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FAQs on Freshwater Lice, Argulus

Related Articles: Freshwater DiseasesFW Disease Troubleshooting, Ich/White Spot Disease, Choose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks,

Related FAQs: Crustacean Parasitic Diseases, Anchorworms/Lernaeids, Organophosphate Use, Aquarium MaintenanceFreshwater MedicationsFreshwater Infectious Disease, Freshwater Fish ParasitesAfrican Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid DiseaseIch/White Spot Disease,

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Goldfish Success
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Lice - Solve      6/13/18
I used Lice – Solve last night on my happy active fish and this morning 16 of my fish are dead leaving only 5 left alive. I am heartbroken that despite using the correct amount and following instructions to the letter that I have inadvertently killed my beautiful fish with this product.
<Hello Jay. Lice-Solve is a product for killing off Argulus, Anchor Worms, and other (external) crustacean parasites. It's basically an insecticide, and should have low toxicity to vertebrates such as fish. Consequently the chemical inside Lice-Solve, Emamectin, has been used on fish farms where the food produced ends up on our dinner plates. With that said, insecticides can cause problems for fish if used at the wrong dosage (so double-check that) and can also cause problems to 'sensitive' fish species. If we're talking about pond fish, that's going to mean things like Orfe and Sturgeons, and possibly other species as well. Goldfish and Koi should be fine though. One problem with using any sort of poison is that if other things in the pond die as well, such as insects in the pond, and there's enough 'dying' going on to reduce water quality, then the fish may suffer as oxygen levels drop. It's often recommended that aeration be increased when medicating, which in a pond situation might include using a fountain or air bubbler. In a pond without filtration or aeration, it's entirely possible that even irritation to the gill membranes caused by the medication can be sufficient to stress, or even kill, your fish. I'd certainly reach out to the manufacturers to see if they can offer some insight, but I agree with you that this is a very unfortunate outcome. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Fish lice and American freshwater eel (RMF, anything to add?)      8/28/17
Hello, I have an American freshwater eel that I bought at a Maryland bait shop about 5 years ago.
<Interesting fish, T! Kept a European Eel years ago, and it was quite a beast!>
Although shy, he has been doing well.
<Anguilla species are generally extremely robust but fundamentally nocturnal, which accords well with what you've seen. The biggest obstacle to success is escape, because they do have a very strong migratory instinct.>
Just the other day I brought home a dozen comets to feed him, and only noticed a day later that one of the feeders had fish lice.
<***Sound of Neale bashing his head against the wall***>
(lots of Google searching there) I got out 3, 1 swimming and 2 on the feeder, but found a line of what looked like eggs that I was unsuccessful at removing.
<Oh dear.>
( they swirled away. oops.) I am worried what I can use to treat the tank with that would be safe for my eel.
<Prevention better than cure, here. To recap for the benefit of our readers, there is NO reason at all to use "feeder fish" when feeding virtually any aquarium fish. As our correspondent here has learned, it's a good way to introduce disease. Furthermore, goldfish are rich in Thiaminase and fat, two things that cause health issues in pet fish. Anguilla species hunt by smell, and from personal experience I can tell you they'll eat anything, even strips of fish fillet and squid. No need for live food, except perhaps earthworms and river shrimp while acclimating new specimens to life in captivity.>
Or if goldfish lice can even spread to an eel?
<Probably. Fish lice (Argulus spp.) are certainly known from Anguilla spp., so the balance of probability is that this is a real danger.>
I think copper is supposed to be bad?
<Copper is toxic to virtually all life; it's really a question of how much.
The "art" is dosing enough to kill the pathogen without killing the patient. In this case, copper isn't really your best option. There are really two good solutions here. On fish farms, you'd simply move the fish into strongly brackish or marine conditions. That'd kill the external parasites without much trouble. Anguilla spp are euryhaline, but once
acclimated to brackish or marine conditions, chances are it'd go into its reproduction mode, changing from its current yellow eel phase into the breeding silver eel phase. Keeping such eels in aquaria is very difficult because they will desperately try to escape, even if it means they need to hit you over the head and steal the car keys to do so. Your second option is a suitable insecticide (typically organophosphates) though Fish Lice are, of course, crustaceans. Using these organophosphates is potentially risky because they are highly toxic, so you need to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer or vet very carefully. As far as I know, copper is not toxic to Argulus at levels safe for your fish, which is why treating Argulus on ornamental fish is such a headache. It's primarily pond people who have to deal with it; for some reason it doesn't often become established in aquaria. Of course if you introduce pond fish (like "feeders") to an aquarium, then all bets are off, and Fish Lice can become
a serious headache. They are difficult to deal with, severely harm the host, and the wounds they create quickly become infected with Aeromonas and Pseudomonas infections.>
And a salt soak would not clear out the rest of the tank.
<Not sure what you mean here. Run the tank as moderately brackish to marine, and yes, Argulus will die. Standard operating practice on salmon farms.>
Research has not given me much as most people have marine eels or spiny eels.
<Oh, wow, there's tonnes of research into Argulus if you check out the academic literature. It is potentially a massive threat to commercial fish farms. Koi keepers also deal with it on a regular basis IF they don't quarantine new livestock, and organophosphate medications are available for treating pond fish -- you'll need to use one of those, unless you have a local vet able to help you. Regardless, organophosphates should work well, but Anguilla are unusual, and organophosphates are acutely toxic, so do carefully observe your eel for signs of distress. I'd have some good quality carbon handy in case something goes wrong -- at the first sign of distress, do a massive (~90%) water change, followed by filtering through carbon (or some similar marine-grade chemical adsorbent) together with increased water current and aeration.>
Can you give me any advice?
<Don't use feeders, EVER.>

