FAQs on Freshwater Worm Parasitic Diseases:
Nematodes, Flatworms, Anchor
Worms and Other Worm Parasites of Freshwater Fish by Neale Monks.
Freshwater Diseases, FW Disease Troubleshooting, Ich/White Spot Disease, Choose Your
Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options
by Neale Monks, Invertebrates for Freshwater
Aquariums by Neale Monks,
Related FAQs: FW Anthelminthics, Worm Parasites 1, Freshwater Worms, (Freshwater Worms of All
Kinds): & FAQs on: FW Worm Disease
Diagnosis/Identification, & FAQs on Parasitic Worms by
Group: Platyhelminths/Flatworms: ( Flukes, Planaria, Tapeworms and Leeches), Acanthocephalans, Nematodes/Roundworms (e.g.
Camallanus),... Anchor "Worms": See FW Crustacean
Parasitic Disease, & Aquarium
Infectious Disease, Freshwater Fish Parasites,
African Cichlid Disease 1,
Cichlid Disease, Ich/White Spot Disease,
Camallanus worms and Flubendazole question
Hi Crew, :)
I have a 130 litre tank with 3 adult platies, 12 2 month old platies and about
40 1 month old platy fry. Recently lost 3 adult platies to wasting - assume as a
result of Camallanus worms.
<Could be, but farmed livebearers are, I believe, prone to wasting. Whether it's
exposure to worms on the fish farm, or latent Mycobacteria or even viral
infections, I cannot say. It's often the same process though: loses weight,
shimmying, off-white colouration on the body, and eventually death. I'm going to
further suggest that the environment is often a causative factor because you
often see so-called 'wasting disease' in tanks that aren't quite right for the
livebearers in question. High nitrate levels (anything above 20 mg/l) seems to
be one major factor, and I'd place farmed or fancy livebearers in the same
nitrate-sensitive category as cichlids. So while most community catfish and
characins will handle skipped water changes without problems provided nitrite
and ammonia are zero, extended gaps between water changes do seem stressful to
livebearers. Other factors include, of course, water chemistry (hard and
alkaline for most livebearers) and with Platies and Swordtails especially, high
temperatures. Platies are subtropical to tropical depending on the species,
Variatus doing best at 18 C/64 F, while fancy Platies, which are mostly Common
Platyfish genetically, should be kept around 22-25 C/72-77 F, with the lower end
of that range being best. Continual exposure to high temperatures will
dramatically shorten their lives, especially if oxygen is low. I mention this
because -- as you realise, I'm sure -- the UK is basking in extreme heat, well
above what Platies would enjoy. Increase aeration and/or floating blocks of ice
can be useful.>
I also have 10 neon and cardinal tetras in the tank who seem well and healthy.
The tank has enough filtration for about 300 litres. Shrimp and zebra snails
were moved to a second tank for now.
My diagnosis of Camallanus worms is based in the red thread-like worms
protruding from one of the adult platy’s vent.
I assume the others have it, too,
<Almost certainly true, but likely true for most farmed livebearers.>
so I have treated the whole tank with Flubendazole 48 hours ago and a small
amount of Epsom salt to ease passing the worms.
My questions are as follows:
1. As far as I can tell, the worms are still visible protruding from the adult
platy’s vent. Is this normal after 48 hours of Flubendazole? Should I try
<Multiple attempts are often required, with a decent (say, 50%) water change
before the second set of doses. Do also remember to remove carbon from the
filter, if used. If after 3-4 rounds the worms are still present, switching to
an alternative medication may be necessary, the worms being resistant to the
2. Also, some pest snails appear alive and well. I understand the Flubendazole
is toxic to snails, so is it normal the pest snails are unaffected?
<Does depend on the snails. Might also indicate the dosage was wrong (too low)
or carbon was used in the filter (removing the medication so quickly it didn't
3. Finally, one of the 2 month old fry, who is very small for his age, has a 3
mm long thick white wormlike thing permanently protruding from his vent.
It’s perpendicular to his belly and definitely not poop. It (the white thing)
appears permanent day to day, growing week to week. What could it be? A
nematode? If so, why is the Flubendazole not affecting it? Should I try
<Might well be infected with worms, but could be something else, even a
I have attached a bad picture of the fry. Sorry it’s so low quality. Very hard
to photograph the fry.
<Understood, and alas, the image isn't clear enough to be useful.>
Kate from the UK
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Camallanus worms and Flubendazole question
Many thanks for your reply. Very much appreciated. I have to say I’m 150%
impressed with the quality of information on your site and of the advice. I
have an environmental science degree and I find the information available on
many other fish forums very ‘anecdotal’ and low quality. So thank you!
<Most welcome, and thanks for kind words.>
About the environmental factors in the tanks, The ammonia and nitrites are
0, nitrates are 10. GH and KH is around 13 deg (I have naturally hard tap
water). PH is around 7.5. So that should be both hard and alkaline - ok for
platies, right? Or does this need adjusting?
<Nope, sounds fine. But if you struggle with livebearers, adding a little
non-iodised salt, maybe 2-3 gram/litre, can help.>
About the temperature - normally I keep it at 24 C. Assume that’s ok based
on your description?
<Yep. Unless you have Variatus Platies or some 'breed' based largely on
Yes, we have a heat wave at the moment tank temp is up to 27 C during the
day... I keep putting ice blocks in the tank, although that only lowers the
temp by 1 degree C.
<Overall, yes, but the fish will swim in and out of the cold water sinking
down from the ice block if they want to, so the effect is rather better than
you might think.>
Is there any more efficient way of lowering the tank temperature for large
(130 litre) tanks? Do I just need *a lot more* ice blocks?
<Increasing evaporation will help, i.e., opening the tank and placing a fan
nearby to blow air across the water. Keep things safe though, and don't put
the fan somewhere it could fall into the tank! Don't do this if you have
'jumpy' fish though. If the tank receives direct sunlight, that can cause
real problems, so avoid that by drawing curtains or even placing foil on the
surface of the tank exposed to the light.>
Thanks for advice on anti-worm drug. I’ll do 4-5 more weekly treatments with
the Flubendazole. What other anti-worm drugs (active ingredient) would you
recommend if this doesn’t work?
