Sick Fish... Callamanus Worms Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Lauren4events, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Lauren4events Well Known Member Member

    So I can literally never get a break! I’m on the verge of tears and could really use some help :(

    Real quick:
    I added 5 male guppies to my 60 gallon. Of course I didn’t use a QT because I’m dumb. But my reason was because I was trying to save one of my mollies (he became very stressed when all of his other tankmates were removed/rehomed—the tank was overstocked). Now the only fish are 1 molly, 1 Swordtail and 5 guppies. I used to have 150 fish in this tank because I kept both sex livebearers. It was a nightmare. Not the topic of this thread though.

    Tank info:
    60 gallon. Been running for 2 years.
    Temperature is 80, pH is 7.8, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and nitrate is 5. I have two filters, an air stone and a heater. I use prime. I do large water changes 2-3 times a week —always have because I had so many fish up until recently. I used to do them daily. I fully gravel vacuum with every water change. Not sure what else you need to know?

    Anyway, I’ve had the guppies now for three weeks. Everything was going fine up until two days ago. One of the guppies stopped swimming with the rest of them and has been hiding. Today he wouldn’t even come out to eat. And now when he was staying still I noticed something that I googled to learn about a thing called Camallanus worms and I’m beyond freaking out! And literally about to cry.

    Here’s a picture (see below). He has white stringy poop and 2 red spiky things. Is that what he has?!?? Worms?!??

    I have such a phobia of bugs and worms. So I don’t know if I could even handle this situation. I’m starting to think I don’t but choice. Please tell me what I’m supposed to do.

    Can humans catch this? When I do water changes my entire arm is in the tank because it’s as tall as me, and I don’t wear gloves. I’ve never been concerned about catching anything and I aways have cuts because I’m a klutz. It’s never bothered me. But this is something different entirely. HELP please!

    I do have pure levamisole powder from about a year ago that I got when stocking up on meds. But I not sure how to use it or what my risks are with that. Could it hurt the fish if I’m wrong? Is it going to be too late for this poor guppy?

    I need someone to please give me a step by step plan here.

    Do I start with a water change?
    Do I use the leva powder? Aquarium salt?
    Should I be worried about getting it myself?
    How do I save this fish and get rid of it?

    Parasites, bacteria and fungus... fine. But worms? This is something I am not comfortable with. I’m all itchy just thinking about it.

    I don’t know if this was in my tank or came with him. I had a molly die recently who had stringy poop and stopped eating. He wasn’t getting better from ParaGard a general cure. And I have another molly that has been hiding for a month. But I thought it was just stress. The molly that died didn’t seem to get sick until the new fish though. Oh no! This is all my fault!

    Please respond with any information... and dumb it down for me too.

    0D1560B4-2085-4CCD-8C90-B5FE4B9F21E9.jpeg 25E6622A-13EE-4D27-87EA-FB7BE6E8E212.jpeg

  2. david1978 Fishlore Legend Member

    First off relax and don't cry. Internal parasites or worms are not contagious unless your drinking the tank water. Medicated food is usually the best bet if its still eating since more of the med would be inside the fish. Treat the whole tank. I'm not sure exactly which one I need to update my knowledge on what's on the market but I'm sure some one will know.

  3. Nikki2577 Well Known Member Member

    I am thinking of you during this process. Good luck.

  4. Puffer_Whisperer Valued Member Member

    Unfortunately, that does look like Cammalanus to me. However, they are not contagious to humans unless you are eating them like @david1978 said. I would treat the entire tank with the Levamisol you have, but make sure it hasn't expired. Before every new dose, you are going to want to do a heavy sand cleaning because the worms may have been expeled by the fish and are hanging out/laying eggs in the substrate. Tbh, I would do an entire deconstruction of your tank because those worms can survive in the tiniest nook, and replace your substrate. I would also tell the store where you got them from that they have Cammalanus. That could potentially kill their entire stock. I wish you luck.
  5. Lauren4events Well Known Member Member

    So there’s no way to clean the decor? Or gravel vac the worms out? I just did a very thorough gravel vacuuming and still don’t see any worms. But apparently that’s irrelevant.

    What about the filters and my 2 other tanks?
    My shark in my 40 gallon hasn’t been eating much, which is weird. I use the same siphon to clean... so it might have spread?
    My third tank has bumblee catfish and they don’t tolerate things like salt. How am I supposed to treat them?

