Stubborn parasite….working its way through fish population

djf91

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Hi everyone, you may have seen my previous posts on here. About a month ago I slowly lost a leopard wrasse to what I think was parasites (not sure if external or internal). The wrasse stopped eating and seemed to be blind in its last couple of weeks alive. I did notice the occasional head shake/twitch. Because of that symptom I gave her a 5 minute freshwater dip in a black bucket but found literally nothing on the bottom of the bucket after the dip (no flukes). Added her back to the tank and she still didn’t improve and wasn’t eating. Because the tank is FOWLR I treated it with prazi. She died a week later. I was thinking something neurological and dismissed it.

Well now my potters angelfish is very pale in color for the past couple of days and is doing the head twitch and super darty swimming. He is however still eating. I notice nothing externally unusual about the fish other than pale color. I just gave my first treatment of metro+focus soaked flakes (the only thing he’ll eat) and seemed to eat a few but spit quite a few pieces out.

If things don’t get better soon I’ll pull him and do QT. Was thinking general cure.

Anybody know what this might be? If it was external flukes I would have found them from the leopard wrasse after the dip right? Do internal parasites or anything else cause the head twitch/ spastic swimming behavior?

Will metro help with external parasites?

thanks for any help you can provide.
 
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djf91

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You are correct the symptoms are more typical for flukes. It’s hard to treat without good diagnosis, I would possibly go with hyposalinity therapy out of a degree of desperation. Sorry for your loss.
Yea I’m just shocked nothing fell off that wrasse in that dip. I kept her in there for 5 minutes. Regardless, I’ll probly pull the potters tomorrow and start prazi
 
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Hi everyone, you may have seen my previous posts on here. About a month ago I slowly lost a leopard wrasse to what I think was parasites (not sure if external or internal). The wrasse stopped eating and seemed to be blind in its last couple of weeks alive. I did notice the occasional head shake/twitch. Because of that symptom I gave her a 5 minute freshwater dip in a black bucket but found literally nothing on the bottom of the bucket after the dip (no flukes). Added her back to the tank and she still didn’t improve and wasn’t eating. Because the tank is FOWLR I treated it with prazi. She died a week later. I was thinking something neurological and dismissed it.

Well now my potters angelfish is very pale in color for the past couple of days and is doing the head twitch and super darty swimming. He is however still eating. I notice nothing externally unusual about the fish other than pale color. I just gave my first treatment of metro+focus soaked flakes (the only thing he’ll eat) and seemed to eat a few but spit quite a few pieces out.

If things don’t get better soon I’ll pull him and do QT. Was thinking general cure.

Anybody know what this might be? If it was external flukes I would have found them from the leopard wrasse after the dip right? Do internal parasites or anything else cause the head twitch/ spastic swimming behavior?

Will metro help with external parasites?

thanks for any help you can provide.
Really only one species of fluke will be visible in a dip without using a microscope - Neobenedenia. Other flukes are much smaller an won't be seen. Even under a microscope, they'll look like little blobs of jelly. I'll often use formalin dips, as those are less likely to distort the flukes and then I can identify them under a microscope. For folks without a scope, I just say that if the fish improves, even slightly, around 36 to 48 hours after the dip, then it is flukes and treat with prazi.
General cure is tough to find, I think they pulled it from the market. If you can get it, it has metro and prazi in it, so would be good to try.

Jay
 
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djf91

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Really only one species of fluke will be visible in a dip without using a microscope - Neobenedenia. Other flukes are much smaller an won't be seen. Even under a microscope, they'll look like little blobs of jelly. I'll often use formalin dips, as those are less likely to distort the flukes and then I can identify them under a microscope. For folks without a scope, I just say that if the fish improves, even slightly, around 36 to 48 hours after the dip, then it is flukes and treat with prazi.
General cure is tough to find, I think they pulled it from the market. If you can get it, it has metro and prazi in it, so would be good to try.

Jay
Thanks for the response Jay!

Update: the Potters looks better today after receiving the metro + focus yesterday. Has colored back up and is swimming in the open more, although still doing the darting swimming behavior that looks a bit unusual. Not sure if the medication helped or just coincidence. Anybody know if metro can work against external flukes by some mechanism?

Im still considering pulling all fish and treating in QT before they go in the 500g display. Would you recommend prazi or general cure in QT?
 

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Really only one species of fluke will be visible in a dip without using a microscope - Neobenedenia. Other flukes are much smaller an won't be seen. Even under a microscope, they'll look like little blobs of jelly. I'll often use formalin dips, as those are less likely to distort the flukes and then I can identify them under a microscope. For folks without a scope, I just say that if the fish improves, even slightly, around 36 to 48 hours after the dip, then it is flukes and treat with prazi.

Thanks for the response Jay!

Update: the Potters looks better today after receiving the metro + focus yesterday. Has colored back up and is swimming in the open more, although still doing the darting swimming behavior that looks a bit unusual. Not sure if the medication helped or just coincidence. Anybody know if metro can work against external flukes by some mechanism?

