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Toxotes jaculatrix (Pallas 1767), the Banded
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Doing what it takes to keep Bettas healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
My snails seem to be filtering the top of the water
Hi, a few days ago i noticed my apple snails taking their foot and what
could only be described as siphoning the top of the water while doing an
eating motion whilst at the top of the water level. Mind you the tank is a
10 gallon tank that i have sitting out on my porch. So algae levels are
great because of sun. I check the temp of the water every day to make sure
its not too hot. Could it just be they are eating the algae film at the top
of the water?
<Possibly, but there are other possibilities (see below)>
If you guys could help out by answering my question that would be great.
<This behavior is troublesome in that it may be resultant from a lack of
oxygen... OR elevated pH due to the overgrowth of the algae you mention. I
would execute a series of large/r water changes (25-30% per day) for a few
days, removing a good deal of the algae, gravel vacuuming... and shading the
tank to reduce further algal proliferation. Bob Fenner>
Re: My snails seem to be filtering the top of the water
Thank you for your email, i will make sure to do that.
<Ah, and please make it known how your actions unfold. Cheers, BobF>
Worm ID 8/14/19
I have cultured daphnia for years and have currently run into a worm I have
never seen before.
After water changes, I usually see the normal thin, white detritus worm wiggling
around the containers.
But a month ago, I started noticing these clumps of red/pink worms at the bottom
of my containers. The info I found online was that Tubifex worm is a type of
detritus worm, but I failed to ID the worms I have.
If they are Tubifex, how would they manage to get indoors and in my containers?
<Mmm; well, from the looks/clumping and color... these do appear to be
Tubificids, at least Oligochaete worms. Could be something like a bug blew in
with the beginnings of the culture... most anything wet could. Do you have a
microscope there, maybe one w/ a USB connection? I'd like to see these up-close.
Thank you Wetweb!
Snail ID 8/13/19
Wondered if you might be able to ID this snail I just found after introducing a
plant to a new tank (not cycled yet).
I don't mind snails, just wanted to get one Nerite once the tank has food for
<Ahh, do see here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnailidfaqs.htm re Physa.>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Pike cichlid ID/question
Greetings, WWM fishy folks …
I have a bonded pair of pike cichlids I got as juveniles (about the size of an
average index finger when purchased) from a local big box store — they were
unhelpfully labeled ‘pike cichlids’ and of course the staff had no idea what
species they were or proper care instructions for them.
<My first introduction to Pike Cichlids was much the same.>
I raised them among other SA cichlids at around neutral pH, and they are now
between 20-25 cm long (the one I believe is the male is larger) with the
approximate girth of a hefty banana. Internet resources have had a lot of
conflicting information, and I haven’t been able to determine whether I have C.
strigata or C. sp. “Venezuela.”
<I do not think these are the true Crenicichla strigata, which probably aren't
imported much, if at all. But do agree we're looking at the Crenicichla lugubris
group of species, which includes both C. strigata and C sp. 'Venezuela'. I
suspect that given the hazy understanding that scientists have of this species
group, and the hopelessly muddled (and misidentified) photos in the aquarium
press, pinning down the precise species would be difficult. Indeed, if these
were tank-bred species we might even be dealing with hybrids.>
The male in the photo has his ‘threat dress’ on, which he adopts whenever he’s
trying to warn me away from taking photos; the lateral stripe is usually absent
similar to the female.
<Yes, and the rosy belly on the female is indicative, too.>
Have you any idea from the photos what they might be?
<See above; Crenicichla lugubris group, but precise species hard to say. But if
I was pushed, I'd probably go with the C sp. 'Venezuela' sold as Crenicichla
strigata over the years, but probably not that species as such. Crenicichla
lugubris itself is another option, but the lack of red would seem to indicate
The pair currently reside in a 180 gallon tank with a silver Arowana and a young
giant gourami who, as you might observe, is an avid photobomber. There used to
be an adult short-bodied marbled bichir in there as well, but the pikes began
harassing her as they seemed to want to claim the entire tank bottom as their
own — at least the parts with hides — so I moved the bichir.
<The smaller Bichirs are rather too gentle to keep with potentially aggressive
cichlids; indeed, have seen such Bichirs stripped of their fins when kept with
"peaceful for Mbuna" Yellow Lab cichlids.>
Recently, however, the pikes have shown what I believe is nesting behavior.