Thank you, T
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale. PS. BobF's our pond guru, so I'm going to ask him to chip in if I've missed anything.><Nada mas Neale. Excellent resp. by you as always. B>

Argulus medication in Fresh Water Ponds of Catla Catla & Labeo Rohita     11/15/16
Dear Robert and Wet Web Media,
<Krishna; hey; one of our dive guides shares your name here in Mauritius>
I am a Chemical Engineer and working in Aquaculture Industry in India. Our Fish farmers raise Major Carps (Catla catla, Labeo rohita etc.,) .
<Ah yes; many important food Cyprinids>
The is too much of Argulus (sea lice) here. We found existing medications cease to work due to raised resistance of Argulus.
<Mmm; I take it you mean organophosphates... acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors>
Would you enlighten us with some new formulas which we can try out?
<What have you tried/used thus far? Common/generic and IUPAC names please>
Thank you, I look forward
<Cheers, and we'll be chatting... Am out dive-adventuring to mo.s end; so no access to chem. abstracts, what have you. Bob Fenner>
Re: Argulus medication in Fresh Water Ponds of Catla Catla & Labeo Rohita     11/16/16

Emamectin Benzoate used to solve the problem some extent. But it became obsolete now in our Aquaculture industry. There are few unknown costly medications used by some dealers, (some say 'Biospot') whose formula is unknown. They stop the outbreak a bit, but again they lice come severe.
<Mmm; have you tried Lufenuron along w/ the Emamectin (1:4)? Is there a possibility of formalin flushing, or bathing stock while sterilizing holding facilities? Bob Fenner>
Re: Argulus medication in Fresh Water Ponds of Catla Catla & Labeo Rohita      11/16/16

