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Camallanus Worms: Alternative Treatments


vividjs24
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I am beside myself.  Just found camallanus worms protruding from my peacock gudgeon (I chose to euthanize it).  I have a 40 gallon heavily planted community tank with MANY fish, shrimp and snails.  Substrate is Seachem's Black Flourite Sand.  The way I see it, using the likely medication of Levamisole is not an option, as I am not willing to lose all of my vampire and amano shrimp.  I just ordered an Aqua Top SP7UV Sterilizer in the hopes of getting at this nightmare in a different way.  What are you opinions?

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On 8/2/2021 at 6:58 PM, vividjs24 said:

I am beside myself.  Just found camallanus worms protruding from my peacock gudgeon (I chose to euthanize it).  I have a 40 gallon heavily planted community tank with MANY fish, shrimp and snails.  Substrate is Seachem's Black Flourite Sand.  The way I see it, using the likely medication of Levamisole is not an option, as I am not willing to lose all of my vampire and amano shrimp.  I just ordered an Aqua Top SP7UV Sterilizer in the hopes of getting at this nightmare in a different way.  What are you opinions?

Levamisole HCL is safe for snails and shrimp if you dose it at the right levels. Greg Sage at Select Aquatics has dosage guidance, or you could get Fritz Expel-P. You will probably need to do about 3 rounds one week apart. Fenbendazole will kill snails, and that's the one you don't want to use with inverts in your tank.

EDIT: I used Levamisole in my quarantine tank with snails and none of them were harmed.

Edited by laritheloud
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On 8/2/2021 at 8:12 PM, vividjs24 said:

Have you personally treated with shrimp or just snails?  What type of snails and what size tank?  I am also concerned that I don't have gravel to be able to better suck up potential paralyzed worms if I use the medication....

I had mystery snails, nerite snails, and pest snails. I also have amano shrimp and blue dream shrimp. All of them were exposed to treatment and none of them were harmed. One of my blue dreams even berried through the treatment!

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On 8/2/2021 at 10:36 PM, vividjs24 said:

Thank you both!  I am planning on mixing the levamisole with frozen bloodworms-how do you recommend I go about doing this?

Oh, I don't actually know how to mix it with food! I think you could probably use Seachem Focus to bind it, and feed only the medicated worms for at least a few weeks. I don't know how long or how often you would have to feed for the meds to be effective. I followed the instructions on the included packet and just dumped it in the water with the aquarium lights off.

I know @Irene at Girl Talks Fish on youtube talked about her experience treating endlers with levamisole. You might want to check that video out and others. As long as you dose a safe amount for your water volume (lots of guides from Greg Sage and right on the box for Expel P) you shouldn't have issues.

Just an FYI, I did not have a visible active infection and did two rounds of this only for quarantined wild caught fish and quarantined livebearers just in case. I hope your tank makes it through, and good luck!

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On 8/2/2021 at 7:53 PM, laritheloud said:

Levamisole HCL is safe for snails and shrimp if you dose it at the right levels. Greg Sage at Select Aquatics has dosage guidance, or you could get Fritz Expel-P. You will probably need to do about 3 rounds one week apart. Fenbendazole will kill snails, and that's the one you don't want to use with inverts in your tank.

EDIT: I used Levamisole in my quarantine tank with snails and none of them were harmed.

I have used Fenbendazole and had no die offs with my snails.

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On 8/3/2021 at 4:11 AM, laritheloud said:

Wow! I heard that Fenbendazole COULD kill off snails, but this is good to know for those dire situations in the future. Thank you!

I treated with fenbendazole years ago and it  killed my bladder snails so I would becarefull if you have snails or shrimp

Edited by Colu
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You can separate all the fish or euthanize all the fish and let the tank run for 30 days or more. This will stop the life cycle of the worms and cure the tank. 

You can target dose the fish with medicated food as well. This is the most effective way.

