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It's like the movie DUNE in my aquarium ! Three different kinds of worms and the worst ick outbreak in history!

Steve C

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 Hi everybody I am new to this forum and I am not sure  how this  post will turn out . I have a 60 gallon freshwater tank with a sand substrate. I currently have four cichlids one of which is a peacock, one is a good size electric yellow and the other two are, well honestly I don't know. One was born in the tank but doesn't look like a peacock and the other one has a rounder shaped body than peacock. But anyway they are all cichlids. I also have a picasimus and a pictus catfish. My pH level is about 8, the temperature in the tank is always a steady 78°.  About four weeks ago my picasimus started to develop fin rot . I have never had to deal with such a plethora, or virtually any illness of any of my fish for the last couple of years, so not knowingexactly what to do,  I used  the aquarium Co-op trifecta  of  maracyn, Para cleanse and ich X. I had done so much reading, so much research, I couldn't remember exactly what I read or what I heard and where. As a result I confused  the quarantine instructions with the  dosage instructions on the box and treated the fish as if in a quarantine situation instead of an actual infection situation .  After the week-long course of treatment was finished  I gave the tank of water change the picasimus' fins started to look better, everybody seemed healthy and then a few days later that gigantic outbreak of these  Smiley faced roundworms occurred! Apparently they were in my picasimus ? Right around the same time I found that nasty looking  flatworm  dried out on my tank lid !  Yikes !  I guess it was kind of a blessing in disguise otherwise I might not have ever known they were in there. Anyway there are also round red worms hanging in some of the plants I'm not sure if that's a different worm all together like a callamanus or if it's just a different stage of the same worm . I also found detritus worms in the test tube for my ammonia test water .  Well in the meantime I guess cuz the fish were stressed out  ich completely exploded in the tank . I assume the photos I posted show  a couple of different stages of tomont and theront. These poor guys are being eaten alive! It seems like the ick larva are the worst after I restart the filter after a water change . You will also see in one of these photos tiny almost green colored translucent things floating that look different from a lot of the other floating stuff. They look a lot like  a pea shell that you would remove off of a pea before you feed them to a fish. Anybody have an idea what that is? In one of the pictures you will find what looks like a worm wrapped in a cocoon I think I read somewhere that the fish does this sometimes to protect itself before it poots out the worm. I didn't have time to wait to order more  meds from aquarium Co-op  so went to my local fish store and got supplies  to begin a regimen of  prazipro  and coppersafe as well as feeding them Metroplex with garlic guard (if they eat it ).  I am inexperienced and did not realize that  the sand had been lowering my copper levels to a point where the PPM were probably ineffective . I'm not sure that's the reason, but I was told that calceus matter and cichlid sand could lower copper levels, but even after dosing according to the bottle the copper levels were low. I finally bought a copper test kit and seems like I had only been running a dose of  .20 parts per million for the last couple of weeks . So two important weeks of the battle have been lost ! I'm still not clear on what the  parts per million for freshwater should be. I have read they need to be as high as 1.5 to 2 parts per million  to be effective . However  the general consensus seems to be .50 parts per million Max?  Especially with  a pleco and a catfish .  I have also been using  Levemesol and vacuuming the worms off of the sand to no avail .  Only stressing out the fish with the water changes even more .  It's a wonder they are still alive .  A couple of them have quit eating .  This has been going on for 4 weeks . I'm afraid to take them out and put them into a makeshift Hospital tub  for fear of stressing them out even further . I know this is a huge post  I guess I would like to know exactly what these worms are, definitively what is the proper PPM for copper  in freshwater tanks and would it do any good to take the fish out  and put them in a makeshift Hospital tub tank if it is prepared correctly .  Thank you in advance for your help . Steve 20201222_225444.jpg.19852654cbc95a3eccc32878aa5e3e37.jpg20201224_233215.jpg.76a6f0b91857e405472512d0c2cafd33.jpg


















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I forgot to load this picture of my poor catfish. I plan on removing all the sand from the substrate so I can vacuum up every last worm wants to bottom of the tank is exposed as well as give them a third round of Levemesol. Hopefully it will paralyze the worms long enough for them to be expelled and vacuumed up. Any advice on the aforementioned subjects will be greatly appreciated. Thank you again.


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