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Old 04-11-2013, 01:56 PM   #1
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Camallanus Worms - Help!!!

Sorry, this is going to be a long post. This is basically copy+pasted from an e-mail I sent to the manufacturer of the medication I've been trying (and isn't working). Any help/input would be appreciated!!

The Short Story:
I've had 9 guppies die from what I'm 99.9% sure are camallanus worms. I've read that de-worming treatments should work, but I've only been able to find one anti-worm treatment thus far (see below for further details). My local pet stores don't have any anti-worm treatment, and surprisingly the internet seems to have little to offer. Can you recommend a website that sells anti-worm treatments for fish?

More Details:
Initial Diagnosis: I noticed one of my guppies developed a hole in it's abdomen with red strings hanging out (March 29). I noted other guppies had red "vent holes" or anuses, and some had red gills as well. After completing research I determined these must be camallanus worms, as they are the only thing that matches this description. I quarantined all obviously infected fish, as as I observed them, some became more bloated, some started to waste, and others died.
Suspected Source: The only new live materials I had introduced to my tank in months were plants from my local fish store. According to what I read, depending on the strand of camallanus, it is transmitted by shellfish. Shortly after I noticed the infected fish I found a snail in my tank. This was immediately removed. It could have only gotten into my tank via the plants. I notified the pet store immediately.
Treatment: Online I read that assorted de-worming or anti-worm medications are recommended for this parasite. I searched specific medication names and more generalized phrases searching for aquatic grade anti-worm treatment with little success. I finally found a product by API that includes 250mg metronidazole and 75mg praziquantel in each packet (1 packet per 10 gallons). I also read that usually what kills the fish is not so much the actual worm infection, but secondary infections and/or poor water quality. I've been testing my water with test stripes for the past couple months because I'd been having water quality issues, but the past couple months my water has been fine. To be safe I ordered an antibiotic as well. The antibiotic I ordered is also by API, 60mg nitrofurazone and 25mg furazolidone per packet (again 1 packet per 10 gallons). Before begining treatment, I vacuumed the subtrate and completed a 20% water change. I removed the carbon packets from my filters, removed my ghost shrimp, and added the de-worming and antibiotic agents. I completed the treatments and water changes as recommended per the packaging. I completed a full round of the antibiotics and a full round of the deworming agent. I've just completed a second round of the deworming agent. My guppies are continuing to die, and when I inspect their bodies they still have worms! I think I'll continue for a third round of the de-worming agent.
Tank Information: I have a 29 gallon tank that was cycled for one month, then fish added on January 16th, 2013. I have not added any additional fish since January 20th, 2013 (although the guppies have been making babies). I had 1 ghost shrimp, 4 glo danios, and 16 guppies. I have two heaters, 1 10 gallon filter unit and 1 30 gallon filter unit running simultaneously. I have about 6 or 7 live plants in the tank with the fish. According to the test strips all my levels are in the safe range, including ammonia. I do add a bit of "fresh water" salt to the water (about 1 tsp per gallon). I also add water conditioner/dechlorinator to the water before adding it to the tank (I always allow these additives at least several hours to work their stuff in the water before adding to the tank). I feed my fish dried flake food, they munch on the live plants, and I sometimes give them cooked peas (made from fresh or frozen).
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:45 PM   #2
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I'm sorry I can't help with this but hopefully someone can soon?! Good luck :-/
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:40 PM   #3
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I've ordered Tetra Parasite Guard fizzing tablets. I think once I complete one more round of the API medication I'm using now I'll try switching to this Tetra stuff.

Still looking for advice though!
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:54 PM   #4
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In continuing my search, I have found these sites:

Tetra Tetra Parasite Guard® Tablets : Questions, Answers, How To, FAQs, Tips, Advice, Answers, Buying Guide

Tetra Other : Questions, Answers, How To, FAQs, Tips, Advice, Answers, Buying Guide

