUGE flatworm. Grey-Brown, mottled. I figured it ate the snails but
did not ID the thing at the time or else I would have realized it ate
the clams too. We caught this thing and took it out but it broke into
pieces. I tried to pick up all the pieces (at night, in my pajamas,
holding a flashlight) but one may have escaped.
<Best to siphon out>
Forward to October. I still have 3 clams left. Start seeing dead snails
again. Then another clam dies. Two weeks later, another clam, and two
weeks after that, my last clam (this past weekend). All 5 clam deaths
in hindsight match exactly the MO of what happened to other
people's clams known to be eaten by a flatworm (by my
<Did you treat this system w/ an Anthelminthic... an anti-worm agent
to rid it of this Polyclad?>
Took the last clam out and guess what crawled from his shell? A
flatworm. This time I ID'd it, it is the clam eater.
I used flatworm medicine and did WC...but I think the medicine is
really for planarians.
<Should work on/for all Platyhelminths...>
Will it kill the worm(s) I have?
<What is the active ingredient? Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fltwmchemcont.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmidcuref.htm>
And how many do you think I could possibly have? Will I ever be able to
keep clams again?
Thank you in advance for your response!
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Stylochus matatasi Flatworm 11/16/11
Thank you Bob! You really set my mind at ease. I did use an appropriate
anti-worm agent. And tank seems otherwise fine. And this was, if
anything, a good learning experience. I am sure I will keep clams
<I do hope so as well. Cheers, BobF>
Coral/flatworm Toxin Dangers to Humans?
I'm hoping that you can help me with a mystery. I have a 58 gallon
tank, plus sump that I bought several weeks ago "established"
with beautiful Tampa Bay Saltwater premium live rock teeming with
hitchhikers. There are also a couple of urchins, pulsating xenia, a
small green leather (looks like green Sinularia?), green star polyps, a
tiny tube coral, lots of snails, brittles, worms, clams, orange frilly
limpet, and many other little anemones and critters. I know that I only
saw a snapshot of what is really lurking in there. I had already
captured a large speckled Polyclad flatworm (like the top image on your
page *FAQs about Giant Clam Disease, Pests & Predators**1)
*during setup and there were a couple of other small types of
flatworms, but the population wasn't huge. I opted to treat with
Flatworm Exit before adding fish, just to reduce any risks. I used a
I put my hands in the tank to begin to siphon out some of the dying
floating worms - only to abandon the idea because there wasn't much
Unfortunately, I instantly began to feel a funny feeling on my hands
where they were in the tank, and began to feel my heart rate increase
at such a rapid rate that I was on the phone with 911 in less than a
minute. My blood pressure had also increased significantly. Fortunately
little intervention was required and I was sent home later that
afternoon with an achy chest and nausea. I've since had some
lingering effects requiring more care, but am working through those.
No, no gloves were used unfortunately.
I do understand that it would be nearly impossible to figure out what
it was that affected me so, but is it feasible that a toxin released
after a dewormer treatment could affect an individual so severely?
<Affirmative. Please put the string: flatworm human toxicity in your
Is it that I'm incredibly sensitive?
<Likely there is a range>
By the way, everything else survived fine (even a few flatworms). The
green finger leather looking coral was very slumped, but recovered
Unfortunately I've decided to sell this tank, but will replace it
with a fresh new Nano tank where I can choose EVERYTHING that goes in
rather than chancing it with very healthy live rock!
Thanks for your help!
<Welcome, and thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Flatworm eXit, 6/7/10
1st timer here, thank you for your superb site much knowledge
My tank is 32" x 18" x 18" has a 14k metal halide light
with a marine blue T5 24W and marine white T5 24W lights (separate
timers), 2 x Hydor Koralia powerheads (1 + 2) for circulation with an
A third of the tank is furnished live rock with soft corals
Pair of Orange skunks (egg laying)
<Needs a larger tank.>
6 line (pyjama) Wrasse
I have had no problems with my tank (up and running with this set up
for 2 years) until recently I noticed red things crawling over my
"Mouse Ear" coral, with further inspection I saw them
everywhere gravel, rocks even on a snail.
In the last 3 weeks I have syphoned hundreds of these little blighters
out of my tank and completed 4 x 10% total water changes in that time
I do 10% water changes every two weeks.
Having read many internet threads re: Red planarians and the use of
Salifert flatworm eXit liquid.
