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FAQs on Freshwater Worm Parasitic Diseases: Trematodes/Flukes (Monogeneans and Digeneans)

Related Articles: Freshwater Diseases, FW Disease Troubleshooting, Ich/White Spot Disease, Choose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks, Invertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks,

Related FAQs: Worm Parasites, Freshwater Worms, Worm Parasites 2, Freshwater Worms, (Freshwater Worms of All Kinds) & FAQs on: FW Worm Disease Diagnosis/Identification, FW Worm Disease Treatments, & FAQs on Parasitic Worms by Group: Platyhelminths/Flatworms: ( Planaria, Tapeworms and Leeches), Acanthocephalans, Nematodes/Roundworms (e.g. Camallanus),... Anchor "Worms": See FW Crustacean Parasitic Disease, & Aquarium Maintenance, Freshwater Medications, Freshwater Infectious Disease, Freshwater Fish Parasites, African Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid Disease, Ich/White Spot Disease,

External and internal... mostly microscopic to very small/indiscernible as worms per se.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trematoda

RE: Fancy goldfish, dojo loaches for new 50 gal tank... GF fdg. f', fluke trt.     5/7/14
Hi Neale,
<Amanda,>
Several months ago, I switched to the Soilent Green and started feeding a larger amount. I had previously been feeding frozen Hikari Spirulina/Brine Shrimp as the staple, and small amounts at that, after hearing about the
dangers of overfeeding (but no warnings about underfeeding ...).
<Indeed. It's often easier with goldfish to offer pellets/flakes daily, but leave something green in the tank for all-day grazing, whether Elodea, blanched lettuce, or whatever.>
My fish got extremely thin on the Spirulina/Brine Shrimp, and inadequate nutrition was pinned down as the cause. My fish have been doing very well on the SG, and nearly all have shown excellent weight gain already. The apple snails are also thriving on it; they have become HUGE! (I have kept apple snails for years, but had never really seen them grow until now.
<Sounds great.>
Now, what I do is physically feed a piece of SG to each snail once a week, since I noticed the goldfish snatch up all the food before they can get to it on their own, leaving only tiny particles for the snails.). Oddly, even
when I was underfeeding, the goldfish did not touch the Elodea or other plants ... maybe mine just don't like plants?
<Possibly.>
Sadly, many of the fancy goldfish sold at the pet shops around here are severely skinny, and a couple of them have remained that way despite the improved diet (probably because I bought them as adults and they were not
given proper nutrition as juveniles). Do you have any ideas on how to combat this?
<Would deworm them upon purchase, at the very least. Quarantining would be ideal, and certainly the use of high protein foods (in moderation) to get them back to a sensible weight could be helpful, e.g., minced seafood.
Bloodworms are risky, so are best avoided unless gamma-irradiated, but frozen brine shrimp and krill should be fine.>
I was planning to purchase some NLS Thera-A pellets to supplement the SG, but any additional suggestions would be much welcomed.
<Sounds good. Bob speaks very highly of New Life Spectrum foods; I'm a fan of Hikari branded food, which are more widely sold in the UK. Either way, these are both excellent foods if used properly. I doubt the use of Spirulina and brine shrimp caused your goldfish to lose weight, and do wonder if worms or some other parasite infection were at work.>
I also noticed you mentioned Prazi isn't the most reliable medication for fluke treatment.
<There are a range of options, including Levamisole, Piperazine, Fenbendazole and Flubendazole, and I've heard stories about fish that didn't respond to Praziquantel responding to one of these others. So if you
have the option, trying Levamisole in particular could be useful.>
What would you recommend as a fluke treatment available in the U.S. for new fish in quarantine? I do a 2-month quarantine just to be extra careful, with a standard regimen of 0.3% salt the first week and Prazi as
recommended per the bottle. Your estimate that the maintenance treatments are suggested because Prazi isn't totally effective makes sense to me, because I have seen signs of fluke infestation about 5-6 months after the
last treatment (yawning, flashing and rapid gill movement).
Thank you again - you have been extremely helpful!
Amanda
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Update....Re: How long do you safely treat a Betta fish with gill flukes with the amazing Quick Cure?    12/4/12
He's no longer at the bottom....   he's swimming around with true interest and life today, and he's eaten a second time and more eagerly.  I'm doing a full water change with one drop dose again.
<Ok>
I read so much about what the medicines are and what they treat over the last week, and I found at least 5 different opinions on how to use the formalin alone,
<Yes...>
 or recommendations for using it with malachite, and two versions on dosing Quick Cure along with suggestions to wear gloves and goggles when using any of the above mentioned!  With that in mind, I guess I probably shouldn't add an additional drop today.....but maybe I'll keep him in the jug another couple days with daily full water change and one drop medicine as the swelling in the gills appears to be receding.  (This is something I'd read would NOT happen.)
I've never had a Betta come down with flukes before.  I feel terrible he suffered, but at least there was a treatment and it wasn't fatal.  I'm amazed that so many sites recommend Prazi but don't mention as Bob did that it needs to be in the food for freshwater.  It had no effect on my fish when used in his tank.  And if your fish isn't eating, as mine had totally completely stopped eating or caring.... the Quick Cure (and it's formalin I guess) is worth it's weight in gold!  And it only cost 3.00!
Jill
<Cheers, BobF>

Comet goldfish seems to have dark, rice-shaped growths under scales 11/13/11
We have a 3" comet who is mostly white. She lives in a 30 gallon tank with two other, smaller goldfish. Everyone gets along, socially. The tank is cycled and all ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels are normal, the temperature is in the low 70s (F) as it has been for the last several months since we've set the tank up.
Several hours ago, the comet clamped her fins and sat at the bottom, breathing normally. On the few occasions she's swam around, the lighting in the tank made it clear that there is something literally under her skin and poking through between her scales. What's poking through looks like a giant Ich spot, and what's underneath her skin looks like three or four dark grains of rice. She has no ulcerations anywhere on her body, and it is clear she does not have any anchor worms. She does not have any other white spots on her.
The spot size is tough to describe, but it is smooth and is really just barely larger than a big Ich spot. It is pressing the scale that it's under away from the skin.
We can't find ANYTHING that describes what's going on! I think this is compounded but the fact that she's white, so it's tough to see if she has any white patches that I'd associate with bacterial infections happening'¦but there is no streaking, no ulcerations. Can you help us?
Russel
<I do hope so. What you describe so well sounds like "Grubs"... "parasitic Fluke larvae". They can be treated... Please use your search tool w, the string in quotes.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Comet goldfish seems to have dark, rice-shaped growths under scales 11/15/11

Hi Bob!
<Russel>
Thanks very much for your response. I just wanted to let you know what's been going on just in case it continues to let you amass information for your awesome website!
<Ah, welcome>
My fiancé is a dolphin trainer and shared your email with her facility's senior aquarist. He immediately suggested Praziquantel,
<Good>
so we added 225mg of Prazi and 750mg of Metronidazole to the tank yesterday. We saw no response until this morning, when small white "grub-like" things started to make their way out of her scales. This evening, there are tens of sites where this is happening. Our next dose of the aforementioned treatments happens tomorrow afternoon, so we're hoping it'll help her.
<Also>
It's really sad watching her sit at the bottom, and she's stopped eating since this afternoon. She is swimming more now, though, and that seems to help her shed her uninvited guests faster. The senior aquarist described similar behavior in sting rays he's dipped in a Prazi bath, so we're encouraged by that. Her respiration level and her body condition are still normal.
<Very>
Hopefully this little fish will pull through. Thanks again for your information!!!!!
Russel
<And you for this follow up. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Comet goldfish seems to have dark, rice-shaped growths under scales, Flukes & Tapes 11/17/11

We're at the end of the med cycle now and she looks much better. The small worms have continued to crawl out of the skin, and this morning we found a tapeworm at the bottom in the place she tends to sit. She is swimming around almost like normal, although she tends to clamp her dorsal fin some and sill bottom sit a little bit. Her scales are still slightly raised where the worms came out and blood is showing in these spots a little bit. We want to put her on an antibiotic (Minocycline or similar) to prevent infection.
<Okay>
We also may go through another cycle of the Prazi to kill any parasites that may have survived.
<A good idea with goldfish>
From what we've read, we're thinking that the tapeworm was the culprit and the small worms we saw crawl out of her skin and the dark spots under her skin were the egg sacks and larvae.
<Mmm, no>
Does this sound right?
<Not the life-cycle of these organisms>
Also, do you have experience with tapeworms in goldfish?
<Some>
Russel C
<BobF>

