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Internal parasites?


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#1 Hirogen

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:22 PM

After getting into bettas again recently, I went and got a male plakat. I've had him for about 3 weeks. He's energetic, eats a lot, his skin is smooth and his colors look great (that is, for mostly plain blue fish). But, he's very thin. I can see it if I look at him from above. I'll put up a few pics of him later. Is this scenario common with bettas that have internal parasites? Could he just be a runt, or could this just be from long-term malnourishment?

#2 Stars

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 04:44 PM

I highly recommend you deworm him. All new fish should be dewormed or given an anti-parasite run after arriving at your home. Unfortunately, do to the conditions in which these fish are raised, transported and sold, its very very likely they have parasites of some sort.

A really health fish can live just fine for months and months without symptoms until they are worn out by the parasite. A great internal-medication is Prazipro but if you want something even broader than covers external, try API's General Cure. Treat for a min. of 14 days with a 24hr clean water break after the initial 7.
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#3 Callistra

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 05:17 PM

What/how much/how often is he fed?

How often does he poop and what does his poop look like?

Prazi does not actually go internal. Just like the metro (General Cure is Metro + Prazi) it relies on what water the fish swallows to be effective so if it is internal parasites I would feed medicated pellets or mix up your own.. but before you go medicating the fish I would make sure he's sick.

Edited by Callistra, 19 February 2012 - 05:18 PM.

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#4 Stars

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 05:55 PM

Prazi does not actually go internal. Just like the metro (General Cure is Metro + Prazi) it relies on what water the fish swallows to be effective so if it is internal parasites I would feed medicated pellets or mix up your own.. but before you go medicating the fish I would make sure he's sick.


Prazipro is one of the most effective internal parasite medication, its highly recommended among hobbyist. Its also my medication of choice for internal parasites and I had wonderful success with it. The problem with medicated food is most fish refuse to eat it, medicated food like those by Jungle are very poor in success of actually treating the fish.

You should NOT mix your own internal parasite medication. How much medication are you suppose to use? A lot of people end up overdosing their fish, a lot of internal parasite medication is designed to slowly enter the fish's body, not enter it in a concentrated form which can become toxic. Unless you had a considerable amount experience, mixing your medication directly with food that are not met to be added that way is a bad idea.

While treating healthy fish with medication is not recommended, internal parasites a different story. Stringy poop, weight loss, SBD and bloating take a long time to actually surface, usually several month. By the time a fish has lost noticeable amount of weight, have stringy poop and is bloated severely, the parasite has already weakened the fish considerably. By than, medicating a fish risk running the fish over the edge. If you do a short term parasite treatment for a new fish, its beneficiary to help remove parasites that are there but unseen and if they don't have parasites, they are strong enough to handle the medication. Dosing a fish over and over again with random medication is bad but deworming is highly recommended.
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#5 Hirogen

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:36 AM

Thanks for the responses. It's pretty hard to get a pic of him to show his thin he is, seeing that he won't stop moving for more than a second if I'm around. He's thin enough that the corners of his skull stick out a bit. A deworming does sounds like a good idea either way. He gets around 10-15 of the hikari pellets a day and frozen bloodworms a couple of times a week. I don't know how often he defecates, but when I see it, the feces looks normal. I was planning on fasting him once a week after he would gain some weight, but it looks like that might not happen without some treatment.

Stars, you haven't had good results with the Jungle brand parasite med? I can get Prazipro or the API General Cure. Is one necessarily any better than the other, seeing that internal parasites are my only concern with this fish?

Edited by Hirogen, 20 February 2012 - 03:40 AM.


#6 Callistra

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:40 PM

I have personally mixed up my own food successfully, have talked to many people who have done it, and talked directly to Seachem on how to do it. It is totally safe if you know what you're doing and it's very easy. Also, sorry, but it's a fact that prazi isn't absorbed through the gills so the workings internally are totally reliant on what water the fish gulps and therefore really isn't as good as the feed. I have experience with multiple rounds of the bath not working and the feed working much quicker.

If you want to do a bath for parasites and you can't find Prazi alone I'd do General Cure as it simply has Metro and Prazi combined (each of which treats another form of parasites the other won't treat) but you'll have to do multiple back to back dosages since I think one round calls for like 4 days of treatment. I'd treat for 2 weeks if there was actually an infection. If you're willing to feed however, you could treat for 2-4 weeks. To do this you can actually use general cure. - Take a small cup of aquarium water and dissolve the full packet of general cure in the water. Soak the pellets for 10-15min and feed 2 standard size (like Hikari or Omega One.. pretty much only thing doesn't work for this are micro pellets or NLS) twice a day for a minimum of 2 weeks but up to 4 weeks is safe. I would treat at least a full week past when you think everything has cleared up.

That said.. if his poop is normal I don't see how he has internal parasites.. I would give him some more time to plump up if he's showing zero signs of parasites before medicating him. It seems he has no signs.. no darting/scratching/totally normal behavior/normal poop etc.. He just looks thin to you. Pics would help too.

Are you talking about micro pellets? I hope.. because 10-15 of the regular sized ones would be really overfed.. I also suggest switching to a different feed though because Hikiari's forumla is mostly wheat. New Life Spectrum Betta is good. Feed 5-6 a day. Omega One Betta Buffet is good too. I usually feed 4 of those.

Edited by Callistra, 20 February 2012 - 05:45 PM.

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:01 PM

Not everyone has had experience with mixing medication and food, its generally advised against to recommend someone to mix food with medication or mixing medication together. If in your experience it worked, that is great but I wouldn't tell someone else to do it. What works for you may not work for someone else. Its best to use the medication the way it was intended to be used rather just going on a hunch it will work. I mix parasite/bacteria medication of various brands myself to create a 'super med' using my own experience when facing fast acting bacteria/parasites but I don't ever advise it for someone else.

