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    Registered Member Cabie's Avatar
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    Default Still finding capillaria eggs

    After examining the stringy white feces of one of my fish under the microscope, I found a lot of capillaria eggs and what I think might be two spironucleus, but the main problem seems to be capillaria, so I gave him a first dose of levamisole HCL 85% (January 8th).

    However, yesterday I checked his feces again (found the one he had been dragging the day before, January 11th) and there was still about the same amount of eggs. Is it normal to still find eggs in the feces a few days after the first dose? I'm wondering if it might be an indication that I underdosed? Maybe I underestimated the net volume of my tank? Has anyone ever checked the feces of their fish after dosing with levamisole? Were there still eggs for a few days?

    I'll add some videos of what I found with the microscope later on, just need to edit and upload them...

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    Worms can be difficult to eradicate ( ask anyone who has horses) mostly because the treatments only kill the adults that are present at the time of treatment but not the eggs they have already produced, on top of that there is the problem of the worms developing resistance to the medicine used.
    Some capillaria have a direct life cycle, it means they produce eggs that can take up to 3 weeks to develop. So it may take repeated treatments to see a result
    My discus are not fat...just big fish-boned

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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    Quote Originally Posted by Cabie View Post
    After examining the stringy white feces of one of my fish under the microscope, I found a lot of capillaria eggs and what I think might be two spironucleus, but the main problem seems to be capillaria, so I gave him a first dose of levamisole HCL 85% (January 8th).

    However, yesterday I checked his feces again (found the one he had been dragging the day before, January 11th) and there was still about the same amount of eggs. Is it normal to still find eggs in the feces a few days after the first dose? I'm wondering if it might be an indication that I underdosed? Maybe I underestimated the net volume of my tank? Has anyone ever checked the feces of their fish after dosing with levamisole? Were there still eggs for a few days?

    I'll add some videos of what I found with the microscope later on, just need to edit and upload them...

    How did you dose it?
    al
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    Registered Member Cabie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Sabucchi View Post
    Some capillaria have a direct life cycle, it means they produce eggs that can take up to 3 weeks to develop. So it may take repeated treatments to see a result
    I'm wondering how long it would take before the eggs stop showing up in his feces? If the adults are dead and no longer producing eggs, then there would still be eggs in the tank, from old feces, but surely there shouldn't be new eggs in the feces after he has passed them all? But how long would it take for him to pass them all?

    Quote Originally Posted by brewmaster15 View Post
    How did you dose it?
    al
    I have a 250-liter tank and I dosed 1/8 teaspoon for 48 hours, thinking that with the sand, the plants and the part without water at the top the net volume would be around 200 liters.


    Here are the videos, make sure you set the video quality at 720p HD so they don't look blurry.

    (January 8th) Capillaria eggs at 400x:
    https://youtu.be/dW_njL7KQf8

    (January 8th) Not sure what this is, dead worm or fiber? At 100x and 400x:
    https://youtu.be/_WhoWWoaXOU

    (January 8th) This looks like spironucleus to me, what do you think? At 400x:
    https://youtu.be/5wtYXf_X53U

    (January 11th, feces probably from previous day) Are these dead worms or fibers? The size doesn't look right to be worms when side by side with the eggs (the blurry oval shapes are eggs in the first part, at 40x).
    https://youtu.be/anceTT3zEKQ

    (January 12th, feces from previous day) A moving worm, at 100x. Is it capillaria or another species? It kind of looks like a nematode, but since the poop was not fresh, there were lots of moving things in there, like rotifers, rhabdocoela, etc, so it could also be a harmless nematode species. But if it's a nematode, that is a bit worrisome, since levamisole should have killed any kind of nematodes, shouldn't it?
    https://youtu.be/6_zu1TUkzZU

    (January 12th, feces from previous day) As you can see, there are still lots of capillaria eggs. I'm not sure if those are dead worms in the first part? At 100x:
    https://youtu.be/bJIYI1GyaiA

    (January 12th, feces from previous day) I have no idea what this is:
    https://youtu.be/a03ZPUrk-d8

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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    The eggs are clearly those of a nematode, so Levamisole is the right med. Clean & vacuum the tank bottom every day to get as many eggs as you can.

    The dose you used, if its 85% pure, works out to around 2 mg/l, which is about right. It wouldn't hurt to use a bit more. I dose at 2.6 mg/l.

    I don't know how long it would take for the fish to expel the eggs, I wait a week before looking again.

    How did you collect the fecal sample? If the feces sat on the floor of the tank for any length of time it has little or no diagnostic value apart from the worm eggs. All sorts of things will appear that didn't come from inside the fish. Not sure if the sample was reliable, but the things you suspect might be spironucleus are consistent with spiro flagellates. They have that jerky motion, and they are very small. Seeing only two flagellates in a field of view is not a big deal, but the worm infestation would make them susceptible to a more serious spiro infection, so you should keep an eye on that.

    You can do another levamisole treatment at 10 to 14 days after the first one. I haven't been able to find good information on the timing of the life cycle at 82. Ideally you want to wait long enough for all the eggs to hatch, but not so long that any hatched eggs reach adulthood. Near as I can estimate, 14 days would be in the ballpark. Al might have better knowledge on this question. I have done three treatments 10 days apart because of the uncertainty with the timing.

    The fibers... well they look like fibers to me. Try to get fresh samples, there will be less guesswork.