Parasites on three spot Gourami. 6/27/11
Hello Crew,
I've been reading and learning a lot from your website, thank you so much for helping us and our fishes.
<Welcome>
I really need your help in identifying the parasites my fish might have. I have 4-4.5 year old three spot Gourami that has been healthy and hardy fish for all these years until recently. I made some bad choices and introduced a fish to his tank that he was extremely afraid off. He will not come to surface to eat and got very stressed.
I set up a new 20 gallon tank just for him and transferred the fish in it once it cycled (water quality is good with 0 for ammonia and nitrites and under 10 for nitrates), ph 7.5 hard water with moderate alkalinity.
After the transfer the fish showed signs of irritation, scratched himself over objects in the tank and soon after develop small raised white-grayish spots very similar to Ick but not Ick. I tried to raise the temperature to 88F and adding salt to 0.7% but it did not help. Under these conditions it looked like he is getting more spots and they also grow larger. They do fall of the fish leaving scars with a little bleeding. The new spots will appear mostly on the old wounds or close to gill covers. I have three black tetras with no signs of disease, so it either something specific to gouramis or the parasites are not leaving the fish?
<Likely so>
As far as the treatments I've tried so far: 2 weeks of raised temperature plus salt-did not work; 4 treatments with parasite clear tank buddies by Jungle lab (Metronidazole, Praziquantel, Diflubenzuron, Acriflavine) 48 hours apart with 25% water change - did not do anything; Seachem Paraguard bath for 1 hour - took most of external spots down. At that point I collected all that stuff that come from the fish and looked at it under the microscope. What I found was a few Trichodina like parasites,
<Can you describe these? Size?>
a tiny microscopic worm (likely nematode) that was still alive in the Paraguard water and tried to wiggle himself back into the piece of dead skin-Ouch! Another creature was a tiny insect-like thing (six legged one), but may be crustaceans of some sort.
<?!>
What a zoo and I'm still not sure what is going on.
I had to repeat Paraguard bath for two more times to take care of the few leftover spots that would keep reappearing on the fish skin and now his skin is clean and keeps healing well.
I also added the recommended amount of Paraguard to the tank water every 24 hours for 3 days until The ammonia level raised to .25. Damn, I trusted the Seachem for being filter safe and here I'm. Did 50% water change, ran carbon with Nitrasorb and added Prime and good squeeze off my established tank sponge. By the end of the day the ammonia level was 0, and the rest of parameters were all fine. That same day Gourami felt itchy at his gills, he would go to the surface, inhale some air and blow the bubbles through his gills. After doing this a few times I found a worm dislodged from his gills. That worm is about 1 cm long, and ~ 0.5-1mm thick, white-transparent looking. Has a ventral sucker and may be dorsal sucker, half filled with blood and other thicker half filled with some yellowish stuff (organs or eggs). Could it be fluke?
<Yes>
Could they be so big?
<Rarely, but yes>
After that worm fall of the fish's gills the Gourami is not eating, just takes the food and spits it out. Also not as active as he used to be.
I'm sorry for such long email, just wanted to include all the details.
I'm extremely desperate to save my fish, but feel that these past 3 months were really stressful and I'm at my personal water change limit.
Please, if you could help me to find the proper treatments for my fish I would so much appreciate this.
<I'd go back w/ an Anthelminthic... the Praziquantel by itself. Please read
here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/AnthelminthicsFWF.htm
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Oxana
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Parasites on three spot Gourami. 6/29/2011

Hi Bob,
<Oxana>
Thank you very much for your reply and all the info.
What I thought to be a Trichodina-like parasites, were round single cell organisms of ~ 20-40 micrometer in diameter, some were quite transparent with identifiable edge and some sort of fluff around it, which made me think It could be cilia. Since they've been seating in Paraguard treated water o/n, they were dead and not moving. Other type were also round, but more brownish in color (no horseshoe-shaped nucleus), but similar in size.
This morning one more worm came off the Gourami's gills and it looks nearly identical to the one I found before.
I looked at both of them under the microscope and the closest look-alike organism I can find was Schistosoma sp. (I have attached the image I found on the Web as well the photo I've taken). Sorry, for the poor quality, It was taken with phone camera.
<These look like flukes to me, with their prominent hooks... definitely worms of some sort>
I also included few pics of my fish with those raised spots. Could it be some sort of Trematode lifecycle form (cercariae?).
<Possibly, yes>
I don't have any snails in the tank, so if indeed these things are flukes, could they have fish as the only host?
<Yes>
I guess my hopes are that those worms may be do have some intermediate host and the whole thing will just die off eventually, if they can not complete the cycle.
<You are correct, if they have a complex life history>
I have ordered some Hikari liquid Prazipro, thank you very much for your suggestions.
Sincerely,
Oxana
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Fish parasite question (RMF, one for Ed Noga, perhaps?) 1/3/11
Dear Sirs,
<Paul,>
I am aquarium keeper for some 30 years and believe that I have seen many of the common diseases and parasites in aquarium fish. About a year ago I obtained a pure strain of Poecilia wingei (known locality and collection date). These fish turned out to be host to a tiny parasite. The parasite does not appear to be too harmful in the short term, but I suspect that it increases the fish' susceptibility to other health problems.
<Very likely this is normal for most parasites. It may well be that even common things like Whitespot are "harmless" when the fish are healthy, but only cause problems once the fish's immune system is weakened. This in turn weakens the fish still further, allowing secondary infections and osmoregulation problems to make things even worse.>
I would like to eliminate these parasites from my fish, as I rather don't give away their offspring with this infection. I searched internet as well as some fish-disease books and consulted a local veterinary, but am unable to identify the parasite until now. I am now raising a small number of young in isolation from birth and hope that they did not contract the parasite.
<This can be an excellent approach if the parasite requires an intermediate host, such as a snail, copepod, predatory fish, bird, etc.>
But perhaps there is a less drastic way? I wonder if you can advise on this.
<Not sure we can.>
I'll summarise what I know about the parasite:
- It is typically found on the base of fins, mostly the tail fin but occasionally other fins. It is mostly situated on the membrane between fin rays.
<Yes, I see from the photos. Does not appear to be congestion of the blood vessels.>
- It appears to cause little discomfort, but with a heavy infection (e.g. 5 or more parasites in the tail of a single fish) the fish slightly squeezes the tail fin
- More parasites are on the larger female P. wingei, males only rarely have visible parasites
- Parasites are tiny and clearly elongated, they are white in colour. The attached picture is a scan of a tail fin with parasites, made with a slide-scanner (like a poor-quality microscope; light shining through).
- There appears to be an earlier stage, which looks like very small Ich, and can be located anywhere on the skin. Fish with this "stage" do not scrape nor do they show any other symptoms.
- There also appears to be an "invisible" stage (either not on the fish or too small to see) because after I removed all fish with visible parasites, some parasites appeared on formerly "uninfected" fish
<Very likely the free-living infective stage.>
- It appears to be specific for guppy's, at least, Corydoras paleatus and Ameca splendens did not become infected when they shared the aquarium with infected P. wingei
<Interesting. The Poeciliidae do seem particularly sensitive to some parasites -- Camallanus worms for example, and Tetrahymena spp. parasites (the so-called "Guppy Disease").>
- Methylene blue does not affect the parasites, neither does salt bathing of affected fish (tried to what is on edge of what the guppy's survive, up to half an hour in 30 g/L NaCl)
<Do try acclimating the Guppies to brackish or marine conditions in the long term -- i.e., weeks, months. I would be very surprised if the parasites survived such conditions. 50% normal marine salinity, i.e., about SG 1.012 at 25 C/77 F, should be tolerated by robust Guppies of all types (though inbred varieties can be sensitive, see the paper "Effect of inbreeding on salinity tolerance in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata)").
Kind regards,
Paul
<The parasite you describe isn't familiar to me. This may be one of those times contacting a scientist makes sense, for example Edward Noga at North Carolina State University. Cheers, Neale.>
<<I think Ed's retired from university, moved down to FLA by now Neale. RMF>>

