Please help - what disease is this?

Jay Hemdal

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Would fenbendazole, 2 mg/l, dosed weekly for three treatments, be an effective treatment for flukes? My understanding is that Noga said this is an effective treatment for intestinal worms, but would it also work for flukes?

You said you don’t recommend using DMSO to dissolve it, correct? How would you recommend dissolving the powdered fenbendazole?

I saw a couple wrasses yawn in my other qt tank. They’ve been treated with prazipro, but their qt tank was seeded with biomedia from an established tank, so the concern is that the bacteria consumed the prazipro faster than it could kill flukes. I’d prefer not to move the fish to a new sterile tank to avoid stress on the fish.

I would not recommend fenbendazole at all.

If praziquantel isn't working, you could try hyposalinity.

The yawning symptoms may just be behavioral, even flashing/scratching may not be an issue if they are done infrequently. However, if those symptoms are moderate and are combined with rapid breathing, congested skin mucus and listlessness - then I begin to worry more.

Jay
 
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I would not recommend fenbendazole at all.

If praziquantel isn't working, you could try hyposalinity.

The yawning symptoms may just be behavioral, even flashing/scratching may not be an issue if they are done infrequently. However, if those symptoms are moderate and are combined with rapid breathing, congested skin mucus and listlessness - then I begin to worry more.

Jay
Oh ok, I will not use fenbendazole.

For hyposalinity, 1.012 for flukes for 35 days? Is it safe to also run copper power with hyposalinity for velvet?
 

Jay Hemdal

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Oh ok, I will not use fenbendazole.

For hyposalinity, 1.012 for flukes for 35 days? Is it safe to also run copper power with hyposalinity for velvet?
1.012 for 30 days and then five days to come back out of it. Some research indicates that 21 days is long enough, but why risk it?
I don’t know about copper power, but you can use coppersafe and hypo.

Jay
 
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1.012 for 30 days and then five days to come back out of it. Some research indicates that 21 days is long enough, but why risk it?
I don’t know about copper power, but you can use coppersafe and hypo.

Jay
Hi @Jay Hemdal,

How long could a fish survive with flukes? Since symptoms of flukes, like infrequent scratching and yawning, can just be behavioral, I’m wondering how long before flukes could be ruled out or how long flukes takes to kill a fish.

I ask, because while I did treat with prazipro, there is still a concern that the meds may not have been effective due to bacterial digestion, as the qt was seeded with establish biomedia. However, I don’t want to stress the fish by moving them to a new sterile tank or with hyposalinity if it’s unnecessary.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Hi @Jay Hemdal,

How long could a fish survive with flukes? Since symptoms of flukes, like infrequent scratching and yawning, can just be behavioral, I’m wondering how long before flukes could be ruled out or how long flukes takes to kill a fish.

I ask, because while I did treat with prazipro, there is still a concern that the meds may not have been effective due to bacterial digestion, as the qt was seeded with establish biomedia. However, I don’t want to stress the fish by moving them to a new sterile tank or with hyposalinity if it’s unnecessary.

Thanks for your help.
Fish can live with flukes anywhere from a few weeks to indefinitely. If the infection is severe and it overwhelms the fish, they can die within weeks. On the other hand, I had a colony of Midas cichlids that lived and reproduced for years with flukes and I never lost any more fish than would be normally seen in a colony like that.
There is some indication that flashing/scratching can become behavioral. It can also be caused by detritus floating in the water.
Jay
 
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Fish can live with flukes anywhere from a few weeks to indefinitely. If the infection is severe and it overwhelms the fish, they can die within weeks. On the other hand, I had a colony of Midas cichlids that lived and reproduced for years with flukes and I never lost any more fish than would be normally seen in a colony like that.
There is some indication that flashing/scratching can become behavioral. It can also be caused by detritus floating in the water.
Jay
Hi Jay @Jay Hemdal,

Is there a way to know if it’s brackish flukes? Would brackish flukes show up with a freshwater dip? Would brackish flukes be very obvious on a black molly?
 