Q; As I do not want to add eXit directly into my tank would you
recommend taking the live rock out of the tank and treat them in
separate tanks, If so have you any idea how it would affect my soft
<I would not use this product at all, unnecessary in my opinion. Red
Planarians generally are not a long term problem, their numbers waning
To ask LFS to look after my livestock and totally strip my tank down
and start afresh including new filter media would this solve the
<Seems extreme to me.>
All advice would be greatly appreciated.
<I would just continue with the manual removal, perhaps step up your
water changes to weekly. In the past I have used a turkey baster to
blow them off the rocks, which seems to help some. Increasing total
water turnover also may help as these flatworms prefer low flow areas.
I suspect with a little time you will find that their numbers crash
Re: Flatworm eXit, 6/7/10
Thank you for your prompt reply,
I will increase my water changes to weekly and change the water
direction of my powerheads also purchase a new (more vigorous water
flow) powerhead, and look at re-homing my yellow tang.
Please use my email and your advice for other's who may also be
Again thank you for time.
Parasite control in a commercial fish
holding system. 5/4/10
I'm having a heck of a time with a clearish/white parasitic
flatworm in our 3000 gallon fish holding system here at our retail
store. This worm falls off with freshwater dips but we can't seem
to fully eradicate it from our system. The flat worm is about 2-3mm
across and visible with the naked eye.
It seems to reproduce rapidly where a fish can be almost entirely
covered within 2-3 days after the dip. Specific gravity is kept at
Temperature is 77-78 degrees. They are resistant or immune to Prazi-pro
As a last resort, we recently nuked the system with chlorine bleach (no
fish in system of course). But somehow they are back! I'm pulling
my hair out. I'm hoping someone there with experience with this
particular pest can offer some insight.
<In a word: Levamisole... See WWM, the Net et al. re. Bob
Re: Re: Re: re: AEFW Problem Acropora Eating
Flatworm control, chem. 1/3/10
I've been doing a little bit of reading on the web in regards to
treating your entire reef tank for AEFW using
Levamisole. There seems to be a little bit of inconsistency in
terms of the amount to dose your tank and how to carry out the
procedure with minimal loss and hardship on the tank. Would you be able
to provide me a procedure on using this product properly?
<Mmm, yes... I can/will paraphrase what is stated/furthered by Ed
Noga (Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment)... for Prolonged
immersion, 10 mg of Levamisole HCl/l (28 mg per gallon) per Butcher
, I in no way would hold you responsible if anything bad happened... I
must treat the tank though before populations begin to grow larger. I
noticed a few bitmarks underneath a coral which had been losing purple
coloration on the tips...I now know why...seeing little brown egg sacks
in a couple places surrounding the base of the coral and white bite
marks further up the main branches, but not too many of them. I am
planning a 3-4 week treatment using Levamisole, what's your
recommended dosage/gallon? And how much exposure do I give the tank
with Levamisole before executing a big water change/carbon...
<A week if no otherwise adverse signs>
I have noticed a few other Acropora losing color here and there,
I'm confident that once these worms are free and clear, I should
begin to see a good amount of coloration start to return. This is my
second year keeping and sps tank, first year I had a run in with red
bugs which was easily treated in a 3 week period using interceptor, now
I'm experiencing AEFW but without a solid method of
I sincerely appreciate your time and help,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: AEFW Problem
Ok, I'm going to order that book as this is the second time
I've heard of that author.
<Is expensive, but well worth it>
So let me state this clearly what I plan to do:
Add 4592 milligrams Levamisole to 164 gallons (reef system volume). Add
directly to tank? or dilute and add slowly?
<Dilute and add slowly>
And don't change any water in the tank for a week unless noticing
adverse affects earlier?
Does this sound right?
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: AEFW Problem,
Levamisole use f's 1/4/10
At end of first week of tank being dosed, I will perform 50% water
change. Mandatory GAC? or no.
How much time after w/c do I wait before adding next dose of ~4.5 gram
I have eggs so I will be dealing with AEFW entire life cycle which = 4
consecutive weekly treatment correct? or 5? In nutshell, 50% w/c
followed by new dose every Saturday for a month?
Does the skimmer take out the Levamisole?
Would it be better to leave the skimmer running all week without the
<I would leave going. BobF>
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: AEFW Problem 1/4/10
And because this is a prolonged immersion treatment, I noticed the dose
is significantly less than what a dip would be comprised of.
Does this mean the flatworms will be slowly dying out in my tank from
lower concentration. Can you give me a little info on what to expect
after first dose, do they fall off within a day? 2 days?..3?
<Only experience can/will tell. Is variable>
Being that they are nearly invisible, should I be looking for healing
Again, much appreciated.
