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Re: How Fish Get Worms?

Hi alex,

yes black worms are a regular part of there diet, i have herd about them causing problems before. Is there anyway to treat the Black Worms before feeding them to your fish? without killing them? I would really like to keep up feeding the black worms as oi have found it's a great way to put size on younger fish, and most of my adults spawn alot more. Also Alex in what form do you buy the levamisole? also is it just 100% levamisole? To Suzan i use Metronidazole for any Heximita infections but have never herd about it's use on worm's? The funny thing is the tank i have the problem in also house my Leucosticta, and the male has had a small heximita infection for a little while now and i have been treating with metronidazole the whole time. Both by dissolving it in there water and in there food.


From: "alex pastor" <alexp@idirect.com>
Reply-To: apisto@listbox.com
To: <apisto@listbox.com>
Subject: Re: How Fish Get Worms?
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 10:56:01 -0400


Like you, my first experience with worms came from wild caught Blue
Cacatoides. There was no indication of infestation until about three weeks
after the female had spawned which occurred a few days after purchase.
Curiously, the fry were not affected and I raised three generations of these
fish. I lost the male before I knew how to treat.

Then again, a pair of Agassizi came in with worms as well.

I've hypothesized in the past as to when fish pick up these parasites. Wild
caughts probably come in with them. This worm is endemic to the Americas.
However, it seems that fish kept in holding tanks at wholesalers, importers
and the lfs can cross infect one another. At first I didn't think this
would be the case because of the fact that my cacatoides fry escaped harm.
But when the Heckel juveniles managed to create such havoc, it became clear
that this parasite is extremely contagious to all other inhabitants of the
aquarium with which infested fish share space.

Have you been feeding blackworms to your fish as a regular part of their
diet or as a treat? There are people on this list who do so on a regular
basis to no ill effect. Then there are people like myself who stay clear of
both blackworms and tubifex worms because the chance of these creatures
carrying cysts of internal parasites is possible. If your fish did not
exhibit worms for 3 months, there is a chance they picked them up from the

I've only used levamisole because it does not have much activity against higher organisms such as fish and nor against less advanced forms of life. It seems to be worm specific in its action.

>From the internet:
Praziquantel, PZQ (Droncit, Drontal, Drontal Plus ? Bayer, RM R
Parasiticide-10 - Merial)
Mode of action: absorbed, metabolized, excreted in bile as effective form;
causes tapeworm to lose its resistance to digestion by host, causes instanta
neous tetanic contraction of parasite muscles and rapid vacuolization of
syncytial tegument
Safety: five times the recommended dose produced no toxicity
No known contraindications

Seems that this stuff is for tapeworms and maybe that's why it's had no
effect on the Camallanus.

If the only other drug I had in stock were the Ivermectin, I'd use that.
Ivermectin (Ivomec R , Ivomec R Plus, Ivomec Sustained Release Bolus (SRB),
Eqvalan R , Heartgard TM , Heartgard TM Plus ? Merial, Zimectrin - Farnam)
Anthelmintic spectrum: large and small strongyles, Oxyuris, Parascaris,
Trichostrongylus, Onchocerca, Gasterophilus, Dictyocaulus, Strongyloides,
Habronema, Draschia , (summer sores and cutanteous onchocerciasis)
Wide safety margin in all life stages and with other drugs
Some mild hypersensitivity may occur from dead parasites

Seems it's not dangerous to farm animals although that wouldn't necessarily
mean 100 percent safety for fish, but perhaps you shouldn't be all that
worried either.

A big problem with worms is that they cause damage to the digestive tract of
the fish. Even if the worms are killed, when the fish regain their
appetites and their bowels fill up, their intestines perforate and death
ensues from peritonitis. You'll have to bear this in mind during the course
of treatment and for a week or so after erradication of the parasites.

Good luck

Gabriella Kadar

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