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Snail-safe medications for internal parasites?

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by IndiaHawker, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. IndiaHawker

    IndiaHawker Fish Fanatic

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    I could be wrong but a few things have led me to suspect an internal parasite problem with one or two of my Bronze Cories. I'm looking for a medicine available in the UK that's safe to treat the entire tank with (bronze cories, a bristlenose pleco, and snails) and hopefully works! Would really appreciate advice, please and thanks :)
     
  2. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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  3. IndiaHawker

    IndiaHawker Fish Fanatic

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    Thanks for the help! Looks great but when I looked it up I struggled to find brand new in UK for a reasonable cost - I assume it's an internationally-based product? However in searches for this I did come across something called 'Fluke-Solve' which apparently contains 50% praziquantel which from what I've read is the ingredient I'm looking for to fix this problem? Any feedback on this product please?
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Before you add chemicals, you should identify the problem.
    What symptoms do the fish have?
    What does their poop look like?
    Can you post some pictures of them?

    What is the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH of the tank water?
    How often do you do water changes and how much do you change?
    Do you gravel clean the substrate when you do a water change?

    What sort of filter do you have?
    How often and how do you clean the filter?

    How long have you had the fish for?
    Have you added anything new to the tank in the last few weeks?

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    Fish do a stringy white poop for several reasons.
    1) internal bacterial infection causes the fish to stop eating, swell up like a balloon, breath heavily at surface or near a filter outlet, do stringy white poop, and die within 24-48 hours of showing these symptoms. This cannot normally be cured because massive internal organ failure has already occurred.


    2) internal protozoan infection cause the fish to lose weight rapidly (over a week or two), fish continues to eat and swim around but not as much as normal, does stringy white poop. If not treated the fish dies a week or so after these symptoms appear. Metronidazole normally works well for this.

    There is a medication (API General Cure) that contains Praziquantel and Metronidazole and can sometimes help with these issues.

    It's interesting that API and the Californian government have listed Metronidazole as a carcinogen. That's a concern considering it was widely used to treat intestinal infections in people.
    Anyway, handle with care, don't inhale the medication, and wash hands with soapy water after treating the fish or working in the tank.


    3) intestinal worms like tapeworm and threadworms cause the fish to lose weight, continue eating and swimming normally, do a stringy white poop. Fish can do this for months and not be too badly affected. In some cases, fish with bad worm infestation will actually gain weight and get fat and look like a pregnant guppy. This is due to the huge number of worms inside the fish.
    Livebearers like guppies, mollies, swordtails & platies are regularly infected with gill flukes and intestinal worms. If the fish are still eating well, then worms is the most likely cause.

    You can use Praziquantel to treat tapeworm and gill flukes. And Levamisole to treat thread/ round worms. If you can't find these medications then look for Flubendazole instead.

    Remove carbon from filters before treatment and increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise oxygen levels in the water.

    You treat the fish once a week for 3-4 weeks. The first treatment will kill any worms in the fish. The second and third treatments kill any baby worms that hatch from eggs inside the fish's digestive tract.

    You do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean 24-48 hours after treatment. Clean the filter 24 hours after treatment too.

    Treat every fish tank in the house at the same time.

    Do not use the 2 medications together. If you want to treat both medications in a short space of time, use Praziquantel on day one. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate on day 2 & 3. Treat the tank with Levamisole on day 4 and do a 75% water change and gravel clean on day 5, 6 & 7 and then start with Praziquantel again on day 8.

    The water changes will remove most of the medication so you don't overdose the fish. The gravel cleaning will suck out any worms and eggs that have been expelled by the fish. Repeating the treatment for 3-4 doses at weekly intervals will kill any worms that hatch from eggs. At the end of the treatment you will have healthier fish. :)
     
  5. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    In the UK:
    eSHa-ndx contains levamisole (round worms such as camallanus worms)
    eSHa gdex contains praziquantel (flat worms such as tapeworms)
    Kusuri Wormer Plus contain flubendazole

    See Colin's post for which to use for what infection.

    Wormer Plus says it will kill snails.
    gdex says "We did not observe any negative effects on crustaceans, snails and clams"
    the ndx leaflet is not available on eSHa's website so I don't know if it will kill snails.

    Are these snails large ornamental snails which can be removed from the tank or small snails? Large snails can be kept in a separate container for the treatment duration, but make sure any medication is completely removed before putting them back.





    The difficulty is treating protozoan infections as I am unaware of anything in the UK that contains metronidazole (being an antibiotic it is only available by prescription)
     
    #5 essjay, Aug 24, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  6. IndiaHawker

    IndiaHawker Fish Fanatic

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    Thanks so much for this! Yeah I'm tentative about adding anything without actually needing to - don't think it's a bacterial infection as no bloating, I've experienced dropsy before and this is nothing like that apart from the trouble staying upright! Being cories and mostly on the sand I haven't been able to see what their poo looks like unfortunately. Tested parameters recently, a little worried as ammonia was close to zero but could have been slightly erring towards 0.25, although hoping it was an inaccurate test as surely all fish would be visibly suffering if there was ammonia and no-one else has been showing any problems? Nitrite 0, nitrates high, possibly even up to about 80 ppm before water change. Been having a problem for a while, currently plan of action is water change every few days to hopefully bring it down and if it rises again I'm thinking of changing my water change schedule to 2x weekly long term. But don't think this is simply down to nitrates although they can't be helping as there's a visible sunken belly which I have a photo of, I've never treated the tank for parasites and it's increasingly leaning towards that as the cause in my mind. I do water change of about 50% weekly. And nope added nothing new for a while now! Last thing was extra sand and that was months back - sand only a couple of inches deep though still.

