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FAQs on Parasitic Marine Worm Diseases 2

Related Articles: Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Worms, Roundworms

Related FAQs: Fish Worm Diseases 1, Marine Worm Parasites 3, & FAQs on Marine Worm Parasites: Diagnosis/Symptomology, Etiology/Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Products/Manufacturers... Flukes/Trematodes, Tapeworms/Cestodes, Leeches/Hirudineans, "Other" Worms and Worm-Like Parasites... Paravortex/Black Spot Disease, Anthelminthics/Vermifuges... De-wormers (Piperazine, Praziquantel...) & FAQs, Yellow Tang Disease, Parasitic Disease 2, Parasitic Disease 3, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Marine Velvet Disease Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, RoundwormsYellow Tangs, Tang Health/Disease

Note to self: Take care Bob to not list too much, lest folks be mal-influenced re the prevalence, importance of helminth diseases, their practical determination and treatment...

Re: Odd Damselfish? Worm internal infestation  12/19/08 Hello again! I did what you told me to do, and I'm glad that I did. An amazing, you will loose the exciting shrill in a moment, thing happened after I removed the two odd Neons, for they exploded, or I should say, released havoc on my empty 20 gallon tank. I woke up the night after placing them in their new tank, and I saw the most horrific scene, worm-like-creatures coming out of the vent area and other openings of the fishes. It was horrid! <Yeeikes! Have seen this... on a few occasions... Lots of white, no apparent head... Nematodes...> I called my LCFS and told them what was happening to my poor fish, and they were horrified. They, my LCFS who are my close friends from college, recalled seeing the same thing issue, for they must have infected the tank where a new stock was placed from which I bought from. I feel bad for them, but I they would have contacted me if they'd had known. In short, I hope this is common enough where it is treatable and known, if not, I pray no one else goes through what I did, I had to put the other one to sleep, I'm still sad about the whole mess. This has brought me into a bit of a frenzy though, for my 45 gallon tank where the two once stayed; I fear that the worms may have spread to my other fish, but at the moment they don't show any signs of the problem. I wonder what I should do, I don't want to be brash about my 45, but I fear for my fish and it would kill me to see the same thing happen to them. What should I do? <Mmm, some of these worms are rather species specific... But I would treat with a vermifuge... Lots re here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. 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>

Things on Goby?   5/9/07 I just received a red banded antennae goby from a distributor, and I noticed that the little guy has two red, sausage looking blobs on either side of his body.  They are not on his head or gills, but rather about halfway down his body, right behind his stomach/intestinal area.  One blob is about a millimeter, the other slightly smaller. They are red, but still semi transparent.  When you look closely, you can see something undulating inside of them.  It is a bottom to top motion, no squirming or writhing inside.  Also, the larger of the two sausages has a small yellowish "string" coming from the top of it. I do not have a camera here (I'm at work) so I cannot attach a picture. <Rats!> I was looking through all our fish books and cannot find an external parasite picture that matches these things.  My question is, any idea what it is? <Yes... very likely either a crustacean or worm parasite... Not uncommon> It almost looks like the little guy's organs are on the outside of his body!  Especially as the two are directly across from each other, one on either side of his body. Any help would be appreciated.  I do not want to put the poor thing in any of our tanks until I'm 110% what it is.  Our quarantine tank is way to big for him, I'd never find him or he'd get eaten by the puffer we have in there.  Thank you! -Erica <Mmm, I suggest serial administration of an anthelminthic (my choice? Praziquantel), and an Organophosphate (something like Fluke Tabs)... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobydisfaqs.htm re related, cautionary remarks/matters. Bob Fenner>

Anthias with worms? Human influence opportunities... Important!  03/22/07 Hello again guys / gals. I notice my Ventralis Anthias has clear / white feces and am guessing he must have intestinal parasites. <Ahh... so wonderful to be able to influence such young, growing minds/awarenesses...> I was considering different medications to use and would appreciate your input on what would work best for my situation. The medications I am looking into are: Fenbendazole at 7.6 Mg per gallon Metronidazole Praziquantel and Paracide D Any suggestions would be wonderful, the fish has not lost weight, however  he is obviously losing nutrients somewhere. Thank you so much, Brian  Crenshaw <My REAL (why not?) advice is for you instead to invest in a copy of Ed Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment" (expensive, I know... and have chatted w/ him re... Maybe get the fish store to buy a copy for your use as well as theirs...) AND a QX-3...4...5? Microscope... and to LOOK here, way before dumping such medicines on your livestock... Much knowledge, discovery awaits you... which I'm sure (very) that you'll be sharing. BobF>

Re: was UV/skimmer, now Tang parasite...  3/6/07 Bob et al., Well, some small progress on the BGA situation.  It seems to be slowing down.  Friday it was going through one of it's let-go-and-float-to-the-surface phases, so I picked as much out as I could.  It seemed to be more cohesive and pick able than usual.  It has been regrowing slower than usual since.  So the UV and/or the water changes with homemade RO/DI water may be helping slowly. <Yes, likely>   Another siphon attack and water change tonight and see what happens. The new problem of the day is that I am concerned about my yellow tang. I added a yellow tang and a baby purple tang about 6 weeks ago.   <Mmmmm> They had been in quarantine after purchase, and did develop ich.  I treated with hyposalinity (1.009) first, <For how long? Tangs don't like reduced salinity...> that didn't work and the next wave of the parasites was pretty bad. I ended up treating with copper <Nor much copper exposure> and the ich resolved and they both were symptom free for 4 weeks before going in the display tank.  The yellow tang had gotten pretty thin, as he did not eat well in QT, the little purple was a pig and seemed to always beat him to the food, and I tried to be conservative about the feeding, as the tank was small and so quickly polluted. <Good> I assumed he was thin because he was too stressed to eat much.   <Yes, likely so> He was not thin when I purchased him, but lost weight during the quarantine.   So right after adding him to the main tank, I noticed an apparent cyst in his muscle just below his dorsal fin, on the left side.  It was not visible in QT with normal lighting, but only under the reef lights.  You can only really see it as a shadow when the light comes through him. You can't see it from the right side.  It is about halfway between the skin and the bones on the left side about 1/4" below dorsal fin.  There is no visible skin lesion, but if the light hits it just right, an opaqueness in that spot, about the size of a sesame seed. I did not worry too much about this, as he seemed fine, and it could have been some scar tissue or something.  He began eating well right away, and his behaviour has been very normal.  He has the typical night-time color change with a dark spot and a white stripe when the lights go out.  He is not quite as aggressive as the others at feeding time, but seems to be eating well.  He does not show any interest in the Nori, so he only eats when I feed flakes or frozen, but I worry he is not grazing enough. Their new favorite food is Formula 2 with garlic.  They all seem to love it. He is still thin, and I am worried that this cyst is a tapeworm or nematode.  His guts do have a lumpy kind of appearance, and he could have worms of some sort.  But this could just be the normal intestinal appearance that is visible because he is so thin. I have not seen any abnormal protrusions or worm-like excrement.  I have tried to get a picture, but he is not cooperating with that of course.  If I don't have a camera he poses very nicely right in front of me.  All the other fish are fat, and he is not gaining weight.  He is not losing more weight, he is just not improving.   In reading all I could find here on cysts and intestinal parasites, it seems there are not a lot of answers without a positive ID on a parasite. <Not possible w/o necropsy... microscopic examination> I found a few with identical descriptions but no one knows what to do because of unclear identification.  I can't find any similar pictures or descriptions on the external links.  And I have not seen this particular intra-muscular cyst described in any of my books.  It seems it would be impossible to ID without a biopsy anyway. <Yes> The purple tang who was quarantined with him is doing great.  He is fat and growing.  I will need a bigger tank soon if he keeps it up.  He had some stress lines on his face after QT, but he is beautiful now. <Good> Should I try to get the yellow tang out and put him back in quarantine? <I would not. I'd leave in the main display... and hope for the best> I don't want to infect the whole tank if it is something that doesn't need an exotic intermediate host. <Not likely to spread>   I don't want to overreact since he doesn't seem ill.  I am just getting more concerned because he is still so thin, and the other references to this mysterious cyst involve fish who expired suddenly.  The only choices I see are to quarantine and treat as worms and try to get his intestines cleared out and feed him without competition for a while -or- leave it alone and watch to make sure he does not go down hill.  He is so thin I just worry that he doesn't have much reserve for additional stress.  He seems fine otherwise.  Fins are good, behavior seems very normal.  Even in quarantine, I wouldn't know what to do about the cyst.  It is deep in the muscle, so would be unaffected by fresh water dip.  Without an ID it seems futile to throw medications at it. <There are purposeful anthelminthics... covered on WWM... that one could try...> Some of your writings suggest that these parasites may not be a problem if the other stresses are low, so may not be a plague if the other fish are healthy? <Yes> Very much enjoying reading "Reef Invertebrates"! Thanks so much! Your website is so addictive.   <Methinks you may be coming up to being a responder...> I am wondering how I survived 12 years of fish-keeping without it! (or how my fish survived anyway! :-)) Seriously, it is great to have somewhere to go for current and trustworthy answers. Alex Miller 75 gal, Instant Ocean, Aqua-C Remora, Emperor 400 filter, 9 W UV sterilizer, too-small refugium/sump, 2 powerheads, Coralife Deluxe PC 4x96W.   Aragonite substrate, plenum, live rock. Fish: Sailfin Tang, Purple Tang, Yellow Tang (LFS convinced me 3 different tangs would work, but am expecting to have to get a bigger tank soon - <Good... Zebrasomas can become real tussles at times... stress levels escalating respectively> I really wanted the purple tang, already had the Sailfin, the yellow was to make it an odd number), maroon clownfish, watchman goby, yellow-tail damsel, flame angel.   Inverts: emerald crab, Lysmata cleaner shrimp, pistol shrimp, a few hermits, a few snails. Corals: Xenia (going crazy), Euphyllia, mushroom polyps, Zoanthids. pH 8.2, NH3 = 0, NO2 = 0, NO3 = 0, P = 0, Ca = 360, KH = 8, temp = 75 F, SG = 1.025 <If it were me, mine, I would not medicate here... Bob Fenner>

