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FAQs about Roundworms

Related Articles: Roundworms, Worms, Parasitic Worm Diseases

Related FAQs: Parasitic Worms

Parasitic worms on Whitemouth moray       7/29/16
Hi guys,
Hopefully you can help with medication options for a moray eel. I started to notice Zig Zag like lines just under the skin and they seem to be changing locations. Parasitic worms ? This photo looks a lot like what I see.
<Yeah; nematodes>
I have two eels together a white mouth and a HDM
The Whitemouth is the only one effected. He is eating and growing normally but seems to display irritation, head tic's and jerks. Is this something common in morays and if so what is the best product/ method to treat it?
<Common enough. See WWM Re. Bob Fenner>
Thank you
Re: Parasitic worms on Whitemouth moray       7/29/16

Thank you Bob.
<Welcome. And have sent this to MarcoL for his sep. resp. B>

Parasitic worms on Whitemouth moray     /Here's Marco       7/29/16
Hi guys,
Hopefully you can help with medication options for a moray eel. I started to notice Zig Zag like lines just under the skin and they seem to be changing locations. Parasitic worms ? This photo looks a lot like what I see. I have two eels together a white mouth and a HDM. The Whitemouth is the only one affected. He is eating and growing normally but seems to display irritation, head tics and jerks. Is this something common in morays and if so what is the best product/ method to treat it? Thank you. Brad-
<Typical lines of nematodes living in the skin. Use a copper und formalin free Anthelminthic in a separate hospital tank or with higher dosage as aerated baths. Treating in the display is much less probable to work and can negatively affect the system. Good luck. Marco.>

intestinal worm id   1/30/11
Hi There Helpful WWM Crew!
<Howdy Vince! Sorry for the delayed resp.. Was out on an ersatz overnight campout>
I am back for a second time, another fish needs help and I am inexperienced at this problem. I have attached photos of the worm that I observed hanging it's ugly head from the vent of our newest resident, a P. Euxiphipops navarchus (4 inch size).
<A nice specimen! Is this one from Bali?>
The fish eats heartily, was not treated in QT, just observed. He ate well and proved to be ok in a 55 with rock and sand for over 8 days so we added him in. He quickly adjusted, with some minor aggression from our blue tang, Foxface and Spotfin butterfly. He is in a 180 AGA mixed reef and has not picked on my invert friends yet. I am hopeful. He eats Selcon enriched Nori, pe Mysis and Hikari Mysis. He also eats pellets and formula 2 frozen. So far we are very happy. I noticed the worm today, snapped pictures, fed him and the worm departed, floated around the tank and got lost in the rockwork before I could net it. It was almost 1 inch long and pink to red in color.
<I see this>
I am unsure of id but think both ends were pointed.
<Ahh! Likely a Nematode species... do see here in the FW sect.:
and the marine: http://wetwebmedia.com/rndwrmfaqs.htm
and here re treatment: http://wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmidcuref.htm
It oriented into the current while poking out of the fish, which is why it caught my eye so quickly. This was not fecal matter for sure. I am really happy to have found a well adjusted specimen of this species (5 months at my local store). I drooled over him the whole time.
My other fish don't show signs of intestinal parasites, but I read Prazi in the food is the way to go if they all eat well. My fish all eat well. I hope to treat while they are in the display, as I have no QT big enough for all of the fish at once. Please help or suggest a best course.
<I would treat via the foods as you state>
I am surprised the worm took off. Maybe this is a sign that nature took care of it and not to worry?
<I would treat...>
Yeah Right, I should be so lucky.
Vincent M. Manfredi
Fisheries Biologist
<BobF, academically a fisheries biologist... marginally a pet-fish ichthyologist>