Also, via these two posts, I notice that there are two different spelling for this worm? Camallanus and Callumanus. Because from everything I'm reading they sound like they are the same thing. It sounds like I might just have to continue treatment for a few more weeks, apparently it's a very tenacious parasite. I've removed all extra decorations and half of the substrate from the tank to make ease of cleaning (the left over substrate still covers the bottom of the tank). I think I will continue with the same medication I"m using now (API) until I get the new stuff by Tetra, because Tetra's product has four anti-worm medications in it versus the two in API's.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:18 AM   #5
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Unfortunately, metro and prazi will have no effect on cam worm. If your fish are still eating, I would suggest checking out Angelsplus.com and ordering some of their dewormer3 medicated flakes (levamisole medicated). If they are not eating, you will need to treat the tank with levamisole. It may be available on eBay but I have not looked in quite awhile. I can also give you a link tomorrow (when I'm back on my computer) to a small aquatics supplier that also sells it. Good luck!
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jlk View Post
Unfortunately, metro and prazi will have no effect on cam worm. If your fish are still eating, I would suggest checking out Angelsplus.com and ordering some of their dewormer3 medicated flakes (levamisole medicated). If they are not eating, you will need to treat the tank with levamisole. It may be available on eBay but I have not looked in quite awhile. I can also give you a link tomorrow (when I'm back on my computer) to a small aquatics supplier that also sells it. Good luck!
Thank you thank you!! And THANK YOU for also sharing a site that I can purchase this stuff from!! Buying this stuff RIGHT NOW. And yes my fish are still eating, they have very good appetites. As far as I can tell none of them are having appetite issues at this time.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:40 AM   #7
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Your welcome! Good luck and please don't hesitate to ask if you have questions!
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:58 PM   #8
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Here is a link to purchase Levamisole, I have purchased from him and it arrived in a timely fashion with no problems. Good luck!

Levamisole, Flubendazole & other chemicals for the aquarium
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:48 PM   #9
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I just had a run in with these i tried the fenbenzadole treatment powder Fen had no success so i ordered liquid fen still no luck eventually i just gave up because it was costing me more than what the fish were worth. I cleared the tank and started over new.

Horrible things these worms are i hope i never see these again. Best of luck hope they clear up for you
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by PolyptRus View Post
I just had a run in with these i tried the fenbenzadole treatment powder Fen had no success so i ordered liquid fen still no luck eventually i just gave up because it was costing me more than what the fish were worth. I cleared the tank and started over new.

Horrible things these worms are i hope i never see these again. Best of luck hope they clear up for you
I'm so sorry to hear about your run-in with these stupid things They are incredibly frustrating. I myself was considering perhaps simply euthenizing the remaining fish and starting over, but the ones I have still seem to be doing well. Most of them don't even show symptoms, but because they were all exposed and because a couple of them still have red vent holes, I continue to treat. You're right that the treatments eventually get to be more expensive than the fish, but I can't help myself, I have to try. If you DO ever run into them again, two people on this thread have recommended that levamisole medication. I also wrote to my local shedd aquarium and they replied to me yesterday, also recommending the levamisole medication. They also said that you can pull the worms out of the fish with tweezers, but that idea is a bit scary to me (how do you hold the fish while doing this, how do you grab the worm and not any of their fish while they are wiggling around in your hand, and how do you know worm isn't attached or twisted around a vital organ that you'll pull out with the worm ).

Anyway, thanks for your support everyone! I had the levamisole on order, I will post back here and let you know how it works! From what I've read online the treatment lasts a few weeks, so I might not have results to report for about a month.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by erarebirth View Post

I'm so sorry to hear about your run-in with these stupid things They are incredibly frustrating. I myself was considering perhaps simply euthenizing the remaining fish and starting over, but the ones I have still seem to be doing well. Most of them don't even show symptoms, but because they were all exposed and because a couple of them still have red vent holes, I continue to treat. You're right that the treatments eventually get to be more expensive than the fish, but I can't help myself, I have to try. If you DO ever run into them again, two people on this thread have recommended that levamisole medication. I also wrote to my local shedd aquarium and they replied to me yesterday, also recommending the levamisole medication. They also said that you can pull the worms out of the fish with tweezers, but that idea is a bit scary to me (how do you hold the fish while doing this, how do you grab the worm and not any of their fish while they are wiggling around in your hand, and how do you know worm isn't attached or twisted around a vital organ that you'll pull out with the worm ).

Anyway, thanks for your support everyone! I had the levamisole on order, I will post back here and let you know how it works! From what I've read online the treatment lasts a few weeks, so I might not have results to report for about a month.
Yes i have heard lavesimole works the best but i had tried to order it online and apparently from what i had encountered if you live in Canada as i do it is next to impossible to buy lavesimole without a prescription due to a problem with people buying and using it to lace cocaine with and it had been making people really sick when they would use the drug and now if you buy it in Canada you need a prescription since i live in a small town it would probably be hard to obtain the prescription and cost quite a bit of money too..... Darn worms i hope one day they can discover a way to eradicate these pests. Its horrible when you see them in your tank it almost makes you second guess keeping fish
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