Re: was UV/skimmer, now Tang parasite... and new WWM Crew member! - 03/06/07 Thanks Bob! <Welcome Alex> I agree, the yellow tang is probably better off in the main tank. Watching him more closely last night and this morning, I think the appearance of his abdomen is only due to his thinness and it even seemed slightly better.  I tried again to get pictures, but cannot get any of it to show up in a photo.  I will keep trying to get him to eat more. He is just not as good at grabbing the food as the others, so I will try to sneak him extra while the others are distracted.  Hopefully this cyst will not develop into something more sinister. <Mmm, not likely>   I will keep an eye on it.  Stressing him further right now does not seem indicated. <Agreed... that this may be embedded Metacercariae for instance... would it help the host to have them die, dissolve? How might this organisms complex life cycle be completed w/o a requisite predator consuming it? Perhaps this is simply a "twisted muscle" sort of injury/growth...> I will work on convincing my husband that we need a bigger tank! <Ahh!> Wow, your comment "<Methinks you may be coming up to being a responder...>" is very nice!  Weird, actually, as I was thinking the same thing last night. You read my mind. <!>   I begin to wonder if I might have some value to add here at some point.  My background is somewhat eclectic.  I am certainly not an expert, but I have learned from mistakes and struggled with and overcome a lot of the standard problems over the years. I understand the basic mechanical, chemical, and biological processes.  My weakness is probably in pathology and taxonomy.  I am a mechanical engineer, so could address pumps/head/flows/siphons/gravity, etc. <We have plenty of these... all are encouraged not to answer anything they're not comfortable with> I have done my fair share of DIY projects, and am pretty handy with plumbing in general.  I have not had a full-blown reef yet, but grew up with freshwater fish, and have had a FOWLR for a decade, moving toward a reef in the last couple of years. So I have seen the evolution in the best-practices and have tried to keep up.  I had a short stint cleaning tanks as a part-time helper at an LFS, and have seen local businesses come and go.  I appreciate their challenges, and the challenges of hobbyists who get varying advice from their LFS.  I like to keep it simple, and do appreciate your emphasis on natural sustainable approaches.  I also am picky about spelling and proper English, <Heeee! Yay!> and appreciate your efforts on this front. I would be glad to proofread anytime.  I am also a diver (I am the one floating upside down looking under things to see the details that everyone else swims right by), although haven't been able to go in a couple of years. I am a life-long aquarist, captured by the challenge, the beauty, and the serenity (in-between crises) offered by our own little piece of the reef.   <All good traits, experiences... It is obvious you have good command of the written word, a positive approach, are desirous of aiding others...> So, I will keep reading for now, and maybe I can help out one day.   Thanks!! Alex <Mmm, please do make it known when you have the sensation that you have suitable/sufficient "free time" for joining us. BobF>

Re: was UV/skimmer, now Tang parasite... and new WWM Crew member! - 03/06/07 Hi Bob, <Alex> Yes, on further reading I see that you have a wide range of experience levels and backgrounds making up the crew.  I would indeed like to help if you are in need of more responders!  I do enjoy sharing/communicating and can continue to learn on the job.  It would be an honor to be part of your team. <Ahh!> It sounds like the responding is done through your webmail system, <Yes> but I should probably set up another personal email for contact, <Please do send this along> since this is my work email (although it is certainly the quickest way to reach me for now - we have no access to webmail at work due to virus threats & productivity issues). Actually, my blackberry email may be the best backup for contacting me directly (copied above). <But hard to respond on... is this an address/system you would like to use just the same?> But if most of the communication is handled through logging into your site, then that may not be necessary.  I will be available in the evenings and weekends, as I do work days.  Let me know what I do next. <Respond to the last question, or make it known how we can reach you... You are welcome to have an address... Alex@WetWebMedia.com if you'd like. But the mail does come/go through a webmail svc.> Oh, and I am 99% sure that the cyst on the Z. flavescens is a Metacercariae.  I may have lost my appetite for sushi for a few days after reading up on that.  Yikes! <Mmm, yes... Anisakine ("Green" "Herring") worms are not my faves... I do like the sushi bar experience, but find myself "candling" fish flesh more and more as the years go by> He seems even better tonight, and I think he will be fine.  He is just still recovering from the QT stress and is not as piggy as the others and needs more food and time. Thanks! Alex <BobF>

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>

Toadfish internal parasite  - 1/18/07 Dear WetWeb Crew, I purchased a gulf toadfish this past weekend and didn't notice this until I got home.  The fish appears to have some internal parasites. <Yes> There is an outline of a worm in the abdominal area and 2-3 clusters around the anus.  Any idea what this may be? <As you state, some encysted groupings of worms... likely Nematodes> What would be the best means of treatment?  Praziquantel or Metronidazole? <The former, or other anthelminthic...> The fish is in a qt tank and eating well.   Thank you, Jason <Do monitor water quality (of course)... If the fish is eating, the "vermicide" can be administered via food... otherwise injection. Please report back your experience. Bob Fenner>

Black Ich???   12/8/06 Hello folks,    <Robert>   Get on you reading glasses, this is going to be a long one..........    <Got them on>   I have a concern about my marine fish that you will probably have an answer for, and it deals with Black Ich. <The Turbellarian? Paravortex?> I think.  See, I just got up close to my fish tank for the first time in a couple of days, and I noticed what appears to be a parasite on my Yellow Tang and Percula Clown.  In my experience with fresh water fish, it appears to be my old pal Ich paying a visit, but it instead of it being white, it is black and very small....smaller than a grain of salt.  There is a healthy colony on both of these fish mentioned, my others don't appear to have anything (Royal Gramma, Scooter Blenny (I know you hate to hear about these in captivity, <Mmm, no... not at all... if given/provided with adequate habitat, companions, opportunity for foods...> but I bought one that eats frozen foods regularly from both the fish dealer and now me, but then again, who knows....his days could be numbered), <All of ours to a degree...> and a neon goby.  There are some other inhabitants including a brittle star, emerald crab, a handful of snails.  I also have some random corals that came on my live rock, and that appear to be doing quite well (blue mushroom polyps, various zoos, and a rather large colt coral that was a gift) and some Red Sea Xenia.      <A not-atypical "garden" variety mish-mash of cnidarians>   Let's cut to the chase. <Love that term>   I did some research and I have filled my mind with all that I can find about Black Ich and how it is more common in Tangs, but can spread to other species readily. <Yes, tis so> However, I can not find any pictures anywhere online to positively ID what I have found. <Surprising... not an uncommon phenomenon... a situation/relationship IMO twixt commensalism and parasitism>   There is no pattern to the "infection", and all the spots seem to be independent organisms. <Bingo> With a brief description, that is really all that there is to it.        Is this enough to describe to you what I have in my tank to give it a positive ID? <Mmm, no... microscopic examination is definitive... Not hard to do> Or can you at least steer me in the right direction for identification?    <Edward Noga, "Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment">   Next, let's talk treatment.  Even if I QT the fish, I still have about 60 pounds of live rock and another 80 pounds or so of sand.  I'm sure that the little black critters are setting up shop in the hiding spaces.  How can I get rid of these while salvaging the corals and such? <Mmm... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaqs.htm and the next FAQ file linked above in the series> Are there any treatments that I can apply to the tank with all the corals and fish left inside? <None that are efficacious and "reef safe", no> I have read about a product called "Revive" ( http://www.fishvet.com/7.html) that claims to be the "end all" super cure (highly unlikely I suspect, but if I knew everything I wouldn't be looking for advice!) that can be applied directly to the tank without hurting the fish or corals or anything for that matter.      <Is not useful>   Shit.  Is there a simple cure? <You kiss your mum with that mouth? Potty mouth... Some fave lines from an old Nat'l Lampoon record... Uh, yes... isolation of all fish hosts from the infested system for several weeks, a simple pH-adjusted FW bath protocol to alleviate them of Paravortex enroute to elsewhere...>   Is there any power in prayer or will I have to be more assertive in this situation.      <Twelve jumping jacks, eye of a newt, barking at the full-moon at midnight... That sort of thing? Nah!>   What are my major concerns here? <Really? Debilitation, disruption of a sort of balance... I'd try availing yourself of purposeful cleaners (see WWM re) and see if this "does it" enough for you/them> I haven't learned of anything too dire, but I imagine it sucks for the fish and I want to destroy these black things.  Everything I am reading seems very loose ended on the situation.  Help me in leading a full on assault.  Together, we can abolish this.    <The "war" on... crime, terror, drugs? More nonsense simple servant notions? No thanks>   How's that for pep.  But really, I need some help here before it gets out of control.  Thanks guys!  I love you site.      Jon <Read on my brother, read on. Bob Fenner>