> Hi Bob, 1/3/11
> There's an interesting message in the "E-mail with Images" folder I answered re: some new parasite on Endler guppies. Do you have any opinions on this? I've suggested Ed Noga, but perhaps you know better.
> Cheers, Neale
I see the tubular structures in the pic... but don't know what these are definitively. W/ higher resolution image, perhaps they would show characteristics of Flukes... which fit Paul's desc., as being more species-specific to the livebearer, not infesting the Corydoras... B
1/4/11
> Thanks Bob. I'd be really interested to hear what you or for that matter Edward Noga think these might be. I agree that they look like some sort of fluke, in which case strongly brackish to marine maintenance should do the trick.
<Yes; I saw you suggested this>
There are some fairly species specific ones -- like the ones you see imported on Bichirs quite regularly. Those at least don't normally do much harm unless the fish is otherwise weakened.
<I see>
> Cheers, Neale
<And you, BobF>

Fish parasite query - comment 1/4/11
Hello Crew,
<Carla>
I read with interest the query titled "Fish parasite question (RMF, one for Ed Noga, perhaps?) 1/3/11" from Paul. I wrote in about a year ago after observing a similar parasite on my Pseudotropheus acei (my query can be found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/flukesfwf.htm about a third of the way down the page. It's titled "Pseudotropheus acei - parasite? Parasites On Ps Acei 12/18/09" and there is a photo). The parasites disappeared without treatment shortly after I sent that e-mail, and I haven't seen them since.
<I see this, and Chuck (Rambo)'s response, suggesting the use of Fluke Tabs>
Anyway, if Paul reads the dailies and is curious, perhaps he could check out the attached photos to see if the parasites resemble those on his P. wingei. I too had never seen anything like them.
I hope you all have a great New Year.
Carla
<Thank you for this. Am sending your note directly to Paul (had yet to delete all for the day).
Cheers! Bob Fenner>

Freshwater Aquarium fish die off, maybe flukes 10/17/10
Hi,
Couple of questions. I have a 72 gallon tank that has housed a large number of Malawi cichlids for years now. With the very rare old age die off I have never lost a fish.
<Impressive>
My daughter has a 55 gallon tank and I had given her several fish and she had purchase a pair of albino bristle nose cats.
Suddenly all of her fish started dying, she blamed her very young children who are notorious for putting their hands in the tank thinking they had placed some type of chemical in it.
<Mmm, maybe>
Within a two day period she had lost all but the bristle nose. I couldn't see any sign of disease or trauma with the possible exception of some swollen gills. I moved the two bristle nose to my tank after "washing" them in a clean bucket several times with our well water (which I have been using straight from the tap for 10 years with no problems). I believed she was right about some type of chemical. One of the bristle nose died that day, the other went the next day. About 7 days later all of my fish started dying as well. I lost a enormous amount of fish.
One of my large Plecos was still kicking as well as two of my yellow labs. I had searched the internet repeatedly for clues and ran across a reference to Ick, but it actually spoke of the use of formalin (Ick treatment) in killing of "flukes". While none of the fish had any "Ick" on them and wouldn't have died so quickly, the fluke reference seemed to fit the bill. The swollen gills, no other external signs, rapid breathing. I treated the tank with formalin twice and while one of the yellow labs did die, the other two fish seem to have made it. Needless to say while this was first starting I did large water changes, gravel cleaning, filter cleaning etc. My question now is the fish have been stable for about two weeks, should I dose them one
more time with the formalin before introducing any new fish to the aquarium.
Thanks
Richard
<I would hold off on further formalin exposure here... and do encourage other (organophosphate) treatments for Trematodes/flukes in general. Do keep an eye out for signs of loss/disruption of your biofiltration (formalin kills all). Thank you for sharing, Bob Fenner>

Rosy red minnows, strange tumourous growths (RMF, any better ideas?)>><< 09/29/10
Hello, how are you guys doing? :) I work at a large pet supply chain and the rosy red minnows I received in the last shipment had a few who looked really sick. The system receives weekly PWCs of 20% and the water parameters are consistent: ph: 7.2 amm: 0 nitrite: 0 nitrate: <10 PPM temp:
72 degrees. A few of the rosy reds have what appear to be tumourous growths on their bodies, some just underneath the skin looking as if they are about to come to a head. Most of the growths are white but some are black. I've never seen it before, and I am not sure what it is. I've enclosed a few pictures I took on lined paper for scale. I hope they are good enough quality. Any ideas as to what this might be? Thanks for checking out my email.
Nicole.
<Hello Nicole. Boy, those are some sick looking fish! It's actually very hard to be sure what's the deal here. Dark spots on fish reared outdoors are typically caused by the worms associated with Black Spot Disease.
>>Are likely "grubs"... search: grub parasites metacercariae and rosy red minnows, digenetic trematodes<<
Since this worm can't complete its life cycle in aquaria, it's normally found on pond fish or wild-caught fish, and since these minnows were likely bred outdoors, that's certainly an option. But with that said, Black Spot Disease usually forms small spots rather than blotches like these. My gut feeling is that the issues here are viral at some level, things like Fish Pox being common among cyprinids and possibly related to exposure to less than ideal environmental conditions, which with Rosy Red Minnows tends to
be the norm, unfortunately. There are some other viruses doing the rounds as well, including the one responsible for Koi Herpes, and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that KHV or something similar affects Rosy Red Minnows. The bottom line is that if you want to establish the problem here, you'll need to get these fish looked at by a trained fish pathologist.
Obviously affected fish -- and realistically the entire batch -- should be isolated and/or returned to the supplier, and it should go without saying that these fish aren't fit for use as feeders. >>I strongly concur. RMF<< Cheers, Neale.>



Flukes? 9/21/10
Hi Crew,
<Steve>
Grateful for WWM knowledgeable advice please........
<Well met and welcome>
Are there any type of flukes that reside mainly on fins (pectoral)?
<Mmm, not as far as I'm aware on freshwater organisms... but there are some I'm familiar with on the pec's of Batoids... In any case, some Trematodes can indeed be found on all the external surfaces of fishes>
I'm wondering if gill flukes perhaps move around somewhat depending on their 'evolution stage'?
<Mmm, no, again, not as far as I know>
I noticed a couple of fluke like 'streamers' on the pectoral fins on one of my Tiger Barbs (no flashing as yet) - I had noticed this on one fin before, but had assumed a small 'nipping' injury due to their boisterous behaviour! (don't think it would be an odd stray Planaria?)
<Mmm, no>
If indeed there is a parasite issue, can you recommend the best remedy?
<The same as for most "worm" complaints. Please read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwwormdistrtf.htm
and the linked files above>
I was hoping that increasing the temp may be of use before Sterazin or Parazin (perhaps)?
<Not really>
As I have a few 'inverts' in my tank I would need to remove them while using the above - should I consider treating them also?
<Depending on what is employed, perhaps>
My tank is also quite heavily planted (Anubias, Amazon Sword, Elodea, Cabomba, Java Moss et al) - can I leave these in situ if using the above?
<They should be fine>
Thinking also about my Kuhlis' and the treatment?
<These also>
I have lost a couple of fish within the last 3 months, but had put this down to age - although I always give the deceased a quick once over before 'rest' (check fins/gills/mouth etc)......not to say that an internal
parasite may have been the problem!?
<Perhaps>
40gal community tank planted, with bogwood and numerous rock (hiding places)
<I'd remove the bogwood during treatments... might interfere chemically>
1 BN Plec
2 Neon Tetra *
2 Penguin Tetra *
3 Zebra Danios *
2 Pepper Cory
5 Tiger Barb
4 Kuhli
2 Thai Glass Cats *
2 Bamboo Shrimp
1 Ghost Shrimp
<*I'd increase the numbers of these shoaling fishes>
pH 6.5
<Mmm, and perhaps do summat to keep this value nearer 7. Do you have a sense of what your water hardness, alkalinity is? Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwhardness.htm
and as much of the linked files above as you deem beneficial>
nitrate 0
nitrite 0
ammonia 0
25% weekly water change
Fluval filter + air pump (air stone & box filter)
Look forward to hearing from you...
Kind Thanks,
-Steve
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flukes? FW, trtmt. 9/23/10

