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Treating Planaria & Hydra Using Panacur
Originally published in 2010 on UK Shrimp.

I treated the planaria plagues I had in 2 of my tanks:-
Tank 1:  60 litre containing snowball shrimp, caridina cf. babaulti, Endler's livebearers, mahogany trumpet snails and ramshorn snails.
Tank 2: 35 litre containing blue pearl shrimp, caridina cf. babaulti, Endler's livebearers, otocinclus catfish and ramshorn snails.
These tanks were VERY heavily infected with planaria, and attempts to reduce their numbers by reducing feeding had failed dismally.  So the time had come to take tougher steps!
So, a bit of research around the internet, and I came up with a plan to use a chemical called fenbendazole, in the form of some Panacur 10% oral suspension.


As you can see, it's intended for use in worming cats and dogs, however it will also kill hydra and planaria. Wink  The licensing though means that if you live in a country where this isn't sold over the counter, and you have to go to a vet, you may have problems getting it.  Here in the UK though, you can buy it over the counter, and even in Pets At Home. 


Now some may be asking, why the oral suspension and not the granules?  Simple, I read enough to know that the stuff is a pig to get it to disolve, where the suspension you just mix with a bit of tank water and pour around over the surface, and et voila.


Now, through my research, I came up with the dose of 0.02mls per litre (1 litre is 0.264 US gallons for our friends over the pond,  so that's 0.000676 fl oz (US) to 0.264 US gallons over there), I find it much easier to work in smaller units like this, as in the UK at least aquariums are now sold by how many litres they hold.


In my 60 litre, I knocked 5 litres off to allow for displacement, giving me 55 litres and a dosage of 1.1 mls.


In my 35 litre, I knocked less off as it has a lot less substrate and only a bit of wood, giving me a dosage of 0.64 mls.


These doses were mixed with a bit of water from the target tank, and then poured around the tank over the surface of the water, spreading it around as much as possible.  Filtration was left running during this time, and helped to mix the dose into the water column.  No carbon is used in my filters, if you do use this I would advise removing it whilst treating.


The water became very cloudy, but this cleared over night completely.


My original plan was to perform a 50% water change after 5 days, and to repeat the dosing.  However when the time came, there were NO planaria left alive, and water quality was spot on.  So I made the decision to leave things alone.  This was over 3 weeks ago, and I have not seen a SINGLE planaria in either of the treated tanks since.


Some report losing snails when dosing this, so if you have valuable snails in there, you may want to remove them (I removed some mahogany trumpets to different tanks) to a different tank.  However I lost NO snails during treatment at all, not even a single ramshorn.  Nor did I lose any other livestock.


Happy dosing.

Thumbs Up 

I treated again recently (about 3 weeks ago) using this method.  My 30 litre cube and 62 gallon paludarium were both heavily infected with parasitic planaria, which were observed killing and eating otherwise healthy shrimp.

Once again, a single dose was completely effective in killing them all, and none of my trumpet snails, shrimp or my spixi apple snails were harmed in the slightest.

So even in 2017 I stand by this method for killing planaria in shrimp tanks.

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