Warning! Purchasing Levamisole From Subquaria

Discussion in 'Commercial Websites' started by Lauren4events, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Lauren4eventsWell Known MemberMember

    This is my personal experience with ordering levamisole from the company Subquaria for treating Camallanus worms. My intentions are to inform others so that they can avoid making the same mistakes I did.

    Before I begin, I will say this about Subquaria: I don’t believe there is anything wrong with the product itself. Additionally, they shipped quickly and charged a reasonable price.

    My warning, however, is in regards to the instructions they provide for these meds. Please do your own research before treating, and don’t simply follow their dosing instructions. There is a lot of disagreement over the best way to dose Levamisole HCl. So please, just spend some time researching the topic so you can decide for yourself.

    So now for my story...

    I ordered Levamisole HCl from Subquaria twice. The first time, I followed the instructions exactly as they said. As a result, my shark was killed, along with 2 guppies. At that time, I had no reason to believe the meds were responsible.

    The guppies were purchased from the pet store, and after a month, I noticed the camallanus worms in one of them. An aquarist’s nightmare!

    So I decided to treat the tank with Levamisole powder. I also treated my other tanks (including the shark tank) as a precaution, because of how easily this parasite can spread.

    I had a gut feeling that the medicine killed my shark. But there was no way to know for sure. So let’s skip that part for now.

    Since I had multiple tanks to treat, I needed more meds for the 2nd and 3rd recommended treatments. So I went back to the Subquaria website and “re-ordered” the product.

    The second time, their instructions were completely different from the first. The gram amount stayed the same for every tank size, but now it required less scoops to get there. Please see photos of the 2 instructions I received below:



    I was confused! Especially since the scoops were the exact same size in both packages. I compared the powders and couldn’t see or feel any difference between the two. I knew something was wrong...

    The second order also had very different step by step instructions. And they forgot the word “off” the second time. And misspelled “sensitive”. At this point, I began to question the legitimacy of Subquaria even further.

    Here are the photos:



    When I contacted the company they vaguely explained that the different batches were made with different cuts, and that was the reason for the different instructions. Normally, that would make sense but I wasn’t convinced. I spent a long time comparing the two, and the powders seemed identical.

    So I decided to find out for sure by purchasing a gram scale.

    Not surprisingly, both powders weighed the same. But what I found out from this was even more upsetting.

    The second order that I got, which claimed less scoops equaled the same amount in grams was close to correct. For BOTH packets of meds.

    So that meant my first set of instructions were wrong.

    Keep in mind, several people on this site had already expressed their opinion that my dosage was way too high. But they really had no idea how high.

    I didn’t want to deal with fractions of a scoop for accuracy purposes. So I picked an even number of scoops to weigh out.

    Instruction 1 (shown in photo above), for example, says for a 30 gallon to dose 7 scoops= 1 gram. The second set of instructions (see above) says 7 scoops= 2.1 grams for 65 gallons.

    In both packages, 7 scoops actually weighed 2.2 grams!

    So the second set was pretty accurate. But the first time I treated with the meds, I didn’t actually dose the amounts that many thought were more than 4 times higher than necessary. In reality, it was so much worse!

    Later, I came to learn more information that further proved my initial thought at the start of this story of how the meds killed my shark.

    I spoke with an expert who explained that since I had my shark for almost 2 years, with no other fish added to his tank or any of my tanks during that 2 year time period—he was parasite-free. The new guppies I purchased were in my tank for less than a month prior to me seeing the worms and treating with levamisole.

    Assuming I transferred the worms the first day I got them—which is unlikely because the only shared equipment was my siphon and not used immediately in my shark tank. But for arguments sake, let’s just say I introduced the worm larvae to my shark tank on day one....

    3 weeks or even a month would never be enough time for my shark to ingest the parasite and for them to reproduce and multiply that quickly to be the cause of death after treating with levamisole.

    The Nematode needs to re-infest the fish many times before it becomes as full of Camallanus that they make a brush of worms in the anus of the fish or a ball of worms in the gut. It takes 3 to 4 weeks to grow to sexual maturity alone.

