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FAQs on Parasitic Marine Worm Diseases: Flukes/Digenes & (Monogene) Trematodes 1

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

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

Related FAQs: Fish Worm Diseases 1, Marine Worm Parasites 2, Marine Worm Parasites 3, & FAQs on Marine Worm Parasites: Diagnosis/Symptomology, Etiology/Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Products/Manufacturers... Tapeworms/Cestodes, Leeches/Hirudineans, "Other" Worms and Worm-Like Parasites... Paravortex/Black Spot Disease, De-worming Medicines,

Is Praziquantel (Droncit) effective for flukes in marine fish? Oh yes.

Formalin baths can be efficacious

Organophosphates can work (e.g. DTHP by many names (see WWM),... Med-Aqua, Fluke Tabs)

Hyposalinity is not usually effective.

Coppers; not a cure

FW dipping 3/28/13, flukes, Prazi use in DTs/Reefs        3/28/13
Hi crew!  I believe I have some of my fish have gill flukes in the main tank. I have a Flame Centropyge in a QT and did a dip on him today....holy cow!!! It was disgusting! He had 20-30 flukes on him and I never saw them on the fish. Anyway, I want to dip the fish from the main tank but I don't know if any of them are contraindicated for freshwater dips. Occupants are:
Solorensis Wrasse, Canary Blenny, Hi Fin Red Banded Goby, Sleeper Goby and  a Halichoeres leucoxanthus.  The Canary Blenny and the Sleeper Goby have been scratching for over a week but no one has spots. Of course the dip will be pH, temp matched and aerated. Thank you!  Jennifer
<These fishes/species are all good candidates for dipping, short immersion baths. Bob Fenner>
Re: FW dipping 3/28/13    

Thank you, Bob
<Welcome Jenn! B>
Re: FW dipping 3/28/13

Hey Bob,
 Just went to check on the Flame in the QT and he is hanging out at the top of the water right under the HOB filter. He's been in the QT 2 weeks. Is this normal considering all the flukes that came off of him?  Jenn
<Not unusual behavior... small volumes, being stressed by handling... B>
FW dipping 3/29/13

Thanks Bob. I didn't think he would make it through the night but so far he has. I have a issue with the main tank. Ok, here goes: I think some of the fish in the main tank have flukes.
<Trematodes are very common (ubiquitous almost) on marine fishes... some are quite species, genus specific; others more general in their parasitism>
 Reason I think this is 3 days after adding the Canary Blenny he started to scratch on the sand. A few days later the sleeper goby started to scratch, although he stopped a day or so later. Then the yellow wrasse scratched a couple of times.  Now the Sol<o><not a>rensis, who is like a dog, is hiding a lot. They are all still eating, no spots and all but the Blenny are hiding.  This has been going on for 8 days. I dipped the Canary Blenny and it looked like little worms were in the bucket but I can't be 100% sure they were worms. Also there were things that looked like little flukes, again not positive. I did dip the Goby today for 5 minutes. I didn't see anything come off him that I could identify except what I think is sand.
Finally, my question, should I 1. QT all the fish and treat with PraziPro?
2. FW dip fish, put back in main tank and keep watch? There is definitely something going on in the tank, I just can't figure out what it is. Sorry for the long email and thank you!
<You could try the Prazi... toxic to all worms... B>
Re: FW dipping 3/29/13

I've read that some have used PraziPro in a reef tank with no repercussions,
<Mmm, not likely "none">
 however that makes me nervous. Have you heard that it can affect the biological filter? My LFS told me that it could even though the PraziPro bottle says it won't.  Your thoughts?
<... won't affect nitrifiers, denitrifiers directly... but killing off large numbers, biomass of Vermes can have bad consequences... One should be prepared to counter, or move intentional livestock. B>
Re: dipping     3/29/13

I do have quite a few Vermes, red, pink and yellow ones I'd like to keep.
So it looks like they are going into the QT with the Flame and all will get PraziPro.  Thank you kind sir:) Jenn
<Ah, good, and welcome. BobF>
FW dipping; Prazi use    4/8/13

