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FAQs on Parasitic Marine Worm Diseases: Flukes/Digenes & (Monogene) Trematodes: Diagnosis, Symptomology

FAQs on: Flukes/Trematodes 1, Flukes/Trematodes 2, Flukes/Trematodes 3, Flukes/Trematodes 4,
FAQs on Flukes/Trematodes: Etiology/Prevention, Treatments That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Products/Manufacturers; Case Histories

Related Articles: The Flatworms That Are Flukes by Bob Fenner, Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Worms, Roundworms,

Related FAQs: 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, Products/Manufacturers... Tapeworms/Cestodes, Leeches/Hirudineans, "Other" Worms and Worm-Like Parasites... Paravortex/Black Spot Disease, De-worming Medicines,

Cloudy eyes, frayed fins, labored rapid breathing... appearance of Flukes themselves; particularly under a microscope or following a treatment bath/dip (having fallen off)

Are you able to tell me what this is?      9/6/18
I quarantine my fish and have had pretty good luck in keeping my fish healthy and happy. Unfortunately, last Feb I had something show up in the tank. It started with my male trigger, then moved onto my female trigger and the other big fish in my tank (a few tangs and a Foxface). It didn't seem to affect my smaller fish (dwarf angels, baby tangs, clownfish etc.)
I pulled everything out and into a quarantine system, where they have remained since. I did lose a few of my bigger fish, but luckily that's where the losses ended. I decided to keep my main display fallow until mid November in hopes that whatever this is, it will have a cycle that is host-reliant.
I've never seen any evidence of Ich or velvet. The exit wounds were rather large, and ultimately the fish that died had secondary bacterial infections which may have been the cause of their demise.
I have attached a video of what it looked like in hopes that you can shed light on it so I know how best to ensure that it doesn't come back and kill anymore livestock.
<I see the white growths on your Trigger. These look like monogenetic Trematodes. Do you have a low power scope that hooks up to a USB port? I'd like to see a sample closer. Alternatively this could be some sort of Microsporidean infestation. The worms are easy to treat (see WWM), the Protozoans, not>
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Fluke      5/18/16
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>

Re: Fluke       5/19/16
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 the parasites.
<Ahh; good>
I have identified the parasite to the genus Neobenedenia.
<Quite common>
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 water dipping
<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>

Cupramine leeching     7/30/15
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 conditions change?
<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 product constant?>
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 diving>
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 to adding.
<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.
Thanks again.
<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         8/3/15

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 water?
<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" nutrient>
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 dose PraziPro?
<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: Marine Velvet / Ich and Chloroquine/Hypo Treatment      6/6/14
Hi Bob,
I've attached a video I recorded from my microscope of some skin/gill scrapings. To be honest I'm not sure if anything looks like what I see in reference books. The video is shot with a 40x lenses and the USB eyepiece is 10x. At 100 or 200x I can't see anything moving, but at 400x I can see all sorts of activity. I'm not sure if this is parasites or just bacteria and microfauna instead?
<Too big to be bacteria...>
There is one larger object which appears to be alive and moving, but not sure if that might be a fluke?
<Might be... I think I see a haptor... Video linked here:>
I don't see anything that looks like Velvet or Ich.
<Me neither>
If you have any guidance on what this might be (if anything (I'd appreciate it) or if you want me to take a different type of sample let me know. I do have a staining kit and oil immersion, just haven't done much of this before.
Best Regards,
<Google: Trematode haptor... B>
Re: Marine Velvet / Ich and Chloroquine/Hypo Treatment     6/7/14

Thanks Bob!
I'm going to try to catch some other fish and see if I can take some additional slides to check if I see any similar critters on other fish, or if it was just unique. That said, do you think that this warrants any treatment e.g. Praziquantel in the DT or removing them entirely for treatment--or is this harmless? Still researching what others say about it's harm/treatment.
<There is/are some invertebrate group/s that are affected negatively.... OTOH, nice to get rid of Flukes off host as well. IF not to much "trouble", I'd catch all fishes; treat in isolation; allow the main/display to go fallow for a couple weeks>
I started removing the Chloroquine from the tank since it's been in there for about 6 weeks now and I don't see any ick/velvet. Gonna keep the tank at hypo levels for now to make sure that I don't see any resurgence of other parasites. I'm wondering the Chloroquine was the culprit on starting to fray the fins on a few fish since I had it present for so long.
<Could well be. You can see this implication on the archived accounts of CP use on WWM>
Thanks much as always!
Best Regards,
<And you; B>

Fluke surviving Muelleri Butterflyfish in QT with bacterial infections (?)    10/13/13
<Good eve Sarah>
A friend of mine recommended you with the highest regard.  I've attached a cell phone picture (I don't have a regular camera, sorry) of the affected area on my Butterflyfish.  I've had him 15 months, he eats live blackworms and a homemade frozen seafood blend.  Parameters are good in the quarantine.
The photo: Below the glare line in the middle brown stripe the lesion like area is visible. There is some redness, the scales are raised, inflammation is visible from the profile view and there are a couple white apparatus' attached next to the inflammation. The white apparatus will begin small and hard like, very bright white and after a couple days grows larger and more flesh like, hangs off the fish (can visibly see it moving as he swims) and then falls off. Above the glare line is an example of one that can be seen moving in the current as the fish swims. A 5 min fw dip didn't seem to affect the area.
<... have you looked at this material under a 'scope?>