< Medications that treat worms include Levamisole, Piperazine, Praziquantel,
Fenbendazole and flubendazole. Of these, only Praziquantel and flubendazole
are available as over-the-counter medications in the UK.>
Also, if I do a mid-week water change, do I have to redose with the
Flubendazole? Or just once a week is enough regardless of how many water
changes in between?
<As a rule, wait 24 hours after adding medicine before doing a water change,
and then dose as per the whole tank, not just the new water, when you need
to add more medicine. Why? Because after 24 hours the chances are good that
most, if not all, of the medicine will have been absorbed and/or broken down
by the biological filter. The exception here is where inorganic chemicals,
such as aquarium salt or Epsom salt, are used.>
Finally, the white growth on the fry is probably a prolapse. I have read up
about it on you wonderful site. I take it there is no treatment? I intend to
let him live out his natural life as long as not suffering. Is this what you
recommend? Or some other action I can take?
<In theory, a prolapse will heal itself in time. There's nothing you can
really do about the prolapse itself, but if the cause is a parasite load,
then treating for the parasites will speed things along. If worms are the
issue here, then you should see some recovery as you medicate for the other
fish in the tank.>
Many thanks and kind regards,
<And to you, too. Cheers, Neale.>
Deworming zebra Otocinclus question
I recently got 4 zebra Otos, from 2 different stores. They have been at the
store at least a month (some of them have been there for two months).
They're not super skinny but not super fat either. Given this I suspect they
don't have any overly severe issues, but my default assumption is that wild fish
like these will have some sort of intestinal parasites.
<While that's possible, the biggest source of mortality with Otocinclus is plain
old starvation. These are small fish, and like other small fish, probably have
enough body fat (or however fish store energy) to easily last a couple weeks.
Beyond that, they're in starvation mode. This matters because from the point of
capture to the day they're introduced to the home aquarium can easily be months,
and in that time they're usually not getting anything close to sufficient green
algae and micro-invertebrates to keep them well fed. So while there's no harm --
and probably some benefit -- from the standard issue PraziPro de-worming
treatment, I'd be more worried about getting them to eat properly. A bright
light over the tank, ample green algae, plenty of oxygen, and lowish
temperatures (22-24C/72-75F is optimal) are the order of the day here. If you
don't have sufficient green algae -- and that's the algae they need -- then good
quality algae wafers, such as those from Hikari, do the trick nicely.>
For now I have them in their own 5 gallon tank where I can easily observe and
I have seen it suggested that Praziquantel followed by Metronidazole is
effective. Does this sound like a good protocol?
<Yes, though any particular reason you want to use Metronidazole?>
How long should the treatments last?
<Do follow the instructions on the packaging. Combining medications is possible
if the manufacturers state it is, but honestly, unless dealing with a critically
ill fish, I prefer to handle things in a more organic way -- start off with
optimal diet and living conditions; if warranted, de-worming; and only if the
fishes were still not responding positively, would I break out the antibiotics
I have not had good luck in the past with getting fish to eat medicated food.
Thanks, and a happy holidays to the team,
<And to you, enjoy your winter solstice festivities! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Deworming zebra Otocinclus question 12/25/17
Thanks for the response!
There's no particular reason I want to use Metronidazole, other than that I've
seen it suggested. My guess was it may help with some parasites that
Praziquantel may miss.
<Possibly. Metro is primarily used (with fish, at least) for Hexamita and other
But based on your comments I'm guessing it's rather harsh on the fish?
<Not aware of any specific problems in all honesty, and Metronidazole is often
used with quite sick fish when nothing else will help. It's more a cost/benefit
thing, in my mind. Look at it this way: Otocinclus are inexpensive, and if you
buy ten, and one or two die, but the others sail through quarantine and fatten
up nicely, that's going to be a lot cheaper than buying a smaller school of
Otocinclus and medicating with PraziPro and Metronidazole with the aim of
ensuring all of them survive. No guarantees, mind, either way! But with small,
cheap fish, I'm more minded to buy slightly more than you want, fatten up with
optimal diet/environment, and then see what happens before medicating.>
Medications( Levamisole) 4/24/16
Just enquiring about Levamisole in form of vet sense kilverm .... Is it
safe to treat a community tank which contains rainbows, whiptails,
Borneo suckers , Kuhli loaches, yoyo loaches, peacock eels , African
butterfly fish and elephant nose fish I have 2 canister filters
<I prefer Praziquantel, but you can read re Levamisole on WWM>
A 2700 nautilus uv a 2250 aquis and also a hydra 40 internal ammonia
neutralizing filter. It's a 600 liter tank rarely well planted with
drift wood etc etc ... 2 rainbows seem to have callemous worms no other
effected fish other than a slightly quiet spiny eel that is still
healthy but not eating as much as it first was although the temp of my
tank has dropped a small amount due to weather ( I live in south
Australia and in summer the tank sits at about 29 to 30 degrees Celsius
( two 309 watt heaters set at 28) so now after four months of temps in
the high 30s ( 39) feeding for
most of the fish has reduced ( whooo) cost me a fortune:
<.... READ here:
;-) ... I can separate these fish into another tank but feel the whole
community should be treated as to fix problem
So after my beating around the bush is Levamisole safe for whiptails and
elephant nose fish ( I have five elephant nose all of which are in great
health with no signs of illness ) thank you very much for your time ...
One more thing should I turn off the hydra filter while or if I treat
this tank ( by the way these filters work fantastic for water quality
and even with 4900 liter per hour flow from my canisters the hydra has
made a huge difference on the quality and clarity and fish behavior )
thank you once again ...
Michael : Adelaide south Australia
<Cheers, Bob Fenner, San Diego, CA>
Rosy Barb stringy droppings again (and weird male guppies)
Hi Crew! I've had some adventures in my aquariums since I last wrote, either the
new beacon tetras, or the guppies I got a bit later (or perhaps some plant-borne
copepods) brought in Camallanus worms which I did not notice during quarantine.
It probably would have gotten a lot worse if not for one of the guppy fry
getting infested. Because she was so small the worms became obvious a lot
sooner, so I was able to treat the fish sooner.
I knew what I was seeing straight away thanks to info I'd read on Wet Web Media.
Praziquantel had no effect on its own, but I had success with Levamisole.
