|FAQs on Parasitic Marine Worm Diseases: Flukes/Digenes & (Monogene)
FAQs on Flukes/Trematodes:
Treatments That Don't Work,
Cures That Do Work,
The Flatworms That Are Flukes
by Bob Fenner, Marine Parasitic Disease,
Fish Worm Diseases 1, Marine Worm Parasites 2,
Marine Worm Parasites 3, & FAQs
on Marine Worm Parasites: Diagnosis/Symptomology, Etiology/Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work,
"Other" Worms and Worm-Like Parasites...
Paravortex/Black Spot Disease,
Many marine fish families are VERY commonly imported/collected w/ their
(Trematode) parasite fauna (intact); though there are other vectors
Attn: Bob Fenner RE: Flukes
Here's a copy and paste of our conversation on Facebook. Please remove
my name if you would like to publish this conversation on WWM.
Thanks for any help!
My friend owns a retail marine-only LFS. He's had some trouble with
Flukes over the years, and has dipped fish in PraziPro when they are
showing signs. His fish offered for sale are not quarantined or
medicated prior to sale. What is the life cycle of Flukes?
<Some are direct, other important species require an intermediate
host... and most of these are easily eliminated therefore. Control is
covered on WWM here:
Is there a way to interrupt this life cycle (such as how a good UV
sterilizer can interrupt Ich)?
<Yes... as covered in the above citation, best to dip/bath incoming fish
specimens to knock off external species. Bob Fenner>
Trematode life cycles vary quite a bit... mono- and di-genes... some
have direct development and the latter require an intermediate host... I
would NOT dip w/ Prazi, but use formalin... Please send all this to me
at Crew@WetWebMedia.com as it's easier to look up and refer you to
pertinent archives from there.
Re: Attn: Bob Fenner Re: Flukes
Thanks for your quick reply! My friend does not want to dip incoming
fish as they are usually stressed when they arrive.
<All are... life itself is "a series of compromises"... one must decide
for themselves which they choose, is better>
He has not had good luck dipping fish in the first few days.
<Should be done as part of the regular SOP/Triage of all incoming>
Is there any other way?
<Isolate, quarantine all incoming first IF they can't take the strain of
proper acclimation INCLUDING the dip/bathing... OR... get better
suppliers... Look and deal w/ "A" suppliers like Quality Marine if
they're in the US; TMC, DeJong et al. if in W. Europe...>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Attn: Bob Fenner Re: Flukes: Wiki
Thank you Bob, I will share this with my friend. I think some of the
trouble with the stress is that we are in Canada and the fish travel for
<Is indeed a factor>
Many are coming direct from Philippines, Red Sea. Do you know
how Flukes move from one fish to another?
Do they free-swim? Jump on fish while they sleep?
<You can read re... here on Wiki:
There is a "standard" sort of cycle w/ variations... but eggs are
released to the environment and either directly infest or go through
another host first.... with all the usual accompanying archaic
I am not usually the one asking questions. I own a marine aquarium
maintenance company, and I quarantine all incoming fish for clients'
<You are wise here. I did such work for nineteen years; am writing a
series of articles for the pulp and e-zines for currently, and will be
compiling this into another direct to print and e-title. Much of our
olde action plans and op.s manual for Aquatic Life Services is archived
on WWM in the business sub-web section>
I do take the steps that you describe, but I can understand how these
steps could increase the landed cost of fish in a retail situation.
<Well-worth the cost to build one's business; without such value added
services the trade never does grow in a given locale... The best shops,
svc. co.s, "Do" dips/baths, and quarantine... their organisms live...
and their customers go on; including generating interest, new ones in
turn. The reciprocal is also so.>
The cost of shipping to our area is already so high that it is tough to
<Getting about time to encourage more local (aquaculture) production in
the marine fields>
Thank you so much for your time,
<And you for yours. Bob Fenner>
Attn: bob-achilles tang; and Trematode f'
Hey fellow name sharer,
As discussed before, I restarted my 155 fowlr august 4, and the tank has been
cycled since midway point September.
My lfs was having. 25 percent off sale this week, in which I took a purple tang.
