So I started a new 54 litre aquarium back in June and have slowly increased my stock so I am now pretty much up to capacity and all my little tank fellas seem happy in their new home (apart from a few we lost after first adding them to tank).
I now have 6 harlequin rasboras, 5 cherry barbs and 5 Armano shrimps and water parameters are all good. Then about a week ago I noticed that one of my cherry barbs had what looked liked a red thread coming from her anus. After days of googling I finally realised it was Camallanus worms which I had never heard of before. After loads more research I found that these parasites are really hard to treat and specific medication for fish was difficult to find. I decided on the treatment plan (below) using levasimole.
So far I have given my first treatment and done the water change afterwards. Two of my cherry barbs looked like they have passed worms during treatment. All fish and shrimp seem to be doing okay. I'm waiting for API pimafix and melafix to come to help aid their recovery. I will update this post as I do further treatments.
So I wanted to give a big thanks to everyone who has shared their previous camallanus worm research and experiences, it has been really helpful. I am sharing my treatment plan and what I've found out in the hope that someone else might find it useful. Let's hope we can rid our aquariums of these worms forever! Any comments or suggestions welcome 😊
MY TREATMENT PLAN
**** if you can see the worms protruding from your fish then they have been infected for many weeks/months. It is likely all your stock are now infected. Treat your full tank. If you have more than one tank, they have probably been cross contaminated (unless you have separate equipment) so it is worthwhile treating all tanks.
**** some people recommend water change prior to medication but my water parameters were good and I didn't want to stress fish unnecessarily so I didn't bother on this occasion.
**** remove any carbon from filters before starting treatment as it will remove the medication from the water
**** treat with levamisole hydrochloride (from my research it seems to be the most effective against these worms and least toxic to fish and invertebrates). It paralyses the worms so they can be pooed out. Does not kill the eggs so further treatment will be needed. In the UK levasimole hydrochloride cannot be obtained as a powder as it can in other countries. It is easiest to obtain it in liquid form as the active ingredient in worming products meant for other animals such as birds and pigs and these have been used successfully for fish treatments as it works in the same manner. Just check the ingredients for the active ingredient and make sure that there is nothing else in the product that could be harmful to your aquarium inhabitants.
Medications available in the UK containing levasimole include; - Beaphar bird wormer 10ml (1% w/v)= 100mg in 10 ml - Barkers harker verm bird wormer 100 ml (8% w/v) = 8 gram in 100 ml, which equates to 80 mg in each ml. This is a lot more concentrated than the beaphar brand and would be more cost effective if you have large aquariums. - Esha NDX, it comes in 20ml bottles. This is fairly new product specifically for treating for aquariums. I couldn't find out solution concentration or dosage instructions on the Internet but some people report using it successfully.
**** Treatment dose for levasimole hydrochloride is 2ppm = 2 mg / litre. This equates to 2mg levasimole per 1 litre aquarium water. Work out treatment dose carefully, as too much can be harmful to your fish/invertebrates. There are different doses recommended on the internet but I found from other people's experiences that this seemed to be an effective dose without causing too many casualties. - I used beaphur bird wormer 10ml (1% w/v) - 1% w/v means it is a weight (mass) of 1 gram levasimole in a total volume solution of 100 mls. This equates to the bottle containing 100 mg of levasimole in 10 ml solution at 1 % (weight/volume) dilution; see physiology web.com at 'percent (%) solutions calculator' for and Wikipedia 'mass concentrations' for more info. - Treatment dose 2mg/litre (equivalent to 2ppm) - I needed enough for 50 litres aquarium water = 2mg x 50 litres = 100 mg (I.e. The full 10 ml of beaphur)
**** leave medication in water for 3 days --> keep aquarium in the dark as light breaks down levamisole
**** then do water change and thorough gravel vacuum to remove as many worms and eggs as possible
**** disinfect all aquarium equipment inc nets and siphons and let dry (worms can spread in water droplets). Use bleach or vinegar solutions for disinfection. Or get new ones!
**** do not put dead fish/worms into water system, dry out and put in bin
**** retreat with levasimole in 2-3 weeks. Otherwise the eggs that survive turn into adult worms and infest your fish again! Some people recommend another 3rd treatment, 2-3 weeks after the second dose just to be safe.
**** Feed fish as normal throughout to help them poo out the worms. Also, because the worms have been starving the fish they will need to build up their strength again. fish will need good quality foods to recover. Also, try feeding shelled peas as a laxative to help them pass worms.
**** fish may need antibiotics after treatment, as they may be more susceptible to illness like ick. Also dead/paralysed worms in the fishes digestive tract that the fish is unable to pass can cause bacterial illnesses. Try API Melafix and pimafix to treat bacterial infections (API claim these products are shrimp safe)
Re: Camallanus worms outbreak in tropical fish and how to get rid
HI there fellow fish keepers I am new to this site. I just want to pass on my experience of camallanus worms in my tank AND HOW TO GET RID OF THE LITTLE #OOPS#S LOL
HAVE I GOT THE WORNS
If you have got little RED threadS like bristleS sticking out of Your fishes anus, they are not eating, lethargic YOU HAVE GOT CAMALLANUS WORNS, BUT NOT TO WORRY.
HOW TO TREAT THESE WORNS.
Firstly do not waste your money on tretments you can by from the pet shops it will NOT work, these worms are tough. what you need is NEMATOL, you can not purchase this in the uk. Go on Amazon, and type in SERA MED NEMATOL, it comes from Germany. ?18 for a 10ml bottle. I know that is not cheap, but it will work. 1ml will treat 40l of tank water. If your tank is a 150l tank dose 3.5 ml. NOTICE I AM SAYING FIRST DOSAGE.
HOW TO DOSE AND WHAT TO DO.
Remove carbon from your filter.Add your doseage to some water from your tank and distridute it around your tank. Turn off your lights and cover the tank with blankets to block out the light. The reason is because the medicine is light sensitive. Do this for three whole days. After 3 days do a 80% water change, the worms should be gone if not do not worry they are dead but the fish has not past them. Give your fish some garden peas remove the shells first,its a laxative to fish. syphon the gravel well, remove your tanks d?cor, rock etc. And pour boling hot water over them. every time a water change do this. YOUR FISH WILL RECOVER START EATING AND BE FINE.
Wait three weeks and repeat AND PLEASE WAIT TREE WEEKS THERE IS A REASON FOR THIS. The reason is the med only kills the larve and worms and not the eggs. so you have to wait three weeks to catch the eggs hatching. DO NOT WASTE MONEY ON OTHER MEDS THEY WILL NOT WORK. BELEIVE ME I HAVE WASTED MONEY.