Bob/Crew,
.........an update..
<Steve>
So now I've noticed a couple of Tiger Barbs are flashing against an artificial plant -
<Natural behavior to an extent>
no obvious sign of parasites on inspection.
I'm wondering if there is any relationship to the behaviour, and the once/twice weekly Tubifex meal (freeze dried).
<? Doubtful>
After reading through 'your link' the treatment Praziquantel seems to be suggested quite often. Is this something that has to purchased through the local vet (UK based), or can you utilise the Drontal/Droncil variants within the aquarium (not sure how to manage dose?)
<Are equivalents...: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praziquantel
As an injectible? 25 mg/kg... 12 mg/lb. body weight IM... once.>
In relation to the fish numbers - indeed there were increased numbers of 'said' fish, these have dwindled to current amount over a few years.
I shall read up on the water hardness. I had often thought the bogwood had contributed to the pH6.5 level, but as the fish appear to be well and shrimp molt without incident, I didn't want to add 'buffers' to
increase/decrease pH.
<Just time going by will do this>
I'm sure I read quite a technical article on aquarium pH and how the addition of 'buffer agents' was negated after a few days!?
Are there any other signs I should look out for in relation to flukes/worms/parasites i.e. visual parasite along with fish character?
<Mmm, general health indicators>
Grateful on a steer with treatment (if applicable) so I can resolve this at the earliest stage.
Kind thanks again for the feedback.
Best Regards,
-Steve
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Flukes? 10/18/10

Hi Bob/Crew,
<Steve>
Been a wee while since our last correspondence - whereby I have been monitoring the situation, and again one of the Tiger Barbs had a 'fluke like' critter hanging from one of its pectoral fins!
<Do you have an image?>
Since my original post I have lost my female swordtail (can't believe I left her out on my fish list..alas!). She seemed in good spirit, if not a little thin I thought - and partly my thinking of some sort of parasite; however I digress!
Crux of the matter is I treated all tank mates apart from inverts to a 20min (1ml/15l) dip with Tremazol (Prazi) and all characters in good form!
Indeed I shall stock up with companions for the fish stated below - did fancy some Pearl Gouramis, but think this would be a little unfair on both them WRT Tiger Barbs!
Need to await some natural selection on the Barbs before I restock.
Incidentally, I was keen to got down the Discus road at some point in the future depending on what tank mates were 'on the go', are there any community species that are a 'no go' as far as Discus are concerned? (given they can be a costly experiment!).
<Some... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/discuscompfaqs.htm
As ever WWM a wealth of knowledge - Kind Thanks.
-Steve
<Welcome. BobF>

Pseudotropheus acei - parasite?
Parasites On Ps Acei 12/18/09

Hello WWM Crew, I hope you are well this morning (or whatever time of day it is on your particular slice of earth).
My Pseudotropheus acei cichlids have white "things" (descriptive, yes?), clinging to their fins. I have researched various diseases/parasites, but I am completely flummoxed as to what this could be. They look like white lines, approximately two-to-three millimetres long, mostly clinging to the Aceis' pectoral fins, although today I noticed two new ones on the dorsal and anal fin of a mouthbrooding female (photo attached). They are much larger than Ich. The one on her dorsal fin looks like a little oblong egg. Yesterday, this particular female had one attached to each pectoral fin, but today they have disappeared, leaving only faint white traces. They seem to hang on for a couple of weeks, then disappear. None of the other Cichlids have them, only the Acei females. There has been only a total of six of these white things over the past three weeks or so; it is not something that is spreading fast. Do you have any idea what this is?
Here are my tank specifics:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5 - 10
kH: 9
gH: 13
pH: 8.0 - 8.2
50 gallon breeder aquarium
50% weekly water changes
Temperature: 25 C
Food: New Life Spectrum pellets, frozen Mysis, Emerald Entre, various flake, Sushi Nori, cooked/shelled peas.
Decor: lots of hornwort, Vallisneria, rocky hiding places
Inmates: four Pseudotropheus acei (1M/3F), four Labidochromis caeruleus, (1M/3F), three Aulonocara stuartgranti (1M/2F).
Thanks so much, as always, for your help! Carla
< A treatment of Fluke-Tabs should remove the parasites from the fish.-Chuck>

Velvet help (orig thread 6/06) 5/16/09
Hello Folks, I am back again (original post, same issue, "Need help with velvet, please!! 6/06) in search of any understanding you may be able to shed on my continuing situation with my 7 clown loaches. I have believed this to be velvet. Tiny dots over top of fish's heads, no spots on body,
<Mmm, not Velvet/Oodinium... your fish/es would be dead...>
absolutely impossible to get rid of. There is one fish in particular that never seems to be spot-free. These clown loaches have been quarantined at least 3 times for months at a time and medicated in every possible way imaginable over this time, including long term salt, salt dips, acriflavine/salt/dark, methylene blue dips, raised temps (low 90's), velvet guard, rounds of Maracide, Coppersafe, Cupramine..
<Yikes... I'd stay away from copper containing treatments with Cobitids... too toxic>
there might be more, I can't quite remember at this point. Had I known this would go on for so long, I most certainly would've kept a notebook!
<Ahh, a good idea>
Each time, fish are quarantined, treated, observed closely, moved back to main tank (after minimum of 3 months at a time in QT-main tank left to go fallow during these times). Under the lighting in my QT tank (29g) they can appear to be spot-free, I move them back into main tank, then again see dots.
There is one main fish that always seems to have spots, while others will appear "clear" in main tank after treatments.
Most recently (January 2009), I noticed that not only the main fish had the dots again, but that they seemed to be spreading to the other loaches heads again, they were hiding more, etc. After attempting to treat this seemingly same "disease" since 2006, I was feeling skeptical about my chances of curing it once and for all. Pulled all fish out of main tank (2/09), back into fully cycled 29g. QT. It was then I proceeded to treat with Cupramine full strength as I'd read others having good luck with it. Didn't seem to work so after carbon in filter and waiting a couple of weeks, I did 2 back-to-back full- strength treatments of Maracide. Again, all fish appeared dot-free except one large loach (always the same fish). Afraid of dosing them again so soon, I waited a bit and ordered some ESHa Exit, hearing good things from loach owners with ick and velvet. I went ahead and did the extended treatment described in the directions. I even went 5 full days just to try to push it a little as this obviously isn't going away easily and because I would have no idea what additional medications to try after that didn't work. During the months the loaches were in QT, I converted their 120 gallon main tank into a river tank (with under-sand pvc river tank manifold). The tank is consistently PH 7, nitrates 20-30ish, nitrites 0, ammonia 0, filtered by 2 Eheim 2217 canister filters and now 2 Maxi jet 1200 powerheads for current. Fish again "appeared" spot free for weeks after last QT ESHa Exit treatment, and were returned to newly designed 120g. river tank approx. 2 weeks ago. They do seem to love the current in the new tank and have fun playing in it all day long. I got a close look at the main problem fish this morning though, and it's head is getting covered again in dots, however the dots appear somewhat larger to me now. I have no idea what to even think about trying at this point and am hoping you can offer some sort of wisdom here? It would seem that having the tank salted for such a long time has held off the parasite somewhat, though it appears to never be completely eradicated. Where none of the medications have worked over such a long period of time, I suspected some sort of water problem, but honestly I have no idea what to think or do at this point.
<Nor any real idea of what you're treating... A shame you didn't defer to using a microscope to examine what this might actually be here... But if you elect to continue your blind treatment, look into Levamisole here... as I suspect "flukes" of some sort... rather than a Protozoan complaint... Or best, a QX series scope... Instructions on use are archived on WWM. BobF>
Many, many thanks again for any advice you can offer!
Sondra

What is best treatment for flukes in goldfish? 3/26/08 Hello, I was wondering what your recommendations are for treating body flukes in goldfish at least I think that's what they are. I have noticed from time to time that my goldfish will quickly rub themselves on aquarium decorations. <This could be a variety of things, not just flukes. Whitespot/Ick often manifests itself as scratching behaviour. Rapid changes in pH will also cause this behaviour. So you need to be a bit more open minded, or at least look for other symptoms that might pin down the problem> At one time I put in Live Bearer by Aquarium Products and that seemed to stop their behavior, but unfortunately I can't find it anymore in the local pet stores. <Do see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm > I mainly want something that I can use as a preventative and not have to take out the carbon in my filter, etc. <Treating with a "preventative" is counter productive, and says more about how we sometimes view healthcare than what is actually useful. Most medications cause some degree of stress or harm to fish, and in some cases some fish simply get killed by them (loaches and copper-based medication is the classic example). So you need to use medications only when absolutely necessary. Instead focus on REAL preventative medicine, i.e., quarantining new livestock, providing a balanced diet, and ensuring good water quality. As for removing carbon, you need to replace carbon every month for it to do any good, so removing it for treatment purposes shouldn't be a chore. I don't feel that carbon serves ANY useful purpose in a freshwater tank; 50% weekly water changes will do a much better job of removing those pesky dissolved organics, and will also keep the nitrate down and prevent pH swings! Just say NO to carbon!> Thanks Sharon <Cheers, Neale.>