It died shortly after, so after explaining situation, he have me the credit to
use on it, and I picked up my two favorite fish, Aussie tusk and an Achilles
Unlike my previous achilles which I killed while trying to quarantine (ammonia)
this one is larger, in the 4 to 5 inch range, and has been at the store since
august. Has not yet showed signs of ich at the store, and I know the
store runs a low level of copper.
<Ah yes; most all LFS do>
Once in my tank, he ate right away, and is very active. Later that night I
noticed just one of his eyes appeared to be foggy (thought it was flukes) but
after More observation, it's a blue tint, on just the one eye. I know after
reading achilles can have some shades of Blue on them, but being it is just one,
I am not sure.
<I wouldn't panic>
My first instinct was a fw dip, or Prazi pro, but looking back at my mistakes,
over reacting, I did nothing.
I know they are sensitive fish, and not cheap, would you say the laid back
approach here is the way to go? Or is one eye always an indication of an issue,
whether it be bacterial, flukes etc.
<I do like dips (short term baths) of pH adjusted freshwater (aerated if RO or
doing a bunch of fishes); with formalin if you have it... for these
(Acanthuroid) fishes. They almost always sport a bunch of Trematodes coming from
the wild; or mixed in with fishes from same>
Thanks again for your time. I hit an all time low this summer with fish trying
to be a hero, and want to change my approach for the better going forward.
<Welcome. B. Fenner>
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang 11/29/14
Thanks for the input, always appreciated .
Upon getting home from work early tonight I devoted my time to paying close
attention to the eye of the achilles. These tangs move a lot and often, so
getting a good view is tough.
While looking at this eye, I saw little oval shaped pieces on the eye,
much to my displeasure. I believe them to be flukes. I did not fw dip
this fish in fear if killing it just as what happened with the purple tang a
<As prev. mentioned... I ALWAYS do>
I knew the "just having different eye color" was wishful thinking. I can try to
catch fish tomorrow and fw dip, but I do have about 175 lbs of rock.
Being I am running a therapeutic (sp) level of Cupramine , could I shut My
skimmer off and run one or two courses of Prazi pro as well for the flukes?
<You could... there may be water quality issues from the Prazi killing off a
good deal of Vermes biomass... you might want the skimmer on>
I waited about 6 hours to make sure my eyes weren't fooling me. He also has what
looks like mini seeds (white) on his black body.
<.... sigh... too likely Trematodes as well>
And if caught, for a fw dip, is taking two gallons of fresh ro, pumped with a
strong pump for an hour, pinch of reef buffer the trick? I have a pinpoint but
can throw it a lot further than I can trust it. I just don't want a repeat of
last week . Thanks again and hope your not experiencing the 24 degree weather we
<... no thanks! It's time, perhaps past-time for me to suggest you getting,
using a simple microscope. B>
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang
Microscope will look into. What does a good one run these days?
<See my scant input on WWM re... I have a really neat Intel/Mattel QX near hand
that was under a hundred US... up to 400 power, two light sources, USB
Also about the Prazi, it says on bottle to turn off uv and skimmer. With
Cupramine, I didn't know if the Prazi would be a "reducing" agent like a
dechlorinator would, supposedly that makes the copper deadly toxic.
<These do have to be off lest they remove the med.s quickly and for the UV,
result in coating of the lamp or sleeve... hard to remove>
I hope these companies stick those notes on the bottle in cya fashion. I be read
some others using Cupramine( bounded copper) with Prazi.
<Can be used together. Pardon the emboldening but "SHOULD USE IN treatment
tanks", and of course "PREVENTION is far better, vis a vis dips/baths... There's
a bit of disc. re the same the last few days twixt Lemon Tea, myself and others.
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang
Ok. So just to be absolutely sure. When SeaChem says not to mix with reducing
<? Proton donors, electron acceptors? Am an olde ex H.S. chem. and physics
such as ammonia or chlorine removers,
Prazi pro from Hikari would not fall into that category, and would be fine to
<As far as I'm aware; yes>
I am at about .35 level of the Cupramine. My believe and joy would be to extract
cooper after a few more weeks to help the tang ease in without fear of ich,
<It may die from flukes first, or complications thereof really... such as
but at same time, with eye already cloudy, and other fish starting to "head
shake", I may not have a few more weeks to play with.
I can go home tonight, do a 1/3 water change. Knock the copper down to .2, run
some carbon a few hours, and dose with Prazi.