I dosed Kanamycin into the water 2 days ago, also have been feeding in frozen food.  It seems too early to know if it's working.  Currently, the fish is eating, but hiding in his pvc most of the time.
Additionally, he had a lower jaw (inside the mouth) infection that is now reoccurring.
Thank you for your time.
<I suspect the white material is simply "mucus" (body slime)... an exudate... from...? Not curable w/ antibiotics, nor quarantine/isolation.
Do you suspect there is a parasite here? I would move this fish back to the main/display system. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fluke surviving Mueller Butterflyfish in QT with bacterial infections (?)    10/14/13
Thank you, Bob.  I've been actively looking for someone to look under a 'scope, although, I'm concerned about increasing the fish's stress level as he's been in hiding except for feeding time for several days.
<You are wise here... life is indeed "a series of compromises", and you are right to consider the trade-off in handling this (or any) specimen>
This fish has undergone 17 days Praziquantel treatment (unsuccessful) followed by 23 days Formalin, which I believe, effectively eliminated the flukes.
<... am very surprised it didn't eliminate the fish>
 I feel the lesions/mouth infection are some sort of secondary ailment - i have read flukes are like portals for other diseases.
<Can be>
 I do not know if there's some sort of parasite at this time. 
<Highly unlikely... grossly appears to be "sores"...>
The fish's name is Ziggy.
<"Ziggy played guitarrrrrrrr" Bowie>
I appreciate your time.
<And I everyone's. BobF>

Re: Microscopic images  9/2/13
  Thanks..I appreciate this:) These were all obtained from freshwater dips.
 Please let me know if I need to change the sizing/resolution.  I do have quite a few images so I will send them in separate emails.  Any information you can give me would be very appreciated!  Thanks again!!
<... The res. looks fine for what you're imagine here; though it would help to state the magnification per pic... The first two (84, 85)... might be just scales. 26 looks to me like a diatom, 29 is likely a rotifer, and 44, 45 look like Monogenes (flukes) to me. Bob Fenner>

Diatom Rotifer
Re: Microscopic images  9/2/13
  Here's more images.
<Some neat ones; 50, 13, and 12 are flukes... the last for sure; showing the opisthaptor. 59, 60... some sort of crustacean; maybe an amphipod judging from the legs... 79 and 81 are skin cells (and a color/chromatophore)... on a ctenoid scale (you can see the serrated edge downward in this view)
 I was wondering if you happen to see any information on the new research into garlic extract (Allium) being effective in controlling Neobenedenia eggs?
<Not in recent times; but I haven't been searching for it/this. I'd take a look on a large database. See WWM re doing such searches. Bob Fenner>

Oh yes... Fluke

Crustacean; amphipod?

Scale, skin cells, chromatophore
Re: Microscopic images, Fluke ID, treatment input   9/2/13
Thanks Bob for the great feedback!  I do have more images but they are on my microscope. The fluke I identified as Neobenedenia girellae.
<May be>
  I could be off base on that.   I've been dealing with this fluke since March mostly using PraziPro to no avail. I came across research from China stating that Praziquantel is not as effective against this species of flukes as others.
<Interesting. There are other Anthelminthics... as you likely are aware>
 This led me to new research (published in August) stating the effectiveness of garlic extract and Asaragopsis taxicormis against marine flukes. They are both very interesting reads. Albeit preliminary perhaps promising.
Thanks again for identifying these images!! Oh and feel free to use them if the need arises.
<Ah, thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: Microscopic images  9/2/13

I am aware of other Anthelminthics, however, most are harder on the fish than PraziPro.  Are there any that you would recommend?
<Mmm, best to refer you to what is posted/archived on WWM; and maybe one ref.:
Bob Fenner>
Re: Microscopic images  9/3/13

Very interesting article!!  Thank you:)
<Welcome! Bob>

Flame angel scratching; flukes f'       8/19/13
Hi crew!  I have a Flame Angel in a QT that sometimes hangs out under the HOB filter flow and was scratching against the tank bottom. What could be causing this? 
<A few possibilities; something to do w/ "water quality", just an itch, possible parasitic infestation are the big three likelihoods>

Let me give some info first.  We've been fighting flukes for almost 2 months.
<Mmm, a lean toward the first poss. then>

I've used PraziPro utilizing various protocols which I can give you if needed but the end result has been the same. I used hypo salinity as outlined by B.K. Diggles in the abstract of marine monogea. I finally did a formalin dip last Monday and put into a new tank.  I've watched him all week and no scratching. I began increasing the salinity <actually spg> to introduce him back into the main tank.
<No more than a 0.001/thousandth per day>

On Sunday I saw him scratching on the tank bottom.
<So? May be nothing>
 I prepared a FW dip in a black bucket and dipped him for 5 minutes. No flukes that I could find utilizing a microscope.
<Likely aren't any>
As for hanging out under the filter he lays on his side like he's trying to knock something off. Otherwise his color has come back.
<Ah good>
 His face was faded for nearly 2 months. He eats like a pig.
 Am I just being paranoid or did the formalin dip (20 minutes) not do the trick?
<Already stated>
Please let me know if you need other information. Thank you! Jen
<Cheers, and I'd do nothing further. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame angel scratching      8/19/13

Hi Bob! Thanks for getting ack so quick! In response to water quality I have an ammonia badge
<Mmm, I don't trust these...>
 on the QT which has registered 0 but he was acting hyper on Friday so I checked the ammonia and it was at .25. I did 2 50% water changes to get down to 0. The ammonia started creeping back up Saturday so I did another water change. Could this cause him to scratch? 
<Oh yes>
I've read salinity can be increased as much as .02 in 24 hrs
<No! MUCH easier "going the other direction", but it should not be raised... as just stated... more than a thousandth a day>
so that is what I was doing. Could that cause scratching?
<... yes>
  I am, however, heeding your advice and increasing by .01.
<You're missing a zero... perhaps a short read on significant figures... Wiki>
I've been dealing with flukes off and on since March and it's getting old.
Thank again! Jen
<Another welcome. B>
<<RMF is now wondering "if" Jen IS spkg. of salinity, NOT spg...>>
Re: Flame angel scratching     8/20/13

