Experiences with Callamanus worms and Solutions
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Experiences with Callamanus worms and Solutions

This is a discussion on Experiences with Callamanus worms and Solutions within the Hospital Section forums, part of the Aquarium Related Chat category; As it was a sticky in the previous BCA server, I thought people would want this back up.... I thought ...

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    DefaultExperiences with Callamanus worms and Solutions

    As it was a sticky in the previous BCA server, I thought people would want this back up....


    I thought I'd post one of my articles which I had written for the Vancouver Aquatic Hobbyist Club news letter. The reason I thought it was worthy of posting is because lately people have been experiencing these nasty worms (nematodes). Anyways, enjoy!


    Parasitic nematode: callamanus worms

    Many years ago I received a handful of angle fishes from my cousin which I placed in a tank of their own. It wasn?t until a month after I got the fish that I noticed that they had little red worms sticking out of their vent (anal opening). I was surprised since I had never had them before and I really thought nothing of them but just to keep them on their own. As I further did some research on the worms, I soon found out that they were callamanus worms, or more specific, a parasitic nematode.

    These nematodes are contagious and should be eliminated when sighted. By the time you notice that the worms are protruding from the vent of a fish, the worms will have been in their reproductive stages and may have already released microscopic larvae into the tank.

    As an experiment, I threw in a few smaller fish with the infected angels, and I observed. After a month or so I noticed that a few of the introduced fishes had only one or two worms sticking out of them. After about 4 months all the introduced fishes in the tank had it and eventually a few died and the rest I had to put down since they didn?t look so good. And all this time the adult angels didn?t seem affected by the worms. So what did I learn here: first, smaller fishes are more prone to deaths than larger ones and second, they are infectious and quick to reproduce. The results are based on a single experiment and may mean nothing, but I took the results seriously and was not willing to kill more fish to find out. I had to decontaminate my tank and angels of these parasites.

    I found that a medication which claimed to work very well was called Levamsole HCl. This particular medication was specifically for larger animals such as cattle, pigs, and sheep. However, a few sites demonstrated that the medication can also be used in fish with great results. I had to get some medication as soon as possible.

    Upon purchasing the medication, I treated the tank. I dissolved 5 grams of pure Levamsole HCl with 88 ml of water. For every gallon of fish tank water I added 1 ml of the dissolved Levamsole HCl. Most of the angels fishes had the worms sticking out of their vents, however after a few hours of treatment, more worms were protruding out of the fishes. The next day, even more worms were protruding and a few almost completely out dangling a good centimeter out. It is often difficult to tell the amount of infestation by just looking at the vents of the fish until treatment was conducted. When they were infected I only saw at most 2-3 worms sticking out of the fishes. After treating the tank, I saw as many as 12 worms sticking out at once and was soon to be released from the fish. Every day I did water changes (to remove the feces and any worms) and fed the fish lots of food. I noticed that after the second/third day, the aggressiveness of the fish towards food was greater. They were more eager to eat and less shy. It seems that there was a change in behavior and that the worms really did affect the fishes. By the forth day, all the worms were no longer present (sticking out of the fishes) and I even got a pair of fish to start spawning. The results may vary but I certainly would agree with anyone who would think that removing the worms is better than just leaving them in the fish. I find through experience that smaller fishes don?t do well when infected and will not last long. Compared to larger fishes, such as angels, I find that they can tolerate the worms and seem to look okay, however, the behavior is a bit more shy. For smaller fishes, I noticed that once infected, they only last for about 4 to 6 months and possibly 7 months. In my angels they have lasted for about 1 year without mortalities. Keep in mind, you should always be doing water changes when treating your fish making sure that you take out any fecal matter since possible worms and larvae may be within the feces. As for the parasitic nematodes, I have not seen them since and I?m keeping my fingers crossed!

    Here is a photo of a few nematodes which I pulled out from an apistogramma:


    Here's one from a live fish:

    ________
    Last edited by Mykiss; 10-02-2011 at 10:18 PM.
    Here fishy fishy.......

    CanadianAquatics

    Currently breeding and have lots available of:
    -Tiger, red cherry, crystal red and black, golden bee, yellow, and snowball shrimps
    -King Tiger (L-066) and bristlenose plecos
    -Marble crayfish

    We also have pure Levamisole HCl for treating the camallanus / callamanus worms and
    we also carry "No Planaria" for getting rid of planaria with out killing your shrimps, fish and plants.

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    i think i might have this. but not for sure yet because the worm is so tiny its just sticking out by like a milimeter.

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    The worms don't have to stick out as far as what you see in the above photo. Sometimes they won't even stick out at all and sometimes they stick out a tiny bit and then retract back in.

    When you see them stick out, that means that the worms are at their reproductive stages.

    Well, if you know for sure that your fish has the worms, feel free to contact me as I have Levamisole HCL to help treat the problem.
    Last edited by Mykiss; 10-02-2011 at 10:18 PM.