They’ve been digging out hollows under logs and spending much of their time
there, and over the past few days the larger of the pair has been harassing the
gourami and even the 18” Arowana when they comes near their burrow. So far there
hasn’t been any damage inflicted (except when the Aro got startled and jumped
into the center brace, knocking off a few scales), but I worry that if they do
start spawning they might cause major havoc in the tank, particularly with the
Arowana being naturally prone to jumping.
<A correct analysis. Breeding Pikes is not something to be undertaken lightly.
They produce large broods of eggs, potentially thousands of them, and the market
for juvenile Pike Cichlids is tiny, at best. So it's arguably not even worth
doing. But yes, once defending their eggs, the Pikes will attempt to destroy
anything that gets too close. Your problem with moving the Pikes to a smaller
tank is if they're stressed enough to de-pair, there's a risk of them becoming
aggressive towards each other.>
Would a 75 gallon aquarium be large enough to isolate them long enough to finish
spawning provided they get frequent water changes?
Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer!
<Good luck with these fabulous and evidently very healthy fish! Neale.>
Best Antibiotic for Fin Rot in Hard Water?
Dear Crew at WetWebMedia,
A few days ago one of my silver dollars got a chunk of his dorsal fin
bitten or torn off, and shortly after the fin tissue started turning
grey and eroding, leaving behind the bony rays, and the scales at the
fin base might have peeled off as well. As such I suspect it might be
I’m not sure why it got infected as ammonia and nitrite are zero and I
am doing 50% water changes weekly, and the other silver dollars are
<Sometimes just back luck or bad genes.>
But it clearly seems to be, so what would be the best antibiotic to use?
<My medication of choice for clean Finrot is eSHa 2000, which works fine
in hard water.>
I don’t want to use nitrofurazone because in the past it made my fish
refuse to eat and I have heard tetracycline does not work well in hard
<If you must use an antibiotic, then choose one advertised as safe in
both freshwater and marine aquaria, such as KanaPlex. If something works
in saltwater, it'll be fine in hard freshwater.>
Re: Cory Catfish with stubborn fin rot.
A lot has happened since I received your answer, which is why you have not heard
from me in so long. I very much appreciate your reply!
I am afraid that "Stubby" is slightly worse.
I have moved my albino aeneus (+ 5 fry) and trilineatus to a new 40 gallon
(total 9 adults). I then moved the sterbai (and 3 harlequin rasboras, fry I
found when rehoming the adults a few months ago) out of the hospital tank and
into the old albino tank, where the former occupants prospered and spawned. Temp
is 78-80F. I broke down the old sterbai tank. At one point I was planning to put
all the catfish in the 40 (albino, trilineatus, and the sterbai) but because of
temperature differences I guess I should keep
them separate? The sterbai don't seem very active although they do eat fine, and
I believe I have 2 ladies because they are getting chubby. They are not too
lively though, and I feel they must be bored with only the 5 of them. I'm afraid
to get more because I don't want this problem, whatever it is, to spread to any
new fish. If I put the sterbai in the 40, would they benefit from having a bunch
of buddies, despite the temperature difference?
I keep the 40 gallon at 76F. During the summer though, it can get up to 78F.
<Do add an airstone, and be sure the water level is low enough they can easily
swim to the surface to gulp air; generally, Corydoras shouldn't be kept in
depths greater than 30 cm/12 inches, and ideally less.>
I am still keeping them partially covered but have stopped changing water every
day thinking that maybe it's stressing them out more.
<Possibly, but weekly water changes should be maintained.>
I did 2 days of Furan-2, but had to stop treatment because one of the fish
stopped eating and was hiding. I did water changes, ran carbon, and he's fine
now. I guess the medication was too strong.
<Possibly, but antibiotics shouldn't really affect fish in any harmful way.>
I now change the water every 5 days, although they've only been in their new
tank about 10 days. Plus, we had a 4 day power outage last week, so they ran on
a single sponge and water changes every other day. I can't win with these fish!
I have sent two new photos, the best I could get...Stubby is slightly worse. I
think Chuck must be better because I can't figure out which one he is now.
Their new tank has a Tidal 35 hob and 1 large sponge filter. The hob is pretty
gentle, and the albinos and 3lines never had a problem with it. I have the 3
rasboras, but they love to peck at each other and never bother the catfish.
