Camallanus Worms

newclassic1

Hi there,

I recently bought two Bolivian Rams from a store far from me but had them shipped overnight.

Unfortunately they arrived with what I was able to diagnose as camallanus worms :(

Initially before discovery of the parasite, I was going to quarantine the 2 of them in same tank for 3 weeks but my qt tank proved too small and they began to bicker and lock mouths so I decided to put them in my display tank and see how it goes. Big mistake!!!

One has 2 worms protruding from anal area so I'm iffy on whether he's too far gone. He's quite skinny as a result and is barely eating. I have him moved from main tank to the 20L quarantine to keep the worst of his camallanus away from other fish even though it's a very contagious parasite. My single angelfish who's been with me the past 2 months, is healthy and moving about fine but he did have white stringy poop the other day which leads me to believe he's not as healthy as it seems. (See photos)

Since then, I've ordered 2 bottles of esha NDX (levamisole) and dosed the main display tank, my quarantine and even my betta tank as I had been sharing equipment all along :/

On the NDX leaflet They say to leave levamisole in the tank for 24hrs but I read somewhere on a forum that 3 days would be best in order to get the full effects? Then redose in a week and the following week after that to catch any eggs/larvae.

Tonight is the end of day 3 of tank being dosed with levamisole with towels over all tanks so they're in full darkness. I'm going to do big water changes and hoover up the worms off the substrate (if any). From last nights peek in the tank, my bettas don't seem to have expelled any worms, the ram in the main tank doesnt seem to have the little hairlike red worm he had 3 days ago. However, the worst ram of both still has a worm and some swelling at the analfin area.

Now, I also have kusuri wormer plus which arrived on friday and that contains fenbendezol which people claim can be great with this nasty parasite.

My question is, after I water change all tanks tonight should I give treatment and my fish a rest until next week and repeat OR go ahead with the fenbendezol and see if that makes any difference?

I know I'm in this for the long run now as it doesn't just disappear overnight!!! The shop even said the fish were quarantined for 3 weeks but this parasite is usually slow to appear so it made it past them and me.

Any help appreciated!
 

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Darthmoli

Oh goodness. I'm about to give you really bad and good news at the same time but I can only go from my own experience. I've been dealing with these worms in my tanks for about 6 months and its a never ending problem honestly where some people just give up once they get into the tank BUT FEAR NOT if you have healthy fish and a healthy tank these worms arent a death sentence and we can mitigate and slowly start to solve the problem. Its going to be a long road unless you want to completely break down the tank but we can get there.

Onto solutions!
The worm lifecycle is pretty long. From eggs to mature long red worms that you see protruding is a couple weeks so you wont see any initial symptoms that quickly. I usually recommend removing any that show signs of adult worms (worms protruding from the anus which you already did) especially if you just added them. You are still going to need to treat all the tanks but at least you can keep the mature worms from expelling more eggs out.

Levamisole unfortunately is pretty weak against them nowadays and will just paralyze the adult worms to be released and in my experience does a pretty bad job at doing that also. You did a good job in leaving it in for extra days and I usually recommend dosing a little heavier if your fish are healthy enough to take it. Then doing a heavy gravel vac to be as meticulous as possible as this is going to be the hardest part getting all the adult worms that were able to be passed and the eggs/babies that were expelled. For the non eater you can try doing a specialized live food or homemade live food and hand-spot feeding him. That worked for me on one of my gouramis. I made him some sardine/oil nasty mix that he would nom on even though he hated everything else I tried. If you are able to gently hold him you can even use tweezers to pull the worst of the worms out though be careful as these worms are attached to internal organs and you can do damage if they dont release and you pull too hard.

That on its own though is not enough unfortunately and you were smart to order some Fenbendazole. This is the great Red worm destroyer and in my experience the only thing that can kill these worms. I typically wait a week in between medications like this since they can be quite taxing on the fish especially on top of the parasites themselves. Also fenbendazole will actually kill the worms and waiting a week will give any eggs/ or young ones that you missed that hadn't hatched yet time so you can kill those also. I personally like to mix it into a food base and feed it for a week to 2 weeks exclusively and then do some very careful spot vac to try and continually pull out the dead worms so as not to continue infections.
https://dianawalstad.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/camallanusarticle4.pdf
That article gives a nice diy on how to make some cheap fenben food for fish that worked for me. Though I also ordered some fenbendazole food that works really well also from AngelsPlus. You will have to repeat this process in a few weeks just to be sure but this is the only way I've been able to eradicate them from my tanks.

