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NoGi

New Library Article - How to Combat Planaria in the Aquarium

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NoGi

large.IMG_4691.jpgPlanaria is a species of flatworm from the Turbellaria class and is the name for a member of the genus Planaria that is a part of the family Planariidae. It also often refers to the genus Dugesia.

These free-living flatworms have three layers of tissues including an ectoderm, a mesoderm and an endoderm. These three layers of tissues are classified into both organs and organ systems, making flatworms the simplest animals that feature mesoderrmic layers and organ-system levels. It should be noted that flatworms do not have a body cavity, therefore they are acoelomates.

The majority of planarians are freshwater worms that inhabit ponds and streams. However, there are terrestrial and marine species of flatworms, too. Unfortunately for those who have aquariums may find that their aquarium has been plagued by planera, and they can be really problematic.

How Planaria Invade Aquariums

Planaria are a common pest in freshwater aquariums. In freshwater aquariums that house shrimp, planaria often develop as a result of overfeeding. In freshwater aquariums that house other species of fish, they can develop as a result of dirty substrate. When there is either too much uneaten food in an aquarium, or the substrate in the aquarium is not kept clean, the ideal environment for these pests is created. Planaria thrive in these environments, as they consume small shrimps and fish fry.

Are Planaria Dangerous to Fish?

Planaria will not put the fish in an infested aquarium in danger; however, they are very unsightly and can detract from the beauty of a tank. They also are a tell-tale sign of poor tank hygiene and maintenance. If the population of planaria grows to large levels, there is a chance that they could impact the health of the fish that live in the aquarium.

How to Treat a Planaria Infestation

large.IMG_4747.jpgThe best way to treat a planaria infestation is avoiding one in the first place. How can you do that? - By not overfeeding your fish and/or shrimp, and by making sure that you properly clean the tank on a regular basis. When cleaning the tank, it is important to clean all surfaces, including the substrate, in order to prevent these pests from developing.

If an infestation of planaria does occur, there are several treatments available. Some of the most common treatment options include:

  • Treating the tank with a shrimp friendly chemical dewormer
  • Thoroughly vacuuming the substrate in the tank and performing a 30 to 50 percent partial water change.
  • Minimize the amount of food being placed in the tank and performing water changes weekly while stirring the substrate.
  • Partially changing the water on a constant basis when the tank is overcrowded.
  • Using planaria traps

The following article also provides some treatment advice: 

 


