Hello Everyone, Steven here! Thanks again for joining me for another reef chat. If you prefer to enjoy today’s content via video format and skip the reading, please feel free to click the video below:
Today we will dive into one (of the many) marine aquarium pests that many of us hate to deal with: Flatworm. Flatworm comes in many shapes and sizes. And they all have the potential to harm your existing residents in one way or another. In the past I have battled against brown flatworms that covers up corals and blocks them off from proper light exposure. I’ve also found huge clam eating flatworms in the past. Fortunately I have not had to deal with acropora or montipora eating flatworms (knock on wood) yet.
This week I am once again battling the brown flatworm. I do have good news- I have already enlisted help from the Springer Damsel last week, but it is still in QT so I don’t get to see him devour on flatworms for another week.
I first noticed my flatworm issue when a friend who just picked up frags from me show me a picture of the dipped coral:
Have you ever get so anxious you lose sleep over your corals? This literally made me lose sleep! I ordered Flatworm Stop immediately and couldn’t wait for the med to arrive.
Flatworms normally comes in as hitch hiker from corals and inverts you’ve purchased. Again, emphasizing the importance of coral dipping and quarantine. I admit I have completely failed myself by neglected to dip some of the recently ordered corals. Also, flatworms tend to thrive in tanks that are nutritionally rich. I will also admit that my recent content creation and reviews of coral food has lead to a much more nutritious situation in my tank. No excuse though, it is a pest and I have to deal with it.
The Flatworm Stop is a German product that is supposedly used to help you keep flatworm population under control, while help restore the damaged corals. I have just started dosing this to my tank today so unfortunately I am unable to provide any results or review against this product. The recommended treatment cycle is 1ml/25gallon/90days minimum. So I guess I’ll be reporting back for as long as three months from now on my findings. Until then, the springer damsel will be hard at work.
I’ve used other Flatworm medications before, including Salifert’s flatworm exit. The one negative thing about that is it killed flatworms so fast that the water had no time to respond. The toxins released from the dead flatworms literally blew up my protein skimmer and it took two months for the skimmer to calm down. So while that med worked and did its job, I wanted to try something else this time.
I see that Flatworm Stop has some mixed reviews. For the most part the reviews averaged out to be about 4 stars. The one thing everyone seemed to agree is their corals gained better coloration. But the one thing that people seemed to have reservation is whether or not it was actually effective against flatworms. I am not quite familiar with the nature of this mix. But the 90 day treatment period leads me to believe instead of killing the flatworm out right, it works by either killing the eggs, or prevent flatworms from breeding in the tank. If you are an expert in this medication please feel free to jump in and share your opinion on this.
I will move forward with my regular Flatworm Stop dosing, as well as employing help from the springer damsel. I suppose it can be as long as three months before I report back my findings. But if I notice the eradication of flatworms sooner than that, I will also come back for an update. Until then, coral trading and selling will be temporarily shut down as I take pride and responsibility to provide fellow hobbyists quality and pest free corals.
Happy to hear your comments and experiences dealing with Flatworm. Please share any pro-tips and best practices to help educated us!