AGH! Camallanus worms, will they die out? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-08-2013, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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AGH! Camallanus worms, will they die out?

I've just found that my tank has camallanus worms. I am treating my betta in a quarantine tank for a bacterial infection (probably from the worms) but it's looking like he probably won't make it.

In the community tank I have neon tetras, red cherry shrimp, two mystery snails, and two african dwarf frogs.

I've been reading up on camallanus all day today, and it sounds like an extremely difficult parasite to get rid of, costing a lot of money and time. There's very different stories on whether or not Levamisole (supposedly most effective med) is toxic to snails and shrimp, and I've found very little info on the worms and medicine's affect on ADFs. Many times the fish die even after extensive treatment, and some people recommend just euthanizing infected fish and starting over.

My question is this: If I euthanize the infected neons, but don't treat the tank, will the worms eventually die out?

I feel terrible suggesting this, but the frogs and shrimp are more important to me and I'm just not sure four neon tetras are worth all the money and time. I also am out of town a lot at the moment, and my family would have trouble taking over any more care than the feeding they are currently helping with. It would be nearly impossible to take out all my little cherry shrimp to clean the tank, replace gravel, etc.

My understanding of the camallanus life cycle is that fully grown worms use fish as their hosts, eggs or larvae are hatched and use a crustacean host, these are consumed by fish, and the worms grow and reproduce within the fish. Sometimes camallanus does not need a crustacean host and the larvae can directly infect other fish. The only thing is, I haven't seen anything specifying that the worms would die without a fish host. It sounds like their life cycle lasts around a month or two.

Does anyone know if it would work to grow out the worms in a normal planted tank with snails, frogs, and shrimp, but WITHOUT ANY FISH for a few months, and the worm larvae eventually completely die off, so that I could add fish again one day without any issues?

Last edited by eat6298; 12-08-2013 at 08:32 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-23-2013, 07:58 PM
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I'm not certain and haven't checked the life cycle, but many of these pests will encyst or stay in an intermediate hose, like snails for a long period.

I had major issues with the worms, but cleared them up pretty well with some inexpensive dog de-wormer and some blood worms.

Try this link:
Camallanus infection, need advice

Look at post #20 in that thread to see what I ended up doing that worked well.

18 species/varieties of fish, 15 species/varieties of plants - The fish are finally ahead of the plants!
*560 gallons (2120 liters) in 5 tanks -> you do the math.
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-23-2013, 08:27 PM
Nematode Infections in Fish1

This give you some idea what your up against

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