Confirmation of internal parasites?

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eirynne

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I dosed PraziPro and 2-3 days later saw one of my Bolivian Rams have a clear poop with what looked like a white worm with a dark head in it (looked dead). Was this a dead parasite (if so, what kind)? Undigested but bleached blood worm? I re-dosed PraziPro last night but I'm wondering if I should get metroplex or something else?

I have seen her eat a handle of times (got her Oct 1st) but overall she seems uninterested in it but I have tried feeding her a number of things, including blood worms soaked in garlic guard etc.. She doesn't show any interest when I am feeding the other fish (she will come out but will stay on the other side of the tank) & I have tried using a pipette to get the food right in front of her (she ignores it) but I do see her pick at things around the tank.

Should I isolate her? I don't have a cycled tank to separate her into but I have an extra heater & could put her in a separate bucket & do water changes, etc. I'm worried that is more stressful than leaving her where she is.
She still seems to be out and about, exploring the tank, not hiding 24/7, but she is definitely losing weight :(
 

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eirynne said:
I dosed PraziPro and 2-3 days later saw one of my Bolivian Rams have a clear poop with what looked like a white worm with a dark head in it (looked dead). Was this a dead parasite (if so, what kind)? Undigested but bleached blood worm? I re-dosed PraziPro last night but I'm wondering if I should get metroplex or something else?

I have seen her eat a handle of times (got her Oct 1st) but overall she seems uninterested in it but I have tried feeding her a number of things, including blood worms soaked in garlic guard etc.. She doesn't show any interest when I am feeding the other fish (she will come out but will stay on the other side of the tank) & I have tried using a pipette to get the food right in front of her (she ignores it) but I do see her pick at things around the tank.

Should I isolate her? I don't have a cycled tank to separate her into but I have an extra heater & could put her in a separate bucket & do water changes, etc. I'm worried that is more stressful than leaving her where she is.
She still seems to be out and about, exploring the tank, not hiding 24/7, but she is definitely losing weight :(
Unfortunately the most common internal worms are nigh microscopic and are nowhere near the size of a bloodworm. The only way to really confirm them is via microscope. But do you have pics of this 'dead parasite'? Are you absolutely sure it wasn't just stringy poo?
 
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vyrille said:
Unfortunately the most common internal worms are nigh microscopic and are nowhere near the size of a bloodworm. The only way to really confirm them is via microscope. But do you have pics of this 'dead parasite'? Are you absolutely sure it wasn't just stringy poo?
It definitely looked like thick clear poop with something inside it (the something inside it looked larger than the bloodworms I feed & was white with a dark head) .... but of course it could have just been a tube of white stuff with a dark spot at the top in the clear poop. I don't have a picture unfortunately.... but I was hoping it would at least tell me what is wrong with her :(

Guess not.... any advice on what to do?
 

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eirynne said:
It definitely looked like thick clear poop with something inside it (the something inside it looked larger than the bloodworms I feed & was white with a dark head) .... but of course it could have just been a tube of white stuff with a dark spot at the top in the clear poop. I don't have a picture unfortunately.... but I was hoping it would at least tell me what is wrong with her :(

Guess not.... any advice on what to do?
How long have you had this ram? and what prompted you to dose prazi in the first place? Did you recently add anything to the tank?
 
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@vyrille I set my tank up Aug 17th, finished cycling at the end of Sept. and got her, along with my other fish, Oct. 1st.

A week or two after getting them I noticed one of my rainbowfish was having white stringy poop & my two rams (from different stores) were still not showing interest in food (originally I assumed they were still getting used to their environment) & the smaller ram began to have a sunken stomach - everyone else (6 rainbowfish and 1 pleco) are fine. So, I guessed that maybe they had some internal parasites and dosed PraziPro last wednesday (but I accidently left my carbon in) so I waited 4 days, did a 30% water change and re-dosed last night.

The ram I was originally worried about died this weekend (RIP Koios </3) after hiding almost 24/7 for the past week (I would pipette garlic soaked blood worms into his cave to try to get him to eat but I don't think he was since he was so skinny when he died). I'm very worried because the remaining ram is looking thin now too but she isn't hiding like he did... granted... she would half-heartedly chase him around if he came out so that probably had something to do with him hiding :(
 

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eirynne said:
@vyrille I set my tank up Aug 17th, finished cycling at the end of Sept. and got her, along with my other fish, Oct. 1st.

