Fish almost 3 months in quarantine - can’t figure this out.

Ross

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Long 3 months, I’ll keep it concise.

Currently in quarantine I have 1 clownfish and 1 Midas blenny.

Their symptoms include flashing, yawning, and head shakes.

Short version: 19 days of full copper,
followed by 7 prazipro treatments,
followed by Fenbendazole soaked food.

Symptoms got better after prazipro treatments, but would come back after 4 or 5 days.

I then began Hyposalinity per Jays recommendation. The fish have now been in Hyposalinity for 5 days. They are at 14.4 salinity, this is verified by refracto meter and apex salinity probe. I am running an auto top off and the salinity is steady.

The fish generally look healthy. They are active, fins are erect and clear, eyes are clear, breathing is normal. Behavior is great, they come to the top of the tank for food, eat well, etc.

The ONLY symptoms are an occasional flash, headshake, or yawn. If I watch the tank for 10 straight minutes, I average seeing no symptoms from the Midas blenny and 1 “lazy” flash from the clown. If I watch the tank for an hour straight I might see 1 flash from the Midas blenny. The symptoms have gotten better since going to Hyposalinity.

I still believe I’m dealing with flukes. They have never shown a single spot that appeared to be ich or velvet to me. After 3 months in quarantine and undergoing a tremendous amount of stress from the Fenbendazole, the fish never broke out in ich or velvet.

I would appreciate any helpful advice from anyone that has dealt with something similar before. I believe I may have read every post Jay or humblefish have ever written about flukes and I still can’t beat them.
 

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I appreciate you watching! At the very beginning, about 2 seconds in the clown does a slight headshake. Other than that she’s acting normal, I wasn’t able to catch any scratches on video. 99.9% of the time she is asymptomatic
 
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got her scratching on video. This is what I referred to as a “lazy” scratch. She is doing this once every 10-15 mins or so.

 

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To me the clown looks like is preparing a breeding spot. However the way it's being done is a little 'off'. Other than saying - at least the clown does not look like really 'abnormal' behavior' - I would say that you really have not followed the recommended protocol on this site- so its difficult to say 'why' what is happening is happening. I'm not saying you did something wrong, just that it's hard to take an individual protocol and try to figure out why it might not have worked.

First the copper treatment is usually 30 days not 19. Then prazipro is usually 1 treatment followed by treatment #2 8 days later - followed by a 3rd treatment if there are still symptoms. Secondly, the hyposalinity protocol is a Specific Gravity of 1.009 - which translates to 11.9 or so 'salinity' - and if you follow the protocol for hypo salinity for flukes - it lasts 35 days.

Lastly are you absolutely sure that the dosing of your prazipro was correct - if not, that could be another reason (i.e. the type of praziquantel, the water volume, etc)
 
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Thank you for the great response! I agree the 19 days was short, however I never believed they had Ich so I figured I’d just run them through a few weeks for insurance.

The prazi pro treatments were done initially at 8 day intervals, as Jay recommends. When that didn’t work I went to more aggressive routine. On the other big forum, a well respected fish guy recommends a day 1-5-7-9 treatment, so I went with that. Still didn’t work although I suspect I built up prazi eating bacteria before the end. For the dosage, the tank is a 13.5g but actual water volume isn’t that much. I dosed for 15gallons to be safe. The last few doses I dosed almost double dosage. I’m very sure I did everything I could with the prazi pro.

As for the hypo, everything I’ve read calls for 1.009 for ich or 1.012 for flukes. Both Jay and humblefish recommend “half salinity” or 16-17 salinity. I’m sitting at 14.1-14.4 salinity just to be safe.

My ph is stable in the high 7s, so I could lower the salinity some more if necessary. Have you ever had flukes get through hypo at 14 salinity?

My other thought is to go with TTM at the 14 salinity, in case ich did get through 19 days of copper. I’m really having a hard time believing it’s ich with the complete lack of a single spot in 3 months.

I do have formalin but I would like to keep that as a last resort. I’d love to hear what you think about proceeding
 
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Thank you for the great response! I agree the 19 days was short, however I never believed they had Ich so I figured I’d just run them through a few weeks for insurance.

The prazi pro treatments were done initially at 8 day intervals, as Jay recommends. When that didn’t work I went to more aggressive routine. On the other big forum, a well respected fish guy recommends a day 1-5-7-9 treatment, so I went with that. Still didn’t work although I suspect I built up prazi eating bacteria before the end. For the dosage, the tank is a 13.5g but actual water volume isn’t that much. I dosed for 15gallons to be safe. The last few doses I dosed almost double dosage. I’m very sure I did everything I could with the prazi pro.

As for the hypo, everything I’ve read calls for 1.009 for ich or 1.012 for flukes. Both Jay and humblefish recommend “half salinity” or 16-17 salinity. I’m sitting at 14.1-14.4 salinity just to be safe.

My ph is stable in the high 7s, so I could lower the salinity some more if necessary.

My other thought is to go with TTM at the 14 salinity, in case ich did get through 19 days of copper. I’m really having a hard time believing it’s ich with the complete lack of a single spot in 3 months.

I do have formalin but I would like to keep that as a last resort.
TTM does not eliminate flukes. - I might consider a little lower - DEPENDING on how long they have been in it - it could take a while for symptoms to end after treatment or, for example, the start of hypo salinity
 

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PS I'm not sure about your point about salinity and pH?
 
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TTM does not eliminate flukes. - I might consider a little lower - DEPENDING on how long they have been in it - it could take a while for symptoms to end after treatment or, for example, the start of hypo salinity
I was thinking about TTM in case ich was the issue.

How long after flukes die is it normal to see symptoms still? I swear I read up to 5 days somewhere, but I can’t find that thread anywhere.