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: AEFW
Problem. Levamisole, bad reaction series 1/26/10
Hey there Bob,
Received 20 grams of Levamisole Hydrochloride 99% strength. (For
1) Weighed out 4.6 grams on scale for 1st dose for 164 gallons system
volume for my sps reef.
2) Mixed the dosage into 5 gallons of tank water in a bucket and added
slowly to system.
Observations from 1 1/2hr exposure:
3) SPS coral polyps started to close up tightly almost immediately
after adding treatment, 20 or so minutes later..copepods were whirling
around the tank dying out
4) Small bristleworms started to appear dead at about the same time
<To be expected>
5) Tenennti tang's color was dark and eye's appeared to be
6) Rest of the fish usually are out and about for 5pm feeding time, all
were in hiding except the true Percula's.
7) Took a nap for an hr
8) came back and polyps were still closed, noticed more copepods dead,
more bristle worms too, couldn't tell if AEFW's were dead too
but I'd imagine must have taken some if not all out, except any
eggs of course
9) Got nervous about leaving the tank with full treatment overnight, so
did a 75-80% water change on the tank after power heading off all
corals and live rock for detritus/and possibly stubborn AEFW on
10) Tank therefore only was exposed to the 28mg/gallon (Noga's
prolonged recommendation) for 1:30hrs.
I don't think there would be any success if we went a whole week as
previously discussed or even overnight at that dosage. Guessing there
would have been some fish loss the next day for sure.
From what I can see, the drug is very very powerful, much much more so
than interceptor. I would change the prolonged tank treatment dosage to
even half or 1/4 of the 28mg/gal. maybe something along the lines of 7
or 14mg/gal. wouldn't that slowly kill them over a week's time
with less stress to the tank's inhabitants?
My hope is that we can find a treatment procedure that isn't too
harsh on the tank yet wipes these guys out. What do you think my next
step should be in this process? another treatment next week?, perhaps a
different dosage and/or exposure time?
<I would wait... see what happens... I suspect all vermiform life is
Appreciate your thoughts on this.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: AEFW
Problem, Levamisole rxn. series -- 1/27/10
Fish are still a bit shy this morning. Found a big dead Bristleworm
laying on top the sand. I placed two sacs of carbon in the sump and
cleaned the skimmer...the Levamisole itself is pretty harsh, but
assuming it killed off flatworms, they release pretty harmful toxins
themselves when they die, so thought this would be a good idea to
absorb any shenanigans circulating in the tank.
<Yes... a good point for sure>
It's gonna be very tough to tell when there are no flatworms in the
tank, maybe take a couple months to really determine that based on
coral health and no more evidence of bites... Will partially bleached
coral bases grow
back or not so much?
<Will grow back given time, good care, propitious circumstances.
Re: re: Fwd: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:
Re: re: AEFW Problem 2/1/2010
Alright, so here's an update. After the 1.5 hr treatment @ 4.6
grams/160 gallon system last Thursday. It appeared to have wiped out
many bristleworms, pods, and hopefully the aefw's. However not the
case after a little powerheading on the corals today (Sunday evening)
discovered a few mongrel size aefw flew off, not too many, but the
point being that the treatment wasn't long enough to take a toll on
them. This treatment would have killed the fish any longer than what
they were exposed to. So now I'm shaking my head...saying now
<Indeed... maybe removing the desired livestock for one last
I managed to capture a worm and experiment Salifert Exit on him. So far
doesn't respond at all to recommended dosage. Tried 4 drops per
gallon which is way above dosage by 4x the amount, worm kind of lifts
his head up at times but resumes function. In any case, so far at this
dosage that doesn't even work, I would have to buy 10 bottles of
flatworm exit just to treat the tank 3 weeks in a row. So this method
doesn't seem too promising...
Looking for other options though..
<Other Anthelminthics. You know where to search. BobF>
Re: re: Fwd: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: AEFW
Most recent update...on AEFW that is....
At 4 drops per gallon with Salifert Flatworm Exit, flatworm was dead at
8:30 when I came home from dinner, started with only 2 drops at 5pm,
then added 2 more for 4 drops total at 6pm. Didn't die after 1
hr.... looks like
after 2 1/2 hrs it killed him off. So according to the recommended
dosage of 4 drops per 5 gallons (per Salifert instructions), you would
need to increase dosage to 4 DROPS PER GALLON to rid AEFW, and add this
much for 3 - 4 consecutive weeks to kill entire AEFW
So, I may just end up getting lots of Salifert flatworm exit and using
that since it is not as harmful to the fish/reef system as Levamisole
This method seems to be a successful in tank treatment for AEFW :)
Now let's just tell Salifert to up the bottle size of EXit and
we're all good :)
<You might want to try your own serial dilution of Praziquantel...