Sick Oranda, Flukes? 8/19/07 Hi. My Oranda died today. Gills were blue so I assume it was from the gill flukes. <Mmmm, not necessarily> How do I decontaminate the tank before putting in new goldfish? <Best to bleach, dump, dechlorinate... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnornart.htm The same protocol...> I read that gill flukes aren't susceptible to high salt concentrations. I was thinking of overdosing the tank with Jungle Labs Parasite Clear and then let the tank run with just water and the filter going for a couple of weeks. Do I have to get rid of my plants, too or OK to keep in tank? Thanks. YM <Mmm, the plants, actually anything wet could be a vector here... I would at least isolate these, treat them with an organophosphate... Bob Fenner>

Ich-look-alike? Skin parasite on Dwarf Puffer -- 06/17/07 Hi Crew, I really need your help with my male dwarf puffer. First, the vitals: two dwarf puffers, heavily planted six gallon tank, one Amano shrimp tankmate. Water tests with a consistent 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, 5 Nitrates (which is how it comes out of the tap in these parts). Weekly 30% water changes, and their diet is 80% Grindal worms that I raise on a high-quality dog biscuit and 20% snails from my large planted tank. About six weeks ago, he began developing a handful of white specks that looked to me like a classic case of ich. <These are almost certainly Cercariae...> I thought it fairly strange, since I've had him & his female tankmate seven months with no additions to the tank. But I began a heat/salt treatment right away, bringing the temp to 82 with the addition of 1/2 tsp of salt per gallon of water. After two weeks' time and no change whatsoever in the appearance of the spots, I began thinking I was mistaken. Perhaps these were just skin flaws of some kind? <Mmm, no. Please read the second, third ref. here: http://www.google.com/search?q=cercariae+on+puffers&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7PCTA> I have treated many cases of ich over the years successfully with heat & salt, and have always seen that familiar dropping off of the cysts after a few days of treatment. So I brought the heat back down and waited. A few more weeks went by with no change, and then in the course of a week the spots began to increase. I tried again, this time with the temp at 84 for two weeks. No change. Heat back down to normal. Spots are now increasing slowly but steadily. The poor boy is at least eating and remains active, but I am seeing occasional flashing so I know this is bothering him. Whatever it is, it's spreading, and I am stumped. The female is totally unaffected by the way. Any ideas? Is this some kind of ich-look-alike skin parasite? There are no visible worms, no red spots, no clues of any kind. I am in terror of using anything stronger than salt on such a sensitive fish as a DP, but the heat and salt are obviously doing nothing. I've attached a couple really poor photos which will likely be too blurry for a diagnosis of any kind but will at least give you a sense of scale and placement. Thanks in advance for your help. <Will need to use an anthelminthic... My choice? Prazi/quantel... particulars are posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Ich-look-alike? Skin parasite on Dwarf Puffer -- 6/19/07 > >> I really need your help with my male dwarf puffer... > >> About six weeks ago, he began developing a handful of white specks that looked to me like a classic case of ich. > > <These are almost certainly Cercariae...> > >>Thanks in advance for your help. > ><Will need to use an anthelminthic... My choice? Prazi/quantel... particulars are posted on WWM. Bob Fenner Bob, picked up PraziPro on Sunday and began treatment (bath, following label instructions). Two full days now and no change at all in the cysts. If anything he seems to be getting weaker. Recommendations? Is there anything else it could be? <Yes... and I absolutely hate this guessing... Do you have a microscope? A way to send along pix from such? BobF>

Worms and platy fry 6/16/06 Greetings from Australia to all the crew, <Returns from sunny southern Cal. in the U.S.A.> having only a few months experience in keeping fish we have been running into quite a few problems with the poor things. Our latest involves something as unpleasant as worms. The local aquarium guy has assured us it has to do with the drought affecting our area and dams and not just something we did. We bought fluke tablets and after fishing out a few platy fry (all of which seemed fine) and we set up an emergency tank for them with water from the big tank. We then added the fluke tablets but being new at this and apparently not very clever we took out the wrong piece of the filter, with the result that worms are still in the fish and tank! We had a few mishaps with the little fry in the emergency tank with a new heater going berserk and killing the poor things, we were trying so hard to save, so we decided to leave the two last fry who seemed affected by the worms in the tank when treating next, but just as we were about to add more fluke we saw about 20 little fry swimming around. To make it worse we also have a speckled Cory which the before mentioned fish guy told us will not appreciate the fluke. Now what do we do? <I would treat all> One of our nice big platy females is having big worm issues and is in big trouble but what about all the little new ones? <All> Do we risk killing them in the new little tank with water from the big tank and a crazy out of control heater or do we leave them in the big tank and hope for the best? <I'd treat all in place, in your main/display tank> Please help. My kids have named 10 of the little fry and will be pretty upset if I kill more than I already have.. Oh and we also have some tough neon tetras in the tank. They have survived terrible water conditions due to our inexperience, ich, etc and now worms . We managed to kill 5 guppies, and 3 tough platys early on, yet the Neons live nice and strong. Totally opposite to what we have been told. (It may not sound like it but we really tried and we do care about the fish. We have bought every single form of equipment and medicine available. We are just not clever) Marianne in Australia <Bob Fenner>

Wormlike parasite 5/30/07 Hello there, <Good morning> I have a problem with two Bronze Catfish, they seem to have a parasite that I can't identify. One of the Bronze Cats is new, I've had it for a few days. My tanks isn't very old (less than two months, but I have been monitoring it closely and it has cycled). It is a 90 litre tank (24 ish gallons). Currently my temp is 79, pH is 6.8 , ammonia 0, nitrites 0 (I only tested for nitrates once about three weeks ago and there were none, the tank is quite heavily planted so I'm guessing whatever nitrates have been produced are being used up or removed during water changes). I don't think that water quality is affecting the fish, but nevertheless the Bronze Cats seem to have extremely tiny, whitish, wormy looking things attached to the very ends of their fins, they are difficult to see with the naked eye. There don't seem to be any on their bodies, they just seem to be on the ends of the fins, hanging like little tassels that move when the fish are swimming. They are very small, they must be less than a mm long. There seem to be more on the newest Bronze Cat, but I believe that the other bronze has caught them now too because I noticed a few today ( I'm afraid that they are spreading). I have 2 Pepper Cats and two Sterbai Cats and they seem unaffected, none of the other fish in the tank seem affected either (Neons, Gouramis, SAE etc.). These parasites don't seem to be bothering the fish so far (no clamped fins, scratching or heavy breathing) but I know that this could change. These two Bronze Cats also seem to each have another problem as well ( I know this is getting boring but I think it's better to get all the details out in the open). My older Bronze Cat is a long finned variety, very pretty, but I think that someone likes the look of his magnificent dorsal fin because sometimes it suddenly looks munched or shredded. It heals readily and does not seem to get infected so I don't think that it's fin rot. I don't keep any 'aggressive' fish in my tank, but maybe a naughty baby Clown Loach might have nipped him? ( Who knows what any of the fish get up to when the lights are off?). The newer Bronze seems to have lost the barbels on one side of his mouth, it doesn't look infected. This seems to have happened quite suddenly as well ( it was while I was inspecting this that I noticed the parasites). I think that the barbel may have been damaged during feeding. I try to break up a few small sinking wafers for all my bottom feeders to have an even chance but I have still noticed that the Clown Loaches are pretty dominating at feeding time. My Betta also gets quite aggressive as well. Could the barbels have been severed during a feeding frenzy? I realise that the parasite and the injuries may be related because the fish may be more susceptible to infection if they're injured. But do you have any idea what the parasites are and how to treat them? <Mmm, microscopic examination would be the route to go here, but likely some type of Fluke (trematode)> My other issue is with a new Blue Ram. I bought a male and a female (they get along well) and it is the female who is looking rough. She has got small white patches on her body and fins. They aren't ich spots but they don't look cottony or fluffy either. Could they be a fungus infection that is just starting out? Or is it bacterial? <Impossible to state for sure... but the fish being new, I would be very conservative here re treatment> I don't know what to treat with. I have a malachite green/methylene blue/quinine solution which is meant to be a sort of 'cure all' tonic, <The Malachite is quite toxic... I would hold off for now> but I am afraid to use it with the Clown Loaches being in the tank now, and I don't want to destroy my biological filtration either. Would the medicine that I have be suitable to treat the worm parasites and the fungus or would you recommend something else? Should I treat the whole tank? ( I don't have a QT but could do a short soak in a bucket?) Sorry this is so long but I would really appreciate any advice you could offer. Kind regards, Jessica in New Zealand <I would treat the worm problem with an anthelminthic (likely Flubenol or Prazi(quantel)... covered on WWM (see the indices, search tool)... and the current problem with the Ram... not at all, other than maintaining good (soft, acidic, warm) water quality. Bob Fenner>