A week or two after getting them I noticed one of my rainbowfish was having white stringy poop & my two rams (from different stores) were still not showing interest in food (originally I assumed they were still getting used to their environment) & the smaller ram began to have a sunken stomach - everyone else (6 rainbowfish and 1 pleco) are fine. So, I guessed that maybe they had some internal parasites and dosed PraziPro last wednesday (but I accidently left my carbon in) so I waited 4 days, did a 30% water change and re-dosed last night.

The ram I was originally worried about died this weekend (RIP Koios </3) after hiding almost 24/7 for the past week (I would pipette garlic soaked blood worms into his cave to try to get him to eat but I don't think he was since he was so skinny when he died). I'm very worried because the remaining ram is looking thin now too but she isn't hiding like he did... granted... she would half-heartedly chase him around if he came out so that probably had something to do with him hiding :(
I would assume the rainbows are still alive? Rams are usually the more sensitive ones with regards to disease, it would appear they were originally the carriers. Did you quarantine these rams beforehand? Treated with any meds prior prazi?
 
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vyrille said:
I would assume the rainbows are still alive? Rams are usually the more sensitive ones with regards to disease, it would appear they were originally the carriers. Did you quarantine these rams beforehand? Treated with any meds prior prazi?
Yes - everyone is still alive except for the 1 ram (poor guy I feel so bad). Because I don't have another tank, I essentially decided to treat this tank as my quarantine & hope for the best. The only meds I've used was the PraziPro & I dosed the entire tank because I had read it was a decently "gentle" treatment / could be used as a preventative and since at least one rainbowfish was showing possible symptoms of internal parasites on top of the rams, I figured everyone might as well get the treatment.
 

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eirynne said:
Yes - everyone is still alive except for the 1 ram (poor guy I feel so bad). Because I don't have another tank, I essentially decided to treat this tank as my quarantine & hope for the best. The only meds I've used was the PraziPro & I dosed the entire tank because I had read it was a decently "gentle" treatment / could be used as a preventative and since at least one rainbowfish was showing possible symptoms of internal parasites on top of the rams, I figured everyone might as well get the treatment.
I see. without fecal and tissue samples we can never be sure what's bothering them. I would speculate that they're having an internal bacterial infection, which may or may not be caused by a parasitic infestation. Now here's the conundrum: either you go all-out on meds, which increases your chances of covering the culprit bacteria but is also harder on the fish, or, go easy on the meds, which decreases coverage, but is theoretically gentler on the fish? But before that, do you have access to antibiotics? These are heavily controlled in places like canada and in the UK for a reason..
 
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vyrille said:
I see. without fecal and tissue samples we can never be sure what's bothering them. I would speculate that they're having an internal bacterial infection, which may or may not be caused by a parasitic infestation. Now here's the conundrum: either you go all-out on meds, which increases your chances of covering the culprit bacteria but is also harder on the fish, or, go easy on the meds, which decreases coverage, but is theoretically gentler on the fish? But before that, do you have access to antibiotics? These are heavily controlled in places like canada and in the UK for a reason..
I am in the eastern United States so I would think I might have more access than those in Canada (PraziPro is apparently illegal in some parts???) / the UK but I haven't looked for much yet either.... so let's go with a probably on whether I have access to antibiotics.
 

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I would go with a whole full strength treatment for the full recommended duration. Don't play around or you will create a medicine resistant strain.

Since you believe you have evidence to suggest internal parasites - I would back WAY off on feeding to reduce the risk of an intestinal blockage due to a big knot of undigested food + dead worms. I would minimally feed (or not at all) for at least the first 4 or 5 days of the medicine treatment.

Another "danger" is secondary infections due to the parasites weakening and stressing the fish. You may want to have an antibiotic ready to help beat back these secondary infections such as open sores, fin rot, and similar issues....
 
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Truckjohn said:
I would go with a whole full strength treatment for the full recommended duration. Don't play around or you will create a medicine resistant strain.