<Correct. Prazi is rather less effective than people think.>
All the beacon tetras and all the female guppies shed dead worms, although sadly
the guppy fry was too small and weakened to pass the worms and didn't survive. I
saw no further sign of infestation even after the second dose a
couple of weeks later. To my surprise, throughout the infestation the rosy barbs
never showed signs that they had worms, and never shed any dead ones while
everyone else was passing them. I would have thought they would
easily get infected due to their habits of eating anything off the bottom of the
tank and taste testing every dropping in
case it's food in disguise.
<Fish are believed to be able to develop some resistance to parasites, including
Anyway it has been a couple of weeks since the last worming and the affected
fish are looking much better. However this week I noticed a couple of the
smaller rosy barbs with long white streamers of droppings, much like
what caused me to write my original email. It's been a long time since I've seen
the rosy barbs with this issue and I had thought whatever the cause, it had long
passed by itself.
This time I was better prepared, and the streamers were longer and easier to
catch than last time. I'd bought myself a student microscope during the
Camallanus incident, very handy to identify a pink worm I had found in my
snail tank as being a ribbon worm, not a Camallanus worm. So tonight I had some
fun searching through the stringy poo looking for anything suspicious.
Once out of the bright lighting of the tank, the droppings do appear to be
coloured not white, but they seem to be coated in mucous. Mostly it looks like
plant matter with the occasional piece of insect-like particle, which
I am guessing might be pieces of brine shrimp, but in a piece that was mostly
mucous I spotted something moving. It looks very much like something wiggling
inside an egg. By eye I thought I saw eyespots, but then I wasn't sure any more.
Even zoomed in to x100 it's very hard to work out what is what, but I took a
picture (see attached) and managed to take a couple of videos, one in focus
where the critter doesn't move much, and one where I was trying to adjust the
focus and lighting, which makes for an awful video, but the critter moves a lot
more so maybe its easier to get an idea of what shape it is (this video gets a
bit better at the end).
Any idea if this fellow or more likely, its parent, could be the cause of the
stringy poo in some of the rosy barbs? Whatever it is, it's survived the two
courses of Levamisole dosing (and I was soaking the food as well as treating the
tank water). If it's something that doesn't belong in the gut
of a fish, how do I treat it?
<The multiple eyes are curious, and suggest to me a Platyhelminth of some sort.
I don't see any hooks (typically seen among Cestoda) or suckers (Digenea,
Monogenea). So some sort of Trematoda seems probable to me. But really, this is
something you need to show a parasitologist. Multiple rounds of anti-helminthic
drugs should fix the problem, but at the same time, if the fish are otherwise
healthy, you might not need to worry about.
It's probably pretty common for wild-caught fish to have low level parasite
infections, and if other environmental and dietary parameters are good, these
parasites cause no harm.>
Now, on to the guppies. After 4 + 6 + 11 + 13 guppy fry I have separated the
females from the males; I have ended up with 3 female and 8 male adult guppies
so the poor females needed some respite. They aren't fancy guppies, they are
feral guppies collected from waterways around Darwin, NT and have reverted to a
mostly wild look after surviving predation from the local gudgeons, grunters and
Pest Management Department.
<Sounds like lovely fish, and I'm glad you could provide a nice home for them.>
Anyway, since the females have been removed, some of the male guppies have taken
to shooting up and down from the bottom to the surface in the corners of the
tank. I had thought they were evading each other or perhaps the
larger fish, but after watching it doesn't seem like they are reacting to a
threat inside the tank. Any idea why they're behaving like this? Perhaps looking
for an adjacent tank full of females to leap in to?
<Seems sensible... finding ways to move to somewhere with female fish. I have
some surplus male Limia (a close relation to Poecilia) in a catfish tank and
they often exhibit this sort of behaviour.>
My tank is fully covered so I'm not worried that I'll lose any, but I am worried
that they're acting a bit demented compared to usual. Is this behaviour
indicative that something could be wrong? Or are they just confused by the
corner and can't work out where to go?
<Well, yes, Guppies are pretty stupid.>
Thanks once again for providing such a great resource and so much good advice.
<Thanks for the kind words. Neale.>
Re: Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?), use of
Levamisole, FW med.s period 8/15/12
I am sorry to bother you again. I'm going to treat my FH with Levamisole
tomorrow. I checked several online resources (including WWM), and also
Noga's book, but I am still unsure, so I thought I'd rather ask you.
Noga's book says: use 10mg Levamisole HCL per litre of water for
"prolonged immersion". This translates to 500mg for 50 Litres water.
Isn't this too high? And what is prolonged immersion? 24 hours?
<An hour or more>
I saw another page -
- that suggests 90mg/10G, which is approximately equal to
I have Dicaris Levamisole HCL tablet (from Johnson & Johnson), and on
the wrapper it says one tablet is equivalent to 150mg of Levamisole. I
am thinking of playing safe and using 100mg (2/3rd of the tablet) for
50Lwater. Does it sound about right to you?
<It does... but better to introduce w/in food/s... freshwater
fishes don't drink much at all... hence med.s don't really get into them
if dispersed in the water>
If not, can you please point me to a literature that explains the
<I only have it in print... do see Noga re>
Re: Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?), Levamisole use f as well
I thought I will share my experience of treating my bonsai FH with
Levamisole. So far, it has been mixed, and I am a little scared
Last night, I did a 40% water change, I started with adding 100mg
Levamisole HCl in ~55L of water. I also added very little (25mg) in her
blanched peas (as you had suggested), but she barely ate any, because (I
assume) of the horrible taste. This morning, too, she did not eat much
Also, while researching online on Levamisole, I saw this site -
that says the dosage should be 500mg per 50L water. It also says that
dosage can be doubled without any side effects. Based on this, I added
150mg more of
Levamisole HCl this afternoon. That is, about 16 hours later than the
first dosage of 100mg without a water change. The total amount of
Levamisole HCl in water is now 250mg in 55L water.
However, when I came back home in the late evening, she was all pale and
a little anxious. One VERY ODD thing that I noticed was the following:
At first, her anus was all fine. And then suddenly something started
popping of the anus, which I thought to be a prolapsed colon. Soon the
colon started protruding more, and it became like a balloon or a sac
(inflating and deflating) about 1-2 mm in diameter, and then she pooped
a green string, which I don't think is worm. Anyway, I fished the
stringy thing out, and in no time her colon was totally fine. I mean no
protrusion anymore. It all happened (protruding to pooping to normal) in
less than 5 minutes. I am shocked, and I don't know what to do. Is this
balloon like thing her swim bladder that came out of the anus? Is she
<Not the gas bladder... not likely constipated>
Have you seen/heard/experienced anything similar!?!