Mmmm, yep I don't trust them either. Ok, good to know that both of these can cause scratching. What about him lying sideways under the HOB water flow?  No need for reading on significant figures...just was in a hurry and not paying attention:)
Thank you for answering all these questions! Jen
<Nothing odd re the hiding... due to handling et al... The fish will soon become more outgoing. B>
Re: Flame angel scratching     8/20/13

Oh, he's outgoing!!:)  I can't walk by the room without him flying out from behind his PVC to beg for food. He's been in a QT since June. He contracted Brooklynella from an unquarantined  sea urchin. We beat Brook via a series of formalin dips. It's a long story how he got flukes.
I will begin raising the salinity per your directions. Thank you kind sir:)
<Most welcome Jen. BobF>

Powder blue tang 4/8/13
Hello all. My powder blue tang has what looks like small white threads on one of its eyes.
<Ahh, likely Trematodes... Flukes>

Tried to get a pic but to no avail. Tank info - 125 gal, 100 lb live rock, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all 0 - ph 8.3, temp 77 degrees. Fish in tank - yellow tang, clown, flasher wrasse, royal gramma, lawnmower Benny, red Hawkfish, long-nosed Hawkfish (all get along fine). Any thoughts?
Diann Trapp
<Search WWM re. Bob Fenner>
Re: Powder blue tang 4/8/13

Thanks, any suggestions as to what to do? He's eating like crazy and acting normal. Should I be concerned about other fish?
<... please read where you've been referred. BobF>

Re: Fowlr health, myst. SW losses     6/10/12
Bob, I have had Moorish idols for years. I have been really lucky. For some reason All the fish I get seem really healthy then there colors fades and they die. I just lost a starry blenny, and Naso tang,  to the same thing.
<Mmm, as you have speculated... "something" is either missing that's essential and/or "something" chronically toxic is being released, generated in situ>
 I do weekly water changes, I vacuumed my sand, I check all my levels, clean out on my skimmer every few days. I can not figure out what is killing these fish. This has been a problem for about two months now. I added a nitrate, and carbon reactor. All levels are zero and where they need to be. I am soooo lost and frustrated.  Its like my water is poisoned.
I even had that checked.  Please help, Jim
<... wish I could help... W/o knowing the cause, there is not likely a cure/solution coming... the usual complexing of the environment (making it larger, more biota filled, having a large DSB) optimizing water quality (via Ozone, RDP refugium...)... are about all I can/would suggest. BobF>
FW: Fowlr health

Bob, I also wanted to let you know that few months ago I added rock and sand. The sand was new out of bag, and the rock came out of a sump. At the same time I had 400 watt medal halides that I sold. I switch to vho super actinic. When I did all this my tank started crashing and has not recovered. There brown hair algae on the rocks and the back of glass. Today I found my powder blue, and brown tang dead. Jim
<No fun. B>
FW: Fowlr health    6/10/12

Bob, Sorry about the forwards. I pulled all my fish out for 30days.
<So I've read. I'm the person who parses all on WWM>
I thought that would take care of Ick that I had before. I decided I am going treat the whole system with copper. There is some kind of parasite in there and I think this my last option. I wanted to know if I need to turn off my nitrate reactor when treating with copper?
<No sense just blindly treating a system... esp. w/ something as toxic as Cu. B>
Re: Fowlr health – 06/14/12

Bob, Since treating my system. My Moorish idol got all his color back, and is back to his normal aggressive self. Everybody seems to be doing better.
I discovered one of my major problems going on with the tank. I don't have a chiller and my tank runs about 80 during the day and drops to about 74 at night.
<Too much variance>
See the problem. I am hoping that is what's been stressing everybody out, but I don't know. I got my heater set at 80 now so the temperature stays constant. So far everybody has been fine and ick spot free. I moved my Naso, dwarf lion and snowflake eel to my quarantine tank. That was a battle alone. i was doing 50% water changes because the tank had not finish cycling. High nitrites and ammonia. Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite is zero now, but there still stressed and not eating. S.g. 1.022 and needs to check pH.
<Ok. B>
Re: Fowlr health     7/9/12

Bob, I looked up Trematodes. The story Parasite Help... and I mean HELP!
Trematode plus    infested lg. SW sys. 7/10/07. It sounds a lot like I got going on with my tank.
<... needs to be confirmed via microscopic...>
The emperors eye has not got any worse or better. I freshwater dipped the niger. Unfortunally when I caught him I got a bunch of sand in the net. So I could not see what came off him. I was thinking of PraziPro my tank, but there is still .50 ppm of copper in there. If I put the PraziPro in there will it poison them with the copper?
<Will not. These can be mixed>
 I keep my water quality perfect, so I don't know if it could be a bacteria infection. Jim
<Mmm, BobF>
 Re: Fowlr health     7/9/12

Bob, My emperor angel has got pop eye. He got a big bubble over his eye. My tank is crashing again.
<May be time to "bleach, do over">
 I tried to do everything right. I don't know what to do now.
<Call in some local qualified help to look over your system, water, MO>
 I look up this link and there is not a article there.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pop-eye.htm  I think I am not smart enough for this hobby. Lost in Idaho. Jim
Re: Fowlr health      7/9/12