Hi crew! I am currently treating a Flame angelfish, Spotted Goby and a Yellow Wrasse in a QT with PraziPro for flukes.  I started the treatment on Sunday. For two days the fish hid and did not eat. On day 3 they came out of hiding and their color returned. On day for the angelfish scratched and started losing color.
<Change the... oh, see this below>
On day five I did a 50% water change and put in a poly filter. Forgetting that the poly filter was in I redosed as per their instructions. Five hours later I realized my mistake and took out the I did not put in more PraziPro because I was afraid of an overdose. I did a freshwater dip for five minutes on the flame angelfish and got 10 flukes off him. My question:
should I do a water change and do the regimen again?
<Yes I would>
 I know the second dose is to kill eggs. How many days after the first dose should the second dose go in?
<Two, three>
 The instructions say 5-7 days but that can leave a big window for eggs to hatch and reinfest the tank/fish.
I ordered a microscope to start doing gill scrapings, etc.
Thank you for your help!  Jennifer
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>
Re: FW dipping
Ok so I see where my mistake was. I dosed 5 days after..eggs had hatched.
Thanks Bob..you rock! :) Jennifer
<And roll! Cheers Jenn. BobF>
Flukes/PraziPro       4/22/13
Hi crew!
 I have a Flame Angel in a 20 gal QT.  He is being treated for flukes with PraziPro and it is not working.
<...Really? Are you sure these are flukes? Are you using the Prazi correctly? Is it an old/er package? I'd switch to another vermifuge. These are gone over on WWM>
  Per an email from Hikari I did a 50% water change and dosed with PraziPro.  I repeated this process 3 more times every 3 days. Yesterday was the third day after the last (4th) dose. This morning he is scratching.
<... could be scratching for other reasons>
 I did a dip on him and flukes!  I liked the PraziPro because the fish tolerated it well and ate.
What other treatment would you recommend? I have done a ton of research and it all points to PraziPro. I do have QuickCure (Formalin, Malachite Green) on hand. Could I use this a bath (30-60 minutes)?
<... not this long, a duration at full/ish strength, no. Toxic; very>
  Will this kill any eggs that are on the fish?
<?... there are no such things>
 I have been fighting these things since April 1. All other fish seem to be doing well.  Thank you for your help! Jen
<More reading... less toxic chemical use. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flukes/PraziPro      4/23/13

Hi Bob!
Yep, I'm sure it's flukes.  There are about 4 of them in the bucket I dipped him in. I am saving them to look at once my microscope arrives.
<Ah good>
I bought the PraziPro from my LFS but there is no expiration date on it.
I'm going to order some online today. Maybe that's what the problem is. I don't want to use anything toxic on the fish.
<Maybe and good>
I've read that some species will lay eggs on the fish. I will keep researching. Thank you
<... didn't know this re Trematode repro.... BobF>
Re: Flukes/PraziPro         5/2/13
Hi Bob,
 I'm still battling flukes with the Flame Angel. It appears they are winning.
<? Are you absolutely sure these are flukes?>
At Hikari's advice the dosage was tripled and they haven't died. I did a freshwater dip on the Flame yesterday and didn't see anything come off. I saved the water to look at through the microscope, which arrived today. I did find "something" that looked like a fluke, but it on a slide and yuck!
It/they were moving.  And they've been in freshwater for 24 hrs!
They appear to be encased perhaps an egg?
Could/if I send it to you could you either tell me what I'm dealing with or refer me to someone that could identify these things?  Thank you
<Do send along well resolved images. I "do" fish pathology... in fact the third gig of the newest Fish Health Conference is coming back up:
Bob Fenner>
Re: Flukes/PraziPro        5/2/13

Hi  Bob,
  No, I'm not 100% positive this is flukes.
<Do appear to be>

  The first time I dipped the Flame there were flukes.  But that was a month ago and several doses of PraziPro ago.  But he has faded color, hiding, hanging out in the return and at the top of the water. He's also stopped eating in the last 2 days.
<May be the effects of the Prazi...>
Do you think it's possible that since the dosage of PraziPro was tripled this sent the Trematodes into a reproducing frenzy?
<Don't know>
They seemed to have gotten worse since this dosing regimen.
<Time to switch to another/different vermifuge/anthelminthic... Maybe Levamisole if you can get i>
  Here are a few pictures.  I do have a video if that will help but I will have to send it separately.  Thank you, Bob!
<Have seen enough here. B>

