DBTC, red bugs & reef etiquette

Discussion in 'DBTC - Info and Discussion' started by Piper, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Piper

    Piper Guppy

    So I just asked for my first DBTC frag here and afterwards second guessed myself on weather or not I should have done that. The idea is to pass it on and/or pass back to the OP if he or she should need a "copy".

    My concern is that I have red bugs in my tank and from what I've read they are considered a pests. They're mostly in the fuge but I can spot them in the main tank as well. They are certainly not causing me or the animals in my tank any grief at this point and I've had them for a while (5+ months). I'm sure I picked them up from some live sand or cheato that I gathered in the early months of my tank. I have meds that I managed to acquire that will take care of them but I don't want to risk wiping out the other bugs/worms/pods/cool micro stuff that I really enjoy watching (red bugs included) to get rid of something that hasn't really been an issue for me at this point.

    Is it OK to pass on frags with the potential to spread red bugs or is that taboo? Do I need to mark all the bags/containers I hand out with a scarlet "R" when I do hand them out? I obviously don't want to accept the frag if I can't potentially pass it on. What's the proper reef etiquette here?

  2. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    If you know you have a pest, I think it is ok to distribute as long as that fact is disclosed. RB is one of those easily treatable pests (especially as a traded frag). In the past, swap corals were put out and had responsible labels indicating that the tank may have things like AEFW or RB. The hope was that people who knew what they were doing could still get the frag, properly treat it, and continue to propogate.

    Lots of people have pests and are unaware of it. The fact that you are and can alert a potential recipient is a step in the right direction.
  3. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    The type of red bugs that are pests for corals are very very tiny and will be on the SPS corals. I'm sure they crawl around on other things but if they are not on your SPS then you may be talking about a different "red bug" :)
  4. Piper

    Piper Guppy

    Tony - Thanks for the info. Certainly makes me feel OK with putting something into or back into DBTC.

    Jon - I searched for Red Bugs here last night after posting and this you're correct. Apparently I don't have the coral pest variety. They are a maroon color and much larger than what I was reading about last night. In the main tank I see them on the rocks and caulerpa mostly and they're what I'd consider under control. In the sump they're much more prevalent being all over the sides, rocks, plumbing, etc. but I have nothing in there to control them either. I don't think I have anything on the corals at this time. Nothing that I can see without magnification that is :)

    Thanks for the input!

  5. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    Call me crazy but these non-pest red bugs could actually be an asset if they compete against their SPS eating cousins.
  6. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    do they have legs?
  7. houser

    houser Past President

    Do you have red planaria?

    If you have pests and you trade then you owe it to your trading partner to man up and inform them what you have. Otherwise you very well run the risk of putting them into their tank. If informed, they can either do nothing, or try action against the pest.

    I'm all for trading with full disclosure.
  8. Piper

    Piper Guppy

    Jon - No legs. They do look like they have tails though.

    Dave - Yep; red planaria. I found that they are referred to as "red bugs" many places. But I also found other critters classified as red bugs that don't look like what I have. I think I read somewhere that these were not exactly a planaria and they were photosynthetic. Or maybe that was one of their relatives maybe. I'll see if I can dig up a link to where I read that for reference.

    Looks exactly like these guys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZmk80fw0nc&feature=related

    I'm perfectly fine with disclosing the fact that I have red bugs or red planaria up front. I just wanted to make sure that was an acceptable practice.

    Mike - Agreed. Hard to call them pests if 1) they do in fact control what we consider a real pest and 2) are a functioning part of the food chain in the aquarium. Something has to be consuming these to keep them in check in the main tank I would think.
  9. Piper

    Piper Guppy

    I uploaded some pics of the flat worms to Picasa:


    The first three shots are of the refugium where they're very prolific. The rest of the shots are of the two main rocks in the tank where I can usually find them.


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