View Full Version : Something's amiss - hospital procedure for existing fish

06/13/2017, 01:11 PM
Hi all,

Firstly apologies as this turned into a much longer post than expected but I am hoping someone can help. Something is not right in my reef at the moment, I can't quite place it but the fish have been more skittish recently and a few have shown symptoms as follows:

- Coral beauty - apparent HLLE, rapid breathing, hiding more, torn fins, occasional stringy poop. Get blemishes on her head from time to time which I assumed were from squeezing through the rockwork as both these and her fins heal completely within 24hrs or so. HLLE attributed to heavy GAC usage and since I stopped using 3 weeks ago the pitting has seemed to improve but colour on face still a bit washed out. (I feed a varied, enriched diet and do not have stray voltage in the tank)

- Clowns - female appears fairly normal although over the last 10 days has fattened up, to the point that I thought she may be gravid which may also explain the males behaviour to some extent, during the day he has been cowering above the sandbed in the same spot and acting skittish, also has occasional string poop. At night they rest together in the top corner as they have always done.

- Banggai x 1 - Colouration slightly muted (night colours) over the last day or 2, today appears as though one of its pectoral fins has been attacked/eroded.

- Mandarin - keeps on keeping on, no obvious signs or symptoms

I am thinking flukes but would appreciate any other suggestions, the fish do not have any spots, white, black or dusty looking.

Tank params are: 1.025 sg / 0 ammonia / 0 Nitrite / <10 Nitrate / 8.1 avg pH / O2 always >80% saturation / temp 25-26C. 90g reef with sump, skimmer, chaeto etc. I started NoPox dosing 8 days ago (11ml/day) and before that used Vibrant twice weekly (9ml per dose).

All my fish are captive bred and 2 weeks ago I picked up a cb flame angel which I initally put in my quarantine tank which has been up and running for months but I have apparently not been feeding enough to keep the bacterial population up as ammonia started to rise and successive use of Amquel was dropping my pH very low, I added Colony which did little to reduce the ammonia (and also meant I did not want to do wc and remove the product) so I made a possibly bad call and made a holding device for the flame so it could be placed in my DT whilst the QT cycled. The flame is now back in QT, I realise I have effectively skipped QT but flame has gone back as I need to grow it on for a while before carefully introducing it to my coral beauty so at this point its basically a grow out tank. The flame appears healthy but could well have transferred something to my DT.

Whatever is going on with the tank I have made the decision to pull all of the fish out, treat in QT as necessary and let the DT go fallow. The question is how and where to do this?

Currently the flame resides in my only QT/grow out tank which is 24x12x15 (70l/18g) with gravel, live rock, internal filter and skimmer - I decked it out as it will be its home for a good few months whilst it grows. Given the substrate and rock and the fact it is not exhibing any symptoms I was thinking I would add the mandarin to this, it eats frozen brine and cyclops but I would also add pods regularly to tide it over.

I am going to purchase a 36"x12"x15" on friday and add pipework and possibly non porous rock as cover, established internal filter but no LR or substrate so I can treat as necessary. I would add the clowns, banggai and coral beauty to this.

Medication-wise we are restricted here in the UK and cannot commonly get anti-biotics and even prazipro, metroplex, kaniplex etc. I have ordered some prazipro, metroplex (and focus to bind it to food) from the USA but its being very slow to arrive, and may not even make it through customs.

Any advice on course of action and recommended treatment regime/meds would be greatly appreciated. Ideally something that will not damage the biofilter in the QT as I often work away a couple of days per week and need to be able to rely on filtration rather than WC to control ammonia/nitrite.

Thanks in advance and apologies once again for the long post!


06/13/2017, 04:50 PM
Sounds like internal parasites and flukes imho.

Can you post any pics?

I have a bottle of NT labs anti fluke and wormer on hand, although I can't attest to it's effectiveness as thankfully I've never had to use it. Active ingredient is flubendazole... perhaps someone with better knowledge than me can chime in on whether it's worth trying?

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06/13/2017, 04:51 PM
I'm in the UK too btw and that's readily available.

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06/13/2017, 04:58 PM
Quick search online suggests flubendazole is effective in nematode worm treatment... is used on humans too. One quick read of a paper suggested 89% effectiveness in treating nematode worm infestations in humans under double blind testing.

Gotta be worth a go even if it's while you wait for the good stuff from the states.

Good luck!

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06/13/2017, 11:26 PM
Thanks for the response flukes and worms were my thoughts too, I have been eyeing up the NT labs wormer and will definitely use this in the larger QT, I think I'll also fw dip the coral beauty, banggai and clowns before moving to QT to be sure they have flukes. I'm not sure what is safe to use with the mandarin so I think I will add him into the flame QT and just monitor until my prazi (hopefully) arrives then dose the small qt with that.

I'll try to get some pics later, the banggai has been swimming into the flow from the return pump like he is trying to dislodge something from the damaged fin so I guess this would point to flukes too?

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06/14/2017, 08:17 AM
Sounds like a plan... yes, could be flukes causing the banggai issues. I take it there's no velvet type symptoms developed overnight?

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06/14/2017, 11:30 AM
thankfully not, no signs of any spots on any of the fish, the banggais fin does not seem to have deteriorated any further. I have noticed the clowns gills appear quite flared today so I'm becoming more convinced its flukes. just bought my 3ft qt and on Friday I'm going to rip the tank apart to catch the fish and start treatment

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