Questions regarding treatment of potential intestinal worm issues   1/2/11
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
I could use some advice regarding my two tank bred Amphiprion ocellaris clownfish (black and white variety). While I continue to research your site extensively on multiple topics, I remain a bit confused as to the proper course of action here. I'll provide basic history and tank parameters first, then add my questions.
I'm new to the hobby, or should I say, obsession. I've read just enough to probably be a bit dangerous to myself, and my dear fish.
Tank stats:
30 gallons
Live sand base of 2'-3'
Roughly 35 pounds of live rock
Rena XP2 canister filter rated up to 75 gallons
One powerhead
Pending addition of a protein skimmer
Salinity 1.025 (determined with a refractometer)
Temperature 78 degrees
pH 8.2
Ammonia 0.0
Nitrite 0.0
Nitrate 0.0
I established the tank roughly 10 weeks ago. I added two tank bred Amphiprion percula after 4 weeks. I did not follow quarantine procedures. Within days one fish displayed signs of distress, refused to eat, and developed color loss and a whitish film on a segment of the body.
<Mmm, perhaps Brooklynellosis>
I reviewed your site for quarantine procedures, immediately set up a separate tank, and moved both fish. Both were dead within 24 hours. I completely rinsed out and restarted the quarantine tank (I now have two set up in my kitchen), and permitted the main tank to remain fallow for four weeks. Please note that I did leave my hermits, emeralds, and peppermint shrimp in the main tank during this time.
I acquired the two new Amphiprion ocellaris and quarantined them for the 33 days that the main tank remained fallow. In this time I noted after roughly ten days that the male (the submissive of the pair) occasionally had thin stringy feces that trailed behind him. The string was very thin - thinner than a thread - white, and remained attached to the vent for some time before dropping off. Sometimes (often) there was a larger clump of feces attached at the end of the thread. I treated both clowns via feedings of PE Mysis shrimp or frozen Marine Cuisine, with Metronidazole, as per dosing instructions, three times over six days.
<Mmm, I would have also used, treated with a vermifuge>
I moved both clowns to the main tank after the 33 days. This move took place four days ago; both fish are eating well, alert, swimming normally (though normal swimming seems relative for clowns) and demonstrate no outward signs of stress. Nevertheless, I've noted the submissive clown again is displaying the thin, stringy feces trailing from the vent. This condition is not evident in the other clown.
These are the only fish I currently have in my display tank, along with the peppermint shrimp, hermits, and emerald crabs.
I've noted in your writings that you often advise against overmedicating,
<This is so>
and I remain wary of reacting too quickly to this issue, especially as I'm concerned about the impacts on beneficial intestinal fauna as well as the potential for cumulative impacts on other organs. Yet I do want to act, if warranted, while this fish remains outwardly healthy and still eating.
Would you recommend treating again with Metronidazole, or moving to the use of Praziquantel (via PraziPro), or Maracyn Two?
<I would use the Prazi, not the others>
If you recommend treatment is warranted via one of these options, would you advise treatment via food dosing, or via aquarium water?
<If they're eating, via the food>
Should both fish be treated, or just the clown displaying the symptoms?
<Both... all fishes>
And finally, if treatment is warranted with any of these products, should the fish be moved back to quarantine for treatment, or depending on the drug, can they remain in the display tank without negatively impacting the biological filter/live rock as well as the shrimp and crabs?
<Moved to the treatment tank>
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Wormy Seafood--Eeewww! (2/7/04) Hey I found this weird looking worm swimming around on a plate of food during dinner and I am now concerned as to what the heck it is.  <OMG! I'd have tossed my cookies on the spot. Was it alive?> We were having cod, scallops, and salad. <At a restaurant?> I am not sure which the worm came from, if any.  The cod was fresh and was well-cooked in a 350 degree oven so I'm not sure if that was the source.  The worm was about an inch long I guess, it was a cream color and one end was a rusty color.  The rust colored end must have been the head, because of how it swam. <I'm feeling more nauseated by the minute.> It moved more like a snake than like a nightcrawler type of worm.  It kept lifting up its head and foremost body, as if to look around or maybe just to get air.  But it was also able to tolerate being under fluid for awhile. <You're not kidding me her are you? I'll take what your saying as reality here. Were the scallops raw? A live worm could only have come from the salad.>   I am so grossed out <me too, and I only read about it>, I hope this isn't something that could cause serious illness if one of us ate one. <Doubtful to be honest, but if you get sick, see your doctor right away.> Please mail me back and let me know what you think it might be and if there are any pictures I can look though on the web to identify it. <I really don't know where you should look. I can't believe that this worm came from properly cooked seafood. Do you still have it? If so, take a picture & send it along.> I'm trying to find a picture of a Phocanema decipiens, got any ideas? <Couldn't fin a picture on the web. Like all nematodes, this infection comes from ingesting larvae from raw or undercooked fish.>  Thanks! <Hope this helps some. Reminds me of the time my father chewed up a used band aid in his food at a restaurant in Mountain View, CA in the 70s. The jerks wouldn't even refund the cost of his meal. Nowadays, he could probably get thousands of dollars in a law suit. Seriously though, do monitor your health and if you have a problem, consult your physician. This episode also serves as a reminder to all of the need to clean/prepare/cook all foods properly. Steve Allen.>
Wormy Seafood 2 (2/8/04)
  Hi again, and thank you for the quick reply! <No problem.> Nope, I was NOT joking about that worm.  Actually, it was on my son's plate and when he showed it to me, I was extremely disgusted and decided not to eat.  I had every intention of saving that worm and trying to find out what it was.  Unfortunately, someone decided to play with it and they cut it in half.  It doesn't even look the same now, it was very thin and stringy to begin with. There was mostly salad left on the plate, and it may have come from that, except it looked like it was really used to swimming. Anyhow, it still makes me sick to think about it. <Understandable. Again, it is hard to believe the worm came from the fish since you cooked it properly.>   That band-aid story was gross too and you're right, if that had happened in more recent times, your dad would be rich.  I can't believe they wouldn't even refund his money! <They sure should have.> Rose :-) <I certainly hope you all remain well. Steve Allen>