Clown black spots... Paravortex?  10/7/06 Hi everyone, <Alan> I have had a pair of ocellaris clowns now for about 4 years, they have had black spots on and off over this period.  I never really worried about it since most people say it is common. <Yes>   Lately though I got curious about it since it didn't seem to come and go with their ever changing choice of "hosts" in the tank.  I had read one account that said this was caused by a kind of bruising as they adjusted to their new homes. <Mmmm> In the last few weeks it was getting pretty heavy on them and I even saw a few other parasites on them.  Since I hadn't added anything to the tank in over a year, and QT everything that did go in I found it strange.  Thought maybe the two were connected somehow.  Now there were no spots on the white bars only on the orange portions of their bodies.  But to deal with the white spots they were taken out and are now in a 10 gal tank.  On the way in they got a FW dip for about 10-12 min.  Within a min or two all of the black spots were gone. <Interesting...> I have seen this before only at work in treating yellow tangs with the black spots caused by a parasitic flatworm. <Yes, these two might have been Paravortex> It was fast just like happens to them.  But everything I read says clowns are not likely hosts for this parasite, and neither the two spot hogfish (B bimaculatus), or the orchid Dottyback (P fridmani) were affected, <Mmm, actually... see Noga, Ed... Fish Diseases, Diagnosis and Treatment... some seven families, 135 species of fishes can/do serve as hosts> and this has been going on for years in their company.  Well I went to work, and we have a large pair of ocellaris, who also have had black spots for as long as I can remember, dipped them and they were gone in minutes.  My fish came from a different store about 100 miles away from the one I work at since I moved.  Seemed strange to me that maybe this isn't as harmless as is thought, and I wish I had more clowns to try it on.  I also wish there was some way to find out how long clowns with spots live compared to ones without. <This Turbellarian doesn't seem to be "too debilitating" as a "space parasite"... Or, imagine, there are many "levels" or teleologically "stages" to becoming a "real" parasite, and this flatworm is "just a beginner"...> But there is a question, how long should I let the tank go without fish how to starve out the parasites? <At least a few weeks... likely a month or more if the system is/was "well-established"... as I suspect that these "semi" parasites can live by other means...> And if it is a flatworm of some kind would something like flatworm exit do anything? <Most of these "remedies" are not... They're dismal fakery...> Or maybe Prazi? <Maybe> I have used that with good results on tangs that didn't seem bad enough to warrant a FW dip.  Anyways I am going to be late for class, I apologize if I made a few grammatical errors in my rush. AJ <Mmm, au contraire. Thank you for this report. Bob Fenner>

Freshwater Dips and Black Spot Disease  - 08/26/06 Hello, <Hi there> I'm looking for help in treating black spot disease in my 90 gallon fish only quarantine tank. It has been running for 6 months now. I'm using a Marineland Emperor 400 for filtration and a couple of powerheads for circulation. The water parameters are at 0 ppm for ammonia and nitrites, 8.2 for Ph and around 10-15ppm for nitrates. The water temperature is kept around 80.5 degrees. For the past 8 weeks, I have kept a white-faced surgeonfish, a black percula clownfish, a lawnmower blenny, a royal Gramma, and a Firefish in this tank. Over the last 2 weeks, I have lost a black percula clownfish and a Lubbock's wrasse. Up until the 24 hours before they died, both of them were active and eating well. However, since I purchased the fish, some of them have been breathing slightly heavier than normal, and when the 2 fish died, their breathing was rapid. <Mmm, not usually a symptom of Paravortex parasitization> I haven't been able to see any noticeable signs of disease on any of the fish other than the white-faced surgeonfish, who had visible tiny black spots on his body. For 8 weeks, the fish have been treated with (nonchelated?) copper from the Red Sea test kits. <Oh, is a symptom of copper stress> I've kept it at .15-.20ppm; the last few weeks I've kept it closer to .15ppm. The copper wasn't helping much with the black spots on the surgeonfish, <Mmm, nope... usually doesn't> and I started reading on your web site to do freshwater dips as a treatment. <These do> I decided last night to try dipping the white-faced surgeonfish and the lawnmower blenny since the surgeonfish had the spots and the blenny's breathing has been heavy. Well, I obviously made some fatal mistakes with the freshwater dip because the surgeonfish did not make it. Before I did the dip, I put about a 1/2 teaspoon of buffer to a couple gallons of water, added a powerhead, and waited 15 minutes. The water was about a degree warmer than my tank, and I'm not sure what the Ph was because it was not a color on the test kit chart. The kit I was using was old, and I'm thinking that the Ph of the water was too high since I added too much buffer. <Maybe. I encourage folks to use simply Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate) as its KOH) is so low as to make it virtually impossible to drive the pH too high> I mistakenly proceeded to do the dips anyway, and dipped the surgeonfish for three 5 minute dips over 40 or 45 minutes, with one final 10 minute dip. <Usually one immersion will "do it"> I only gave the blenny three five minute dips. The blenny was ok and active when I put him in the tank; however, the surgeonfish's eyes were cloudy, it's breathing was heavy, and it had some white scrape-like spots on its body. Could ammonia have built up in the bucket and caused this or was the ph too high? <Mmm, not likely> The fish were eating a few hours before I did the dip. I would appreciate your help. I don't want to kill any more of my fish. Thanks, Jenny <One dip, pH-adjusted, with Baking Soda... The cause of the loss of the original Cirrhilabrus and Clown... something else. 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>

Sick Lionfish, incl. Monogenetic Trematodes   03/07/06 Dear Bob, <Chris> Lately my lionfish has suffered from Monogenes ( the worms that move around the fish and cause cloudy eyes....looks like ick) <Yes.... trematodes... direct lifecycle types... can be real trouble...> I didn't know what they were until it was too late because the lionfish was not scratching and it continued to eat like a pig. <For others, and highly unlikely for the last time, a/the simple pH-adjusted FW bath/dips that have been advocated for so dang long, will/would take care of these flatworms... Dang! Okay.> I attempted to feed it medicated food several occasions however it didn't seem to cure whatever was growing on the fish.. I didn't learn what it was until my friend pointed it out and called em Monogenes. That night that he came over my lion had stopped eating.. So I gave him a 4 minute freshwater dip and then placed him into a 50gallon breeder tank with no substrate and medicated water with Copper Safe and Formalin 2. I did the formalin 2 for 3 days and I didn't see a whole lot of improvement <Might have been too late by then> and then I followed up with three days of Tetracycline and 3 days of half dose of Maracyn. The fishes eyes cleared up and improved 98% and the Monogenes all seemed to fall off. <Oh! Good!> The fish has been in the quarantine tank for roughly 10days.. The tail that had tail rot seemed to stopped rotting and it seem to remain the same size. I saw the same conditions on Saturday. The tail looked like it wasn't getting worse and the eyes looked pretty clear. However the fish hasn't ate for 14 days. So I decided maybe if I move the fish back into the main tank <...? Is this a/the source of the Trematodes?> it would start to eat and heal up. I noticed that when I caught the fish he gave me a hard time catching him and when I placed him in the main tank its tail looked much worse then it looked on Saturday however prior to catching it the tail seemed to be the same as it looked on Saturday. Overall the rest of the body is in great shape. Its a 14 inch lionfish and it has a huge home to live in. The tank he resides in is 240 gallon tank. I know you say the best way to get rid of a bacterial problem is to have stable water. <Generally, yes... Given the animal/s are "strong enough" otherwise> My water in my main tank is testing just fine right now. Was I right for moving him into back into the main tank? <Doesn't read like you had much choice> What is the best way to win over a bacterial infection and to get a fish to start eating again seeing the situation that I am in now? Sincerely, Christopher Faiola <IF the animal can be made to eat, eats, to "sneak" a broad-spectrum gram negative antibiotic into its food would be my choice here. If not, to make a bath of this, in concentration, and soak the fish in it for ten, fifteen minutes (with aeration). Bob Fenner>  

My 6 line wrasse needs help   2/1/06 I am trying to save a 6 line wrasse I bought about 4 weeks ago.  It had a large abdomen at the time but seemed otherwise healthy.  Over the last few weeks its abdomen has swelled greatly.  Its now has severe buoyancy problems, it tries to wedge its self to stay upright and flips upside down if not moving. Its vent is inflamed, and at times a thick ivory colored mass seems to protrude then retract.  I am treating with MelaFix <Worse than worthless> in a hospital tank, and suspecting an intestinal worm or other parasite. <Maybe> The fish is still eating well.   Is there any thing I can do to help this fish or is euthanasia the best option? Thank you for your help, Kim     <Only if in your opinion the animal is "overly" suffering. I would add a level teaspoon of Epsom Salt per ten gallons of system water here... and see if "this too passes". Bob Fenner>

Re: my 6 line wrasse needs help   2/2/06 Hi Bob, Thanks for the response! I will try your suggestion, I hadn't considered Epsom salt.   <A very useful, inexpensive, readily available, safe cathartic> I did use PraziPro last night, which is fish Droncit and ordered Discomed on line last night when no one in town had it.  I gave a brief, 2-3 minute dip, which it didn't seem to enjoy much as it thrashed about, I removed it when its breathing became labored.   But right away worms began being expelled. <Interesting>   They were almost ? inch long, very thin on one end with the thicker part the last to come out. <Likely either nematodes or acanthocephalans> One was still alive but died right away. I looked at it under a microscope and didn't see any obvious segments. <Cutting a coronal section near the distal (head) end and looking end-on may reveal a roundworm definitive triradiate esophagus> The fish abdomen was much smaller this morning and it seems a bit better able to maintain its balance. Two more questions if I may: If it survives, I am wondering how I will know when it is "cured" and safe to go into a tank?   <A few weeks...> This is my first experience with this problem, so I am also wondering how infectious this type of problem can be?     <Mmm, as in spreading to other fish species? Not very in general... and all fishes (and humans for that matter) have gut and parasite fauna> I had hoped the MelaFix would help with the vent inflammation, I take it you're not a fan. I will stop using it today.   <I would (stop)> Looking forward to seeing you again at the WMC, Morgan tells me he may be coming as well.   It should be a great time. Thanks again for your help. Kim <Will indeed... and twill be a hoot. See you then/there. Bob Fenner>