3/8/09 Hello Crew, <Hi> I would like to know what is the
active ingredient in Salifert's Flatworm exit. <Don't know,
and as far as I am aware Salifert's does not publish this
information.> I have a few flatworms in my tank though I'm not
to concerned about it because I have dealt with this problem before in
my previous tank and had success getting rid of them with out having to
treat with chemicals. <Good> I am just curious to know what is in
this product. If I ever choose to use it I would like to know what is
going in my tank rather than just putting a product in because someone
recommended it. <If the bottle does not list what is in it,
don't add it to your tank, best advice I can offer here.> Thank
you kindly Pat <Welcome> <Chris>
Re: pests/ Bob's email address, pest flatworm
control 7/20/07 Hey Bob, hope all is well in Cali. I
sure do miss the beach. You're so lucky to live there!! <Sara M.
here now. I hope I can help...> I keep trying to get my hubby to get
a superintendent job at a golf course by the beach, but no luck so
far!! I have a technical question for you. Every month we meet here in
Phoenix and swap frags. This last frag meet, we had a few tanks with
red bugs, Monti nudis and now Acro eating flat worms. Do you know of
any treatments for the flat worms that will not kill the acroporid?
<There's what seems to work for at least some people: 1) Remove
all the acropora colonies and put them in quarantine (even the ones
that don't yet appear to be affected. The reason you have to remove
ALL the Acropora colonies is because you'll want to starve to death
any AEF that might remain (or hatch) in the tank after you remove the
Acroporas (this usually takes at least five days). After all,
there's little point to treating an affected coral only to return
it to an infected tank. 2) In a second quarantine tank, medicate the
corals with Levamisole (available from a local vet or possibly a
livestock and feed supply store) for about 6 hours or so. 3) Use a
smaller MaxiJet (or other small powerhead) to blow the worms off the
coral. 4) After you've blasted off all the adults, look very
carefully for any eggs. If you find any, scrape them off with one of
those plaque scrapers you can buy at a drug store for your teeth. 5)
After all this is done, return the corals to the first quarantine tank.
6) Repeat steps 2 through 5 until you stop seeing any worms or eggs. Of
course, this is going to stress out your corals to no end. But there
really isn't any other way. You might lose some of the colonies to
stress. But you're likely to lose them to AEF if you don't do
anything.> There is a fellow reefer in town that has these and has
Acro colonies that he is thinking about throwing away because he
hasn't found a treatment yet. <Please tell him not to throw them
away just yet. Do try the above. I know it's worked for some people
and it's worth a shot.> I figured I would ask the expert!! Any
help you can give our group would be helpful. <You might also want
to try and contact Marc Leverson. I know he's been successful
fighting AEF in his own tank using the method above. Also, some people
claim to have some success with heavy dosing of Flatworm Exit (in
quarantine) in addition to or instead of the Levamisole. If someone is
thinking of throwing out infected corals, you might as well do some
experimenting to see if something works before tossing them. Good luck!
And do let us know how things work out. :-) Best, Sara M.>
|Acoel flatworms - so-called
"Planaria" 2/24/04 I attached a picture of my
Umbrella Leather. I think the red/rust spot on it are flatworm
(Planaria)! What do you think about it? <you are correct...
acoel flatworms> If it's Planaria, do you recommend the
Flatworm Exit product from Salifert? <I would never recommend it
or anything like it. No such product has been demonstrated to my
satisfaction to kill one nuisance invertebrate while not harming
some others of like kind but desirable.> I read a lot of thread
on RC and almost people didn't have any problem with this
product. <does the product list its ingredients? If not, I'm
not inclined to use or recommend any products if unknown
composition on the live creatures in my care> Thank you very
much. And thank you for your website, it's very useful. <do
address the real problem (rather than treating the symptom) here my
friend... inadequate water flow most likely. Seek 10-20x minimum
and avoid laminar flow from powerheads (make them converge to
produce random turbulent at least). We have a lot of info on acoel
flatworms in the archives and FAQS here at wetwebmedia.com. And no
worries... without treatment, these flatworms are still harmless
and naturally wax and wane. Anthony>
Ridding Acoel flatworms 4/8/04 I was wondering if you might
be able to help me rid of my on going flatworm problem; I've
noticed Acoel flatworms in my tank for over 3 months now, and well
they're becoming more of a problem. <no worries... they wax and
wane (in great numbers albeit at times) on their own naturally.
