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Re: How Fish Get Worms?

->Hey Guy's just a few query's on how fish get worms?
Fish consume the eggs which are being shed by an infested fish.

>my hippolytae female has some red worms hanging out her butt, i'm picking
>some med's tomorrow but how does one prevent this from happening? none of
>the other fish have it?
Yet....  Or it's in the early stages.

>Which includes 3 S.leucosticta the male A.hippolytae
>and a male ram.

I had a pair of infested Acarychthys heckeli juveniles which in under 2
weeks managed to pass their problem around to a tankful of fish.  It seems
that treatment with levamisole works faster with fish which are largely
vegetarian compared to the carnivores.  One treatment and the blue gourami
expelled a clump of camallanus.  It took two weeks of every other day dosage
to clear the Satanoperca leucosticta.  I've concluded that gut transit time
being shorter amongst vegetarian types or omnivores also speeds up the
process of worm expulsion.

Fish, such as Otocinclus, die off much quicker and easier when infested.
They don't have the reserves to survive long periods of anorexia resulting
from infestation.  Their diet is less calorie dense.

Also the worms seem to have a means by which they govern how many are in an
inactive cyst form and adult worm form.  The adults  must be producing some
chemical which suppresses the hatching of cysts and thus  ensures their
continued survival in the gut because a single treatment is not always
sufficient to eliminate all of them.  Another treatment a couple of weeks
after what appears to be 'success' is a good idea because by then cysts will
have hatched.  The cysts are not sensitive to the drug.

You can tell when fish are infected, even though no worms are showing,
because their behaviour changes.  They get sulky and super territorial.  I
think they must be very uncomfortable and hence, cranky.  Eventually they
also stop eating.  I knew when the Leucosticta was cured when she started to
behave like her usual self and stopped hiding under the bogwood darting out
and trying to bite anyone who came close.

These parasites are a good reason to have a quarantine tank.  At the lfs,
fish may appear normal.  But they are usually not fed as well as at home.
Then, after purchase when they are being given a much better diet, all of a
sudden, the worms show up.  It would seem that the worms also know how to
survive 'starvation' rations.  Parasites  have evolved into very clever
creatures.  They don't intend to kill the host and therefore modify their
own requirements and life cycles accordingly.  Give the host plenty to eat
and the parasite blooms as well.  It's the additional stress of transport
and bare tanks etc. that seems to tip the balance between parasites being a
nuisance to being a contributor to fatality.

Good luck.

Gabriella Kadar

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