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FAQs on Parasitic Marine Worm Diseases 3

Related Articles: Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Worms, Roundworms,

Related FAQs: Fish Worm Diseases 1, Marine Worm Parasites 2, & FAQs on Marine Worm Parasites: Diagnosis/Symptomology, Etiology/Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Products/Manufacturers... Flukes/Trematodes, Tapeworms/Cestodes, Leeches/Hirudineans, "Other" Worms and Worm-Like Parasites... Paravortex/Black Spot Disease, Anthelminthics/Vermifuges... De-wormers (Piperazine, Praziquantel...) & FAQs, Yellow Tang Disease, Parasitic Disease 2, Parasitic Disease 3, Parasitic Marine Tanks, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Marine Velvet Disease Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease, Roundworms, Yellow Tangs, Tang Health/Disease,

To Marco- Help with Moray Eel disease      3/15/18
<Hello Adrian.>
I could really need some help treat our infected moray eels. They have gotten a blood sucking worm that only attacks the eels. It look like brown hairy looking strings.
<Looks nasty. Can't definitely ID them, though.>
We have tried cleaner wrasse and shrimp and freshwater dip. My boss confirms its not anchor worms and we don't have any medicine currently to treat it. The only working solution we have found is removing it manually, but
they spread again after a short while.
<Can you get Flubenol 5% in Norway? (I think so) It's often used for e.g. chickens or pigs as well as fishes and kills a wide range of internal and external worms. Only use it in a hospital tank without sand (but some PVC pipes as caves) or use it as baths/dips. Siphon the bottom of the tank for any eggs (or cysts depending on what they are exactly. If you can't get Flubenol you can also try some product with Praziquantel.>
The eels came infected from Indonesia but it took a while before we noticed it. Best Regards Adrian
<Good luck. Marco.>
*I attached a picture of the worms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question About Emperor Angelfish Discharge 5/30/11
Hello WWM Crew,
I wonder if I might ask your opinion about an issue with a stringy discharge (poop) I have been noticing on my (roughly two year old) Emperor Angelfish.
<I see these... likely Nematodes... Roundworms>
First, some data about my system for your reference - 135 gal SPS which has been operating for about five years. Filtration consists of a Euro-Reef Skimmer (with daily skimmate production of about 1 dark cup) and an Eco-System 3616 mud refugium, loaded with live rock and Chaetomorpha. Flow in the main display is supplemented by four Vortech pumps, one of which flows directly over another mass of Chaeto. The aragonite sand bed is roughly 3/4 inch and the aquarium contains about 150 lbs of live rock. New pieces of live rock are "rotated" through the system (following 6 week minimum quarantine). Lighting is a mixture of HQIs, VHOs and LED.
Nitrate and Phosphate is undetectable, salinity and temperature are at 35 ppt and 81 F, respectively.
I have the same five fish for over two years; in addition to the emperor angel, there is a purple tang, flame angelfish, bicolor blenny and a sunrise Pseudochromis.
Due to the refugium and the Chaeto in the display, there is a generally a supply of various copepods and tiny brittle stars for foraging by the fish, especially in the morning when the lights first come on. They also tend to graze on the Chaeto, and some other green macroalgae in the tank (I can't quite identify).
Supplemental feeding to date has mainly been large freshwater Mysis shrimp.
Generally speaking, the system is stable and all life thriving (of course, now with the exception of the subject of this email). Thanks in part to the strict quarantine regimen (learned from your web site - thank you) I have never had any health issues with these fish, but over the past few weeks I have noticed
the telltale "stringy discharge" from my emperor (photo attached) which may indicate an infestation of some type of parasite. But I hesitate to take a drastic action at this time without it being warranted. The Emperor is plump, active, has a very healthy appetite and vibrant color. The same can be said of all the other fish.
<Often such parasitic situations are not "that" debilitating. Successful parasites don't kill their hosts>
One thing that occurs to me is that the discharge is not one fine white "thread" which always seemed typical, but "clumps" these white strands. Is this typical or do you think this could be something else? Is there a possibility that ingesting the Chaeto may be a contributing factor.
<Mmm, maybe... looking at some of these threads through a low power microscope would allow you to be sure... cross sectioning the cephalic region of Nematodes is definitive...>
Currently, I am drastically reducing the freshwater Mysis and supplementing their diet with herbivore mix (Formula 2 and other similar preparations) and monitoring for any changes. I don't know
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/rndwrmfaqs.htm
and here re treatment: http://wetwebmedia.com/vermifugefaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Zebra moray internal parasitic worms 4/30/11
I recently acquired a zebra moray, approximately 24 inches in length, estimated 700 grams + in weight. The eel was purchased in distress, it was housed in a 20 l
tank with at least 6 other eels of varying size and species... After drip acclimating the eel and placing in a hospital tank where it's been for 4 days now, I have noticed that it has parasitic worms internally, one exited the eels rectum and was approximately 3 in in length. The eel is in distress as it does not move much, will not eat and has a mild bit of cloudiness it's eyes.
<The last will clear/heal of its own accord w/ time, good conditions, nutrition>
I realize that this may be a lost cause but I am not willing to give up just yet.
<Good... can/should be force fed a bolus of food laced with an
Anthelminthic. See here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/vermifugefaqs.htm
The water param.s are as follows
Ammonia, 0
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
Ph 8.3
Salinity 1.025
Temp 75 I'm not sure what the best medication would be to begin treating this poor animal would be, Any possible advice would be greatly appreciated,
Tim butler
<And look for MarcoL's sep. resp. here. Bob Fenner>
Re zebra moray internal parasitic worms 5/1/11
I recently acquired a zebra moray, approximately 24 inches in length, estimated 700 grams + in weight. The eel was purchased in distress, it was housed in a 20 l tank
<Some number missing here?>
with at least 6 other eels of varying size and species... After drip acclimating the eel and placing in a hospital tank where it's been for 4 days now, I have noticed that it has parasitic worms internally, one exited the eels rectum and was approximately 3in in length.
<Did you take a picture or try to determine what type of worm it was?>
The eel is in distress as it does not move much, will not eat and has a mild bit of cloudiness on its eyes.
<Not eating can be related to stress due to moving here, cloudiness can be bacterial, though.>
I realize that this may be a lost cause but I am not willing to give up just yet.
<Me neither.>
The water param.s are as follows
Ammonia 0; Nitrate 0; Nitrite 0; Ph 8.3; Salinity 1.025; Temp 75 <Keep the water parameters stable, also provide sufficient gaseous exchange with a skimmer and/or circulation pumps (stream or powerhead) providing surface movement. Also offer caves for the eel, so it can hide, which will reduce stress.>
I'm not sure what the best medication would be to begin treating this poor animal would be, any possible advice would be greatly appreciated,
Tim butler
<I'd go with a Praziquantel containing product here, since the type of possible worm infestation is unknown (e.g. Parasite Clear, PraziPro...).
Keep the water clean and if the eel should start feeding add vitamins to its food... oh, and: good luck. Marco.>
Re zebra moray internal parasitic worms 5/1/11
No number missing there 20l tank... No filtration, skimmer... I would have liked to get them all, but in reality I could not have housed them for the long term, so went with the biggest..
My hospital tank is a bit larger, 40l I know this isn't great, <It's not highly probable it will eat in such small quarters. I also guess you'll have to do daily water changes to keep the water quality stable and do recommend to use a skimmer to keep the oxygen high.>
but after recovery it will be housed in a 1500 l he's moving a bit today, not much though, so I'll start searching for the meds, as I'm not sure what is available here in Thailand.
<A number of Praziquantel containing meds are certainly available in Thailand given all the aquaculture facilities in this country. If the product does not come with directions use about 25 mg per pound of moray
(added to food (e.g. a clam, mussel, crab or shrimp), a bath would need a higher concentration). Repeat a week later. Cheers, 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>

