|FAQs on Parasitic Marine Worm Diseases: Flukes/Digenes & (Monogene)
Trematodes: Cures That Do Work
FAQs on Flukes/Trematodes:
Treatments That Don't Work,
The Flatworms That Are Flukes by Bob
Marine Parasitic Disease,
Fish Worm Diseases 1, Marine Worm Parasites 2,
Marine Worm Parasites 3, & FAQs
on Marine Worm Parasites: Diagnosis/Symptomology, Etiology/Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,
"Other" Worms and Worm-Like Parasites...
Paravortex/Black Spot Disease,
I don't know if you guys can help or give advice on this but your
website is the best clue I've found so far to my problem.
I found the closest picture to what I found on my regal tang and
butterfly fish on one of your message boards and I read through it to
see if anyone mentioned the name but there didn't.
<The image... lifted? Is the opisthaptor of a Monogene....>
I was wondering if anyone could help me identifying this parasite.
<.... on the basis of what?>
The fish were showing hazy eyes, shaking of the head, lethargy and
scratching off rock. We did a freshwater dip and the flukes came out
into the treatment tank.
<I'd add a bit of formalin... See the dip/bath S.O.P. on WWM>
I would like to figure out a treatment to clear the system but we have
lps in the tank so quarantine is I think the only option for the fish.
<See.... READ on WWM re Monogenetic Trematode/Fluke treatments....>
If I could identify the species I could learn more about its life cycle
and try break it to rid the tank of it completely.
<Need data mate. This isn't time for a guessing game. Bob Fenner>
Sent by iPhone
Re: Fluke 5/18/16
That image I sent was taken of the parasites that came off my butterfly fish
after we did the dip, not lifted it was taken on my own microscope at home.
<Ah good. Will post then>
It was just similar to the picture I saw on your message board.
<Sorry for my misunderstanding your msg.>
What sort of data would be needed other than the image of the parasite and I
can let you know ?
<What other life, livestock present. Do you have live rock, sand? Have you
used Anthelminthics, Vermifuges already?>
<Thank you. BobF>
We have 3 Banggai cardinals, regal tang, bristle tooth tang, two clowns, 6 line
wrasse, cleaner wrasse. Love rock and live sand.
<Due to these last two, I would be very careful of using de-worming medicines in
this system. There are food-lacing techniques that may be worthwhile to try...
These are gone over, archived on WWM. Do you consider that most all the flukes
were removed from the tang and BF by your dip procedure?>
Lps corals, gorgonians and snakelocks anemone and beadlet anemone. Haven't
treated the tank due to corals and the fluke treatment available in shops here
aren't reef safe.
<There are none that are both safe and effective>
We have set up quarantine tank to take the fish out of main system and starve
I have identified the parasite to the genus Neobenedenia.
I am lucky enough to have access to large amount of research through university
libraries so I finally found some good papers about them and life cycle. Fresh
<pH adjusted, and w/ the formalin.... Read here:
and the linked files above re this biocide>
everyone before quarantine and going to starve the main tank parasite population
for a month to be sure and then reintroduce the butterfly alone for monitoring
to insure it's clean before releasing all the rest. We believe it was the
butterfly that brought it in as she is newest fish and supposedly they are
notorious with this parasite.
<Yes indeed. Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Coldwater box fish with flukes
I have an Ornate Boxfish that came to me last September in poor shape. He
had a very cloudy eye and what looked like a lump on one fin.
He is still in qt almost 8 months later although he now shares qt with a
few starfish, some snails and some anemones.
His tank is 75 gallons, kept at 61 degrees and he is well fed and cleaned.
The cloudy eye cleared up within a month, but the lump stayed. After 4
months, the lump was gone, but small spots showed up on all his fins.
These turned into the exact same kind of lump as the original blemish on
his pectoral fin, except they were all over all his fins. We treated with
<No!!! An at times toxic scam>
Prazi, formalin (twice), Neoplex, Ruby reef
<.... see WWM Re>
Hydroplex and vitamins. We even did a freshwater dip on the back half of
him, while keeping salt water running over his gills and mouth.
One day, we did a manual inspection on these lumps and I tried to remove
one. It came off with just a bit of effort, and upon inspection under a
microscope, we found it had a leach type mouth and was actively looking for
its host. We removed 15 in total from the fish.
We treated the wounds with polysporin and they appear to be healing. We
also ran a double dose of Prazi after we removed the parasites. However it
is a month later and we notice there are some very fine white dots and a
couple of these dots appear to be growing.
<See (as in actually READ on WWM re other Anthelminthics.... coldwater
settings... don't work as well>
How do we break the cycle and get rid of these pests?
<Reading... don't have the time, desire to re-key>
I would like to get the boy into his permanent home eventually and don't
want to have him continue to suffer with parasites.
Here is an image of the flukes after we removed them. They were about 10mm
diameter, and looked like poplar seeds. They were flat, round and slightly
raised in the middle. They appeared to have a small 'tail', no eyes, and a
round sucker mouth on the underside. I froze them, in case someone could
give me a better ID.
<Neat! Write back later after reading, trying other Vermifuges. READ before
trying misc. "medicines" that are scams. Bob Fenner>
Re: Coldwater box fish with flukes
I appreciate your comments on Melafix, and will keep it in mind for future
<Ah good... if only there were statutes for selling such products as there
are for human remedies....>
As we had started out 8 months ago dealing with 2 issues on this fish, we
were looking for a solution to treat his eye that was not a sledge hammer.
It is quite possible that the Melafix had no impact at all on anything and
that it was just good qt protocol that helped the eye clear up. So no more
Melafix for us!
<Good... can interrupt nitrification; and who knows what other detrimental
Based on additional readings as you suggested it appears the parasite is a
capsalid monogenean Trematode, except ours are huge compared to sizes I have
found in reference material on line (ours measure 10mm easily).
<Yes; can occur this large in cooler water species>
I cannot find any references to how well a coldwater Boxfish will handle
freshwater dips, or hyposalinity,
<Are fine w/ both>
so am opting instead for prolonged treatment in Praziquantel over the next
couple of months, based on a starting program of 2.5mg/l and increasing over
10 days to 10mg/l and holding for 4 days. Will repeat 3 times. Does
this dosage get too aggressive?
