• Bugs and Worms in a Shrimp Tank - Treatment

    How can you prevent introducing snails, bugs, worms and algae in your tank?

    Method 1:
    The Importance of Practicing Quarantine
    When purchasing shrimps, fish from LFS or especially wild caught ones, it is good to practice settling them in a hospital tank and observes for a few hours to separate diseased or parasite infected live stocks. Other wise you may risk introducing parasites and diseases that may kill or harm the rest of the otherwise healthy population in your existing display tank.

    Method 2: Potassium Permanganate Disinfectant Bath
    In order not to introduce any wanted pest into your display tank, it is good to prepare a potassium permanganate disinfectant bath to soak your plants before adding them into your display tank. Potassium permanganate comes in two forms: liquid pp and crystal pp only difference is in price.

    1. Prepare two pails of water.
    2. Add a small amount potassium permanganate into a small pail for the disinfectant bath. Add slowly and dissolve it gradually until the water in the pail turn slightly dark pink.
    3. Dip the new plants into the bath and soak for 10 to 20mins.Add parts of the plant if you are unsure if PP will kill it and reduce dipping duration if necessary as different plants has different resistant against PP.
    4. Remove the plants with the BBQ tongs and wash it under running water for a few minutes.
    5. Add lots of anti chlorine solution into the other pail and dip the plants in it for a few hours to help clean any PP remains.
    6. Lastly itís ready. PP should have removed all traces of algae, insects and snail eggs. Wash it again under running water just in case.

    Note: Not all plants can tolerate PP as itís a very strong oxidizing agent e.g. marimo balls , vallis species. Potassium permanganate stains the hand and clothing and should be handled with care. Use a BBQ tong or chopstick to stir and move the plants about. Clothing stains may be washed away using acetic acid or hydrochloric acid. Skin stains go off within 48 hours. It causes corrosive burns on the skin, while swallowing it may lead to gastroenteritis. In addition, mixing solid KMnO4 with concentrated hydrochloric acid generates lethal chlorine gas.

    Treatment of bugs, snails and worms within the tank

    Method 1:
    Introduce small fishes (boraras), reduced feeding and water change
    In order to prevent bugs, snails and worms from population explosion, if its rotifers and copepods you can add any boraras family of small fishes if there is any in your area around 1-2 boraras for a 2ft tank and reduced feeding. The sudden population of these bugs often indicates there are excess food around and its time to control feeding and water change. I personally tried boraras they are shrimp friendly and so far I didnít see any of them attack a shrimplet even new born ones. Please inform me if you see any such behavior.

    Unfortunately boraras does not eat all worms and bugs even my hungry guppy dare not touch planarias and hydras. In order to reduce planaria, carry out some gravel cleaning if possible find those hot spots with lots of debris and siphon them out during a water change and stop feeding for a few days to control the planaria population. There are successful cases where starving get rids of the planarias in their tanks. In my case it doesnít work at all, perhaps the planarias are feeding on something else in my tank.

    Method 2: Manual Removal
    My equipments used to control planaria population.

    Attach a raw liver with blood or a small piece of meat secure it with a metal clip and weight to prevent yamato from grabbing the meatl and running away with it. After a few minutes you will see the planarias starting to swarm around the meat. Manually remove the planarias with the plastic dropper to suck the planarias and deposit them into a cup. If you are lucky you might catch all the planarias in with a few rounds. But sometimes the planarias might deposit eggs in your tank, causing it to come back after a while.

    Another way is to use a PET, cut into half as shown below and put a dead fish or raw liver inside.

    Method 3: Last resort (Chemical warfare: Try this at your own risk)
    There are many products in the market, so far I only managed to test a dewormer product which works and is fit for human consumation which contains some diluted fluebendazole. Itís so effective it seems unbelievable. After 1 week introducing it into my planaria infested tanks, all planaria, nematodes and rotifers disappeared. There is no shrimp casualties I didnít even need to do any water change and beneficial bacteria are not affected. Please be careful with these products overdosing maybe harm any live stocks in your tanks. I heard many people feedback saying that (Pure form) Dimilin containing Diflubenzuron is very effective too but it seems to have an instant reaction on the pest stronger than fluebendazole.

    Note: Planarias, nematodes, hydras and snails will dissolve away in when come into contact with both chemical. If you have any pet snail please remove them first.

    Caution: If you see instant reaction it means you have overdose be prepare to water change within 48hrs.

    Article Copyright: simcb
    AU SL