<Yes; perhaps an effect of the treatment>
She otherwise looks normal, except a little bit of abdominal swelling
that was already there. And she is not eating, either.
I also noticed her poop having a tinge of black and red. I am not sure
why it is so, because I have been feeding here "only" blanched peas for
last three (3) weeks! Is there a possible explanation?
<None that I'm aware of>
I am going to do a large water change 48 hours from the first dosage of
Levamisole. I also plan to clean the canister filter, too. I don't see
any worms or creatures in the water in the last 24 hours. I don't think
she is suffering from worms. Well, at least not the ones that can be
killed/paralyzed by Levamisole.
<Maybe switch to Prazi/quantel>
Re: Bonsai FH, Worm treatment 8/21/12
Thanks for your reply! I was glad to know that the colon protruding out
was a part of treatment, and that other people have seen it too.
Well, I think, I had some luck with the treatment, Yesterday, I saw some
weird worm (or perhaps bunch of worms tangled together in water). But
whatever it was, it was about 1-2cms long (yes, cm not mm). Its skin was
not smooth like earthworms, but it was more like a caterpillar. Sort of
- round big heads connected by long string. Later, I saw just a small
worm that was about 1-2 millimeter (this time it is mm), and it had a
same texture (caterpillar like), and it head was red/orangish. I took it
out of the water, but in less than 5 min.s, it shrunk down, so I could
not take pictures. I tried looking at places, and the closest I could
relate to is a tapeworm, but then Levamisole does not work on tapeworms,
or does it?
<As far as I'm aware, this product works on all worm groups>
Would you know what kind of worm am I dealing with?
<I do not... you can see examples of commonly encountered ones... on
In the last couple of days she had not eaten at all, and was all pale!
She just did not even smell the food next to her mouth.
Anyway, so I changed the water as following: kept pouring water and
taking it out in chunks of 20L for about 4 times. I don't exactly know
how much did I change, but I rubbed all the algae out, and did not leave
anything dirty in the tank. At any time, the remaining water in the tank
was barely enough to submerge her (30L). I did not take her out of the
tank, because she looked extremely stressed and pale. There is
no gravel in the tank.
And I cleaned up the internal filter and the canister filter thoroughly!
<Do be mindful/aware that w/o gravel and too much cleaning of filter
media, you may have a biological filter issue>
Never mind if I've to recycle it. I'll be doing WC every tree days. She
is in 60-70L water now.
<Too little volume... need a much larger system for a full size FH>
She gained a little bit of her colors some time later (she is still
quite pale), and ate few peas about 8 hours later.
I think I might have overshot the dosage (250mg in 55L), but the link
said that 500mg/50L is the concentration of Levamisole HCl required to
kill the worms. I may have to dose it a little less (probably 150mg)
next time, which I plan to do that two (2) weeks later (unless I know
what specific worm I am treating, and I will change the duration
according to the worm's life cycle).
The stomach swelling is getting back to normal slowly, but it still
looks pinched. Not sure how it is working out.
Do you recommend adding some antibiotic (Nitrofurantoin) for the
secondary infections the parasites may have caused?
<I thought I'd answered this before... no>
Thank you for your patience and time!
Re: Bonsai FH recovering from Hexamita (?)
Thanks! Yes, my tank is big, but I have filled it only less than half,
because she has swimming issues.
<Ahh, I see. B>
Di-N-Butyl Tin Oxide treatment
I obtained a small (nickel sized) angel fish about 6
weeks ago. I put it into a mature ten gallon tank (moved
the guppies) to quarantine and grow it out a little before
putting it into my main 50 gallon tank. So far, it has been
growing rapidly, has a great appetite, is alert and active, and
looks beautiful. About a week ago, to my horror, I noticed
Camallanus nematodes bristling from its
I ordered Paracide-X (di-n-butyl tin oxide with
magnesium oxide), it being described specifically as effective
for Camallanus infestation if used in conjunction with a
medication that kills the eggs and other nematode growth stages
in the tank.
<Mmm, yes; though I prefer other Anthelminthics. Please read
I treated the food as directed and have been feeding the fish as
directed, and treated the tank with De-Los as directed. The
fish still has a great appetite. However, 5 days on, the
Camallanus are still presenting themselves hale and hearty,
sometimes as many as 6 or so showing themselves, and definitely
alive, and the fish is now producing string feces. Do you
know whether di-n-butyl tin oxide is generally effective as a
<How to put this... It can be; but again, other compounds have more
general efficacy. I.e., more frequent success here>
How much longer, if any, should I give this treatment
before moving on to something else?
<Mmm, t'were it me/mine, I'd switch to Prazi/quantel... IF
you want to continue w/ di-n butyl tin oxide
perhaps another week application>
The directions say to feed with the treated food once daily for
4-5 days. Searching your site, I found di-n-butyl tin oxide
mentioned as a treatment, but not much other
<Is an "older timey" med. For the most part supplanted by
other treatments now-a-years>
Thanks in advance,
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Di-N-Butyl Tin Oxide treatment 1/21/12
Thank you, Bob, so much for your time and response. I
really appreciate it. My plan for now is to continue the
di-n-butyl tin oxide for a couple of days until I can get my
hands on some Praziquantel. If that fails, I may try
Fenbendazole, if I can find any. I really want to save this
fish, if possible/practical.
<Welcome and thank you for this follow-up. BobF>
Re: Hi Neale - Heterandria
formosa - Cherry Shrimp & PraziPro
How are you? I hope all is going well!
<I'm fine, thanks for asking.>
The PraziPro worked, the Heterandria formosa are doing great; thanks
for the advice.
I gave my 10 gallon main Het tank a single dose at the beginning of
Would it be safe to add Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda) to the
tank? It is bare bottom, has a sponge filter and a lot of java
moss.<Should be fine by now. Try half a dozen and see what
I can't find copper listed on the bottle but I've heard other
medicines can affect shrimp and I want to make sure the PraziPro
won't effect them.
<Prazi Pro contains Praziquantel, and yes, it probably is
toxic to shrimp.