We did not eliminate the parasites at 5mg/l when we did Prazi last time.
<As you prev. stated; yes>
We can also change qt tanks between treatments and disinfect the tank with
Virkon to eliminate any chance of detached eggs or free-swimming juveniles
from surviving. Is this overkill?
When we took Prazi to 5mg/l for a week during the last treatment program, we
saw no change in the infection, and did see that the Boxfish quit eating. My
concern with higher dosages is finding the balance between killing the
parasites and not killing the fish.
I cannot find any information on suppression of effectiveness of Prazi at
lower temperatures, but will call Hikari today.
If the Prazi does not work, then it appears we will have to try formalin
again, although the last time we did formalin (both times), it had
zero visible impact on the adult parasites.
<Assuredly, formalin WILL kill all external parasites... given dosage,
Over the last 8 months I have had the advice of the marine biologist at our
zoo and a fish vet, both of whom suggested using formalin. However
have also read that formalin can be hard on fish.
<It is a biocide (kills all life... crosslinking peptides....)>
It may be that we have to do a higher concentration bath and then move the
fish to a clean qt tank, but unless the parasites detach during the bath
(and as adults they are clearly visible) they just come with the fish. Or
we manually remove the adults and focus on killing the juveniles with
If you think the ID on this parasite is wrong, please let me know. We cannot
see any in the gills or in his mouth, but this does not eliminate the
possibility that they are there or even internal. He does eat well, but has
also lived with this infection for over 8 months.
<Monogenetic Trematodes are VERY common on fishes. VERY>
I have asked the seller if he has ever dealt with this parasite, and he has
not. He did however notice what he thought was just a fin ray growth (which
was the parasite) before the fish was shipped to me.
Thanks for your comments and help.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Coldwater box fish with flukes
We treated our box fish 10 days ago with Prazi (full strength dose,
<20 mg/l? I would use a formalin dip; move the fish elsewhere for two
weeks.. to let the monogenes die off w/o a host. Am going to send you an
article I just finished ayer re... from another machine here>
75 gallon tank) and he went sideways. Seriously sideways. At 5 days he was
swimming sideways. So at 7 days we cleared the Prazi out, did a big water
change and added carbon. Today we are at 10 days. He is eating well, but at
times he is upside down, some times he is sideways, sometimes he is fine.
<Waiting till the fish is upright... better. Than the dip and exclusion SOP
mentioned. Bob Fenner>
Hello almighty saltwater gods. I am not worthy. So I was thinking.....what kinds
of materials and what nots can hold Cupramine in a tank and cause the testing
level to appear not to rise and/or then possibly leech back into the water when
<Oh; this list is long... am sure one could use the Net, but am so olde that I'd
be looking in a CRC Manual for common molecules likely to form in a marine
aquarium habitat. Is cupric chloride, copper carbonate have a higher solubility
For example, small clay pots, while they make nice caves, are porous. And can
bits of uneaten food soak the medicine up enough to cause a problem?
<Mmm; not as much as the seawater itself, or "fresher" carbonate substrate and
rock.... fired clay pots are somewhat chemically inert>
I know to remove uneaten food but I was thinking about using a seaweed clip and
in that case, the food would spend more time in the water than flakes or Mysis.
My bicolor blenny, usually fat and happy, is eating little.
I am currently having what seems to be a bit of trouble getting my Cupramine
level above 3ish. All of my parameters are good and I only have a pre seeded
filter, heater, two little clay pots and an airs stone in a bare bottom 20 long.
I am treated a bicolor blenny and a royal gramma. I have been slowly raising the
Cupramine level over the last week and I want to be sure I am at a good
therapeutic level so I'm not wasting my time and unnecessarily stressing my
fish. Also, I don't want to prolong their Ich misery. It is/was a slight case to
my eyes. I did not follow the directions, dosing wise, because I have read it is
better to slowly raise the Cupramine level, especially for the sensitive blenny.
Since the white spots, of which there were only two on the blenny's top fin, and
one on the gramma' head, are not the actual parasite themselves, is their
absence after or during treatment even a fairly reliable sign that treatment is
working? Shouldn't the spots disappearing mean nothing more than the human
equivalent of a scab falling off?
<Mmm; these spots may be from irritation of some sort... mucus accumulating....
Even Trematodes (seeing them btw very commonly here in Curacao the last week
I have read that Cupramine may kill Ich at levels as low as .25 but I don't want
to take the chance of under treating,
<Ah yes; and deep-embedded parasites, ones on fishes w/ thick mucus; even some
"Crypt ""races" can be resistant to copper exposure>
particularly since my bicolor has not been eating well. I think he should be ok
eating only a little so long as I can complete the treatment in a reasonable
amount of time, say three weeks total. I am using a SeaChem test. My ammonia is
good and I have been doing 20% water changes every three days, matching the
temp, ph, SG, and Cupramine level in the new water with that of the tank prior
<Should test and replace the copper every day>
Besides that, the tank was fully cycled prior to treatment. I will remove
Cupramine after treatment and let my tank remain fallow for 72 days total.
<I and you very likely appreciate the vagaries of copper use... Hence my
swerving allegiance to Quinine compounds (and always prevention via dips/baths,
careful livestock selection, optimized, stable environment, good nutrition....)
over recent years. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cupramine leeching... plus copy f'/Trematodes
Thanks again. My question regarding the seaweed clip....what I should have said
was...Will the seaweed absorb the Cupramine and then maybe leech back into the
<It will absorb and re-lease very little copper. Not a worry. Again; there is
some cupric ion in all life.... it, the element is an essential, albeit "micro"
But before I read your reply I began to realize that my babies probably don't
have ich at all. I think you are right about this being a case of Trematodes. My
blenny's two fin spots have never changed location, only changed a bit in shape.
I think I assumed ich mostly because of the scratching both fish were doing
before I hospitalized them.
<Ahh! Saw a BUNCH of Flukes on fishes last week in Curacao.... more on more
species than I've ever encountered in the wild. Tellingly, much more prevalent
on fishes resident in some "environmentally modified" (polluted) locations>
I don't ask questions I don't want the answer to...so I will, in the future, use
a quinine compound with good aeration as you suggest.
