My experience with KCl for AEFW

M3P

New member
I recently discovered AEFW in my 200 gallon deep dimension tank and scoured the internet for a treatment. This thread will be used to document my results with using KCl as an in display tank treatment. This has been described in 1 other thread on RC that I could find (where I got the treatment dose from).

A rough timeline of my tank:
6/2016 - set up tank
9/12/2016 - last coral purchases
10/2016 - ich outbreak. Lost all tangs and foxface. Started catching remaining fish for quarantine and fallow period
10/19/2016 - caught the last fish (6 line wrasse)
11/2016 - lost a couple small sps frags. thought this was related to algae and added more CUC on a few occasions
11/2016 treated with interceptor (due to unknown cause of sps losses)
12/2016 a few sps continuing to struggle
12/15/2016 - added 6 line wrasse back to tank to see if he would help
12/18/2016 - confirmed AEFW were the problem (found bite marks and eggs)
12/18/2016 - 1st dose of KCl

Since my tank was basically fishless other than the 6 line wrasse, I decided to try the KCl treatment. I also assessed my ability to set up a quarantine tank, remove all of my sps and dip weekly in bayer and decided in my situation this would be my best option. Realistically, this was a hail mary attempt. I told my wife before embarking on this option that it will either go 1 of 2 ways. Either the AEFW will die and SPS will survive, or I will slowly lose all my SPS and the AEFW will starve.

This is the product I used: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Diamond-...e-Water-Softening-Pellets-100012447/100614656

It has been 2 days since treatment. I have done 3 water changes during this time (30 gallons, 25 gallons, 30 gallons) and have lost 2 small corals that appeared to be on their way out before treatment. I assume my 6 line wrasse died with the treatment. My snails went silent during day 0 and day 1, but are back to work today. RBTA is opening up again. I have not seen any flat worms since beginning treatment. Prior to treatment I had many flatworms crawling on the glass (probably regular flatworms). They are all gone.

I will post details of the treatment later this week with specifics on times I dosed, water changes, labs, when corals closed up and opened back up, etc. I am also photo documenting 2 corals that were affected to see how they improve or not with treatment.

I would not use this method in a tank fully stocked with fish unless you are able to remove all of fish. I am fairly certain they cannot handle this level of potassium. That said...

DISCLAIMER: This method is not well published. This thread is just to document my experience with it. If you choose to use this method, I do not hold responsibility for any losses you may have.
 

Scorpius

Stick Head
I just removed all my acro's into quarantine, let my display go fallow, and dipped with Bayer like crazy for five weeks. So far I've been aefw free for over a month.
 

bif24701

New member
KCI, great! What is it? Please explain, is it the product you referred in the link? It's not clear what KCI is referring to.


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M3P

New member
I just removed all my acro's into quarantine, let my display go fallow, and dipped with Bayer like crazy for five weeks. So far I've been aefw free for over a month.

This is the more tried and proven method and works if you have the time and space. Also the much better option if you are worried about tank inhabitants other than sps. I had already cleared out all my fish except the 6 line and the inverts all got nuked previously by interceptor, so I was really only dealing with SPS for the most part. I don't know that I would have been able to get all of my sps out of this tank either.

KCI, great! What is it? Please explain, is it the product you referred in the link? It's not clear what KCI is referring to.


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KCl is potassium chloride. I used the product linked above.

Polyp extension is beginning to return on some of the more affected corals. I will describe the process I used in upcoming posts.
 

bif24701

New member
This is the more tried and proven method and works if you have the time and space. Also the much better option if you are worried about tank inhabitants other than sps. I had already cleared out all my fish except the 6 line and the inverts all got nuked previously by interceptor, so I was really only dealing with SPS for the most part. I don't know that I would have been able to get all of my sps out of this tank either.







KCl is potassium chloride. I used the product linked above.



Polyp extension is beginning to return on some of the more affected corals. I will describe the process I used in upcoming posts.



What is your theory as to how this will work?


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M3P

New member
What is your theory as to how this will work?


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I haven't been able to pull a ton of information on AEFW and how their cell membranes work, but the idea was to kill them with a sudden shift in intracellular potassium. Same stuff used as part of the lethal injection protocol.
 