But assuming you've done a series of water changes, the amount left
in the aquarium should be trivially small, partly because of dilution
but also because filter bacteria break down organic compounds fairly
<Sounds like you're having fun with these very nifty
livebearers. Cherry Shrimp appreciate much the same conditions, so this
combo should work nicely. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Hi Neale - Heterandria formosa - Cherry Shrimp &
I've been thinking about Cherry Shrimp for awhile and some have are
I'll give my tank a couple extra water changes to be safe and get
some next week.
Can the shrimp go straight into the main tank, or should they be
<<Depends. The free-swimming Whitespot pathogens can move from
tank to tank on any wet object, be it alive or dead, so yes, Shrimps
can carry them. But the pathogens can't survive away from fish for
more than a day or two, a week at the outside. So if the shrimps have
been kept in a fish-free aquarium isolated from aquaria containing
fish, including different nets and buckets, there is little risk of the
shrimps carrying any diseases at all. On the other hand, if you
can't be sure they've been isolated, then yes, quarantining is
a very good idea. I will make the observation that both shrimps and
Heterandria have a high tolerance for salt, so using the salt/heat
method to treat for Whitespot will effectively "clean" the
shrimps if you add them to the aquarium directly, and without any risk
to either fish or shrimp.>>
Also, I bought some Indian Almond Leaves off eBay; would the shrimp
like those in the tank?
<<Sure, but why bother?>>
<Sounds like you're having fun with these very nifty
livebearers. Cherry Shrimp appreciate much the same conditions, so this
combo should work nicely. Cheers, Neale.>
The Hets are really a lot of fun! I started with a handful and it is
neat to see new babies all the time and watching them dart through the
<<Definitely nice fish.>>
I think it is great that a lot of different types of aquariums are
doable in people's homes. As a matter of fact, even though I have
three tanks, I find myself thinking about other aquariums I would like,
and I think some articles about Multi Tank Syndrome on WWM would be a
good idea. :)
<<Ah yes, there's always another fish worth keeping! I agree,
reading some articles about how to make fish rooms and aquarium racks
would be a nice idea. I've seen several people convert their
basements into fish rooms, and there's a lot of work involved doing
the air pumps, wiring, plumbing and so on. Naturally, if *you* feel
like writing something about the care and maintenance of your
livebearers, why not check out back page of WWM Digital magazine and
read up on what we offer authors!>>
<<Have fun! Cheers, Neale.>>
Surprise! Camallanus Worms 7/11/10
Before I delve into the new problem I thought I'd give you an
update on the first time I contacted you. That was a little black molly
fry who had been ganged-up on and partially eaten. I'm pleased to
tell you that this little guy has been thriving in his little 4-gallon
hospital tank. His tail (including much of the
penduncal)<peduncle> has fallen off but healed over.
His pectoral fin that had been eaten regrew. He is understandably very
shy but he gets around pretty well now using the fins he has left. I
moved another similar sized fry into his tank and they have become
buddies. The damaged one cannot eat from the surface but enough falls
to the bare-bottom tank that he can graze all day.
On to the new problem. About 3 days ago I discovered a case of
Camallanus worms on the five first-generation mollies. I believe (but
don't know for sure) that these fish brought it with them from the
I also noticed some on my two adult Siamese algae eaters that have been
in my tank for over 5 years. Tankmates: 3 African dwarf frogs and
roughly 20-30 molly fry between 1 week and 3 months old. I have seen a
worm on only one fry, a fry that seems to be undersized for its age--I
think a worm explains that pretty well. There are two more SAE youths
without symptoms and 2 Chinese AEs, one 4 inches, the other 1.5 inches.
No symptoms on either.
Water parameters: Temp 84 F (Phoenix summer, can't lower it much
without a chiller), pH 8.0 (naturally hard water but good for mollies)
MH3, MO2, NO3 all zero and stable. The tank is planted. Weekly 30-50%
water changes with bi-weekly gravel vac. Last one was about 1 week ago
and due for another this weekend.
Currently I have started the entire tank (and the two isolated molly
fry as well) on Jungle Labs anti-parasite medicated food 0.5%
Levamisole) following directions of 3 consecutive days a week for four
weeks. I am hoping this buys me a little time for the main problem I
My research (including reading WWM) is 2-5 PPM Levamisole in the
Unfortunately, I am having a terrible time getting my hands on any.
<There are other Anthelminthics more readily available:
The local vet pharmacy wants an excessive amount of money (hundreds)
and doesn't want to supply sufficient quantity. I have not seen ANY
water additives with Levamisole at PetSmart or Petco, not even Levasole
for pigs or Avitrol Plus for birds. Nothing.
<Look for Praziquantel...>
I did find Fenbendazole in the form of powdered Safeguard meant for
canines, but my understanding is that this is only effective if
What is my alternative if I cannot get my hands on Levamisole? National
Fish Pharmaceuticals recommends Paracide D
in combination with De-Los (page down alphabetical)
but I have no idea whether this would work.
Suggestions to treat the water if I can't find Levamisole?
<Read the above linked FAQ page. Bob Fenner>
Re: Surprise! Camallanus Worms 7/11/10
Quick follow-up. Assuming I can find both, which is
<For Camallanus, the latter. B>
Re: Surprise! Camallanus Worms 7/11/10
Retract previous question. Further digging produced the answer.
BTW, I was very pleased to see your comments on my LFS AquaTouch. I
need to go there first for livestock from now on.
<Say hello to Mike... a very fine establishment... good practices,
Re: Surprise! Camallanus Worms 7/11/10
You can tell from the minute you walk in the door at AquaTouch.
I've never seen a dead fish in any of their tanks and the staff
asks the right questions. I don't see Mike much--I think he's
on expedition right now.
I normally run into Erle, who says he met you in Singapore.
<Ah yes. Last year at Aquarama>
Next time I stop in I'll pass the message through him. (I've
got my eye on some Endler's in one of their tanks.)
Anyway, I'm pleased to say that I found a bottle of PraziPro at
AquaTouch so the tank treatment is now underway. Glad I could buy what
I needed from them instead of a big-box.
The worms are turning brown, probably from the medicated food the fish
have been eating since Friday. I'm fortunate that I just finished
rereading *Manual of Fish Health* (Andrews, Excel, Carrington)
literally three days before I saw the worms and I recognized them
Anyway, I'll send you an update in a couple of weeks.