Paravortex "Black Spot Disease"  11/11/05 WWM Crew, Recently my Yellow tang showed signs of Black Spot Disease (little black dots covering its entire body) after a few days they were gone, and then a few days later they were back.  I hope my diagnosis was correct.  I followed Mr. Fenner advice from the book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist (great book) and gave the Tang a fresh water bath (pH adjusted & aerated) for 10 min and it did very well and knocked off all the black spots. <Good> After the bath I put it in a 20gal by itself.  Two weeks later there are no signs of Black Spots.  First question, how long should I keep the tang in the 20gal before putting it back into the main tank? <About another two weeks> Second question, how long will the Paravortex survive without a host? <A few weeks typically> Third, are my fish in the display tank (72gal bow) at risk for contracting the disease? Currently in the tank I have 1 Bicolor Angel 6" (doing very well contrary to reputation), 2 True Perculas (pair), 1 Lawn Mower Blenny, 2 Blue/Green Chromis, and 1 Yellow Tail Damsel. <Mmm, there is a possibility these fishes might act as "reservoir hosts"... Ideally, all would be processed per your Tang, isolated, the infested system allowed to run fallow for a month...> I practice good maintenance; all tanks (3) get a 10% water change twice a week and parameters are stable and were they should be.  Please lend me some advice, my Bicolor Angel misses the Tang and likewise for the Tang. They are good buddies. Thanks in advance, Bryan <Heeee! Soon to be reunited. A thought... adding a purposeful cleaner... perhaps a Lysmata Shrimp or a Gobiosoma goby... might add interest to your system as well as utility here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Paravortex "Black Spot Disease"  11/12/2005 Mr. Fenner, Thanks for the information. I guess I should have mentioned that I do have one Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp in the tank as well as a few soft corals, one Bubble Tip Anemone (opposite end of tank from corals), Black/Red star, and other hermits and snails.  <Ah, yes, thank you> I sure hope that the others are not acting as a reservoir host, they show no signs. The cleaner shrimp has been cleaning the Bicolor Angel regularly. He also cleans the Chromis too. I think I will leave the Tang out for another 3-4 weeks just to make sure. Thanks again. Bryan <If this doesn't work out (this time) it is not that big of a deal to "re-do"... Paravortex is not "very debilitating". Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

My fish are being invaded by worms!!! HELP 8/20/05 My poor fish are dying:( I have a 125 gallon salt water tank that I set up a year and a half ago, and well... everything was fine until a week ago. First of all, one of my fishies was acting funny (breathing rapidly). It died:( Then secondly, I started seeing worms on the bottom of the tank (overnight). These worms are reproducing so rapidly that within a few days there were at least 1000 of them! Now it has been a week I must see at least 5,000 of them, and 3 more of my fish have died:( I am so overwhelmed! I am thinking about just starting over, because my other fish are now breathing heavy. My eel looks and acts ill. I am sickened! My only surviving fish left is a clown fish, and another starter fish. Is it possible to save these fish or are they already contaminated too? Dennis <... it, the worms are very unlikely the root cause of your problem/s here... but are simply eating the fish/es, remains and reproducing opportunistically as a consequence... There is instead something likely amiss with your system, water quality... I would test this, perform large water changes, move the remaining livestock to other quarters... There is much to relate to you re potential troubles, current deficiencies in your knowledge... please take the time to search through WWM re your set-up, maintenance... Bob Fenner> DTHP Dear Robert,          Read your web article about DTHP. Where can I get this material <Is sold as such, by itself and in concert with other materials for pet-fish use in various products... mainly labeled as Masoten, Dylox... see a LFS re if you're looking to treat small volumes. We can chat if this is for thousands, much more volume.> and have you heard of it being used against Gyrodactylus? <Yes... you can see this through a literature search... the most recent work of Ed Noga, Nelson Herwig... Bob Fenner> Steve

Cryptocaryon not responding to copper First of all thanks so much for your excellent website and advice. I was unable to find an answer to my particular question in your archives, I did try. I currently have a 5" Hippo Tang and 5" Blond Naso in quarantine- 20 Gal. bare bottom, fully cycled canister filter amm/0 trite/0 PH/8.1 Temp/80 Salt/1020 I recently purchased these fish and I am treating for parasites with Cupramine. My problem is the Naso has several cysts 12-15 "same ones" that have not dropped off after 7 days at 0.5mg/L confirmed by calculation and 2 different brands of copper test kits checked daily. I have been keeping fish for over 20 years and don't believe I have misdiagnosed what looks like a classic case of parasites. <Ahh, but what type?> But anything is possible. The spots appear a bit smaller than the common Cryptocaryon and obviously stay attached much longer. The Hippo looks clear and no new cysts on either fish since treatment started, they are eating and acting well but I am concerned that I wont be able to cover the life cycle of this particular parasite in the treatment time if they are not releasing from the fish as tomonts to be siphoned out or enter the free swimming stage. I did not freshwater dip them because I don't have a pH meter and have had bad experiences trying to get pH adjusted in the past. "chicken I guess" I do however have Formalin and would prefer to bath the Naso in that if you think it would be beneficial, or should I just wait it out. Thanks in advance Shaun <Mmm, am thinking these spots may be more subcutaneous... worms... not affected by copper in the water. I would try an anthelminthic. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/vermifugefaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Cryptocaryon not responding to copper Thank You Bob, I think I will try the PraziPro I am assuming I should complete the Cupramine treatment and remove it from QT prior to starting the PraziPro correct? Thanks Shaun <Actually, I'd abandon the copper treatment... it's obviously not working... and it's obvious to me that you know what you're doing here... have kept up testing, physiological doses... more copper exposure will do no good, likely harm. I'd go with the de-wormer by itself. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cryptocaryon not responding to copper Bob, Not trying to be a pain here just want to make sure we are on the same page. I'm not sure I made myself clear. Sorry. When I started the copper treatment I definitely had a crypt outbreak and all cysts immediately cleared except for the few persistent ones left on the Naso so I believe I am battling parasites also. With that info do think I should finish the copper treatment? and if so wait to start the PraziPro <I see... I would continue, finish the copper run AND start the Praziquantel... they are miscible. Bob Fenner>

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>

Praziquantel Also Bob, I am wondering if you can help me. We have some incident of trematodes in our system.  These worm/fluke is in the fish and when we fresh water dip the fish, the worm came off from the fish.  Some people I talk to say to treat with Praziquantel or PraziPro from Hikari.  Do you have any info as far as treating the entire system with PraziPro (side effect, other problems etc). Thank you, Fred <Ah, yes. For trematodes, treating their systems as well as fish livestock, 2 to 10 mg Praziquantel/liter (or 7.6 mg/gallon)... the lower does for Monogeneans will do it, the higher for digenes. There are also methods (not applicable here) for injection and oral administration, baths... Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Praziquantel Thanks Bob, what about PraziPro?  Is it safe? <Yes... is just Praziquantel and a stabilizing agent: http://www.uskoi.com/prazipro.htm>   I know it is a lot more expensive but no need to dilute. <Agreed> I heard you need to dilute Praziquantel with Vodka? <Heeee! Can use this solvent... or not> Also, how can you tell the difference between Monogeneans and digenes. Thank you, Fred <Mmm, sorry for the added confusion. I would not worry re the digenetic trematodes... they can/will perish along with the rest or die out quickly enough due to the lack of intermediate hosts (Di as in two... two or more other life forms to pass through before getting to their determinate host (your fishes)...), as opposed to Monogenes that have a direct life cycle. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Tang Possible Black Ich Hello there, <Howdy> I know you are very busy so I will get to the point.  <Good> We have had our yellow tang about 3 weeks, eating well, enjoy his life. Today I noticed that he has black spot that seem to protrude. Almost as if you touched him you could feel the bumps. <You have sensitive touch!> I tried to find that description in your numerous responses but did not. And a little fraying on his lower fin. My water levels are all in check. Do have a problem with brownish/red algae that I am trying to control. Can you point me in the right direction.  <Yes... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the Related Disease FAQs linked above...> His tankmates include 1 blue damsel, 1 Chromis, live rock, 2 crabs, 2 peppermint shrimp and 1 anemone. It is a 30 gallon tank. <.... Erk! This tank is too small for this fish...> I am new and reading a lot and found out patience in adding new fish is must. <Ahh, correct!> I lost 2 clowns in the beginning from lack of knowledge of water quality and 1 from white ich which I did a freshwater dip. Not a good turn out on that, don't prefer to do that again. This is my daughter's (8 yrs old) Tang, used her b-day money for it I really do not want him to die she will be heart broken. <I as well> Also so can you suggest a good book with how to treat disease and algae control methods. <Mmm, there is plenty actually on WWM re both these topics... and the Net is currently much easier to access such information> Thanks so much Tina <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Yellow Tang Possible Black Ich (treatments) Thanks for the response and believe it or not I was able to get rid of the black ich. Based on a ton of information I read on your website, I chose to try the freshwater dip and it worked. For anyone thinking to try this really read about it and follow it exactly, I did not have that information the one other time I tried and had failure sorry to say. It has been 6 days since the dip and he is back to his perky little self again and spot free.  <Good> Oh, I do not know if this may help anyone and correct me if I am not right. But if it can help someone else great. I have read where people have had great success with adding garlic to their diet. I had tried that early with a fish for 1wk to remove white ich with no response to the garlic then did the freshwater dip which failed. I read that if a fish dies after a correctly done freshwater dip that there is probably a secondary infection. This time I chose not to do the garlic and went right for the dip within a day of the spots appearing. I think this may have stopped the disease from getting worse. This is just a observation on part for what worked for me. Have a great memorial day. Tina <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner> 

What's in Fluke Tabs? Hi Chuck! I bought the Fluke tabs. Do you know what are the active ingredients? It's not written on the product. Thanks! Dominique <The active ingredients are Mebendazole and Trichlorfon.-Chuck> 