Re: wormlike parasite continued 5/31/07 Hi WWM, <Jessica> Thank you Bob for your reply regarding my unidentified 'worms'. Before receiving your reply I went to my LFS to buys some plants and asked them about the worms. The parasite description stumped the staff there but one of them eventually decided that I should try Praziquantel. He said it was what they used to treat parasites on their discus so we figured it was worth a go. <Yes> I bought some of the Praziquantel but I waited to hear what your suggestions would be (no offense to my LFS, just thought you guys would have had more experience with parasite ID's). Imagine how great it was to hear two different sources suggest the same treatment! I used the Praziquantel this morning (on the whole tank as I believe it was spreading to all my catfish) and it looks like the parasites have already come off the fish's fins. I can't see them anymore. So I'm guessing that the Praziquantel made the parasite fall off of their hosts? <Very possibly> I was given two doses and told to use the second one in a week's time, would you recommend this and should I do my usual weekly water change (about 15-20%) beforehand? <I do recommend both> I also wondered if I could use some MelaFix to help my Blue Ram? <Mmm... not really worthwhile> Whatever is ailing her seems to be getting worse, I'm still not sure if it's a bacteria or a fungus. <Likely water quality...> She just seems to have small, white clumps on her body and fins (they are different to the parasite that was on my catfish), some of them are looking a bit stringier (still not cottony/fluffy though) than they did before so maybe this is a fungus? <Do see Google re Lymphocystis... pix...> She's also looking a bit more 'clamped' than she was before, still feeding and reasonably active though. Her partner looks fantastic and they seem happy together, he is not beating her up and neither is anyone else. Maybe the male was a bit aggressive in the bag on the way home from the store (although it wasn't a long trip and I didn't see anything amiss), or maybe she was already sick at the store. The stock there all looked pretty good and my water chemistry seems suited to their requirements. I'm not sure what's making her sick, but I'm worried that she's getting worse and maybe the MelaFix would be a milder course of action (rather than the malachite/methylene/quinine tonic that I have). <Neither one is suggested> I'm aware that the MelaFix may not have an effect on whatever is making her sick, but I just thought it would be worth a try if it was safe to mix with the Praziquantel. I've done a ton of research on both of these today, but I haven't seen anything saying whether you could mix them or not. At least now I know more about them on their own :-) <Can be mixed... but the "Fix" product is just a "tea"... soaked Melaleuca leaves... at best it might lower the pH here> A third and completely unrelated question is that I have two Honey Dwarf Gouramis (Trichogaster chuna), a male and a female. <Ahh! One of my favorite species> They seem to get along apart from the odd brief chase here and there, which I'm sure is natural. Today (before dosing the Praziquantel) I noticed that the male has darkened up considerably on his ventral area. It is a section that runs from under his mouth and eyes, just under his pectoral fins, along past his bottom and into his fins (anal fin? pelvic fin?). It's actually quite a defined, diagonal line. The colour seems to be a mottled black pigmentation and it extends around his belly. I've seen him blow a few bubbles at the surface, but no bubble nest building. Is he trying to impress his lady friend? Or could this be a sign of something else? <Likely is reproductive/stress color change...> Again, thank you for your time. I'm glad that there are credible websites like yours for people to turn to with their queries. Jessica <Welcome my friend. BobF>

Another livebearer question 12/30/06 Hi Tom, <<Hello, Linda.>> Another question if I may? <<Certainly.>> What do you recommend for preventing gill flukes? I haven't had this problem for some time but since I plan to get guppies I want to be prepared. I had quite a problem at one time after purchasing guppies. I have tried CopperSafe before but I wonder if there is something better to ward off a potential problem. I understand if the fish are in good shape and remain un-stressed they can keep many parasites at bay themselves. What about salt on a regular basis? I don't keep snails but I may get a stray or two since I plan to have living plants in my new 55gal tank. Is that a potential source of gill fluke infestation? <<As you're likely aware, Linda, maintaining top-notch water and tank conditions is the best preventative. As to water conditions, these speak to themselves in terms of regular changes, substrate/filter cleaning, etc. As for the tank conditions, be wary of over-crowding and provide hiding places particularly for the expectant females. You're quite correct that stress-free, healthy fish are -- virtually -- immune to parasitic infestation. I've mentioned this in other posts but it bears repeating: in cases of disease, medications merely 'control' the spread. The immune systems of the fish are what ultimately eradicate the problem. In short, there's nothing better that you can do for your pets than provide the best conditions possible. The Guppies, more so than the Swordtails and Platys, will actually appreciate the addition of aquarium salt to the water. Even fish that don't have a high tolerance for salt will do fine with a modest amount in the tank. Pests, on the other hand, have little tolerance for any. The one admonition I would have for you here is that plants may not do well with salt in the water. Typically, however, this would be at what might be described as 'treatment levels' which would be several times greater than you would normally maintain in your aquarium. In your case, I would cut the common ratio of one tablespoon per five gallons in half and see how both the plants and fish fare at this level. (Sometimes some good, old experimentation is needed to find a happy compromise.) Finally, since gill flukes don't require an intermediate host, I don't think a stray snail or two will pose a problem. Look into treating your plants in a solution of potassium permanganate if you want to avoid introducing even a stray snail. In fact, it's really not a bad practice to quarantine plants as well as fish before adding them to the display tank. Goes a long way in avoiding 'undesireables' that may be trying to hitchhike their way into a new home.>> Thanks, Linda Ritchie <<Happy again to be of service, Linda. Tom>>

Update on Pregnant Aulonocara Death & Cichlid Exchange... Monogenes 6/18/06 I think we've isolated the cause of death of my pregnant Aulonocara ruben Red and fry. The 2 ½ mo. old fry were exhibiting similar symptoms, one died and I almost lost another just 1 ½ weeks ago. When we last left off I was treating both the fry and remaining adults with Furan-2 and concerned they might have mycobacteriosis. Not knowing for sure what I was dealing with I treated this as some sort of bacterial gill infection. They survived the Furan-2 treatment but the fry still looked pale and their gills looked pink and irritated. Several were thin and wasting away. Chuck:'¦'¦'¦Cichlid Exchange contacted me after you contacted them. They checked my date of purchase for the female Ruben Reds against their records and confirmed they were from a breeding pair of theirs sold to my LFS. Cichlid Exchange thinks the pregnant female Aulonocara died from digenetic flukes after talking to me and viewing photos (the pinhead cysts are evident in the photos I sent you). <Ahh! Not uncommon> I have a feeling she also had monogenetic flukes because her gills were swollen and red. They recommended treating the fry and adults with a bath of a ½ dose of Clout for 5 days, then doing a partial water change and repeating the ½ dose another 5 days. They mentioned possibly following up with Praziquantel medicated food. I'm actually considering a Praziquantel bath over medicated food since it sounds as though Praziquantel absorbs well through the skin. Right now I am on day 4 of the Clout treatment and the fry seem okay but are still pale with pink gills. I am disappointed I'm not seeing any results so far. Maybe I'm expecting too much too soon, but I was hoping to see some reduction in the gill irritation by now. I worry that a ½ dose isn't sufficient, <Best to be conservative here. With fishes that are already border-line gill-damaged> yet anything stronger might kill the young ones who are only ½' -3/4' long. I don't know how they tolerate Clout, my hands itch as soon as I place them in the tank until I wash them with soap. I have an aquarist friend who thinks Clout is the worst treatment and a shotgun approach. He's trying to convince me to switch over to Fluke Tabs. He said fluke tabs aren't as hard on the fish, especially babies. Any suggestions? <I would finish with Clout for now... but switch to Fluke Tabs if there is a next time> I think the fry have monogenetic flukes as several of them were flashing against objects 8-10 weeks ago (at the time I thought it was due to traces of ammonia in their brand new uncycled tank). I kept up daily water changes until I was able to get my hands on some Bio-Spira and then I was soon able to cut back to every other day changes. None of the fry have any evidence of external lesions or cysts. The flashing, pale skin, irritated gills, and emaciation sound more like symptoms of monogenetic flukes, but then again, what do I know? <Need microscopic examination for an assured diagnosis, but trematodes are common on wild-collected fishes or ones that are mixed with same> I know there are a number of different types of flukes and some have complex life cycles, can attack different organs, some attach externally, others internally, and others live in the blood. I've heard some types of flukes may be incurable. I haven't had sufficient time to research this more thoroughly as I just got back from 5 days in FL (I flew back the night before the storm officially was upgraded to a hurricane. I waded through ankle deep water during a torrential downpour & 40 mile an hour winds at Cape Canaveral so I could make my flight home -- but it was worth it and I got to see a several Manatees before I left!). In case you're wondering, I had someone tending to the fish in my absence (a needed break after the losses I've been dealing with here recently!). My fluke problem may extend beyond the Aulonocaras. I quarantined an Astatotilapia latisfaciata (Zebra Obliquidens) in the same tank the pregnant Aulonocara was in immediately after I moved her into her permanent residence. Right after moving the Zebra Obliquidens I quarantined three Plecos (one of which I sent you a picture of that died from sunken belly), all again in the same tank. The quarantine tank has a gravel substrate which could harbor flukes and fluke eggs. Now I feel I need to treat these fish as well and I don't have a clue as to which fluke medications are safe to treat Plecos with. The substrate goes when this is all over! Cindy <No need to toss all, any gear that's been exposed as long as it is treated along with the fishes. Bob Fenner>