<Thank you, BobF>
Parasitic Worms Coming Out Of Fish, FW --
8/19/07 Hi, I have a parasite ( Microworms like ) eating his way out
my blue and gold ram and killifish anus. It looks like something is
eating the fish's anus and you can see like 4 or 5 red little worms
coming out. I been looking on the internet and you guys seen to have
the more knowledge on parasites. I would appreciate any help. < Most
parasites like this can be controlled with Clout or Fluke-Tabs. Just
follow the directions on the package and they should be fine in a few
Platy with piles?
8/13/07 I have a platy Plec that has lumps that can only be
described as piles on its anal/vent area, they are white / pink in
colour and there is a lot of them. this is the only platy Plec I have
in the tank along with 2 guppies, alas all the others have died over
time....... please can anyone tell me what it is ...... <Hello.
Sounds a lot like worms of some kind. Without a photo, can't be
sure. But assuming that it is, you'll need to treat with an
anti-worm medication (Waterlife Sterazin, JBL Gyrodol, Aquarium
Products Fluke-Tabs, etc.). If you're losing a lot of fish in a
short period of time, do also reflect on aquarium water quality/water
chemistry. Platies and guppies like nice hard water with a high pH
(say, 15 dH and a pH of 7.5). Water quality should be good, 0 ammonia
and nitrites, and platies especially need a tank with a bit of swimming
space, certainly not less than 15 gallons. Cheers,
Red sword and Levamisole Phosphate, use of
Anthelminthics, FW 5/21/07 Hello fellow crew
member, This is Anna. We exchanged few e-mails a couple of months ago.
Just to give you a recap - so far my tank is doing well; I got
some plants that keep growing nicely; fish seems to be happy
there.. in few words - "almost perfect." There is one
issue I am not sure about. I presume my female red sword is doing
well. It is first at the feeder, eating with no problems; it does
not display abnormal behavior (except for the time when it
hides under plants to "visit the bathroom") - it is well
integrated within community. Yet, when I observe its feces I see
something that other fish does not performs. Basically, the red
sword is "on the toilet" :--) all the time, producing
quite large amount of feces, mostly dark green (chewing my plants
??) or black, with some sort of whitish segments in between. After
studying the book of Drs. Untergasser and Axelrod I concluded that
my sword might be affected by tapeworm. The books says it is okay
not to take any action if fish is doing fine (my is doing
well). Yet, I feel sorry for that fish having toilet
problem all day long and would like to help it - if possible. My
colleague at another fish community suggested I use
LEVAMISOLE Phosphate (injectable solution). I got one (13.65), but
before using it I would like to make sure it is: - safe for fish -
manageable - with min. side effect. <Mmm, I would not use this
format of Levamisole... nor inject this small fish... If you were to
use "L", look for the HCl (Hydrochloride) radical... to be
used in foods... Or better, look to an anthelminthic that can be simply
applied to the water... my choice? Praziquantel...> Would you
recommended that I use that medicine? How should I proceed with
using it? <Please see WWM, the Net, Ed Noga's works...> As
for my aquarium condition - ammonia is at zero; pH is between
6.6 - 6.8. I also trace phosphate (current level around between
0.5 and 1.0). I do partial water changes every day to help keep
the fish healthy. Do you think there is anything I can do for my red
sword with or without LEVAMISOLE? <Perhaps...> Please,
help... Thanks much. Anna P.S. - I attached some pictures of my red
sword to help you see what I can see ;--) <Mime... not
useful> <Ah good... The Prazi... Bob Fenner>
Camallanus dosage problem. Neotrop. cichlid
dis., Levamisole/Anthelminthic, FW 2/27/07 I have
a Camallanus problem in my 125 gallon tank, with 2 fish
showing the worms protruding from the anus. My pH is around
7.8, ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, and temperature is 80.2 degrees. The
fish are single specimens between 2"-4"of the following: blue
Acara, archer fish, Nicaraguan cichlid, Red Hump Eartheater,
Satanoperca jurupari, Geophagus surinamensis, Bujurquina vittata, and
Hypselecara temporalis. I've looked this up on
the Search, but I have serious questions/ doubts about dosing. The
medication I have available is Levasole (Levamisole hydrochloride) in
the powdered form, and it brings 18.25 grams. <This is the total
weight of what you have available?> here are my questions: -What
would be the appropriate dose for using it in the water instead of
adding to food? <Mmm, much better administered via food/feeding>
-How much Levasole would I need to do this? <Mmmm,
"lifted", or my new term "meta-analyzed" from
Noga's fish diagnosis tome: Oral formulations: Feed 2.5 to 10 mg.
Levamisole HCl/kg (you'll have to guess the weight of the
fishes...) = 1.1 to 4.5 mg per pound... for seven days. As stated, I
would not "pour the medicine" into the tank... or use
prolonged immersion in a bath... or encourage you to try injections>
-When do I repeat the treatment, and when do I do the first water
change? <Daily for repeats, for a week... and water changes as they
are needed or weekly IMO> thanks for the help, and sorry for the
long message. <Glad to assist you. Bob Fenner>
Worms and platy fry 6/16/06
Greetings from Australia to all the crew, <Returns from sunny
southern Cal. in the U.S.A.> having only a few months experience in
keeping fish we have been running into quite a few problems with the
poor things. Our latest involves something as unpleasant as worms. The
local aquarium guy has assured us it has to do with the drought
affecting our area and dams and not just something we did. We bought
fluke tablets and after fishing out a few platy fry (all of which
seemed fine) and we set up an emergency tank for them with water from
the big tank. We then added the fluke tablets but being new at
this and apparently not very clever we took out the wrong piece of the
filter, with the result that worms are still in the fish and tank! We
had a few mishaps with the little fry in the emergency tank with a new
heater going berserk and killing the poor things, we were trying so
hard to save, so we decided to leave the two last fry who seemed
affected by the worms in the tank when treating next, but just as we
were about to add more fluke we saw about 20 little fry swimming
around. To make it worse we also have a speckled Cory which the before
mentioned fish guy told us will not appreciate the fluke. Now what do
we do? <I would treat all> One of our nice big platy females is
having big worm issues and is in big trouble but what about all the
little new ones? <All> Do we risk killing them in the new little
tank with water from the big tank and a crazy out of control heater or
do we leave them in the big tank and hope for the best? <I'd
treat all in place, in your main/display tank> Please help. My kids
have named 10 of the little fry and will be pretty upset if I kill more
than I already have.. Oh and we also have some tough neon tetras in the
tank. They have survived terrible water conditions due to our
inexperience, ich, etc and now worms . We managed to kill 5 guppies,
and 3 tough platys early on, yet the Neons live nice and strong.