They've been moved around a few times and have lived with the albinos before the
sterbai and were never a problem, not even the 9 adults I used to have. I know
the rasboras need buddies or rehoming. I think I'll probably try to find them a
It is very weird :/ I always make sure everybody has their barbels and that
they're long and pointy.
There is no whisker damage on any of the sterbai. I can't think of anything else
I can do except to put them in the 40 with more friends, or get more sterbai and
put them in the 20.
I thank you very much for your help and patience! I'm so in love with these
catfish, I want them to have the best lives I can give them. I have included 2
new photos of Stubby. I apologize for the bad quality of the latest pic, I am
keeping them with low lighting for now.
<Hard to tell the colours of the fish because of the low light, but do see the
fin damage. I'm wondering about Red Blotch disease, a bacterial disease that can
plague Corydoras, particularly newly imported (i.e., stressed) ones.
Tetracycline or Minocycline are usually used to treat this, with varying degrees
of success. Nonetheless, provided the fin damage on 'Stubby' is clear, without
evidence of decomposing tissue (off-white) or congested blood vessels (orange or
pink) then I'd not worry too much about his fins. Clean fin damage should heal,
given time. Cheers, Neale.>
eye “thread” 8/2/19
I have a male blue gularis killifish. He was in
quarantine for a month with no problems. I moved him to the display tank
about a week ago. I now notice what seems to be a single, small, white
mucus-like filament coming from the exact center of each eyeball.
The filaments are less than the thickness of a human hair and about 1-2
mm long. I tried to take pictures, but none captured it. My first
thought was Anchorworm, but nothing of what i have read says they can
embed in the eye.
<Indeed, but there are other crustacean parasites that certainly can.
Diplostomum (a fluke/worm rather than crustacean) is another eye
parasite, though internal, so results in a cloudy eye.>
I also thought of a Columnaris thread, but it does not look like any
Columnaris i have ever seen. The killie is otherwise happy and healthy,
feeding and playing (even though his female companion was predated by a
7” blue sheatfish in the first hour she was in the tank!!)
<Why is there are large, predatory catfish in the aquarium with these
Two days ago i euthanized a praecox rainbow who has been sick for a
couple of weeks, hiding, labored breathing, and had unilateral PopEye
that was dark and cloudy.
<Pop-eye to a single eye usually indicates physical damage. If there's a
predatory catfish in there, or at least one trying to be predatory, that
could easily have alarmed the Rainbowfish, who then swam into a rock or
something else and so damaged its eye.>
Tank has been running for about 7 years, with several inhabitants still
alive from the beginning. 400gal total volume (inc sumps), stable ph
7.7, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate ~30. 70 gal water change each week.
If you have any thoughts, let me know. Thanks for the great information.
<The threads on the eye sound most like an Anchor Worm-type parasite,
i.e., an external crustacean, and my immediate suggestion would be to
treat as per Anchor Worm. Diplostomum (or "Eye fluke") is unlikely to
cause a thread to emerge from the lens, but is worth considering.
Similarly, fungal (as opposed to bacterial) infections can produce
threads, but you'd expect to see them across the fish rather than just
one specific place on each eye. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: eye “thread” 8/3/19
Thanks for getting back to me. So I should attempt to remove the thread
from the eye, like is normally done per anchor worm?
<I would not.>
That freaks me out a little, tweezing something from the eye.
Can you direct me to any reading on technique? .......
<I would use medications as per Anchor Worm; removal creates wounds that
need sterilising (e.g., with iodine) which isn't practical here.>
Also, the sheatfish do not bother anyone who is too big to eat--they
have been in there for two years. The euthanized praecox was sizable at
about 5 years old.
<Perhaps. But even if the catfish didn't kill the Rainbow, it's activity
at night could have been enough to startle said Rainbowfish into a
startled escape response -- and from this the damage to the eye. As a I
say, pop-eye on one side tends to be physical damage (both eyes tends to
be environment) so assess and act accordingly.>
My error was indeed putting the female killie in the tank, thinking she
was large enough. She was about 2". The male is over 3" and I chose this
species because of its larger size, with the male reaching 4-5 inches.