I supposed I am starting to panic, and a war is raging between heart and brain.
I want to exhibit patience, but at the same time do the right thing for my
<When, where in doubt, do nothing... Or better, keep reading, seeking to
understand what's going on; your options>
If I am comprehending effectively so far, and this was your tank, you would
begin the Prazi pro tonight, even with elevated copper levels?
<... not going to repeat myself a fourth time.>
This reminds me of something a college professor told me once, and that is if
you keep looking and reading, you will find contradictions that you might
inadvertently be looking for.
In my case I suppose I was looking/scouring for something telling me you can not
mix Cupramine along with Prazi.
Thank you again for providing your ears and cranium. I feel this hobby is a game
of poker, with much higher stakes!
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang
Hey bob, not sure about the chemistry terms. Here is the excerpt from SeaChem's
Q: I've been dosing with Cupramine™ and then I added Product X and everything
died. What happened?
A: If Product X is a reducing agent such as ParaGuard™ (or other aldehyde based
medications), or if you overdose with a dechlorinator, such as Prime® then the
Cu+2 will be reduced to Cu+. Cu+ is 10 times more toxic than Cu+2.
<Ah yes; Aldehydes can be oxidized...>
This is what I was not sure of. If the was Prazi would fall into the same boat
as the products mentioned.
<No... Look both up on Wiki... Praziquantel is best administered via food/s...
has a short metabolic life. Mode of action is entirely different. B>
Re: Attn: bob-achilles tang
Thank you bob! That was the one thing holding me back from having confidence. I
now see there should be no interference with Prazi and cupramine.bim assuming
formaldehyde is a reducer, different animal than dewormer.
I know, display tank is far from ideal for dosing Meds. I lost about 2900 in
fish this summer trying to medicate in qt, and have a bit of a bad taste still.
I get out of work in an hour, I plan on feeding real good, water change, shut
off skimmer and uv, (bio pellet reactor leave on?)
<If you'd like... just supplies C>
and dosing Prazi, again 5 days from now and after resuming therapy level of
I feel good now, thanks!!
achilles update; Re flukes 12/3/14
Just wanted to be courteous and give you an update. You did offer sound advice,
and I feel you not knowing the outcome would be unfair.
With that said, I am on day four of the Prazi, and all I can say is "wow".
The Achilles eye has improve 100 percent, and he is starting to eat more, and
seems to be putting on some mass.
Consequently, I have seen some worm like structures floating in the water
column, and other fish, including my aussie tusk, and durgeon trigger, look to
be perfecting there look. The trigger looked okay, but since the induction of
Prazi pro, has had white marks surfacing and falling off his body.
<Not surprising... as you'll see from reading, there are MANY worm parasites...
in aquatic environments, terrestrial...>
I have one more day, will complete a 25 percent water change, and dose one more
time for 5 days. Hopefully that will cut it, but knowing me, I will play it safe
and hit it one more time.
Perhaps the most aggravating part of this whole endeavor is preventing this.
<?... dips, baths... >
My fish had all be quarantined in copper and Prazi, my tank was bleached out and
restarted, and this new Achilles was in the local lfs tank for four months,
seemingly no signs of ich or flukes. (I visit there 2-3 times a week). Why it
snowballed in my tank, I guess the answer is it needed only one to get it
Thanks again Bob. I am trying to be smarter this time around, not a shoot and
ask questions later type. What makes that tough is the dollar sign next to some
of these fish.
<And you for this follow up. Happy holidays. BobF>
Fallow tank due to flukes 10/6/13
I have a question concerning the life span/cycle of marine flukes
without a host. The question of how long to run a main tank
fallow has been asked for years and the answers range from a couple of
weeks to a few months.
<More the former>
I have been reading every article, scientific report and journal I can
find to determine how long Neobenedenia can live without a host.
Based on what I found the adult can live up to 5 days at 25 degrees C.
The eggs hatch within 4-6 days and if the larvae don't find a host
within 36 hrs they die.
I have yet to find any report of an egg remaining dormant (like
Cryptocaryon) at 25 degrees C.
<Sounds about right>
Based on this information if a tank is fallow for 15 days shouldn't the
life cycle be broken?
Do you know of any reports that contradicts this information?