Totally opposite to what we have been told. (It may not sound like it
but we really tried and we do care about the fish. We have bought every
single form of equipment and medicine available. We are just not
clever) Marianne in Australia <Bob Fenner>
Rummy Nose Tetra with worm? 12/20/2005 I could sure use
some help! I have a rummy nose tetra that has a worm in his
front right fin and I have treated him with Fluke Tabs and Aquari Sol
(my tank had Ick) and the worm is still in the fin (must be internal).
<Might be> I have taken the fish out and put him in a hospital
tank and under a microscope to make sure the worm is in the
fin and sure enough it is! I have taken him to a fish store
and chatted with a woman that has worked a lot of science when it comes
to sick fish but even she was unsure what to do She told me she would
look further for more information but could find
nothing. The fish is breathing heavy and flapping his
fins. I am very good with a scalpel and was thinking on
cutting part of the fin off to remove the worm (clove oil to
anesthetize??) <Mmm, possibly, but hard to do on such a small
specimen...> and then treat with an antibiotic. Under the
scope I also found a very very light dusting of black dots that can
only be seen under a scope. I am thinking on doing the
removal of the fin as a last resort. I would appreciate any
information you could give me as time is running out. Sincerely, I.
Garrett <I would use an anthelminthic here. Please use this term in
the Google search tool on WWM... Bob Fenner>
Camallanus Worms - Treatment 7/23/05 Hello, I am currently
having a problem with treating Camallanus worms (red worms hanging out
of the anus) in my 75 gallon aquarium. I know that there are
several articles throughout your website, but none of them seem to
answer the questions that I have. My aquarium currently
houses three semi-adult Bolivian Rams (Microgeophagus altispinosa), ten
of their fry, and ten Otocinclus affinis. Sadly I had to
have two of the other Rams put down, and I have lost a countless number
of fry. I have tried treating them with Piperazine citrate
by treating the tank water and through their food to no
avail. Since then I have tried treating them with a newer
product on the market called Gel Tec Ultra Cure PX, which is supposed
to treat internal parasites, and contains Praziquantel (.0057%),
<Not enough> Metronidazole (.30%), and Flubenol (.03%); this did
not get rid of the worms either. I have been reading a lot
of literature from your website and others, as well as from numerous
books. Many of them said to treat with Piperazine citrate
(which didn't work), Levamisole, or Fenbendazole. I have
finally found and purchased Fenbendazole, but it is for dogs and I am
unsure of the dosage as there is little literature about dosing, and it
usually is conflicting just like anything in fish keeping is. > Ed
Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment",
prolonged immersion calls for adding 2 mg./l (7.6 mg./gal.) once a week
for three weeks, orally 25-50 mg/kg body weight (11-23 mg/pd.) for two
weeks> My fish and I would sincerely appreciate anyone
who could tell me how to dose the Fenbendazole granules, as the vets
here don't treat fish. It is in 1g packets, and contains
22.2% or 222mg/g Fenbendazole. I would prefer to treat the
water due to the fact that I have the Bolivian Ram fry, but my three
large Bolivian Rams will take medicated chunks of broken up frozen
bloodworms. These worms are basically eating my fish
alive. As of right now they only have a couple of worms
protruding, but the two that I had to have killed were suffering and
badly infested. I don't know how they have gotten
Camallanus worms. These fish aren't wild caught, nor
have they been fed live foods, and they haven't been in contact
with any unquarantined fish. This is a new tank for my five
juvenile discus, and the Rams were supposed to be cycling the tank for
the discus. With the addition of Bio Spira the tank cycled
within a few days with only .25 NH3/NH4, and I never detected any
nitrites, so they never experienced anything overly traumatic, and this
is obvious to me because they were breeding a week
later. The tank is now only one and a half months old, and I
don't know if I'll ever move my discus to this tank as I have
heard that you basically have to, as another website stated, 'nuke
the tank'. These fish are my pets, and I care for them
immensely. They rely on me for care, and I will do anything
to provide the best for them. I perform frequent weekly
water changes of 30% or more' making sure it is of the same in
temperature, pH, etc. although I've upped this and am doing it
every two days due to the way this worm spreads through the fecal
matter. The current parameters are pH 6.6, Nitrate 0,
Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0, Buffering 70ppm, and Hardness 90ppm. I
would like to thank anyone who is able to give me this information,
<Welcome> and if my fish parish due to this new medicine I will
hold no one responsible because my fish will die without being
medicated anyway. Any information on the origin of this
worm, treatment, and if it is safe to add other fish eventually, if
ever, would be appreciated. Having these fish killed is a
last resort, and I would only be willing to do so if they were
suffering. Thank you in advance for any words of
wisdom. Sincerely, Angela <If the "Panacur"
doesn't kill off these nematodes, I'd look to the product
"PraziPro" next. Good life to you. Bob Fenner>
Fish with Worms Hi Chuck! I have been following your advice
and treated the tank with Fluke-Tabs. No new sick fish so far but a bit
too early to say if it really worked. One thing though: it didn't
prevent the fishes that already showed symptoms of infection to die.
-Is this normal? <If sick fish are treated too late then a
combination of illness and medication will kill them sooner than the
parasite alone. Either way they would of died.> They Can this
medication save fishes already sick? < The key is early detection.
If the disease is treated early enough then it can cure fish without
killing them.> -I discovered another (expensive) medication called
PIPERAZINE CITRATE. Would it be even more effective than Mebendazole
and Trichlorfon (Fluke-Tabs)? <Depending on the parasite one may be
more effective than the other.> I think I will treat the tank again
in a month even if there is no sign of the parasite. I want to be sure
it's gone before I introduce the 5 discus I plan to buy. And at
least I will be prepared for the next attack. Dominique <Good luck
with those new discus.-Chuck>
Methylene blue, harm, internal worm diseases In my
freshwater aquarium I have internal worms in the sail fin mollies. I am
going to treat with Methylene blue 1mg/litre. Will this harm my apple
snails, African dwarf frogs and plants? <Will not harm these other
organisms, but will do nothing directly to eradicate the worms
either... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm
sort through re parasitic disease, mollies. Bob Fenner>
De-worming fish in the hospital tank (11/22/03) <Hi!
