Spiky red parasite(?) on anus of black neon tetra
1. Size of tank?
2. Water parameters
d. pH, KH and GH?
pH 7.2, GH 120 ppm
e. Test kit?
Mardel test strips
4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)?
5. How long the aquarium has been set up?
6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are
they? How long have you had them?
Black neon tetras (5), neon tetras (12), harlequin rasboras (9), glowlight tetras (2), spotted corycats (6), German Blue ram (1, male)
Except for the GBR (which I added last December), I've had all the fish since July / August, 2011. Initially I added 2 male GBRs and then 1 female GBR in January. The dominant male killed off the females after courting for a while. Then it really beat on the other male. So I gave that one away. However, the remaining male lost color really quick and is a pale comarison to what it used to be...even after 2 months.
7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first
batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the
8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants?
Lots of live plants. Anubias, anacharis, hornwort, various cryptocorynes, java fern, java moss, aponogetons, tiger lily, dwarf hairgrass and moneywort.
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom?
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors?
2 pieces of driftwood. small place to hide under one of the driftwood, but no hollow decor.
9. a. Filtration?
Aquaclear 200 and Hydrosponge IV
10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used?
8 hours, three 15W GE full psectrum tubes
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long?
11. a. Water change schedule?
b. Volume of water changed?
15 gallons every week.
c. Well water, tap water, RO water?
9 gallons of 15 gallons is distilled water, rest tap water
d. Water conditioner used?
Yes. Made by Aqueon.
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed?
Usually I get to vacuum about a third of the tank everytime I change the water.
12. Foods? Aqueon tropical flakes and sinking pellets
How often are they fed? 2 times a day, sometimes thrice
13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms?
One of the black neon tetras has two thin red spikes in its anus. If you don't look very carefully, you'd think it was poop. Its like a very fine worm, but doesn't move.
The last time it happened (last week to another black neon terta), the number of spikes started to increase, kinda like a bunch of pins with the pointy side outward. Eventually, there were 2 holes on each side of the anal fin, the size of its eyes ! I euathanized it.
b. Appearance of poop? not sure
c. Appearance of gills? OK
14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? No
b. What meds were used? N/A
15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if
Thats very characteristic of camallanus worms. Treating is more difficult then most diseases. Your likely going to need to get either a bird wormer or dog wormer with either levamisole or fenbendazole. I use levamisole and treat most my fish with it in quarantine as just a precautionary treatment. This is the kinda disease that doesn't normally show up till the parasite load is very heavy. Best I can suggest is to get Harka verm bird dewormer and use that as it contains just levamisole . Fenbendazole is a common dog dewormer but I've never used it so can't offer much help there. For the harka verm the dosage is 1.25mL per 10 gallons.
If you choose to go with levamisole this link will help you with proper treatment.
Other then that I would highly recommend a quarantine tank for any future purchases. Unfortunately this is a very hard disease to quarantine for. I've dealt with it twice and the one time it went through quarantine undetected. Most fish look and behave fine until the parasite load becomes very heavy. Its such a hassle to deal with its the #1 specific disease I treat all new fish for, even though its not very common. Treatment is pretty easy and quick if you have meds on hand. Levamisole is also a very soft med on the fish and really effective against the worms.
Thanks Mikaila !
A few questions:
1. Can this worm affect humans as well? That is, is it contagious?
2. Is it better to quarantine the fish and treat it only, or is it better to treat the whole tank at this point?
I've got a 10G...its time I set it up as a quarantine tank.
1. The worm cannot infect humans. It is pretty specific to fish. There are a number of different species of camallanus worms and some are even restricted to certain types of fish.
2. You will need to treat the entire main tank till they are clear of the worms. Its too difficult if not impossible to tell if a fish is infected until the parasite load becomes heavy enough to effect behavior. They don't always stick out the anus, but if they do a healthy fish could of been infected for months prior to that point. Levamisole I know will not harm live plants, shrimp, or bacteria.
As far as the link I posted I used that to figure out the dosage for the bird dewormer quite awhile back. I personally have never used the bird dewormer but I have had success reported with it. The stuff I use is a pig dewormer in powder form. Its a bit more complicated to use then the liquid as I use a very small scale to measure the .10 gram per 10 gallon. Any pharmacy should give you free plastic mL syringes to use for the liquid. The active ingredient is the same and thats what matters. If you want to use one of the other medications the link lists I can help you figure out the proper dosage if you need it. Some of those you may likely be able to find at farm supply stores.
The main thing to note is how the medication works and the link explains that very well. Its only a 24 hour treatment which is very short, but its very important you clean the tank and filter well and change as much water as possible after treatment. Then repeat treatment at the recommend intervals.
If you also want to be certain the med works when you use it you can put the one confirmed neon in a bag with treatment water and just float him in the main tank for 24 hours. The plastic bag makes it easy to see if the worms were passed out. Its what I do with fish I suspect of being infected. A confirmed result/the med being effective against it then I would treat the whole tank confidently.
Thanks Mikaila !
I'll go over to one of the farm stores and see which one I can get my hands on. The link you sent has an extensive list of drugs to look for. Fortunately I live in Nebraska, so finding farm stores shouldn't be a problem. Also, I'm studying at the University over here...so I have access to sone really good scales to weigh very small masses if necessary. I'll look for a liquid though.
If the treatment works with the black neon, I'll certainly treat the whole tank. Perhaps it'll help the GBR color up as well. To clean out my filters after the treatment, is it sufficient to wash them thoroughly in water? Is a 60% water change sufficient to clean the tank?
By the way, I saw a video of your tank. I noticed that there are some floating leaves...are they from a Maple or oak? How often do you have to change them? I got some pin-oak leaves blowing around....was wondering if I could throw them in. Would a good washing be sufficient?
Rinse the filters in fresh dechlorinated tap water. I normally change 90% or so if there is a confirmed infection. You can break that up into two 60% changes if you want a day apart. Usually I just drain the tank till there is just enough water for the fish to swim then refill it a little slower then normal. Your GBR is the only fish that may not like that though. I normally do 50% water changes a week so most my fish don't mind the really big changes.
If you end up with a powder thats when I would just treat all incoming fish with it. I bought a powder years ago when I got my first fish with this parasite and its gonna be more then you will ever need, think I paid $20 for 18 grams. I mainly treat them all because I have it on hand, I'm not gonna run out, its quick, and its much less of a hassle then dealing with a larger tank and more infected fish later.
By the way, few of my Harlequin rasboras seem to be pregnant all the time...is it possible they have dropsy? They're so small that I can't tell by the scales. They're shiny, active and eat all right. So I might just be too worried :-)
By the way, do I need to take out the activated carbon insert from my Aquaclear 200 like with other medications?
Never mind...I just noticed that I need to remove the carbon insert.
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