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FAQs on Parasitic Marine Worm Diseases: Flukes/Digenes & (Monogene) Trematodes: Etiology/Prevention  

FAQs on: Flukes/Trematodes 1, Flukes/Trematodes 2, Flukes/Trematodes 3, Flukes/Trematodes 4,
FAQs on Flukes/Trematodes: Diagnosis/Symptomology, 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,

Many marine fish families are VERY commonly imported/collected w/ their (Trematode) parasite fauna (intact); though there are other vectors (e.g. Gastropods)

Attn: Bob Fenner RE: Flukes       2/8/15
Hi Bob,
<Ah good>
Here's a copy and paste of our conversation on Facebook. Please remove my name if you would like to publish this conversation on WWM.
<Will do>
Thanks for any help!
My friend owns a retail marine-only LFS. He's had some trouble with Flukes over the years, and has dipped fish in PraziPro when they are showing signs. His fish offered for sale are not quarantined or medicated prior to sale. What is the life cycle of Flukes?
<Some are direct, other important species require an intermediate host... and most of these are easily eliminated therefore. Control is covered on WWM here: http://wetwebmedia.com/TremCureF.htm
Is there a way to interrupt this life cycle (such as how a good UV sterilizer can interrupt Ich)?
<Yes... as covered in the above citation, best to dip/bath incoming fish specimens to knock off external species. Bob Fenner>
Trematode life cycles vary quite a bit... mono- and di-genes... some have direct development and the latter require an intermediate host... I would NOT dip w/ Prazi, but use formalin... Please send all this to me at Crew@WetWebMedia.com as it's easier to look up and refer you to pertinent archives from there.
Re: Attn: Bob Fenner Re: Flukes        2/9/15

Hi Bob,
<Miss M>
Thanks for your quick reply! My friend does not want to dip incoming fish as they are usually stressed when they arrive.
<All are... life itself is "a series of compromises"... one must decide for themselves which they choose, is better>
He has not had good luck dipping fish in the first few days.
<Should be done as part of the regular SOP/Triage of all incoming>
Is there any other way?
<Isolate, quarantine all incoming first IF they can't take the strain of proper acclimation INCLUDING the dip/bathing... OR... get better suppliers... Look and deal w/ "A" suppliers like Quality Marine if they're in the US; TMC, DeJong et al. if in W. Europe...>
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Attn: Bob Fenner Re: Flukes: Wiki
Thank you Bob, I will share this with my friend. I think some of the trouble with the stress is that we are in Canada and the fish travel for longer.
<Is indeed a factor>
Many are coming direct from Philippines, Red Sea. Do you know how Flukes move from one fish to another?
Do they free-swim? Jump on fish while they sleep?
<You can read re... here on Wiki:

There is a "standard" sort of cycle w/ variations... but eggs are released to the environment and either directly infest or go through another host first.... with all the usual accompanying archaic terminology>
I am not usually the one asking questions. I own a marine aquarium maintenance company, and I quarantine all incoming fish for clients' tanks.
<You are wise here. I did such work for nineteen years; am writing a series of articles for the pulp and e-zines for currently, and will be compiling this into another direct to print and e-title. Much of our olde action plans and op.s manual for Aquatic Life Services is archived on WWM in the business sub-web section>
I do take the steps that you describe, but I can understand how these steps could increase the landed cost of fish in a retail situation.
<Well-worth the cost to build one's business; without such value added services the trade never does grow in a given locale... The best shops, svc. co.s, "Do" dips/baths, and quarantine... their organisms live... and their customers go on; including generating interest, new ones in turn. The reciprocal is also so.>
The cost of shipping to our area is already so high that it is tough to be competitive.
<Getting about time to encourage more local (aquaculture) production in the marine fields>
Thank you so much for your time,
<And you for yours. Bob Fenner>

Attn: bob-achilles tang; and Trematode f'     11/29/14
Hey fellow name sharer,
<Hey Rob>
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 tang.
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.
Thanks bob
<Welcome. B. Fenner>
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang     11/29/14

Hey bob,
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 week ago.
<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 have!
<... no thanks! It's time, perhaps past-time for me to suggest you getting, using a simple microscope. B>
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang     11/30/14

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 connection... FAB!>
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.
Thank you
<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. B>
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang     11/30/14

Ok. So just to be absolutely sure. When SeaChem says not to mix with reducing agents,
<? Proton donors, electron acceptors? Am an olde ex H.S. chem. and physics teacher>
such as ammonia or chlorine removers,
Prazi pro from Hikari would not fall into that category, and would be fine to mix?
<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 non-feeding>
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 livestock.
<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     11/30/14

Hey bob, not sure about the chemistry terms. Here is the excerpt from SeaChem's website:
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     11/31/14

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 copper again.
I feel good now, thanks!!
<Welcome. B>
achilles update; Re flukes     12/3/14

Hey Bob-
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.
<Ah good>
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 started.
<Mmm; yes>
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.
Thanks, Bob
<And you for this follow up. Happy holidays. BobF>