Ananda at the keyboard tonight...> Hi, I had some bad luck with
internal worms, so I decided to start a nurse tank to minimize my
losses. <Good idea.> My mother who is also a fish lover advised
me to medicate the tank. <I always try to avoid medicating the
display tank -- much easier/cheaper to medicate a hospital tank. Some
courses of medications get so expensive with a big tank that you'd
actually save money if you bought a small tank and treated the affected
fish in the small tank.> She said not to use the full dosage but
wasn't sure what meds to use or how much. What would you recommend
in such a situation. <For internal worms and similar nasties,
Discomed is a good one to use. Since you soak food in Discomed + water,
you just follow the directions on the box.> I want to make sure the
fish I put in my tanks are disease free. All of the tanks are fresh
water community-semi-community. Thanks <Ah, that brings to mind an
image of a town full of fish driving tractor-trailers.... Your desire
to keep your fish healthy via a hospital tank is a good one. Do check
out our freshwater forums at http://wetwebfotos.com/talk .
Leeches For the reader that was trying to control leeches,
Dimilin or Formalin will work, but care must be used in selecting
dosage. Be careful! Formalin will cause problems in
bio-filters if applicable. Also try: http://www.state.me.us/dep/blwq/doclake/leech.htm
Sick South American Leaf fish -- how to treat with a new
medication? (02/15/03) I have a South American Leaf fish
(Monocirrhus polyacanthus) who I believe is infested with
Camallanus sp. parasites. He has the swollen anus with
red fibers that move in and out. <That is the
primary symptom...> I have tried Piperazine (which I did not
expect to work) and Discomed (Levamisole). I dosed the
Discomed at 1 tab/8gallons per an article I read on a cichlid
site. The results have been mixed: fewer fibers, but
some remain. There is one other drug I have seen
talked about, Ivermectin. I have this "gold
standard drug" but I can not find any recommendations on
dosing. For humans the dose is
150-200mcg/kg. Should I dose per volume (kg=liters) of
the aquarium? That would be a lot of Ivermectin
(almost 21 mg). <If you choose to try this, I would dose by
the weight of the fish, and administer the Ivermectin in
food.> I thought about moving him to a quarantine tank, but
his current tank would remain infected and will have to be
treated with Ivermectin anyways and the problem of dosing the
quarantine tank remains. <You might want to put the fish into
a quarantine tank anyway -- the substrate and decorations in the
main tank need to be cleaned, and you can somewhat mitigate the
problem by "screening" the larvae away from the fish.
Dieter Untergasser's "Handbook of Fish Diseases"
suggests suspending a fine screen above the bottom of the
aquarium, which the larvae will fall through, preventing the fish
from eating them off of the bottom of the tank.> Also, I have
read several articles about the use of Ivermectin with salmon to
treat sea lice, so I assume Ivermectin is safe for
fish. Any thoughts or ideas? <On Ivermectin, no.
Untergasser suggests a couple of different methods for treating
this, which I'll summarize. One is Concurat L 10%: dissolve
2gm in 1 litre of water. Soak live bloodworms in this until the
first ones die, and then immediately feed the still-live ones to
the fish. Another is Flubenol 5%: add 100mg to 100gm feed mix.
Then give that five times every second day, with only one normal
feeding on those days. The book includes recipes for the feed
mix, also. This is a book I recommend to every serious aquarist
with expensive or unusual fish!> This is a very interesting
fish and from what I understand this infestation is fatal unless
treated. I would appreciate any advice or anecdotes
you have to offer on my attempt(s) to help it. <Do get the
Untergasser book. You might also be interested in its "big
brother", Edward Noga's "Fish Disease: Diagnosis
and Treatment". I would be interested in hearing which
approach you take and how it works out.> Thank you Steve
Thornton MD <You're welcome. --Ananda>
Update Re: Monocirrhus polyacanthus with
Camallanus infestation - 02/22/03 Ananda, Just an
update. <Hello, and thanks for the additional
info!> The Discomed actually appeared to have
worked. I dosed 1 cap per 8 gallons twice over 5 days
with a 30% water change in between. The leaf fish no
longer had the bulging anus with the red fibers and appeared to
be getting back to normal as the feeder fish were
disappearing. <I did a little digging and found an
alternate way of administering this for fish that are fussy
eaters. Dissolve one capsule of Discomed in 2 ounces of water.
Soak live brine shrimp in that for a few minutes and immediately
feed them to the fish. This was fed to the fish -- killifish, in
the example I found -- twice a day for two weeks.> However,
two days ago he suddenly developed bulbous
<bubble-like> lesions on the right side of his face that
proceeded to become hemorrhagic looking. I tried
dosing with PCN <penicillin> and tetracycline after doing
another water change, but it was futile as was dead the next day.
<I'm sorry to hear that -- this is such a neat fish. Did
those lesions release any fluid?> I have never seen anything
like this before. <I haven't read about
anything like this, either.> It was strange that it only
affected the right side of his face from mouth to gills, but no
lesions on left side of face or body. It could have
been a burn, but from what I don't know. The
heater is a submerged type and the temp in the tank was only 78
degrees. Unfortunately, I am stuck with only
speculation. <Me too. I'm going to pass this along to the
rest of the crew and see if these symptoms sound familiar to
anyone. --Ananda> Steve Thornton MD
There is a very safe treatment for flukes <Ananda here
today...> Flukes are easily and safely treated with the dog worming
medication: Droncit. <With a bit of research, I found
that Droncit is also known as Praziquantel. It is prescribed as a
tapeworm medication for both dogs and cats.> Treatment on day 1 and
day three or four, successfully kills flukes in
Goldfish. See Dr. Erik Johnson's book, Fancy Goldfish
for precise dosages. Best wishes, Goldfish geek <Thank you for the
heads-up on this book. I took a look at the book previews and it
appears to be a very good book to have, even if you don't keep