Re: Flukes/PraziPro         5/2/13
Thanks Bob! I will work on getting the Levamisole.  I don't know why the PraziPro is not working. According to Hikari they have yet to come across any Trematode that it won't kill.
<My experience matches theirs>
Thanks again, Bob:). Jen
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Flukes/PraziPro       5/2/13

Bob, sorry, forgot to ask. How much on dosage, frequency, etc. I've been researching this and can only find Levamisole being used for AEFW.
<Mmm, yes; the same; gone over here:

 I'm ordering I today. Jen
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Flukes/PraziPro       5/2/13

So what could be my problem?
<... a few guesses: Something defective w/ the compound, some sort of resistance, some countered condition of your water>
 This is the third bottle I've used. Is there any way to tell the type of Trematode?
<Mmm, yes; there are systematists in this field... morphological, genetic means>
... Microcotyle? (most infects gills of Angelfish).
If the PraziPro won't kill them then will anything else? Jen
<Hopefully so, yes. For sure formalin/formaldehyde... A biocide, as in "life" and "cease" (caedere in L.). B>
Re: Flukes/PraziPro    5/2/13

Oh! So the same dosage for flukes as AEFW! Got it:) thanks
Re: Flukes/PraziPro    5/2/13

That was my thinking so I ordered powder Praziquantel.
I didn't want to but I did a formalin dip yesterday on the Flame. He did ok through out it. I then put him into a sterilized tank.
<... dangerous, but effective>
I did read a paper on hypo being effective against flukes and the eggs.
<Not often entirely. B>
Re: Flukes/PraziPro     5/3/13

I did a lot of reading before I did the dip. It was aerated for 2 hrs prior, timed and I watched him constantly for stress. He actually did more swimming in there than he did before and after the dip.  I don't think he's going to make it. I just dosed him with PraziPro again.
 It has, in the past, given him relief so at this point I have nothing to lose. Jen
<I'd summarily pH-adjusted formalin bath this fish and move it to a non-infested system. B>
Re: Flukes/PraziPro     5/3/13
When you say pH adjusted is the water to be freshwater or salt?
<.... see WWM re>
 I used saltwater with the formalin dip (45 minutes)
<Way too long...>

 yesterday then moved him into clean tank. I've read this can be done every 3 days for 4 treatments...kind of like tank transfer method for Ich.
I used the PraziPro because it did help him for weeks, to the point I thought we had kicked the flukes. It's only in the last week they got bad.

Flame getting over flukes... Trematode and dips f's    5/16/13
Hi crew!
 How long after fluke treatment should I wait to put a Flame Angel into the main tank?
<A few days... I'd pH-adjusted freshwater dip the fish enroute to the main/display>
 The last day of the PraziPro treatment was last Saturday. I did a freshwater dip and no flukes came off of him. Thank you!  Jennifer
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame getting over flukes   5/16/13

Thank you, Bob! I'll wait a few more days on the Flame before I out him in.
Another question, are there any species of fish that you would not recommend running through a freshwater dip?
<Oh yes... mostly (perhaps not by coincidence) ones that are found in close/r relations w/ invertebrates... E.g. Clownfishes...>
  I have a spotted goby that has also been in a QT.  He was in the same QT as the Flame but he was moved into his own tank 2 weeks ago. I'm wanting to move him into the main but I want to do  a dip on him first. Thank you!
<This should be fine... As long as the fish is in good shape. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame getting over flukes   5/17/13