Getting On the Right Track With Black Spots - 05/31/2004 Someone else has asked about this problem and wanted to know what caused the black spots and the answer was about the quality of the water. <Mm.... Might help to have more background on your specific problem. Not having the other FAQ in front of me, I don't know about the other person's scenario, but it will be difficult to aid you without details of your situation.> I understand that probably is the cause but the question of that person as well as myself is are the black spots due to a fungus or a bacterial infection because the treatment is different. <Really, without details, I can only give you a generalized answer, based on assumptions.... I can assume that you mean the "classic" 'black-spot' disease, which is a digenetic fluke - a parasite, passed to the fish from another animal - which appears as small, black spots, like bits of pepper on the fish, almost. For this, there isn't really a great deal you can do to treat, but it shouldn't be terribly life-threatening. If the fish is horribly infested, it might be worthwhile to try a Praziquantel bath, or try treating orally with Levamisole or Piperazine, but I really don't know how effective this would be. 'Course, with this assumption, I might be WAY off track - perhaps you have some other disease in mind.... Ah, I realize now, I don't even know if you're talking about a fresh or saltwater tank.... If you can, please get back to me with more information - fish affected, type & size of aquarium, other inhabitants of the tank (especially presence of snails - the first host of the fluke responsible for 'black spot'), how long the tank's been established, how long you've had the affected fish (newly acquired fish may bring along 'black spot' if they were collected in the wild or raised in a pond), water parameters.... anything else of note.> Yes, I know to change the water and correct the problem for the future, but I wish to treat specifically with medication but don't know if I should use an antibiotic or an antifungal???? <Again, without details of your situation, I cannot give you an answer; without details to try to diagnose with, I don't know if your fish has 'black spot' or a common cold.> Please Help. <Would love to, really; please do get back to us; I'd be delighted to give you a better answer, once I have a better understanding of what's happening in the tank.> Thank you <Thanks for writing in - wishing you and your fish well, -Sabrina>

MONOGENETIC Gill Flukes Infect Snails and Fish? - 05/31/2004 I am told by a moderator on an aquaria message board that my Pomacea bridgesii snails have given my guppies gill flukes. <Mm, no.... May have brought other things, like digenetic trematodes responsible for 'black spot', but not gill flukes. As you note in the title of your question, gill flukes are monogenetic.... need no other host than the fish.> I have searched the net for weeks and can find no evidence that this is possible. The snails are captive bred/raised, <Can still be captive bred/raised in outdoor ponds with access for visiting birds (or just visiting bird poo), which would allow for transmission of some parasites, like 'black spot', as above - I'm not at all saying this has happened, and probably does not at all relate to your situation - just another reason to quarantine *all* animals, *especially* snails.> and as far as I know, gill flukes are monogenetic. This would mean the fluke would have to be non-host-specific and infect both snail and fish alike. <Mm, no, found only in fish. Another fun tidbit - gill flukes are usually of the genus Dactylogyrus, but skin flukes are of the genus Gyrodactylus - I'm too easily amused....> This seems like a big stretch, and I have no real evidence that the fish have/had gill fluke. Some did/do appear to have some gill irritation which began with 48 hours of being introduced to a completely disinfected new setup that had cycled without fish for over a month, and to which I then added the P. bridgesii about 1 week before the fish. <I'd test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, also consider if the fish have had any major changes in pH (either from the store to home, or from QT to main tank); I would think this far likelier than flukes.> Is it really possible that the snails gave the fish flukes or is some other cause more likely? <I would hedge my bets on 'some other cause'.> I would appreciate any information, documentation or verification of this possibility. <Can give you documentation *against* it, but not for it, I'm afraid.> Thank you, Karin Wiechert <Any time. Wishing you, your fish and inverts well, -Sabrina>

MONOGENETIC Gill Flukes Infect Snails and Fish? - II - 05/31/2004 Thank you very much, Sabrina. <You betcha, Karin.> In all my research I could find no evidence that a gill fluke could live on both the gills of apple snails (quarantined for over a month, I might add) and then infect the gills of aquarium fish, but hearing it from you increases my confidence 10 fold. Thank you so much. <Any time. That's what we're here for.> I kept notes of all the parameters of the new tank, including even O2 and CO2 levels, but I neglected to keep track of the parameters in the quarantine tanks since I was replacing the water with fresh tap water every couple of days. There almost certainly would have been a pH change of as much as 1 degree, <Zowie. That in and of itself might be/might have been the issue.> and certainly more dissolved solids. In addition, I had an entire mail order of plants die and foul the new tank, <So a bundle of decaying organic material, too, then - do check that this hasn't given you a bit of a pH swing, as well.> so I used an enzyme cleaner <I, personally, feel that such potions are bunk. If you can't reach it to siphon it out, you might want to look into a longer siphon tube, perhaps? A little elbow grease will go a lot farther than a magic cure-all-in-a-bottle.> to help break it down what I couldn't reach with the siphon so it could be removed by the bio- and mechanical filters. <If there's not a whole lot of debris, it can be confidently left without worry. If there is a whole lot of debris, again, maybe a longer siphon tube....> It seems possible that some of that enzyme may have also remained in the tank, possibly causing some irritation. <I don't doubt that it's possible that this concoction may have caused some discomfort in your critters; I really don't put much stock in them.> I'm so glad to be reasonably assured that gill flukes are not the problem, and will be more careful to acclimate new fish in the future. <If you're feeling daring, and have a microscope (or high school/college laboratory to make use of), you might take a skin scrape just behind the operculum to look at; this would be sufficient to reassure you, one way or the other. Dactylogyrus, after hatching, make their way along the body of the fish to the gills, so you need not take a scrape of the gills to see if they're present.> Maybe I'll start by replacing the quarantine water slowly with water from the main tank so that they become accustomed to the dissolved solids, pH, and other things before introduction. <A perfect plan, indeed!> If you have some documentation AGAINST the fluke hypothesis, I would be interested in reading it (one can never learn TOO much). <Oh, my.... crackin' out the books.... We'll start with "Tropical Fishlopaedia", by Bailey and Burgess, p. 274 & 275, "Gill Flukes - Strictly, any fluke that parasitizes the gills, but in aquarium usage applied to the monogenetic flukes of the genus Dactylogyrus. Some 50 species are known, with a size range of 0.15 to 2mm in length. All are gill parasites, found only in fish, and occasionally also occurring on other parts of the body." Next, "Handbook of Fish Diseases", by Untergasser, page 100: "Dactylogyridea - Monogenetic flukes or trematodes of the order Dactylogyridea live mainly on gills." Next, "Aquariology: The Science of Fish Health Management, Master Volume" by Gratzek et. al., page 241, under "Monogenetic trematodes": "Dactylogyrids are usually associated with the gills, and for that reason are called gill flukes." Lastly (and not leastly), "Fish Diseases: Diagnosis and Treatment" by Noga, p. 88-93, aside from having Dactylogyrus listed as Monogeneans, even has a diagram (page 90) of the life cycle, with the fish as the only host (er, since they are, after all, monogenetic). And from page 89, "The oviparous Dactylogyrids are primarily gill parasites of freshwater fish (Yamaguti, 1968)." There is far, far too much information in these books to even begin to type it all out for ya, but I hope these excerpts have settled your mind a bit; as it is, "You don't have to take my word for it". Also, now you have a list of books to go diggin' for, should you choose to see the info firsthand :) > Thank you again. Your helps is greatly appreciated. <Any time. I live to research. Wishing you and your fish well, -Sabrina> Sincerely, Karin Wiechert