M3P

New member
Treatment Solution:
The treatment dose I used was 1# of salt per 50 gallons of tank water. I have a 200 gallon tank with 90 gallon sump and after accounting for rock and the unused volume in the sump, I went with a guesstimate of 200 gallons, so each treatment for my tank was 4# of salt. The salt was weighed and then dissolved into 4 gallons of RO water using a mag drive pump to mix for about 30 minutes. I used a guard on the intake of the pump as this salt is chunky and not the fine quality of reef salt. The solution was then poured directly into the display tank.

Day 0:
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Potassium 410
1515: First treatment. Added solution to the tank and immediately started seeing flatworms, bristleworms and pods floating throughout the tank. Zoas closed up and polyps on sps retracted. Within 1 hour the flatworms that remained on the glass fell off just by nudging them with my glass cleaner.
1730: 30 gallon water change
1900: 25 gallon water change (total 55 gallons)
2000: Polyps out on my bird of paradise

Day 1:
- 1 very small strawberry shortcake frag that was struggling before treatment died
- Blue monster tort has some burnt tips
- RBTA is alive
- 6 line wrasse has not been seen and is assumed dead
1530: 30 gallon water change (total 85 gallons)

Day 2:
1900: Snails are seen grazing in the tank

Day 3:
2000: 40 gallon water change (total 125)
- there are still some FW on the glass. They are small and don't look like AEFW, but I don't like the idea that they are still alive. (Were they eggs that hatched after the treatment or was the treatment ineffective?)

Day 5:
1800: 40 gallon water change (165 gallons)

Day 7:
1430: Second Treatment. After pouring about 75% of the solution into the tank I started noticing things floating around. This time I saw a lot of stringy worms floating around (looked like baby bristleworms), but I did not see any large flat worms like the last time. There were some small specks floating that could have been baby flatworms. Overall there was a lot less floating around this time. This suggests that the treatment did indeed kill the flatworms rather than just stunning them.
1530: 40 gallon water change (total 205 since first treatment/40 since 2nd treatment)
- I managed to break my procoral rainbow acro twice during this water change. this was one of the corals being used to document treatment, but luckily the areas bitten remained intact for photos

Day 8:
1830: 40 gallon water change (total 245/80)
- Red dragon frag died
- Blue monster tort is about 50% bleached
- Palmers blue mille is 95% bleached
- Sunset mille colony 50% bleached

Day 9:
1830: 40 gallon water change (total 285/120)
- thundercatz frag 95% bleached
- sunset mille and blue monster tort are stable

Day 12:
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate <2
1800: 40 gallon water change (total 325/160)
- most of the snails are still not moving
- there is an algae bloom that is unchecked without fish or snails
- corals that were mentioned before appear stable

Day 17:
1830: 40 gallon water change (total 365/200)
- all of the sps colors are much more vibrant than before. polyp extension is great. I am seeing growth in all of the corals
- almost all of the snails are confirmed dead


Overall, I have been very happy with this treatment. There were a few casualties (mostly small corals that may have already been struggling), but overall, the corals are now thriving and I haven't seen any evidence of new bite marks on the corals.

The previous reefer who used this treatment reported that corals that were exposed to oxygen during water changes were more likely to die. This was not my experience and the ones that bleached for me were at all levels of the tank. My hypothesis is that these corals were already hosting AEFW under their skins and were more susceptible to the elevated potassium levels. I have no evidence to support this though. It definitely appears that millepora were not as able to adapt to this treatment.

Currently I am debating on performing a 3rd treatment and when I should do it.

I will post some pictures later of the 2 corals I documented during this time.
 

Piper27

I love bengals
Good luck I hope it works out! Can I ask why you did not just dip corals from the display and add them back when done?
 

M3P

New member
Good luck I hope it works out! Can I ask why you did not just dip corals from the display and add them back when done?

There were a few reasons why I decided not to do this.
1. I don't have the space for another QT currently or the time needed to dip every week while the display ran without sps (frequent water changes are pretty easy with my set up)
2. I didn't have the equipment to set up another qt (light mount, dedicated pumps, heaters, etc) and wanted to start killing these worms asap
3. I really didn't want to rip out all of my frags/mini colonies/colonies from the rockwork and am not certain I would have gotten all the sps off the rock.
4. I didn't have fish (other than the 6 line) in the tank and potassium chloride, while it killed my 6 line, seemed like a decent in tank option (unlike putting things like coral rx, bayer insecticide, etc in the tank)
5. This was a hail mary attempt at best and part of me liked the idea of trying something that hasn't been described much to see if it would work.