Internal parasites or bacteria infection Hi Guys!! I have a major problem with my supermale lineatus wrasse. He is apparently not a happy camper. He has white feces or shall we call it stringy white poo hanging out of its anal area. <Either one> The tank is a 55 gallon with a UV, all water parameters are normal. When I first got him, he was always swimming around eating like a pig. Now he is hiding in his cave, has no interest in food, he always has his head out looking around except he hasn't swam or ate in 3 days. I am very concerned. Since my tank isn't a reef, I treated my tank with Maracyn and Metronidazole from SeaChem. I noticed his white stringy poop is getting longer, it looks like he is desperately trying to expel the waste from his anus. Am I taking the right approach? <One way, yes> The diet I was feeding him was that  Canadian Mysis shrimp. It has high protein at 60%. Couple times a week I add Selcon to it. He shares a home with a flame wrasse, and a laboutei who are all doing great. Do you have any other suggestions on how I can speed this process along or is he doomed since he isn't eating? <This fish was/is very likely internally parasitized from the wild... and in too small a system, and lacking "reef circumstances", definitely a shortcoming... Do you have another, larger, more "reefy" setting to move it to? I would add the Metronidazole to its food... This is posted on WWM... and treat only for a few days. Bob Fenner> 

A " Lumpy" Griffiths Angel Hi <Hello> I have a question for you, which I think I know the answer to......But I need to ask. <Okay> In my store, I have many large reef display tanks.  One of these is a 400 Gallon, very well stocked reef.  I only have a few fish in there.  a small yellow tang, medium purple, a combfish, a Fourline red sea wrasse, a multicolour angel, medium Black Tang, and a 3.5"  Griffiths. I love the Griffiths, and I got a few with my last shipment from Hawaii. <Mmm, you mean "through" Hawai'i... not found here> I chose one to keep, isolated him for 2 weeks, then put him in the tank....everything went well for a few days, but now he appears to be a bit lumpy....like he has a dozen or so small bumps on each side of him....he eats readily, and I feed Live Brine, and some Tetra marine pellets 3 times a day, but in small quantities.  In fact, he seems to be first to the food. Question....what is it?,  and if I soak a few pellets for a moment in the "yellow-green" water....and almost hand feed him......will these antibiotics kill my reef in such small doses? <Not likely> I know you won't want to put this on your site as it might encourage a lot of people to do the same, with disastrous results. <We post all> My system has a 4 inch DSB,  200kgs of quality Live rock, and a heavy duty H&S skimmer, as well as a trickle filter and a little activated carbon.  I use natural sea water which I  UV, skim and O3 before lab testing and adding to the systems Normally I wouldn't worry too much about the fish, as most seem to heal very quickly in this tank,  but I'm sort of attached to this guy regards JD <I too like this genus of Angels... What yours is exhibiting is very likely some sort of worm infestation... subdermal... nematodes, maybe acanthocephalans... Not treatable, not likely "too" debilitating, not catching. Bob Fenner>

Clarkii Clown with Black Ich, No Quarantine Hello, <Hi> Love the site, thanks for all the info and help in the faq's. The question I have pertains to my Clarkii clown. I introduced an Emperor Angel and a Moorish Idol a few weeks ago, and both seem to be doing great, having a small itch outbreak, but raised the temp and am lowering the salinity as we speak.  <No Q/T??>  My Clarkii started developing black spots on his body and fins. I think it might be the black spot disease, but I am not sure as that usually pertains to tangs. <Nope all fish can get Blackspot, tangs are just the most notorious for getting anything first.>  I have a 100 gallon with live rock, sand, refugium, all my water parameters seem to be fine. <Seem to be fine does not tell me anything... We really need the numbers of all the tests to help.>  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Graham Hebson <Well Graham, Blackspot is treated just like ich. lower the salinity, and raise the temperature. if the hyposalinity (1.011 by the end) does not work, I would treat the clown with an anti ich medication like formalin or copper in q/t. Also please q/t all fish prior to adding them to your display for at least 4 weeks to keep diseases from spreading.> <Justin (Jager)>

Butterfly with gill flukes? My double saddle butterfly has been breathing rapidly for a week now. It's not ich or velvet as I'm familiar with these diseases, and all of my fish have been QT'd for a month before introduction to the main tank. The bf isn't scratching, there are no spots on him, just the heavy breathing. I'm pretty sure he has gill flukes... <Stop! Where would these trematodes have "come from?"> ...so I've been administering 50 min formalin baths (2 teaspoons Kordon's formalin/gallon) everyday for the past 3 days. Is this a sufficient treatment? <Possibly... there are more efficacious "de-worming" medicines... as you will see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaqs.htm> I've read that it's better to treat with formalin as a bath rather than constant exposure in a qt tank. <Yes... please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm> So far, the butterfly is still eating well, not hiding, but still has the rapid breathing. I've also noticed that he has thread-like poops. Could he have internal parasites as well? <Yes... but very much more likely this is just symptomatic of the toxic formalin exposure> All other fish are fine, although I noticed a long stringy poop coming from the coral beauty (I've never seen her poop like this). Are internal parasites contagious? I've attached a photo of the coral beauty poop. Ammonia, ni trite, nitrate, 0 Salinity 1.024 pH 8.2 79? Thanks, Angela <Angela, I would suspend the formalin treatments, look into Praziquantel... what you are doing is too toxic to continue, not likely helpful... the fish do not have monogenetic trematodes... unless you've observed these under a microscope I strongly suspect there is not a pathogen involved here. Bob Fenner> 

Re: butterfly with gill flukes? Ok thanks for the reply Bob. I actually went and bought Prazi-pro yesterday and administered an hour long bath as directed. I plan to do another bath 3 days from now. Are the baths ok or should I just treat long term in a qt tank? <I would take the latter route> So far no breathing improvement. <... sometimes these fishes do "just" breathe hard... perhaps environmental influence/s... maybe social... I would not panic re> He's still eating well. As far as the stringy poops, the BF has always had them (I never saw him poop in QT, and was suspicious of that. It's because the thread-like poops are very hard to see) I figured he had gill flukes because of the internal parasite signs...  <I do wish everyone had ready access to a decent microscope (I have a neat, but cheapy QX3 Mattel/Intel unit... that's fabulous) to LOOK before using toxic chemical treatments... as I assure you that orders of magnitude more livestock is "bumped off" by well-meaning aquarists than dies from actual pathogenic infection/infestation> ...but also I'm at a loss as to what other pathogen would cause the rapid breathing (he has no spots or other signs) -a <As stated... there is almost certainly not a pathogen present. BobF>

Subcutaneous worms  Bob what are your thoughts on these worms?  Nematodes?  Are they Nematodes?  What is your best advice in form of treatment?  He is asymptomatic and seemingly unaffected by them. Eating, doing well and has been in captivity for a year or so.  The rest of the inhabitants are uninfested , or at least from outwardly perceptions.  Fish only with live rock system that is stable throughout. <Randy, I believe them to be nematodes and the symptoms will be asymptomatic. My question is, does the fish look underweight for its size. My mode of attack for this problem would be to inject the eel's food with Metronidazole and feed him 10 mg of Metronidazole per meal. This might work but I am not sure. I will forward this to Bob Fenner and maybe he will have something better. MikeB.> <Yes, very likely nematodes... Perhaps Praziquantel... Metronidazole/Flagyl is an anti-protozoal med.... Bob Fenner>

Queen Angel gill parasites 2/10/05 Hello Guys, <Howdy!> I'll make this short. My Queen Angels color has started fading and she's only using one gill. <Clear sign of gill parasites. Get this fish into a QT tank ASAP and treat with formalin based medication> The only thing that's out of order is my nitrates they are at .20ppm. <No biggie> For the past two weeks she has been flashing but no signs of ich on any of the other fish or the Angel. <Could be things much worse than ich, mate... Oodinium, Brooklynella, etc> Also she eats fine but does hide more than normal. What if anything can I watch for or do. I will have a hard time catching her but I will if need be.  <No hard time at all... do some key-word searches for "catching fish" in the Google search tool and see a description at length for the fast drain and fill to catch fish safely and easily. Morning is the best time. Anthony> 

"Black ick" I would just like to say I really like your information and it's always helpful to me. Well, where to begin... I have a 55 gallon with about 100 pounds of live rock, 30 pounds of live sand, and some low light corals (I have about 3 watts per gallon, but I haven't tried difficult corals yet). Because of corals and invertebrate, I keep my salinity on the high end (1.024). Water temp is good and steady at 76. Anyway, because I have so much live rock and that I do 5 % water changes weekly, I have very good water quality. Can honestly say I have never had a big spike, other than phosphates a while ago. I do quarantine new fish for 3-4 weeks before adding them to my main tank. I  learned that mistake when I first started. All of my fish died from marine velvet, last year, because I did not quarantine. Now I am very shocked that I noticed that my yellow tang has black ick. I don't understand how he got it because my set up is good, diseases should not get in. <Is strange... some Paravortex must've been in the system all along> However I read that black ick is like velvet, in that it multiplies in the substrate, thus it probably will spread to my other fish. <Mmm, no... this Turbellarian almost exclusively infests Zebrasoma tangs... sometimes other tangs...> Yesterday I put my tang, potters angel, and royal Gramma in a low salinity quarantine tank. Before doing so, I gave my tang a freshwater dip, because he was the only one showing signs of black ick. I intend to keep them in quarantine, giving freshwater dips daily, until the problem is subdued. <Should only take one dip... Please read on WetWebMedia.com re... you can use the search tool on the homepage> I want to know if my Clark Clown fish will be fine, if left in the main tank? <Yes> I heard that they are very disease resistant, does this include black ick? I also didn't want to take him out of the main tank because of his anemone. I bought him at a very young age and immediately he was attached to the long tentacle. I also heard that it can be very stressful for both fish and anemone to separate. Should I take my clown out and "treat" him also? <No> Is there anything, other then freshwater dips and garlic in the food, that I can do, without copper ( I don't like using copper because I think it's to harmful)? Lastly, I want to know how long it will take for the "black ick" to be completely gone from my main tank. For marine velvet I waited about 5 weeks before adding fish. Do I have to keep my fish quarantined this long? Any other suggestions would be very helpful also. Thank you very much and I apologize for grammar and spelling, it's not my strongest area. <No need to panic... just read over re on WWM, leave the definitive host absent for a month or more... Bob Fenner>

