Chris It is still possible that the worms you are seeing are not parasitic. Other than the Camallanus worms I mentioned most parasitic worms would remain strictly internal. They may be some harmless oligochaetes (white, about 1 mm long, inching along on the glass or wiggling about in the water). These worms feed on fish waste and uneaten fish food. They are common in the aquarium and are easily introduced with live plants, live foods, etc. Occasionally some may be seen on a fish, but only inadvertently and tempoarily. Often they will live happily in the filter and then be seen in other places after the filter has been cleaned or when gravel is disturbed. You mentioned feeding live bloodworms. We usually use the name Bloodworms in reference to Midge fly larvae and buy them frozen or freeze-dried. Around here (NW U.S.) when people sell "Live Bloodworms" they are often not insect larvae at all, but aquatic worms such as Tubifex or Limnodrilus (also called blackworms). Feeding these worms can occassionally cause problems very much like those you originally described. That is why people on the list asked if you'd fed live Tubifex to your fish lately. Also as you described in your experiences, some fish are very susceptible to these gastric problems while others rarely show such signs. Back in the seventies, when it was common to feed Tubifex to all fish and Malawi cichlids were at the height of their popularity, someone figured out that a syndrome we had named "Malawi Bloat" was related to the feeding of Tubifex. I can now remember killing many fish that way but it was an occassional thing and I don't think I would have believed you if you told me it was the worms. What would happen was that the fish would eat a lot of worms (some of them dead even) which would decay inside the fish and their intestines would fill with rapidly reproducing bacteria. Similar to food poisoning and it doesn't HAVE to be worms that are fed in order for this too happen. From there it could get into the bloodstream and overwhelm the immune system and you'd see the fish stuggling for oxygen at the end. It could well be that you could correct your problems by changing your feeding practices. (Not that it couldn't be something else) -Steev
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