Im still considering pulling all fish and treating in QT before they go in the 500g display. Would you recommend prazi or general cure in QT?
Oral metronidazole wouldn’t have any effect on flukes as far as I know. It could be there is another issue (protozoan) that the metro is helping with.
If you can find general cure, I would suggest using that.
Jay
 
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djf91

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To update this. The Potters angelfish continued to have good days and bad days. Bad days are pale coloration and hiding. I decided to remove him and place in quarantine tub and treat with general cure. Has been 48 hrs of treatment and I’m performing a water change now. He doesn’t seem overly stressed and is swimming in the current. However, he is rapidly breathing just a bit, stopped eating since going in quarantine 48 hours ago, and prefers to swim in the shadow of the powerhead. I’m not sure if this is all just from treatment and being moved to a new tank or if it’s something else like say……velvet. I see nothing on his body that looks like velvet but maybe a little something on the pectoral fins. I’m considering starting copper.

I noticed the clowns in my main tank do have what looks like either mild ick or velvet but it’s very mild an they are still breathing, eating and swimming normally. There is also a damsel in there totally unaffected and another juvenile angelfish in the sump with no signs of anything.

Nothing new has been added to this tank in 3 months.
 

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To update this. The Potters angelfish continued to have good days and bad days. Bad days are pale coloration and hiding. I decided to remove him and place in quarantine tub and treat with general cure. Has been 48 hrs of treatment and I’m performing a water change now. He doesn’t seem overly stressed and is swimming in the current. However, he is rapidly breathing just a bit, stopped eating since going in quarantine 48 hours ago, and prefers to swim in the shadow of the powerhead. I’m not sure if this is all just from treatment and being moved to a new tank or if it’s something else like say……velvet. I see nothing on his body that looks like velvet but maybe a little something on the pectoral fins. I’m considering starting copper.

I noticed the clowns in my main tank do have what looks like either mild ick or velvet but it’s very mild an they are still breathing, eating and swimming normally. There is also a damsel in there totally unaffected and another juvenile angelfish in the sump with no signs of anything.

Nothing new has been added to this tank in 3 months.
I don’t suppose the issue with the clowns or the angel would show up in a photo…
Velvet is actually pretty rare and cascades quickly to death if not treated. The timeline here just doesn’t seem to follow the normal progression.
Jay
 
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djf91

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I don’t suppose the issue with the clowns or the angel would show up in a photo…
Velvet is actually pretty rare and cascades quickly to death if not treated. The timeline here just doesn’t seem to follow the normal progression.
Jay
Thanks Jay, I thought so too. But then I woke up this morning and the Potters was covered in spots. I would definitely say Velvet. I added 38 drops of cupramine to the 20 gallon tub he is in. Fingers crossed. He is still swimming around the tub.
 
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djf91

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Update: All fish seem to now be effected by this illness.

juvenile potters - rapid breathing, no external white spots, no head shaking, avoiding light
Clownfish - very slightly elevated breathing, slight white powder like appearance, will head shake once in awhile, avoiding light
Damsel - no external symptoms, normal breathing, occasional head shake, not overly light sensitive but not normal

I plan to pull all fish out and FW dip and then place them in separate quarantine tanks and treat with Cupramine

Adult potters- breathing has slowed today but not totally back to normal. Swimming in one spot about halfway up tub, with abdomen oriented towards side of tub and head upwards doing a slightly exaggerated swimming motion in place. The fish doesn’t appear overly stressed and does react when I come near tub. I tested copper at 0.5 ppm. Should I increase this? Is it possible the copper has already had an effect after 7 hours?

thanks, will try to get pictures later.
 
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djf91

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Well, I hate to resurrect this thread but I’m back again with more bad news.

What I thought was Velvet I think was more likely Brooklynella. My clownfish came down with it and died pretty quickly in quarantine with copper. I tried freshwater dipping the small potters angelfish and that dip actually ended up killing it after only 2 minutes.

So the only two fish left now are the adult potters and the damsel.

the adult Potters went through about two weeks of copper and appears to be fully cured of everything accept for the fact that it is now BLIND! Just like the Leopard wrasse was a few months ago.

All of this is now driving me up a wall and I’m at a loss! If you would have told me a few months ago all this would unfold I would have told you you were crazy! All I can think of causing the blindness is an internal bacterial infection. The water was getting a little bit cloudy in the Potters quarantine tank.
 
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Well, I hate to resurrect this thread but I’m back again with more bad news.

What I thought was Velvet I think was more likely Brooklynella. My clownfish came down with it and died pretty quickly in quarantine with copper. I tried freshwater dipping the small potters angelfish and that dip actually ended up killing it after only 2 minutes.

So the only two fish left now are the adult potters and the damsel.

the adult Potters went through about two weeks of copper and appears to be fully cured of everything accept for the fact that it is now BLIND! Just like the Leopard wrasse was a few months ago.

All of this is now driving me up a wall and I’m at a loss! If you would have told me a few months ago all this would unfold I would have told you you were crazy! All I can think of causing the blindness is an internal bacterial infection. The water was getting a little bit cloudy in the Potters quarantine tank.

Ugh. Sorry to hear.

True blindness is pretty rare, more often, the fish acts blind because it is moribund. Here is an article I wrote some time ago on fish eye health:

Brooklynella can't really be treated by copper, FW dips and moving the fish and formalin dips seem to work best.


Can you post a short video of the potter's?

Jay
 
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djf91

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I would say it’s far from death. And I would have done formalin but had none and couldn’t get any. I now have Ruby Reef ready on hand.

 
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djf91

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It has absolutely no reaction to my hand on the glass in front of it and doesn’t move away from a net in the tank until I’m touching it with the net.
 
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