But......since I have been putting them through two weeks of Cupramine already,
I think I will continue the course at least another week as a preventative
measure (unless, of course, you tell me to do otherwise). I think it would still
be wise to leave my display tank fallow for 72 days since I can't be sure ich
isn't there somewhere.
<Well; not to bum you out, and ignore your self-admonition above, but Crypt is
to degrees most every where there are tropical marine fishes>
After the Cupramine treatment is over, I think I should remove the Cupramine and
<Sure; or could do now. The two compounds as "mix-able">
Does a freshwater bath fit into this equation at some point? I have a bicolor
blenny and a royal gramma.
<Better a FW bath, pH adjusted w/ formalin and aeration... see WWM re such SOPs
and their specific use in eradicating external Trematodes>
Interesting that you saw an increase in Trematodes in the wild as I don't
believe I have ever dealt with this pest in the last 15 years of fish keeping.
<Mmm; very common on (imported) angels, butterflies, tangs..... sharks>
I've dealt with ich before, and the spots always visibly disappeared after a
couple of days in copper. I think I blamed my poor little clay pots for
rendering my Cupramine ineffective, but all along,
<I have used hundreds of gallons of this fine product in commercial settings. It
does precipitate (disappear) by about half every day... interacting with natural
and synthetic seawater... MUCH more so if carbonaceous substrate/s is/are
present. HAS to be assessed (tested for) and "topped up" daily or more often>
I misdiagnosed my problem. The lesson is always the same.....quarantine.
Thanks for your wealth of information and patience.
<A pleasure to relate/share. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cupramine leeching 8/4/15
Thank you, thank you. Now I have a clear course of action.
<Ahh! Am always (most of the time really) querulous whether I/we provide
sufficient direction, background to aid others in resolute action>
I will have to wait a day or two until I can be home all day to execute the plan
and observe the results. I have definitely learned a lot from this, including a
new appreciation for tank size and aggression.
My gramma was fine with the bicolor blenny in the 55 gallon tank, but in the 20
with few hiding spots....not so much. I had to get a tank divider
after a particularly scary lip lock between the two. Since I witnessed the
gramma seek out and stalk the blenny, I have placed the blame upon him. I think
I will be putting the blenny into the display tank a couple of days before the
gramma. I know blennies can be aggressive too, but so far, not mine.
One more question......".crypt is to degrees most everywhere tropical fish
are".....Are you saying that eradicating ich in my main system is unlikely even
after 72 days fallow?
<Unfortunately; yes. Some residual, resident population is likely to remain...
not to be (too) teleological, but "waiting" for environmental, nutritional,
social.... strain/stress, weakened "immunity" of host fishes.... to manifest
itself as infestation>
I've always known this a possibility, and now I am wondering if I should just
put the two fish back into the main system after the dip.
<Is likely what I would do...>
Rather blenny, then gramma to follow. I don't think the hospital is a
particularly great place for either one of them. But still, I am willing to keep
them there for the full 72 if you think it beneficial.
<There is a "tipping point" where isolation and what it entails
encompasses/overwhelms its benefits... as opposed to being placed, left in a
more stable setting>
Side note....I was wondering, in your diving experience, which fish was the most
unusual, rare, or surprising one you every encountered?
<Heeeeee! So many!! Likely a couple of great hammerheads I met up with at about
200 feet doing a bounce dive in the Red Sea (looking for some wrasses for a
Thank you, thank you. -Alyson
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cupramine leeching 8/8/15
Thanks again. So I did a freshwater dip with Methylene blue (as I was able to
get this at the LFS). Formalin, I was only able to find online and I did order
it, but wanted to get started asap. He jumped around quite a bit. I did get
worried as I have read that trying to jump is a sign of distress, and I know
blennies are generally sensitive, so he was probably in the solution maybe 5
minutes. I am hoping that the Cupramine for just under three weeks and the small
amount of time with the meth blue worked on his Trematodes.
<... The freshwater may, but copper and Methylene Blue neither do really.
See WWM re Trematodes; their treatment with purposeful Anthelminthics>
I'm sure I will let you know!!!! He is back in his DT, peeking around live
rocks. I want to make him fat and happy before I put his frenemy, the Royal
gramma back in too.
The last email we discussed entrenched crypt populations, and the possible
futility of fallow periods. I will observe these two fish, once they are both in
the 55 together and consider a complete tank overhaul should I suspect
undesirable critters lay waiting. I can do this because I have a spare 90 gallon
laying empty about my home. I just don't care for its location as it is in a
room we don't frequent as much as the 55. This is why I started up the 55 and
not the 90. Too many rooms, too much cleaning, tanks and otherwise. Of course, I
always knew having both tanks eventually running would be a matter of time, as
this is quite the addiction.
Thank you, thank you. Alyson R
Re: Cupramine leeching... Poss. fluke on Blenny, trtmt.
Hello again. It has been about 6 weeks since we discussed my crypt-turned-flukes
problem and all is (mostly) well in my little piece of the ocean. Here's the
thing....my bicolor blenny, who seemed ok for the first 5 weeks after his
Cupramine (misdiagnosis) then freshwater dip, is flashing a bit.
<Mmm; some flashing is natural>
Over the last week, I have been looking for signs of ich, and it appears to me
that he may have a fluke issue again. He has an irregular, small spot on his
dorsal fin, in the same place as last time. Maybe he never fully eradicated the
original flukes, or they could be in my system. I am a bit reluctant to
freshwater dip again, as he didn't like it last time, but I have the formalin
you recommended and will likely do this. I have some conflicting info regarding
dipping blennies. I have read that they should
not be dipped, and you recommended me to dip them in previous
<Though small (unless very small specimens), blennies, blennioid fishes are
slimy (again; unless quite sick) and capable of withstanding dipping procedures.
Better this than extended periods of isolation/quarantine and the stress and
starvation there that all too often leads to their loss>
Of course, I could hospitalize and treat with PraziPro. Being human, I would
prefer the shorter course of action...i.e......dipping. I do love this little
guy, named Sam I Am, and don't want to lose him, especially to my impatience. I
got him as a little guy, maybe less than an inch, and he is over three inches
now, gorgeous coloring, delightfully peaceful benevolent dictator of my tank. By
the way....returning him to my display from the hospital tank a couple of weeks
before the Royal gramma totally established a serene pecking order, even better
than before treatment! The two used to
tolerate each other, now they swim together. So.....to dip or not to dip?