Black Ich and Powder Brown Tang I purchased a Powder Brown Tang (A. japonicus) last November and unfortunately he had Marine Ich and Black Ich.  I removed the fish and placed him in QT.  I treated the Marine Ich with hyposalinity and have not seen any reoccurrences of cysts. <Yes, easy to eradicate this Turbellarian...> I chose to treat the Marine Ich before the Black Ich as the latter seemed to be a very light infection. I have read in some cases, Black Ich has disappeared from fish during hyposalinity but I do not believe I have experienced this.  I have done 3 series of treatments using Formalin.  I followed Terry B's article ( in performing three Formalin bath's (every other day).  I did not see any major signs of improvement.  I followed up with 2 more series of bath's following the treatment found on this page: http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevor-jones/formalinbaths.html The only difference is that it requires the treatments to occur 3 days apart.  I used 20 drops of Formalin per gallon (45 minute baths) in every case.  I still see some spots caused by the Turbellarian flatworm and quite frankly baffled that it could have survived all of these treatments.  Is there any chance that I am seeing something else? <Yes... could be "just spots"... melanin in cells...> Could this be some sort of "super strain?"  I considered doing some FW baths but can't imagine it would be anymore successful than the Formalin baths.  Can you give me some advice? <... I would NOT use any more formalin... too toxic, dangerous... Perhaps look into purposeful cleaners here. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnrfaqs.htm Bob Fenner> Thanks, Matthew G. Little

Freshwater Dips: Blackspot disease II 12/29/04 I actually had my security settings too high and it wasn't allowing me to search the site effectively. Not only did I find the information I was looking for but resources that I will return to for years!  Thanks so much for compiling and offering all of this insight. <excellent to hear! You are quite welcome> I did a freshwater dip on my Naso tang and am following up with quarantine and malachite green treatment and it already looks much better and is feeding well in the qt tank.  I will continue for three weeks in the qt and will then do another dip before returning it to my display tank. Thanks Again! Elizabeth Turner <A good rule of thumb is to release the specimen from QT only after 4 weeks of disease-free symptoms. kindly, Anthony> Sick livestock in a nano? We added a Percula Clown to our 12 Gal Nano-Cube Three days ago add he joined a Manchurian Goby, and a Royal Gramma. For three days everything has been great and the three fish have interacted well together. Today however we noticed that the clown is sitting head ground on the sand and while he is not gasping he is breathing rapidly. When stirred he will move away, (swimming normally), but immediately returns to the exact spot. Our water salinity was at 1.026 but we did a 25% water change and got it to 1.022. All of our other chemical test show things to be normal. Are we losing him????? <It is quite possible that the fish has internal parasites (like a tapeworm) If it is still eating feed him some food that has been soaked in garlic and that should help.  Otherwise a quarantine tank with medicated food with Metronidazole should help with the situation.  Good Luck. MikeB>

Freshwater Dips: Blackspot disease 12/19/04 I've been searching the site but can't find a full explanation on how to do an effective "dip".  I added a Naso tang 3 weeks ago to my 90 gallon tank (live rock, 3 cleaner shrimp, asst. hermits, 3 damsels, 1 Bannerfish, 1 brown Heniochus SP?, 1 Twinspot hogfish, 1 blue angel juvenile).  The Naso has been feeding well on brown Nori and herb pellets.  Today I noticed black spots on the head and while I understand that it is easier to clear than white Ick, I've never dealt with black before.  I want to do a dip but want to ensure that I do it correctly.  Should I also be treating the tank?  Or should I just qt the Naso and fresh water dip?  Thanks for any advice you can offer. Elizabeth Turner <the following link takes you to our archive of FAQs on the subject. But please also follow the other links on that page to other related FAQs and articles to help you.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/martrthyposalfaqs.htm also... do a keyword search for "Turbellarians" to see info specifically on "Black Spot" disease. Best of luck! Anthony>

Stringy Feces and Dewormer Meds 12/20/04 I recently added a small Naso tang to my 90 gal reef tank to control Dictyota... worked like a charm. I know the tank is too small in the long run so the Naso is slated to be in a 200 gal in a few months. "Blondie" has been happy, hungry and healthy for 6 weeks now when today I noticed a really long white feces strand. <hmmm...> I also noticed on one of its sided 2 small raised marks for lack of a better description. the Naso is pigging out as usual on Nori and macro from my sump. I'm concerned about the stringy poo, what should I do?? <do play it safe and feed a dewormer. Seek Praziquantel (Prazi-pro at Drs Foster and Smith online). It can be fed in food or given as a long term bath as per the following dosages: bath 2 mg of Prazi per liter of water to make a bath to dip the fish for 1-3 hours, you can repeat after one week... or feeding Prazi inside of food, add 50 mg of Prazi per kilo of fish (your specimen) Anthony>

Nematodes Question I have a 220 gal. tank. I have a wet/dry filter, an AquaC 240 skimmer, Ozonizer, 2 Tunze stream pumps. <Sweet setup!  Ryan with you today.>  I have a stars and stripes puffer, watchman goby, a Naso tang, and a handful of yellow tail damsels. My question is, the puffer had these puffy bulges on his stomach.  It almost looked as if he rested on one of the Tunze stream powerheads, causing the skin to puff out. <Sounds parasitic...Perhaps a Nematodes?  A burrowing animal that can prey on scale-less fishes.> A couple days later they went away. What happened next is baffling. Starting on his belly the skin looked as if it was sun burned and began to peel. It spread to the bottom of his mouth to his side fins. His behavior had remained the same. On the fourth day he did not eat. The next day I found him dead. Any idea ? <yes, use the quarantine procedure from now on...And research nematodes to be aware of the threat from now on!  Internal parasites tend to be more of a problem with puffers than other fish, so even a gung-ho aquarist would likely quarantine this fish.  Good luck, Ryan>

Population Control/Parasite Issues (Xenia, Black Ich) Hello folks, <Hi! Ryan helping you today.> Today's email has two topics.  The first finding a way to control my pulsing xenia.  My tank is as follows: -55g (will be upgrading to a 120g soon) -4+ years old -80lbs live rock -Fish:  1 coral beauty, 1 six-line wrasse, 1 yellow tang -Inverts:  1 cleaner shrimp, 2 emerald crabs, ~15 Astrea snails, ~5 turbo snails, ~5 red-legged hermits -Corals:  Yellow polyps, White clove polyps, blue, orange, green, pink and lavender zoanthids, 1 toadstool leather, pink cabbage coral, red mushroom polyps, orange Ricordea, 1 mosaic mushroom polyp, various sponges, pink pulsing xenia -Parameters:  pH - 1.024, Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 0, temp - 79F (calcium, iodine, strontium, molybdenum, etc. all within acceptable levels) My problem is my pulsing xenia.  A little over a year ago, I bought 3, 1 inch stalks of it.  Now, I've got over 40 stalks of xenia and it's multiplying by the day.  It seems to be growing out of control, and taking over other desirable corals (the Zoanthids have a hard time fighting for position).  I plan on taking rocks covered with it back to the store for trade (I've got a great local LFS near me), but would also like to trim some back where it's growing on rocks with other animals.  The problem is, when I cut it back, it just grows back again out of the remaining stalks.  I don't want to *scrape* it off, for fear of damaging the other animals and possibly releasing toxins into the water.  It can be chiseled off of some of my rocks, but some of the rock frags are too small to split and have some really great Zoanthids on them.  Are there any other ways that this coral can be removed from rock that I've not seen? <Xenia is commonly seen re-populating previously deserted reefs...I bet you know why, huh?  It's reefer's crabgrass!  I have many friends who have similar issues with all varieties of xenia.  Pulsing Xenia seems to be a fast grower, but Anthelia is even faster in my experience.  As for removal, I would remove the entire rock from the water and scrape it clean with a plastic scraper of some type.  As you know, the smallest piece left can repopulate a xenia colony within weeks.  Scrape, and then rinse the rock with saltwater to eliminate small pieces from straggling.  Perhaps it's easier to remove the zoos first?> My next topic has to do with a case of black ich that I recently experienced.  I purchased a yellow tang not too long ago, and quarantined him for two weeks in a 20g nurse tank.  After he showed good health and eating and absolutely NO signs of disease, I put him in my display tank. About 1 month after that, I noticed very, VERY tiny black specs (smaller than pepper) on his side.  Turned out to be black ich.  I weighted the idea of trapping him from the display tank, but this would've wreaked havoc on the tank and would've really stressed out the fish.  I can't treat the tank with traditional methods, due to the softies in there.  So -- I did something that hadn't been recommended, but was a wonderful success.  I purchased a cleaner shrimp from my LFS.  It was a healthy specimen that had already setup a cleaning station in the LFS tank.  I brought him home and within a week's time, he had acclimated, setup a cleaning station and had removed every parasite from the tang.  The coral beauty and the wrasse have shown no signs of infection and the tang has not had a reinfestation.  This seemed like the most *natural* approach to the issue, especially since it was caught very early on and since black ich is one of the slower diseases in terms of damaging fish.  My question is -- am I just lucky that this worked out in my favor? <Lucky so far...Parasites have a life cycle that doesn't always include hosting on the fish.  Just be on the lookout for a relapse, and have a QT tank ready.> I'd hate to think that I gambled with this fish's wellbeing, but my goal was truly to cure him in a way that caused the least stress and disruption to my system.  If this is a reasonable approach to addressing an outbreak of a parasite, I'm wondering why I don't see this type of treatment recommended more often. <They’re highly unsuccessful at eliminating disease long-term.  It's similar to adding an algae eater into an algae-filled pond and saying the problem is fixed.  Even if he eats all algae on the walls, cells still exist that could re-populate the colony!  You're either lucky or have a false sense of security.> I normally only see cleaners advocated for prevention. <Yes, they are wonderful for prevention and display!  Good luck, Ryan> Thanks as always.  You folks are absolutely fantastic! Deb Colella

