View Full Version : Red planaria flatworms

06-14-2017, 11:42 PM
Hi, would like to share my experience with this pest to everyone. After years of reef hobbying. I finally had caught a nasty pest outbreak.

What i first notice are these red "stuff" on the rocks. Soon i noticed they were on the glass. After googling information about it i have identified it as red planaria flatworms. Iam not sure if its a variant of "red bugs".
One is for certain it is photosynthetic.

I was in a binge frag buying spree locally for about a few months between fall and after winter and for sure i did not have it before the buying spree.

I had dipped the corals/ rocks i got in Revive solution. The only thing is i bought some cheato that i didnt remember dipping. Anyways its past where i got it from and i have to treat the outbreak.

I decided to go chemical and use Salifert Flatworm exit.
The inhabitants are a yellow tang, clown fishes, flame angel, pajama cardinal , blue damsel fish. Some turbo snails and few blue and red hermit crabs.

Corals are: various color morph of hammer coral, some acans, several zoas/ paly, rbta, torch coral, frag of pocci and unknown sps (1" green polyps) ,gsp, green and yellow rhodactis.

Ok so now to the treatment.i finally found a time to do. I timed it during my water change. They said that once flatworms dies it release chemicals so remove most of it before applying flatworm exit. First i fashioned a syphon device using rigid airline tubing on one end and then soft airline tubing into other end into a bucket. I tried syphoning the b@st@rds from the rocks and glass they were on making sure i get most of it out. They come off easily enough and got lots of of it. I removed the corals frags and corals that are in rocks if i can and placed them in another buckets i left the fishes, snails and hermit crabs and a big I have a total water volume of about 80g on display and 20g in sump taking into account the rock water displacement and sump. I shut off my skimmer and return pump at this point and removed my carbon. I kept my jebao pumps on inside to circulate the water. Follow the recommend dosage for Flatworm exit. Upon dumping the solution in display and part in sump I instantly saw some of the worms dropping from glass. I turkey basted the rocks to flush any of them out and use a small pump to blast the rocks. By now all are floating around and or in the sand floor. Instruction says as soon as you see them drop do water change and run carbon but waited about 1 hour before i started doing the sand vacuuming for the water change i wanted to make sure these guys are dead. i removed about a total of 30g of water. I added fresh mixed salt water.

now to the corals frags/ rocks i removed and in buckets. I added the recommended drops/ gallon of water. I just estimated it. Swished it in the bucket/ turkey basted it, saw the flatworms die/ fall off and left them in for 20-30mins while i did the display siphoning. I quckly rinsed them into a bucket of fresh salt water mix afterwards and put them back in display tank. I say this might shock some more sensitive corals so perhaps leave then in the dt. I saw a few that are clinging still in glass. So i did not run carbon until the following day.

After the water change is completed and corals are back in place. I checked the fishes. They seemed ok, no heavy breathing. Turned on return pump and skimmer at wet skim. The corals are all closed , in the hammer and rbta case they where releasing slime. Checked few hours latter all seemed normal. most corals are still half open but rbtas are hiding.. Next morning, i decided to run the bag of carbon. The fishes are still hiding but i can see all of them, tang was breathing heavy but is upright by afternoon, the blue damsel i did not see and found it dead after searching. The next day all corals are all opened up fully again. All Fish seemed all fine now and swimming about.

As far as i can tell i did not loose any hermit or snails. I can still see them crawling. I have a small hitchhiker fan worms in one of the LR i have and seem to come out again. The small white starfishes did not die. How ever those small bristle stars if you have sand beds i saw them dieing so i siphoned them out on what i can. I havent checked if pods died or not i have to do that at night.. The remaining red flatworms that were still on glass before adding carbon was all gone as well. The skimmate was light red it seems these things desolves when they die. I did another 30g water change a week later. Unfortunately the blue damsel did not make it.

I will be going with Bayer route on my next purchases. how ever in the net they say it does not affect the red planaria so will try adding flatworm exit dip as well.. I've been watching next few weeks to see if i killed them all and it looks like i did.