Woeisime - Parasite identified (UGH)

sherryazure(6)July 5, 2007

Woeisome, found it. Now should I treat prophylactically or not? I think so even though it says needed intermediate host, as it says some and without knowing exactly which one, hard to say? Thoughts Thanks Sherry

From the bottom site to photo:

(post photo first)

Not sure how to post a photo of this parasite.

But looks exactly like the stuff that came out of my rainbow. Plus literature states found often in rainbow fish.

Camallanus - here is link at yahoo and then go to photo image results. The one with mass of red worms is exactly what the worms that came out of my rainbow fish looked like. Poor guy.



Worm Infestations

Diagnosing worms in the first place is a challenge for most fishkeepers, which is not always a simple task and is at best, just a guess. When a fish is eating well yet is still not putting on weight, intestinal worm infestation may be suspected. Particularly when a fish eats regularly yet actually looses weight. This is usually seen as thinning along the back on either side of the dorsal fin. In an extreme case, this may result in a well-fed fish actually starving to death.

Many trematodes and tapeworms live in the intestine. Other trematodes live in blood vessels and some tapeworm larvae form cysts in the brain or liver. Likewise, nematodes (roundworms) typically live in the intestine. You can remove intestinal parasites readily with various drug treatments. However, others have larval stages that live in lymph ducts and blood vessels, and they are difficult to treat without dangerous side effects. Most worms do not pose a serious health risk to the fish because they often have complicated life cycles in which the fish may serve as only one of possibly several intermediate hosts.

Considering the worms complicated life cycles, most infested fish must be exposed to the worms before they are kept in the aquarium. Therefore, they are more likely to appear in wild-caught specimens or in fish that are maintained in outdoor ponds. Since the necessary intermediate hosts are not usually found in the aquarium along with the fish, transmission of worms between fish in an aquarium does not readily occur.

One such worm infestation that can cause considerable damage to the host fish when there are lots of them present is Camallanus. Camallanus are common parasitic nematodes (roundworm) capable of infecting all freshwater aquarium fish species, including rainbowfishes. They are very common in rainbowfishes maintained in outdoor ponds.

Camallanus infection will initially be noticed as red-coloured worms protruding from the anus of the fish, most noticeable after feeding. They attach to the wall of the fish's intestines with their tiny jaws and suck its blood. This can cause considerably damage to the intestinal lining, and a reduced capacity of the fish's ability to readily absorb nutrients, not to mention anaemia from all the blood that the worms are consuming.

Most Camallanus species reproduce by means of an intermediate host, which can be small crustaceans such as copepods or various insect larvae. However, they may multiply within the confines of an aquarium, even in the absence of their intermediate host, passing from fish to fish directly. Juvenile worms are vented with the fish's faeces and ingested by other fish. This can result in heavy infestations in some situations. The most common species found in aquarium fish are Camallanus cotti and Camallanus lacustris, both of which produce live larvae. Female specimens can attain a length of up to 10 mm, while males usually only grow about 3 mm long.


The simplest solution is to never get them in the first place by eliminating all possible sources of infection. Stop feeding your fishes wild-collected live food, sterilise anything that you put in your aquaria (if possible), and be very careful from where and whom you obtain your fish. Also, make sure you quarantine any new fishes for 4 weeks before you put them in your regular aquaria. If they are infected, you should eventually see the red worms protruding from the fish's anus.

There are numerous recommended chemical treatments. Among them are Piperazine, Levamisole, Fenbendazole, and many specific aquarium products for treatment of internal worms. However, mixed results have been reported using these drug treatments and it is sometimes difficult to remove camallanus from infected aquaria. Some success has been reported using the following treatment regimes:

Flubendazole 5%: Mix 100 milligrams into 100 grams food. Give it every second day for 5 days. On those days feed only once with the regular diet. It is suggested to enhance the food with cod-liver oil and bind it with gelatine or agar, since fish are quick to refuse food, which has been medicated. Withholding food for a few days prior to feeding medicated food may aid in acceptance. As a bath, it can be used at 2 mg/L of water once a week for three weeks.

