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View Full Version : Advice on Camallanus and a twisted spine


actin
04-07-2014, 05:27 AM
Hello everyone.
I've been having problems with my freshwater aquarium that it have been difficult to find sure advice on. For most things the internet seems to say both yes and no to everything, but I was recommended this forum as a better source.

I wasn't able to find anything already on here, so I'm going to simply describe my case history and hope someone can comment, with my apologies if this is a retread. I have a large tropical community tank with live plants, many little snails, but by now not too many of its original fish.

So this year I started adding new ones, and bottom-dwellers have done well, but over a month or two most tetras and dwarf neon rainbowfish began to fall ill and die in succession. At first I thought the problem was shrimps that started eating them, but giving them away, microscopic inspection of corpses revealed that at least the rainbowfish had red Camallanus worms inside them.

The tank was treated was Praziquantel, two or three times, but a while later the second last rainbowfish suddenly died and again had worms. So I've followed a suggestion to dose the tank with cupramine, and have just recently finished cycling it.

Here then are the questions I don't know about:

1. I had removed many snails before treatment to avoid creating lots of dead material, and since I find them nice to have. As it turns out, most of the ones left behind lived through the month of cupramine; and afterward I thoughtlessly put a few others back, only then realizing I don't know if they can be carriers.

How much of a problem is this? Does the snails surviving the treatment mean something has gone wrong, and how much risk might the treated/untreated snails pose to fish? Does there need to be any additional treatment to the main tank, or the spare one full of snails?

2. The reason I became worried is something has happened to the last rainbowfish, but it's something different. One day I found him with his spine bent, stuck in sort of an S-shape, but side-to-side rather than up-and-down like you see in inbred fish.

He has been in quarantine for a few days; I have no good way to inspect for worms, but he hasn't shown any marks or symptoms of weakened fish. In fact he's still fully active, and even excited for feeding. Except he doesn't swim properly and even if nothing else is wrong yet, I'm not sure if he is able to actually eat anything.

The people I talked to have never heard of this, and I wouldn't know how to look it up. Is there an outside chance something can be done for him; and more importantly, is this an injury, a symptom of worms, or a new illness that might provide risk to the other fish?

Sorry for being so long-winded; I imagine it's poor etiquette for a first post, but I have no ideas what sort of details might be useful here. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Kind thanks.

actin
05-15-2014, 05:18 AM
Hello again. It's been a month since the previous post, and I take it the problems were unusual enough that nobody could give any firm advice. So I thought it might be useful to say how things have gone, in case anyone ever sees similar problems and comes across this.

As you might expect, the last rainbowfish did not survive. I was later told the warped spine might have been from a bacterial infection, probably brought on by other stresses. Inspection of the body showed what would prove a clue to the underlying cause, namely tiny lesions on the head, almost as if there were extra nostrils.

After this a ram cichlid fell ill. The main symptom was spending all his time hovering in a single spot near the top, which in retrospect some of the rainbows had done, without much interest in food. He also started turning dark, which had also happened to some of the tetras shortly before they died.

As luck would have it a dealer happened to mention the protozoan Hexamita to me, and looking it up I found these three symptoms are all typical hovering near top or bottom, darkening, and head holes. So based on this diagnosis I tried moving the cichlid to the spare tank and treating that with metronidazole (Metro+). For the other fish I spent a week giving food soaked with Epsom salt, which they did not seem to mind.

This has given very good results so far. After a week the cichlid improved and now seems entirely recovered, and nobody else has fallen ill since; in fact the remaining tetras have greatly improved in activity. So it seems like this was the underlying problem there and a good way to approach it.

Regarding the Camallanus worms and snails it is difficult to say for sure. I'm not sure how to detect them before death. Since fish were ultimately exposed to snails in both tanks and now seem generally healthy, though, it seems unlikely they can be carriers, at least after a few weeks.

If anyone has any further comments I would still be interested. Otherwise, thanks to anyone who tried to figure out what was going wrong here, and I hope this can be helpful if anyone ever runs into similar problems.

Mykiss
06-27-2014, 09:59 PM
Hello again. It's been a month since the previous post, and I take it the problems were unusual enough that nobody could give any firm advice. So I thought it might be useful to say how things have gone, in case anyone ever sees similar problems and comes across this.

As you might expect, the last rainbowfish did not survive. I was later told the warped spine might have been from a bacterial infection, probably brought on by other stresses. Inspection of the body showed what would prove a clue to the underlying cause, namely tiny lesions on the head, almost as if there were extra nostrils.

After this a ram cichlid fell ill. The main symptom was spending all his time hovering in a single spot near the top, which in retrospect some of the rainbows had done, without much interest in food. He also started turning dark, which had also happened to some of the tetras shortly before they died.

As luck would have it a dealer happened to mention the protozoan Hexamita to me, and looking it up I found these three symptoms are all typical hovering near top or bottom, darkening, and head holes. So based on this diagnosis I tried moving the cichlid to the spare tank and treating that with metronidazole (Metro+). For the other fish I spent a week giving food soaked with Epsom salt, which they did not seem to mind.

This has given very good results so far. After a week the cichlid improved and now seems entirely recovered, and nobody else has fallen ill since; in fact the remaining tetras have greatly improved in activity. So it seems like this was the underlying problem there and a good way to approach it.

Regarding the Camallanus worms and snails it is difficult to say for sure. I'm not sure how to detect them before death. Since fish were ultimately exposed to snails in both tanks and now seem generally healthy, though, it seems unlikely they can be carriers, at least after a few weeks.

If anyone has any further comments I would still be interested. Otherwise, thanks to anyone who tried to figure out what was going wrong here, and I hope this can be helpful if anyone ever runs into similar problems.



I'm glad you were able to treat the Hexamita. As for the Callamanus worms, you can use Levamisole HCl. CanadianAquatics has that which will treat the worms. Just be warned that if the fish is heavily infected with the worms that when the worms let go of the fish's inner intestine lining, it will leave an opened wound. This open wound is prone to secondary infection especially if there was a lot of worms in the fish. The only thing you can do after treatment is keep the water clean and make the fish's environmental conditions ideal so that the fish spends most of it's energy healing and not towards trying to keep alive under poor water parameters. I hope that helps.

actin
06-30-2014, 12:23 AM
Thanks for your comment, Mykiss! The ease of secondary infection in very damaged fish would go a way to explaining the odd other problems all happening around the same time. So far no worms have reappeared, snails or no, but I'll keep your suggestions in mind if they do.