<Up to you; I would... oh, and look to see if the "spot" releases, and gently
pinch it off with your fingers if not>
Thanks for your enduring patience and advice. Alyson R.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Help to identify and treat disease
I was wondering if you know what this disease is, nobody seems to want
<On the Paracanthurus here I take it... Have you sampled
any of these... looked under a 'scope? Either something surface like
monogenetic Trematodes (flukes), or Microsporidean>
I took these pictures today a week later, his forehead is now expanding, I
have done extensive freshwater dips and am dosing Cupramine but no reaction
<Not treatable w/ copper>
I'd really like some help with this and don't know what
Thanks in advance,
<See WWM re the above... the former are easily treated w/ prophylactic
dips/baths and Anthelminthics, the latter... not treatable as yet as far as
I'm aware. Only improving the environment, nutrition... optimizing and
stabilizing the fishs health will it be able to improve if Microsproridean
(internal) involvement. Bob Fenner>
Re: Help to identify and treat disease
Thank you for the quick reply, the bulging band across the forehead has
receded somewhat as four white parasites now hang out of it whereas it was a
smooth bulge before. I will have a go at the dips with some trematode
medication and ease off with the Cupramine.
<Good; I'd give up on the copper... see WWM re this and Tangs; a poor match>
I see hypo is ineffective for flukes too and the main tank has been in hypo
for many weeks so by process of elimination it may well be flukes. Thanks
<Easily identified w/ sampling, microscopic exam... and just as easily
eliminated. READ on WWM re.
Re: Help to identify and treat disease
Hi Guys unfortunately not looking good at present. Video update here
<Mmm; Paracanthurus looks like it's developing HLLE, the Y. Tang breathing
hard... rest of fish look fine; but a Clown Trigger (dangerous; will kill
other fishes in time), and a hamlet/sweetlips?! Not easily kept>
Have dosed with
<I see; a product of Praziquantel>
3 days ago as recommended in case is Trematodes but now yellow tang looks
like is bleeding from lateral line and heavily infected with growths causing
Blue tang continues to be disfigured as the 'parasite' erodes deeper,
especially in the face, and dotted sweetlips also affected
with holes appearing in his head over the top and underneath gills. The
purple lips Flagfin has a single dot on the forehead that has been there
about a week but the join of his pelvic fins is blood red. Bannerfish eats a
few bits off the yellow tang on cleaning service and clown trigger seems
largely unaffected. The setup is about 2 years old but never had such a
difficult issue. It is about 3.5 weeks into the infection. Is fish only
setup with uv, protein skimmer (both off for 3 days on meds) and sump filter
tank below so any meds can go in the display tank. Anything else I might
try? I don't have a scope unfortunately. Thanks Ed
<The scope; as originally stressed. There's very little sense in
"treating" for something you don't know. Perhaps a download and
reading of the second ed. of Ed Noga's "Fish Disease; Diagnosis &
Treatment"... you can get from Amazon.com for a nominal charge for the
e-version. Call around; some fish stores, colleges w/ bio. depts. will have
microscopes, folks to help.
Re: Help to identify and treat disease... Flukes
Thanks Bob, I tested all the water parameters and found nitrite had
shot up, no ammonia or nitrate, so did about a 50% water change and redosed lost
Praziquantel. Ca, Mg and pH all on low borders but probably because is slightly
hypo still. I did 5 minute freshwater dips of the Sweetlips, yellow tang, blue
tang and Flagfin with Paraguard. The majority of the infection dropped off the
yellow tang this time,
<Preserve some... just with distilled clear alcohol if nothing else... to look
at under a scope>
he is still breathing hard and his face and body look like they are covered in
acne scars now, lots of sore little red holes remain.
<Likely fluke haptor holes>
Less obvious reaction on the blue tang but perhaps less white and more
grey/black at the infected points. They all seem quite content and swimming
around since. I have upped the water surface agitation to make up for the
skimmer loss and added some Pimafix
<STOP writing me/us... READ on WWM. WORSE THAN WORTHLESS>
at the fish importer's recommendation to help the raw skin heal. I don't know if
it will do any good so long as it does not harm them but they say it works for
them. Mind you they also said vodka or white vinegar solution directly on the
infection works but will leave that as a last resort.
Regarding the Sweetlips I have found him one of the hardiest fish I have cared
for since had him the past six months. He fed on pellets ravenously from day
one. I have read a lot of people saying they drop dead quite quickly without
reason but six months in he is growing well and has dodged ich when it affected
other fish. I am just concerned he will need a lot more space. I see the Persian
Gulf is the edge of his natural habitat so in a worst case scenario I'd put him
back to sea - as am based in Dubai.
<Don't do this. NEVER return captive organisms to the wild... too much chance of
introducing other undesirables>
So far I would have recommended him to others as a starter fish were it
not for all the chat about how difficult they are on forums. Seeing as they seem
a rarity in the US perhaps they were just caught with too much cyanide and
didn't last long. The local Filipino fish shop owner always say they are a very
strong fish and easy to feed. Time will tell. Thanks for all your help, really
appreciate it and will get the recommended book, I did a fair bit of reading of
the Merck Veterinary Manuals which was interesting and a good free resource too
<Ahh; thank you for this>
. Scope might be a tougher purchase in Dubai.
<Mail order if nec. B>
Attn: bob-achilles tang; and Trematode f'
Hey fellow name sharer,
As discussed before, I restarted my 155 fowlr august 4, and the tank has been
cycled since midway point September.
My lfs was having. 25 percent off sale this week, in which I took a purple tang.
It died shortly after, so after explaining situation, he have me the credit to
use on it, and I picked up my two favorite fish, Aussie tusk and an Achilles
Unlike my previous achilles which I killed while trying to quarantine (ammonia)
this one is larger, in the 4 to 5 inch range, and has been at the store since
august. Has not yet showed signs of ich at the store, and I know the
store runs a low level of copper.