Internal Parasites & Trimming Puffer's Teeth Hello, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Sorry to bug you guys again.  If my puffers teeth plates have overgrown is there anything I can do for him?  Also is there medicine to kill intestinal worms?  Thank you for your help. <If their teeth are too long (from not feeding enough hard-shelled foods), you will need to do some puffer dentistry yourself.  Here is a link to info on that: http://puffer.proboards2.com/index.cgi?board=hospital&action=display&num=1085932782  Read through the whole thing, there is also info on larger puffers in there too.  There is also a thread on Discomed (the preferred int. parasite cure, but the company has gone out of business) in that same Hospital forum & the available alternatives.  There is a guy that is offering Discomed for sale there too. --Trent Cupoli <Good luck with your puffer.  ~PP>

Marine leech problem Hey there,  M<Hi Erik, MacL here with you this evening.> I have been searching all over your site and the rest of the internet and still can not find any information on how to eradicate marine leeches. <I have got to say you surprised me on this one. I knew of fresh water and even brackish but not straight marine.> The picture you have on this page http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaqs.htm is as close as I can get to a description of this problem. These leeches are on my seahorses, gobies, and snails. I have tried pulling them off one by one with a pair of tweezers, freshwater dips, and formalin dips. While the formalin worked faster than the freshwater dips, all this does is kill the leeches currently on the fish. What can I do to completely eradicate them from my tank? Will I have to put the fish in quarantine after another formalin bath and then kill all remaining invertebrates in my display tank? I hope not! <I think there might be another way around this.> Do give you an idea of the gravity of the problem, the last formalin dip I did on my mandarin yielded 34 leeches of varying sizes mostly on the underside of the fins. The dip on my largest female seahorse yielded another 16 leeches of varying sizes. I have taken a closer look at some of my larger snails and I can clearly see the distinctive body shape of these creatures poking out of the shell.  <Youch your poor fish and invertebrates.> While so far all the fish are still eating and behaving normally other than a twitch here and there I am worried that if the problem persists for too long it will just get to large to control. I wish I could show you pictures but my camera is out on loan and I won't get it back till next week.  <Please please get some pictures I really have to see this. But in the meantime. You don't mention whether or not you have tried anything like neon gobies or cleaner shrimp or even cleaner wrasse? Some type of parasite eater? That would be my first suggestion.  Then I would pull all the live creatures out of the tank so that only the rock was left. Then dip all the fish again. Pull all the leaches off the inverts that you can. Add the cleaner shrimp etc and put them in quarantine.  Leave the leaches be in the main tank for at least six weeks. Keep a close eye on the fish, hopefully the cleaners will do their jobs and clean the fish and invertebrates. You may have to switch quarantine tanks later to keep the leeches from establishing there. I've asked another person to take a look at your letter as well. Perhaps they will have additional suggestions. Please keep in touch and let me know what's going on. MacL> Please help! Thanks in advance! --Erik DeLong

Saltwater leeches Hey MacL, <Hi again Erik> Thanks for your reply. I did end up getting a cleaner shrimp and a cleaner wrasse. <Good!>  I did not want to get them originally because of the shrimp will eat my seahorse fry and wrasse I thought would harass the seahorses too much. <Very possibly and you might not want to keep them long term but you definitely needed them for this.> Since the last dip I wrote you about, two of my seahorses had a leech each and my goby 2. Since adding the wrasse and the cleaner shrimp, I cannot see any leeches attached to any fish in the tank! WooHoo!!! <That's wonderful but these things cycle and you must keep a diligent eye on them. What about the snails? Do they have any? My thoughts were that the shrimps might take care of the snails and the wrasse the seahorses.> While I am happy for the mean time, I think the wrasse has done the job rather than the cleaner shrimp. My only concern now is that maybe I should get another wrasse to make sure leeches don't attach themselves to the fish that are supposed to be eating them! <Noooo that's vicious cycle.  And the point to getting a wrasse and a shrimp, they can take care of each other. But please watch them closely.> I have my digital camera back so I will take pictures if I see any more leeches and then send them to you. Thanks again for your help! <Please do.  Good luck, MacL> --Erik

About Tangs and Black Spot Hello, <Hi there> I've read through your website and found lots of writings related to yellow tangs and Paravortex but not an exact answer to my question. Normally, people put this fish in their display tank and it turns up with black spot.  Advice is to dip the fish and move it to a different tank to allow the parasite to die off in their main tank.  My fish is in a 20-gallon nano tank that houses a few other fish and some inverts.  My question is:  Can I dip my fish in freshwater/RO water and then immediately place it into my main tank, which has been fish-free for 3 months, without fear of reinfestation?  If this approach IS possible, how long should the dip last? <This is a sound approach. The dip should be pH adjusted and include an airstone/diffuser (specifics are posted on WWM re) and the duration be about five to ten minutes. Bob Fenner> Thank you! Julie

Getting Tough On A Parasitic Disease... I have a yellow tang which continues to develop black ich despite repetitive fresh water dips. The black ich will reoccur 4-6 days after the fresh water dip. I have done three dips and prior to that I used OrganiCure for 10 days. My tank is a 125 gallon tank, one Sailfin tang, two clowns, two cleaner shrimp, snails and crabs. All are healthy except the yellow tang. The yellow tang is in the refugium. The tank has been set up to since 1/16/04. The yellow tang was purchased 2/16/04. Contracted black ich 4/5/04. Please offer suggestions. Is there a long term cure? <I'd consider...gulp- copper sulphate. Yes, copper can be problematic for tangs if not administered properly and monitored diligently, but it can be very successful. You need to observe the fish carefully and discontinue copper at the first sign of distress. Treatment should last no longer than the manufacturer's suggested duration, so read and follow the instructions very carefully. I generally do not recommend copper for tang treatment, but I have used it myself many times with much success in difficult-to-treat parasitic conditions such as this. 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 going to 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>

- Blue Tang, Black Spots - Well? >Hi, >>Hi, I'm coming into a conversation already taking place, so forgive me if I go over stuff already covered (this is why we like to have previous exchanges included in the body - this is also likely why you ended up with me). >We have a new tank raised baby Hippo Tang with black ich. >>Righty-oh.  Very easily eradicated. >Have read everything on freshwater dips - but haven't found the step by step for complete idiot's guide. Is this procedure appropriate? - - Add amount of reef buffer recommended for salt water to RO/DI water (do not add any salt) - Test that pH is the same as saltwater - Get temperature exactly the same - Add an airstone for 5 minutes prior to putting in Tang - Place baby Tang in the freshwater for 3 minutes - Move baby tang to fresh tank treated with ? (CopperSafe at xx strength???)? >>I don't know that you would really need to go with the copper, this parasite is so easily eradicated with simple hyposalinity.  A salinity of 1.010 ought to do the trick.  Also, I'd leave him in there much longer than 3 minutes, I'd give him more on the order of 10 or so. >Also, how many days should we wait before bathing the little fellow (to not add too much to his stress) - and then how often would you do the fwb? >>Bathing?  I'm going to assume that you're using this terminology interchangeably with dipping, in which case length of dip as above (forgot to add that you would do well to add Methylene blue - enough to turn the water dark blue).  I would keep the tang in the hypo for two weeks, using observation to decide at what point he seems to be clear.  As I said, this is easily dealt with.  Then, he should remain in quarantine for 30 days MINIMUM, starting from the point at which you decide that he's clear of all disease.  After that 30 days is up, begin bringing the salinity up to the tank's levels, over two or three days is good.  Dip in the freshwater as above, then he can be placed in the display.  Oh!  Garlic has not been shown at all to demonstrate any efficacy for treating Cryptocaryon irritans. >History - 1" tank raised baby Hippo Tang was put in quarantine Friday evening after a very traumatic shipping experience. Developed small black spots Saturday night and now hides in the rock about 95% of the time (we can only tell he has the spots by looking with flashlight). Has eaten a little off the live rock and nibbled a tiny bit of the Gracilaria we soaked in garlic extract - I think. Thanks, Patty PS: Sorry for constantly sending you questions! Your site is the best - the only one we trust completely! >>It's the first for me, so.. I'm not irritated at this point.  ;)  (We like our fish-minded friends, anyway.)  Be sure to keep up water quality with water changes, this is KEY.  ZERO ammonia and nitrites, nitrates under 30-40ppm is desired (obviously, the lower the better).  Best of luck!  Marina

- 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 -- >

Parasites?  Thank you, Scott F.! (I did know about the puffer/copper issue, and yes, 'tank' = QT.)  <Glad to hear that!>  I believe the diagnosis was gill flukes not (miraculously, according to the bulk of info. on your site!) ich on my guppies. I'm still trying to run down more info. on them. The flukes, I mean. Anyhow, thank you guys again for doing what you do. It has helped me immensely, both to avoid problems I would not have foreseen and to deal with ones that have occurred. Also, it's always good to know that I'm not alone in my floundering (flukes, flounder, hahaha...) Thank you.  Sarah O.  <Our pleasure, Sarah! We're always here for you whenever you need us! Keep learning and sharing! Regards, Scott F>

