Internal Pathogens

Discussion in 'Fish Disease Treatment and Diagnosis' started by Humblefish, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    Internal Pathogens:

    For simplicity's sake, there are four basic possibilities when it comes to an intestinal problem in marine fish:
    1. Intestinal worms - Symptoms: White stringy feces, pinched stomach, loss of color, fish eats voraciously but still seems to be losing weight. Treatment of choice: Praziquantel. Alternative treatments: Fenbendazole, Levamisole.
    2. Internal parasites/flagellates - Symptoms: White stringy feces, pinched stomach, loss of color, fish eats voraciously but still seems to be losing weight. Treatment of choice: Metronidazole.
    3. Internal infections (bacteria) - Symptoms: Bloating, and lumps or swollen areas on the body. Also, poor water quality can cause/aggravate an internal infection. Treatment of choice: Metronidazole combined with Neomycin Sulfate in a medicated fish food slurry can be a very good full spectrum internal/gut infection treatment, treating both aerobic and anaerobic bacterium.
    4. Fish constipation (non-disease) - Symptoms: Bloating in stomach area, obvious anal obstruction, rectal prolapse, erratic swimming behavior. Treatments: Feed the fish a peeled boiled pea (high in fiber), dose Epsom salt @ 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons (laxative), dose Kanamycin (Seachem Kanaplex) into a QT (diarrhea is a side effect of kanamycin). ** Constipation is sometimes mistaken for a gas bubble in a fish's swim bladder (or vice versa.) More info on swim bladder disorders here: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/venting-a-swim-bladder-black-cap-basslet.219954/ **
    Does the color of the poop matter? Yes! It has to be white; brown stringy poop, for example, can just mean intestinal irritation which requires no treatment.

    Internal parasites vs. intestinal worms Since these can be difficult to distinguish, it is best to treat with praziquantel + metronidazole so both pathogens are covered. You can combine different medications (e.g. Prazipro + Seachem Metroplex), or API General Cure contains both.

    Food soaking vs. dosing the water Sometimes dosing the water with the above medications can help clear an internal pathogen. After all, fish do drink the water and their skin will absorb medications. However, I feel soaking fish food with medication(s) is the best way to treat intestinal problems for obvious reasons. Food soaking delivers meds directly into the gut where the pathogens live. In order to food soak, you should also use a binder (ex. Seachem Focus) to prevent the medication from leaching out. Binding also makes the treatment reef safe. :)

    Using a shot glass:
    1 scoop (~ 1/8 teaspoon) of medication (Metroplex or General cure)
    1 scoop Seachem Focus (this makes it reef safe)
    1 tbsp food (preferably pellets or frozen food)
    A pinch of Epsom salt to help expel dead worms/parasites
    A few drops of saltwater or fish vitamins
    Stir until a medicated food slurry has been achieved
    Feed after soaking for 30 mins
    Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers for future use.
    You can feed this mix 1-2 times per day. Not recommend to exceed 2 feedings per day with medicated food.


    Endgame Due to the resilience of these critters, it is recommended to treat (or food soak) for a minimum of 10 days. However, it is not uncommon for symptoms to last for up to 3 weeks. :eek: And just like with any other disease, you will sooner or later run up against a strain which seems resistant to one of the standard treatments. In which case, you should seek out an alternative medication e.g. Using fenbendazole or levamisole in lieu of praziquantel to treat stubborn intestinal worms.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2018
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  2. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor

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    Is this to prevent a buildup of the medication in the water?
     
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  3. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    Its mostly applicable for Prazipro. In most cases, praziquantel dissipates after 72 hrs. However, Prazipro also contains Oxybispropanol (solubilizing agent) and this can persist in the water for weeks. Too high a concentration of Oxybispropanol can lead to a bacterial bloom.
     
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  4. DLHDesign

    DLHDesign Ex-Noob R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Is this as easy as it sounds? Eg; If I'm using frozen food cubes - defrost a cube, add the medication, mix, and then broadcast feed into the tank as normal?
    Is there an amount of time that should be given for the food to fully absorb the meds?
     
  5. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor

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    thanks. it contains a sugar, so accidental carbon "dosing"
     
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  6. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    I like to wait 30 mins before feeding and be sure you use a binder to prevent the med from leaching out into the water column. Also, running carbon isn't a bad insurance policy just in case a little does leach out. ;)

    Exactly
     
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  7. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor

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    thus the blooms in QT I read about, and FWIW, likely why it goes quiet in bacterial bloom threads when I ask if the OP vapes....Aerosolized Glycerine and propylene glycol
     
  8. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    Prazipro by itself usually isn't a problem. Its when you mix Oxybispropanol with other meds (especially Chloroquine) that the bacterial bloom occurs.
     
  9. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Cyber Monday Sponsor

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    Thank you and awesome as usual!
     
  10. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor

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    thank you. It'll take me a bit to figure that one out;)
     
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  11. imjedi76

    imjedi76 Member

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    would soaking prazi in a container with live brine and feeding that for 10 days be effective?
     
  12. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    Yes
     
  13. Ocelaris

    Ocelaris Valuable Member R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    Great info, thanks! Would you reccomend this as a part of most quarantine procedures, such as Anthias which I've heard often have worms? Are there any fish which are sensitive to these medications? Thanks as always for taking care of our fishy friends!
     
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  14. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    Intestinal worms are not as common as, say, flukes. So I personally wouldn't treat for them unless you see white stringy poop.
     
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  15. imjedi76

    imjedi76 Member

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    if an anthias is eating well and very active yet stomach is shrunken, is that an indication of intestinal worms?
     
  16. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    It's possible, but it can also just mean the fish was malnourished before you got him. White stringy poop is the clincher.
     
  17. Csi

    Csi Member

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    Hello,
    Great information; thank you.

    What do you mean by "binder"?

    Regards
     
  18. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    A binder is a product which reduces the loss of medication to water through diffusion.

    More info here: http://www.seachem.com/focus.php
     
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  19. aaron23

    aaron23 Valuable Member

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    I saw white stringy poop on a new chromis and it died the next day. Intestinal worms seem to be very quick in killing the fish more so than other ailments, do you think this is true humble?
     
  20. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor

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    There are many different genera & species of intestinal worms, some more dangerous than others. A few are relatively mild. For example, I know a lady who had a tomato clownfish with stringy white poop for 9 years before she finally soaked his food in metro and it went away. So as with many diseases, hardiness and overall health of the fish also comes into play.
     
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