I know the dip weekly method works well and is pretty much the standard treatment for AEFW, but it wasn't for me. I gave this a try and so far I'm happy with the results.

I will probably dose the tank 1 last time this weekend and then start the WC process again until it is safe to start adding inverts back into the tank.
 

codydemmel4

New member
I am interested in this if I happen (pray I never will get flatworms) to see how it goes in your system.

Good luck!
 

M3P

New member
I was cleaning the glass today and thinking more about pipers question and think this treatment offers one other benefit.

Since kcl is a salt and since the only way i see it being removed is thru water changes, it probably remains therapeutic for some time in the water. I don't know what the lethal dose is for aefw (this would be an interesting experiment), but if the dose remains therapeutic for days without killing corals, it may mean any eggs that hatch during that time will die. I tried to do as many rapid water changes as possible, but even then, my rough calculations show that there is still 1.83# of this stuff in the tank currently.
 

codydemmel4

New member
I was cleaning the glass today and thinking more about pipers question and think this treatment offers one other benefit.

Since kcl is a salt and since the only way i see it being removed is thru water changes, it probably remains therapeutic for some time in the water. I don't know what the lethal dose is for aefw (this would be an interesting experiment), but if the dose remains therapeutic for days without killing corals, it may mean any eggs that hatch during that time will die. I tried to do as many rapid water changes as possible, but even then, my rough calculations show that there is still 1.83# of this stuff in the tank currently.

any update on this and how are the corals doing now?

Pictures?
 

M3P

New member
Sorry for the lack of updates. Briefly, I am going to call this a success.

I ended up treating a 3rd time for safe measures. I did not notice any FW die with that treatment, but there were several small bristleworms. If there were FW in the tank, I imagine that they died as well. The size of things dying with each treatment got smaller with each treatment.

I will post later with the number of water changes I ended up doing. I have not noticed any evidence of regular FW on my glass or AEFW after the treatment. I did lose a couple smaller acros during the treatment. I'm not sure if it was due to the treatment or due to the large number of WC that I was doing. I used reef crystals, so I wonder if there was some inconsistency between boxes. I added some new snails and crabs this week and have put a pair of clowns in and everyone is doing well.

I did add some new corals to the tank this week. The first dip I used was a solution of KCl and tank water. I followed that dip with bayer and they all (sps, lps, and zoas) tolerated it well.
 

M3P

New member
It has been almost 3 months since I last posted. I have not seen an evidence of any flatworms (regular or AEFW) in the tank and things are looking great in the tank.

Before treating (to prove AEFW were in the tank)
20161219_213844_zpstgixni7o.jpg


20161218_140656_zpsq1drxylt.jpg


After treating
DSC04011_zpscq93vuhw.jpg


DSC04013_zpsp3nwnrc6.jpg


DSC03265_zpst53ogshc.jpg



Please let me know if you have any questions about this treatment.
 

Piper27

I love bengals
I have a question, what do you mean by the aefw we're hosting under the skin of the acros? I am glad this has shown to kill aefw, I hope you don't see any pop up in the coming months. Sneaky buggers.
 

M3P

New member
I have a question, what do you mean by the aefw we're hosting under the skin of the acros? I am glad this has shown to kill aefw, I hope you don't see any pop up in the coming months. Sneaky buggers.

I think somewhere in my reading I had read that the AEFW can get under the skin or maybe slime coat of acros. After more thought, I think that the real reason I lost some acros during treatment was from Alk burn. I was changing a ton of water in the tank and using Reef Crystals which has a high alk out of the bag. The smaller corals that died during treatment probably couldn't tolerate the Alk. Again, no proof. Just theory. If i had to do it again, I would use a salt that was 1. cheaper and 2. had a normal range Alk out of the bag.
 

ClownNut

Active member
i would be interested to see long term(2-3 months report after 2nd treatment). if potassium chloride kills the adults the eggs still uneffected, that means more than 2 treatments might be needed, unless you got lucky on the 2nd treatments all AEFW hatched.
 

M3P

New member
i would be interested to see long term(2-3 months report after 2nd treatment). if potassium chloride kills the adults the eggs still uneffected, that means more than 2 treatments might be needed, unless you got lucky on the 2nd treatments all AEFW hatched.

I ended up doing 3 treatments. Hopefully they are gone. Haven't lost any acros since then and haven't seen any bite marks, but keeping a close eye on things.
 
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