Lufenuron, I did not try it myself. I am not sure whether people would have tried Lufenuron here. My best guess is someone would have already tried it here since we have around 1 lakh acres of inland Fish culture here, (dealing with Argulus is pretty aggressive here ) and few of the fancy new compounds (unknown chemical) worked for a while like 1 month, however they cease to work as the Argulus increases its drug resistance. Its a closed secret when a new medicine comes out here. However none of them hold more than 2 months. But I am not really aware of the 1:4 combo Lufenuron with Emamectin.
<There's some recent literature in the sciences re. Do you know Ed Noga down in Florida? He's retired from teaching, but still does consulting re fish disease... and another friend I'd contact is Myron Roth; in Canada>
In my research in the literature, I found these compounds Cyromazine, Trichlorofon and Praziquantel, which might not have been tried at our side.
<Mmm; Trichlorfon and its many brand/generic names I'm quite familiar with.
You can search re on WWM. Prazi has issues w/ water solubility and is expensive in actual large scale aquaculture>
I wish to make new combinations with these and try out, with your suggestions.
Regarding the sterilization of facilities, these are very large ponds (ranging from 10acres-100acres, with avg water depth ~5ft). We use formalin just as nominal water sanitizer, but it is not effective with Argulus.
<Needs to be border high dip/bath concentrations. NOT added to ponds>
My idea here is ......considering a pond of 1 Acre with 5 ft depth (~160,000 gal, with 2500 pc.s Labeo Rohita), I want try out new compounds and combinations to checkout which works the best. I'd be more than grateful if you offer some insights in formulating. Thank you.
<It's been many years since I had first hand experience w/ Argulus, these pesticides... Hence my suggestion to contact people in the field presently.
Bob Fenner>

Lice on new goldfish      12/17/15
Greetings, I bought three new juvenile fancy goldfish (a Ryukin, a fantail and a black moor), each around 2 inches long (not including the tail), three days ago. They are currently in a 20-gallon quarantine tank. The water parameters are ammonia & nitrites = 0 and nitrates = 20. The temp is 72 degrees F and the pH is 7.4. All three fish are lively, eat well, and appear quite healthy. I noticed this morning that one of them had what looked like a fish louse on his tail. So, I picked them off with tweezers and upon looking at the creatures under a microscope, it appears to me that they definitely are fish lice. Our local pet store suggests using PraziPro in order to be certain that all life stages of the lice are killed.
<? Fish lice.... are not worms; fish lice are crustaceans... Prazi won't work>

Some others say that PraziPro is only for internal parasites. I have never dealt with fish lice before. What would you do if there were your fish?
Thanks very much in advance for your answer.
<Ah yes. Please read here:

and the linked FAQs files above.

Bob Fenner>
Re: Lice on new goldfish.... still not reading

Thanks so much for the information. This is a wonderful website and many times I've found helpful info here.
<I wish you'd use it.... obviously not>
One more question, if you please. At PetSmart, they have API general cure which contains Praziquantel and Metronidazole. Do you think it would be good to dose them with this to eradicate any possibility of lice remaining in the aquarium
<NO! READ; these will NOT TREAT for parasitic crustaceans>

and to prevent any bacterial infection on the fantail goldfish that had
them on his tail?
<Don't write; READ. BobF>
Re: Lice on new goldfish      12/18/15

Don't yell at me.
<Sorry; just exasperated w/ being presented w/ something from you I've just responded to>
I guess I misjudged you. I care tremendously about my fishes' health and I did read that links you suggested. But some of the products you have in the UK are not available to us here.
<Yes; I understand this>

Many people have had success with the product that I mentioned. Sorry to have bothered you.
<Not a bother.... READ and locate the useful molecules listed on WWM. You may need the help of a veterinarian there.
Re: Lice on new goldfish      12/18/15

