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sigh..flatworms


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#1
do_0b

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so i saw like 3 on the glass....use flatworm exit now or siphon?

#2
Islandoftiki

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Get on top of them now! Suck out any that you can see, then treat the tank with FW exit.

I first tried just sucking them out any time I saw them, but I could never get 100% of them and they continued to multiply in the cracks and crevices of the rocks.

I ended up with FW Exit resistant flatworms and had to temporarily employ the services of a small juvenile sixline wrasse to eat them all. This was a very effective last resort. The sixline ate every single one in about a week, along with every single pod in the tank.

Only one problem. It probably cost me over $600.00 ultimately. Why? Because I was originally planning to take the sixline back to the LFS after the flatworms were cleared up. The major hiccup occurred when I didn't want to give the sixline up and had to start a larger 10 gallon tank so I could keep her.

Ok, so that part wasn't really a problem, and the sixline did an amazing job of eating all of the flatworms. So, that's a good temporary option if the FW Exit fails. Of course, it can only be temporary as a tank that small is no place for a sixline on a long term basis. The Sixline did seem comfortable enough for the couple weeks she was in there. It was a very small one though.

#3
Stoops718

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so i saw like 3 on the glass....use flatworm exit now or siphon?


Put a sixline wrasse in there. He'll eat it all up.

Get on top of them now! Suck out any that you can see, then treat the tank with FW exit.

I first tried just sucking them out any time I saw them, but I could never get 100% of them and they continued to multiply in the cracks and crevices of the rocks.

I ended up with FW Exit resistant flatworms and had to temporarily employ the services of a small juvenile sixline wrasse to eat them all. This was a very effective last resort. The sixline ate every single one in about a week, along with every single pod in the tank.

Only one problem. It probably cost me over $600.00 ultimately. Why? Because I was originally planning to take the sixline back to the LFS after the flatworms were cleared up. The major hiccup occurred when I didn't want to give the sixline up and had to start a larger 10 gallon tank so I could keep her.

Ok, so that part wasn't really a problem, and the sixline did an amazing job of eating all of the flatworms. So, that's a good temporary option if the FW Exit fails. Of course, it can only be temporary as a tank that small is no place for a sixline on a long term basis. The Sixline did seem comfortable enough for the couple weeks she was in there. It was a very small one though.


+1 You beat me to it. Also be prepared for extremely hard capture if you don't plan on keeping it.

#4
do_0b

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are they the only fish that eats flatworms?

#5
Islandoftiki

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Velvet sea slugs eat them, too. The only problem is that like most sea slugs, their diet is very specialized. They ONLY eat flatworms. Nothing else. So once they eat all of your flat worm, they starve to death and die... probably killing everything else in your tank at the same time.

At least the sixline will eat just about anything else, so you can keep it alive after it's done it's job. Then you can re-home it. Or start a bigger tank.

#6
do_0b

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Velvet sea slugs eat them, too. The only problem is that like most sea slugs, their diet is very specialized. They ONLY eat flatworms. Nothing else. So once they eat all of your flat worm, they starve to death and die... probably killing everything else in your tank at the same time.

At least the sixline will eat just about anything else, so you can keep it alive after it's done it's job. Then you can re-home it. Or start a bigger tank.


seems like a pain to catch them tho...not really a fan of those guys. I think I'm gonna get FW exit.
Question...after dosing FW exit do i do a water change right after?

#7
7digits

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Yellow coris wrasse and melanarus wrasse will also eat them. My yellow coris is alot less aggressive than a sixline. It's name is Hand Banana. Athf forever.

Edited by 7digits, 28 February 2012 - 11:31 AM.


#8
Stoops718

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seems like a pain to catch them tho...not really a fan of those guys. I think I'm gonna get FW exit.
Question...after dosing FW exit do i do a water change right after?


From what I've read on FW Exit you must syphon out the dead flatworms because they can be toxic to your tank.

#9
Islandoftiki

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Yeah, follow the directions on the package.

Get every last one you can see before you treat the tank. I used a turkey baster to suck them up.

Because flatworms release harmful toxins when they die, you have to do a water change right after as they all start floating into the water column. Try to suck them out right as they begin to die. That will help reduce problems.