Thanks again, Bob!  He seems good (no scratching, flashing, yawning, etc)
but he has not eaten in 2 days.
<Congratulations, and not to worry re the non-feeding...>
 I'm thinking it may be the stress of being in a bare bottom QT tank. He doesn't really come out of the PVC. Thank you for your time:) Jennifer
<Move this fish to the main/display. BobF>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marine Monogenea/Trematodes 2/8/11
<Hi there>
I work at a tropical fish store in North San Diego, Ca.
<Oh, Tri?! Am in Mira Mesa, land o' fish head eaters m'self>
We frequently have problems with a fluke or Trematode I believe, in our marine fish only system, but it is not digenetic, nor is it species or genus specific.
Copper treatments do not kill them,
<Not unusual>

and they are extremely hard to see unless on the eyes of fish.
Freshwater dips cause them to turn translucent/cream white and start to fall off in about 30 seconds.
<I'd add a bit of formalin, aeration...>
Some fish, especially large angelfish of the genus Pomacanthus sometimes come in from Indonesian trans-shipments with upwards of 500-1000 of these pests on one large fish, coming from the gills, eyes, from under scales, and covering pectoral and caudal fins completely in some cases.
<Have seen such>
Specimens that are infested this badly often die within 48-72 hours after dip unless hospitalized in a strong solution of "BiFuran" by Hikari (Nitrofurazone) or sometimes we use formaldehyde or malachite green. The store is hard to maintain, but I am fairly adept at recognizing the signs that a fish may need treatment, and there are several fish which are not affected, but many which are surprisingly small or fine scaled, are.
<Mmm, I'd avail myself of a workable Anthelminthic... Read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisflukef.htm and the linked FAQs files above>
My problem, and the reason I am contacting you, is that I am currently keeping a 40 gallon mixed/SPS dominant reef tank. Specs: 40 gallon display, 29 gallon sump, highly overrated protein skimmer, large cryptic/dark zone with profuse sponge growth, vertex pro bio pellets running in an Eheim canister, 9.5 Mag return, lighting; 70watt metal halide, 24 one watt l.e.d.'s and two 24watt T5-HO bulbs. I have a 2" sand bed of fine grain and about 25lbs. live rock. I am housing several clams and 30+ LPS and SPS. The only "soft" corals are Palythoa, Dendronephthya, Ricordea florida, and a very nice blue Clavularia sp. I also keep a healthy colony of Haliclona sp. sponge and several other cryptic spp. of sponges, ascidians and tunicates that I have collected from the sumps of the invert system over the years.
What I am getting at is that I don't want to tear apart my poor reef, but I have an infestation of these Trematodes or whatever they are, on fish which I didn't think they would normally infect. I am currently keeping one Opistognathus aurifrons, one Liopropoma swalesi, one Synchiropus splendidus, one Synchiropus picturatus, several Trimnas and Eviota gobies, two Nemateleotris magnifica, one N. decora, one Elacatinus oceanops and two Discordipinna griessingeri. I am also housing various inverts (obviously), but I do not keep cleaner shrimp.
So far, the Jawfish, all three Firefish and the neon goby all have "bugs" and I am positive they are suffering the same infestation the fish store is. The only one I can easily catch is the neon goby (they swim into the net or your hand!). I don't see any possible way for me to catch the Jawfish or Firefish without tearing down my aquarium in order to administer freshwater dips.
Will "PraziPro" help, and if so, what will it kill in my reef? Any other suggestions?
<The Prazi might help... but can be toxic... I'd remove the fishes (yes, even if you have to take the tank apart) and treat elsewhere>
Thanks in advance for any advice or help you can give!
~Patrick R. Laird
Specific Gravity: 1.023
Temp.: 76-78
P.H.: 8.1-8.3
Calcium: maintained at 420-480ppm
Alkalinity: maintained above 7 DKH but never able to bring above 8.5DKH
Magnesium: 1280
I change 8 gallons once a week with water made from reef crystals and R.O. water, mixed and heated to same specific gravity and temp. as tank.
<Mmm, did I meet you at DonW's do a couple years back? Bob Fenner>
Re: Marine Monogenea/Trematodes 2/8/11
Yes, Tri-City. I did meet you at Don's, about 6 years ago. I was 18 or 19 and had probably been in the marine hobby for less than a year. Don helped me out a lot back then by pointing me in the direction of people who understood things well, and he also gave me some great deals on used equipment for my first
reef tank. He passed away recently, I'm sorry to say.
<Ahh! Don was my (4277 Taylor St.) employer in the late 60's. A major influence in the trade back then>
Thanks for your help, I am going to hope the critters can hang on until I move, in about 2 months and treat them all then. In the meantime, have you observed any benefit of adding a prophylactic? Like Marine "fishkeeper" or Napthoquinone?
<I have not, nor heard/read consistent reliable accounts of their efficacy.
Cheers, BobF>
Thanks again,

