Author Topic: Flatworms, Caulerpa, herbivores, and a 75G  (Read 6186 times)

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Offline psa

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Flatworms, Caulerpa, herbivores, and a 75G
« on: January 31, 2008, 06:06:29 PM »
I'm finally tearing down my SPS tank to clean out the flatworms and grape caulerpa.

Two drops of Flatworm Exit in a half-bucket of saltwater with a tiny powerhead seems to take out the flatworms within half an hour.  I treated a random sampling of inverts (snails, brittle stars, clam, montipora, acropora, zoos, lps, a couple rocks) this way for one hour and then removed them to a clean tank (cycled with mostly bare live rock for a couple months).  So far everything looks good.  The tiny brittle stars did not like the treatment much, but I can't tell if they survived yet because they are such good hiders.  Despite my attempts to rinse everything off before treatment, the water in the bucket was full of hundreds of dead flatworms, and a number of dead, tiny white starfish that I didn't even know I still had in my tank (they've never been seen near the SPS).  Apparently stars are highly sensitive to flatworm exit or dying flatworms.

The other major pest in my tank is caulerpa.  Despite my best efforts at physical removal, it all seems to come back from the rhizoids.  Most of the rock in the tank has been touched with it by now.  As part of my moving process I'm physically removing as much of it as I can, but I fully expect to see it spring back up in its new home.

I've heard that tangs will sometimes eat this caulerpa, but I do not keep any currently.  For reasons relating to the structural integrity of my floors, my largest running tank is 75G.  (Yes, I still need to do something with that ninety-some gallon tank in the garage).

Does anyone have experience with tangs or other fish eating caulerpa like this?  Are there any other fish/critters I should look into?  Are any of these appropriate for my 75G mixed reef tank?  I really don't want to have to sterilize all of the rock from the affected SPS tank.

Thanks for any input you can provide.
-Paul
Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Offline Rico

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Re: Flatworms, Caulerpa, herbivores, and a 75G
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2008, 11:06:17 PM »
Paul,

Try putting a piece of live rock in the microwave and cook for about 2 minutes.  This should effectively kill all the calurpa.

The toxins from the dead flat worms may have killed the star fish.  The toxins will turn the water yellow.  Les loss several fish due to a flat worm die off in his tank.  The clue was the sudden color change to yellow of his water coinciding with the death of the fish.

Rick
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Offline psa

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Re: Flatworms, Caulerpa, herbivores, and a 75G
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2008, 01:52:29 AM »
Try putting a piece of live rock in the microwave and cook for about 2 minutes.  This should effectively kill all the calurpa.
Of course, I'm hoping to avoid killing these rocks if I can...  :P

The toxins from the dead flat worms may have killed the star fish.  The toxins will turn the water yellow.  Les loss several fish due to a flat worm die off in his tank.  The clue was the sudden color change to yellow of his water coinciding with the death of the fish.
Which is why I'm taking the separate-and-treat-in-quarantine approach, rather than taking a chance on nuking the tank with toxic flatworms.  So far I've treated and moved about half of the corals with good success.  I think the new tank needs stronger lights, though...

Thanks for your comments.
Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Offline MartyK

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Re: Flatworms, Caulerpa, herbivores, and a 75G
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2008, 09:19:32 PM »
Paul - This reply may be to late, but I've had a yellow tang in the past that liked to eat grape calerpa. I don't think he ever kept up with the growth.

Offline The Apprentice

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Re: Flatworms, Caulerpa, herbivores, and a 75G
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2008, 05:24:13 AM »

The other major pest in my tank is caulerpa.  Despite my best efforts at physical removal, it all seems to come back from the rhizoids.  Most of the rock in the tank has been touched with it by now.  As part of my moving process I'm physically removing as much of it as I can, but I fully expect to see it spring back up in its new home.

I've heard that tangs will sometimes eat this caulerpa, but I do not keep any currently.  For reasons relating to the structural integrity of my floors, my largest running tank is 75G.  (Yes, I still need to do something with that ninety-some gallon tank in the garage).

Does anyone have experience with tangs or other fish eating caulerpa like this?  Are there any other fish/critters I should look into?  Are any of these appropriate for my 75G mixed reef tank?  I really don't want to have to sterilize all of the rock from the affected SPS tank.

Thanks for any input you can provide.
-Paul


Hi Paul have you ever heard of a Tomine Tang I have  one in my 75 and he does a good gob of working to local algae he wont touch Hair algae but these are a very small breed of the Bristletooth species the bad points to these guys is cost and they are a bully to any blennys you may have in the tank check out the link good luck..Jeff

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=334
150 gallon LPS reef Set up March 04
75 gallon SPS reef Set up Dec 04
Oceanic sump's #2&3,Mag drive pumps
PFO HORIZONTAL LIGHT, Aqua C skimmers

375 lbs live rock, Clams,lots of fish,SPS softies,Zoos,Anomes,And a few Pistol shrimps! all kinds of stuff

Offline Nate C.

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Re: Flatworms, Caulerpa, herbivores, and a 75G
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2008, 09:33:30 AM »
Our Yellow and Powder Brown Tangs both love the grape caulerpa we had.  They would strip them to bare stalks within hours of adding them to the tank from the fuge.  Unfortunately the feather caulerpa overran the grape in the fuge, so we don't have any to give them these days.