Using garlic to kill parasites?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Pikachu13131, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. Pikachu13131

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    One of my guppy's just died,i think it died from internal parasites.i can't buy a medication but garlic will kill pest bugs so can I soak my fishes food in garlic water and put a clove in the tank to kill the parasites?I need a quick reply I don't want other fish to die.
  2. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I wouldn't put a clove in the tank, and garlic will not kill internal parasites.

    Why can't you get meds?
  3. OP

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    I don't have enough money right going to be a week or two intill I am get meds,which one would you suggest?

  4. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

  5. clk89

    clk89Fishlore VIPMember

    Just for future knowledge garlic as far as I know does not kill parasites. Garlic water, garlic soaked in water, or garlic guard can help a fish's immune system. It can also make food tasty to fish. If you had to feed medicated food, would make that food tasty instead of well medicine taste. I also agree that prazipro is good for internal parasites.
  6. OP

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    Ok thanks,I can get that it's not even close to the price of the ones I saw.
  7. Aster

    AsterWell Known MemberMember

    I have successfully treated internal parasites with Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) only. The salt purges the parasites. It wasn't a fast process, but it did work. I know others who have also had luck with it, so hopefully it'll work for you :) Soak the fish food in a 3% solution of Epsom salt and water and feed until the parasites are gone.

    I'd like to add that Metronidazole is also a good option if all else fails!
  8. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Depends on the species. Epsom salt will not treat all internal parasites.

    What species were you using it to treat?
  9. OP

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    How can you tell what species it is?
  10. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    It's near impossible for a hobbyist, and that's kind of my point. It may not have been parasites that was affecting Aster's fish.

    I'm not trying to point her out directly when I say this, but I think people are very quick to blame "internal parasites" when it could a variety of things (helminths, bacteria, viruses, protozoans, etc.). We know very little about fish diseases, and we quite frequently apply the blanket diagnosis of "parasite."
  11. Aster

    AsterWell Known MemberMember

    The affected fish was shedding its intestinal lining (clear poo) and refusing to eat: the typical signs.

    A long time ago when I was researching about treatment, I recall seeing that epsom salt works by bursting the parasite's cells through osmosis, or something of that nature. If that were the case, wouldn't that work for all parasites?

    I don't know what species I was dealing with, but the epsom salt worked in my case and I've seen that others have used it with success. Either way, it's worth a try IMO. It's cheaper and safer than harsh meds, so not much to lose :p
  12. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    That could be a sign of multiple issues, not just with intestinal helminths. If it was an intestinal helminth, there's no way you could narrow it down from hundreds or thousands of fish helminths to a specific one without collecting the parasite for morphological identification.

    It's definitely not your fault you didn't know what it was - aquarium fish diseases are vastly understudied.

    And while Epsom salt may work like that for some parasites, it definitely doesn't work like that for all. There's no treatment that works for all parasites (except maybe physical removal, which often isn't an option). Parasites are so diverse, and scientists are just beginning to understand that diversity.

    But it may be worth a shot!
  13. Aster

    AsterWell Known MemberMember

    Yes, I agree that there is definitely no catch-all treatment for parasites or any disease for that matter. On a side note, I read up some more and found the original website I'd saw the information about epsom salts as a treatment. It says the epsom salt treatment works for hexamita/spiro, which I now assume my fish had since the treatment worked for me!

    I don't think I can post a link since it's a competing aquarium forum, but here's a quote of it. Just thought this was interesting!

    Anyway, to OP, it's just another option to meds.

    "Treating Hexamita aka Spironucleus with Epsom Salt Solution

    This is a rather safe way to treat any newly imported fish, as a prophylactic, just as one would use a de-wormer. It's not only an extremely cheap way to treat fish, the active ingredients are readily available world-wide, and it's also much safer than using most forms of medication. Unlike most medications, there should be no worries about flagellates/pathogens building up a resistance to it, and excess magnesium is easily flushed from a fishes system. In my experience, it's very easy on fish, even very young juvenile fish. The best part - it works! (If the fish has worms when arriving, the epsom salt solution in the feed will also help with purging any worms)

    While Metronidazole has always been the drug of choice when combating internal parasites such as hexamita and/or spironucleus, metro (or any other type of medication) should never be used on a regular basis as a prophylactic, and doing so may cause flagellates/parasites to develop a resistance to the medication, and possibly even mutate and become super bugs. It's also been stated by at least one researcher that excessive use of metronidazole can cause organ damage in fish.

