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Planaria in shrimp/snail/scuds tank


Comradovich
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I have an outbreak of planaria in the tank I raise shrimp, snails and scuds in. Looking at a reply by @nabokovfan87 on another planaria thread, I'm pretty sure it's either a Dugesia or Girardia species. Since I'm planning on introducing some of these as either cleaners or prey items into the main 20G tank at some future date, I'm gonna need to solve the 5.5G's infestation. Not to mention starting up the 40G breeder... was planning to start it cycling with snails and plant cuttings, that's on the backburner now.

Now, main plan is to treat the tank with Levamisole. Mainly because I saw a Keeping Fish Simple vid where an actual shrimp breeder tells me the shrimp-safe concentration of Levamisole. You can see that here at the 9:50 mark. I'm planning to order some of that from Select Aquatics, or pick some up from my local farm supply shop. That'll be several weeks down the road, though. The nuke is on it's way, but I need to contain the outbreak while my orbital weapons platform gets into position.

Here's what I have in the tank itself:

1. Scuds... probably both genuses, as I seem to have two differently sized/colored strains.

2. Bladder snails, (which are crashing and need saving).

3. Ramshorn snails, (which I have seen the planaria devour the egg cases of, but I have a ton so no harm there).

4. Ghost shrimp. (These were mostly installed in the tank to prep it for neocaridina later on, they're also looking rough).

I do have a number of jars/tubs with pumps/filters I could park a few snails/shrimp in if needs be. The snails will have to be moved anyway before the Levamisole.

 

Now, as potential short term control measures, the 20 G contains the following candidates:

1. 3 dwarf chain loaches... (I know zebra loaches eat planaria, do these?)

2. A single very old female gold white cloud. (This is the tank boss).

3. 4 neon tetras that I am trying to condition to breed.

4. 6 juvenile pitbull plecos that I would rather not risk on an experiment as I plan to breed them.

5. 4 java loaches, (at least I think there's 4, darn things are everywhere at dinner time, but invisible when I'm trying to get a head count).

Would transplanting any of these over to the smaller tank potentially reduce my infestation? The 20G is long overdue for most of its plants to be reverse respirationed to get rid of a BBA problem. I figured I'd give the fish a vacation while I reduced the plant load over a day or so. If I did both things simultaneously, I wouldn't disrupt the 20G's balance bad enough to cause lasting harm. Probably looking at just a water change while the plants are in the bucket. This tank mostly gets top-offs. Again, I just need a bridge while I get the treatment ready. I have been scraping the planaria off with an algae scraper, but this misses any hiding in the silicon seals or my forest of Süßwassertang.

 

I also have Aquarium Salt. Might start with that after I check on the dosage that won't fry my snails. Come to think of it... would just moving the snails to a tub and dosing with salt solve the issue?

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Sorry you are having issues. I would try a planarian trap. Both salt and levamisole are harmful to snails. Alternative take as many snails as you can out and put in a container until ALL the levamisole is gone through water change and carbon. Your plants won’t love salt at levels needed to kill planaria and I would make sure the salt was gone also. 
Reverse Respiration even for a few hours will kill all planaria on you susswassertang. My suss loves RR. Sometimes when it just doesn’t look it’s best I give it s seltzer bath to spruce it up. 

 

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When it comes to shrimp, I try to avoid these two (hydra/planaria).

Here is how I would handle it.  Salt is definitely an option as it does irritate most parasites.  You would still want to focus on siphoning and manual removal on top of any treatment.
 

 

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Well, after watching Bentley's stream last night and shooting him an email for advice, I decided to get a quarantine jar set up for each of my pets. This way, if the main tank crashes from treatments, then at least I have a backup colony to reseed. The forest of Süßwassertang got dried out next to the sink so that any scuds could be located fleeing towards water and plopped into a jar. A clump of rotting easter grass now graces my garbage can. I'll reseed with my jar of cuttings once I'm sure the infestation in the tank is gone.

Pro tip: If you ever need to remove your scud colony from a moss or süßwassertang clump, place about a quarter inch of water in a jar. Place the moss clump so that only a bit of it touches the water. As it dries out, the scuds will all flee into the water. You can grab a big bunch of them this way. This was actually my first stage of separating the colony and it worked for *most* of the scuds hiding there.

When separating out the snails for their own jar, I noticed that they were crawling with planaria. Pretty sure I've identified my host. Some of the planaria I found crawling on the jar walls are even the same color as the ramshorn snails, which per Chris Lukaup is a good sign that they've been eating the snails. I've found (2) TWO bladder snails, which is not a great start to cleaning out a tank I set up to breed those in.

@nabokovfan87's video helped a ton, I've got some API test tubes still lying around from an expired kit, so making those traps will be a pretty snappy DIY project. I'm thinking bacon as bait. I had completely overlooked Mark's videos as I didn't think he dealt much with planaria.

I'm honestly on the fence between No Planaria or just lowering my water level and reverse respiring the entire tank. Maybe I'll wait and see what Bentley suggests then weigh all the responses. Until then, I guess I'll be manually re-jarring shrimp, scuds and snails every few days and salting the old jar down. Good thing my family has a Costco card and likes nuts.

Again, @nabokovfan87 and @Guppysnail, thank you both for the advice. I'll probably end up incorporating a little bit of everyone's suggestions before I'm done with this.

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I've used about 2.5ppm of pure levamisole and I wish it would have killed all my bladder snails.  I think it just made them stronger. 

 

Have also used it with assassins and MTS and seem to be unaffected.  I will say an experimental high dose of metro (on a single discus) killed my assassins when I put them in the water forgetting that I hadn't done the tear down and clean. 

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On 4/5/2023 at 1:31 PM, Comradovich said:

The forest of Süßwassertang got dried out next to the sink

Noooooooo!

On 4/5/2023 at 1:31 PM, Comradovich said:

@nabokovfan87's video helped a ton, I've got some API test tubes still lying around from an expired kit, so making those traps will be a pretty snappy DIY project. I'm thinking bacon as bait. I had completely overlooked Mark's videos as I didn't think he dealt much with planaria.

That's awesome to hear! Yeah I really appreciate his knowledge and content. He's definitely a maker of sorts for aquarium stuff.

On 4/5/2023 at 1:31 PM, Comradovich said:

This was actually my first stage of separating the colony and it worked for *most* of the scuds hiding there.

That's a cool little trick!

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