    Additionally, the tank temperature plays a role in the way levamisole works. This is something Subquaria made no mention of. And I didn’t know at the time. My tanks are all kept between 78-80 degrees.

    Subquaria should have indicated the importance of lowering the tank temperature to 75 degrees. Higher temps make Levamisole more active and some fish become more sensitive to the drug.

    So the combination of the tank temp and the mislabeled instructions causing me to dose a lot more than needed, killed my poor shark.

    Subquaria will not admit their mistake and didn’t allow my negative review to be posted on their site. It “wasn’t approved” by the page admin.

    So please just make sure you do your own research and be careful when ordering from this company. I also suggest getting a gram scale to confirm the weight yourself.

    Lastly, although it doesn’t relate to my bad experience with Subquaria, I wanted to share one last bit of information in regards to Camallanus.

    This helped me understand a lot more about how the horrible parasite actually works:

    One species of Camallanus Nematodes can be transmitted directly from one fish to another. The microscopic first stage swimming simply needs to be consumed and swallowed. The other 2 or 3 species requires a secondary host. This is typically a Cyclops copepod. The Cyclops consumes the first free swimming stage and the Nematode molts to a semi-resting stage within the copepod. A fish must eat the water flea and then as it is digested, the Nematode molts again and finds a food source in the walls of the fish's intestine. It can molt into an adult male or female Camallanus Nematode. Only one worm doesn't amount to much and the fish may live its life and never be bothered by the worm.

    The trouble arises when there are a lot of Camallanus consumed at once. The free swimming worms are microscopic. They won't be found until they have filled the gut with enough pairs of the parasites to reinfect the fish over and over.

    They are similar to a sexually transmitted disease. One doesn’t know they are infected until it’s too late.

    I would also like to clarify that leaving the tank lights on during treatment is completely fine. The only issue is with UV light. So make sure you remove/turn off the UV equipment, as well as remove any carbon or purigen when treating with levamisole. The tank lights, feeding, etc. can continue as usual. In fact, feeding is important to help the fish pass the worms.

    And finally, I do believe that Levamisole HCl is the most effective way to treat Camallanus worms. Just be careful about who you purchase your meds from and what dosing instructions you actually follow. Do your own research first!

    Thank you for listening!
  2. JellibeenWell Known MemberMember

    Thank you for sharing your story. I read a similar account on a different forum from someone who ordered from Subquaria. It's really important that people know what happened, especially since the company won't let you post a review on their page.

  3. mossmanWell Known MemberMember

    I just ordered a package of Levamisole from Subaquaria, and I'm glad I found this post. I'll be sure to compare my instructions to your second order to ensure they match. Just to be certain, 7 scoops equals 2.2 grams correct? I will be treating a 20 gallon tank. Do I mix the Levamisole with a small amount of water then dose the tank? I read 1/2 teaspoon of 100% Levamisole = 2 grams. Is the provided scoop about 1/2 teaspoon?

    Did a little research, and apparently you want to dose about 90 mg of Levamisole HCL per 10 gallons, so that would mean I need 180 mg for my 20 gallon. If one scoop is 2.2 g, then I could divide one scoop into 10 parts and get roughly what I need. Or I could use my own 1/2 teaspoon, divide it into 10, then use twice that to get approximately the 180 mg or 2ppm I need.

    I wouldn't think it would make a difference how much water I mix it in prior to dumping it into the tank, but I'll ask anyway...does it matter?

    Here are some numbers to help others with dosage:

    For the recommended 2ppm dosage of Levamisole HCL, you need 90mg per 10 gallons of tank volume. 90mg equals 0.0225 teaspoons, which is about equal to 1/10th of a 1/4 teaspoon. So, for smaller tanks (up to 100 gallons), measure out 1/4 teaspoon, cut into 10 equal parts, then use one part per 10 gallons of tank volume.

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  4. JellibeenWell Known MemberMember

    I personally wouldn’t trust their scoops, or their directions for that matter. Who is to say that they are even using the same scoop as they were before?
    If you can, get a milligram scale. That’s the most accurate way to measure powders.

