Best way to find and remove old hitchhikers?


Active Member
Since I have a few days off I'm thinking of re-aquascaping my 55 gallon and since I will be handling and removing each and every rock, this would be a great time to find and remove any "bad stuff" that may be living in the rocks.
I'm looking for suggestions on what to do with each piece of rock that will help me find bad stuff without killing good stuff. Should I have a bucket handy with fresh water in it? Hypo salinity water? Hyper salinity water? If I put each rock in the sink and hit it with the sprayer to get the uglies to run out, will I also be killing the good stuff in my live rock?
In particular I am looking for a HUGE flatworm that was spotted once, would love to find and remove him during this re-build.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


A bucket of fresh water or even hypo water will kill just about everything on your rocks. Hyper salinity works great though.
If you have one flatworm, you probably have numerous flatworms, I've never seen just one in a tank, are you sure that's what it is?


Active Member
Yes, she has a pic of a big polyclad...not like the small guys. Pretty scary, but...
Would I risk killing off other stuff for it? Maybe not. It has been awhile since you've seen it. If you keep anything. get a bucket with a small powerhead with tank water, so you can shoot that off without really damaging other stuff. Thing is that whatever you use, be it hyper or hypo saline water...will kill other things you like. So it is a trade off. But hyper would be somewhat less stressful than hypo which is a sure fire way to kill a good number of inverts. Interestingly, some of the nastiest are also the hardiest...
You could just take every piece with that power head and tank water and shoot out all the holes and things. That might help dislodge detritus and stuff too. Then you can look at what is left at the bottom of the barrel and keep or not :p
So, in short...
If you are desperate to get that thing out and don't care what else is sacrificed...hypo (or FW dip)
If you are more controlled about it and don't want to go nuts...hyper
Just a reasonable clean up...powerhead with tank water.


Active Member
Thanks.... that was very helpful. It now seems that I am going to upgrade the 55 to a 92 gallon corner (someone made me an offer I can't refuse) so there will be a lot more tank work going on than simply re-aquascaping. With the new development I probably won't have time (or energy) to closely examine and clean every piece of rock so this thing may get to live after all. And since I'm going so much bigger I will need to add more (new) live rock, so God only KNOWS what new hitchhikers I'll be getting! Gee, this hobby is so much fun!