Since you believe you have evidence to suggest internal parasites - I would back WAY off on feeding to reduce the risk of an intestinal blockage due to a big knot of undigested food + dead worms. I would minimally feed (or not at all) for at least the first 4 or 5 days of the medicine treatment.

Another "danger" is secondary infections due to the parasites weakening and stressing the fish. You may want to have an antibiotic ready to help beat back these secondary infections such as open sores, fin rot, and similar issues....
I haven't seen any secondary infections on any of the fish (in fact, my pleco came with fin damage and it seems to be growing back) but I will definitely keep my eye out!

I did a full dose of PraziPro (accidentally left my carbon in, but it was 2ish months old so unclear how much medication it removed) and so I did another full dose 4 days later.

What medications (parasitic / bacterial) do you recommend? Or should I "wait and see" for a bit after this most recent PraziPro dose?
 

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eirynne said:
I am in the eastern United States so I would think I might have more access than those in Canada (PraziPro is apparently illegal in some parts???) / the UK but I haven't looked for much yet either.... so let's go with a probably on whether I have access to antibiotics.
Dying worms have been known to cause bloating, not because they're big enough to cause a physical blockage, but when they die, they cause the fish's immune system to react and and inflame the intestine walls, making it difficult for food/faeces to pass.

Regarding antibiotics, well, i do have to warn you that as you noted, your ram has progressed to emaciation. This significantly reduces her chances, but, if you're willing to try, i would start by dosing API general cure, this has combined praziquantel (for flukes, if she has it), and metronidazole (for anaerobic bacteria), and then do a methylene blue bath for the fish twice a day for 30mins each. If this is not possible/practical, use normal dosage for in-tank use for 10 days, with 50% water changes before the next dose. MB is an antiseptic and has some gram-positive coverage so it shouldn't hurt your BB. And finally kanamycin (kanaplex, is the most available, i think) for the recommended manufacturer dosage for gram negative bacteria (most commonly aeromonas). I would also suggest dosing ascorbic acid (the common vitamin C) to help along with fish immunity during treatment, at 10mg/L, but without monitoring your pH/kH, it can severely alter your pH...I understand this sounds like a lot, but this combination shouldn't touch your bb, especially in established tanks, but as usual, vigilance in water paramters is of utmost importance.
 

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I have been successful with API General Cure as an anti-parasitic. I have coupled it with Erythromycin because I was dealing with severe secondary infection on top of the parasite infestation. This did not crash my cycle or kill my nerites or mystery snails.

I have heard good things about Prazi Pro but have never personally used it.
 

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You mention a concave stomach for the one that died. I know he wasn't eating, but it takes a while to get a concave stomach look. Now the other ram purchased at another store is acting weird. I would suspect an internal parasite.

There are 3 types of internal parasites:
PraziPro treats cestodes and trematodes, but not nematodes (worms). For nematodes, you'll need a dewormer. There are dewormers you dose in the water (since your ram is not eating, that's what you'd need). So Levamisole or flubendazole in the water.

Then there's hexamita (spironucleus) parasite that Metro treats. (Metro is also an antibiotic). It's best to feed Metro since it doesn't dissolve well in water and had a short shelf life (something like 8hrs). You could also try epsom salts in the feed against Hex.

I don't use antibiotics anymore 1) they are not available at my location 2) I have better success not using them and use alternative method treatments instead.
 
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I assume I can't (or shouldn't) do all of these at once... is there a better one to start with over others?

Should I dose my entire tank or maybe try to do bath's instead so that the healthy fish don't have to deal with the meds? Or a mix?

I'm worried about hurting my bacteria and healthy fish by overmedicating :/
 

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Truckjohn said:
I have been successful with API General Cure as an anti-parasitic. I have coupled it with Erythromycin because I was dealing with severe secondary infection on top of the parasite infestation. This did not crash my cycle or kill my nerites or mystery snails.

I have heard good things about Prazi Pro but have never personally used it.
Reason i asked for GC instead of prazipro is gc has metronidazole included, that way OP wouldn't need to buy separate metronidazole for it...i have personally never used prazipro as well, i use pure praziquantel for flukes..

angelcraze said:
You mention a concave stomach for the one that died. I know he wasn't eating, but it takes a while to get a concave stomach look. Now the other ram purchased at another store is acting weird. I would suspect an internal parasite.