<Ah yes; most all LFS do>
Once in my tank, he ate right away, and is very active. Later that night I
noticed just one of his eyes appeared to be foggy (thought it was flukes) but
after More observation, it's a blue tint, on just the one eye. I know after
reading achilles can have some shades of Blue on them, but being it is just one,
I am not sure.
<I wouldn't panic>
My first instinct was a fw dip, or Prazi pro, but looking back at my mistakes,
over reacting, I did nothing.
I know they are sensitive fish, and not cheap, would you say the laid back
approach here is the way to go? Or is one eye always an indication of an issue,
whether it be bacterial, flukes etc.
<I do like dips (short term baths) of pH adjusted freshwater (aerated if RO or
doing a bunch of fishes); with formalin if you have it... for these
(Acanthuroid) fishes. They almost always sport a bunch of Trematodes coming from
the wild; or mixed in with fishes from same>
Thanks again for your time. I hit an all time low this summer with fish trying
to be a hero, and want to change my approach for the better going forward.
<Welcome. B. Fenner>
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang 11/29/14
Thanks for the input, always appreciated .
Upon getting home from work early tonight I devoted my time to paying close
attention to the eye of the achilles. These tangs move a lot and often, so
getting a good view is tough.
While looking at this eye, I saw little oval shaped pieces on the eye,
much to my displeasure. I believe them to be flukes. I did not fw dip
this fish in fear if killing it just as what happened with the purple tang a
<As prev. mentioned... I ALWAYS do>
I knew the "just having different eye color" was wishful thinking. I can try to
catch fish tomorrow and fw dip, but I do have about 175 lbs of rock.
Being I am running a therapeutic (sp) level of Cupramine , could I shut My
skimmer off and run one or two courses of Prazi pro as well for the flukes?
<You could... there may be water quality issues from the Prazi killing off a
good deal of Vermes biomass... you might want the skimmer on>
I waited about 6 hours to make sure my eyes weren't fooling me. He also has what
looks like mini seeds (white) on his black body.
<.... sigh... too likely Trematodes as well>
And if caught, for a fw dip, is taking two gallons of fresh ro, pumped with a
strong pump for an hour, pinch of reef buffer the trick? I have a pinpoint but
can throw it a lot further than I can trust it. I just don't want a repeat of
last week . Thanks again and hope your not experiencing the 24 degree weather we
<... no thanks! It's time, perhaps past-time for me to suggest you getting,
using a simple microscope. B>
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang
Microscope will look into. What does a good one run these days?
<See my scant input on WWM re... I have a really neat Intel/Mattel QX near hand
that was under a hundred US... up to 400 power, two light sources, USB
Also about the Prazi, it says on bottle to turn off uv and skimmer. With
Cupramine, I didn't know if the Prazi would be a "reducing" agent like a
dechlorinator would, supposedly that makes the copper deadly toxic.
<These do have to be off lest they remove the med.s quickly and for the UV,
result in coating of the lamp or sleeve... hard to remove>
I hope these companies stick those notes on the bottle in cya fashion. I be read
some others using Cupramine( bounded copper) with Prazi.
<Can be used together. Pardon the emboldening but "SHOULD USE IN treatment
tanks", and of course "PREVENTION is far better, vis a vis dips/baths... There's
a bit of disc. re the same the last few days twixt Lemon Tea, myself and others.
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang
Ok. So just to be absolutely sure. When SeaChem says not to mix with reducing
<? Proton donors, electron acceptors? Am an olde ex H.S. chem. and physics
such as ammonia or chlorine removers,
Prazi pro from Hikari would not fall into that category, and would be fine to
<As far as I'm aware; yes>
I am at about .35 level of the Cupramine. My believe and joy would be to extract
cooper after a few more weeks to help the tang ease in without fear of ich,
<It may die from flukes first, or complications thereof really... such as
but at same time, with eye already cloudy, and other fish starting to "head
shake", I may not have a few more weeks to play with.
I can go home tonight, do a 1/3 water change. Knock the copper down to .2, run
some carbon a few hours, and dose with Prazi.
I supposed I am starting to panic, and a war is raging between heart and brain.
I want to exhibit patience, but at the same time do the right thing for my
<When, where in doubt, do nothing... Or better, keep reading, seeking to
understand what's going on; your options>
If I am comprehending effectively so far, and this was your tank, you would
begin the Prazi pro tonight, even with elevated copper levels?
<... not going to repeat myself a fourth time.>
This reminds me of something a college professor told me once, and that is if
you keep looking and reading, you will find contradictions that you might
inadvertently be looking for.
In my case I suppose I was looking/scouring for something telling me you can not
mix Cupramine along with Prazi.
Thank you again for providing your ears and cranium. I feel this hobby is a game
of poker, with much higher stakes!
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang
Hey bob, not sure about the chemistry terms. Here is the excerpt from SeaChem's
Q: I've been dosing with Cupramine™ and then I added Product X and everything
died. What happened?
A: If Product X is a reducing agent such as ParaGuard™ (or other aldehyde based
medications), or if you overdose with a dechlorinator, such as Prime® then the
Cu+2 will be reduced to Cu+. Cu+ is 10 times more toxic than Cu+2.
<Ah yes; Aldehydes can be oxidized...>
This is what I was not sure of. If the was Prazi would fall into the same boat
as the products mentioned.
<No... Look both up on Wiki... Praziquantel is best administered via food/s...
has a short metabolic life. Mode of action is entirely different. B>
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang
Thank you bob! That was the one thing holding me back from having confidence. I
now see there should be no interference with Prazi and cupramine.bim assuming
formaldehyde is a reducer, different animal than dewormer.
I know, display tank is far from ideal for dosing Meds. I lost about 2900 in
fish this summer trying to medicate in qt, and have a bit of a bad taste still.
I get out of work in an hour, I plan on feeding real good, water change, shut
off skimmer and uv, (bio pellet reactor leave on?)
<If you'd like... just supplies C>
and dosing Prazi, again 5 days from now and after resuming therapy level of
I feel good now, thanks!!
achilles update; Re flukes 12/3/14
Just wanted to be courteous and give you an update. You did offer sound advice,
and I feel you not knowing the outcome would be unfair.