Jay Hemdal

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Hi Jay @Jay Hemdal,

Is there a way to know if it’s brackish flukes? Would brackish flukes show up with a freshwater dip? Would brackish flukes be very obvious on a black molly?
I’ve never tried controlling brackish water flukes with FW dips, I always used praziquantel. They are mostly seen on fish that are not common in the pet trade - lookdowns and other inshore fish.
You may see them on latipinna mollies, but not ones raised in freshwater.
 
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I’ve never tried controlling brackish water flukes with FW dips, I always used praziquantel. They are mostly seen on fish that are not common in the pet trade - lookdowns and other inshore fish.
You may see them on latipinna mollies, but not ones raised in freshwater.
How would one know they have brackish rather than saltwater flukes? Microscope?
 

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How would one know they have brackish rather than saltwater flukes? Microscope?
You’d have to be a taxonomist - I can ID flukes to family, sometimes to genus, but not to species.

If you run hyposalinity and it doesn’t knock the flukes back, then they are a euryhaline, brackish species.

Jay
 
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You’d have to be a taxonomist - I can ID flukes to family, sometimes to genus, but not to species.

If you run hyposalinity and it doesn’t knock the flukes back, then they are a euryhaline, brackish species.

Jay
How long after starting hyposalinity should I see scratching stop if it’s saltwater flukes?
 

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How long after starting hyposalinity should I see scratching stop if it’s saltwater flukes?

The scratching may get worse for a few days after beginning, as the flukes drop off, leaving holes in the fish's skin. Around day 3, that should start to lessen and by day 7 they should stop completely.

Jay
 
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The scratching may get worse for a few days after beginning, as the flukes drop off, leaving holes in the fish's skin. Around day 3, that should start to lessen and by day 7 they should stop completely.

Jay
Reached hyposalinity at 1.011 salinity via Milwaukee and instant ocean hydrometer on Wednesday. Checked and upped pH with marine buffer. All fish (wrasses, puffer, gobies, black molly) are doing fine (swimming around and eating) except for my tail spot blenny, who is lethargic, not swimming around, and sitting in one spot for extended periods of time. Not eating that I can see. Breathing doesn’t seem more rapid than usual, but in the couple years I’ve had this fish, he’s always seemed to breathe kind of fast compared to others. I assumed this was just a tail spot blenny thing. He’s always been really fat and healthy and would actively peck at algae.

I noticed his lethargy pretty much immediately after starting hypo. However, it’s possible it started before I started hypo, and I didn’t notice. I assume it’s not that I did hypo too fast, since the other fish are fine. I went down from 1.024 to 1.018 on Tuesday, then down to 1.011 on Wednesday. I realize after further reading that that was probably too quick. However, other fish are totally fine. I will be sure to go up in salinity much much slower.

Also, this is not the fish I’ve seen scratching. That was my firefish.

My question is: would the blenny seeming worse after starting hypo more likely be an indication that it is saltwater flukes and he’s stressed by the saltwater flukes dying from hypo? Or that it’s brackish flukes and he’s stressed by the brackish flukes getting worse from the hypo?
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Reached hyposalinity at 1.011 salinity via Milwaukee and instant ocean hydrometer on Wednesday. Checked and upped pH with marine buffer. All fish (wrasses, puffer, gobies, black molly) are doing fine (swimming around and eating) except for my tail spot blenny, who is lethargic, not swimming around, and sitting in one spot for extended periods of time. Not eating that I can see. Breathing doesn’t seem more rapid than usual, but in the couple years I’ve had this fish, he’s always seemed to breathe kind of fast compared to others. I assumed this was just a tail spot blenny thing. He’s always been really fat and healthy and would actively peck at algae.