There are 3 types of internal parasites:
PraziPro treats cestodes and trematodes, but not nematodes (worms). For nematodes, you'll need a dewormer. There are dewormers you dose in the water (since your ram is not eating, that's what you'd need). So Levamisole or flubendazole in the water.

Then there's hexamita (spironucleus) parasite that Metro treats. It's best to feed Metro since it doesn't dissolve well in water and had a short shelf life (something like 8hrs). You could also try epsom salts in the feed against Hex.
I would also suggest the metronidazole (General cure soaked) feed, but it seems OP's ram isn't readily feeding anymore. Levamisole is good, but imo praziquantel is just as good and has a wider safety margin...Not sure if OP has inverts, but levamisole might not be so invert friendly..
 
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vyrille said:
Reason i asked for GC instead of prazipro is gc has metronidazole included, that way OP wouldn't need to buy separate metronidazole for it...i have personally never used prazipro as well, i use pure praziquantel for flukes..


I would also suggest the metronidazole (General cure soaked) feed, but it seems OP's ram isn't readily feeding anymore. Levamisole is good, but imo praziquantel is just as good and has a wider safety margin...Not sure if OP has inverts, but levamisole might not be so invert friendly..
No inverts but yea... I was having trouble finding levamisole so I went with PraziPro
 

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vyrille said:
Reason i asked for GC instead of prazipro is gc has metronidazole included, that way OP wouldn't need to buy separate metronidazole for it...i have personally never used prazipro as well, i use pure praziquantel for flukes..


I would also suggest the metronidazole (General cure soaked) feed, but it seems OP's ram isn't readily feeding anymore. Levamisole is good, but imo praziquantel is just as good and has a wider safety margin...Not sure if OP has inverts, but levamisole might not be so invert friendly..
Unfortunately Prazipro hardly touches nematodes. It won't eliminate a worm problem. You are right about the metro. A fish needs to eat the Metro. In cases where the fish definitely has Hex, the meds need to be administered via syringe.
And I agree, unfortunately it doesn't sound great for the ram that stopped feeding, but I wouldn't give up. Just a realist warning. But regardless, of it is a parasite, you'll want to treat against it so the other fish do not fall victim. I used the 2 or 3ppm dosage of Levamisole, forgot about my assasins and nerites, they were fine with the treatment. I just had to treat 3 times to get the subsequent generation of worms.

If this is a QT tank, might as well treat against the possibilities and use all the regular preemptive treatments. The ones I mentioned won't destroy nitrifying bacteria (certainly not if biological system is healthy).
 

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eirynne said:
I assume I can't (or shouldn't) do all of these at once... is there a better one to start with over others?

Should I dose my entire tank or maybe try to do bath's instead so that the healthy fish don't have to deal with the meds? Or a mix?

I'm worried about hurting my bacteria and healthy fish by overmedicating :/
All three (general cure, methylene blue, kanamycin) are safe to be combined together. The biggest potential issue is kanamycin causing kidney damage in your fish, then again, all antibiotics do. I also considered that your ram isn't readily eating, so all three have been known to be effective in-tank as well (although if you can manage to have the ram eat General Cure-soaked food, much better). kanamycin and MB readily pass through fish tissue so no worries in that department. All three also aren't supposed to touch your BB that much, I've used these and never had issues...but there are claims that they do, so use with caution. Ideally you should treat in a hospital tank, but you also mentioned you didn't have any..
 

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angelcraze said:
Unfortunately Prazipro hardly touches nematodes. It won't treat a worm problem. You are right about the metro. A fish needs to eat the Metro. In cases where the fish definitely has Hex, the meds need to be administered via syringe.
This is true, but at this point i think personally i would be more concerned on controlling the bacteria side. Fish with worms will still have appetite, but with a bacterial infection taking hold, not so much, which makes it much more difficult to administer dewormers (enterally, that is). It's just my hypothesis, as in the past i have had the luxury of stealing a microscope and stain to diagnose fish problems...but not here. Anyone's guess is as good (or probably better) as mine here..
 
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