With that said, I am on day four of the Prazi, and all I can say is "wow".
The Achilles eye has improve 100 percent, and he is starting to eat more, and
seems to be putting on some mass.
Consequently, I have seen some worm like structures floating in the water
column, and other fish, including my aussie tusk, and durgeon trigger, look to
be perfecting there look. The trigger looked okay, but since the induction of
Prazi pro, has had white marks surfacing and falling off his body.
<Not surprising... as you'll see from reading, there are MANY worm parasites...
in aquatic environments, terrestrial...>
I have one more day, will complete a 25 percent water change, and dose one more
time for 5 days. Hopefully that will cut it, but knowing me, I will play it safe
and hit it one more time.
Perhaps the most aggravating part of this whole endeavor is preventing this.
<?... dips, baths... >
My fish had all be quarantined in copper and Prazi, my tank was bleached out and
restarted, and this new Achilles was in the local lfs tank for four months,
seemingly no signs of ich or flukes. (I visit there 2-3 times a week). Why it
snowballed in my tank, I guess the answer is it needed only one to get it
Thanks again Bob. I am trying to be smarter this time around, not a shoot and
ask questions later type. What makes that tough is the dollar sign next to some
of these fish.
<And you for this follow up. Happy holidays. BobF>
FW dipping 3/28/13, flukes, Prazi use in DTs/Reefs
Hi crew! I believe I have some of my fish have gill flukes in the
main tank. I have a Flame Centropyge in a QT and did a dip on him
today....holy cow!!! It was disgusting! He had 20-30 flukes on him and I
never saw them on the fish. Anyway, I want to dip the fish from the main
tank but I don't know if any of them are contraindicated for freshwater
dips. Occupants are:
Solorensis Wrasse, Canary Blenny, Hi Fin Red Banded Goby, Sleeper Goby
and a Halichoeres leucoxanthus. The Canary Blenny and the
Sleeper Goby have been scratching for over a week but no one has spots.
Of course the dip will be pH, temp matched and aerated. Thank you!
<These fishes/species are all good candidates for dipping, short
immersion baths. Bob Fenner>
Re: FW dipping 3/28/13
Thank you, Bob
<Welcome Jenn! B>
Re: FW dipping 3/28/13
Just went to check on the Flame in the QT and he is hanging out at the top
of the water right under the HOB filter. He's been in the QT 2 weeks. Is
this normal considering all the flukes that came off of him? Jenn
<Not unusual behavior... small volumes, being stressed by handling... B>
FW dipping 3/29/13
Thanks Bob. I didn't think he would make it through the night but so far
he has. I have a issue with the main tank. Ok, here goes: I think some
of the fish in the main tank have flukes.
<Trematodes are very common (ubiquitous almost) on marine fishes... some
are quite species, genus specific; others more general in their
Reason I think this is 3 days after adding the Canary Blenny he started to
scratch on the sand. A few days later the sleeper goby started to
scratch, although he stopped a day or so later. Then the yellow wrasse
scratched a couple of times. Now the Sol<o><not a>rensis, who is
like a dog, is hiding a lot. They are all still eating, no spots and all
but the Blenny are hiding. This has been going on for 8 days. I
dipped the Canary Blenny and it looked like little worms were in the
bucket but I can't be 100% sure they were worms. Also there were things
that looked like little flukes, again not positive. I did dip the Goby
today for 5 minutes. I didn't see anything come off him that I could
identify except what I think is sand.
Finally, my question, should I 1. QT all the fish and treat with
2. FW dip fish, put back in main tank and keep watch? There is
definitely something going on in the tank, I just can't figure out what
it is. Sorry for the long email and thank you!
<You could try the Prazi... toxic to all worms... B>
Re: FW dipping 3/29/13
I've read that some have used PraziPro in a reef tank with no
<Mmm, not likely "none">
however that makes me nervous. Have you heard that it can affect the
biological filter? My LFS told me that it could even though the PraziPro
bottle says it won't. Your thoughts?
<... won't affect nitrifiers, denitrifiers directly... but killing off
large numbers, biomass of Vermes can have bad consequences... One should
be prepared to counter, or move intentional livestock. B>
Re: dipping 3/29/13
I do have quite a few Vermes, red, pink and yellow ones I'd like to
So it looks like they are going into the QT with the Flame and all will
get PraziPro. Thank you kind sir:) Jenn
<Ah, good, and welcome. BobF>
FW dipping; Prazi use 4/8/13
Hi crew! I am currently treating a Flame angelfish, Spotted Goby and a
Yellow Wrasse in a QT with PraziPro for flukes. I
started the treatment on Sunday. For two days the fish hid and did not
eat. On day 3 they came out of hiding and their color returned. On day
for the angelfish scratched and started losing color.
<Change the... oh, see this below>
On day five I did a 50% water change and put in a poly filter.
Forgetting that the poly filter was in I redosed as per their
instructions. Five hours later I realized my mistake and took out the I
did not put in more PraziPro because I was afraid of an overdose. I did
a freshwater dip for five minutes on the flame angelfish and got 10
flukes off him. My question:
should I do a water change and do the regimen again?
<Yes I would>
I know the second dose is to kill eggs. How many days after the first dose
should the second dose go in?
The instructions say 5-7 days but that can leave a big window for eggs to
hatch and reinfest the tank/fish.
I ordered a microscope to start doing gill scrapings, etc.
Thank you for your help! Jennifer
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>
Re: FW dipping 4/8/13
Ok so I see where my mistake was. I dosed 5 days after..eggs had
Thanks Bob..you rock! :) Jennifer
<And roll! Cheers Jenn. BobF>
I have a Flame Angel in a 20 gal QT. He is being treated for flukes
with PraziPro and it is not working.
<...Really? Are you sure these are flukes? Are you using the Prazi
correctly? Is it an old/er package? I'd switch to another vermifuge.
These are gone over on WWM>
Per an email from Hikari I did a 50% water change and dosed with
PraziPro. I repeated this process 3 more times every 3 days.
Yesterday was the third day after the last (4th) dose. This morning he
<... could be scratching for other reasons>
I did a dip on him and flukes! I liked the PraziPro because the fish
tolerated it well and ate.