Paravortex Dear Mr. Fenner or Crew, I have read through a lot of your FAQ's regarding Paravortex (Blackspot disease), but I have a few more questions about it.  We have a Twinspot hogfish that was in quarantine for 4 weeks, and we never noticed anything unusual.  We put him into our display tank 2 weeks ago, then started noticing tiny black spots (like pepper) all over his head and along his back.  Is this going to spread to our other fish? <Maybe, maybe not... could be a trematode... or a few other possibilities... including "just melanin spots"... if it hasn't expressed itself on your other fish livestock, I doubt if it's "spreading".> It does not seem to be spreading yet, and it's been 2 weeks.  I think we just missed it because of different lighting in the 2 tanks.  Now, he is very hard to capture.  Is draining the tank a good idea to try to capture this fish to dip? <I would take a "sit and watch" approach for right now... if the fish is hard to capture, it's likely in very good shape> If we do capture and dip, do we return it to the main tank or back to quarantine? <To quarantine for a few weeks> Or, would a cleaner shrimp be a better option at this point? <Mmm, no... very likely to be a meal in short time> We are also wondering about the value of quarantining if we can't recognize some of these diseases? <You are wise here... but "time heals all wounds" or is it time wounds all heels? At any length there is value in quarantining other than identifying (or even eradicating) parasitic, infectious and other diseases> Thank you for your help and advice!  Denise and Stan Krol <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Help with Ich & Paravortex...desperate!!! Hi, I was able to find sufficient info regarding the treatment of ich on your website, but not regarding black spots. I noticed white spots (3) on the pectoral fins of my flame angel and black spots (4 or 5) around the mouth of my yellow tang that seemed to move around between observations. <This/these are likely Paravortex... common on just-imported Yellow Tangs... easily removed by freshwater (w/ or w/o adjuncts) baths. Much on this on WWM on the species (Zebrasoma flavescens) use the marine index or the search tool at the bottom of the homepage> The flame angel doesn't scratch himself or dash around wildly like the tang, but he does approach the cleaner shrimps several times a day! Both fish have been moved to a hospital tank where they will join a Singapore angel under quarantine. <Ahh, you can do the dip/bath and place the Yellow Tang back in the main tank in about a month...> The Singapore angel shows no sign of ill health, except he is very secretive and sometimes dashes for cover for no apparent reason!!!??? Besides, with his coloration, ich spots may not be visible. <Likely "just" behavioral... the fish is simply "spooked" at the goings on of capture, transport, finding itself in a transparent box. Try to reduce activity around the tank, leave some light on outside the system... Bob Fenner> Here's what I plan to do. Run the main tank fallow for 8 weeks at 80F and 1.024 salinity. The six cleaner shrimp will remain there. The hospital tank will be treated with a Formalin/malachite green medication as per manufacturer's instructions. And then the fish will remain there for the rest of the 8 weeks. No dips were performed to date. a) Will this kill both the ich and black spots worms? b) Will this treatment still work if it actually was velvet that I misdiagnosed as ich? there is no body slime.... b) Is a 15G aquarium sufficient to house a 2" flame angel, 3" tang and 2.5" Singapore angel for 8 weeks? The Singapore angel seems to dislike the flame angel and the tang, in spite of me redoing all the decorations.  This tank is at 78F and 1.021. c) Is the yellow tang such an ich magnet as your website leads me to believe that I'm risking the health of the two angels by keeping him? Thank you for you help, Narayan

Parasite Problem (1/11/2004) Dear Crew, <Steve Allen tonight> I have a 9 inch lionfish, Thurmond, in a 65 gal aquarium with a sea urchin, starfish and flower pot anemone. Recently, I noticed Thurmond sitting in front of the water flow and was able to distinguish some reddening around the mouth. <Sounds like an owee to me.> To date, Thurmond is still eating well, however, I noticed this morning a small worm like creature moving around beneath the skin of his lip. <Uh oh.> I realize this may be a potentially harmful parasite due to its proximity to lungs etc. How can I rid Thurmond of this problem? Brian Trader <Brian. This is a troubling problem. It sounds like it could be a nematode worm. Where there's one, there's more. This may be difficult to treat.  Where there's one there's more. It is difficult to advise you as to how best to treat this without knowing for certain what it is. There are anthelminthics available. If there is a veterinarian in your area who deals with tropical fish, you might want to consult him/her. Also, you can do some more reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rndwrmfaqs.htm        http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaqs.htm I hope this helps.>

Treating Black Spot... So should I go ahead with the freshwater dips or wait it out and see? I'm really not sure what to do next. Blue Skies, James Smith <If the symptoms do not disappear, or become worse- I'd begin with the freshwater dips, which seem to be quite successful with this illness. Then, if these don't do the trick, you could progress to copper of Formalin based medications, per manufacturer's recommendations. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Fallow Tank for Flatworms? - Hey Crew!  Thanks again for all your help, I just have one more question (on this problem anyway!).  While looking through other fluke-related FAQ's I noticed mention of allowing the display system to go fallow.  I understand this to mean let the system go 30 days or more sans fish. <Correct.> Would this be a better solution for me and my fish than a considerable number of dips over the life of the system? <Well... not knowing exactly which flatworms/flukes your fish have, it's not a safe bet to say that 30 days will do the trick. Could be they find something else to eat and then no amount of fallow time would solve the problem. Fallowing the tank is usually recommended for parasitic problems like Cryptocaryon/ich where the problem is easy to identify and the life-cycle is a known quantity. It's not out of the question in your case, but more needs to be known about the parasite you have found yourself with.> I worry about the amount of stress I'm placing on them.  Would such a step be an over reaction at this point? <I'd see how everyone is doing after one round of dips - does the problem come back? Does it come back repeatedly or in greater numbers... if so, then is the time to take more drastic action.> Sorry to be a pest about my pests, but I really appreciate the help. <No worries.> -Tony PS - I have been keeping two QT systems (a 10 and a 20L) lately, however I unwisely didn't use good quarantine procedures on the first two fish, nor the live rock.  What can I say; every day’s a lesson. <Indeed. Cheers, J -- >

- Parasitic Flatworms - Hi all! Thanks for the prompt response on the last email.  On your suggestion I dipped the Purple Firefish (the only one with a visible fluke-worm-thing) however I have a sneaking suspicion that you meant for me to dip ALL my fish.  Is this the case? <Yes, I would dip all the fish, just to be safe.> Just the Firefish took me three days and a minor re-aquascaping to capture and dip.  And the blenny and wrasse will probably be more difficult.  At least the clownfish will be easy.  It was stated in the response that I may end up dipping quite often, is there some other way? <To deal with the parasites, not really. To make fish capture easier, I would partially drain the tank, will make it much easier to catch the fish.> I had intended to add a pair of neon gobies as soon as I could find and quarantine some, would this help? <No, the gobies will likely do nothing to affect this problem, and may even succumb to it themselves.> And will the 6-line I already have be some assistance? <Probably not.> How should this affect my continued stocking? <I would stop adding any new livestock for the moment, procure a quarantine tank or two and be more careful in the future when you add livestock.> Finally, are the "fluke" and "spot" problems one in the same? <Yes.> Thanks in advance for the additional help. Happy New Year Tony PS- Is there any way to know which FAQ this will end up in? <Not sure, perhaps here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaqs.htm > I'd like to read up on similar problems if I could.                  <Cheers, J -- >

Fluke Problem Hello crew, I have two tanks in which a flukes (capsalid Monogenean) were introduced.  The specific type is Benedenia sp. I have found FW dips or clout to be very effective on these, however, since these 2 tanks are display aquariums I would rather not treat them with clout. <Agreed, only in extreme cases do I consider ever adding any sort of medications to a display aquariums.> Do you know how long an aquarium would need to remain fallow to prevent reinfestation once fish are reintroduced? <Most parasites can't live longer than 4 weeks without having a host.  So, if you left the tank fallow for minimum of 4, but preferable 6 then it should allow the pest to run through their cycle.> Thank you, Richard <Hope that answers the question.  -Magnus>

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>

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, Ca.

Reef-safe treatment for Black Spot I have a 55 gallon marine aquarium with about 60-70# of live rock seeded with feather dusters and baby sand sifter starfish, a few small anemones, an undergravel filter with 3" of substrate, and a few fish, including a yellow tang.  My problem is that the tang has recently come down with black spot. I would normally net it and dip him in a fresh water bath to kill the black spot, but it quickly hides in the live rock.  I don't want to pull out the rock to get to the tang because the fish have been through some stress lately due to the addition of 20# of live rock, along with the rearrangement of all the rock.   My question is whether there is any kind of black spot treatment that is reef and invertebrate safe? <Mmm, one possibility comes to mind... the use of purposeful cleaner organisms... perhaps a Lysmata species shrimp, and/or a Gobiosoma goby... no chemicals exist that are safe AND effective.>   I would like to treat the aquarium as a whole. One dealer recommends Kick Ich, and another recommends a Chem Marin product that lures the Paravortex off the tang, while increasing the tang's slime coat to prevent recurrence. <There is no such thing... am very familiar with the Turbellarian in question, its history of study (my old college roommate/friend Mike Kent generated his higher degrees studying it)... Ask around further re these "products". IMO/E they are a sham and a HUGE source of livestock loss and hobbyists leaving our interest. Bob Fenner> Thank you.

Re: Reef-safe treatment for Black Spot Assuming I am successful in netting the tang, what is the most safe, effective product to eliminate the parasites outside the aquarium? <Easy to eradicate. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/YellowTang.htm and the linked FAQs (at top, in blue)... Bob Fenner>  

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