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    Agreed Pat should be stickied.

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    its a good thing pat had some of this. i picked some up and didnt see the worms right after i dosed it. and from what i've read, you cant get these in canada or something. going to give another dose in a month.

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    Thanks guys.

    I though I'd also share a few useful tips:

    When using the medication, try not to keep the lights on too long as it may be photo sensitive. Just turn on the lights when feeding and turn them off when you're done.

    Also, please make sure that you remove your carbon before you dose the tank.

    Another useful tip is to do a large gravel vac/water change before dosing the tank and then do it again 3-4 days after the treatment. That way you suck up whatever worms you missed in the gravel and also you pick up the extruded worms from the fish.

    Finally, after dosing the tank, the worms don't come out of the fish right away. It takes time and it may even take up to 4 days for a fish to pass out all the worms. So, don't be surprised to see worms coming out even after day 4.
    Last edited by Mykiss; 10-02-2011 at 10:19 PM.

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    Another useful tip...

    It's also a good idea when dosing the tank to also have your fish nets in there as well just in case you 'may' have worms on your net. That way you're also treating your net just in case as these worms can easily infect your fish from one tank to the next.
    Last edited by Mykiss; 10-02-2011 at 10:19 PM.

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    I've had a few people ask me on how to use the medication so I'll post it up here:

    For each 5g packets (pure levamisole HCl which I have) you can treat it in 88-100 gallons of fish tank water. One thing I have learnt is that it is better to go a little over then under dose in case there's some sort of resistance to the medication the worms can build. My suggestion:
    -If it's a fully planted tank or has gravel, each packet should treat 88 gallons
    -If it's a bare bottom tank, each packet can treat 100 gallons

    I say this because in a tank with gravel, worms can hide in between cracks and may not be fully exposed to the treated water. Plus there's likely more organic material in a tank with gravel than that without so perhaps the medication doesn't work as well in a tank with lots of organics?

    Please make sure that you take out (and throw away) any carbon from your filters. The carbon will take out the medication from the water. Also, DON'T reuse it just in case there may be worms in it. Also, when you treat your tanks, it doesn't hurt to have your nets in the water as well so it gets treated with the medication.

    Also, please leave whatever filter or aquarium related items in the tank that you are going to treat and DON'T take it out. If it was in the infected tank, make sure that it gets treated as it may spread the worms from tank to take or reinoculate the tank.

    Ok, so here's the instructions if you have a planted tank (5 grams for each 88 gallons of water):

    1) do a major gravel vacuum/water change. Even if it's a planted tank, try to clean out as much of your gravel as possible.

    2) mix 88ml of water to the 5 gram packet. Each 1ml of water treats 1 gallon of tank water. Dose your tank accordingly.

    3) continue the regular feeding but try to keep the lights off or only use the lights when you have to as the medication may be light sensitive.

    4) wait for 48-72 hours before you do another major gravel vacuum.

    5) on the 2nd to 5th day you may continue seeing the worms drop out of the anus of the fish. That's ok. I'd suggest doing another gravel vacuum after a week just in case.

    6) After 3-4 weeks, you can treat the tank again just in case.

    I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me. Thanks
    Last edited by Mykiss; 10-02-2011 at 10:19 PM.
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    A couple of interesting articles that Patrick et al might be interested in reading with regards to the dosage rate suggested when treating fish for worms using Levasimole HCl.

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa091

    http://www.loaches.com/Members/shari...ydrochloride-1

    It appears that the scientific community considers 2ppm of Levasimole HCl to be an adequate dosage, which works out to 1gr per 100 gallons, not 5gr per 100 gallons.

    The 5gr dosage rate originates from Charles Harrison, who is a chemist/ fish hobbyist, that sells Levasimole HCl, not a VMD that specializes in treating tropical fish. (such as Dr. Roy Yanong) Dr. Yanong's bio/credentials can be found in the following link. http://fishweb.ifas.ufl.edu/Yanong/Yanong.htm

    It appears that Charles Harrison got his dosage rate years back from an apisto hobbyist (Ken Laidlaw), that as far as I could gather also has no real qualifications for treating fish for disease beyond the hobbyist level.

    Dr. Yanong also suggests that the treatment duration be 24 hrs, then repeated 2-3 weeks later to kill any remaining eggs/larvae that may have survived the initial treatment. Most de-wormers work very quickly, and you should start seeing worms being excreted within the first few hours post treatment.

    The good news is a 5g packet will actually treat 500 gallons worth of tank water, which should mean a few $$ being saved over the long haul. (and less stress on your fish)

    HTH

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    I've had more people asking about Levamisole HCl again so I thought I'd bump this to the top.
    Last edited by Mykiss; 10-02-2011 at 10:19 PM.

 

 
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