OK. But I did not just come back with the same treatment I previously suggested. API's treatment has different ingredients than the one I first mentioned and our vet says that he has had success using them for lice.
<.... no; seeing your stmt.s below... you need/want an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.... "bug" (arthropod) killer. Flagyl and Prazi will NOT work
And I have access to the vet I work for. I also have an MS in Zoology,
<Ahh; my undergrad. degree from many moons back (75)
so I'm sure we can figure out the chemistry together. We shall read your link again and think over it some more. Thanks again.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Lice-Solve Overdose     1/13/13
Hi, I was sincerely hoping you may be able to advise me. I have a 28 gallon tank (set up 4 weeks ago) which cycled fully after 2 weeks (highly improbable I know but the water tests I have had done every few days - samples taken to LFS for testing have consistently shown 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, low levels of nitrates after the initial ammonia spike in the first week). I have many plants and a log from an established tank which kick-started the whole thing beautifully.
I added 2 fantail goldfish after a few days of setting up the tank and things were wonderful for one goldfish, the other quite quickly seemed to get stressed, fins clamped, sitting at the bottom of the tank and only stirring when food was served (flakes, occasional peas, broccoli, and bloodworms).
<I'd skip the last. Please search/read on WWM re these sewer fly larvae>
 Was unable to figure out what was wrong until finally some macro photography revealed fish lice on him. By this time, he was very poorly  and passed away before I could treat him. My other fish still appeared fine so I proceeded to treat the tank with lice-solve
<Enamectin: http://www.fish-treatment.co.uk/lice-solve.html>
 (I could see eggs on the plant leaves). I fear though that I may have slightly overdosed my tank (by a small amount - my scales aren't as accurate as I needed them to be).
<This product has a wide range of efficacy... not easily overdosed>
The fish was fine that evening but in the morning he had his nose down in the plants and wasn't moving much. I quickly changed out 30% of the water and he perked up, hungrily eating his flakes and swam around for about 3 hours as usual. Then he settled nose down in the plants again and has stayed more or less in the same spot ever since. I did a further 30% water change in the afternoon. He has tried swimming but seems too weak to fight the current in the tank. I tried to tempt him into some activity with the bloodworm with no success. My question is: is there anything more I can do to try and help him?
<Possibly the addition of salts, sea and Epsom may be cathartic. Please
read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GFSaltUseF.htm
and the linked files mentioned where you're not familiar (enough)...>
 If he does die, will I have to clean out the whole tank, buy a new cartridge for the filter and start the cycling process again, or will several large water changes remove the offending chemicals from my tank so I can get a new fish and hopefully have better luck/success?
<T'were it me/mine, I'd opt to bleach the system en toto likely... and start again. See Lernaea on WWM re the rationale. Bob Fenner>
Thanks in advance,
Re: Lice-Solve Overdose 1/14/13

Thank you for your response! Just thought I would update you on how things went. The fish in question has died (gutted!)
, but I have done a water test before cleaning the tank out and the lice-solve had caused a massive Ammonia and Nitrite spike which killed the fish.
<Mmm, doubtful. Much more likely the dead fish caused the massive NH3, NO2 spike>
 All I can say is, anyone thinking of using lice-solve for their tanks, use extreme caution, use literally a couple of grains of the powder, and keep a very close eye on your ammonia/nitrites. I wouldn't recommend the stuff myself. Question: what is a good sensible alternative treatment for fish lice should I ever encounter them again?
Thanks for all your help!
<... posted... Read here: Oh, see below that I sent you to search for on WWM last time... do so. BobF>

A question on Argulus   11/15/10
First off, thank you for your site. I have used it and have learned much on more than one occasion.
<Ah, good>
My question is about Argulus (fish lice). About two months ago I discovered Argulus on some of my goldfish. After much research I learned about Dimilin and tracked some down at an LFS about an hour from my home.
I removed all of the many mystery snails living in the tank and treated it for the prescribed time and it worked wonderfully. All is well with the goldfish now.
<Ah, very good>
Unfortunately, there are still Argulus living in the isolation tank I moved the snails to. Everything I have read seems to indicate that the Argulus cannot live for more than two weeks without a host,
<Mmm, longer than this>
but they are still visible all over the glass in the snail tank after over a month and a half. Are snails a host for Argulus as well?
<Not as far as I'm aware, no>
If so, is there any way to kill them without harming the snails?
<Again... not as far as my knowledge goes>
I really want to move them back to their big 50 gallon tank where they can move around doing their happy snail-speed things.
<I would keep moving the snails out of their isolation system, draining all the water out, lightly bleaching... refilling with water from the established system... a few times... this practice should eliminate intermediate forms. Bob Fenner>