My point about the salinity/ ph was just that I can go lower with the salinity and not too worried about low ph issues
 

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Have you freshwater dipped? My clowns will flash occasionally even though I’m certain they are disease free. To me if they did have flukes you would be seeing that more often, though I could be wrong.

Fenbendazole can also be used in a 12hr bath at 95mg/gal. If you are able to confirm flukes that would be my next treatment. 2 baths, 6 days apart.
 
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Have you freshwater dipped? My clowns will flash occasionally even though I’m certain they are disease free. To me if they did have flukes you would be seeing that more often, though I could be wrong.

Fenbendazole can also be used in a 12hr bath at 95mg/gal. If you are able to confirm flukes that would be my next treatment. 2 baths, 6 days apart.
I did freshwater dip right at the very beginning of treatment, I saw a couple of tiny specs that could have been flukes but they were so small I’m really not sure. Is it possible that the variety of flukes is too small to see with the naked eye?
 

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Thank you for the great response! I agree the 19 days was short, however I never believed they had Ich so I figured I’d just run them through a few weeks for insurance.

The prazi pro treatments were done initially at 8 day intervals, as Jay recommends. When that didn’t work I went to more aggressive routine. On the other big forum, a well respected fish guy recommends a day 1-5-7-9 treatment, so I went with that. Still didn’t work although I suspect I built up prazi eating bacteria before the end. For the dosage, the tank is a 13.5g but actual water volume isn’t that much. I dosed for 15gallons to be safe. The last few doses I dosed almost double dosage. I’m very sure I did everything I could with the prazi pro.

As for the hypo, everything I’ve read calls for 1.009 for ich or 1.012 for flukes. Both Jay and humblefish recommend “half salinity” or 16-17 salinity. I’m sitting at 14.1-14.4 salinity just to be safe.

My ph is stable in the high 7s, so I could lower the salinity some more if necessary. Have you ever had flukes get through hypo at 14 salinity?

My other thought is to go with TTM at the 14 salinity, in case ich did get through 19 days of copper. I’m really having a hard time believing it’s ich with the complete lack of a single spot in 3 months.

I do have formalin but I would like to keep that as a last resort. I’d love to hear what you think about proceeding

No doubt you rasied a crop of prazi eating bacteria with those treatments. Killing egg laying flukes is tough to do without causing that issue due to the multiple treatments needed. That's why I don't space it closer than 8 days, to keep the total number of treatments down, but still try to catch new flukes as they emerge from the egss.

Specific gravity / salinity gets confusing around here. People often write, "my salinity was 1.025" (grin). Just to be abundantly clear, for flukes, you should be at a specific gravity of 1.012 or a salinity of 16 ppt.

I run this for 30 days, although a fluke epxert I know says 20 days is long enough. The key is to keep the fluke eggs from hatching long enough that they are no longer viable.

Finally, there are other causes of fish scratching. It can be behavioral in some fish, in many cases, free floating detritus will cause fish to scratch and flash (they can't tell a dust mote landing on their skin from a parasite).


Jay
 
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Thanks Jay. I have been under the 16-17 threshold for 5 days now and I’m still seeing symptoms, although they are mild. Is it normal to still see this 5 days in? How long do the symptoms typically last?
 

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Thanks Jay. I have been under the 16-17 threshold for 5 days now and I’m still seeing symptoms, although they are mild. Is it normal to still see this 5 days in? How long do the symptoms typically last?
It's different for every situation - since there are different levels of infestation. etc etc. I think (if it has flukes) - it looks fine enough in the current regimen. The key thing (IMHO) is to watch for worsening. As that can signify something else. If there is even stability or mild improvement day to day - thats good IMHO
 
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Good new and bad news…the flashing has all but stopped. I haven’t seen a flash from either fish in 3 days now so that’s great.

The bad news is that the hypo appears to be giving the Midas blenny a hard time. For the last 2 days he has barely swam. He looks “uncomfortable” as he lays there he like if shimmies his body and fins. So I don’t know a better way to describe it. He will still grab food but only if I pippette it right down to him.

The only thing I can think is that the hypo may be stressing him. Over the last 2 days I’ve raised it from 12.5 to 13.3.

Anyone ever had similar issues during hypo? Should I raise salinity up a bit more?
 

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Good new and bad news…the flashing has all but stopped. I haven’t seen a flash from either fish in 3 days now so that’s great.

The bad news is that the hypo appears to be giving the Midas blenny a hard time. For the last 2 days he has barely swam. He looks “uncomfortable” as he lays there he like if shimmies his body and fins. So I don’t know a better way to describe it. He will still grab food but only if I pippette it right down to him.

The only thing I can think is that the hypo may be stressing him. Over the last 2 days I’ve raised it from 12.5 to 13.3.

Anyone ever had similar issues during hypo? Should I raise salinity up a bit more?

Blennies have small/no swim bladders. There is less buoyancy for fish during hypo, so they tend to sink. This causes a lot of extra stress on hovering blennies like Midas. They usually survive hypo, but there could be something else going on with your fish at the same time.

Raising the salinity can derail your treatment, depending on the circumstances.

Jay
 
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I figured it had to do with the decreased buoyancy of the water, it makes perfect sense with no swim bladder. I don’t believe he has any other issues, just based on his behavior before the hypo which was perfect other than the occasional flash.

Anything special I can do to help this guy? I feel horrible, he’s basically just stationary on the bottom.
 

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I figured it had to do with the decreased buoyancy of the water, it makes perfect sense with no swim bladder. I don’t believe he has any other issues, just based on his behavior before the hypo which was perfect other than the occasional flash.

Anything special I can do to help this guy? I feel horrible, he’s basically just stationary on the bottom.
Just try to spot feed it as much as you can…..
 

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