TREMATODE PARASITES/FLUKES

Flukes are the NUMBER ONE cause of Ulcer Disease in Koi and Goldfish. They are the principle vector of Aeromonas from fish to fish! Their hooks and haptens damage the skin and introduce these bacteria into the skin.

TREMATODE PARASITES/FLUKES

Freshwater flukes occur in all parts of the world on numerous species of fishes. By their name, you might expect them to be visible to the naked eye, however, they are microscopic.

flukes and how to treat them
Skin and gill flukes are stretchy.

Flukes are easy to diagnose microscopically. A skin scraping should be taken with a plastic coverslip from under the chin, between the gill covers. Another sample should be collected from the side of the body; scraping from there and out onto the tail and off the tip. The mucus is placed with a drop of pond water on a slide an viewed at 40x total magnification with the iris diaphragm closed down, and lighting low enough for comfort. You should see ‘wormy’ looking organisms. Usually they are extremely active. They are capable of elongating and contracting with both amazing speed and dramatic agility. THEY ARE THE ONLY THING YOU SEE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE THAT’S “STRETCHY” so that’s an easy diagnosis.

Especially in water containing 0.3% salinity, usually flukes are all you could hope to see because the other types of parasites (ciliated protozoans) are annihilated by that salt level.
Their primary mode of killing would ostensibly be through the accumulation of large numbers. Especially in fish fry, the numbers of flukes encountered are accepted as the cause of mortality simply because they take such a toll on the victim when they occur in large numbers. Based on observations made in practice, however, I would like to introduce my opinion of how just a few flukes can kill a larger fish:

In the process of attacking a host, the flukes dig deeply into the epidermis and gill tissue with their haptens. Regardless of species, the flukes are known to carry and inoculate pathogenic bacteria. Flukes from certain areas, and on certain batches of fish carry more and more dangerous and virulent bacteria on their haptens. In this way, discovery of a few flukes on the gills or skin can account for rapid and mortal outbreaks of Aeromonas and Pseudomonas furunculosis (Ulcer Disease).

Control of flukes has become increasingly easy with contemporary medicine. Potassium permanganate has been shown to be effective when applied as an eight hour bath at one gram per hundred gallons (2 ppm) or when dosed daily at 2 ppm for five days consecutively. Alternatively, some have found that despite it’s negative effects on fish and filter, that Formalin is effective in eradication of fluke adults, with a second treatment (three days later) serving as clean-up for the emerging young.

Best of all: PRAZI PRO which is simply an affordable solution of Praziquantel which has no impact on filter bacteria and is risk free with the fish. Follow label instructions.

Excellent pricing exists on Praziquantel (Droncit) in a fish form with drastically reduced cost over the veterinary version.

TREMATODE PARASITES/FLUKES

The following is a video with micrographs and video of flukes under the microscope. Also in my Youtube channel are videos and discussions of the common treatments.

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This is The LCD Screen Scope
We Did The Tutorial With. I did a twenty page tutorial (Here's the tutorial) with video, audio, images and even little parasite movies to show you how to use a microscope. 

This Filter is Good For BIG Dirty Tanks
I've been wrestling with water quality with the turtles. The sponges work GREAT, but in THOSE turtle systems where they eat MICE the poops are bulky. This filter can handle it. In "Tortu's" tank, it's got an 800 gph pump and it rocks. 

PraziPro for Flukes
They nailed it. Figured out the solubility and worked out the dosing. It works. 

Buy Some Good Koi?
No, this isn't really for the 'high end' collector y'all. But for someone who isn't near a decent garden center, here are "good-to-quite-good" Koi you will like at a very good price. I know these guys personally.

Best Food, Ever
It's made for (and I discovered it for) my Blood Parrots but the small size, intense color enhancers and excellent formulation make it superb young-Koi food. Oh, and it's AMAZING on color-cichlids like Flowerhorn and Blood Parrots. 

Pro Air 60 Aerator is a VERY high output air pump pushing my whole fish room (17+ drops), and I have one at home driving everything there, and I have one as a back up. 

Formalin Malachite (Not dilute)
There are formalin malachite preparations at 10%, 22% and 37%. There's economy in the concentrates. Hard to get Prime shipping because air transport is curtailed. This is a good value on 32 ounces. 

Topical For Koi and Pond Fish Ulcers
I like 7% tincture of iodine because it stains but it's hard to hurt anything with it. Used with a WOVEN gauze, this works well to clean and disinfect a wound. Only use ONCE. Do not 'repeatedly' scrub wounds. 

Confectioner's Glaze 
Is the way to bind a medication to fish food. Gone are the days of paste food and oil. The write up is done, it's RIGHT HERE.

Koi Health & Disease
Hopefully this link takes you to the newest edition by PRIME to get it to your house the fastest. 

I have over ten of these Titanium Heaters in my fish room and at home. They're a paradigm shift in aquarium heating. They're titanium and 400W for under $30! Whaaaaaaaaat?

CyroPro by Hikari is safe and easy for Anchor Worms and Fish Lice.

Whatever heaters you use, back yourself up with a temperature controller, it'll turn on, and off your heaters. If your heater seizes "on" at least the thermostat will stop a tragedy. 

LifeGuard by Tetra is a tablet version of a tame 'chloramine-t' or 'halamid' compound that's easy to get and good on bacterial infections, in baths. 

Antimicrobial
If you're making medicated feed for a larger group of fish, this will come in handy. Dosing is available in the site. 

For me, filtration-of-choice
For aquariums, even small Koi holding facilities or small ponds. These sponge filters are cheap, easy to clean, and they clear hazes very well when used with some Accuclear or similar.

Rubber sided, round, nettable tanks
Make great hospital or quarantine facilities. They SHOULD cost about $200-300 depending on size, but this, lower quality unit (while panned in some reviews) may be good. Don't overfill and make sure it's propped up.

1200 Watt heater, on a thermostat held securely above the waterline, works GREAT as a large tank heater. That's all I'll say because there's risk of electrocution and all that. But then, even in a bucket you could get killed. Sound like fun?
I have several of these ALLIED PRECISION stainless ones that are a couple years old. Working still. 

Potassium Permanganate 
500 grams could be a lifetime supply but it's 50% more than the 100g cost wise, for 500% more amount. Dosing is in the site and the book.

What Does Ajax Eat?
I looked for something well formulated, with meat as the first ingredient. Something UNDER $2/lb and something they could deliver for free. And this was it. He looks and feels great on it.