<I do not. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fallow tank due to flukes 10/6/13
Hi Bob! Thank you for the quick response. I'm sorry to bother you with
this but I really wanted someone with knowledge of parasitic life cycles
and not just a guess:) My tank has been fallow for 4 weeks so I think
I'll begin moving the fish from their QTs back to the main. Thank you
Trematodes came with my snails?
Dear Wonderful WetWeb Crew,
I have a 40 gallon aquarium that has been set up since September.
Specific Gravity is at 1.026 and temp is around 78. I added about
10 Cerith snails from a local fish store a week ago and they have
some wormish hitchhikers.
At first I just saw a few stuck to their shells. Then I picked a
snail off the rock to look at closer and some of these fell out
of inside the shell as well. I have attached pictures that I hope
will help you give me an idea of what they might be.
<Need much more highly resolved, larger pix>
I was thinking of dosing the tank with PraziPro, but thought
I'd try to get some kind of ID from you guys first. They are
about 1/16th of an inch long and reddish brown in color. They
don't appear to swim in the container nor move at all.
I'm slightly puzzled and have never seen this. I didn't
come across it on your website either. The first picture are some
that fell out of the inside of 2 snails into a clear container.
The second is obviously on the snail.
Thank you for any insight you may have on this. It is truly
<Gastropods/Snails are very often vectors/carriers,
intermediate hosts for worms of various sorts. IF concerned that
these may "be trouble", I would go ahead w/ your
Anthelminthic treatment plans. There is a very large body of
data, writing re various species (esp. of economic or health to
humans consequences)... Some "worms" that get about
this way have complex life cycles and will most likely perish in
an aquarium setting w/o "causing harm". Do a bit of
look/seeing on the Net... perhaps a visit to a large/college
library w/ a life science dept. Cheers and thank you for sharing,
Grab Bag of Parasites? Please help with the following
questions... <Sure thing! Scott F. here again today> - When
it says 'will kill invertebrates' on copper medication,
does that include shrimp, snails and crabs? <precisely> -
Is copper also good for flukes? <I prefer Formalin-based
remedies for flukes...> - What are ectoparasites? (Ich?
Flukes? Velvet?) <Consult the WWM site for specific forms>
- One of the remedies to get rid of parasites is to lower
salinity to 15ppm. Will that also kill flukes and velvet? How
safe is this on corals, snails, crabs and shrimp?
<Hyposalinity treatment can work for some parasitic
diseases...I'm not a huge fan of it. It can be harmful to
inverts> - Will the banded coral shrimp also 'eat' Ich
and velvet and flukes from fish? Would this plus UV sterilizer be
a good alternative to using medications? <The CBS will pick at
some parasites...but it cannot get them all. A UV sterilizer is
good at possibly stopping some of the parasites when they are
free-swimming...I still use meds...> - Finally, in one of my
20g tanks, I'd like to keep one Banded Coral Shrimp and one
Harlequin Shrimp. Will they be ok with each other? Will they be
ok with reefs? <They should be fine with corals...But there
may be some aggression between the two...Be prepared to move
somebody> As always, huge, huge thanks for your help. Luke
<A pleasure, Luke! That's why we're here! Regards,
No Meds In A Display Tank! > <Sure thing! Scott
F. here again today> > - Is copper also good for flukes?
> <I prefer Formalin-based remedies for flukes...>
I've heard that Formalin is a big no-no in marine and reef
tanks (hard on corals, will kill bio filtration, will kill live
rock). No? Thank you, Luke <You are absolutely right Luke.
Under no circumstances would you ever dose this, or any other
medication in a display tank. Formalin should be administered
only in a controlled environment such as a "hospital
tank." It is highly effective against flukes, however.
Follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter when you use
this stuff. Good luck! Scott F.>
Formalin Works-But What About The Display Tank?
(Flukes) Right, but flukes lay eggs that get deeply into the
gravel sometimes (making them so hard to cure). So even if one
does treat the fish in separate tank, you're still going to
have flukes in the main tank, no? Thank you. <Well, the
approach to many parasitic infestations is to deprive them of
their hosts...Thus, the oft-recommended "fallow tank"
technique is an efficient, drug free way to help eradicate
parasites. No method is 100%, but this is a very effective
method. Good luck! Scott F>