I am going to advise against mixing medication with food, even General Cure because General Cure was not designed to be mixed in a concentrated form and soaked in food. It was designed to be in the water with the fish, passed in to the fish slowly in small amounts, which is the safest. I really really rather the OP follow the directions on the package. Its better to play it safe than risk giving your fish's a bash in the liver with overdose of a medication.

Prazipro has good reviews from various members on this board which is why I recommend it. It can also has great reviews from other various boards like Koko's Goldfish.

Jungle's Parasite Clear is really a hit or a miss. I personally had minor success with it, the concentration of the meds is more diluted and you need to treat for a much longer time. You get your penny's worth with medication. If Prazipro or General Cure is an option for you, I go with one of those. General Cure is all-around parasite medication, its handy to have when getting new fish. I always quarantine new fish, especially, community fish for 2-3 weeks in General Cure. This helps prevent external/internal parasites. Prazipro is 'milder' because it has less ingredients and solely focus on internal parasites, also a nicer one to use when a fish is actually worn out by parasites. I would go with General Cure, since your fish can probably handle it without a problem and if ever get external parasites, you can use it too. Treat for a min. of 14 days, 24 hrs clean water after the initial 7 & so forth. You can treat longer if your paranoid.
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#8 Callistra

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:22 PM

It's not a hunch.. it's a well documented and performed practice. Some medications even say on the bottle how to mix it up with food. Some don't, like general cure, but the same ingredients in same quantities can be found on meds that do tell you how to do it.

Also Jungle's Parasite Clear contains praziquantel as well as 3 other ingredients so to talk so highly about prazipro and say that Parasite Clear is not so successful is a contradictory, sorry. The reason you had limited success with internal problems is what I said.. none of them go internal. General Cure has 2 of the 4 ingredients of Parasite Clear. That said I would not use Parasite Clear on my fish because one of the ingredients is diflubenzuron, which is not a medication but a restricted use -pesticide- known to cause cancer to humans. The benefit to Parasite Clear over General Cure is that it does contain acriflavine which may be helpful in the case that prazi and metro both fail.

Edited by Callistra, 21 February 2012 - 04:28 PM.


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:09 PM

It's not a hunch.. it's a well documented and performed practice.


Can you provide supporting links or someone who recommended this? If you have a link from a reliable site that gives you step by step instructions on how to mix General Cure with Food than you can always post that.

I am not trying to say you are wrong but I been told repeatedly from forum to forum, including this one to not mix or soak food in medication unless medication directs you to do so. If a medication tells you to mix it with food, ok, but if it doesn't say than generally, its not a good idea. I am only regurgitating advice that have been given previously on this forum and advice given to me.

I am not talking highly of Prazipro, I only suggest it because people who actually use it said it works and it has great reviews. I use it and it works great. I am not being paid to promote a medication, I am advising what medication that had the highest success rate so the OP don't have to waste money or time. If you really doubt me so much, you can even ask other members of this forum about Prazipro, visit other forums and ask around. A medication don't have to be concentrated to be effective, I have used Prazipro many times and it works.

Jungle's Parasite Clear do not have good results or good reviews, it has been reviewed by many people. Generally those reviews are bad because it isn't effective. Regardless of the actual ingredients, the % of those ingredients also play a key role. Its a cheap medication you can grab for around $3, you get your penny's worth in effectiveness.

I am only trying to suggest the most effective, money-worthy and safe method for the OP. I am assuming that the OP is not a experienced fish keeper which is why I don't suggest things I am not 100% sure about. Both General Cure/Prazipro has had good reviews, I suggested General Cure because its a duel medication so you don't have to buy a second one for external in the future which saves you money.

#10 Hirogen

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:28 PM

You guys have been a big help. I went and got some General Cure and started the treatment today. I don't know if this stuff kills the beneficial bacteria, so I set up a small tank with a filter to keep the sponge and biological filter media until the treatment is done. Another question, have any of you guys ever tried any type of garlic treatment for internal parasites? It sounds like less of a hassle as I doubt that it would kill off the beneficial bacteria, but I really don't know how reliable it is. Either way I'll continue with the General Cure treatment, but I'm interested in using garlic for future cases.

#11 Stars

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:55 PM

When used as directed, it shouldn't affect the biological cycle all that much. I have used it in cycled tanks to treat ich and didn't have any issue with my cycle crashing. Make sure you remove the carbon in the filter if you have any, and of course, add activated carbon when you want to remove the stuff/water changes.

Be careful not to crash your cycle if you removed the filter media, without a source of ammonia for a long time, your bacteria colony can starve and have a die-off.

With regards to Garlic, its not a reliable way of killing parasite. It is true that garlic contain compounds that will inhibit and potentially kill parasites but your fish will need to ingest a ridiculous amount of it. Most people use garlic as a way to boost appetite in fish because some fish can become lethargic with internal parasites. Its also used as an 'extra' step to give the medication extra little boost. A lot of people will feed garlic soaked pellets on a regular basis because it can help prevent parasites.

If you wish to try it, take a clove of garlic, crush it well, add 1-3 drops of water and soak the pellets.

Edited by Stars, 21 February 2012 - 09:56 PM.

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#12 Hirogen

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:43 PM

Ok, thanks. I already left a small chunk of frozen bloodworms in the small tank to "feed" the bacteria when I set it up. If you haven't had any such issues, I'll probably put it back later. I don't use carbon anyway, just the sponge and bio filter media.




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