I also wanted to add these pictures of my powder brown tang. He has had these marks on his fins for a few weeks now. He also has a scratch right past his fin. I am hoping this well help answer some questions.  Sorry for so many emails Bob. Jim
<... my opinion has not changed since I began reading of your system's issues... There is something toxic present here... pathogenic; I don't think so... but could have been introduced along the way... in addn. to the toxicity. Have you tried PolyFilter in the filter flow path? Was there a color to the pad/s? B>

Re: Fowlr health MIRACLES IN IDAHO 7/10/12
Bob, It was a good day. Yesterday after I freshwater dipped my niger. I thought it was the last time that I was going to see him alive. I came home from work and he was swimming around!
 One eye was clear and the other had one little speck on it. So I freshwater dipped the Emperor. He looked as bad as the niger did yesterday.
There had to be over 200 rice looking things exploding out of his gills.
 So it was flukes! I treated my tank with PraziPro today. I turned off skimmer, charcoal reactor, and nitrate reactor. I am going to drop my feedings to once a day. Only going to feed spectrum pellets. I was going to do a water change Saturday and turn my skimmer and everything back on. Is five days enough? Do you think this is the way to go? Should I freshwater dip everyone? Do you think I am out of the woods?
<Can't say anything re>
Bob, I truly love this web site I have learned so much, but have so much to learn. I just want to keep my fish alive for 15 to 20 years. We have them all named, and there is damn near funeral in my house when one dies. Kids are crying, I am crying, and the Wife could care less. lol
<... and so it goes. B>
Re: Fowlr health MIRACLES IN IDAHO, flukes?     7/14/12

Bob, I am proud to say that my tank has 100% recovered. Since adding PraziPro, my Powder Brown lost the spots on his fins. My Emperor, and Niger eyes have cleared up. There is no more scratching against the rocks and sand. I wish I would of done this before my tank crashed, but I will use this as a learning experience and move on. Thanks again,  Jim
<Ah, congratulations. B>

HELP female Crosshatch Trigger carrying parasites? 7/29/10
Dear WWM Crew,
I have had a 6-7" male Crosshatch Trigger in my QT for 3 weeks now and I decided to pair him up with a female so I got a 6" female on past Tuesday.
I divided the tank in the middle with egg crate so he wouldn't harm her since I want them to check each other out for the duration of the QT and because a 55 gallon may not give her enough room to hide.
After drip acclimation, I put her in and minutes later I see a hundred or so tiny things swimming all over. I do have some LR in the QT so what could these little things be? The swim erratically and under magnifying glass, they looked like they had eyes and oblong shape with a tiny bit of color towards one end.
<Mmm, sounds like Trematodes, flukes... Actually quite common, generally not-too-deleterious parasitic worms of marine fishes. Not hard to treat...
Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisflukef.htm
and the linked FAQs files above>
Is it some parasitic hitchhiker that came with my female or some invert had babies from the LR?
<On the Xanthichthys themselves almost assuredly. Trematodes tend to be pretty species-specific>
Sorry, too small to photograph and they are now all dead anyway since they got sucked up into the hang on back filter. If parasitic, what treatment do you recommend?
<See the referred files>
Also, how do I know when to take out the divider?
<When you can be there to observe these fish full-time>
I have a 300 gallon circular tank that will be ready for fish in 2-3 weeks (going fallow, in it's 8th week),
I plan to put the female in 1st and then the male, leaving them separated till moving them into the 300 tank. Is that smart or should I take out the divider beforehand?
<I would wait, introduce to the main, larger system at the same time... Very likely there will be no problems there>
Thanks.... you guys are GREAT !!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: HELP female Crosshatch Trigger carrying parasites? 7/29/10
Dear Bob,
Thank you for your quick reply. I thought flukes detach from the host only when you dip the host in fresh water
<? What? Where did you get such an understanding from?>
so how can it be flukes if I never gave the female Crosshatch a fresh water dip? She went from drip acclimation straight to the QT tank and that's when I saw all the free swimming things. flukes looks more flat right?
<... see the Net or books re>
These things didn't look flat, they looked like some kind of baby invertebrate.
If you still think it's fluke, I do have PraziPro but I want her to be eating before I start the treatment, is that ok since I understand they lose appetite when on treatment. I got her on Tuesday and she still has not eaten.
What do you recommend?
<Keep reading. B>
Thanks again,
Re: HELP female Crosshatch Trigger carrying parasites? 7/30/2010

Dear Bob,
I definitely trust your opinion and after reading up on this subject I started dosing PraziPro in my QT tank.
<Mmm, naught to do w/ trust... Really, the only means of being (more) assured of what these are is microscopic examination. Symptomatically I suggest/ed they might be monogenetic Trematodes... If so, likely a treatment w/ Praziquantel will rid your fishes of them>
Going to do 2 rounds of treatment and maybe even do a Formalin dip.
<Mmm, I'd hold off on the Formalin>
Thanks a lot,
<Welcome. B>

What are these? 12/20/09
Greetings to Bob and everyone at WWM!
<Howdy Jamie>
I've written so much recently that I feel like you are an old friend. I hope you don't mind the familiar tone in my writing.
<Not at all. You are a stranger here but once>
Here are two "What am I?" questions that I hope you find interesting!
1. I was looking into my fallow tank one night and saw this long black tubular thing that was about half an inch peeking out from one of my live rocks, slowly, I saw what seems like the soft body of a solid black Nudibranch about a little more than an inch total length, then I realized that it is not a Nudi, but something else as it does not have the "lungs" that sticks up on its back. What it does has is this white tear drop spot, that "opens and shuts". It has a soft, algae eating mouth. What is it? See first picture.
<This is a type of Snail, Limpet... of the genus Scutus. See here:
2. I had just completed a 7 minute pH and temperature matched fresh water dip on my newly acquired Achilles Tang. I was getting ready to dump out the dip water when I thought, "humm...lets take a look at it!" I've read that you can find all sorts of stuff in the dip water. On the bottom, I see several little flat creatures, each about 1/6 inch, almond shaped except that it is tapered at both ends, that are outlined in two gray "rings". At first I thought they were "scales" from the AT, but laughed at myself as I remembered that tangs have very very fine scales and that's why they are so susceptible to Ich. They remind me of fish lice I've had on my Koi fishes many years ago. What is it? See second picture. This Achilles Tang has been at my LFS for around 6 weeks, they treat weekly with formaldehyde.
<I think these may be flukes (Trematodes)... fallen off from the Formaldehyde exposure>
I hope you enjoy these as much as me finding them!
Have a wonderful holiday!
Jamie Barclay
<And you and yours. BobF>