And interestingly, I have albino Ancistrus that have spawned, and I
returned 10 one-inch fry to the display tank (after selling 128 to my
LFS), and none were predated, now all over two inches. The sheatfish eat
exclusively off the substrate, which I found odd, so I was concerned for
the small Ancistrus. But there was no problem. These observations led to
my error in assuming the 2" killie would be safe. I was wrong.
PS. While the sheatfish were sold to me as Kryptopterus cryptopterus,
they most certainly are not that species; they have a pronounced nuchal
concavity. My best estimate is that they are K. parvanalis. Many thanks
for this public service that you provide.
<Interesting. Ompok app are quite commonly seen in the trade, so do look
at these too. Indeed, so many Kryptopterus and Ompok species out there,
and the two genera being difficult to separate, that I'd tend to be very
open minded about any name offered by retailers. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: eye “thread”
Got it. Many thanks.
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Sexes guppies 7/31/19
I have a female guppy who looks like it for be a male chafing my one male I know
is make almost to rough all the time how can make sure of what sex the bigger
guppy is can to help me? The big ones is what I don't know.
<The shape of the anal fin is definitive in Guppies... Males have tubular
gonopodia (for gamete transmission), while females have fan shaped anal fins.
Your pix show two males and one female (the one w/ fecal material attached). Bob
Re: Sexes guppies
I wood like to send a few more pics if that's ok to help me with there sexes
<Kosha; howsit? What shape is the anal fin here? Fan or tube? BobF>
Anchor worms in a freshwater aquarium
I want to start by saying what a great resource your website is for everything
you need to know about keeping fish and more. I have spent hours reading through
articles and FAQs about parasites and swordtails.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
Although I did learn a bunch, I couldn't find an exact match to the odd
situation I am experiencing. I have been keeping planted aquariums for about 7
years. I have had this 25 gallon setup for a while...only 1 male guppy and 2
shrimp have been in here for quite some time. I sold my 120 gallon tank, so I
revamped my 25 gallon with some plants and driftwood from the big tank (and a
Fluval 405), and set out to buy a few fish from a local fish place that
sells its livestock out of outside concrete block *ponds*.
<Understood, and the outdoor maintenance does indeed explain the Anchor Worm
I bought fancy guppies, crystal shrimp, long fin Bristlenose Pleco, and 3 Kohaku
swordtails (1 male, 2 females). Everyone is happy. A couple weeks later I am
staring down the male swordtail as he's munching on some Repashy, and I notice
this whitish/greenish thing dangling...so well camouflaged next to his white
anal fins ...after some research it turns out to be an anchor worm...which is
common in *ponds* and in koi...and my fish came from a pond but aren't koi...so
after a round of treating with API general cure and nothing happening (better or
worse), I realize whatever chemical would kill the crustacean parasite will also
kill my beautiful shrimp (and/or plants)...
<Correct. Anchor Worms are very difficult to treat without specific medications,
and these are, as you understand, toxic to other types of crustaceans as well,
including shrimps and crabs.>
So I caught the fish and pulled the worm, it came out easy, so I think the worm
was dead. I have been doing 50% water changes every day since (3 days) I pulled
the worm in hopes to remove any eggs/larva swimming in my system...I also
started treatment with Maracyn for 2 reasons.
<Won't do much for Anchor Worms, but yes, can be useful if infected wounds are a
risk. Antibiotics have a low level of toxicity towards fish and invertebrates,
so your main risk is making sure the filter bacteria aren't bothered. Always
worth doing a nitrite test every few days following use of antibiotics. Mostly
you'll be fine, because these antibiotics are formulated for use in aquaria, but
it's worth checking even so, especially if you see evidence of filter problems,
such as fish gasping at the surface.>
1. Because of the tiny wound the parasite left on my fish from being removed and
because 2. ever since I bought the swordtails, their gills have the slightest
red coloring...not sure if it's their normal coloring or an irritation from the
anchor worm larvae or another annoying bacteria/fungus/parasite. I also have 5
guppy fry that are getting pretty big and starting to swim among the adults. The
male swordtail is recovering nicely and his wound is barely noticeable anymore.
So after that long winded story, I guess my question really is, can or would
this parasite keep living in a tank vs. a pond?