Fish Lice-HELP... reading  8/28/10
I have a 175 gallon salt water tank, I have a 500 gallon turtle pond and I have a 5000 gallon Koi pond. I CANNOT believe I was so stupid as to NOT QT.
So my problem, the 5000 gallon Koi pond, I have had for 5 to 6 years. Its beautiful. Well, a couple of months ago I did a rescue, some Chinese restaurant had over 100 Koi in this LITTLE pond more suited for maybe 20.
So we did a rescue of 4 of them (along with a few other folks) and I didn't QT, the Koi.
Now, I have fish lice on all my beautiful butterfly Koi. I cried, literally. So here's what I have done, I removed all plant life, did a HUGE water change, cleaned the bottom, and treated them with cyropro.
<? What is this product? I.e., what are the active ingredients?>
My question
1) Am I going to lose any of my fish?
<Not likely if treated properly, no>
they are all named, blinky, ceech and chong, nessie, etc., my butterflies are like 22 inches long, I am SO mad at myself I KNOW BETTER.
2) How does this cyropro work?
<I have no idea what this is; neither does Google>
Will the lice fall off them or do I have to manually remove them?
<Most med.s call for removing adults thus>
And how long does it take. States to treat every 10 days for 30 days.
3) Is there anything else I can do to speed up the process? I hate seeing my fish uncomfortable. They are not even coming up to me for their hand fed treats! So sad.
Believe it or not I have searched the web over and over again on fish lice, there is not as much info as I would like! Things like how long before you notice an improvement. Will they come back?
thank you for you help I do appreciate it
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fishlicef.htm
and the Related FAQs files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fish Lice-HELP
The active ingredient in this med is cyromazine, Google says it is a pesticide.
<I see this... and typical for Lernaeid med.s>
There is also B12 in the product and a synthetic skin-slime replacer. This is what our LFS recommended. We used last night (the first treatment) 1 fluid ounce for 312 gallons, so we measured it out and we walked around the edge of the pond pouring it in. It doesn't state that we have to manually remove the lice. How do I do this without stressing my fish too much?
<... read where you were referred>
When you said to manually remove them I did a search and read that once the lice is removed I should treat the spot with a medication to aid in healing? Yet the site didn't say..what kind of medication!
<Some folks dab a mercurical on these sites...>
I read the link you sent, actually I read it last night and again this morning, which is how I ended up emailing you.
Thank you for your help!
<Welcome. B>
Re: Fish Lice-HELP
PS, I can pull my fish out and put them in a 500 gallon QT tank that I have on hand.
<Ahh! Very good to have such/another system... so you can systematically net out, carefully hold (with a wet towel) each fish, inspect it for adult "worms", remove them... and place the fish in the new system>
Would it be better to do this and leave the main pond alone?
<I would likely bleach-wash the main system after removing the fish>
I under stock all my systems so I have in the 5000 gallon pond 8 kois
<... the plural of Koi is Koi... there is no such thing as kois>
and 2 of the algae eaters (sucker fish not sure of the name)
<Welcome. BobF>

Oscars and some sort of parasite infestation! (fish lice)? <<Not>>
Parasites On Oscars   3/17/10