Re: Parasite Problems... RMF couldn't find prev. corr. 11/29/09
Thank you again!
<Hello again Ashley, and sorry for my delay this time around>
I just returned from my trip and things look somewhat better.
The Xenia is still drooping and slightly shriveled up but better than before, and the Cardinalfish doesn't look any better (it even looks like its scales are swollen now), but the other fish show no signs of disease.
<May be time to find other accommodations for the Cardinal, at least until he/conditions improve>
We experienced a freeze while I was away, so my temperature has dropped from 80 F to around 75 F.
<A drastic change, and a bit low, but should be ok.>
I will slowly bring that up today, as well as the salinity.
I plan to do a water change tomorrow (Saturday) when the stores open up so I can get more RO water. Is there anything I can do to help my Cardinalfish? I do not have a quarantine tank, and unfortunately would not be able to get one up and running quickly enough.
<All it takes is saltwater, a spare tank, and due diligence on maintenance... can be done on the fly quite quickly.>
I do plan to look into having one in the future, so any suggestions for this?
<If space allows, bigger is always better, but for a tight pinch, an air-driven corner filter, heater, and 10 gallon standard aquarium will do just fine. You should be able to part together a cheap and simple QT system for under $50 from just about any LFS in the country... this would be my recommendation at this point on the Cardinal, without something more specific (pictures, etc).. Do keep up on the water changes, and let us know if you have any more questions! -JustinN>