I noticed his lethargy pretty much immediately after starting hypo. However, it’s possible it started before I started hypo, and I didn’t notice. I assume it’s not that I did hypo too fast, since the other fish are fine. I went down from 1.024 to 1.018 on Tuesday, then down to 1.011 on Wednesday. I realize after further reading that that was probably too quick. However, other fish are totally fine. I will be sure to go up in salinity much much slower.

Also, this is not the fish I’ve seen scratching. That was my firefish.

My question is: would the blenny seeming worse after starting hypo more likely be an indication that it is saltwater flukes and he’s stressed by the saltwater flukes dying from hypo? Or that it’s brackish flukes and he’s stressed by the brackish flukes getting worse from the hypo?

I've never seen hypo cause lethargy, and 1.011 isn't all that low (for ich, the target is 1.009). You might have dropped it a bit fast. I would have dropped it down over three days. Also, did you drop it just once each day, or multiple drops per day? Dropping 7 SG units in 24 hours is o.k., but that needs to be spread over the entire 24 hour period, like 2 units every 6 hours.

I've never run a tailspot blenny under hypo. Most blennies are fine with hypo, but I cannot tell you about that species specifically. The not eating is the concern. Blennies have no or very small swim bladders. During hypo, they are more negatively bouyant and will tend to sink. In response to that, they may not swim around as much, but they still should eat will.

Jay
 
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I've never seen hypo cause lethargy, and 1.011 isn't all that low (for ich, the target is 1.009). You might have dropped it a bit fast. I would have dropped it down over three days. Also, did you drop it just once each day, or multiple drops per day? Dropping 7 SG units in 24 hours is o.k., but that needs to be spread over the entire 24 hour period, like 2 units every 6 hours.

I've never run a tailspot blenny under hypo. Most blennies are fine with hypo, but I cannot tell you about that species specifically. The not eating is the concern. Blennies have no or very small swim bladders. During hypo, they are more negatively bouyant and will tend to sink. In response to that, they may not swim around as much, but they still should eat will.

Jay
Targeted 1.011 for flukes, slightly below 1.012 to account for any errors in hydrometers. I regretfully dropped it once per day. But all the other fish seemed completely fine with the abrupt drop. I suppose at this point, there’s not much I can do but wait it out? Or should I try increasing the salinity back up slowly for the blenny? Could this be a stress response to flukes falling off?

Maybe what I’m noticing is just the hypo causing more negative buoyancy in the blenny, like you said. He usually swims around pecking at the glass and rocks for algae, which I’m not seeing, so I assumed he’s not eating. He doesn’t eat frozen mysis when I feed, and my understanding is that they pretty much only eat algae. He seems to be more responsive and moving around on the sand more today. Maybe he’s slowly adapting to the hypo. He usually would rest on the rocks between swims, but since hypo, he mostly rests on the sand. I just hope he’s eating when I’m not looking.
 
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Targeted 1.011 for flukes, slightly below 1.012 to account for any errors in hydrometers. I regretfully dropped it once per day. But all the other fish seemed completely fine with the abrupt drop. I suppose at this point, there’s not much I can do but wait it out? Or should I try increasing the salinity back up slowly for the blenny? Could this be a stress response to flukes falling off?

Maybe what I’m noticing is just the hypo causing more negative buoyancy in the blenny, like you said. He usually swims around pecking at the glass and rocks for algae, which I’m not seeing, so I assumed he’s not eating. He doesn’t eat frozen mysis when I feed, and my understanding is that they pretty much only eat algae. He seems to be more responsive and moving around on the sand more today. Maybe he’s slowly adapting to the hypo. He usually would rest on the rocks between swims, but since hypo, he mostly rests on the sand. I just hope he’s eating when I’m not looking.
The other issue with the blenny is that the hypo may kill off some/all of the algae, making it difficult to feed it. Will it eat nori?
 
