Parasite ID - Lack of appetite

Xyclade

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So far the luck is not with me.... I've recently bought a few clown fish to get started again with fish... These have been in a QT (a completely different one than the one before to prevent cross contamination). However I noticed a loss of appetite and some white feces. So far I've started treatment with Praziquantel.

Given I have a microscope (and learned how to use it recently) I have made a pic and video of the feces, in which I find a parasite moving around with what seems to be an orange dot. Anyone able to ID it, and what would be the best medication? In addition i noticed a seemingly different parasite, but that could be the color or zoom setting making the appearance look a bit different...

Pic (the buggers move too much for a sharp one, so the videos are better)
1603021185682.png



Video 1

















Video 2
 

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Jay Hemdal

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Identifying gut parasites is difficult. Most are flagellates. I can't see any flagella in the ones in the video you posted, but in most cases, you can't actually see the flagella, you just see where it knocks into other things on the slide.

Was this a "clean catch? I mean, did you collect the feces from the water column, or did they lay on the tank bottom for any time? The reason I ask is that if the latter, many non-parasitic ciliates will soon begin to feed on the feces, making it difficult to know if they are actual parasites or not.

Praziquantel doesn't have much/any effect on protozoans. Do you have access to metronidazole? API General Cure has it and prazi in one medication.

Jay
 
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Xyclade

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Was this a "clean catch? I mean, did you collect the feces from the water column, or did they lay on the tank bottom for any time? The reason I ask is that if the latter, many non-parasitic ciliates will soon begin to feed on the feces, making it difficult to know if they are actual parasites or not.

Hi Jay, thank you for your response! I took the sample when the fish were in praziquantel bath for about 1 hour, and took it from the bottom indeed.

Praziquantel doesn't have much/any effect on protozoans. Do you have access to metronidazole? API General Cure has it and prazi in one medication.
Jay

I've been trying to get my hands on API General Cure / PraziPro / Seachem focus. Unfortunately those are banned from being sold in the Netherlands. For the Praziquantel I use Sera's Tremazol. Fortunately, because of my bad previous experience, I first got the standard medication on hand before starting again, hence I do have metronidazole (In liquid and tablet form). Do you have any advice on the dosing and treatment, as I am finding mixed answers, and most people use General Cure, whilst I'd be dealing with a pure solution.
 

Jay Hemdal

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I worry about liquid formulations, as they may have other components - is it for injections, or oral dosing? The tablets would be easier to use I think. General Cure's dose follows that in Noga's book - 25 mg/gallon, or 6.6 mg/l dosed daily for three days.

Jay
 
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Xyclade

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I worry about liquid formulations, as they may have other components - is it for injections, or oral dosing?

The liquid says the following on the packaging:
5 mg/ml in VIAFLO solution for infusion
100ML package containingL

Metrodinazole 500 MG
Osmolarity 308 mosmol/l
PH 4.5 until 6.0

Then the description says:
disodium hydrogen phosphate dodecahydrate, sodium chloride, citric acid monohydrate and water for injections.

The tablets would be easier to use I think. General Cure's dose follows that in Noga's book - 25 mg/gallon, or 6.6 mg/l dosed daily for three days.

The tablet says 500 MG metrodinazole, however it weighs in at 730 MG, which I'd assume is the addition of binding solution? In that case I should do the calculation as 730/500 = 1.46 MG of tablet powder = 1 MG of metrodinazole?
 

Jay Hemdal

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The liquid says the following on the packaging:
5 mg/ml in VIAFLO solution for infusion
100ML package containingL

Metrodinazole 500 MG
Osmolarity 308 mosmol/l
PH 4.5 until 6.0

Then the description says:
disodium hydrogen phosphate dodecahydrate, sodium chloride, citric acid monohydrate and water for injections.



The tablet says 500 MG metrodinazole, however it weighs in at 730 MG, which I'd assume is the addition of binding solution? In that case I should do the calculation as 730/500 = 1.46 MG of tablet powder = 1 MG of metrodinazole?

I would avoid the injectable product, too many variables introduced by the other additives I think. Yes, your math checks out with the tablets. The binders used don't seem to cause any issues for me in the past, but I can't be positive, not knowing if they could be different in your product. You may find that it isn't very soluble in water - just grind it up and try to dissolve it as best you can in a good quantity of RO water, then add it to the tank.

Jay
 
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Xyclade

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I would avoid the injectable product, too many variables introduced by the other additives I think. Yes, your math checks out with the tablets. The binders used don't seem to cause any issues for me in the past, but I can't be positive, not knowing if they could be different in your product. You may find that it isn't very soluble in water - just grind it up and try to dissolve it as best you can in a good quantity of RO water, then add it to the tank.

Jay

I'll go with the tablets, and keep this thread updated. I really appreciate your quick response and advise:) Let's hope they will get back to eating soon!
 
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Xyclade

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To give an update.

Tonight dose 3 of the Metrodinazole goes into the tank. So far I've not noticed any change in behavior. they still don't want to eat and start to look really skinny. So far I've tried all kinds of food.

Dry food:
- Flakes
- Pellets (various brands)


Frozen:
- Brine Shrimp
- Lobster Eggs
- Mysis
- Copepods

With and without Seachem Garlic guard. With and Without Aquaforest Fish V. The main thing I've noticed in their behavior is that they look at the lobster eggs, and sometimes take one in, but directly spit it out again.

Any advice on that, or is it just the waiting game with the Metro?
 