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

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

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

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

Tanged and confused: Oversized fish, Flukes 10/20/2009
Hi there,
I bought a 55 gallon fish tank a little over a week ago. I bought the whole set up from a man who had a 20 gallon refugium with gravity feed hose and a protein skimmer (not sure on the name) My test kits are kind of old so I have been taking the water to the LFS to be tested and every time (3x's) it has been fine.
<I highly recommend you purchase your own test kits, less moral fish stores will tell you that your water is fine to encourage you to buy more animals.>
I am a little worried a because of the fish that this man had kept in the tank. He had a Clown fish (about 3 in) a Sailfin Tang (about 4 in)
<The Sailfin Tang needs to find a new home, way to big in the long run, and likely to big now considering he has been in the tank at least two years.>
these two he had had for about 2 years and then he had added more recently (with in the last few weeks) a Blue Tang (1.5 in)
<Also way too large for this tank, although he fits in the tank physically now, psychological stress can be caused by being kept in such a small tank.>
As far as aggression goes they are all fine. The Blue Tang hides often and the other two let her. Though I know I will need to upgrade to a 150 gal or larger in the future or re-home one of the Tangs, for now they seem to be doing fine.
<I would find them new homes ASAP and research stocking a 55G aquarium on WetWebMedia.>
The problem I have seen is with the Blue Tang. I have seen whitish circular spots on her and her belly is looked swollen. She has also been scratching A LOT and so my hunt for a cause and cure started. I have been reading up on your site for 2 days now and it sounds like monogenetic Trematodes though I have been overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. She swims oddly (no other way to really say that) spends most of her time hiding or at the top of the tank (often face down). She has been eating and seems happy enough so that's a plus. I need help in how best to treat this.
< I would recommend a Prazi treatment in a separate quarantine tank, there are several products available commercially including PraziPro, however there are other options for treatment, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmidcuref.htm.>
Also because I bought this as a complete set up I do not have a QT set up though I am going to set one up today. I am however unsure as to how to set up a QT in one day'¦ maybe use cycled water from my tank and add new salt water to my display? Then use the sponge my in my refugium as a filter in my QT and replace with another sponge though I do have a 5 gallon refugium I could use (your thoughts on
<That sounds like an excellent start, make sure to provide some flow, and during medications you use be sure to make sure the water is adequately aerated, although the powerhead may take care of that depending on the tank you set up. Just make sure to pick up a test kit and continually test this "quarantine" water and administer water changes as needed.>
Am I off base in any way? Please point me in the right direction. Thank you for your time.
<I think you have a good start to your research, and I would highly recommend setting up a quarantine and treating your fish. However, both of the tangs should be returned or gifted to another aquarium keeper with a minimum of a 6ft tank for them to be kept in.>
<Good luck,
Josh Solomon.>

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

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

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.

