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Parasitized Apistogrammoides

>Steve wrote: <<<<<<Dionigi,
>Thanks for the advice, unfortunately I recieved your message after I dosed
>the tank with metronidazole. 

It's still OK, since it covers one of the most common causes
of stringy feces (Spironucleus/Hexamita). I would still then
go on with FT, even if some fishes may show some temporary 
signs of stress to it. Other, probably slightly safer options exist,
but the bottom line is that FT is cheap, quite effective and easy to
If you have access to flubenol or levamisole, they are good 
candidates too, maybe even slightly better. You may choose
to obtain the better drugs if you often deal with wild-caught fish,
while FT is a very practical first-line choice for occasional use.

>I cleaned out the Paragon (I think you are
>right about it doing more harm than good) and added 500mg/10 gal of the
>flagyl, raised temp. to 85. Any suggestions on how to proceed, should I
>consider a second dose? 

Yes. If they eat flakes, you may consider to use for about a week 
the Tetra medicated flakes for parasites, which contain metro.

>Do you have any idea which parasite might we be
>discussing? Also, I'm assuming this pathogen is normally present in the gut

Most likely Spironucleus, nematodes or even tapeworms,
alone or in combination. The first two are often present
in small numbers in otherwise healthy fishes. Sometimes
all you can hope for is just to reduce their numbers until
they reach a sort of equilibrium with the host.

> The reason I ask is because I think I'm noticing a differential
>response to the parasite in my fish. The territorial, aggressive
>individuals seem to be having an easier time of it than the more
>bedraggled, and the most agressive of all is still feeding relatively well.
>Can the stress imposed by other aggressive fishes be enough to catalyze the
>growth of the pathogen in weaker individuals? 

Sure! Good idea to separate the weak ones!

>I have separated the fish
>into smaller groups, hopefully this will help.Anyhow, thanks very much for
>you advice. Hopefully I will have something positive to report back. Adieu
>- Steve

Good luck!