Figure Eight Puffer Parasite Hello Mr. Fenner, I acquired several Figure Eight Puffers for a tank that I recently finished cycling. The Puffers are the only inhabitants. I've had Figure Eights for almost a year now in another tank, so I'm pretty familiar with the usual health problems that crop up with them, since most are wild caught. One of my new Puffers was suffering from fungus, so I was treating the whole tank with MarOxy as well as Maracyn and Maracyn ll for any infection that might be present. Unfortunately, yesterday the sick Puffer took a dramatic turn for the worse and died. I wanted to get a closer look so I examined it under close-up magnification. Photos of what I found are enclosed. The images are magnified approximately 34X. <Good photo work> The parasites that I found aren't easily noticed with the naked eye. One image shows an elongated lump near the tail of the Puffer that is actually a worm living under the skin. Under magnification I could see it moving. It's approximately one inch long and 1/16" in diameter. There were A LOT of these worms under the skin on various areas of the fish. <Yes... nematodes> I was curious to see what might be lurking inside of the Puffer so I sliced the stomach open. More worms rolled out of the body cavity. These were in the body cavity and not in the intestine (I hadn't yet perforated the intestine). The photo shows one of the worms measuring between 1" and 1 1/4" in length and 1/16" diameter. Interestingly, when touched the worm retracts into a coil. <Typical> The other photo enclosed shows a yellow area that I assume is infection or irritation caused by the worms. <Perhaps> I've had no luck identifying this particular parasite. It just doesn't resemble the descriptions I have found of other worm-like parasites of fish. I'm hoping that you might know exactly what it is and also possibly recommend a course of treatment. I'm stumped! Thanks in advance. JoAnn VanDersarl <Hmm, where to start, or how to narrow down a statement here... The infestation you describe and show is likely resultant from an initial exposure from the wild... these roundworm parasites typically have "complex" life cycles that require one or more intermediate hosts... Maybe some lack in diet, environmental challenge hastened the "winning" (and ironically losing) phase of the worm parasites causing the death of their host (and themselves), but perhaps not much... It's very hard to access (unless you sacrifice and examine a significant portion of a good size sample of individuals) how much of what their parasite load is... All vertebrates (yes, including you and I) have something of such a mix of organisms living in and on us... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm and the FAQs beyond for more of a general understanding of the predisposition to these events. Bob Fenner>