- 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 -- >

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>

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>

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>

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>

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

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>

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

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

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

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

Coppering White Face Tang.( Acanthurus japonicus). Crypt... And flukes... 10/23/07 Last Monday I purchased what appeared to be a healthy, eating and active white face tang from my LFS. After bringing him home, giving a FW dip with Methylene blue, acclimating and placing in my QT. I noticed a small thread like thing hanging from his fin. I believe this was an anchor worm. <Mmm> Over the next four days I did 2 more FW dips (I always use Methylene blue). The worm never detached. But I did notice a few small critters in the rinse container afterwards. I've got pics of these and will attach them for you. I was able to view them through my handy dandy kiddy CSI lab microscope at 200 mag. <Neat!> Even able to get a pic through the microscope with my wife's digital camera on macro setting. Kinda neat to see. I'll post it also. But these aren't really the subject of my question, as Friday afternoon I noticed the spots indicative of Ick. I began coppering Saturday morning. Using Cupramine. I am now up to the recommended .50 ppm dosage and want to be sure I do this delicate fish right. Is this what dosage you would suggest for this fish with this product? <For this product, how the active ingredient is measured, this is about right> Or do I need to lower it down? I noticed somewhere here you recommended a lower dosage? But with Cupramine? The directions say .50. <Keep it near this... measure at least daily> I brought that up over 48 hours as directed. Also I though I saw where you recommended not using continuous copper on this fish. <Yes... there are other/better medicants to use on/with Acanthuroids> Does that mean only with baths? <Another viable approach, yes> Or can I continue with the 14 day treatment as indicated? <You can... will be debilitating> I would like to actually remove the fish as soon as possible from the QT to the DT. Not in a rush here, but trying to do the right thing and limit exposure. As well as guaranteeing an Ick free DT. I do not want to go down that road again! I'll do whatever it takes to guarantee my 125 and 65 stays Ick free. But If I treated the powder brown for 7 days and then removed him and placed it in the 125. Would that cover my bases here. <I would at least add a pH adjusted FW and Formalin dip/bath twixt the QT/TT and DT here> It seems to me I would be killing any Ick that are free swimming (I forget the term). Trying to attach now. So in 7 days then all Ick would have dropped off and not allowed to attach again. Thereby assuring a properly timed "transfer". Of course I'll continue the treatment of the QT for the duration to guarantee its safe for the next addition. If this looks like a viable option, I would like to use it. But wont risk the infestation of the 125. If its OK to treat it for the 14 days and this isn't a viable option, I'll continue this coarse. <course> Thank You so very much for your help. You site has been an incredible contribution to my success in this hobby. Charlie Bunch <In the meanwhile I'd read re the causative organism, it's treatment... Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm  and the many linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Flukes (and success with a Sweetlips!) Hi Bob, Happy new year, sorry to bother you so early, but I have a question. My Red Sea regal angel, for some time now I have noticed that every now and then gets some, splinter like white things from it's body, Sometimes from the head, or body. They stay on for about two days or sometimes as the day progresses they disappear. I didn't worry about it because the fish continues to be the beauty of the display. Normal behavior and eating as usual. Is there a cure for this, how can I treat it and will it eventually kill the fish. <Mmm, perhaps this is a trematode... I would try a facultative cleaner here... first a Lysmata species of shrimp... not likely to kill the fish outright (the flukes), but debilitating, perhaps disfiguring just the same...> I was on the WWM last night and that how I kind of determined the fish as flukes. Please offer advice this is my most prized fish. Also, can adding copper to a system cause a fish to stop eating or not as much as before. <Absolutely... copper cancels much of "smell, taste" sensations> I added copper to my quarantine tank, which has a Sweetlips and Kole tang for Ick. The Kole tang still eats, but the Sweetlips has stopped. <Yikes... Sweetlips aren't easily kept... as you know from looking over WWM no doubt... not good that yours has ceased feeding... would move it ASAP to a non-coppered, less-stressful setting> He will put food in his mouth but not swallow. The Ick has cleared it's been about 7 days now, do you think I should add carbon back to the system or do a water change. I think the copper has curbed his appetite. Thanks for the advice, Bob and hope all is well. Gillian <Much to "judge" in the way of presumed benefits/risks in our hobbies... Bob Fenner>

Re: Flukes So Bob, you're saying there is a possibility that the Sweetlips may not eat again. <Unfortunately, this is the common plight: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/haemulid.htm > I will remove the copper at once. Is there any way to totally get rid of flukes on the regal angel. <Hopefully this is a digenetic species, needing an intermediate host species or two... and will "cycle out" on its own... otherwise the Cleaner may eradicate it> What about good water quality. I have some cleaner shrimp, but they are lazy, they hide when the fish go next to them. I don't think they'll help. To me the flukes appear to be internal, when they pop through the skin of the fish. Are there any other treatment options for flukes. What do you mean when you say the fish will debilitated. I don't want this Bob, help me Thanks <Not likely "popping out, through"... there are some chemical treatments, but I would try another cleaner... maybe a Labropsis wrasse... Bob Fenner>

