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Flatworm eating Wrasse?


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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a Hawaiian pencil wrasse that I think eats the rust colored flatworms and small bristle worms, I don't have either of those pests and do have this fish I assume that is why (: I think pencil wrasses are underrated. He does not eat coral, hermits, snails, feather dusters even. I also have a pair of red scooter blennies which likely would eat small flatworms. I have bought frags from tanks infested with the rusty flatworms and taken as many off as possible with a turkey baster with in all likelihood one or two small flatworms getting in the tank anyway so I would guess something is keeping them under control.

The one flatworm I have seen is a new type, it sits on mushrooms. Blends in with them really well too. I think if in numbers it irritates them but otherwise is of no concern. I first saw it in the shop I worked at and in my tank I have seen a few from time to time. The pencil wrasse checks everywhere for food, even between the zoanthids, and never stops eating. I have not noticed a loss of pods, sponge or brittle stars with him around so what he eats is anyone's guess.


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
I would siphon out as many as possible (with air hose) and give the wrasse a little more time.

Is anything being badly affected by the flatworms and what type of flatworm is it?


I have to move the whole system by the end of the month, so I will probably do just that.


I went and checked on the tank today and the sixline has then pretty well cleaned up. There are a few areas on the rocks still pretty heavy with them, but a good siphon and water change during the move should take care of them.


Nothing in the tank seems to be affected by them, accept maybe the corraline growth in certain places because they would cover an area of rock completely and no light would come through :eek:


They are the light brown colored flatworms with an orange spot on them, similar to this:


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The ONLY thing my six line does that makes me mad is he likes to eat those tiny brittle stars - every now and then I catch him swimming around with little legs sticking out of his mouth. GRRR...


That is terrible! I love my little brittle stars (seem to have a hundred of them!).. I heard the peppermint shrimp will eat them too.


For the flatworms we were able to get them to go away by adding more flow and lots of water changes. I did read a great trick on nano-reef.com:


While your lights are out, set up a small flashlight to shine on a small spot on your sand and leave it on there for 20-30 mins. Because the worms are drawn to the light they'll flock there and you can siphon out tons of them with a turkey baster... repeat as necessary (threaten)

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