MONOGENETIC Gill Flukes Infect Snails and Fish? - III - 05/31/2004 Thank you again, Sabrina! <Sure thing.> Now, I not only have reassurance that the fish aren't infected with gill flukes, but I have a way to check without trying to scrape gill filament from tiny little GUPPIES! Eeek! <And even still, I think the likelihood of gill flukes in your case does not even warrant checking; just if you feel so inclined, less trauma for you (and the fish).> I also have learned a lesson -- no enzyme cleaners (although I'd have had to dismantle and drain my heavily planted and decorated tank to get rid of the muck -- <...?... Uhm, do you really have portions of the tank that are *that* inaccessible? Zowie.> looked okay until I stuck my hand in and everything disintegrated into goo). Maybe should have siphoned out all the water and replaced it a couple of times. <Aaaaah. I see. Just, *poof*, eh? Yeah, water changes will give you much better results than a fix in a bottle.> Thanks also for the titles/authors. I need some good reference books, and you've given me a place to start with my next visit to Borders or Barnes and Noble. <Well, to point you in the right direction, then, I'd strongly recommend "Tropical Fishlopaedia" by Bailey and Burgess. This is a very useful little book, though I wouldn't recommend it to a first beginner or a youngster, in most cases. For someone a little more advanced, it's a great all-in-one, and has very easy-to-understand information on disease and medication. It's a little more up-to-date than Untergasser (which is still a favorite of mine, and probably my second recommendation), and much simpler than Gratzek and Noga (cheaper, too!). Though, be sure to bookmark pages 189, 213 and 317, or you'll have a heck of a time with it.... much as I like this book, it has a major shortcoming of having no complete index.> Thank you so much for your help. <Any time. -Sabrina> Sincerely, Karin Wiechert

HELP!! ICH!! Flukes Hi Ronni, <Hello Ruth> I just wanted to say thanks for your help and input! It was good to get reassurance about the flukes. I have been doing the ammonia/nitrite checks, partial water changes, temperature @ 82Ã-Å¡ and salt all along, all has been well in that department. <OK> But then a few days ago I noticed MORE white spots on a red zebra, and after doing some more reading on line decided to try Coppersafe. The lady at my LFS told me that there are getting to be some very resistant strains of diseases out there that don't respond as readily to traditional treatments any more. In any case, the scratching and head shimmy has all but stopped now, and everyone is behaving much more normally. <Very good!> I was thinking about doing a regime of Piperazine flakes as I noticed some stomach bloating on a couple of the fish, even though they look normal now. (Of course these two are the most enthusiastic feeders!) Can this hurt even if I'm not sure they've got internal parasites? ,Nope, shouldn't hurt them at all. I wouldn't do it for an extended period but short term isn't going to hurt anything.> Have a great weekend! Ruth <Thanks! You too! Ronni> There is a very safe treatment for flukes <Ananda here today...> Flukes are easily and safely treated with the dog worming medication: Droncit. <With a bit of research, I found that Droncit is also known as Praziquantel. It is prescribed as a tapeworm medication for both dogs and cats.> Treatment on day 1 and day three or four, successfully kills flukes in Goldfish. See Dr. Erik Johnson's book, Fancy Goldfish for precise dosages. Best wishes, Goldfish geek <Thank you for the heads-up on this book. I took a look at the book previews and it appears to be a very good book to have, even if you don't keep goldfish. --Ananda> Parasite in Parrot Gills Hello I have lost two parrot fish in the last three months. They all have long red tubular growths coming from the inside of the gills. The gill area has busted open since they got this and is growing out of the gills. The aquarium store told me it was most likely gill flukes and so I treated them repeatedly with no cure. They told me that they were a hybrid fish and if they appeared to be OK them let them go. I did and I lost one parrot 3 months ago and 1 last night. I noticed last week that the red tubular growths had purple tips on them and that the rosy barb in the tank was sticking its head into their gills and eating it. Please help. I've had these fish for over three years and I am very attached. The aquarium seems to think they may be anchor worms. There are two angel fish, a Pleco and a rosy barb in the tank and they do not have these growths. Kathleen < To get rid of either gill flukes or anchor worm I would recommend Fluke-Tabs. If your local store does not carry them then you can order them online at DrsFosterSmith.com.-Chuck>

Troublesome parasite Dear Bob, I have tried to post this question on the WetWebMedia forums but it keeps getting refused (I am a new member). I've searched the web and all of my fish books to no avail so I'm hoping you can help. A few months ago I bought some Emperor Tetras and plants for my freshwater planted tank (100L, pH 6.8, GH 6, Nitrate 10, Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0). After two weeks quarantine the Emperors went into the tank and all seemed well until a few days later when tiny white dots were seen on the fins of a few of them (needed a magnifying glass to see) they were treated for Ich but no improvement was seen and the dots grew into white/cream worms (they don't look like any anchor worm I've seen, more like a round worm). They grow to about 12mm and are coiled as they get bigger, although I haven't actually seen them move or squirm. The fish don't seem to suffer much discomfort apart from flicking the affected fins but when the worms get to 12mm the fish begin to look tired and a bloody patch appears where the worm is, just before it disappears (I'm assuming it drops off). One male has a 'worm' coiled in his mouth. None of the other fishes in the tank are affected yet but as more Emperors are affected now I really need to sort this out. If the fish were bigger I would try to pick them off with tweezers/spot treat, but these are such small fish. I tried treating the tank with salt (very slowly increasing to 3 tsps per Imp. gallon which had no effect except damaging the plants) I have also used Sterazin (for 2 weeks!!) and Paragon (Waterlife) to no effect apart from the most affected fish perking up a bit (not all at once obviously). Have you had any experience of this? Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you for reading this. Regards Paula O'Leary (UK) < If they are true worms then try Clout or Fluke-tabs. It may be a bacterial infection and the "worm" may actually be a small fungus spot after the bacteria have damaged the fish. It you think it may be bacterial then treat with Nitrofurazone or erythromycin. The latter does not color the water. The former will turn the water green. -Chuck>

Re: Troublesome parasite - II Hi Chuck, Thanks for your reply. One of the Emperors died today, she was the most affected and had been struggling all yesterday. I feel so bad for her, and the others if they go the same way. However I managed to detach one of her anal fins complete with parasite and get it under the microscope. Two things were apparent, firstly the parasite was not easily detachable (which is why I had to take an anal fin) secondly it looks for all the world like some kind of leech!! It has what appear to be 1 head at each end, a round 'head' and a more pointed 'head' - since it would be unlikely to have 2 heads I can only assume that it fits the description of a leech. I have taken photos if you would like to see them. <<Yes! Please resample/resize to 300 pixels largest side, and 1K or under for our inbox requirements.>> They show the silhouette of the 'worm' and its position on the fin. I have tried to photograph the parasites on live fish but Emperor tetras move very quickly. Regards Paula < These parasitic invertebrates can be nasty. But you did the right thing but taking a sample. I would still go with the fluke tabs or clout if you can find them.-Chuck> <<Mmm, a head at... but external... methinks these were Trematodes. RMF>>

Monogeneans from the gills of Mormyrid fishes Dear Professor, <Blahoua> I hope you will understand this message easily; my English is quite poor. <No worries> I am called BLAHOUA KASSI Georges. I am a doctorate of the university of Cocody-Abidjan (Ivory Coast). I undertake my research in Laboratory of Hydrobiology. I just red in the internet one of your publications which title is: 'The Elephantfishes, family Mormyridae, in Aquariums My topic concerns the Monogenean from the gills of Mormyrid fishes. Concerning the bibliography, I have some difficulties because I don't have any previous publications. I will be duly grateful you send me publications on 'Gills Monogenean parasites from Mormyrid fishes'. You can also give me names and e-mails of some persons who have worked on my topic that you know. Doing so you will help me a lot in my research works. Best wishes in 2005. Sincerely yours. <I suspect you don't have easy access to large library collections as well do here. Where would I send this material? Bob Fenner> BLAHOUA KASSI GEORGES Address postale : University of Cocody, UFR Biosciences, LABORATORY OF HYDROBIOLOGY 22 BP 582 Abidjan 22 (Coast of Ivory)

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