I've been a long time reader of your website and usually I've had enough information from previous articles or questions and email answers from you guys and gals to solve any problems that I've encountered on this journey
into the fish world I've taken. However, currently I've run across something that I can't quite get a grasp of to fix and would like your input.
I've had these 2 Oscars in a 75 gallon tank for the last 5 years and have normally been very active and playful and decorative for a lack of better term. (Thank tank never keeps its current layout very long they change it almost monthly it seems) Lately though they've been a bit lazy and dont swim around as much. They still have an appetite and are very energetic when its feeding time though!
The problem is that they started rubbing on things and it got to a point to where they would rub gouges in their scales on their head and front areas.
One night I finally got a closer look at them and they have these little specs all over them, and at first I thought it may just have been some sort of dirt but as I looked closer I noticed the dirt specs crawled around. So I looked around at your website and searched around for pictures of the only thing I could guess it was based on symptoms (fish lice) and couldn't see many pictures that matched it. I read a few of your email answers about fish lice in fresh water and have started a treatment of clout tablets. Its only been 2 days and it says its a 4 day treatment (one dose wait 48 hours re dose, wait 48 hours and do a 25% water change). I followed those instructions and my re dose is later today and I thought that maybe the little bug things (fish lice?) should be dying by now!
The parasites are less in number but still seem to be hanging on the Oscars. The other concern is that I didn't think they may be fish lice just because all the stories I read about them, was them burrowing under the scales and these look more like little spider things on top of the scales just randomly crawling around. They're staying mostly towards the front of the fish there are few if any past the gills of the fish and most are on the head.
I've attached a couple of pictures that I hope can help you aid me in telling me what they are.
Here are my current tank stats if I manage to leave something out please ask if you need it and I'll get it ASAP. I just ran these tests 5 min ago. pH: between 7.4-7.8 Its probably higher than you guys would like to see but its kind of the water card that I've been dealt and the Oscars have lived in it for 5 years now with no problems thus far.
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: Between 0 and 5.0 ppm
Copper: 0 ppm
Phosphate: Between 2.0 and 5.0 ppm
I also am not sure if the phosphate level is normal or acceptable because there's little reference to a normal level of phosphate in a tank. The pictures look a little bit drastic because of the massive amount of the parasites on the fish, but a lot of them are just loosely on there as soon as I feed them or come towards the tank any remotely fast movement shakes most of them off. I had to sit there very patiently for 10 minutes to get the fish to calm down enough to get these shots. The albino Oscar always has more of the infestation on it than the tiger Oscar does and I also don't know why that is.
Anyhow, sorry for the long email but I would greatly appreciate any help.
If the clout treatment is the correct way to go then it's already in progress and I suppose I'm just not patient enough to wait for the results!
I worry about them though. Thanks, Patrick Stockton
< Sometimes the parasites bury into the fishes flesh. This makes them harder to treat and it takes longer to kill them. Follow the directions on the package and continue medicating as directed. They could have come in with feeder goldfish. Elevating the water temp to 80 F will hasten the lice's life cycle. If this medication does not work then I have had good success with Fluke-Tabs.-Chuck><<Looks more like Hexamita to RMF. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/FWHLLECauses.htm
and the linked files above>>

Trying to find a diagnosis. Oscar With Fish Lice  8/21/07 Hello, I have a tiger Oscar that has been self-mutilating himself. He rubs against things in the tank and has opened his flesh at times. I did not see anything with my naked eye (at first). Then, one day, I sat down by the tank and looked up. He swam into the light and behold, there were microscopic white specks on his head. Then, I looked closer and they actually were moving. They are so very small, too small to compare them to anything. The only reason I saw them, was because he is black and swam into very bright light. They look like bugs crawling around over him. Now that I knew what to look for, I noticed them on the glass of my tank. Lots of them. Only in the light and very microscopic. I have tried researching "parasites" and nothing seems to fit the description. Fleas would be too big and flukes are described as "worm-like" rather than "bug-like". I couldn't stand to see my Oscar with open wounds and frayed fins so I bought "parasite eliminator" to cure flukes, anchor worm, and fleas, etc. I am about to give the 2nd dose. They have not responded to treatment so far. They are still there and there are plenty of them moving around unphased. What can I try next if this doesn't work? I appreciate any response, Thanks, Tina < Try Clout or Fluke-Tabs. The parasites probably came in with some feeder fish.-Chuck>

