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I have found some flukes? on some dead fish in my system. They are small, brown flat sided worms that are attached to the dead fish. Maximum dimension is 1/2 inch when they stretch out. They may have come with the "feeder" goldfish I put into the system to get things underway. This is not a very good picture - I took it with my phone. These are the little beasts on a masonite panel.


I have only found them on a dead fish and a dead crawfish.


II am interested in any help or suggestions of what the best options are.


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Ugh.  You might look into salting perhaps but those seem rather big, I'm not sure that simple salting of the system will be effective against something that looks like a leach to me.
That is bad.  That is very very bad. . . You prettymuch need to disinfect your whole system, but I don't know how you do that without adding things that you really don't want in there.  I'm sorry i'm not more constructive.  I'm just not sure how to get flukes out of your system without some nasty stuff.

Well I suppose if it requires complete disinfection, there are ways to kill everything off and start over that won't leave the system toxic but that really sucks.


What kind of system is it?


I have a 1500 gal outdoor pond, and a 270 gallon tank inside the greenhouse. I use water from the pond and greenhouse to water the vegetables and plants in the yard. Presently I have little growing in the greenhouse, some watercress, I have been watering some wheatgrass sprouts. 


The system is actually 3 years old but I have not been doing much with it for the last year. Previously I grew out Tilapia (200) in the pond. Currently I have only small goldfish, one crawfish and 3 tilapia in the green house; goldfish in the pond. I would not do that again.


I did some research and found praziquantel (PraziPond) recommended for flukes in ponds. I believe that it is not allowed for systems with food (fish). Although I do know that it has some use for people with Liver Flukes. I live in Oregon and Liver flukes do exist in the environment.

Are you sure they are flukes and not slugs.  Flukes are parasites of many animals but in most if not all cases are found inside the animal.  The aforementioned liver fluke resides in the liver.  If they are flukes they are much too large for your fish.  They could be slugs that eat dead fish.  You should have a University person look at them.  I find a slug every now and then in my system.  Slugs are not good either as they are cousins to the snail and carry many intermediate life cycles of flukes.  No fluke on earth that I know of can exist without a part of its life cycle passing through a slug or a snail.

There are some things too put around the feet of your tables that ward off snails and sluga.  I think heavy salt is one. Check it out on Google

Here are 2 more pictures. I have a few of the little buggers in a small glass jar full of water. My finger is there for a size comparison.

Definite flat on one side, 3 points on "head end" one out front, one on either side.

I'm almost 100% sure those are just leaches.  Rarely do they ever do any harm and are part of a healthy pond ecosystem.  I have them in one of my ponds and even a fish tank (spread from floating pond plants) but I doubt they have ever done any damage.  Now if you have hundreds or thousands of them I would worry.

Hopefully they're leaches- but even so, they'll probably eat on your fish- sorry I don't know enough about the things.  I've never heard of anyone with this problem in an AP system. . . I bet they made it in from your pond somehow.



They do look like leaches or anchor worm 7 out 9 parasites in a pond environment can be cleaned up with a salt treatment of 3% or better. (make sure it is non-iodized salt.)


Flukes we have encountered will cause open sores on the skin of mainly koi.

They can be treated with Praziquantel from microbe-lift We do sell it, but it is not on our web site

Microbe-Lift Praziquantel is a gentle treatment recognized as the treatment choice for diseases of Koi and other ornamental pond fish caused by Trematodes (flukes) and cestodes (tapeworm). This product is harmless to all species of fishes, including fry, and it is non toxic to plants and harmless to biological filtration


I would, do the salt treatment first, leaches hate salt you will see pretty fast results..





I'm not an expert but those look like Planaria to me.  Take a look at the comparison pictures on the net.  Planaria won't hurt your fish, they are common pond inhabitants. They do eat decaying animals, which may explain why you found them on the dead fish.


I think this must be what they were, and I have not seen any since I reported them previously. (They were only on dead or nearly dead fish).

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