FAQs about Flatworm Identification
Related Articles: Flatworms
(incl. Planaria), Pest
Flatworm Control by Anthony Calfo, Worms, Featherduster
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Can you Id this? 3/17/18
Hello Bob and WetWetMedia Friends,
I took a picture of a Berghia Nudibranch and I noticed something else on the
Something I have seen over some mushrooms.
Can you identify the thing the arrow is pointing at, that you can see covering
the mushrooms in the other 2 pictures?
Is it a plague? A parasite? Or is something normal the mushrooms have?
<These are flatworms... some folks lose their minds launching attacks against
such... best to be patient, perhaps add a biological control (predator). Let's
have you read here:
and the linked files above re>
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: Can you Id this?
Thank you Bob,
I really appreciate your help.
<Glad to render it>
I read all the articles and even searched in 2 forums.
I think I will go with your recommendation and be patient (Patient is the second
name of Reefkeeping) as all the possible solutions are very hard to implement in
<Ah yes; this is what I'd do as well. Have seen much more concentrated
aggregations of these Acoels on Mushrooms et al Cnidarians in the wild>
I was able to find and Buy some Berghia Nudibranchs to eliminate all the
Aiptasia I had.
If I can find a Velvet Sea Slug - Chelidonura varians I will try with it as it
seems to be the best and safest option.
If you can recommend something else please let me know.
<Nothing more. Nada mas>
Thank you again
<And you. BobF>
Hi Bob and Crew, any idea what these are (see attached)? Looks like little
flatworms or Planaria with tails.
<Hey Chad! I do think these are Acoel Flatworms... possibly of the genus
Some folks advocate overt actions for their removal. These include the use of
some more/less specific poisons. IF you go this route, DO be prepared to remove
possible noxious metabolites (from the Platyhelminth et al. worm
die-off), or the purposeful livestock to other quarters. Much re possible
controls is archived on WWM:
and the Related FAQs mat.s linked above. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
worm help. Flatworms on/off dipped Acropora
<4.7 megs of what? Uncropped... waste?>
So the last couple nights I discovered a large ugly worm in my
tank. About four inches long,
only at night time, and although I realize he is most likely harmless,
today, with his head poking out from a small rock on the sand bed, I
decided I wanted him out.
I took the small rock out, which had two Acros encrusted onto it, and
dipped it in Bayer for about 5 minutes. The worm eventually crawled out,
and I rinsed the rock along with corals, and placed it back into the
Upon draining the water out from my dip container, I noticed what looked
like shredded earth worms on the bottom of the container. (from my box
turtle days, looked like earthworms cut up with razor blade for baby box
They are soft, to the point when you dab them with your finger gently,
they break easily like wet paper.
I attached a pic, could this be the dreaded aefw?
>Oh! These are flatworms of some sort. See WWM re. Bob
Re: worm help. STILL not a reader; sigh.....
Yes indeed it is. Verified by dipping a single Acro last night after the
lights went out. Found a few , clear opaque bugs fall off the Acro.
Pretty sure this will be the final straw for me. I am not willing to break
off the Acros, dip every week for the next month. Between the fish and
parasites and now these worms, hobby is not fun anymore.
<Not necessary to break off, dip... >
In an "desperate" attempt, I took an Acros last night and dipped it in tank
water and Prazi pro. It was a high dose, 2 ml, in 32 ML's of water.
After 10 minutes, the worms that fell off appeared dead.
Prazi pro direction tell you to get 2.5 mg/l dose, use a teaspoon (roughly 5
ml) per 20 gallon. Going off of that , my dose wise high.
Having no fish in the tank, would it be a reasonable, (although expensive)
test to treat with a high dose of Prazi pro? Is there a know ld of Prazi pro
for coral and denitrifying bacteria?
<Are your corals being mal-affected some how? Back (again) with reading for
you. Don't write: READ>
re: worm help 9/2/16
I will continue my reading and note taking.
<For comprehension; yes>
I know you said not to write, but to answer the question you had in there, in
the past 8 weeks, have had 4 or 5 Acros pale out and bleach.
<Ahh; but are "these worms" the culprit is the question? You have provided no
other useful data; the system, maintenance, water quality tests, history....>
Parameters were acceptable. The two Acros I dipped and showed workm, <?> (not
bugs like I carelessly mentioned before)had bald tissues, parts of the coral had
no polyp extension, just skeleton in certain areas.
Thanks and I will carry on reading
<Good. Send on pertinent questions, information. B>
re: worm help 9/2/16
Just to finalize what I should have included in the aforementioned writing, the
Almighty parameters and set up:
180 gallon tank, another 20 in the sump. Two power heads providing 40x overturn
in tank. Lit by two 400 watt 20k Radiums along with two t5 bulbs.
About 140 pounds of live rock. No fish currently, going fallow from what I
believe was an Ich out break (7 weeks fallow this far)
Chemistry and conditions:
78 degrees controller via apex
8.5 Alk, 430 calcium, 1400 + magnesium.
Po4 > .08
No3 > 10 ppm
0 amm and nitrite
Noticed a few weeks ago some Acros losing color. Param.s were consistent with
the ab I ve numbers, blamed it on the tank being only 10 months old, not enough
food from having 0 fish, Acros being touch to keep etc etc
Decided to dip and remove a bristle worm, and found more than just the bristle
Went back at night, broke off a green Acro, and upon close look saw a worm that
resembled a grain of rice.
Dipped in Bayer, and had saw several more come off.
Dipped another Acro in Prazi pro, strong solution, and within ten minutes, worms
appeared dead even after swapping the dip water with clean saltwater.
I know it's been said Prazi will not eliminate aefw, however, I took that to
most set ups enjoying fish in the tank concurrently, and not being able to ramp
up past the recommended "Gil fluke" dosage.
Pondered the idea of loading the fishless , albeit worm infested tank with this
med, however I'm sure it's anyone's guess the aftermath that could ensue.
One last final note, I have physically seem the worms, via test dip in the above
chemicals, however I have not seen bite marks.
Could be my untrained eye, or could be a worm that is more of a nuisance than a
From my understanding, there are different types of flat worms, not all munch
and kill the coral. Although, who wants Acros with faded polyps and bare
<Not many folks>
I will continue to read, measure the risks, and with my next day off, start
ungluing the frags, and dipping them once a week for 5 weeks in Bayer. If that
doesn't work, on to another plan.
<I'd do something else... predators, other Anthelminthic/s...>
Wish me luck
<Good fortune and proceed w/ knowledge. Cheers, Bob Fenner>