How to kill planariums in a freshwater aquarium

Help, planarians!

For some time now I have been observing an increase in disc worms ( Planarians) in my flow-intensive brook basin. Planarians are said to be able to eat or at least damage fry.
At the moment there are no fry in the brook, but I am already thinking about this mass increase.
It is said that macropods (Macropodus opercularis) like to eat these planarians - I got myself two today and of course I hope that they will be used thoroughly.

A few days later:
I haven't seen the macropods at the planarian meal yet, but it looks like there are significantly fewer planarians in the tank ...

I have a small reserve tank (approx. 20 l) in which my Marisa rotula snails are located, the plant destruction machines under the apple snails cannot be expected of another tank with plants!).
I always feed them with my plant remains from the other tanks (duckweed etc.) and they accept everything gratefully.
Unfortunately, there are also many planarians in their tanks.

At some point I got fed up!

Marisa put in a well-tempered extra tone and then it went to the "collar" of the planarians.
First I heated the water to 60 ° C with an immersion heater - the planarians only became more active / faster, they didn't die! A couple of the largest planariums have drawn onto the panes above the waterline and "waited" there.
So electricity! 4.5 volt flat battery with long copper wires at the poles. The wires are hung opposite one another in the basin - after an hour and a half it was all over.
This was followed by a thorough water change (4-5 times), then it was topped up with old water from another aquarium.

The current only works if there are no living beings in it; Catfish, shrimps and snails are particularly sensitive:

When using the 4.5 volt battery using exactly the same method as described above, but with fry in the tank, I received a complete brood of L. simillima! Obviously, the use of electricity in catfish waters is extremely dangerous!

In the meantime the planarians have unfortunately multiplied en masse. I only noticed it when I put a foam cartridge of a flow pump on a piece of white kitchen paper and after a short time a large number of planarians had collected there. But they are only in one aquarium, together with macropods and chaetostoma.

I then cleared out this basin and heated the water until there was no more planaria to be seen. At the same time I put the 4.5 volt battery back in. After two hours and several water changes, the pool is now running without fish.
In the near future my Panoquolus albomaculatus will be set up for breeding at 30 ° C.
Let's see if the planarians somehow survived again ...

One week later:
You survived!


I have a couple of pools with planariums and a couple of pools without planariums, so I'll have to live with that.
I only have to be careful when using nets in planariums. As a result and through the implementation of pool contents, e.g. plants or snails, the planarians are mainly dragged away.
That's why I now use different nets, and when moving fish, snails and plants, for example, they are first stored in an observation bucket.

There are times when the planarians cannot be seen, even if they are en masse in an aquarium, and then there are times when they come out of their hiding places in great numbers and crawl around all over the place. Strangely enough, one of these moments is the time after feeding. Strange because I fed, for example, enchytrae or living white mosquito larvae, i.e. "food" that was only inaccessible for planarians (I thought, until I was taught better ...).

On eating behavior or eating skills:
Today I put thawed red mosquito larvae in the aquarium and after an hour all planarians had a red intestinal tract that was clearly visible from the outside.

This time I used the battery method for 24 hours. Then there was a lifeless mound of planarians on the gravel below .......... after two more hours, however, isolated specimens were crawling along the panes again, but so far a maximum of one percent.


Microscopic image of a planarian head

To Streble / herbs: "Skin cells produce a (poisonous) mucus that leaves a colorless crawl track when crawling ........ Protected in this way, the freshwater vortex worms have practically no enemies. Small predatory crabs flee from them, larger animals do not accept them."

After feeding the Endler guppies, I observed the following phenomenon:
The planarians, which, by the way, can also "swim" through the water (with a snaking movement along their body's longitudinal axis by using the existing flow) gathered in large numbers at a certain point on the windshield and wandered there counterclockwise over an area of ​​20 cm Diameter always distributed in a circle.

After extensive consultation with my dealer, I decided to try two of the smaller pools Concurat to try against the planarians.
After a short time and the next day, the following situation presented itself to me:
In one tank I probably accidentally calculated the concentration a little too much - four male guppies died and tons of planarians - but not all of them!
Even after the Concurat treatment and additional electricity, many planarians remained intact!
The planarians are more resilient than I thought.
The next chemistry tip is called Flubenol

After a chemical club and a current attack, nothing lives in the pool - except the planarians, of course!
I made a tabula rasa: heated up all the parts that can still be used and destroyed the rest - the pool is now completely new .......

