Snail parasite in gills deadly to my fish! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 05-02-2014, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Snail parasite in gills deadly to my fish!

Help! one of my Platies has died and I need some help on this one cause I want to do what I can to save my other fishies! The platy that became ill started to have laborious beathing, hard for her to breath, she was getting lethargic. Hiding up in the top of the tank. I took her out and put her into a hospital tank for what I assumed was maybe a bacterial gill disease. But she ended up dieing.

I did a necopsy and looked at the gills under a microscope (yes I have one) and saw the culprit - a destructive parasitic snail known as: Centrocestus formosanus !! This is a tiny, microscopic asian snail parasite that infects the gills of freshwater fish. I could tell this was not an ich infestation. None of my fish have white spots and the things on the gill filimants did not look like ich parasites at all.

I have seen this one a couple other fish i've had once in a while. Seems like some fish catch the parasites, and others resist them, or just take longer to succumb to them.

Has anyone encountered this parasitic snail before? What can I do about it to prevent further infections? Is this maybe a new threat to aquarists?!! It's really easy to mistake the symptoms for a different disease, or assume that the things are ich. But trust me ... it's not ich and ich meds and all the traditional meds we have available don't seem to work on this thing! Should I try a snail control medication? I just don't know, there is virtually nothing about this in the hobbyist circle.

1. Size of tank? 55 gallon

2. Water parameters:
a. Ammonia - 0
b. Nitrite - 0
c. Nitrate - 10/20ppm
d. pH 7.0
e. Test kit - Freshwater Master test Kit & Tetra 6 in 1 Strips both

3. Temperature 77.5

4. Freshwater

5. How long the aquarium has been set up: 5 months

6. 7 fish - 5 Platies, 2 guppys

7. The sick fish in question was placed in a Hospital Tank but died 1 day later.

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? - Mostly fake plants
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Gravel Bottom
c. Various decorations, none that are real wood or stone.

9. Filtration? Aquaclear 70
b. Heater? Fluval 200

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? Hood florescent, about 10 hrs.
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? N/A

11. a. Water change schedule? 1nce a week
b. Volume of water changed? 25%
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? Tap Water
d. Water conditioner used? Seachem Prime
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? 1nce a week

12. Foods? Mostly flake, sometimes frozen brine shrimp. API Algae tablet on Friday
How often are they fed? 2twice a day - 1/8 teaspoon of flake food.

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? The sick fish was visibly having trouble breathing. She was beathing very heavily. Pretty lethargic, changes in behavior.
b. Appearance of poop? In the hospital tank she started to have long strings of still-born fry mixed in with feces (being a platy they are livebearring fish). I had never seen that before.
c. Appearance of gills? Pale, anemic (after investigation)

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis?
b. What meds were used? I mis-diagnosed as bacterial gill disease at first. so i was trying Mycarain-2
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post #2 of 2 Old 05-04-2014, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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So far after doing some research reading there is no definitive cure. Praziquatel medication is reported to be the most effective in most studies. This medication is in Tetra's Parasite Guard med, also API General Cure. And one study said feeding a medicated food with praziquantel helped to cure some infected carps.

This parasite is real ppl! And it's a huge threat! You'll notice it in your fish when they look like they have trouble breathing, their gill covers are flared out. Sometimes they stop eating and hide somewhere. The symptoms are very similar to an ich infestation but you will never see any white spots. Ich meds, or the heat and salt method won't work! This is a zoonotic parasite, meaning humans can catch it too if your not careful and don't wash your hands after messing with an infected aquarium and infected fish.

Last edited by Tibby101; 05-04-2014 at 02:27 PM.
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centrocestus formosanus , fish , parasite , snail

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