I just fed my shrimp. There's gobs of em in the tank, a 35 gal hex. Seems there may be even more planaria. A few minutes after dropping the algae wafer in the tank I saw that something had infested it. Closer examination with these cataract filled eyes with the aid of a magnifying lens showed me what they are.
I knew that there were some in the tank, they crawl up the tank sides, but never saw this many.
I know there's some sort of treatment out there to get rid of them, but can't find the thread where it was mentioned. Please keep in mind it's for a shrimp tank.
if you want to go a non-chemical route, you could try a planaria trap. Youtube has some videos, but all I've ever done is take a plastic water bottle (or Coke, etc), poke a small hole on the side at the very bottom, put some protein in the bottle like frozen bloodworms, fill the bottle with tank water and put the cap back on. Set the bottle on the substrate and when you turn the lights out the planaria will come to feed. I leave the bottle in the tank an hour or so - I don't know how long is too long - would they crawl back out after the food is gone? lol Then dispose of the bottle/water/planaria. I just dump it out in the woods behind me. Sorta like attracting garden slugs with beer...
I know a lot of people don't want to be bothered with the time it takes to do a trap (and you have to do it more than once) but I hate the idea of putting chemicals in the tank. I have tons of ramshorn snails, too, and I love them! lol The snails will crawl over over the outside of the bottle - make sure you make a hole just big enough for the planaria or the snails will try to get in too. I did this in a 125g tank and had great success.
Is there a reason you feel you need to get rid of them? Unless they are white planaria they pose no danger to your shrimp. They are scavengers of meaty foods and so their population is dependent of what you're feeding and whatever shrimp or snails happen to die in the tank. In that sense they are beneficial for removing excess food and helping to prevent a dead tankmate from fouling your water. Their movement through the substrate also helps prevent dead pockets and uneaten food from collecting out of reach of the shrimp and snails. Just a thought.
I'm curious, I've read that Planaria can exude a substance toxic to shrimp (I assume to prevent them from being eaten), but i've never heard any first hand accounts of planaria attacking shrimp or hurting them. I have Planaria in my shrimp tank and have never observed any problems.
Any comments or actual stories of problems? I too like to just live and let live but only if it really is and let live!
Adam, I have white planaria, are those harmful to shrimp?
As with most things the answer is maybe. White planaria feed on live crustaceans, probably mostly things like seed shrimp and you gammarus etc... and so are quite capable of taking baby shrimp. I have heard accounts taking adult RCS on occasion as well. I have some in most of my shrimp tanks that I introduced by accident before I knew the difference between the types. They don't seem to impact my shrimp populations though. So if you just have generic RCS in your tanks I wouldn't worry about them. On the other hand if you have expensive high grade stuff I would probably not want to risk it.
"Not my circus, not my monkeys"
Last edited by fermentedhiker; 11-27-2012 at 04:09 PM.
There is a small number of them in my Fluval Ebi, too. Not enough to hog all the food it seems. Could be the concentration of shrimp in that tank overwhelms them, or something.
They don't seem to bother the shrimp in there.
I've had the same experience. I used to have a 20L setup just as odd little guys tank; with seed shrimp, gammarus, blackworms, black, brown, and white planaria, freshwater isopods, Thai micro crabs, yellow rcs, and some random other shrimp.
I used to spend hours watching that tank, often with a magnifying glass. Spent lots of time watching the planaria glide around and not once ever saw them take live prey.