    From what you say it seems most like 3) intestinal worms as some of my cories although they behave normally and have recently laid eggs appear thinner than they should considering I don't underfeed and feed a combo of shrimp pellets/algae wafers/spirulina flake food. Been on my mind for a while but doesn't seem to be improving. Here's a photo of the cory I'm most worried about:

    Thanks again!
     

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  7. IndiaHawker

    IndiaHawker Fish Fanatic

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    Thank you! Snails are medium, red racer nerite snails. There's only two and could remove them easily enough but unsure how to care for them outside the tank?
     
  8. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Can you elaborate on that?
    Are they floating up to the surface or rolling over onto their side?

    Can you post a short video of the fish doing this?
    If the video is too big for this website, post it on YouTube and copy & paste the link here. We can view it at YouTube. If you are using a mobile phone to take the video, have the phone horizontal so the video takes up the entire screen. If you have the phone vertical, you get video in the middle and black on either side.

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    The easiest way to reduce nitrates in an aquarium is by doing big daily water changes and gravel cleaning the substrate. I recommend doing a 75% water change and gravel clean for best results. If you do smaller water changes it is less effective.

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    Test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. If you have nitrates in your tap water, it will make it harder to reduce the nitrates in the tank. If you do have nitrates in the tap water, you can get a Pozzani Filter to remove them, or put some tapwater into a large plastic storage container, dechlorinate it and add a heap of floating plants. Let the plants use the nitrates, then use the clean water for water changes.

    If you use the search function at top right of the screen, you can look for threads about the Pozzani filter.

    You can also make a solar still using a plastic storage container with lid, a bucket, and a couple of rocks. You put the plastic storage container outside in the sun and half fill it with tap water. Put a bucket in the middle of the container and put a rock in the bucket to stop it floating around. Put the lid on the storage container and put another rock on the lid, in the middle so it sags in a bit above the bucket.

    The water will evaporate and collect on the lid, then run down and drip into the bucket. That water should be pure and have no nitrates or GH. It can then be used for water changes.

    If you keep hard water species, you will need to add some mineral salts (calcium and magnesium) to the distilled water.

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    Do you feed the fish anything besides dry food (live or frozen)?
    If not, then you could try feeding them more variety of foods. Some dry foods aren't that good and while they might keep the fish alive for a bit, they don't do much else. Many dry foods also contain flour from wheat or other grains, and fish cannot digest grains/ flour.

    You can try frozen brineshrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, mysis shrimp or prawn, fish and squid/ octopus. Marine Mix is available from most pet shops in their freeze and it contains prawn fish and squid and is a good food.

    Raw or cooked prawn/ shrimp is one of the better foods for conditioning fish. You buy some frozen prawns from a bait/ fishing store or supermarket and keep them frozen. Take one prawn out and defrost it, remove the head, shell and gut (thin black tube in body) and throw these bits away. Use a pair of scissors to cut the remaining prawn tail into small pieces and offer a few bits at a time. Feed until the fish are full, then remove uneaten food.

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    Most aquarium fishes carry intestinal worms and they can have them for months or even years. If you haven't treated them for worms, it is worth doing, even if it's just to rule intestinal worms out as the possible problem.

    Treat all your tanks at the same time so you don't cross contaminated them and reinfect them.

    Treat them once a week for 4 weeks.

    Increase feeding to 3-5 times per day during treatment and for a month after treatment so the fish can build up some strength after being infected. The worms drink the fish's blood and the fish die from lack of blood or low blood pressure. If you feed the fish more, they will last longer with the worms in them.
     
  9. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    They can be kept in a bucket, or some other container, filled with dechlorinated water, and the water changed every day. Put an algae coved rock/wood/plastic ornament in with them. And cover the bucket or they could climb out. At the moment there is no problem keeping the water warm enough!
     
  10. IndiaHawker

    IndiaHawker Fish Fanatic

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    Thank you! Think I'm going to go down the route of removing snails temporarily - although still struggling to find a/some good uk medication/s that will treat what I need it/them to! Been doing large water changes every other day, been worried to do daily in case I restart cycle, don't have a lot of media. Will report back soon once I've retested nitrates!

    Would really like to introduce a source of live food into my tank, have a small plastic 'tank' on order for the snails to stay in temporarily so once they can go back into tank I could use that to raise the live food! But I'm clueless about this - what are the best, most nutritious and simplest to grow tiny live species for my fish to nibble on? Bet they'd really benefit from it but need to learn more! Cheers :)
     
  11. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Big water changes do not affect beneficial filter bacteria as long as the new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

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    Why do you want to add live food to the tank?
    Most live fish foods get sucked up the filter. Live blackworms can be put in the gravel and they will grow until eaten by catfish or sucked out with a gravel cleaner.

    Daphnia can be kept in tanks for a few weeks but usually get sucked up power filters and die if the water is too warm or if there is any ammonia or nitrite, or a high nitrate level.

    You can culture daphnia and rotifers in separate containers and use them as food. Mosquitoe larvae also appear in these cultures and make good food.

    Newly hatched brineshrimp are a very good food for small fish and can be hatched in a small container of salt water.

    The following link has information about culturing live foods and hatching brineshrimp eggs.
    https://www.fishforums.net/threads/back-to-basics-when-breeding-fish.448304/
     

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