    And there is no expiration date on the meds, so how can I tell?

    I appreciate the responses but it’s pretty hard to relax because I don’t know what to do. And honestly, I don’t have the money to buy all new stuff for all of my tanks. So my only option is going to be to figure out how to remove the gravel (seems very difficult, if not impossible) and have my poor fish in completely empty tanks if that’s the case...

    I’m sill not sure what my next moves are even supposed to be here...
  6. david1978 Fishlore Legend Member

    If your up for some reading. Yea you can use what you have. Follow the directions and treat the whole tank. It will kill the ones in your fish as Well as all the others in the substrate but more gravel vacing is never a bad thing. Beings you use your equipment on all your tanks keep a close eye on the other tanks and medicate if needed. But please don't cry. We will help you threw this. Promise.
  7. Lauren4events Well Known Member Member

    The thing is that I can’t tell if my other tanks are infected. My 40 gallon has just a shark and my 20 gallon has 2 bumblebee catfish. All three fish are notorious hiders. And all 3 hide all the time unless the lights are off and I’m away from the tank. There’s no way for me to determine if they have symptoms. So what do I do?

    And am I supposed be cleaning my filters?

    Right now I’m doing a 90% water change on my 60 gallon, then I’m going to treat with the leva ( which may or may not be expired).

    But what do I do about the decor and filters?

    If there are fish that are not yet infected or I’m wrong about what this is, is it going to hurt my fish?

    Should I also add aquarium salt? Raise the temperature? Any other suggestions? Because I’m completely clueless here

    I also found this with the levamisole hci. So how many scoops for a 60 gallon?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2018
  8. Puffer_Whisperer Valued Member Member

    Relating to your medication, there have been many issues in which it has been "copied" by other companies and cut with another substance to sell to illegal drug manufacturers. It's a great cocaine cutter. Unless you have bought it directly from subquaria, I wouldn't trust it.

    It is also unlikely that the worms have spread to the other tank unless you put the infected tank water in the others tanks.

    As related to my previous post, by deconstruction, I mean that you should take everything out of the tank, bleach it, clean it thoroughly, and replace the substrate. You should't have to buy any new equipment
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2018
  9. david1978 Fishlore Legend Member

    I'm not sure what I would do with the other tanks honestly. But this tank after the water change I would let everything like it except if you have carbon in your filter then take that out. The worms will be on everything so keep the filter going and just follow the instructions on the bag. I would use 12 scoops since that's in between. I wouldn't worry too much about tearing the whole tank apart since your treating the water and doing gravel vacs to get any remaining bodies out. No need for salt or a raise in temp since I don't see it having any effect on them.
  10. Puffer_Whisperer Valued Member Member

    Also, just to let you know, I'm an organic chemist, and levamisole is not the safest chemical to handle. It was mostly used for chemotherapy, and has lots of negative side effects, so try not to get it on your skin, or breath it in.
    As for the worms, it may or may not kill all of them. It's no longer used for chemotherapy due to the different reactivity in different test subjects. Some animals would be completely unphased by it while others would die due to the neighboring effect (medicine attacking non-cancer cells). So it is hit or miss. Hopefully it works, but if it doesn't, try fenbendazole.
  11. Lauren4events Well Known Member Member

    Should I clean the decor with bleach before or after the medicine? What about the filters? I’m pretty sure I did buy the medicine from subquaria but I can’t remember. Their name is on the package but how can I tell?

    From everything I’ve read, it says that it spreads very easily from tank to tank so I should treat them all... but I don’t know for sure? Also the catfish are very sensitive so how would I even figure out if I can treat them with this medicine or not? There’s literally no way for me to see if they have any visible symptoms. So my other option is to just wait until their dead, after they’ve suffered w/out me knowing. I don’t like that option either

    Also, do either of you know if this med will hurt fish if they aren’t infected? If not I think I should go ahead and treat all of my tanks? Although I’m worried about the catfish.

    Are there any negative side effects to this stuff that I should be watching out for?

