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Author Topic: flukes, snails, meds, and salt.............grrr  (Read 2717 times)
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« on: March 10, 2008, 01:55:34 PM »

Anyone here ever had trouble with their snails or other invertebrates carrying worms of any sort and infecting either their fish or themselves(as in us "Humans" :P)?? skin/gill flukes, tape worms, liver flukes, etc??

I was looking up descriptions of some different meds to treat skin flukes. I've been fighting an infestation that has affected different fish in one of my tanks over the last couple months. I was REALLY BUMMED because yesterday I lost my prized, beautifully bristled large male albino longfinned BN. Sad ---LUCKILY the 2 females seem to be ok, but WHERE am I going to find a large NICE BN like that again??? ugh! Sad

 I thought the flukes were long gone, but less than a week after I introduced him to the tank, he was deathly ill. It came on fast. I am going to take all the fish and other aquatic life out, put them in a hospital tank, treat the heck out of them and just start all over with the tank. Empty EVERYTHING out of it and re-cycle it, etc.............

 I decided to look further into which medicines do what and where the heck the flukes could be hiding out when I treat the tank with formalin and the fish seem "cured". Thats when I came across some info in wikipedia about FW snails being the main carrier of these darn things. And, that the worms/flukes/whatever can infect people. They can get in thru your skin or different orifices. This usually happens when people swim in snail infested waters. But:

What if the snails we buy come from regions that have these bad critters??........or if they are in a tank that has flukes introduced to it.....why wouldnt they be a carrier??

And, do you usually remove snails and shrimp when treating for skin flukes with medicines containing praziquantel?? Anyone here use "fluke tabs" with success??

If you do have to remove the invertebrates to treat the fish, how do you get rid of the darned things if they can hide out in the snails?? (I didnt get as far as checking to see if shrimp are carriers of different problematic things like flukes.) I have kept the snails and shrimp in the tank when I have treated with formalin. Maybe the flukes have built up an immunity to the formalin??

Another question is: Are flukes susceptible to salt like ich is?? I am just wondering because some of the fish/snails I have in that tank can go to brackish conditions so I thought about using salt in their hospital tank..............

Any input of even more questions would be greatly appreciated! Smiley

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RTR...Grumpy Ole Fogie
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2008, 04:02:57 PM »

I rarely treat for anything, so can't offer much advice there.

For snails, I have my own colonies which have been in my care almost world without end.  If i wanted something different, I would get only tank-bred from hobby breeders I trust, not outdoor farmed critters. 

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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2008, 08:08:31 PM »

Empty EVERYTHING out of it and re-cycle it, etc.............

At times, that's exactly what you need to do. But only after you have tried everything else possible.

My snails have never brought anything such as that into my tanks.

Alot of meds will kill snails and shrimp. Treat the fish in the hospital tank and put the snails and shrimp in another tank. I don't think they're problem. The flukes got in the tank and then have continued to thrive and over populate. Tear the tank down, let it dry, treat the fish, start over, and hopefully that will be the end of it.


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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2008, 02:05:01 AM »

Yes, each set of creatures is getting their own hospital tank.

Iridescent Cories, albino long-finned BN plecos(the 2 that are left are not showing the same signs as the one that died-these 2 have red streaks in their pectoral fins. One has moderate streaking, the other just has red on the outer bone of her left pectoral fin), and a few otos. in their own hospital tank since these fish are all so sensitive to meds and salt.

The orange shrimp, FW dwarf flounder, and nerite snails all in one tank. Since they are ok with salt, I'll probably play with the salinity a bit instead of drugs........still not sure the specifics of that game plan yet. Anyone know the affects of salt on flukes?? Is it similar to treating for ich???

The celebes and threadfin bows will be in a 30g. I'm thinking of placing all the live plants in there while I am tearing down the show tank and treat them along with the fish. Anyone think this is a bad idea??? Should I just toss the plants?? They are SO healthy and growing like crazy right now.........they are finally getting that nice over-grown look in my 54g corner tank....... Sad

I will treat the bows with something different than formalin since that has seemed to allow an underlying fluke population to exist despite thorough treatments, QT-ing fish before placing them in show tanks, nets for each tank, etc. I'm thinking something with praziquantel in it. If anyone has any other suggestions for treating trematodes/flukes, please chime in. I have considered fluke tabs too. Cant remember what medicine is in them right now. All the LFS are at a loss for treating this outside of the prazi or formalin. So, its just me, the computer, and a handful of helpful people who try to add their 2 cents here and there. I seriously thought the flukes were long gone, otherwise I never would have put those fish in that tank!! Ugh!!