Fallow tank due to flukes     10/6/13
Hi crew!
 I have a question concerning the life span/cycle of marine flukes without a host. The question of how long to run a main tank fallow has been asked for years and the answers range from a couple of weeks to a few months.
<More the former>
I have been reading every article, scientific report and journal I can find to determine how long Neobenedenia can live without a host.  Based on what I found the adult can live up to 5 days at 25 degrees C.  The eggs hatch within 4-6 days and if the larvae don't find a host within 36 hrs they die.
I have yet to find any report of an egg remaining dormant (like Cryptocaryon) at 25 degrees C.
<Sounds about right>
Based on this information if a tank is fallow for 15 days shouldn't the life cycle be broken? 
Do you know of any reports that contradicts this information?  Thank you!
<I do not. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fallow tank due to flukes     10/6/13

Hi Bob! Thank you for the quick response. I'm sorry to bother you with this but I really wanted someone with knowledge of parasitic life cycles and not just a guess:) My tank has been fallow for 4 weeks so I think I'll begin moving the fish from their QTs back to the main. Thank you again! Jen
<Certainly. B>

Trematodes came with my snails? 11/13/11
Dear Wonderful WetWeb Crew,
I have a 40 gallon aquarium that has been set up since September. Specific Gravity is at 1.026 and temp is around 78. I added about 10 Cerith snails from a local fish store a week ago and they have some wormish hitchhikers.
<Very common>
At first I just saw a few stuck to their shells. Then I picked a snail off the rock to look at closer and some of these fell out of inside the shell as well. I have attached pictures that I hope will help you give me an idea of what they might be.
<Need much more highly resolved, larger pix>
I was thinking of dosing the tank with PraziPro, but thought I'd try to get some kind of ID from you guys first. They are about 1/16th of an inch long and reddish brown in color. They don't appear to swim in the container nor move at all. I'm slightly puzzled and have never seen this. I didn't come across it on your website either. The first picture are some that fell out of the inside of 2 snails into a clear container. The second is obviously on the snail.
Thank you for any insight you may have on this. It is truly appreciated.
<Gastropods/Snails are very often vectors/carriers, intermediate hosts for worms of various sorts. IF concerned that these may "be trouble", I would go ahead w/ your Anthelminthic treatment plans. There is a very large body of data, writing re various species (esp. of economic or health to humans consequences)... Some "worms" that get about this way have complex life cycles and will most likely perish in an aquarium setting w/o "causing harm". Do a bit of look/seeing on the Net... perhaps a visit to a large/college library w/ a life science dept. Cheers and thank you for sharing, Bob Fenner>

Grab Bag of Parasites? Please help with the following questions... <Sure thing! Scott F. here again today> - When it says 'will kill invertebrates' on copper medication, does that include shrimp, snails and crabs? <precisely> - Is copper also good for flukes? <I prefer Formalin-based remedies for flukes...> - What are ectoparasites? (Ich? Flukes? Velvet?) <Consult the WWM site for specific forms> - One of the remedies to get rid of parasites is to lower salinity to 15ppm. Will that also kill flukes and velvet? How safe is this on corals, snails, crabs and shrimp? <Hyposalinity treatment can work for some parasitic diseases...I'm not a huge fan of it. It can be harmful to inverts> - Will the banded coral shrimp also 'eat' Ich and velvet and flukes from fish? Would this plus UV sterilizer be a good alternative to using medications? <The CBS will pick at some parasites...but it cannot get them all. A UV sterilizer is good at possibly stopping some of the parasites when they are free-swimming...I still use meds...> - Finally, in one of my 20g tanks, I'd like to keep one Banded Coral Shrimp and one Harlequin Shrimp. Will they be ok with each other? Will they be ok with reefs? <They should be fine with corals...But there may be some aggression between the two...Be prepared to move somebody> As always, huge, huge thanks for your help. Luke <A pleasure, Luke! That's why we're here! Regards, Scott F>

No Meds In A Display Tank! > <Sure thing! Scott F. here again today> > - Is copper also good for flukes? > <I prefer Formalin-based remedies for flukes...> I've heard that Formalin is a big no-no in marine and reef tanks (hard on corals, will kill bio filtration, will kill live rock). No? Thank you, Luke <You are absolutely right Luke. Under no circumstances would you ever dose this, or any other medication in a display tank. Formalin should be administered only in a controlled environment such as a "hospital tank." It is highly effective against flukes, however. Follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter when you use this stuff. Good luck! Scott F.>

Formalin Works-But What About The Display Tank? (Flukes) Right, but flukes lay eggs that get deeply into the gravel sometimes (making them so hard to cure). So even if one does treat the fish in separate tank, you're still going to have flukes in the main tank, no? Thank you. <Well, the approach to many parasitic infestations is to deprive them of their hosts...Thus, the oft-recommended "fallow tank" technique is an efficient, drug free way to help eradicate parasites. No method is 100%, but this is a very effective method. Good luck! Scott F>

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