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The other issue with the blenny is that the hypo may kill off some/all of the algae, making it difficult to feed it. Will it eat nori?
Today, I tried adding some nori on a clip and put it at the bottom of the tank for him. The other fish ate it, but I didn’t see the blenny eat any. I don’t typically feed him nori (I feed it to my tangs in my other tank), so maybe he needs to figure out that it’s food.
 
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The other issue with the blenny is that the hypo may kill off some/all of the algae, making it difficult to feed it. Will it eat nori?
@Jay Hemdal
Hi Jay,

1. Would 2x 150 ppm formalin baths for 45 min 5-7 days apart followed by transfer to a new sterile qt tank after each bath eliminate all types of flukes (including neobenedenia and brackish flukes) from fish?
2. Would the second formalin bath be necessary if the fish are transferred into a sterile qt tank after the first bath? My understanding is that the second bath is to kill any newly hatched eggs before they reproduce, but wouldn’t the eggs not be present if the fish were transferred to a new sterile tank?
3. What is the therapeutic dose for copper power? I’ve read different things: above 2.00 ppm, 2.25-2.50 ppm, and 2.50 ppm.
4. Below what ppm of copper power must you restart the clock?

Thanks for your help.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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@Jay Hemdal
Hi Jay,

1. Would 2x 150 ppm formalin baths for 45 min 5-7 days apart followed by transfer to a new sterile qt tank after each bath eliminate all types of flukes (including neobenedenia and brackish flukes) from fish?
2. Would the second formalin bath be necessary if the fish are transferred into a sterile qt tank after the first bath? My understanding is that the second bath is to kill any newly hatched eggs before they reproduce, but wouldn’t the eggs not be present if the fish were transferred to a new sterile tank?
3. What is the therapeutic dose for copper power? I’ve read different things: above 2.00 ppm, 2.25-2.50 ppm, and 2.50 ppm.
4. Below what ppm of copper power must you restart the clock?

Thanks for your help.
1) I think 3 dip and move cycles would work better. The big issue is that Neobenedenia eggs have sticky tendrils and get moved pretty easily. Be sure to aerate formalin dips really well, and it is toxic to people.
2) formalin doesn’t kill Neobenedenia eggs at a dose that won’t also harm the fish.
3)I use coppersafe, but copper power is very similar. The dose for coppersafe by label directions works out to be 2.25 ppm. You need to dose at 2.5 ppm for advanced ich or velvet, in order to get it to work before fish loss happens.
4) Nobody really knows, despite some people setting hard “restart” levels. IMO it is a function of how much lower did the dose go, and for how long. Personally, I just add the time spent below 2,0 to the end of the treatment (as long as the tank didn’t go below, say 1.8)
 
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1) I think 3 dip and move cycles would work better. The big issue is that Neobenedenia eggs have sticky tendrils and get moved pretty easily. Be sure to aerate formalin dips really well, and it is toxic to people.
2) formalin doesn’t kill Neobenedenia eggs at a dose that won’t also harm the fish.
3)I use coppersafe, but copper power is very similar. The dose for coppersafe by label directions works out to be 2.25 ppm. You need to dose at 2.5 ppm for advanced ich or velvet, in order to get it to work before fish loss happens.
4) Nobody really knows, despite some people setting hard “restart” levels. IMO it is a function of how much lower did the dose go, and for how long. Personally, I just add the time spent below 2,0 to the end of the treatment (as long as the tank didn’t go below, say 1.8)
@Jay Hemdal

1. How long and at what ppm bleach would be necessary to kill all parasites/eggs? 100 ppm? 24 hours? Less?
2. Would it be safe to have two qt tanks set up, add bleach directly to one tank after transfer of fish to other qt, let that sterilize with everything running for circulation, add prime to neutralize bleach, and then add fish into it at transfer time with some bottled bacteria? Or is it necessary to remove old water, bleach, rinse, etc. before adding fish back?
3. Would you recommend formalin bath and transfer to new qt every 5-7 days? Or something different like every 8 days like with prazipro?

Thank you.
 
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