What other treatment would you recommend? I have done a ton of research
and it all points to PraziPro. I do have QuickCure (Formalin, Malachite
Green) on hand. Could I use this a bath (30-60 minutes)?
<... not this long, a duration at full/ish strength, no. Toxic; very>
Will this kill any eggs that are on the fish?
<?... there are no such things>
I have been fighting these things since April 1. All other fish seem to be
doing well. Thank you for your help! Jen
<More reading... less toxic chemical use. Bob Fenner>
Yep, I'm sure it's flukes. There are about 4 of them in the bucket
I dipped him in. I am saving them to look at once my microscope arrives.
I bought the PraziPro from my LFS but there is no expiration date on it.
I'm going to order some online today. Maybe that's what the problem is.
I don't want to use anything toxic on the fish.
<Maybe and good>
I've read that some species will lay eggs on the fish. I will keep
researching. Thank you
<... didn't know this re Trematode repro.... BobF>
I'm still battling flukes with the Flame Angel. It appears they are
<? Are you absolutely sure these are flukes?>
At Hikari's advice the dosage was tripled and they haven't died. I did a
freshwater dip on the Flame yesterday and didn't see anything come off.
I saved the water to look at through the microscope, which arrived
today. I did find "something" that looked like a fluke, but it on a
slide and yuck!
It/they were moving. And they've been in freshwater for 24 hrs!
They appear to be encased perhaps an egg?
Could/if I send it to you could you either tell me what I'm dealing with
or refer me to someone that could identify these things? Thank you
<Do send along well resolved images. I "do" fish pathology... in fact
the third gig of the newest Fish Health Conference is coming back up:
Re: Flukes/PraziPro 5/2/13
No, I'm not 100% positive this is flukes.
<Do appear to be>
The first time I dipped the Flame there were flukes. But that was a
month ago and several doses of PraziPro ago. But he has faded
color, hiding, hanging out in the return and at the top of the water.
He's also stopped eating in the last 2 days.
<May be the effects of the Prazi...>
Do you think it's possible that since the dosage of PraziPro was tripled
this sent the Trematodes into a reproducing frenzy?
They seemed to have gotten worse since this dosing regimen.
<Time to switch to another/different vermifuge/anthelminthic... Maybe
Levamisole if you can get i>
Here are a few pictures. I do have a video if that will help but I
will have to send it separately. Thank you, Bob!
<Have seen enough here. B>
Thanks Bob! I will work on getting the Levamisole. I don't know why
the PraziPro is not working. According to Hikari they have yet to come
across any Trematode that it won't kill.
<My experience matches theirs>
Thanks again, Bob:). Jen
Bob, sorry, forgot to ask. How much on dosage, frequency, etc. I've been
researching this and can only find Levamisole being used for AEFW.
<Mmm, yes; the same; gone over here:
I'm ordering I today. Jen
Re: Flukes/PraziPro 5/2/13
So what could be my problem?
<... a few guesses: Something defective w/ the compound, some sort of
resistance, some countered condition of your water>
This is the third bottle I've used. Is there any way to tell the type of
<Mmm, yes; there are systematists in this field... morphological, genetic
... Microcotyle? (most infects gills of Angelfish).
If the PraziPro won't kill them then will anything else? Jen
<Hopefully so, yes. For sure formalin/formaldehyde... A biocide, as in
"life" and "cease" (caedere in L.). B>
Re: Flukes/PraziPro 5/2/13
Oh! So the same dosage for flukes as AEFW! Got it:) thanks
That was my thinking so I ordered powder Praziquantel.
I didn't want to but I did a formalin dip yesterday on the Flame. He did ok
through out it. I then put him into a sterilized tank.
<... dangerous, but effective>
I did read a paper on hypo being effective against flukes and the eggs.
<Not often entirely. B>
I did a lot of reading before I did the dip. It was aerated for 2 hrs prior,
timed and I watched him constantly for stress. He actually did more swimming
in there than he did before and after the dip. I don't think he's
going to make it. I just dosed him with PraziPro again.
It has, in the past, given him relief so at this point I have nothing to
<I'd summarily pH-adjusted formalin bath this fish and move it to a
non-infested system. B>
When you say pH adjusted is the water to be freshwater or salt?
<.... see WWM re>
I used saltwater with the formalin dip (45 minutes)
<Way too long...>
yesterday then moved him into clean tank. I've read this can be done every
3 days for 4 treatments...kind of like tank transfer method for Ich.
I used the PraziPro because it did help him for weeks, to the point I
thought we had kicked the flukes. It's only in the last week they got bad.
Flame getting over flukes... Trematode
and dips f's 5/16/13
How long after fluke treatment should I wait to put a Flame Angel into the
<A few days... I'd pH-adjusted freshwater dip the fish enroute to the
The last day of the PraziPro treatment was last Saturday. I did a
freshwater dip and no flukes came off of him. Thank you! Jennifer
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame getting over flukes 5/16/13
Thank you, Bob! I'll wait a few more days on the Flame before I out him in.
Another question, are there any species of fish that you would not recommend
running through a freshwater dip?
<Oh yes... mostly (perhaps not by coincidence) ones that are found in
close/r relations w/ invertebrates... E.g. Clownfishes...>
I have a spotted goby that has also been in a QT. He was in the
same QT as the Flame but he was moved into his own tank 2 weeks ago. I'm
wanting to move him into the main but I want to do a dip on him first.
<This should be fine... As long as the fish is in good shape. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame getting over flukes 5/17/13
Thanks again, Bob! He seems good (no scratching, flashing, yawning,
but he has not eaten in 2 days.
<Congratulations, and not to worry re the non-feeding...>
I'm thinking it may be the stress of being in a bare bottom QT tank. He
doesn't really come out of the PVC. Thank you for your time:) Jennifer
<Move this fish to the main/display. BobF>
Tanged and confused: Oversized fish, Flukes
I bought a 55 gallon fish tank a little over a week ago. I bought the
whole set up from a man who had a 20 gallon refugium with gravity feed
hose and a protein skimmer (not sure on the name) My test kits are kind
of old so I have been taking the water to the LFS to be tested and
every time (3x's) it has been fine.