Here's a recipe I used 

1TBS Freeze Dried Daphnia

1/8 TSP Fenbendazole

1 1/2 Scoops Seachem Focus

1 Pinch Epsom Salt

1/2 Cap Garlic Guard

1/2 Cap RO water

Soaked for 30 minutes and then frozen

Feeding once a week for 3 weeks

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Thank you!  I have separated my 8 peacock gudgeons into a hospital tank.  I have scooped up around 10 worms since treatment on Thurs.  I really appreciate the recipe for the food.  I am still deciding if I want to treat the rest of the fish with food.  I will not treat that tank in the water because of all the snails/shrimp I have.  Have you tried mixing food with levamisole, or do you only recommend fenbendazole?  Also, I am again hesitant to treat with food, because the scavengers may pick it up and die I assume??

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On 8/7/2021 at 8:01 AM, vividjs24 said:

Thank you!  I have separated my 8 peacock gudgeons into a hospital tank.  I have scooped up around 10 worms since treatment on Thurs.  I really appreciate the recipe for the food.  I am still deciding if I want to treat the rest of the fish with food.  I will not treat that tank in the water because of all the snails/shrimp I have.  Have you tried mixing food with levamisole, or do you only recommend fenbendazole?  Also, I am again hesitant to treat with food, because the scavengers may pick it up and die I assume??

I have not, but it's worth looking around on the net and see if you can find a recipe. If you find one, please post it here, I would like to have it as well.

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I have read a lot of the articles (there are hundreds of pages) at aquariumscience.org. The author argues that medication in the water column does not get into the fish's gut, where internal parasites are, and even if it did it is so drastically diluted that it would be ineffective.

His reasoning makes sense. I know most people in the hobby disagree. Other than the labels on the medications I am not sure what the counter-arguments are.

Of course, the first thought is that the companies cannot sell products with false claims on the label. I tried to find some law, government department, or regulation dictating what companies can say on their labels for aquarium water treatments and fish medications, or at least saying that the labels have to be accurate, but I haven't found any yet.

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On 8/2/2021 at 9:08 PM, laritheloud said:

I know @Irene at Girl Talks Fish on youtube talked about her experience treating endlers with levamisole. You might want to check that video out and others. As long as you dose a safe amount for your water volume (lots of guides from Greg Sage and right on the box for Expel P) you shouldn't have issues.

I had lots of success using levamisole to treat roundworms. I just treated the water (not the food) using the instructions from Greg Sage and saved the rest of my endler's livebearer population. Amazing medication, especially if your fish are acting lethargic and aren't eating well.

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When I had a large outbreak camallanus worms, I followed this guys treatment instruction from this video. Worked like a charm. However, I did not have shrimp or snails at the time, so I have no experience treating with shrimp and snails. When I treated, I did not know about fritz expel-p. It is the same stuff though, in pre-measured packets so that makes it easier than ordering this big bag and mixing it with a water bottle. I treated the water column when I did it and it worked. I never added it to food. 

The video is worth a watch. Good luck! 

 

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Expel P is 11.3% levamisole (113 milligrams in a one gram packet). Not sure what the rest of the powder in Expel P is. The dosage is one packet per 10 gallons, so 11.3 milligrams per gallon, a bit more than the 2 milligrams per liter which the presenter in the video says is the (minimum?) therapeutic dose.

According to the guy in the video, Prohibit (a medication given orally to cattle and sheep) is 84.7 % levamisole and costs about $20 for 52 grams. The 52-gram package is $25 at Tractor Supply now. The package says it contains "46.8 grams of levamisole hydrochloride activity." The 46.8 figure is exactly 90% of 52 grams. The dosage for cattle and sheep is one milliliter per 50 pounds of body weight.

I have used Prohibit before to treat fish food, and I have used Expel P in the water.

I don't know how you decide that a treatment was successful. If the fish die, not successful. If the fish survive, I am not sure that means the medication did it. 

When I used Expel P in the water, some fish died, but some fish did not die. Some of the fish were not eating when I treated the tank with Expel P. My experience has been that if a fish is not eating, chances of survival are not good.

When I used Prohibit in the food I suspected internal parasites in some of the fish, but I was not sure. I guess the only way to be sure is to see the worms protruding from the fish's anus in the case of camallanus, but with other internal parasites I don't know how you can be sure that a living fish has them. Anyway, no fish died. All of the fish were eating at the time of treatment. I fed food medicated with levamisole for 4 days and then food medicated with metronidazole for 4 days. I waited a week and repeated.

Edited by HH Morant
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