In The pond aquarium of Hans-Joachim Paepke(Neumann Verlag Leipzig) I found the following:

"Small food objects are swallowed as a whole. Larger food objects are partially dissolved by enzymes and so absorbed in liquid form. In addition, the discworms can shoot small rods (rhabdoids) located in the skin against the prey or the enemy and stick them together. Real nettle capsules also come in their skin, but come from eaten polyps. The capsules are not digested, but migrate through the intestinal wall into the outer skin and serve the same purpose here as with their original owners. [...] Planarians can last up to a year starve and "melt down" organs that are not vital. They are hermaphrodites with complicated sexual organs and lay eggs from which finished young animals hatch without a larval stage. "

I'm on vacation and can finally do tabula rasa with the planarians: I have planned three tanks, there are no more fish in two tanks.
I drain the water and clear out everything - sand, stones, plants, roots. I keep a few beautiful plants and the roots in a large bucket for later treatment against planarians. Then new water is pumped in and drained off several times - but after that I still find four to five planarians! I drain off the water and wipe all panes and the floor thoroughly with a kitchen towel and then let the water in again - at first nothing more of the planarians can be seen.
I want to move the catfish from the "fast breeder" (30 ° C, osmosis water and strong current), which is now contaminated with planarians, into these two hopefully planar-free basins. The problem will be how to move the catfish without catching planarians.
The first attempt already went wrong: A Hypancistrus zebra is sitting in its cave and I still think it's comfortable, I'll take it first, but puff cake - it braces itself with all its strength against the side walls of its cave and even when it is poured, only water comes out with planariums - unfortunately, of course, not with all planariums!
I put the little cave in a water bucket with the original water. The zebra fish is still in the cave, but its tail fin is peeking out. I try to pull it out carefully - well, of course he didn't want to and has braced himself again ...
So cave back in the contaminated pool. It is probably only possible with the method - clear everything out and finally nets the catfish.

I heated all the caves and roots and also the larger stones that I wanted to keep in the oven at 150 ° C and then put them back in the basins after they had cooled down (although I have to say that a basin without equipment, where you can see your catfish can admire and take photos from all sides without having to wait for the stroke of luck that they are not hidden in their caves or behind thick vegetation, has something for themselves!).

A Farlowella brood hatches and I move the larvae into a small, well-algae-grown breeding tank, albeit with a few planarians. At first, the larvae usually sit firmly on the side windows with a suction device - one larva goes onto the sand and silt floor and after a few seconds apparently writhes back and forth in pain. After I sucked them out, I see that almost ten planarians have bitten into their outer skin and are already showing brownish discoloration, as they always show when they have eaten something of this color. I had to kill the Farlowell larva and of course I immediately sucked off and repositioned everyone else.

I have made a planarium-free and easily manageable tank for A. ranunculus and H. zebra, which has no substrate, so there is practically no retreat for planarians, and I have been observing this tank for over half a year. A quarter of a year ago I discovered a small planaria and of course eliminated it immediately. From time to time there were a few isolated cases, but never in a worrying amount like in the past ..........
Today I was just about to put the breeding cavities and the roots in another basin when I noticed that my fingers were sticky - on the underside of each cavity and of course on the inside too: everything was full of planarians!
So once again empty out a basin completely, boil everything out or put it in the oven and then set up the basin again :(

There is still the bait method: I have to bait the planarians and then remove them. I stuffed small pieces of pork goulash into five finger-thick Fischer dowels and placed them in the contaminated aquariums so that the opening faces the windshield and can be checked by me every day.

Next day: I checked all the dowels and found a lot of planarians from the basins that had just been scrupulously cleaned .....
I immediately put all the dowels back into the basins, newly equipped - maybe this method will really work.
Now the summer vacation got in the way .......

Weeks later: All pools look planar-free, but that is definitely wrong!
Today I begin the extermination campaign against the planarians with the help of the bait method, which I then have to use every day. I stuff raw fat and meat from a soup chicken into four large fishing dowels and check after a day:
All four basins including filter basins hold 331.2 liters.

1 day: I put the four dowels in a bucket with some water and polish out the meat, which is now a bit smelly. After a short time, tons of planariums are spread out on the bottom of the bucket.