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Xyclade

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Unfortunately over night 2 died :( I assume they starved to death, but I'm still very worried over the other 2.

I've taken the fish under the microscope and found below. Now, they are black snowflakes, hence I'm not sure if this below is just pigment, or maybe something else is at play here? Any thoughts? The picture is of the white part of the fish skin

1603262502691.png
 

Jay Hemdal

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Sorry for the loss. I can't really make out what the dark spots are. Some look like chromatophores, others, hard to say.

Jay
 
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Xyclade

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My main concern would be velvet, but I'm not seeing any other visual signs... Any way to determine or rule that out?
 

Jay Hemdal

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The primary symptom of velvet would be rapid breathing. In most cases, you can also see a dusting on the fish’s skin under the right lighting. Death is swift, sometimes the day after symptoms are noted.
Jay
 
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Xyclade

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They were all quite lively, suddenly stopped eating, and about 3 days later 2 died... 1 was dead when I came into the room, the other one was spurting towards the surface a few times as I saw him and then it was done... I didn't expect that to happen if it was something like an internal worm / parasite, so maybe the lack of appetite caused the white feces, but the underlying problem was something else.


The primary symptom of velvet would be rapid breathing. In most cases, you can also see a dusting on the fish’s skin under the right lighting. Death is swift, sometimes the day after symptoms are noted.
Jay

I do see rapid mouth movements. With one of them completely closing and the other one keeping the mouth half open. I haven't noticed it before, but one one fish that passed this morning, it seems to be having some very subtle white on some fins and places. I've posted a pic with highlighting what I mean just below. Again not sure if that is what I'm looking for here, so advice is greatly appreciated




IMG_2815 (2).jpg


1603287994996.png
 

Jay Hemdal

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So - based on that new info, I can’t rule out velvet. Starvation wouldn’t include rapid or open mouth breathing. Some of those spots could be protozoan, but just not clear enough to say for sure. I do not have a treatment suggestion for you as once fish loss has occurred, most treatments are too slow to cure. A 150 ppm aerated formalin dip would be a stop-gab measure.
Sorry I can’t be of more help.
Jay
 
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Xyclade

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So - based on that new info, I can’t rule out velvet. Starvation wouldn’t include rapid or open mouth breathing. Some of those spots could be protozoan, but just not clear enough to say for sure. I do not have a treatment suggestion for you as once fish loss has occurred, most treatments are too slow to cure.

The only think I have going there is that the ones who passed where the smallest 2, and the remaining ones are significantly larger, and stopped eating a bit later, hence I'd not be willing to give them up yet.

A 150 ppm aerated formalin dip would be a stop-gab measure.

Given I have 37% Formalin solution, which thus contains 370000 PPM Formalin, I should dose as follows:

37000PPM/150PPM ~= 2.467 dilution, hence for 1 ML of 37% formalin I should add 2467ML salt water, to dilute it from 37% to the 150ppm?

How long should the bath take?
 
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Xyclade

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I've given ta freshwater bath as I didn't dare to do the formalin without calculation confirmation. After that they were transferred them into a clean QT with a single dose of CP of +/- 15 mg/L which they are in now for about 3 days.

The one that was breathing with a closed mouth has calmed down, and has started nipping at food, to then spit it out again, hopefully he's been also keeping some in while I was not looking.

The other one, which was open mouth breathing, has been hiding a lot. Every now and then he comes up to the surface gasping a bit to then go down again. He's still breathing with open mouth, but not as rapidly anymore as before. I did notice some white spots now round the gill area, which I've not seen before on him.

I'll be lowering the salinity a bit now from 1.025 to about 1.022 as I'd expect now is the peak time for the parasites, hence the most heavy breathing time for the fish. In addition I'll be redosing about 2mg/L CP as the tank is showing some bacterial bloom, and I've read CP is affected by biodegradation.

Given the feeding of velvet would take about 24 hours to 4 days (IIRC) today / tomorrow would be the most critical times?
 
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Xyclade

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Unfortunately the fish perished... I'm going completely fallow for 100 days, to make sure there is no way of reinfection in any way... I did some more checks using the microscope, and found something that might be what I was supposed to be looking for?


This was on one of the scales that came from a skin scrape. Initially I thought it was just some dirt, but after some more research and finding some microscope images of Velvet I am suspecting that this was supposed to look for. @Jay Hemdal can you help confirm?
 

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Jay Hemdal

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That does look like Amyloodinium, pretty much nondescript, but with a dark color to it. However, I’ve never see it all bunched up on a scale like that - usually heavy infections show in the gills. Were these on more than just this one gill? If so, then i would be more confident saying that's what it is.

Jay
 
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Xyclade

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That does look like Amyloodinium, pretty much nondescript, but with a dark color to it. However, I’ve never see it all bunched up on a scale like that - usually heavy infections show in the gills. Were these on more than just this one gill? If so, then i would be more confident saying that's what it is.

Jay
I have recorded every microscope ID attempt, and went through them again to verify. The common pattern I see is those 'brown clusters'. Below a different scale from another fish, a bit les zoomed in, but also here, the brown cluster you see looked the same while zooming in.


1605768470632.png


And here another one with a big cluster like that (a bit different lighting)
1605769223706.png


thinking back about it I feel stupid for not raising this earlier.
 

Jay Hemdal

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These two slides are not as clear to me as the first one was, but if you are seeing those clusters, on multiple scales, from multiple fish, I think it is safe to conclude that they are parasitic, and then, the assumption would be that they are Amyloodinium.

Jay
 
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