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    • revolutionhope
      By revolutionhope
      It is important that we as a community are responsible as hobbyists. Recent threats include the white spot virus that has been found in prawns in Queensland and the possibility that the crayfish plague has been introduced to our country via exotic crays from North America that might host this fungus and that have immunity to it. For example entire crayfish populations in Europe have been decimated by this disease because only the North American crays have immunity.
      It is well known that many in Australia keep and breed exotic shrimps and other creatures and in most cases this is not problematic but there are exceptions and so it is necessary that we have a handy resource on the forum that discusses this topic and provides relevant links. Australia has very strict quarantine laws; although we are allowed to keep and breed a number of different shrimps in Australia the importation of shrimp species not in the "suitable specimens for import" is extremely illegal and if you are caught you will almost certainly be handed a jail sentence.
      Local fish shops will often freely take any unwanted animals (even sick ones) and there are always plenty of other hobbyists who will jump at the chance to take them as well.
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      😠 Do not release any fish or invertebrate from your aquarium to nature regardless of whether it is native to the area or came from that exact place; this is because they may have acquired a disease or parasite in your aquarium/pond and you could do much more harm than good. 😠 Do not allow any of your aquarium water or other contents to enter stormwater drains or go anywhere that might find its' way into a body of water e.g. creek or lake etc. The Australian government advice is to dispose of your water down the sink/toilet. 😠 Do not bring exotic animals into the country unless they are on the approved specimens list (link is below). 😠 Do not collect wild specimens unless you have checked first that you are allowed to do so. 😠 Do humanely euthanise your animals if/when necessary. (link is at the end of the article). 😊 Do enjoy keeping aquariums and treat your animals and our natural environment with the respect they deserve. Below are links to lists of noxious species and guides at a state and national level as well as links to RSPCA instructions for humane euthanisation
      Instructions for safe disposal of aquarium contents and animals and general guide to aquatic diseases -
      http://www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/aquatic/disease_watch_aquatic_animal_health_awareness/other_aquatic_biosecurity_materials National
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      Humane euthanisation of crustaceans:
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      View full article
    • revolutionhope
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      It is important that we as a community are responsible as hobbyists. Recent threats include the white spot virus that has been found in prawns in Queensland and the possibility that the crayfish plague has been introduced to our country via exotic crays from North America that might host this fungus and that have immunity to it. For example entire crayfish populations in Europe have been decimated by this disease because only the North American crays have immunity.
      It is well known that many in Australia keep and breed exotic shrimps and other creatures and in most cases this is not problematic but there are exceptions and so it is necessary that we have a handy resource on the forum that discusses this topic and provides relevant links. Australia has very strict quarantine laws; although we are allowed to keep and breed a number of different shrimps in Australia the importation of shrimp species not in the "suitable specimens for import" is extremely illegal and if you are caught you will almost certainly be handed a jail sentence.
      Local fish shops will often freely take any unwanted animals (even sick ones) and there are always plenty of other hobbyists who will jump at the chance to take them as well.
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      😠 Do not release any fish or invertebrate from your aquarium to nature regardless of whether it is native to the area or came from that exact place; this is because they may have acquired a disease or parasite in your aquarium/pond and you could do much more harm than good. 😠 Do not allow any of your aquarium water or other contents to enter stormwater drains or go anywhere that might find its' way into a body of water e.g. creek or lake etc. The Australian government advice is to dispose of your water down the sink/toilet. 😠 Do not bring exotic animals into the country unless they are on the approved specimens list (link is below). 😠 Do not collect wild specimens unless you have checked first that you are allowed to do so. 😠 Do humanely euthanise your animals if/when necessary. (link is at the end of the article). 😊 Do enjoy keeping aquariums and treat your animals and our natural environment with the respect they deserve. Below are links to lists of noxious species and guides at a state and national level as well as links to RSPCA instructions for humane euthanisation
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      http://www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/aquatic/disease_watch_aquatic_animal_health_awareness/other_aquatic_biosecurity_materials National
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      ????????
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        Guide and list of noxious aquatic species:  http://delwp.vic.gov.au/fishing-and-hunting/fisheries/marine-pests-and-diseases/noxious-aquatic-species-in-victoria QLD   Guide / Intro: https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/pest-fish/noxious-fish Full list of aquatic pests(refer to schedule 1 part 4 through 6): https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/B/BiosecurityA14.pdf WA Guide / Intro: http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Sustainability-and-Environment/Aquatic-Biosecurity/Translocations-Moving-Live-Fish/Pages/Noxious-Banned-Fish.aspx Full list of noxious species and proposed additions list can be found here: http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Sustainability-and-Environment/Aquatic-Biosecurity/Translocations-Moving-Live-Fish/Pages/Noxious-Banned-Fish.aspx News article reporting on an incident of illegal shrimp importation:
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      Not everyone can bring themselves to end the lives of their own animals but regardless; if you deem it necessary to end the life of any tank inhabitants and they are not a highly illegal specimen then please dp ask your local retailer first if they might be willing to try to save them for you. If this is not an option then please see below links.
      Humane euthanisation of fish:
      http://kb.rspca.org.au/what-is-the-most-humane-way-to-euthanase-aquarium-fish_403.html
      Humane euthanisation of crustaceans:
      http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-is-the-most-humane-way-to-kill-crustaceans-for-human-consumption_625.html
      disease-watch-brochure.pdf
    • NoGi
      By NoGi
      Planaria is a species of flatworm from the Turbellaria class and is the name for a member of the genus Planaria that is a part of the family Planariidae. It also often refers to the genus Dugesia.
      These free-living flatworms have three layers of tissues including an ectoderm, a mesoderm and an endoderm. These three layers of tissues are classified into both organs and organ systems, making flatworms the simplest animals that feature mesoderrmic layers and organ-system levels. It should be noted that flatworms do not have a body cavity, therefore they are acoelomates.
      The majority of planarians are freshwater worms that inhabit ponds and streams. However, there are terrestrial and marine species of flatworms, too. Unfortunately for those who have aquariums may find that their aquarium has been plagued by planera, and they can be really problematic.
      How Planaria Invade Aquariums
      Planaria are a common pest in freshwater aquariums. In freshwater aquariums that house shrimp, planaria often develop as a result of overfeeding. In freshwater aquariums that house other species of fish, they can develop as a result of dirty substrate. When there is either too much uneaten food in an aquarium, or the substrate in the aquarium is not kept clean, the ideal environment for these pests is created. Planaria thrive in these environments, as they consume small shrimps and fish fry.
      Are Planaria Dangerous to Fish?
      Planaria will not put the fish in an infested aquarium in danger; however, they are very unsightly and can detract from the beauty of a tank. They also are a tell-tale sign of poor tank hygiene and maintenance. If the population of planaria grows to large levels, there is a chance that they could impact the health of the fish that live in the aquarium.
      How to Treat a Planaria Infestation
      The best way to treat a planaria infestation is avoiding one in the first place. How can you do that? - By not overfeeding your fish and/or shrimp, and by making sure that you properly clean the tank on a regular basis. When cleaning the tank, it is important to clean all surfaces, including the substrate, in order to prevent these pests from developing.
      If an infestation of planaria does occur, there are several treatments available. Some of the most common treatment options include:
      Treating the tank with a shrimp friendly chemical dewormer Thoroughly vacuuming the substrate in the tank and performing a 30 to 50 percent partial water change. Minimize the amount of food being placed in the tank and performing water changes weekly while stirring the substrate. Partially changing the water on a constant basis when the tank is overcrowded. Using planaria traps The following article also provides some treatment advice: 
       
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