So after all that long ranting from me to answer your question haha Yes I would give them a few days of rest, if you plan on going the food fenben route I would only feed them very sparingly or only feed them the first 2-3 days and then not feed them the next 3 so that they are very hungry when you go to give them the medicated food.
I hope that information helps and don't give up!
 

newclassic1

Oh goodness. I'm about to give you really bad and good news at the same time but I can only go from my own experience. I've been dealing with these worms in my tanks for about 6 months and its a never ending problem honestly where some people just give up once they get into the tank BUT FEAR NOT if you have healthy fish and a healthy tank these worms arent a death sentence and we can mitigate and slowly start to solve the problem. Its going to be a long road unless you want to completely break down the tank but we can get there.

Onto solutions!
The worm lifecycle is pretty long. From eggs to mature long red worms that you see protruding is a couple weeks so you wont see any initial symptoms that quickly. I usually recommend removing any that show signs of adult worms (worms protruding from the anus which you already did) especially if you just added them. You are still going to need to treat all the tanks but at least you can keep the mature worms from expelling more eggs out.

Levamisole unfortunately is pretty weak against them nowadays and will just paralyze the adult worms to be released and in my experience does a pretty **** job at doing that also. You did a good job in leaving it in for extra days and I usually recommend dosing a little heavier if your fish are healthy enough to take it. Then doing a heavy gravel vac to be as meticulous as possible as this is going to be the hardest part getting all the adult worms that were able to be passed and the eggs/babies that were expelled. For the non eater you can try doing a specialized live food or homemade live food and hand-spot feeding him. That worked for me on one of my gouramis. I made him some sardine/oil nasty mix that he would nom on even though he hated everything else I tried. If you are able to gently hold him you can even use tweezers to pull the worst of the worms out though be careful as these worms are attached to internal organs and you can do damage if they dont release and you pull too hard.

That on its own though is not enough unfortunately and you were smart to order some Fenbendazole. This is the great Red worm destroyer and in my experience the only thing that can kill these worms. I typically wait a week in between medications like this since they can be quite taxing on the fish especially on top of the parasites themselves. Also fenbendazole will actually kill the worms and waiting a week will give any eggs/ or young ones that you missed that hadn't hatched yet time so you can kill those also. I personally like to mix it into a food base and feed it for a week to 2 weeks exclusively and then do some very careful spot vac to try and continually pull out the dead worms so as not to continue infections.
https://dianawalstad.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/camallanusarticle4.pdf
That article gives a nice diy on how to make some cheap fenben food for fish that worked for me. Though I also ordered some fenbendazole food that works really well also from AngelsPlus. You will have to repeat this process in a few weeks just to be sure but this is the only way I've been able to eradicate them from my tanks.

So after all that long ranting from me to answer your question haha Yes I would give them a few days of rest, if you plan on going the food fenben route I would only feed them very sparingly or only feed them the first 2-3 days and then not feed them the next 3 so that they are very hungry when you go to give them the medicated food.
I hope that information helps and don't give up!
Thank you so much for the detailed response. :) I'm not going to give up as I find it's always good to use these bad situations as a learning environment and I'll be better prepared if it were to ever happen again. It's my first ever serious problem as I've only kept fish for just over a year now with little to no problems.

Surprisingly, the two rams came from a highly regarded and reputable company in my country but that just goes to show you cannot trust any fish no matter the source!!

I'm going to do a big water change on all tanks tonight, bleach/disinfect all my equipment overnight and then go and try fenbendezol the **** out of the tanks next week again and see what way things pan out.

It's such a tricky parasite because it goes unseen for so long and from what I've researched, by the time it becomes visible it's often too late...