Still... improved water flow and more aggressive skimming help this
along. Their control is documented in our archives if you care to
browse/read more> I believe they are laying eggs of some sort in
mass numbers all over my glass, and I'm ready to take action
against these annoying creatures. <no egg laying by Acoels my
friend... simple fission> I'm sending along a picture of what
the eggs look like that I drew on MS paint, hopefully you'll get
the point.. lol. <excellent drawing... and the eggs sound like
clearly something else... perhaps Cnidarian larvae of some kind. Do you
also have an Aiptasia anemone bloom in the tank? That would explain the
buds/"eggs" on the glass and be consistent with a suspected
nutrient or water flow problem in the tank that has allowed/supported
the flatworms> I plan on using Salifert Flatworm Exit soon.
<yikes! Please do resist using any such chemical in the reef
aquarium. You must know that such products are not discriminating
between desirable and undesirable micro-organisms. And beyond perhaps
crippling your bio-diversity, you are in fact treating a symptom and
not the problem: not enough or not the right kind of water flow... 20X
turnover would be nice> For a little description of the egg; They
have a bunch of little arms that move with the water kind of like an
anemone. <may well be... kind regards, Anthony>
Flatworm solution I was interested to see if you or any of
your readers have used a new product for flatworms called
PraziPro. It is distributed
by Hikari. I have not applied it yet, as I would
like to hear from anyone that may have used it in a reef
system. << I have not used it, but I'm not a fan of
medications anyway. >> I have a 180 gal. reef with
soft corals, leathers, etc. that I have had for a while (2
yrs.) and would hate to see any harm done to them. <<
If you have a flatworm problem, I would suggest other remedies such as
wrasse and water motion. I wouldn't chance any product
that is aimed to kill flatworms. >> Thank you,
<< Adam B. >>
Re: Flatworm solution Adam, Thank you for your quick
reply. I will try the wrasse first, I too am not
a fan of putting chemicals in the tank. Mother nature just
doesn't seem to appreciate them, there always seems to
be a reaction somewhere in the tank that isn't a
positive one. << Well said, good luck. >> Regards, Brob
<< Adam B. >>
Flatworms Exit stage left Hi all!
Just finished a round with flatworms and Exit
which seemed to work pretty good. My tank was severely
infested with them, to the point that the sand on the bottom was
turning red ( had the red flatworms, worst of all). I tried
everything else but wasn't making a dent in the population so I had
to go the chemical route. Just have a couple
questions. I followed
the directions on the exit to a T. I even purchased a
Marineland Magnum 350 and used it as a vacuum to clean the critters out
after they started dying and did a 25% water change. All
reef inhabitants seem to be doing fine except the anemone (seems hung
over). I still see some worms crawling around so I was
wondering if I should do a second treatment before the live ones start
reproducing again? << This is iffy, and I would say don't
treat the tank until you have reason to. So, I say wait.
>> And, if I do, how long should I wait before doing another
treatment? Second, I noticed another critter
crawling on the glass during the first treatment. The best I
can describe it is that it was white/clear, about the same length as
the flatworms and had many feet and antennae on both ends, almost
resembling a centipede. Is this some sort of
plankton? I couldn't readily find anything in the
forums. << Hard to say, but I'll bet it is beneficial.
>> Any help would be greatly
appreciated. Thanks. James
<< Blundell >>
- Dealing with
Flatworms - I have an aquarium store in Arizona. I specialize
mainly in reef aquariums. I have a 300 gallon coral display tank with
many LPS and softy corals for sale. I also have a 110 gallon clam
display aquarium. I am noticing everyday more and more nuisance
flatworm. I heard that Melafix will get rid of them, is this
true. <I've never heard of this and would suggest, that if
you're considering a chemical solution, to pursue the Salifert
Flatworm Exit product. Have had many folks say this product does work
very well and causes no problems for reef inhabitants. Make sure your
skimmer is clean an you have a water change ready to go... when the
flatworms exit, they really exit.> I want to get rid of them
before they multiply to much and cover and kill my corals. Please
respond back as soon as you can, Thank You, Matt All Aquatics
allaquatics.net <Cheers, J -- >
Flat worm eradication - 4/9/03 Thank you very much for the
quick response. <Thank you> I have had a look at the links in
your note, great information though it does seem to be a little
contradictory at times. <likely to cover all aspects> One
question, I posted the same plea for help at reefs.org and received a
response from Delbeek indicating that as a last resort I might try a
drug called Levamisole. Have you ever heard of anyone using this drug
successfully? <I personally have never heard of this drug. I want to
make a statement right here and now, that I do not believe that these
animals are at all harmful. Overall, I too, have gone through various
incursions of these little worms. I still have a few here and there,
but for the most part, there are very few. I used no drugs and did
nothing but what I am expected to do as a Conscientious Marine
Aquarist. I did water changes, had proper circulation, (based on what
is located on this site) and blew them off and siphoned them up. Over
time they minimized with no impact to any of my animals (corals et al)
Again, I have seen little evidence of these animals decimating tanks
and killing off inhabitants. I believe there is no need to panic. No
need for medication, no need to add a new animals that may or may not
eat them only to suffer other issues in the tank, just give it time
with proper water chemistry and I think you will be happy with the
results.> At this point I am going to siphon off as many as I can,
do more frequent water changes (weekly 10 to 15%) and see what happens
over the next couple of months ...... and keep my fingers crossed.