Weird white things? Hi Bob- <<JasonC actually, filling while Bob is out diving.>> I've been reading your FAQ's since setting up my small marine fish/invertebrate tank (30 gallon Eclipse 3). So far your advice to others has saved me some of the trial and error mistakes I've read about. <<Glad to hear it. Is certainly one of the intended purposes of the site, so it's great to hear when it helps.>> My tank has one piece of live rock and other rocks for hiding and also a couple of fake plants for color. I'm using the Eclipse tank set up as it came (charcoal filter w/ bio-wheel) and have not added any other filtration due to the fact that the hood w/lights etc. does not allow for it. It seems to be working out OK.  It's stocked as follows: I have one Maroon Clown and one Pygmy Basslet (Dottyback) for the fish. One Coral Banded shrimp, 3 hermit crabs and three snails for scavengers. So far so good in regards to water quality and compatibility. <<and that sounds like a good mix for a 30, I'm sure it will be a great tank for some time to come.>> I have a couple of questions: I recently noticed on the glass and on the one piece of live rock in the tank, very small (>.5mm) white curly snail-like? things. They are curled up like a spiral, and I have not seen them move. They also vary in size. Any idea what they might be? <<in fact I do, they're a calcium-based tube worm. Similar to feather dusters, but not exactly the same.>> should I leave them alone or try and get rid of them? <<Leave them alone for the most part unless they obscure your view, then you can scrape them off.>> Also, what might round out my fish stocking options with this type of small tank set-up? I'm thinking one or two more max. <<Probably one max, and you'd better consult with your maroon clown before you do it... some of the larger ones would have nothing to do with a new visitor in this tank. If it's a small maroon clown, then perhaps... a neon goby? I just happen to like these a lot and think they are funny, good looking fish. Also usually cheap and easy to find, and in your case, a good fit that won't tip the balance.>> Thanks! Thom <<You are welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

Sushi (benefits) Hey Bob, As a sushi aficionado I thought you'd find this interesting. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011115/sc/health_depression_dc_2.html PF <Thanks for this... couldn't/wouldn't disagree. Be chatting. Bob F>

Sea Urchin Question Mr. Fenner- My question relates to the use of Sea Urchin (Uni) as food in sushi bars and Japanese restaurants. <You know... as a kid in Japan I always wondered what Sea Urchin roe tasted like (too expensive for me then), and then when I moved to the source (Southern California) of a good deal of it, I couldn't understand what the big deal was/is... "Oh, you just haven't had it really fresh", I can hear my friends saying... Oh yeah? I've cracked Strongylocentrotus sanfriscanus tests open underwater, taken out my regulator mouthpiece and eaten it then/there... it is better fresh...> Can any toxins at all be absorbed into the human body from eating Sea Urchin/Uni the way it is served in Japanese restaurants? (Liver, stomach, pancreas, etc.) <Oh... I imagine there is some possibility... The biggest threat in my opinion is likely from "herring worm disease" (anisikiasis)... have a bit about this posted on our site, here: http://wetwebmedia.com/roundwor.htm Or, much more likely, liver disease from too much sake and good Japanese beer. Mmm, I'm getting thirsty. My point is, there's probably a greater risk from breathing car fumes getting to/going from the sushi bar than ingesting sea urchin eggs. Bob Fenner. Oh! And should mention, these are used in many fish foods.> Geoff Williams

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