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Internal parasites that just keep coming back


AshtoBrado
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Hello, 

I have been keeping community, predator, and big aggressive fish for a long time, and through half of my time keeping cichlids, I have had to deal with internal parasites. I had bleached my tanks after a new wave of them hit my aquariums a year ago and was out of the hobby until I got back from college in May. I ordered 4 caquetaia spectabilis in April and they had been in a quarantine system and doing well. I then ordered 5 trimacs and they went directly into a 90 gallon, and while scared, were fine. Then a month ago, I ordered 4 cribroberos longimanus, and they were doing fine. Everything was well until 3 weeks ago when my cribroheros longimanus had long white poop and completely stopped eating. I reacted with levamisole once every couple days with a water change before the next dose. They never truly got better and 2 died, 1 from my accidental overdose, and another jumped when I left the lid open. Today I went to my trimac tank and noticed long white poop, the mouth coughing gesture that seems to follow this same parasite,  and a lack of appetite. These fish are all in separate systems, and after going through this same exact parasite multiple times, I never cross contaminate. The spectabilis have been with me for 3 months, the trimacs 2 months, and the cribroheros longimanus 1 month. The spectabilis are the only fish that are perfectly fine so far,hopefully they stay that way since they’re my dream fish. After going through this disease around 10 times, it saddens me greatly that I have to go through it yet again. Is there any specific medications I should do? And if so, what are the dosages and times between dosages for a 30 gallon tank, as that will be The sick tank for all the sick fish, since they’re all practically fry at 1-2”. I did a non effective levamisole treatment on the longimanus and a semi effective metroplex treatment on them. The trimacs will be moved in the morning to the sick tank. Please help, if these fish die then I might be out of the hobby for good.

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Posted (edited)

As you have  bleach and emptyed your tanks something else could be the cause what are you feeding as parasites can come in on live foods did you get all your fish from the same place that could be the of cause of cross contamination if levamisole hasn't worked I would try flubendazole or I would do a food soak with praziquantel and feed them it's more effective in food

Edited by Colu
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On 7/3/2021 at 7:25 AM, Colu said:

As you have been bleach and emptyed your tanks something else could be the cause what are you feeding as parasites can come in on live foods did you get all your fish from the same place that could be the of cause of cross contamination if levamisole hasn't worked I would try flubendazole or I would do a food soak with praziquantel and feed them it's more effective in food

I am feeding flakes, I don’t do live nor frozen as both have been problematic in the past. All of these fish came from one place called Tangled Up In Cichlids. None of these fish are eating at all, so a medication soaked food wouldn’t work. Can flubendazole be administered to the water directly?

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On 7/2/2021 at 11:04 PM, AshtoBrado said:

Hello, 

I have been keeping community, predator, and big aggressive fish for a long time, and through half of my time keeping cichlids, I have had to deal with internal parasites. I had bleached my tanks after a new wave of them hit my aquariums a year ago and was out of the hobby until I got back from college in May. I ordered 4 caquetaia spectabilis in April and they had been in a quarantine system and doing well. I then ordered 5 trimacs and they went directly into a 90 gallon, and while scared, were fine. Then a month ago, I ordered 4 cribroberos longimanus, and they were doing fine. Everything was well until 3 weeks ago when my cribroheros longimanus had long white poop and completely stopped eating. I reacted with levamisole once every couple days with a water change before the next dose. They never truly got better and 2 died, 1 from my accidental overdose, and another jumped when I left the lid open. Today I went to my trimac tank and noticed long white poop, the mouth coughing gesture that seems to follow this same parasite,  and a lack of appetite. These fish are all in separate systems, and after going through this same exact parasite multiple times, I never cross contaminate. The spectabilis have been with me for 3 months, the trimacs 2 months, and the cribroheros longimanus 1 month. The spectabilis are the only fish that are perfectly fine so far,hopefully they stay that way since they’re my dream fish. After going through this disease around 10 times, it saddens me greatly that I have to go through it yet again. Is there any specific medications I should do? And if so, what are the dosages and times between dosages for a 30 gallon tank, as that will be The sick tank for all the sick fish, since they’re all practically fry at 1-2”. I did a non effective levamisole treatment on the longimanus and a semi effective metroplex treatment on them. The trimacs will be moved in the morning to the sick tank. Please help, if these fish die then I might be out of the hobby for good.

Timing is everything when trying to eliminate parasites.  You have to hit the parasites at the right point in *their* life cycle in order for it to be effective.  Since you are seeing symptoms, weekly dosing with levamisole at 2 mg per liter for at least 3 treatments, then another dose 2 weeks later would be my first recommendation.

You should do a large water change (at least 50%) beforehand, removing as much detritus as possible, dose after turning off the lights, and do as complete a blackout as possible since levamisole is light sensitive (I usually just dose after lights out).  Then do a large water change again 24 hours after dosing, again removing as much detritus as possible.

I would then treat with praziquantal (PraziPro is easy to find in the USA) at the label dose.  Leave that in for a week.  Then do your large water change, repeat your levamisole, etc, as above.  I would do 2 doses, 2 weeks apart on the praziquantal.

So day 1 - levamisole, day 2 - praziquantal, day 7 - levamisole, day 14 - levamisole, day 15 - praziquantal, day 21 - levamisole, day 35 - levamisole.  With your water changes between as described for the levamisole (which will usually be more than average water changes).

This will eliminate the majority of intestinal parasites that fish commonly get.  If your fish are still having issues after dosing like this, then the sickest one should see a veterinarian that is comfortable with treating fish.  Many fish vets will do housecalls, but it’s time consuming (usually takes as much time as seeing 4-8 patients in the clinic depending on how far they have to drive to see you) so it won’t be cheap.  Good luck!

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