<Beautiful solution and cheers to you for having this attitude. So
many people affect their tank adversely by adding chemicals or other
animals to their tank that could be potentially more trouble than the
Planaria. The old adage the "cure is deadlier than the
disease" comes to mind. I like your solution. Good on ya'.
Paulo> Cheers Ken
Levamisole for Acoel flatworms I recently found an article on
the web, that Levamisole will help eliminate Acoel flatworms. The
article actually used the name Concurat L. Do you know of
anyone that has used Levamisole to eradicate these
pests? Thanks, Eric <I do not recall anyone
specifically... but it is not too surprising. Levamisole is a popular
de-worming remedy for animals at large. Use only with caution... test
on specimens in a bare QT first. Anthony>
- Malachite Green for Flatworms - What is the correct way to
prepare Malachite Green powder for dosing into a reef system to
eliminate flatworms? <Zero, nada, nothing... I would not recommend
this treatment AT ALL! Malachite green will kill the invertebrate life
and miscellaneous fauna in your reef tank even at low doses, and
certainly at a dose high enough to kill a flatworm. The proscribed path
of action would require the removal of the inverts, live rock, etc and
so you would also remove the flatworms and get them back again as soon
as you put this stuff back in the main display.> What concentration
should be used, how often, etc. <Again... don't do it, you will
regret it. Please spend some time reading though this FAQ, it will
provide some background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pestflatwrmanthony.htm
Cheers, J -- >
Help with Acro Eating Flatworms 8/19/06 I just
discovered the eggs and subsequently the actual flatworms on what we
call here a New England Aquarium Acro (It's very similar to the
famous purple tip Larry Jackson coral that many know about, yet with
thinner and more numerous branches). I decided to
check the coral because it was bleaching near the base and had fairly
poor and splotchy coloration in general. My question is: How do I treat
these buggers and has anyone found a way to kill the eggs?
<What little I know re is summarized, posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pestflatwrmanthony.htm
and the linked files above> I have heard that the Levamisole
treatment that is being used usually kills the coral before breaking
the AEFW life cycle. I have also heard on RC that Betadine
dosed into a dip treatment tank at 3ml/liter of SW is having success in
Europe. <I have heard this as well> I can afford to
replace these colonies, but there is a desire to preserve the life I
have nurtured all this time and to learn as much as possible so that I
can share this info with others. I currently plan to remove
all Acro colonies to a QT tank and attempt the Betadine dip weekly
until I do not see any worms on corals or eggs on their bases. I am
hoping that one of you may have had experience with these and may be
able to help me find a safe and effective QT and treatment method to
prevent the reinfestation of my tanks. Thank in advance, Mauro
DiBenedetto <Do please follow up with your observations. Bob
Fenner> Re: Help with Acro Eating Flatworms
8/20/06 > I have heard that the Levamisole treatment
that is > being used usually kills the coral before breaking the
AEFW life cycle. > I have also heard on RC that Betadine
dosed into a dip treatment tank at 3ml/liter of SW is having success in
Europe. > <I have heard this as well> > I
can afford to replace these colonies, but there is a desire to preserve
the life I have nurtured all this time and to learn as much as possible
so that I can > share this info with others. I currently
plan to remove all Acro colonies to a QT tank and attempt the Betadine
dip weekly until I do not > see any worms on corals or eggs on their
bases. I am hoping that one of you may have had experience with these
and may be able to help me find a safe and effective QT and treatment
method to prevent the reinfestation of my tanks. > Thank in advance,
> Mauro DiBenedetto > <Do please follow up with your
observations. Bob Fenner> Bob, Minor update: I tried the
Betadine dip at 3ml/Liter on that NE Aq Acro. Almost
immediately the worms dropped off the coral. At 23 minutes
they appeared very dead. At 25, a puff of a turkey baster rendered the
worms into fleshy dust. <Good... time to move them...> The game
plan is to pull all Acros and put them in a 20long with a bare bottom
and no rock. <Ahh, very good> I plan to dip all of these corals
in the Betadine solution and quarantine them for the next month,