    And does everyone agree that these worms are for sure what I’m dealing with? Gross

    Well that’s not very encouraging...
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2018
  12. david1978 Fishlore Legend Member

    The article I linked goes into all that. The other tanks are going to be a judgement call. Give the article a quick read it answers so many questions.
  13. KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi Lauren, got your message. Boy you can not catch a break. It looks like you already have what you need and david1978 is walking you right thru it. Take a deep breath. You will be fine. Just keep an eye on the other tanks. If you are running carbon in those filters, remember to take it out. Don't worry about cleaning filters right now.
  14. Puffer_Whisperer Valued Member Member

    I would not give the medication to scaleless fish. I would try to find another option for those guys, but I don't know of any off hand. Sorry. As for treating, I would bleach after you are done medicating. The medicine is known to stun worms, so by bleaching after, you should kill what's left.
  15. Lauren4events Well Known Member Member

    So I can’t find any information on this and was wondering if you had any idea?...

    So it says to treat for 24 hours with the tank lights off. So last night, after adding the meds (around midnight), I turned off the lights and covered the tank with bed sheets and towels. It’s been 15 hours and I want to see how all of my fish are doing, but will the light from the room impact the effectiveness of the meds in the tank? Or how does that work?

    By the way, I decided to treat all 3 tanks to be safe. I was worried about my catfish but I couldnt find anything that said I couldn’t use the levamisole on them. I only found info saying it may kill weaker snails. Hopefully, that wasn’t the wrong move. But I didn’t want to treat my 60 gallon and then accidentally reinfect it from another tank all over again. If that makes sense?

    Also, that article was very informative and helpful. Thank you! But I can’t seem to find any information on what to do after treating with meds, besides gravel vacuuming. I need help with how I handle the stuff in my aquarium, gravel, decor, etc. And my filters. I need more information to make sure I truly get rid of these horrible things. I literally had nightmares about worms crawling on me last night... I didn’t sleep well. Lol

    Do these worms live outside of water... like on the lids of my tank, for example? I just don’t know what needs to be cleaned now.

    I know it was mentioned that I should clean things with bleach. But I don’t understand how I’m supposed to do that. How do I make sure the bleach is completely off and is safe for the fish? Bleach is such a strong chemical that I’m not comfortable using it on anything going into my tank. But what do you think?

    For the filters, I don’t know how I could possible disinfect them without killing the beneficial bacteria and with it, my cycle. Any idea?

    And lastly, what about my siphon? I have no clue how to clean such long tubing.

    Sorry for all of the questions. I know I asked a lot, but if you could answer as many as you can I would be very grateful!

    Thanks again! You have helped more than you know already and I really appreciate it!
  16. Crazycoryfishlady Well Known Member Member

    Bleach dips can be done on plants and decor, use a 19 parts water 1 part bleach for plants, and 9 parts water 1 part bleach for decor and substrate, make sure you give it a good rub around, even let it soak if you're worried.
    That sucks that you have worms... One thing I haven't had to deal with yet.
    That's pretty unfortunate, I'm sprry you have to deal with that.

    As for the siphon, you can siphon up bleach water or let it sit in a bucket of it.
    Just make sure it dries fully, and gets rinsed out with hot water before used again.
  17. david1978 Fishlore Legend Member

    I don't see an issue peeking in on the fish. After treatment basically as you do your water changes it will be removed as well as after I believe it says 9 days it loses it effectiveness and starts to break down. The filter will be treated as the water goes threw it since your treating the water. As far as losing your cycle I have heard mixed results so its going to be a good idea to keep up on testing your water after treatment. I've had this a few times and I never went much beyond a few extra gravel vacs and have never had a reacurance of them. And yea bleach dip the siphon. You can soak in a bucket of bleach solution as stated above swish it around some rinse and let air dry.
  18. Puffer_Whisperer Valued Member Member

    You should be able to check on the fish. Levamisole is light sensitive, but only if prolonged light is there.

    Here's an article on how to clean with bleach:

    I don't think the worms will be in your beneficial bacteria housing, so I wouldn't worry about that. Leave that part alone. Just replace the carbon, the sponge, and do a scrub of the filter with hot, soapy water.

    As for your catfish, just keep a close eye on them. They are the most susceptible to be injured by the medicine, so if they start acting off, just move them to non-medicated water and they should be fine.
  19. david1978 Fishlore Legend Member

    After your done treatment I probably would wash the tank hoods with a bleach solution. Mine always need cleaned any way.
  20. Lauren4events Well Known Member Member

    Do I need to recover the tank again after? I’m wondering if light from the room with effect the meds. Any idea?

    Does prolonged light also include light from the room? Just wondering if I have to keep the tank covered or not.
    And the directions on the meds say to do a big water change after 24 hours. But I’m getting conflicting information about that from other people. Thoughts?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2018