<Anchor Worms switch between a free-living juvenile stage and a
parasitic adult stage. Provided the juveniles are not removed by the
filter, they can swim about and either infect the same fish or some other fish
in the tank. This is different to the case with many other pond parasites that
have a second host, such as a snail or fish-eating bird, that the parasite needs
to go through to infect another generation of fish. So short answer, yes, Anchor
Worms can and do reinfect fish under aquarium conditions.>
Most of the information I find online is about anchor worm in koi ponds, not
fish tanks. I am starting to hope they just won't complete their life cycle in
the aquarium setting as this seems to be quite a nasty bugger to deal with.
<Among the nastiest, and a major problem to fish farmers, let alone aquarists.
There are some highly effective medications, but you will need to remove the
shrimps while they're being used. After the full course of the treatment is
done, a series of water changes, plus the use of carbon in the filter, should
return the tank to being "shrimp friendly" but I'd suggest only putting a few
shrimp in first to see how they do.>
I am so worried I am going to come look at my tank one morning to see everyone
covered in anchor worms. What else can I do besides water changes?
<See above. The old school approach of using potassium permanganate is
deprecated nowadays because this stuff is rather toxic and difficult to use
safely. Likewise, physical removal of the adult Anchor Worms is difficult
without stressing the fish or exposing the wounds to secondary infections.
If all you had were livebearers, then making the tank brackish for a while (5-10
gram/litre; 4-6 weeks) would probably kill off all the Anchor Worms, and this
sort of approach is similar to what fish farmers do when moving trout in and out
of sea lochs to kill off skin parasites of various kinds.
But your catfish won't appreciate salty water. Generally, the safest
approach is to use specific Anchor Worm medications, but as we both understand,
these are toxic to shrimps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Anchor worms in a freshwater aquarium
Wow! Thank you so much for the prompt response Neale, that was amazing to wake
up to and so reassuring when going through stressful situations like this...
What wasn't so amazing was finding another adult on one of my male guppies (I
hope I am not going crazy and seeing things). I caught the fish and tried to
pull it off, but all I got was the tip...much harder to pull off, so I think
this anchor worm must had still been alive.
<Agreed, and when they're alive, if you pull at them, they're more likely to
"dig in" and thereby cause wounds. So approach with caution. Guppies can handle
seawater for long periods (wild ones, indefinitely) so a seawater bath for 5-10
minutes would stress, if not kill, the Anchor Worms, and
maybe make things easier to do. 35 gram/litre non-iodised salt will replicate
seawater adequately well.>
I am going to bring that guppy back to the place and not accept a new fish in
return, they can't give me enough store credits to make up for this incident,
that they will more than likely smugly brush off as my problem and not a problem
with their livestock (that are sold out of ponds). I have been buying fish here
for a long time and I have never experienced this before. I included a pic of
what I pulled off today.
<Indeed, does look like part of an Anchor Worm.>
I am hoping that daily 50% water changes and prompt removal of adults will fix
this problem without having to break down the whole tank and start over.
<May do, but I'd be medicating. Cheers, Neale.>
Electric Blue Acara Hlth. 7/27/19
When he tries to eat seems like he can't swallow his food and puffs of
white cloudy stuff (looks like smoke) comes out of his gills and mouth.
<Electric Blue varieties are notoriously disease prone. Going to direct
you to some reading:
As a general rule, avoid them.>
He's sluggish and won't eat most of the time, not even blood worms so I got a
live garden worm today that he attempted to eat but again, the clouds of whitish
stuff puffing out the gills and his mouth.
Getting worse by the day. In quarantine now with General Cure day 2.
<A good choice re: Hexamita, but do remember to remove carbon from the filter,
if used, when medicating. Medicines might work inconsistently in old, mature
tanks with a lot of organic material. A hospital tank with few decorations
beyond ceramic caves is best.>
Have tried conservative treatment first #1 salt and higher Temps (82),
<Would be careful about higher temperatures, given Acaras tend to prefer cooler
conditions than cichlids in general. Certainly provide plenty of aeration.>
#2 bloodworms soaked in PraziPro, #3 PraziPro in the water (all separate
treatments over the last 2 weeks) and currently the General Cure.
<Understood, and these will help re: worms, but not much else.>
All water parameters are good. No different at all in the discharge from gills.