treating them weekly to make sure I get all of these
worms. I plan to empty the 20long and clean it
thoroughly before reintroducing the treated corals. If I see
any worms during treatment, the protocol will be extended by another
month. In the interim the 180 display, which thankfully has not had any
Acros encrust within it will lay fallow of Acros for the next 45-60
days to ensure any worms I introduced will be dead. (I can
be sure there are no hidden Acros because I just set up this tank and
had only moved over a 2 Acroporids before finding the flatworms in my
tank. <I see> All my best and do drop a line to the Boston
Reefers if you are ever in town. M. <Thank you for this follow-up,
detailing your intended plan. Bob Fenner> Re: Help
with Acro Eating Flatworms. 11/5/06 Bob, Here is an update
on my Betadine treatment http://www.bostonreefers.org/forums/showthread.php?t=33256
Here is the RC thread on the topic: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=899108&goto=newpost
Feel free to copy the text of my post to WWM. <Will do. Thank you
Mauro. Bob Fenner>
Flatworm busters... I thought you might get a kick out of this. A
recommendation to use Dylox to kill flatworms. I am sure that it will
kill flatworms and just about everything else in the tank. Thank You,
Steven Pro <Yes... I have an old pond article posted on WWM re
(mis-spelled here): DTHP, Dylox, Dipterex, Neguvon, Trichlorofon... and
other names... an economic poison of organo-phosphate composition...
useful for killing arthropods (insect pests, crustaceans like Argulus,
Lernaea on pond fishes...) Do agree with your assessment here. Bob
> AMDA Members, Marc Weiss and I have a common friend who is
director of a zoological institute near Cape Town, South Africa named
Alan Jardine. Alan is an accomplished fish breeder and a marine
hobbyist for over 28-years. Alan has agreed to join in the search for a
control of the pesky flatworm problem. Hopefully Matt and company
already have it under control, but just in case they don't, I will
continue to try to get people involved in finding a solution. I believe
we will find the answer and the hobby will be better off as a result.
Please read Alan's letter. Mitch Gibbs Hi Mitch Dr Schleyer has
checked around and apparently a product called Trichlorofon which goes
under the trade name Dylox and which was manufactured by Argent (?) is
effective against flatworms at a dose of .25mg / litre. His concern is
that this product may affect the zooxanthellae in the coral, as they
have never tried it on these invertebrates. Possibly one could run a
few tests with sacrificial pieces of coral and see if they begin to
bleach. His team is also not sure how Trichlorofon will affect bacteria
in the substrate. Once again, a proprietary bacteria culture could kick
start the system. Although he can't come up with actual species, he
suggests that juvenile butterfly fish may predate on the flatworms and
if young enough, will not bother the corals. I'll keep checking
around. Best wishes, Alan
Little Flatworms- Big Headaches! Hi Guys, <Scott F. your
guy tonight> I've had those pesky red flatworms in my reef tank
for about a year now. I've tried to leave them alone and hope they
crash. I've tried to siphon them out daily. I
even took my whole tank apart and rinsed everything thoroughly in a
very low salinity dip. They still came back. <These are tenacious,
annoying little guys, I sympathize!> I've been reading about the
Flatworm Exit product by Salifert on Reefcentral's website. The
forums suggest the product itself is safe for fish and corals but the
toxin from the dead flatworms is definitely a concern. <I am not
familiar with this product...I usually am skeptical about chemical
formulations that are supposed to be effective against one creature,
but harmless to other reef animals...I like Salifert products, but I
don't know about this one...> I was thinking that if I siphoned
everyone I could see for a week or longer, the population might be low
enough to use safely use this product. <Or to safely use some
natural control, like a predatory wrasse, etc> I would also use Poly
Filter and carbon to remove the toxins. <Well, if you're gonna
use a chemical, I agree that PolyFilter is good to use to remove excess
concentrations of the product> While I have never been one to reach
for a chemical like this to solve a problem, I feel it may be my only
options to finally rid my tank of these resilient
creatures. Any thoughts on the product or procedure? <I
understand and appreciate your concerns. It's a really tough call.