    It won’t matter how much water you dissolve it in before adding it to the tank. You just want it dissolved.

  5. mossmanWell Known MemberMember

    Didn't think it mattered. Thanks!

    Makes sense since I'll be dumping the entire mixture into the tank. Only if I were creating a solution would I need to be concerned with the amount of water I mix it with.
  6. JellibeenWell Known MemberMember

    Exactly. It can be helpful as a measuring tool, but it won’t matter if you already know how much you need.
  7. mossmanWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry. My numbers were WAY off. One scoop is equal to 0.3 grams, not 2.2g. I need 0.6g for 20 gallons, so that is 2 scoops.
  8. Lauren4eventsWell Known MemberMember

    I’m so sorry I just saw this! I haven’t been on this site for awhile. Did you figure everything out? How are your fish doing? I’m sorry for not seeing this sooner!
  9. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    How are your fish doing?
  10. mossmanWell Known MemberMember

    Yes, I figured out the dosing. I'm on dose two for one tank (the one where I lost two Glofish and DG started acting wieird). The DG is now swimming around and eating, so I'm optimistic. I dosed my quarantine tank with a half dose as a precaution (I used some media from the 20 gallon to seed the tank a few weeks ago).
  11. Lauren4eventsWell Known MemberMember

    I hope everything works out. Just keep a close eye on them. I’m sure you’ve read all about how to treat the worms and larvae. But if you need more help, please ask.
  12. mossmanWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks. I've read that I'm supposed to dose one more time 3 weeks from now. Is that correct?
  13. Lauren4eventsWell Known MemberMember

    It depends on who you ask. I did my second dose after 2 weeks. And hopefully, you have been thoroughly gravel vacuuming and doing water changes to get rid of paralyzed worms and possible larvae.
  14. Lauren4eventsWell Known MemberMember

    If you have the time, you should read through my thread.
    Help - Sick Fish... Callamanus Worms

    This is when I was going through what you are. My opinions on a lot of things changed from the beginning of the thread to the end. So I think it’s important that if you’re going to read it, you don’t just read the first posts. It’s a pain because there’s a lot to go through. And I think I was too repetitive at times. It was stressful. Sorry about that...

    But there’s some really useful information in there. I learned a lot and wish I had known the mistakes I was making sooner than I did. But maybe you can learn from it.

    Good luck! I’m honestly still nervous that my tank could be infected still. And I just don’t know it yet. I tend to be paranoid but it’s awful to get these nasty worms. And I just hope I don’t have to deal with it again...

    Oh, wait. What do you mean by quarantine tank? Hopefully you know that you can’t just treat fish with noticeable worms. Everything has to be treated. Using a QT really doesn’t do you any good when treating for camallanus worms.
  15. mossmanWell Known MemberMember

    I honestly don't know for a fact if the two fish that passed had callamanus worms (I never actually saw any), but both of them were wasting away, so Levamisole HCL is what O used based on what I read.

    I did a 75% water change after the first dose then nearly a 90% WC after the second dose (I did two doses 24 hours apart), and vacuumed the gravel as thorough as I could it's a planted tank, so I can only reach so many areas. And I've been running carbon in the filter for 24 hours now to clear out the residual meds.

    I too am paranoid that there are still worms or larvae lurking in the tank and/or in the filters, but I am keeping a close eye on things. I suppose I could have replaced the coarse sponge filters and rinsed the bio media in freshly treated water, but I didn't do that out of concern that I would crash the tank. Fingers crossed.
  16. Lauren4eventsWell Known MemberMember

    Hmmm... I’m not sure why you did 2 doses one after another like that? A second dose really is never directed sooner than 2 weeks... unless I’m missing something. That was probably stressful for your fish.

    Regardless, I didn’t do anything with my filters either. If they were running while the medicine was in the tank, the meds were being pushed through them anyway. So it’s probably fine.

    Were the fish that passed away new? Or when was the last time new fish, plants, or anything live was introduced into that tank?

    Do you have other fish still in that tank besides the DG? Are any of them exhibiting symptoms now (appearance, behavior, anything noticeable—even if it’s seems unrelated)?

