No announcement yet.

Acro eating flat worms - maybe a cure.

  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Acro eating flat worms - maybe a cure.

    after seeing a post on RC about Bifenthrin I decided to get some and give it a go. Bifenthrin (a pyrethroid) is sold as Ortho Termite & Carpenter Ant Killer (available from home depot), it contains 2.4% Bifenthrin and seems to be the strongest solution on the market, and it's a liquid.

    Anyway, on to the experiments. I have a crapload of a.microphthalma so I decided to try a dip and see what would happen to the coral. I mixed 2 cups tank water w/ 4 drops of Ant Killer and dipped the frag for 3 mintues. No flatworms came off (but then again I've never had any trouble with the micro so I wasn't expecting to see any.) Put to frag back into my QT tank and it's been completely happy.. During this dip I noticed a small pod in the container, it was still alive when I tossed the water (about 10 minutes) so it doesn't seem to hurt pods (well, initially that is)

    so, tonight I tried a not so good looking frag that has been living in the QT system. Within the first 15 seconds I had 1 flatworm floating around in the water, still alive. I continued the dip for 3 minutes but no other flatworms came off the frag. The flatworm started to look ill after about 5 minutes , I removed the FW at this stage for a closer look so I'm not sure about the time of death.

    No idea yet of the effect on eggs, since I can't find any..

    I was pretty excited to find this and I still plan on doing a bunch more tests. Tomorrow I'm going to dose the QT system once I figure out an amount. If this test goes well I will dose my tank on the weekend.

    stay tuned.

    Last edited by skeletor; 06-01-2005, 01:44 AM.

  • #2
    Keep us updated. I would be too scared to put anykind of pesticide in my tank or a coral that had it on and you placed it back in your system. Whats the reason for choosing this pesticide? Does a Lugols dip not work?


    • #3
      I spent several years in the pest control industry, my guess is that any synthetic pyrethroid would be toxic to flatworms. Would be pretty likely to be effective on the eggs also, although this would need to be borne out by experimentation.
      However bear in mind pyrethroids are also toxic to fish.
      Another feature of pyrethroids is that they break down in water. So when I was doing it commercially we could never use a mix that was left over from the day before. So a coral that is washed after treatment, then kept in QT for a couple of weeks, should in theory be safe to put back in the tank.

      It may be a useful project for those with these flatworms to experiment with synthetic pyrethroids to detirmine if this could be a viable option.
      Last edited by wasp; 06-01-2005, 06:51 AM.


      • #4
        I've never tried a lugols dip, but I read about some people trying it with not much success. I was pretty nervous dipping the first frag and thought I might kill it, but it was at least worth a try. I had done some fresh water dips before and while this does kill the flatworms it also nearly kills the coral.

        Wasp, thanks for the great info. Thankfully I have no fish in my SPS tank so dosing the entire tank is sounding more and more attractive.



        • #5
          Are the body juices of the acro flatworms toxic like the other fw's? If so,and if you have a lot of fw's you may have to siphon or scoop out the dead worms when dosing a whole tank.


          • #6
            I just got through dosing and monitoring the QT system. I'm now thinking that 1ml/gal is a little to much Ant Juice.. It made the water all cloudy and caused some slime production from an a.aspera, interestingly my guinnie pig the a.microphthalma produced no slime at all. Skimmer was shut down after dosing, 100 micron sock on the overflow to collect bodies.

            so, about 20 minutes after dosing I got in with the turkey baster and started blowing on the frags and was able to collect some flatworms. it seems they initially just let go of the coral and can be blown off very easily. I collected a few and put them into a container. I observed mostly small FW's, with only one or two large adults. In the container the smaller FW's died within about 30-40 minutes, the large adult lived for about 1 hour. :shoot7:

            the good news is that it does kill flatworms, the really good news is that is also appears to mess with the eggs. :yesway: While I was blowing around the base of a frag and observing what came off I noticed something that I initially thought was a small FW. I collected it with the turkey baster and upon closer inspection it was a small cluster of aproximately 40 eggs and not tigtly packed together but kind of suspended in some membrane, kind of like their protective shell was eaten away by the ant juice.

            So far the frags are all coping with the ant juice, they aren't overly happy about it being in the water, but at this stage anyway it looks like they will all pull through with a clean bill of health.

            By the looks of it most of the damage is done in the first hour, but since it breaks down in water I may just leave it overnight and hit it with a WC, some carbon, and crank the skimmer back up in the morning. anyone got any ideas about this.. ?

            pods do not like this stuff, it appeared to kill a lot of pods. Bristle worms also do not seem to enjoy the experience, they aren't quite dead yet, but they are pretty uncomfortable at the 2hr mark. I'll make a full casualty list in the morning.

            jrf, no idea about toxicity of these FW's... I've only been game enough to put insecticide into one of my tanks, I haven't tried eating any yet. I'll leave that experiment to someone else seriously tho, these guys don't seem to over populate like regular old FW's so the risk of poluting the water is low (IMO). I still cannot figure out where or when I got them.



            • #7
              Pyrethroid is likely just as toxic to both pods, bristleworms, and many other invertebrates, as it is to the flatworms. If the dose is too dilute to kill these, you may be missing some flatworms.
              Also, I may have misled with the info about pyrethroid breaking down in water. From a commercial pest control perspective, a pyrethroid and water mix that is 24 hours old, would no longer be viable. However, in this situation where you are looking to clean up the tank and have zero toxicity, there may be some lingering toxicity for several weeks.
              I don't have any acro eating flatworms so cannot try it myself, but my thoughts on treatment are that infected corals should be removed and treated seperately in a strongish mix for a shortish time frame. They should then be washed and placed in a seperate QT tank for a couple of weeks, after which they could be placed back in the tank.


              • #8
                It did appear that the pyrethroid broke down after about 24 hours as the skimmer finally stopped overflowing with foam, I also read somewhere that sunlight helps break it down too... unfortunately whatever else was in the ant juice didn't break down...

                I did a 75% WC after about 4hours and I still can't get the water clear. everything in the QT system appears dead now and there is a horid smell coming from the tank :-(

                so, I'm now looking for another source of Bifenthrin or some other synthetic pyrethroid that is more pure. any suggestions ?

                back to the drawing board... I'll clean out the QT system on the weekend and setup for some more tests next week.

                so far dipping does seem like the best solution but I am still concerned that this will not get 100% of the flatworms & eggs.



                • #9
                  Please give us more info when you figure it out bro also wasp thank you for the great input
                  180G SPS Mainly
                  10 Bulb T5 Starfire
                  Calcium Reactor
                  3 Tunze 6105's
                  Profilux Controller
                  ATB Return w/ wavysea
                  ATB M External Skimmer