<I highly recommend you purchase your own test kits, less moral fish
stores will tell you that your water is fine to encourage you to buy
I am a little worried a because of the fish that this man had kept in
the tank. He had a Clown fish (about 3 in) a Sailfin Tang (about 4
<The Sailfin Tang needs to find a new home, way to big in the long
run, and likely to big now considering he has been in the tank at least
these two he had had for about 2 years and then he had added more
recently (with in the last few weeks) a Blue Tang (1.5 in)
<Also way too large for this tank, although he fits in the tank
physically now, psychological stress can be caused by being kept in
such a small tank.>
As far as aggression goes they are all fine. The Blue Tang hides often
and the other two let her. Though I know I will need to upgrade to a
150 gal or larger in the future or re-home one of the Tangs, for now
they seem to be doing fine.
<I would find them new homes ASAP and research stocking a 55G
aquarium on WetWebMedia.>
The problem I have seen is with the Blue Tang. I have seen whitish
circular spots on her and her belly is looked swollen. She has also
been scratching A LOT and so my hunt for a cause and cure started. I
have been reading up on your site for 2 days now and it sounds like
monogenetic Trematodes though I have been overwhelmed by the amount of
information out there. She swims oddly (no other way to really say
that) spends most of her time hiding or at the top of the tank (often
face down). She has been eating and seems happy enough so that's a
plus. I need help in how best to treat this.
< I would recommend a Prazi treatment in a separate quarantine tank,
there are several products available commercially including PraziPro,
however there are other options for treatment, read here:
Also because I bought this as a complete set up I do not have a QT set
up though I am going to set one up today. I am however unsure as to how
to set up a QT in one day'¦ maybe use cycled water from my
tank and add new salt water to my display? Then use the sponge my in my
refugium as a filter in my QT and replace with another sponge though I
do have a 5 gallon refugium I could use (your thoughts on
<That sounds like an excellent start, make sure to provide some
flow, and during medications you use be sure to make sure the water is
adequately aerated, although the powerhead may take care of that
depending on the tank you set up. Just make sure to pick up a test kit
and continually test this "quarantine" water and administer
water changes as needed.>
Am I off base in any way? Please point me in the right direction. Thank
you for your time.
<I think you have a good start to your research, and I would highly
recommend setting up a quarantine and treating your fish. However, both
of the tangs should be returned or gifted to another aquarium keeper
with a minimum of a 6ft tank for them to be kept in.>
Flukes Hello WWM crew! <Bob, it's
Bob> Is it safe to dose a marine fish-only system ( retail ) with
Praziquantel? Flukes are becoming problematic, and are costing too much
time. We dip all new arrivals in FW, but still are experiencing this
problem. Within a week of arrival, Angels and Tangs are covered in
these disgusting worms. We now dip all outgoing fish before departure,
but as you can imagine, this is difficult, especially on weekends.
<Mmm, yes, can be done... and I would amend your bath/dipping
procedures adding formaldehyde to the mix (about an ounce per five
gallons, a one-gallon capful per two gallons...) of 37 % food-grade>
Since you guys are my best info buddies, I ask for your help again.
What do ya think, and how do I fix this? <Mmm, Praziquantel can be
used in marine (not freshwater) systems with fluke problems (both mono-
and Digenes)... Do you have sub-systems for your marine fishes? Or
capacity to separate them completely? I might look around for other
suppliers if this is a constant problem... And to all, if you're
dealing much with fish livestock from the wild, and/or a mix of species
imported, do invest in a copy of Edward J. Noga's "Fish
Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment"... wish this was less expensive,
more widely distributed... can be had through on-line book sources...
Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance, Bob Hartline The Aquarium, Concord,
- That's 'Todes, not Toads - I have
just noticed about 7-9 extremely small parasitic Trematodes (or flukes)
in my salt water reef tank. <Are they on your fish or around and
about?> What can I do? <Not all 'todes are necessarily
parasitic. Unless these are directly on your fish or you corals, I
wouldn't be too concerned.> I just put my black percula into the
tank yesterday after treating him with formaldehyde and malachite green
for a week. I just put the fish in the tank last night before I saw any
of the Trematodes. I know they will begin to multiple and ruin my fish
tank if left alone. <Not necessarily.> Although I do not have a
lot of corals in there currently, what I do have is precious and
currently I have no where else to place the corals to allow me to treat
the tank with any solution. <Perhaps it's time to obtain such
equipment.> It is a 29 gallon saltwater tank with an anemone, black
percula, royal Gramma, 10 blue legs and scarlet reef hermits, one
serpent star, and a couple corals (none of which have been purchased in
the last 6 months). The ammonia = 0, nitrite = 0, pH = 8.3, alkalinity
= 8-10, calcium = 400ppm. How can I prevent the spread and overgrowth
of these unwanted parasites? <Again, I'm not convinced these are
parasitic - there are only a couple of treatments that work against the
'todes and if you must treat, you'll have to remove all the
invertebrate livestock from the tank. Fenbendazole, Piperazine, and
Praziquantel are the most common treatments for nematodes and Cestodes,
but are typically administered in baths for the affected fish. I'd
keep a very close eye on things for the mean while, looking for
problems with the fish, not necessarily just crawling around.>
Jennifer <Cheers, J -- >
Is This Treatment A Fluke? (Use of Praziquantel To Combat
Flukes) Is Praziquantel (Droncit) effective for flukes in marine
fish? <This stuff has been used by some people to treat flukes
effectively. It should be administered carefully, like any
medication> How does it affect inverts? What would be the right
dosage to get rid of gill and body flukes? <I would not administer
this, or any medication in the display tank, regardless of the presence
of inverts. The dosage that I have seen used to combat flukes is 1ppm
in saltwater. I know a couple of people who swear by the stuff...Have
not used it personally, however.> I hope it still works in marine
aquarium and is easy on the inverts... It's magical in FW, no
stress on fish, ok for bio-filtration etc... Thanks, Luke <Well,
Luke- Praziquantel is certainly something that is being used more and
more these days to combat flukes in marine fish. You could also use
Formalin-based medications, or those containing Malachite
Green...It's worth a shot, however, if you're up to trying
it...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>