Then you do a water change when it's all done.

I started with the recommended dosage, but still had some left, and you probably will have to dose again in a couple days as eggs hatch.

Sometimes it works great, sometimes you'll get a few that are resistant to the drug (I believe it's the same thing they use for de-worming pigs).

When I did it, none of the corals or inverts seemed to mind the FW Exit. Even when I tried dosing at 4 times the recommended dosage to kill the resistant ones.

I would recommend removing any chemical filtration media (Chemi-pure, carbon, etc.) while you're treating the tank so it doesn't soak up the FW Exit while it's doing it's thing. Then put it back after you do the water change.

#10
MikeTR

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I've done a double dose, got lazy and never did a water change.. I did run carbon though.. nothing died except the flatworms.. dont be lazy though.. just a testament to FW exit.

#11
do_0b

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my next question was how do you know if the flatworms are dying but i guess they float up water column like islandoftiki said.

thanks all!

#12
MikeTR

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you'll take great pleasure in watching them zoom around on the glass as fast as a flatworm possibly could, and then they'll just peel off and float away.

#13
HighEndOfTheLow

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why not try a possum wrasse?

Mine has kept my pico flatworm free, when it used to be SMOTHERED in them. They also are pretty non aggressive and stay small!

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#14
do_0b

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why not try a possum wrasse?

Mine has kept my pico flatworm free, when it used to be SMOTHERED in them. They also are pretty non aggressive and stay small!


dont wanna go banking on a fish that might eat it or not and i don't really like the looks of these wrasses besides fairy wrasses

if only flame wrasses eat flat worms :D

#15
Alexraptor

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I personally don't trust mystery chemicals in a reef tank.
There is no such thing as a miracle chemical cure that eliminates only one target species, theres always something else that ends up hurting, even if you don't know it.

That said, My experience with flatworms is that they are not the problem themselves, but a symptom of a problem.
In my case its pretty much been, Nutrients = Flatworm population.

Had trouble for a while with FW's, and i siphoned any of the larger specimens out on sight.
But maintaining good water quality has kept the population in check, and once i got my refugium up and running with cheato they have pretty much been non-existant in my system.

#16
Lawnman

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Alex gonna have to disagree with you. Flatworm exit is miracle chemical. It kills flatworms and nothing else. I have used it before with excellent results.

#17
davidncbrown

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I personally don't trust mystery chemicals in a reef tank.
There is no such thing as a miracle chemical cure that eliminates only one target species, theres always something else that ends up hurting, even if you don't know it.

That said, My experience with flatworms is that they are not the problem themselves, but a symptom of a problem.
In my case its pretty much been, Nutrients = Flatworm population.

Had trouble for a while with FW's, and i siphoned any of the larger specimens out on sight.
But maintaining good water quality has kept the population in check, and once i got my refugium up and running with cheato they have pretty much been non-existant in my system.


+1 symptom not a problem. Get rid of detritus and excess nutrients. They will disappear. They tend to wax and wane with nutrients. Especially in a young tank.

#18
Formula462

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Yellow coris wrasse and melanarus wrasse will also eat them. My yellow coris is alot less aggressive than a sixline. It's name is Hand Banana. Athf forever.



tonight...you.

haha. possum wrasse is my favorite. Or a cryptic six line.

#19
Lawnman

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+1 symptom not a problem. Get rid of detritus and excess nutrients. They will disappear. They tend to wax and wane with nutrients. Especially in a young tank.

My tank is pristine and always has been. I forgot to dip a chalice frag about a year ago and ended up with flat worms that multiplied every week. Perfect parameters and they kept growing in numbers until I dosed flatworm exit

#20
davidncbrown

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My tank is pristine and always has been. I forgot to dip a chalice frag about a year ago and ended up with flat worms that multiplied every week. Perfect parameters and they kept growing in numbers until I dosed flatworm exit


Well I had flatworms, then I got.really diligent about water changes and not feeding so much. Within a month they were all gone. I found a couple in my sump a while later but they never moved back into the display. I looked a few weeks later and never saw them anymore.