External Parasites On An Adult Jack Dempsey   7/17/07 Hello Crew, I have a relatively large Jack Dempsey (10") named Phin that lives with an algae eater in a 40 gallon tank. We've had him for just over a year and up to this point his behavior is fairly predictable but lately we have noticed some new patterns that were alarming. We introduce 10 feeder fish each week and it usually takes him just a few days to polish them off. About 2-1/2 weeks ago we introduced the feeders and he has only eaten two of them. In addition, he started to breathe more rapidly and he would dart around the tank and almost crash himself into the gravel. About two days ago I went to say good morning to Phin and noticed that he had about a dime-sized spot behind one of his eyes where it appears he has lost his scales. I also noticed one scale near his tail on the same side that was coming loose. I immediately went to the pet store to ask about possible problems and solutions. The "fish expert" at the store suggested that it may be a skin bacteria or infection and gave me "Maracyn" to treat the tank for five consecutive days. She also gave me frozen beef heart to provide Phin with some nutrition. I did the initial treatment on the tank and fed him some of the beef heart (which he absolutely devoured). A few hours later I returned to the tank to check on Phin and I noticed something new...he now has tiny little greenish things all over him. There are a few on his body and some on each of his fins. They are very small, I would say less than 3mm across, they appear to be round and they don't move around a lot, they seem attached to his body. I referred to the instructional booklet that came with the "Maracyn" and it didn't say that it treated any live, external parasites so I'm not quite sure what to do at this point. What do you think I'm dealing with and how should I treat it? Thank you in advance for your help! < When you feed your fish feeder goldfish you always have the potential to introduce parasites and diseases to your fish. treat with either Clout or Fluke Tabs. It sounds like you have fish lice.-Chuck>

Fish lice?   4/1/06 Hello. <Hi. Tom with you> About a week ago a purchased 2 Fantail Goldfish and 1 Platy. I have all of these fish in a tank together. <Not a good plan, Savanna. The Goldfish require very different water conditions than the Platy does which may have led to stressing this particular fish.> The other day I started to notice on my Platy white bumps all over it's tail. Then yesterday I noticed 1 huge bump on the back of the fish. Today I found 4 new bumps on the left side of the fish. These bumps are white and about 1-3mm wide. I have no clue what is going on, but I did take the Platy out of my tank and put him in a separate one by himself. Tell me what's going on; is it fish lice? <Your Platy almost certainly has Ich. Fish lice are quite a bit larger than you describe (visible to the naked eye) and are dark (brown or green) in coloration. Frankly, that's not all bad since Ich is much easier to treat. You do want to be prompt with the treatment, however. Lots of information here in WWM on the course of treatment. I'd highly recommend heat and aquarium salt as your Platy will be very tolerant of both. Tom>

Parasite Attack Hi crew, <Hi Lorenzo, MacL with you today.> I'm afraid I have a parasitic infestation in my tank. <Not good Lorenzo, not good at all.> These parasites look like little oval semitransparent lice that become white and tear away from fishes when I dip them in fresh water. <Have you seen the picture here, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/isopodfaqs.htm, is it one of these?> I think they are trematodes or Argulus sp. (crustaceans). The problem is that after one or two week that I've done the freshwater bath they come back again over fishes eyes and in my puffer's gills. <I really think you need to get the fish out of that tank and put them in a quarantine system. Let the tank go fallow and keep the fish out for 4 weeks.> I can't treat my display tank because have live rocks in it. And when I'll pass to a grater tank in November I have to use my live rocks that I afraid infested by these parasites. <You'll move whatever is in the rock into the new tank unless you let the parasites die out by letting the tank go fallow.> I'm trying cleaner wrasse to control the spread. What can I do to heal my fishes and to disinfest my tank? <I would continue with the freshwater dips and consider putting them in a quarantine system with a low level of copper for the parasites. I would let the tank go fallow for at least four weeks before I put any fish back and let the parasites die out with nothing to feed on.> Thanks for your help!!!! <Hope this helps, MacL>  

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