    Do you have any fish in the QT? If so, why?

    Did you notice any other symptoms besides the wasting with the fish that died prior to their passing? How long were they sick for? Did they die around the same time? Or what happened?

    I’m just trying to get a better picture of your situation to see if I can help at all. Hopefully you have no more issues going forward. But in case you do, it would be good to make sure you are treating with the right meds to begin with.

    Only answer if you want to. If not, and you think everything is good, just ignore me. I won’t be upset :)

    Have a good night
  17. CoptapiaWell Known MemberMember

    Thank god I live in the UK! We have Sterazin, you just add drops, problem solved, regardless of temperature, pH and any other factor.
  18. mossmanWell Known MemberMember

    I read somewhere that for sensitive fish, you should do 2 doses 24 hours apart with a WC after each does, as opposed to a 48 hour does and one WC, so that's what I did.

    Good point. Although I have to imagine there are eggs lurking in the filter. Levamisole only paralyzes the worms correct?

    No, they were over a year old. Nothing has been added to the tank in quite some time. I added some plants several months ago.

    Yes, three other Glofish and four Bronze Corydoras. The DG was acting a little shy (hiding in his cave more frequently), but he seems pretty much back to normal now.

    Yes, a juvenile black marble angelfish. I got him from the LFS two weeks ago, and I treated the tank with API General Cure then Levamisole as a precaution. I (stupidly) shared a siphon and a net between the two tanks and harvested some Matrix from the 20 gallon to the QT a couple weeks ago, so wanted to treat it for piece of mind basically.

    Nope. Still active, eating, just getting skinny, weak, then dead. I came home one day and one of them was caught in my surface skimmer (I hadn't noticed he was even sick, but I don't pay much attention since I don't really care for the Glofish--they were my daughter's choice). The second one just kept getting skinnier and skinnier and I found him stuck to the HOB intake one evening. I turned off the HOB, he swam away all drunk-like, and was dead the next morning.
  19. Lauren4eventsWell Known MemberMember

    I never heard of doing the 2 doses back to back like that, and I’ve researched this med a lot. But there’s so much mismatched info everywhere... very frustrating. I only dosed for 24 hours, did a large water change and then did that again 2 weeks later. And then a third time after another 2 weeks because I’m paranoid.

    Honestly, I’m not positive you ever had these worms. But it’s better to play it safe so I would still treat again in 2 weeks. Especially since your fish seems to be doing better as a result. I don’t know that you need to do it twice like you did though.

    I really wouldn’t be that worried about your filters. Even if there were worms in there, they were treated with the meds as I mentioned before. Plus, they still need a host to survive. At least the camallanus ones do. So living in a filter wouldn’t be possible for very long. The other worms and parasites I’m not sure about tho. It might be wrong to assume without researching more.

    Yes, as a general rule you shouldn’t share siphons, nets or anything while wet without thoroughly cleaning it first. Even your wet hands can transfer them.

    When I was dealing with these worms, I took my siphon apart and hung the tubing up, to make sure all the water got out and everything was completely dry. I kept it that way for a couple of days. Because the worms also can’t survive long out of water. A lot of times water remains inside the tube and even the smallest amount could keep them alive. But if you hang it up correctly you should be able to get all the water out.

    Again, I’m paranoid so I don’t know that’s necessary. Now, I just make sure to thoroughly rinse my hands and arms (without soap) in tap water, along with the outside of the siphon and tubing before using it another tank. Oh, and I always make sure to let clean hot tap water run through it as well for a minute or two. That should be sufficient enough
  20. mossmanWell Known MemberMember

    I believe it may have been written on the Subquaria instructions actually. I could be mistaken. Two doses 24 hours apart or one dose for 48 hours isn't much different since I did a thorough vacuum in between and a huge water change (75%). All I know is when reading about "wasting disease", callamanus worms and Levamisole were recommended, so that's what I used.

    I wash my hands like a million times when cleaning my tanks. It's ridiculous. Haha.

    I rinsed my siphon out after every use with scalding hot water as well and let it drip dry (usually).