<Velvet is the classic infection of fish gills, but white spots on the body
would be apparent as well. Hexamita is the ubiquitous threat to farmed cichlids,
but again, your symptoms are not typical. Gill parasites are difficult to
diagnose without examining pieces of gill tissue under a microscope.
Dactylogyrus is one common example, but really, its guesswork.
Tetra Lifeguard is a product that treats a variety of gill infections, and might
be worth trying.>
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Electric Blue Acara 7/29/19
Thank you so much for your quick response.
So I continued the General Cure to give it a chance and although the fish hasn’t
gotten worse, I would say he’s not getting better. The fish is still not eating,
even when I throw an earth worm in the tank. Here are my questions:
1. Are you ok with me giving him a Epsom salt bath for 30 min 3xs a day?
<Sure. Won't do much on its own except reduce swelling slightly and provide a
slight laxative effect. It is quite useful alongside suitable medications
2. Finished full coarse of General Cure and would like to try Lifeguard as you
suggested. I put carbon filter back in, will do a 25% water change in the
morning. When can I start Lifeguard?
<New medications can be added immediately after water changes, and all organic
medicines (as opposed to salts, etc.) can be assumed to 'used up' after 24
hours. So if you need to add a second course of medicine, doing a water change
and waiting 24 hours should be safe.>
3. I have 1 tbsp of aquarium salt in the quarantine tank, is that ok?
<Doesn't do much. As stated elsewhere on this website, doses of 2 gram per litre
(about 0.25 US gal) can be used against Whitespot and Velvet. But other than
this dosage and usage, 'aquarium salt' doesn't really do much.>
1. He finally pooped after being in quarantine for 4 days which is a good sign
2. When I look in his quarantine tank with a light, I can see little strands
floating around about 2-3mm long. They are all identical in diameter (similar to
a strand of hair) but some slightly longer than others and they are very
pliable. I’m wondering if it is some kind of dead parasite making its way out?
<Might well be; see Nematomorphs and Nematodes, for example. But could be other
3. Can’t tell if the white puffs of smoke that come out of his gills and mouth
have stopped because it only happens when he eats, not when he is breathing.
Thanks again. Is there a way you accept donations to your site? I’d like to
support your efforts. I really appreciate your help.
<We do have a tip jar somewhere on the front page (http://www.wetwebmedia.com)
that goes towards running costs, so please do feel free, though by no means
<Most welcome, and glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Electric Blue Acara 7/29/19
Thanks again. I read everything on the link you sent me, so you are in agreement
with me trying Lifeguard?
<Up to a point. It's better than nothing. But any product that's advertised as
curing everything (from skin flukes to fungus, no less!) is unlikely to be
especially good at any of them. The most effective meds are designed
specifically for one particular type of organism. So I'd be skeptical, though as
I say, better than nothing.>
Or do you think something else would work better?
<With cichlids, the old Metronidazole + Nitrofuran combination is usually the
best approach if you don't know precisely what you're treating.>
I'm slightly concerned about destroying his kidneys but it sounds line you
really are knowledgeable so I want to move forward with your recommendation.
<Fish kidneys aren't like ours, and correct use of different medications,
with suitable water changes and time intervals between courses shouldn't
cause problems. Cheers, and thanks for the kind words! Neale.>
RE: Electric Blue Acara 7/30/19
Neale!!! Was able to catch video footage!!! Here's what we're dealing with.
<The things on the glass? White wiggly things? Could be harmless nematodes, or
could be parasitic ones that have been evacuated from the host fish by
anti-helminthic drugs. Hard to say. The former is, to be honest, more likely,
since these worms do exist in varying numbers in many tanks. Still, a reliable
anti-helminthic should kill them off (though sometimes multiple courses are
required). Cheers, Neale.>
RE: Electric Blue Acara 7/30/19
Neale!!! Great news. While I was doing a water change, I observed the little
white strands I mentioned in the tank and they for sure are worms of some sort.
I found one still wiggling. Now that I have been able to identify that, what
would you recommend? This is a pretty amazing revelation if you ask me. At least
now we know what we’re dealing with.
<Or at least part of the problem. Intestinal worms are very common in farmed
fish, and likely harmless in small numbers where the fish's own immune system
keeps them in check. Put another way, this could be a secondary problem separate
to what actually ails your fish, so keep an open mind. Cheers, Neale.>
RE: Electric Blue Acara
I’m sorry, I didn’t see your reply.