I'm just going to assume everything that's a fish in my house has it and I'll treat accordingly.
 

jkkgron2

I’ve used levamisole on extremely heavily infected fish before and after the second dose I've never seen any that still have worms. Fenbendazole food can be good, but it won’t kill all the worms if some fish don’t eat. I’m not sure if all of your fish are still eating, but if they’re not then I wouldn’t use it. If they are I would continue using levamisole but also feed them fenbendazole food to kill off any survivors.
 

newclassic1

I’ve used levamisole on extremely heavily infected fish before and after the second dose I've never seen any that still have worms. Fenbendazole food can be good, but it won’t kill all the worms if some fish don’t eat. I’m not sure if all of your fish are still eating, but if they’re not then I wouldn’t use it. If they are I would continue using levamisole but also feed them fenbendazole food to kill off any survivors.
So I just done 90% water changes on all tanks to remove the meds. Inspected all my fish. The 1 solitary ram in quarantine still has 2 small worms protruding from him unfortunately. The other ram in the main tank doesn't have the small single red "hairlike" worm anymore so I guess the levamisole may have done something?

However, now I'm wondering about the smaller more infected ram...should I just stop taking action until next week as per instructions on medication OR redose his tank only as he is the most severe case and keep nuking the worms he has?

It's kinda hard not to want to take action on him as he clearly still has worms and isn't eating well...

Going to try mixing food with garlic tomorrow to get something into him.
Screenshot_20210704-234931_Messenger.jpg
 

jkkgron2

Did the instructions say to remove the levamisole after the first treatment is over? I usually keep it in there for a bit even after the treatment is over, to help the badly infected fish get all the worms out of them. If you can get the ram in qt to eat any food then there’s a chance he’ll eat the fenbendazole food, so if he eats the garlic food I’d try feeding the medicated food first before adding more levamisole. If the instructions didn’t say to remove the levamisole and you can’t get him to eat I would add it back in to the qt tank to nuke the worms.
 

newclassic1

Did the instructions say to remove the levamisole after the first treatment is over? I usually keep it in there for a bit even after the treatment is over, to help the badly infected fish get all the worms out of them. If you can get the ram in qt to eat any food then there’s a chance he’ll eat the fenbendazole food, so if he eats the garlic food I’d try feeding the medicated food first before adding more levamisole. If the instructions didn’t say to remove the levamisole and you can’t get him to eat I would add it back in to the qt tank to nuke the worms.
Yes the instructions on ESHA NDX state to remove medication 24hrs after dosage. However, I have read people having better results by leaving it sit in the tank for upto 3 days (in darkness). So I went with this. I think I'll try to get him to eat first and then perhaps try the fenbendezol. Although, the fenbendezol I have is KUSURI WORMER PLUS which doesn't state that it needs to be added to a food it says right on the pack that the correct dosage of powder is to be determined using the included spoon, dissolved in a container of water, shaken and then tipped into the tank directly over a course of a few minutes?
 

jkkgron2

Yes the instructions on ESHA NDX state to remove medication 24hrs after dosage. However, I have read people having better results by leaving it sit in the tank for upto 3 days (in darkness). So I went with this. I think I'll try to get him to eat first and then perhaps try the fenbendezol. Although, the fenbendezol I have is KUSURI WORMER PLUS which doesn't state that it needs to be added to a food it says right on the pack that the correct dosage of powder is to be determined using the included spoon, dissolved in a container of water, shaken and then tipped into the tank directly over a course of a few minutes?
Then I’d add fenbendazole to the qt tank. I misunderstood, I thought you had gotten fenbendazole food.
 

newclassic1

Then I’d add fenbendazole to the qt tank. I misunderstood, I thought you had gotten fenbendazole food.
Cool. Going to try adding some garlic cloves to a cup of tank water and mix in some frozen bloodworm for him in a few minutes. He's getting smaller by the day :( I'll try a course of fenbendezol then tonight. Thanks for your help!
Then I’d add fenbendazole to the qt tank. I misunderstood, I thought you had gotten fenbendazole food.
Ok he ate like 6 bloodworms soaked in garlic! Feeling a bit better now he's got some nutrients in. Still has like a 5mm worm trailing behind him but the food might get him passing worms with waste. I'm going to dose the fenbendezol tomorrow as I must calculate how much according to the pack for my small quarantine tank. Don't want to overdo it
 

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