The thing with these BN. I got them from a guy close to my town that is cutting back on his hobby because of an expanding family. I got several different kinds of BN, but the prize of this deal was a breeding trio of long-finned albino BN!! Smiley I was SO excited!! These fish are hard to find here and to get a breeding trio was more than I had imagined!! Smiley They have been a breeding trio for over a year. They have not been exposed to other fish in all that time. I wasnt as worried about them bringing diseases to my existing fish as I was worried about the stress of changing environments causing them to be susceptible to something possibly hanging out in my tanks.(fear realized in this case!!!!) But the worst case scenario I thought might occur was ich. Just cuz it always seems to be there waiting for an oppportunity.

Also, they were fed strictly "french style no salt added canned greenbeans" for the last year and a half............AAAAck!! There's one for my stupidity book!! I did ask what the guy fed them, but didnt realize it was ONLY greenbeans. I thought that was their FAVORITE food!!(this guy has been raising and breeding fish since he was a kid and learned from his father. He seemed like a smart guy and I watched ALL his fish very closely the 2 times I was at his house. they all appeared healthy, as did the plants I got from him. Also, he hasnt added any fish to his collections for at least 9 months)

 It was a week after I got the BN and I still hadnt seen this male eat anything that I tried to feed them........hoped he was waiting for some alone time in the dark with the different foods I fed. The 2 females from this breeding trio took to the new foods after a couple days.....I expected them to be finicky at 1st with the stress of moving, Qtank, etc. It wasnt until after the male didnt eat for a week or so that I called the guy and asked him exactly Everything he fed and he said JUST the greenbeans. I caved and fed greenbeans and he started to eat again. I was afraid his immune system was low from not eating and being on such a restricted diet for so long. But, he fattened back up and was starting to pick at the new foods here and there. After almost 2 weeks of him eating--I hoped that by placing them in the show tank they would settle in a little better(it truly is a fish haven, my fish are so spoiled!! Smiley--well outside of the disease and death part!! Sad ----- They were MUCH happier in there than in the Qtank. They went from being fully nocturnal to even coming out during the daytime and being very active. They also started eating a larger variety of foods. They were happy for a few days anyway, until the male got sick. sigh.

I got several other BN from this guy. All the fish were fat and happy. All the others eat anything I put in the tanks. ......I QT'd all of them in different set ups for a few weeks and all the others are fine........

Its just the albinos this time----just this one show tank..........all because of 2 fish that came in with flukes a couple months ago and I didnt have the slightest clue.

I have finally realized or accepted rather, that the LFS that has been so great at accommodating my special orders,-----therefore 50% of my current fish population is from them---- is probably going to lose my business. I have never had such problems even when I was young and dumb and bought fish from walmart and even k-mart waaaaay back when they used to sell fish!!---Is it just me or do they not breed fish like they used to???----AND before I knew about so many possible fish diseases and didnt QT anything. Just take it home and dump it in the tank! Oh, the days of foolish naivete'.

 I know that they have a fluke problem since I got those fish with flukes from them. I have seen the signs.----a secondary fungal or bacterial infection, air bubble collecting on the areas where the fluke are--I know this from my experience and took a scraping in and we used a microscope to diagnose the root of the problem---the flukes, not the fuzz that I had tried to get rid of with several medicines--- I brought it to their attention. But, I also know that they got lazy and did not finish the treatment for that. I just assumed that the last fish I got from them had been exposed to flukes. This was before I saw the infected fish at the shop, but had bought the fish from them that unbeknown-st to any of us at the time that they came in, had flukes. I can trace it back to those fish and ever since, I've seen signs of flukes in various fish at the shop. Its always from the same supplier, and they continue to order from them..........sigh. When they order fish for me(I'll only buy ones from a different distributor), they QT them for me for a week or 2 in tanks in the back. I dont think they are keeping up the Qtanks. Sterilizing them after introducing and treating sick fish as they come in, doing frequent enough water changes........I mean, its better than most any fish shop that just dumps the new arrivals in with any other fish they already have.......

Oh, boy. I'm rambling. its too late to try to think anymore. Smiley
Thanks for your help

don't worry, be happy
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