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Old 07-03-2007, 03:13 PM   #1
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Mandarin Dragonette question

I have a 45 gallon reef tank. I recently have had an outbreak of flat worms. I really don't want to go chemical warfare on them. I would rather get a natural predator. I have read that a Mandarin Dragonette will eat them. Is this so and has anyone had success in cleaning out flat worms with a predator rather than a chemical bomb?

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Old 07-03-2007, 04:06 PM   #2
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Depends on the flatworm, but in general there is no single fish that will always prey upon flatworms. You would be better off in trying a wrasse sp. such as a sixline.

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Old 07-03-2007, 04:26 PM   #3
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Just got a 6 line for my 55 that has a red FW issue, too soon to tell if its eating them? I also have a mandarin in there that someone was taking down his tank and no one wanted the fish. I have not seen it eat any FW in the 2 weeks that I have had it.
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Old 07-03-2007, 04:33 PM   #4
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The problem with Mandarins is that they mainly eat pods. Some will eat prepped food like frozen brine shrimp, but it's rare. They also eat a lot. A LOT. From what I've been told by people much more knowledgable than me, and from my own observation, if the Mandarin eats flatworms... it's more on accident than intentional. Chances are, a Mandarin would just starve to death in your tank without making any real impact on your flatworm population.

Wrasse would be a better bet, because they aren't as choosey about their food. Meaning, it wont starve to death. But still, there's no guarantee that it will eat your flatworms.

These guys are supposedly great for eating flatworms.
They'll eat them until they can no longer find them, at which point they starve and die. Problem is, there's usually one or two flatworms hiding out in your live rock that it couldn't find. They'll just reproduce and your back to where you were.

Personally, what I would do is this...

Get some airline tubing, put a filter sock on one end, and us the other to syphon out as many flatworms as you can. This way they get caught in the filter sock and you don't lose any water. After you've got as many as you can, treat the tank with flatworm exit. Doing that before treating with FWE, benefits you in two ways.

1) You reduce the amount of toxins released by dead flatworms by a huge amount.

2) It's much easier to kill 20 flatworms than it is to kill 1000. (obviously guessing on numbers)
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:38 PM   #5
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I would also suggest the sixline wrasse. They are very pretty and should help with lowering the FW population. I say should because nothing is for sure.


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Old 07-03-2007, 06:14 PM   #6
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the sixline will be a much better option for FW control. It will far-outlive the manderin as well. It is a much hardier fish.
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:17 PM   #7
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Thank you for all the advice.
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:09 AM   #8
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I would not expect it to eat FW, I have a spotted mandarin that eats brine, after I soak it it Zoe. I have also had three other mandarin prior to the one I have now, tank is about five years old but has been moved and undergone some transitions, affecting the pod population. The one that I have now is one of the most healthy that I have seen and eats brine, which is really rare. I also have a PBT, which is my second PBT, and seventh tang I have cared for, and it eats unbelievably well so far. I lost a lot of tangs to a giant cup mushroom. Each fish has great variation concerning eating habits, one PBT may consume food readily while another doesn't. Causes of variation can include shipping methods, and the method used to catch the fish. It also has a lot to do with that specific fish, some just adapt better to life within an aquarium than others.
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:15 PM   #9
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Sixlined wrasse, also yellow chromis Chromis analis, will do it. Don't feed too much, or they won't feel the need to eat the flatworms.

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