Re: fish disease?
I recently treated the tank with Prazipro, this time making sure I followed the instructions to the tee. The Tomini tang is disease free and so are the clowns but the male trigger has numerous reoccurring spots on him.
<So... these marks not likely "worms">
The spots have been behaving the same as when the tank was not treated; they are appearing as specs then turning to smears and then disappearing and becoming new specs. The female trigger is looking a little better but she still has a few specs, but nothing like the male. I can tell the disease is not spreading because the rest of the fish are free of any blemishes.
Also, the triggers are behaving perfectly normal. The owner of the shop, in which I do business with, has suggested dipping the triggers in fresh water to get rid of the disease since it is only affecting them, and not
attacking the other fish. He recommended that I shoot you another e-mail to gain your input on this method of treating the triggers.
Thank you,
<Such dips/baths can be efficacious. Read:
and the linked files above. B>
re: fish disease?
I did get the response. Thank you for your input. My last e-mail was a little like the first one, but instead I was wondering what you thought about dipping the triggers since they are the only ones in the tank being
attacked by the disease.
<... IF you have some other system to move them to after...>

White Face Tang Parasites, flatworm-city 8/12/09
I acquired a White Face Tang about a week ago. It is in a quarantine tank and is doing well, eating PE Mysis and Nori. A couple of days ago I noticed a string shaped white parasite near one of its eyes. This parasite is about 1/16 of an inch long with a diameter of about 1/3 that amount.
Today there are several more in the same area. Any ideas?
<Look for the two little eyes...>
It does not look like crypto or Oodinium nor does it seem to bother the fish. No scratching.
<Mmm, there have been a "rash" of flatworm parasites amongst this and other related species imported in recent months... A friend/tenant/LFS owner whom I traveled with last week to LA told me of travails with this worm... Can be sort of easily dislodged via simple/r FW dips (read here re:
http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and the linked files above) or the use of an anthelminthic... http://wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisflukef.htm>
I'm about to go with a freshwater dip followed by copper unless you advise against it.
<Not copper... Read, understand, then act. Bob Fenner>

Re: White Face Tang Parasites
Hello Bob and or Crew:
Thanks for the advice against the use of copper on what appear to have been some sort of flatworm or fluke. I mistakenly assumed that copper would eliminate any invertebrate
<Mmm, it will; but enough will eliminate all vertebrates!>
when in fact there are better medications for these parasites. I administered a freshwater dip followed by Prazi-Pro for 5 days. The parasites were eliminated.
<Ahh, good>
Now at three weeks in quarantine there appears to be another problem. The respiration rate of the tang seems to be elevated.
<May be simple stress here. I'd move this fish to the main display>
It eats PE Mysis and whatever it can find growing in the tank but is no longer interested in dried algae of any kind. Could this be indicative of stress due to captivity in a small tank or is there another parasite on the gills choking off oxygen?
<Much more likely the former>
The qt tank is 10 gallons, small for a 3"-4" fish and I plan on going to a 20 gal. Should I do this now or should I assume there is a parasite at work here and begin treatment with copper? There is no external manifestation of ich.
Thanks again,
<I would "do this now". BobF>

ID - Please Can you tell me what is hanging from my purple tangs rear end?? It's certainly not the usual muck. Thank you, Julie. <Mmm, appears to be a good-sized mass of worms... likely Nematodes... though it might be Acanthocephalans... I would be treating this fish/system with a vermifuge... Likely Levamisole... please see WWM re such. Bob Fenner>

Nematode treatment, not Cu 11/4/07 Dear Crew, <Mark> My yellow tang appeared to have "small strings" coming from its vent. I merely observed for 3 weeks, but the fish started to hide excessively and become lethargic. Water tests showed good water quality: pH=8.1 in a.m. - 8.4 in p.m. Hardness=9dGH Ammonia=0 Nitrite=0 Nitrate<5ppm Phosphate<.5ppm So I captured the tang and put him in a quarantine tank and treated with .50ppm ionic copper. <Mmmm, I would not have done this> I know tangs don't always do well with copper, but I like using it because I can test how much is present vs. " the dumping and hoping you added enough/not too much" method associated with most other treatments. <Good point> I did not try a freshwater dip because I have had poor luck/skill with its use . Anyway, my yellow tang seems to be responding well to the treatment so far (2 days). So how long should the tang be treated? And how long should the display tank (90 gallon reef) remain fallow? Thanks, Mark <If you had a microscope... I would cease the copper exposure and try an anthelminthic here instead... in both the treatment and main tank... Prazi-.... see WWM re. Bob Fenner>

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

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