Re: What are these? 12/20/09
Happy Sunday Bob!
Thanks for your reply!
<Welcome Jamie>
I hope that Scutus Limpet multiplies in my tank. It is really cute. I thought I saw a picture of it during my daily readings of WWM several months ago but couldn't find it again. I see that little guy out consistently around 10 PM after the metal halides go out. It is a really neat creature.
<Ah yes>
The flukes from the AT, YUCK-O! Gives me goose bumps! I did not do a formaldehyde dip, only pH and temp adjusted fresh water. Should I do another dip? Either formaldehyde or fresh?
<Mmm... am wanting to choose my words carefully here. IF the fish doesn't appear "too" malaffected, I would not do the dip/bath. Likely these "Flukes" are digenetic... have a complex life cycle (requiring other host/s)... and will die out, do little harm; perhaps less than further handling the fish/host itself... Unless this specimen "really" itches and scratches a bunch, I would leave it be>
So a follow-up questions from our correspondence a week or so ago...
All my fishes are in quarantine from that recent Ich outbreak. They've all done well with Quinine Sulphate treatment of 10 days. It's been one week now and there is no signs of Ich that I can see, some scratching behavior with my Atlantic Tang and less with the Powder Blue. Should I be planning on prophylactically treat with Quinine Sulphate again and/or should I fresh water dip them prior to reintroduction to the DT?
<The latter>
Many thanks to YOU and your crew!
It is so wonderful for me and many others to have someone who is so knowledgeable to turn to. You and WWM make learning about aquatic life fun and interactive. I have to honestly say that you and your team have been THE
force for my success with reef keeping! Thank You Thank You Thank YOU!
<Ahh! A pleasure to share, and indeed enlivening to realize our useful help to others>
I've enclosed a picture of a few of the fishes who THANK YOU for their lives! It's not the best of pictures but it shows them 2 days after the 10 day QS treatment.
Best Regards to You!
<And you, BobF>

PraziPro, use, flukes Hello, I recently purchased a Klein Butterfly, after being in a quarantine tank for 2 weeks (with nothing apparently wrong) I added it to the display tank. Now I think it may have flukes because it scratches against rocks a lot. <Mmm, might I ask, how much is "a lot?". Most fishes can/do "scratch some"...> Catching it would be very difficult and would stress out it as well as others. The tank is a 180 g reef with many SPS and LPS and snails, no shrimp or crabs. PraziPro states that it is safe for most aquarium inhabitants, but I am skeptical. If left untreated will the flukes spread to others? <Mmm, not often... turns out that most Trematodes are rather species, genus, family specific> Are there any whole tank treatments? Thanks Mike Winston <There are... but I urge patience here... Have another few weeks go by... see if the "scratching" abates... not worth the risk of killing all (and there may indeed be a bunch!) of your Praziquantel sensitive life here. Bob Fenner>
Re: PraziPro, flukes 10/3/08
Thanks for the reply, well he is scratching enough to cause some scales to come off, <! This is too much. Let's see... there are several, okay a few reasons why fishes "scratch"...> no bleeding but looks bad. I added some iodine to water thinking it might help with wound. <Good> So my other fish include yellow and hippo tang, swallowtail angel, blue throat trigger, dispar Anthias, Sixline wrasse and some clowns. If flukes are not an issue to others I will hold off any tank treatment, I was concerned others might be infected. <A reasonable concern. I am more inclined to consider other (Protozoan) possibilities... Still, at this juncture, I would not "add" anything here... The fact that the range of fish life you list is doing fine... leads me to wonder re other "itchy" potentials... maybe this fish brushed up against something irritating... BobF> Thanks again. Mike