They also have a head on one side of the worm and when I looked it up it looks
like flukes. Best med to kill flukes in you mind??? I’m sorry for the bother,
but I have the fish in the salt bath container until I know what to add to the
On hand I have Lifeguard,
<This should treat skin flukes, Platyhelminthes.>
<This for treating intestinal worms, Annelida and Nematoda, if you believe your
fish is suffering from a worm infection.>
Kanaplex, EM Erythromycin, Tetracycline
<Antibiotics, for bacterial infections.>
and Ich X.
<Treats Whitespot and Velvet.>
All left over from that one sick fish and that one dose needed that leaves you
with 15 more does. Lol.
<Lol, indeed. Be sure to choose the right medication for the pathogen you're
dealing with. Over-medication can cause harm, and inappropriate medication
wastes time that allows the fish to become sicker. Cheers, Neale.>
RE: Electric Blue Acara 7/30/19
The worm in the background on the black part of the tank is what I was referring
to. And yes, the little flea like things hop from the bottom to the sides.
Correction, on gill flukes, I checked the tab I have open and they look
identical to anchor worms.
<Anchor Worms require specific anti-Anchor Worm medications, such as Waterlife
Parazin. Despite the name, these are crustaceans, not worms, and any medications
that kill Anchor Worms will kill shrimps, crabs, etc., too. So be careful when
using such medications. Cheers, Neale.>
RE: Electric Blue Acara 7/30/19
There are also little white flea like creatures in the aquarium that I cannot
see without the sunlight behind the tank. Since he isn’t eating how can I treat
these intestinal worms? I separated them into two different clear vases and
tried PraziPro in one vase and lifeguard in the other and neither medication
seems to be killing them. Any suggestions?
<If the little white flea things are stuck to the glass, they're likely harmless
crustaceans. Commonly seen in many tanks, particular older or somewhat neglected
ones. Cheers, Neale.>
RE: Electric Blue Acara 7/30/19
They are free swimming, not on the glass.
<Could be anything, really! If long and thin, with no obvious legs, then would
seem to be worms of some kind. Whether harmful or not, hard to say -- so
treating with anti-helminth drugs worthwhile. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Electric Blue Acara 8/7/19
Update. He's still alive and active but won't eat. I've had him in fresh clear
water since we last talked.
He still isn't eating, even live fry. He popped once and it looked normal.
Pooped yesterday and I found a little normal and then a lot of the attached pic
I would say parasites but I've heard constipation and also not eating can cause
white stringy poop.
<Hello Michelle. The white, stringy spiral faeces is mucous, and
indicates that the guts are irritated and expelling (at trying to, anyway)
whatever is irritating them. It's quite commonly seen in two situations:
Hexamita infections and during treatment for intestinal worms.
Constipation, for obvious reasons, has the reverse effect: absence of faeces and
general bloating of the fish as the intestine becomes stuffed with waste matter.
Constipated fish usually still eat readily, which is why the main treatment is
increasing the amount of fibre in their diet, ideally cooked peas, but failing
that, small algae-eating crustaceans such as Daphnia and Brine shrimp. Epsom
salt is often used alongside the change in diet. Dried foods are not used at
all, because they can cause constipation in some fish, and it tends to be that
dried foods are fine with small predatory fish (such as tetras) but more of a
problem with omnivorous or herbivorous fish that would naturally consume a lot
of roughage (generalist cichlids and goldfish are the classic examples). Anyway,
I don't think that's the issue here.
Copious faeces is the precise opposite of constipation, and I think you're
either dealing with Hexamita (common in farmed cichlids generally) or else
intestinal worms. No reason you can't treat for both simultaneously. By the way,
don't expect your cichlid to eat much if he's sick: they often don't, and won't
get their appetite back until they're getting healthier again.
Re: Electric Blue Acara 8/7/19
What would you recommend? I have general cure in the tank right now.
<I'd be treating as per Hexamita; i.e., Metronidazole plus a suitable
antibiotic, Nitrofurans most often recommended in this combination. Outside of
the US, or anywhere antibiotics are only accessible through a vet, you may need
to use a one bottle Hexamita treatment, such as eSHa HEXAMITA, though these are
likely less effective than Metronidazole. Cheers, Neale.>
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