Levamisole 10%: Mix 1 gram Levamisole 10% into 100 grams food. Give once daily over 5 days. If the fish are already weakened and refuse to eat then you can try 30 mg/L of water dissolved in a little water beforehand. After 3 days do a 50% water change and dose again. After another 3 days repeat the waterchange.

Ivermectin 1%: Some studies have shown that Ivermectin added directly to aquarium water has been useful in treating camallanus worms in fish. The dose used was 0.7 millilitres of a 1% injectable solution per 76 litres of water. The dose was added over a period of four days (0.1, 0.2, 0.2, and 0.2 millilitres). A solution of 1 part Ivermectin 1% in 19 parts distilled water can be made and administered as a split dose of 2 ml on day one, 3 ml on day two, and 3 ml on day three followed by a water change on day four. However, because this drug has a narrow margin of safety, some veterinarians advise against any use of Ivermectin for aquarium fishes.


Capillaria is a large roundworm commonly found in the gut of aquarium fish and is often recognised by its double operculated eggs in the female worm. Heavy infestations are associated with debilitated fish, but a few worms per fish may be benign.

Fenbendazole 5% can be mixed with fish food (using gelatin as a binder) at a rate of 0.25% for treatment. It should be fed for three days, and repeated in three weeks.


Cestodes, also called tapeworms, are found in a wide variety of animals, including fish. The life cycle of cestodes is extremely varied with fish used as the primary or intermediate host. Cestodes infect the alimentary tract, muscle or other internal organs. Larval cestodes called plerocercoids are some of the most damaging parasites to freshwater fish. Plerocercoids decrease body weight if present in muscles, and impair reproduction when they infect gonadal tissue. Problems also occur when the cestode damages vital organs such as the brain, eye or heart.

Praziquantel at 2-10 mg/L for 1 to 3 hours in a bath is effective in treating adult cestode infections in fish. Ponds can be disinfected to eradicate the intermediate host, the Copepod.

All the above chemicals are veterinary drugs, so before using any of these substances consult a veterinarian.

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I have nemotodes all over the glass in 2 of my fish tanks. What do I do???? How do I get rid of them???? I am at a loss....

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 7:58PM
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lynn_d(Z5 PA)

Sounds like you have planaria. They usually come from either a dirty tank or filter combined with overfeeding. You can stop feeding the fish for a few days, giving your tank a good cleaning and doing a 25% water change. Are you overstocked?

I would clean the gravel really well, it may take 3 or 4 cleanings to get all that uneaten food out of the gravel, do one every or every other day. Scrape down the walls of the tank good before you clean the tank. Cut back on feeding and they will disappear. Some fish eat them, so that will help getting rid of them as well.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 8:11PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

Also could be pond snails if you have added live plants in the past few months.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 8:20PM
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I really appriciate this thread. I have a Maltese and a Newfoundland, and I also care for a welsh corgy and two cocker spaniels from time to time. I also have two cats. When my newfie was diagnosed with mange, my vet prescribed Ivermectin and recommended it for all animals as earmite and worm prevention. Being ridiculously busy, I am shameful to report that I have lapsed on this responsibility and now have found worms in two of the dogs stool, and around the tail fur of my Maltese. I suspect it could be more than one type of worm. After my research I am believing it is tapeworm and roundworm. I gave her a dose of the Ivermectin last night. My questions are: Is ivermectin a cure as well as a preventative? IF so, how much and how often? Will giving her a dose of OTC de wormer after the Ivermectin be harmful? And finally, does anyone have any recommendations for a good OTC De wormer? I have contacted my vet and am waiting on a return call but I am frantic to get this handled A.S.A.P because I have a child. I realize that this thread has been about fish, but many thanks to everybody who has any suggestions.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 5:23PM
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