It's Not A Fluke.. Or Is It? Good Morning Scott, <Hi there!> Many thanks for your quick response. After observing my fish further, it would appear that my blue face angel has white, clear patches over his eyes. The patches seem to be loose. This fish only seems to scratch his head from time to time, not the rest of the body. <Hmm...> Do you think this could be flukes????? I have seen some type of thread item on both eyes about 3-4mm in length and orange in colour (worm)? It's hard to get a good look as he is shy at the best of time. <That is a distinct possibility> My purple tang is also looking well fat (like never before) even if I don't feed the tank for 24 hours. This is really unusual. I'm now starting to lean towards some type of internal / external worm in the system. <These fishes do occasionally come in with internal parasites...> I used to have a powder blue tang that passed away a year ago as each morning he would have what appeared to be bad white spot but by the afternoon it would be totally gone. Anyway the bug finally beat him and he died (poor thing). However after doing a heap of research, it would appear that monogenetic flukes (I think this is the correct name) can act in this way, leaving he host and return early in the morning? Quite possible that it was never white spot and monogenetic flukes (can look familiar to the naked eye). They may have been lying dormant and ready to attack in force. Understand that large angels are prone to this. Any ideas would be great as I'm thinking about treating the tank again with Sterazin (by Waterlife in the UK). Thanks again Che <Excellent insights and research, Che. As you suggest, large angels are certainly prone to contracting these creatures. I'd utilize a treatment course using a Formalin-based product, if you suspect this to be the case. You really want to use it as a dip, rather than an ongoing treatment, but it is known to do the trick! You can find out more about treatment of flukes on the WWM site. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Unwelcome Hitchers (External Parasites?) Hello everyone. Hope all is well today. If I may, I'd like to get your help IDing a problem a few of my fish are having. <I'll try! Scott F. here today> I noticed a few days ago that my Tomato Clown had a small, flat, almost translucent disk shaped spot on it body, right behind the side fin so not near its gill. It's actually left a mark on its fin as well, maybe an irritation mark? <Could be> It looked like it was not fully attached, maybe only at one point. Now he has a few more, one is underneath his body and I can tell it is definitely not fully attached because it's vertical to its body and the bottom of it moves back and forth with him swimming/current. The fish's body on one side only also shows some signs of like puckering marks or scar type marks that are a little darker than his body but I think he always has these marks and not sure if its related to these parasite-type things he has now - not lateral line disease. I did some research on your site/web looking up parasites but none fit this description, and also checked out isopods, but these things do not look like a worm at all. Checked out flatworms too, but what my fish have no color. <Curious> It's not Ich, been there done that and can ID that bugger...I know the tank has a few flatworms, as I've just recently spotted about 3 of them in my tank and I got a positive ID off your website, awesome pix posted by the way...It wouldn't be them attached to my fish right, don't they just eat amphipods? <I don't believe that they'd be attaching to fishes> (I'm gonna siphon them out anyway next time I see 'em) What is on my fish remind me of a tiny shard of shiny glass (like the little shiny things you find in granite?), very very flat, like a piece of paper and circular in shape, the largest one is maybe the width of a small BB and the rest are a little smaller. They are almost translucent or clearish white. My coral beauty also has one now as well as the Hawkfish. The fish all seem normal and not bothered by it. They are eating as usual and swimming about. I don't see any labored breathing or anything. My water quality is all within good range. I just ran all numbers by you last month so I'll spare you the details here, its all the same with the exception of my specific gravity being higher than usual. Its normally 1.21-1.22 and it was 1.25. I'm very SLOWLY bringing that back within normal range (my normal range that is) with some water changes with lower SG than normal. I would like to figure out what these things are so I can do something to get rid of them. I do remember that the tomato clown had one of these marks way back, when we first got him (tank is only like 8 months old). It went away and I put it off to maybe he scratched himself on something and it left a mark, then healed up...guessing I was way wrong. I would try to get a pix but I don't think they would show well as they are sort of clearish, plus I don't think you can open the pix I send, as I tried once before. If these things ring a bell with you, an ID would be great, if not, could steer me in some direction as to what they MAY be I can try to do some more research, and possibly try to match up a picture off the web of what it may be. As usual, thanks a ton for taking the time to read/reply. This site is an invaluable tool - thanks for sharing you knowledge... Jan <Well, Jan, I'm thinking that you may be seeing some form of monogenetic trematode, such as Benedina or other little nasties...Just a guess. Typically, external parasites, flukes, and worms can be knocked out with long-duration (like 30-60 minutes) of Formalin-based remedies (at a bout 200mg/l concentration in saltwater). Net the affected fishes and place them in a dedicated container for the treatment. Worth a shot, IMO. Hope this helps. Regards, Scott F>

Cloudy eye on yellow tang Quick question I hope you can answer for me <Will try> I purchased a yellow tang about 2 weeks ago and after several days he developed a cloudy looking eye with a small bubble on it. Some of his fins also seemed a little torn. I first thought it was due to new rocks I added causing him to injure himself <More likely poor, diminished water quality... perhaps related to the new rock> however I asked the man at the store and he told me to dip him in freshwater which I did. When I dipped him little white "discs" fell off of him. <Good observation> He looks a little better now but I'm not sure what else I should do. Your help would be appreciated ! The water has been tested and is perfect in all aspects. The only other fish are 2 clown fish . I also have 6 snails and am purchasing a cleaner shrimp today. I feed them pellet crumbles and occasionally dried seaweed. Thank You <Wish you had a small power microscope... could look at these discs, maybe send a pic along... Very likely what you observed was flukes of some sort... You can read re these, their avoidance, treatment on WWM... use the search tool there, the indices. Bob Fenner>

Sick French Angel, coral beauty dead ... flukes? - 03/12/2006 At the beginning, I had an adult coral beauty; snow flake eel, 6"; French Angel, 4"; Flame Hawk, 2". The disease appears to start on the sides of the fish, then one eye becomes opaque and swollen, weight loss despite good eating habits, fins become frayed and finally, in the case of the coral beauty, death. Now a month later and my French Angel is under the same attack. The ill fish swims constantly against the current (my guess is that whatever it is, it is also attacking the gills. Any ideas what this is? Suggested treatments? Non-angel population seems fine. | <This last is an important clue...> Thanks, Bob <... frightening... Could be a few things, but you'll need to make a microscopic examination to be sure. I suspect Trematodes here... A gill and body scraping of mucus... with or w/o staining. You can read re their treatment on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Re: PB tang parasite? 1/31/07 Thanks Bob, I've adjusted his diet to get him eating more Nori than Mysis, and he's taking to it. I did a 2 gal water change using clean water from my main tank and didn't add anything back in because he seems to slowly be getting better. Any idea what kind of parasite this is? Here's another pic. Thanks again <Would take a scraping and a look/see under a dissection scope, but my guess is on monogenetic fluke/s of some sort... Hence the "de-wormer" rec. Do give this a read-over and consideration. Bob Fenner>

