How to get rid of planaria: a practical and definitive guide foreliminate planaria from the marine aquarium. Simple instructions within everyone's reach.
Theplanarians, a bit like theaiptasie, are unwanted guests of themarine aquarium. The reason? They are extremely infesting, they reproduce quickly, stealing light and nutrients from the corals we are desperately trying to protect.
Before you seehow to eliminate planaria, it would be better to prevent the problem. Although prevention is not an exact science. If prevention is impossible with aiptasia (a live rock could contain traces of the animal that would multiply directly in your tank), withplanariansthe speech does not change. Lot ofaquaristsrecommend taking an osmotic bath to live rocks and corals, before introducing them into the tank.
Yes, this is good advice, however if planarian eggs are found on that coral or live rock, they will not be swept away but above all, if the planaria is in a cavity of the live rock where the water does not reach. osmosis, it will be free to reproduce again. Here is a big limitation that makes us slaves to chemicals for delete planaria permanentlybut for those looking fornatural remedieseffective, there is a road but it is very winding.
Note: in the aquarium, planarians multiply mainly by cleavage. Sexual multiplication (therefore with egg production) is a rather rare event.
How to get rid of planaria naturally
If you are looking for a natural way to eliminate planaria, know that if the infestation has already exploded in your marine aquarium, you will have to work a lot and you will not be able to obtain 100% guaranteed results. The reason? Planarians and eggs can be found everywhere and you cannot know what to eliminate or how to act ... you will have to intervene on everything and with great care.
To see a drastic elimination of planaria you can:
- replace the substrate of your tank (only if the infestation is massive and you also notice planarians in the substrate, otherwise you can simply vacuum the most superficial layer of the seabed to bathe it in osmosis water and then reposition it in the tank)
- do a complete water change
- individually rinse each rock and coral in osmotic water
- wash filter tubes and all filter components with water
- clean the skimmer with osmotic water
- also immerse the movement pump and any component of the aquarium in osmotic water
This way, you can delete all planarians lives but you will not be sure to remove the eggs as well. So, when you have done all this immense effort, some planaria may appear that you will have to eliminate by siphoning.
Will the story ever end? Yes, but only if you are lucky and you get help from some invertebrates or fish that feed on planarians.
How to bathe corals in osmotic water?
Just immerse the coral in osmosis water for a few seconds, shaking it. For soft coralsslenderlike xenia pumping, an 8 second bath is enough. If not all the planaria have fallen away, you can organize yourself with a second basin in which you will keep sea water at a temperature, so as to take several baths in osmotic water interspersed. For hard corals or live rocks, you can go up to 20 seconds, always shaking the coral in the water to allow the planaria to detach.
Predators: fish that feed on planarians
Among the predatory fish useful in the control of planarians, I point out the fish pseudocheilinus hexataenia. Halichoeres chrysus can decimate the populations of planarians in the aquarium. Another useful fish can be synchiropus marmoratus as well as other mandarin fish.
- Halichoeres chrysus
- Pseudocheilinus hexataenia
- Synchiropus marmoratus
Planaria in the marine aquarium, remedies
In some forums it is said that the kH and pH of the aquarium are raised. In the guide articlehow the pH of the marine aquarium increasesI'll also explain how to do it… however I'll tell you right away what this method is for eliminate planaria it is not effective, I do not recommend it. Indeed, not only is it not effective for eliminate planaria permanently, but it also has the side effect of increasing the risk of algae proliferation that would stratify on the glass and that you will not be able to remove with the classic magnet to clean the windows because they need to be scraped off. In short, to eliminate one problem, you risk creating another.
How to get rid of planaria: chemicals
If you have already searched forums or asked an aquarium specialist, he will have told you that they exist product to eliminate planaria but which are not sold in Italy. This is only partially true, because now everything is online.
A great product is the Salifert Flatworm Exit, but if you find it on eBay or Amazon, you pay at least 70 - 80 euros, precisely because it is an imported product. It is valid? Yes, very good and effective. How to use it? There are instructions in English, the doses are 1 drop of product every 4 liters of water. You absolutely must not overdo the doses.
Are there any alternatives? In Italy you can readjust a product that you find in the pharmacy. The active ingredient is thelevamisole, an anthelmintic effective for eliminating planaria. Levamisole can be bought in pharmacies, the trade name of the drug is “Ascarilen” go to the pharmacy asking for a “subcutaneous injectable for veterinary use”. It can be bought at the price of 10 euros. Always use minimal doses: 1 ml of product per 30 liters of water.
Dead planarians must be removed immediately in the tank as they release toxic harmful to the marine aquarium fauna. You will need to remove any dead planaria from the filter as well, so be careful to make the necessary checks after the treatment.
Please note: Levamisole does not act on eggs, so it may be necessary to repeat the treatment.
There are those who advise, to prevent levamisole from comingdisabled, to disconnect the skimmer and filter only for a few hours, during the treatment. The skimmer acts on albumin and other proteins with a very different structure from levamisole (which belongs to the molecular class of imidazothiazolines), in theory it should also remain unharmed by the filter, but it depends on the type of resins you have. The only thing not to deactivate is the movement pump. Indeed, when adding the active ingredient, dilute it in sea water and administer it right next to the movement pump so as to best disperse it in the water.
It may help you: how to eliminate aiptasias