Do you know what the active ingredient(s) in this stuff are? Perhaps,
knowing what you're going to potentially dump into your tank can
help you decide if it's worth the possible complications...maybe
worth an email to the folks at Salifert?> This problem seems to be
affecting SO many people. Has this problem become more
severe the last few years or is it just that communication is so much
better? <Probably a little of each...And do take heart- there is
some promising research going on regarding flatworm control using
simple, truly "reef safe" ingredients...maybe it will pay off
down the line...stay tuned.> Many thanks for years of help, Craig
<Hang in there, Craig...chat with some fellow hobbyists who have
used this stuff, exhaust all other methods before you use it, then
proceed with caution. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Melting Xeniids & Flatworms Galore Hi there WWM Crew.
<Hey, Mike G with you tonight> Have been enjoying your site and
links but have run into a couple of problems. To begin, let me give you
the stats on the tank: <I personally thank you for giving me the
stats on your tank. Out of many, many emails I have answered today, you
are the first to provide such information. :-) > SG 1.025
<Fine> pH 8.0 in the morning (before lights come on) and 8.2 5
hours after lights on.. <You might want to find a way to remedy
this. That is a large pH swing, and would cause undue stress to your
pets.> NO2 (0) <Perfect>
NO3 (20) <Okay, but it could be a bit
lower> NH3 (0) <Perfect> Tank is
set up with l MH l4000K and 2 65W 03 actinic along with a Bak Pak 2R
protein skimmer that's skimming l/2 C of green stuff a day. Tank
temp. fluctuates between 77.5 to 80F degrees lately. Water change
weekly 15 gals. Sometimes time doesn't permit, and water gets
changed every 2 weeks. <Sounds fine. I am left wondering how large
your tank is, though.> Problem l: For some reason, my pulsing xenias
are dying (melting) and I can't figure out why. Have had these
Xenias now for almost 2 years pulsing and dividing away and
now... What's going on here? <This is a common problem
with Xeniid corals, they seem to "melt" when in unfavorable
conditions or after drastic changes in water parameters. Take a gander
at the following link, namely the topic "Xenia Health" about
3/4 down the page. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidfaqs3.htm
> Problem 2: My frog spawn frag (originally only 2 heads - now 6
heads) has been invaded with oval shaped pumpkin colored flatworms -
have no idea where they came from as I do quarantine any and all going
into the main tank. I've read that they come and go But, now
they've migrated to my pagoda coral and I really don't want it
to take over the whole tank (60 gal)! <Ah, there we go, 60
gallons. Flatworms have a habit of overrunning marine aquaria.> On
my next water change or sooner, can I do a fresh water dip or
Lugol's iodine dip on these two corals without harming them and
hopefully getting rid of the flatworms? <That is exactly what
I would have recommended you do.> Thank you for your help/advice.
<Best of luck, Mike G>
Downsizing 9/21/05 Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. here
today!> I first want to thank you for the information you put out in
publication and on the web. So many people love to get
into the hobby, but they don't do their home work and end up with
more issues than they could ever have dreamed of. <Amen!> Many of
us are conscientious, because of the fact that we bought the tanks,
fish, coral, etc. and now are trying to be responsible people and
provide a healthy environment, but many stores don't have educated
people to guide us. <Glad to hear of your philosophy!
However, many fish stores do have dedicated personnel who are
knowledgeable and compassionate about the animals that they
sell'> Now to my issue. I have had larger salt water
tanks for about 5 years now. I have a 180 gal now that,
unfortunately I have introduced flat worms and
Aiptasia. I have tried Berghia which had no effect at all
and Peppermint Shrimp that seem to be making a dent, not
completely sure yet. I have just decided to downsize (too much to take
care of right now) to a 75 gal. I have decided to
put in new sand and rock (running a Berlin system). I was
wondering if 1) I should transfer any of the water from the old tank
<Well, it would be nice, but with the flatworm issue, it would be
too easy to accidentally siphon some in with the water and start the
problem anew in the 75. I'd make new water, myself.> 2) What is
the best way (if there is any) to eliminate the flat worms
from hairy anemones, button anemones and star polyps as I
would like to keep them. <There are a number of chemical controls
for these pests, but the "cures" do carry some risk of
collateral damage. I'd check on the many hobbyist message boards to
hear what other hobbyists are using.> Also, is there a quick way to
get the anemones to release from the old rock?
<Unfortunately, there is no easy reliable way to get these animals
off without injuring them. Best to chip away bits of rock around them
and to glue the small rock onto larger rock in the new system.> Any
guidance would be appreciated. Best regards, Melanie Roberts Castle
Rock, Colorado <Hope this helps! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>