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

Flukes? 2/25/03 Hi!<Hey Steve! Phil here!> I think my fish have flukes.<Oh no.. not good.> They get white things on them, Head & sides. I give them a fresh water dip & see these white things stretch out like worms & jump off. I have already lost most fish. they start hiding & breathing hard & die. I think I will lose my last few fish. What I'm wondering is how long I should Leave the tank empty to get rid of them? Will they get on shrimp, crabs or starfish?<These guys are fine.> Thank you! Steve<Well Steve.. I'm glad your dipping your fish in fresh water. But you can't add them back to the main tank right away! Then need to be placed in a hospital tank for at least 4 weeks. The main tank MUST run w/o fish for this amount of time so these fluke-like creatures die off. Remember to place all new livestock/live rock in a hospital tank for at least 4 weeks also to stop any viruses from entering your main tank!! Hope this helps and good luck! Phil>

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

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

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

Is This Treatment A Fluke? (Use of Praziquantel To Combat Flukes) Is Praziquantel (Droncit) effective for flukes in marine fish? <This stuff has been used by some people to treat flukes effectively. It should be administered carefully, like any medication> How does it affect inverts? What would be the right dosage to get rid of gill and body flukes? <I would not administer this, or any medication in the display tank, regardless of the presence of inverts. The dosage that I have seen used to combat flukes is 1ppm in saltwater. I know a couple of people who swear by the stuff...Have not used it personally, however.> I hope it still works in marine aquarium and is easy on the inverts... It's magical in FW, no stress on fish, ok for bio-filtration etc... Thanks, Luke <Well, Luke- Praziquantel is certainly something that is being used more and more these days to combat flukes in marine fish. You could also use Formalin-based medications, or those containing Malachite Green...It's worth a shot, however, if you're up to trying it...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Wholesale fish to UK and fish gill flukes 6/18/03 Dear Anthony, <cheers, my friend> Just to let you know, I received my fish yesterday. I acclimatized them as I described and yesterday the fish were not looking too good. <common for transshipped specimens... often no worries> This morning however, all the fish are up and swimming around and most are feeding already, which I am very pleased about. <excellent to hear> 1 was sent a cream angel, which was DOA, <a lovely but fragile fish indeed> the 2 convict tangs were large, one DOA the other was in a bad state but has settled well. The clown/Pyjama tangs are doing well, a tad aggressive but not hurting anything. <heehee... typical... bullies> the powder blue tangs are very good, around 5", very full body and bright in colour. the other fish I received were Scott's fairy wrasse. these are doing very well, lovely little fish. <quite challenging to keep... requires a very high quality diet. And likely a tank with no tangs, clowns, damsels or active/aggressive feeders> I was wondering if I could ask your advice again? <always welcome my friend> in another tank I have an Addis butterfly, gold ring butterfly, Auriga butterfly and a baby epaulette shark. <interesting> I have noticed the butterflies have been flicking their heads against the rock work and shaking a lot. <yes... AKA "glancing". Indicative of gill irritation. Most often caused by water quality or actual parasites on the gills as you would expect> I have treated with various treatments as I am sure that it is a parasite/flukes. <quite commonly> I have used Myxazin (don't know if you have it over there-it is a Waterlife product), removed the fish and tried copper, and now have resulted in MelaFix. <I can assure you that Melafix is a complete waste of time/money if they are flukes. > can you suggest any other treatment other than a freshwater dip (as I am not confident enough to carry this out-I know it is easy and have done it before but I don't like doing it) the main problem is the shark and I don't want this to spread as I want to add some of my stock to the tanks once conditioned. the Addis butterfly (my pride and joy) has scraped against the decor so hard that it has broken the scales and they are reddening. <do consider a Formalin treatment... long bath on the tank or stronger dose in a dip. Methylene blue may be added cautiously/judiciously> this is my favourite fish and was difficult to obtain. other than this there are no other external signs on the fish. Any suggestions would be gratefully received! <the shark really jams things up here... it is sensitive to metals and organic dyes as well as lower salinity which all would help your primary treatment with Formalin. It would be best to remove the shark for a 4 week isolation period... unless this tank is not bare bottomed in which case it should not be medicated at all. Leave the shark and pull all others to QT> thanks again, and I hope you can answer, thank you for giving up your time. Regards, Sam Baker <best of luck, my friend! Anthony>

- 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 -- >

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