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How to eliminate Flatworms (Red Planaria)

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Small reddish-rust colored creatures may already be in your tank. Or you may buy a coral and they'll appear as hitchhikers later. They may appear on the glass/acrylic, on the substrate, or on live rock. Due to their extremely thin bodies, they are called flatworms correctly. They appear almost two-dimensional, barely a flap of skin. They can move through the tank, elongating the front part of their body like a sail filling with wind, latch on to the nearby surface and pull the rest of its body forward.


Red Bugs - No More!

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Red bugs (Tegastes acroporanus) are small flea-like beasts that can infest smooth-skinned acropora sp.   Some reefers have gone out of their way to eliminate them from their reef tank, but that is not the purpose of this article. I've seen them in my tank on occasion, but never worried much about them. Maybe if they did more damage, I'd be more concerned. Still, whatever coral I saw them on, the coral wasn't as happy as it could be, because these guys are like little blood-suckers.


Preventative Dips

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Do you practice safe reefkeeping? No matter where you go, no matter how much money is in your bank account, when you see that new coral you just have to have, there’s no chance you’ll let it elude your collection.  This time of year, many clubs hold Frag Swaps where coral fragments are sold or traded with other hobbyists.  What concerns me is what happens next.  In my club, I see pictures posted – within mere hours of the event -- of the new acquisitions in their display tanks.   Dipping new corals in iodine for 10 minutes, then placing them in a tank is not what I consider


Whelk versus Nassarius

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What is the difference between a whelk and a Nassarius snail?  In the picture below, the creature on the left is a Nassarius snail, the one on the right is a whelk. Whelks get much larger, while Nassarius don't. At least Nassarius vibex, that is.  And all the images at the top of this article are Whelks, an unwanted snail in a reef system. Read on...


Quarantine & Dips

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You just got that new {insert item here}, is it safe to put it in your tank?

The short answer is no. No matter what new thing you purchase, it may have something on or in it that could become a real problem in your reef. Whenever you acquire a new coral, fish, or invertebrate, the most wise move you can make is to NOT put it in your reef. For someone new to the hobby, this seems like a huge hassle, but to any one of us that have been in the hobby for a while, we know that the risk is simply too great. Why does the seasoned reef keeper know this? Ha! Because we've learned the hard way that anything impulsive usually is folly, and results in hours, weeks, or months of heartache.


Acropora Eating Flat Worms (AEFW)

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"Uh-oh, I think I might have AEFW..."  I saw this statement several years ago. I wasn't too concerned, and thought it wasn't a big deal. Later, I discovered my favorite SPS coral was fading fast, the color literally leaving the coral more and more daily. Staring at the coral, nothing looked wrong with it other than it being faded. It was polyped out, and seemed to grow at the regular pace. Still, I was concerned.

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