Localized fading skin color from parasites and L. amboinensis behavior... Flukes? 9/26/07 Aloha, <Howzit?> I have recently transplanted to the mainland from Hawaii. I mailed my little family of fish (kept for 2-3 years previously) to our current continental location. They were in a FO tank without live anything except the bacterial additive I used to set them up initially. As you know, Hawaii has very strict laws regulating the keeping of live rock or live sand, etc. <Ah, yes> Now, my current set up is FOWLR and some inverts. 46 gal bowfront (running for 3 months) Remora C HOT skimmer 9 watt UV sterilizer Emperor 400 with carbon and Poly Filter (I know it is not the best, but I already had it) Current 96 watt compact fluorescents (10,000 K and actinic blue) 20-30 lbs mixed live/dead/Tufa rock and fake ornaments (Some of the fish are very attached to their ornaments and I don't have the heart to take it away) Thin layer of mixed live and dead sand (approximately .75 inch) Old inhabitants moved from Hawaii: Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto) Pajama Cardinal (Sphaeramia nematoptera) Yellow Clown goby (Gobiodon okinawae) Two ocellaris clowns (Amphiprion ocellaris) Since moving to the mainland the following are new: Fire fish (Nemateleotris magnifica) <Mmm... social animals...> 7-9 Peppermint shrimp (Lysmata rathbunae) One "white antennae" Peppermint (Lysmata wurdemanni) Two cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) <... will be some attrition amongst these shrimp with molting...> 25 assorted snails (Astrea, Nassarius, and Cerith) <Too many...> Live rock and Tufa rock Water parameters: Specific Gravity 1.0235 Temp. 78 degrees Fahrenheit Ph 8.2 Nitrites 0 Nitrates 0 Ammonia (unknown. I tested it then realized my kit was for fresh water- time to get a new kit. I keep both fresh and salt water tanks, but am newest to marine tanks, as you can tell. I'm assuming the levels are OK since the fish and inverts are all seemingly happy. <Likely so> Colors are vibrant and the shrimp produce eggs like crazy. I add iodine for the shrimps and calcium for the snails. Coralline algae seem to like it too. <Ah, good> Here's the problem: I sometimes see the Clown Gobi and the male ocellaris with clear/opaque non-pigmented spots. In the middle of these "spots" sits a tiny white dot which I am assuming is a parasite. These dots move around the body of the fish (I don't see them actually moving, but the next day, they are in a different place on the body of the fish). Sometimes it is on the tail, and sometimes near the dorsal fin, etc. Sometimes they are not detectable at all. When the little white parasite is gone, the color returns to the skin. The fish, so far, get only one or two dots. Only the ocellaris scratch (the female gets white dots without the blanching of the skin around the parasite). I have not observed the parasites on the other fish. The parasites do not seem to affect the fish in any noticeably negative way. They all eat well (a variety of flake, Cyclop-eeze, frozen, table shrimp, once in a great while they get live brine, and Selcon periodically. I am nervous about this since I am still battling what I think was velvet in another tank. <Do strictly maintain separate gear... not even wet hands twixt...> It is now fallow with four snails, a banded coral shrimp, one hermit crab, and a rock/sand crab stow away (small sand colored burrowing crab, almost impossible to see unless he moves). The sole remaining fish survivor is an IndoPacific Sergeant Major damsel named "Nemo" because he is missing his right fin. Nemo is tough and will probably recover. He has never stopped eating "like a pig", and seems to be doing well in quarantine. Sorry for the digression. My questions are:1) What do you think this parasite is? (it acts most like the freshwater Chilodonella as described by National Fish Pharmaceuticals <Mmm, no... you wouldn't be able to see this... Perhaps a trematode... a Fluke of some sort...> 2) What should I do about it? Will the shrimp take care of the problem, or should I quarantine and treat the fish and let the tank go fallow for 2 months? <Mmmm, you could try an anthelminthic... My fave currently, Prazi... quantel, -pro...> I would hate to lose these fish too, especially since they are family pets (all have names), I feel very responsible for them since I am of the thought that we should treat all the creatures we invite into our homes with the best care possible. 3) If I need to treat the fish, what should I use? Copper, Malachite green, something else? Are these medications too strong for my little fish? <Yes...> I have not seen the cleaner shrimp "clean" any of the fish. They are relatively new. The larger cleaner shrimp seems aggressive. He/she will lunge at the fish if they come too near. (It could be self defense because when I put it in the tank, it unfortunately landed on the clowns' favorite fake anemone. Needless to say, the clowns were very upset and proceeded to attack the shrimp. I had to intervene at this point and "shoo" the shrimp into the rocks.) It also intimidates the peppermints and has taken over their favorite "hang out". <Will eventually eat them...> Is this normal behavior for a grouchy L. amboinensis? <Yes> Should I consider putting it in with the banded coral shrimp in the "velvet" tank? <Will likely be eaten there by the CBS> I know banded coral shrimp can kill other shrimp. I have seen a large one sever the arm off a smaller one, yet on the web I have seen pictures of banded coral shrimp and L. amboinensis shrimp living in the same tank. What do you suggest? <Another or larger system> One other thought. Should I get a cleaner goby or two? <I do like these...> Or will it suffer the same fate and get this parasite also? <Perhaps so> Would the small fish in my tank be more likely to let the cleaner gobies pick at them? <Mmm, no... not more than the Lysmata spp.> Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Mahalo in advance, Lyn <Read re the Prazi... and consider a larger tank. A hu'i hou! Bob Fenner>