    "In fish, an excessive use of metronidazole can damage kidneys and other internal organs.(Bassleer, 1983)"

    Other cons with metronidazole is its solubility in water is very poor, in aquarium settings it has been suggested that it can precipitate out of solution within 6-8 hours, and it can become rather expensive when treating large systems.

    While doing some online research on spironucleus I came across an interesting study that mentioned the use of Magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) in treating internal parasites in angel fish.

    A long read (200+ pages) but the idea of using something as basic as epsom salt to treat internal parasites in fish intrigued me, which in turn lead me to dig deeper.

    This is where it got interesting ........

    The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture – Bamidgeh 57(2), 2005, 97-104.


    "Mortality ceased with application of medicated feed (magnesium sulfate at 3% of the feed)" - Hexamita salmonis.

    "In early June 2004, a treatment of magnesium sulfate (3% of feed for three days) lowered the parasite load to almost undetectable levels."

    In his book; Fish Disease: diagnosis and treatment, Edward J. Noga mentions treating hexamita (spironucleus) orally with Magnesium sulphate.

    This is certainly encouraging news for anyone who's fish is still eating, or begins eating after treatment with Metro. Not only does Epsom salt assist in recovery when added directly to the aquarium (as per the links above), but according to the research posted above it has a deadly effect on hexamita when ingested.

    Dr. Edward J. Noga, MS, DVM, is a highly respected professor of aquatic medicine and immunology, and he has been published approx. 150 times in related papers/journals. His lab at NC State University specializes in the study of infectious diseases of finfish and shellfish. As a side note for Discus keepers, Dr. Noga's book on fish disease is the book that Andrew Soh often refers to for disease/treatment information.

    Now for the treatment ......

    For a 3% solution of Magnesium sulphate, add 1 level tablespoon (15 grams) magnesium sulphate to 500 milliliters of distilled water. Stir, and it's good to go.

    Use an eye dropper or pipette to add to pellet food (or any other food that will readily absorb it), and stop dripping water once the pellets become saturated. Use only enough water to saturate the food, with no excess water, so that the water soluble vitamins in the food remain intact. Feed twice a day, for 3-5 days. (I went with 5 days)

    In extreme cases, the oral solution could be administered to a fish via a pipette.Just make sure to use a flexible tip so as not to damage the fishes esophagus when squirting the solution down the fishes throat. Only a small amount is required, but repeat daily until the fish is accepting pre-soaked pellets, and continue treatment for 5 days.

    My own experience with this treatment ........ so far it's proven to be a life saver, where all other previous 'textbook' methods of treatment for internal parasites have failed, including several days of treating with 500mg Metro per 10 gallons, while feeding Metro soaked food at the same time. (fish was chewing & spitting, but was eating some food twice a day)

    In less than 48 hrs of the 3% Magnesium sulphate treatment, for the first time in 30 days the fish was no longer shedding the mucous lining of his intestine. (white/clear feces) After 5 days of feeding the 3% solution via pellets, the fish had made a complete recovery & was back eating like gang busters."
  14. OP

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    I have some medication that treats bacterial diseases and fungal infections shoukd I try that first.
  15. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    What do you have? Not saying it's not a parasite infection, but it might not be.

    What made you think it was parasites?

    What are your water parameters?
  16. OP

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    I haven't check water parameters in awhile I do water changes everyday I doubt it was from that that,but the poop was white and stringy.
  17. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Could be. I'd try treating with Prazipro when you get a chance.

    And I'd check your water parameters anyway. It'd be helpful to know.
  18. OP

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    I have to go to my LFS I get it checked then.ill get medication when I get my parameters checked.
  19. OP

    Pikachu13131Valued MemberMember

    The other guppy died,it looked bloated but it was all of his upper body that was swollen and he stoped eating is this signs of another disease?the betta is the only one left what should I do with it.should I remove it and out it into a 2.5 and disenfect the tank that its in?.im trying to get a 40 or 45 gallon so should I get rid of the one it's in,k keep the betta in a 2.5 and give it meds,and wait to put in the 45?
  20. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I definitely wouldn't put the betta in the 45. I'd put it in the 2.5 gal. You can sterilize this tank with bleach water (10% should do).

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