Unknown parasite on Butterflyfish please help. Flukes? 8/7/07 Hi, I Have a show size masked Heniochus Butterflyfish in a 225gal fish only. He has small clear flatworm looking parasites behind his gills and eating his fins. He is constantly shaking I think trying to shake them off. What could this be and how do I kill it out of my tank? <Likely flukes... a pH-adjusted, slightly slower spg bath with formalin should do it here if this is a digene (has a complex life cycle)...> My butterfly was in my quarantine tank for a month and a week and showed no signs of any thing. My quarantine tank is a 110L treated with CopperSafe. Out of desperation I treated my main tank with copper <May have to treat all with an organophosphate...> and I have still had to fresh water dip my fish 3 times and they still keep coming back. <Need the formalin...> The only other fish I have in there is a yellow tang and a regal tang and they have never shown any signs of the parasite. <Many Trematodes are quite species specific> I have turned off my uv sterilizer recently, my skimmer is still running. My copper in the aquarium is reading 1.5. They look like clear little flatworms <Ahh!> and are moving around on that fish only mainly behind his gills and on his fins. they have frayed the ends of all his fins. Please Help <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Parasite Help... and I mean HELP! Trematode plus infested lg. SW sys. 7/10/07 Hi guys Great site! This is my first question to your site, I feel need some professional help. My blue face angel is sick, and Am not sure how to fix him. My Tank Stats: First of all, I am writing from Australia. It is 10x2x2 ft and has been set up for over four years now. Am a tang lover and I have five tangs in there at the moment which are Blue Regal, Sailfin, Purple, Yellow and Lipstick. I also have an Eiblii Angel, Flame Angel, Premnas clown, three Zebra Darts, four Pyjama Cardinals, Marine Betta, a Blue Spot Sting Ray and of course, the Blue Face Angel. I do natural sea water changes of approximately 300 litres every two to three weeks. <Mmm, we should review your protocol for the treatment, storage of the natural water...> I've tested temp, salinity, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, PH, KH and all are fine except nitrate at about 10 ppm. The angel has been in the tank now for about three weeks and he was not quarantined (I know, my bad). When he first went into the tank he had a slightly cloudy eye and was scratching on one side, right near the gill. After a few days the cloudy eye seemed to clear and I thought he was on the mend. Then (about a week and a half ago) I added the Flame Angel who did and still seems healthy. The cloudy eye then got worse on the Blue Face and I also noticed a small wound near the anal fin (see attached). The tangs also started to scratch and have been acting strangely, huddling in a corner of the tank. I cant see any white spot on them however I have noticed the Yellow Tang has a few missing bits out of his side fin and the Sailfin has some scratches from the rocks. These fish have been healthy for years. All fish are eating normally. I was advised by a local it could be flukes and to give the Blue Face a fresh water bath with RO water (temperature and PH adjusted) which I did for about two minutes and in the water I found these clear little things which seemed to fall off him (see attached). They kind of look like scales or like a little contact lenses with three circles on them. Are these a parasite? <Yes... the organism pictured at the tip of the pen appears to be a Fluke... and trouble... you need to determine whether this is a mono- or digenean (for means of figuring out whether the life cycle can be easily broken), and if a Monogenean, whether it is ovi- or vivi-parous... By microscopic view of the rear attachment organ (the opisthoraptor)... the one shown is inverted... To get a general idea of how to proceed treatment wise. Small flukes can be dislodged via such FW dips, w/ or w/o ancillary materials added... Larger species of Monogeneans can be very tough to dislodge... require extended, high-concentration baths of formalin (e.g. 400 ppm) and many species, weakened individuals can't take this... Skipping ahead... as am sure you realize the extent of the non-quarantine blunder here by now... you may be lucky and get away with use of an organophosphate treatment here period... Many flukes are to degrees species, genus, family specific in their host selection...> Would this be the cause of the scratching, cloudy eye and would the other fish have it? <Possibly, but you may well have a mixed species parasitic situation... and yes, possibly> How can I get rid of it, as I don't have a quarantine tank anymore? <You don't need a QT, you need a treatment system... but as your main system is infested, you will likely want to treat it... Not a pleasant prospect...> If I kill them off the fish, are they still living in the water and will they just re-infect? <Bingo> Id be happy to treat the main tank with something as long as it doesn't kill my sting ray and bubble tip anemones. <...> Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the essay, but am trying to give you as much info as I can. Thanks Brett & Leanne <My friend... Quarantine... use it, believe in it, live it... You have some trying times ahead. Cartilaginous fishes do not "like" acetylcholinesterase inhibitors... I don't know exactly where to start or continue with you here... IF you had time I'd have you buy and peruse Ed Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment", get/use a cheap microscope (likely the QX product line would do here)... But your fishes may be all dead by then (a few days to weeks)... At this point, do look around the Net, your large local library, WWM under the terms: "Flukes", "Trematodes", "Organophosphate" treatments... Bob Fenner>

Re: Digenetic Flukes (Metacercaria)? Steven, I found this info. If this is it should I not put the fish in my main tank and instead take him back to the store? <I would not put him back in your main tank, but I am not sure what is wrong with your fish, yet.> Digenetic Flukes (Metacercaria): Typically seen in newly imported fish and in two forms. Black spot is caught from snails that release the Cercaria. Larval forms penetrate the skin and encyst in the tissue and may be seen as red or black nodules. If eaten by a bird for instance they then develop into adults. Sanguinicola disease passes from fish to snail and then back as minute worms that live in the fishes bloodstream. There they lay eggs that block up the blood vessels which in turn causes Necrosis. As far as I know there is still no cure for this problem. <I am not sure this is your (your fish's) problem. -Steven Pro>

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