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    Registered Member Cabie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    Quote Originally Posted by DJW View Post
    The dose you used, if its 85% pure, works out to around 2 mg/l, which is about right. It wouldn't hurt to use a bit more. I dose at 2.6 mg/l.
    I'll try measuring the next dose with a scale instead of with teaspoons and I think I'll just dose for the full volume of the aquarium instead of trying to estimate the net volume, to make sure I'm not underestimating anything.

    How did you collect the fecal sample? If the feces sat on the floor of the tank for any length of time it has little or no diagnostic value apart from the worm eggs. All sorts of things will appear that didn't come from inside the fish.
    I collected them in the plants. I'm trying to get one as fresh as possible, but unfortunately, he usually drops them during the night, so I find them in the morning.

    Not sure if the sample was reliable, but the things you suspect might be spironucleus are consistent with spiro flagellates. They have that jerky motion, and they are very small. Seeing only two flagellates in a field of view is not a big deal, but the worm infestation would make them susceptible to a more serious spiro infection, so you should keep an eye on that.
    When I'm done dealing with capillaria, hopefully maybe he will start eating his pellets again and I can try feeding him hex-shield. Don't know if he'll want to eat it, he has always been very picky even when he's not sick.

    You can do another levamisole treatment at 10 to 14 days after the first one. I haven't been able to find good information on the timing of the life cycle at 82. Ideally you want to wait long enough for all the eggs to hatch, but not so long that any hatched eggs reach adulthood. Near as I can estimate, 14 days would be in the ballpark. Al might have better knowledge on this question. I have done three treatments 10 days apart because of the uncertainty with the timing.
    I should have mentioned, he's not a discus, but a green terror. I asked on this forum because I've seen there are people who use microscopes here, but it's rare on other forums. So for the green terror, I keep his temperature at 73F (23C). I think maybe I should re-dose earlier, since I'm not seeing improvement in his behaviour and he still has so many eggs in his feces, just to make sure he receives a correct dose in case I underestimated the first one.

    The fibers... well they look like fibers to me. Try to get fresh samples, there will be less guesswork.
    I'll keep trying.

    Thanks for your help!

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    Registered Member Cabie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    I re-dosed again on January 14, this time with 0,6 grams.

    I checked his feces again today and there were still a lot of capillaria eggs. But I also saw some eggs that seemed to be different. There weren't many of them, less than 10. Do they look like nematode eggs? What's the difference between nematode eggs and tapeworms eggs? At 400x:
    https://youtu.be/1wIQRjoCXAQ

    Here's something else I observed on January 8: some of the capillaria eggs were transparent, like they were empty. What does this mean? Are they eggs that have hatched? Unfertilized eggs? At 100x:
    https://youtu.be/cCX5Vfe1sqA

    Quote Originally Posted by DJW View Post
    The fibers... well they look like fibers to me.
    You're right, I just looked at the feces of a healthy fish in another tank and indeed, I found the same fibers in his feces too.

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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    I don't know what those different eggs might be. Maybe its another kind of nematode. Capillaria is common but there are others with different shaped eggs. I have never seen tapeworm eggs but you could try Prazi later on after you deal with the nematodes. I've had discus with nematodes and they just wasted away.

    You are probably right, those empty ones look like they might be already hatched. The levamisole can wipe out the larvae though. I would wait about 2 weeks and treat again.

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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    Quote Originally Posted by DJW View Post
    I have never seen tapeworm eggs but you could try Prazi later on after you deal with the nematodes.
    I treated him with Prazipro a few months ago (just one dose). I didn't see him pass any worm. There was one thing that concerned me though: Prazipro is supposed to treat flatworms, but the rhabdocoela in my tank seemed completely unaffected. Is it that I underdosed it when estimating the net volume of my tank or are rhabdocoela known to be resistant to praziquantel? They don't bother me, but they just made me wonder if the medication was really working...

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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    Apparently prazi works on some flatworms (tapeworms and flukes) but not others. I tried to eradicate planaria once in a fishless tank using prazi, and it didn't do anything, even after a triple dose. The best way to manage unwanted worms is to remove uneaten food and keep the substrate and walls generally cleaner, then they usually go away.

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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    Quote Originally Posted by DJW View Post
    Apparently prazi works on some flatworms (tapeworms and flukes) but not others. I tried to eradicate planaria once in a fishless tank using prazi, and it didn't do anything, even after a triple dose.
    That's good to know! Hopefully it's the same thing for rhabdocoela, so that would explain why they weren't affected.

    Here's something else I observed on January 8: some of the capillaria eggs were transparent, like they were empty.
    I just noticed that I wrote "January 8", but this was actually January 14, just before adding the second dose.

    You are probably right, those empty ones look like they might be already hatched.
    If they are eggs that have hatched, then that would mean they were inside him for a long time, wouldn't it? So maybe the eggs I'm seeing now are old eggs too and not an indication that the adult worms are still alive?

    Is it normal that I never saw him pass the worms? Except for the one that was still alive, I didn't find any dead worms in his feces or anywhere else.

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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    Its hard to draw conclusions right now... and its possible the worm you saw came from the tank. To get a sense of what lives in the tank microscopically, here is something worth doing: using a cotton swab or something similar, swab the leaf of a plant or the tank floor and dab it on a slide for a look. In a planted tank that doesn't get a lot of water changes, it can be like a zoo.

    Please let us know how it goes... its helpful to know how well a particular treatment is working.

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    Registered Member Cabie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still finding capillaria eggs

    Quote Originally Posted by DJW View Post
    To get a sense of what lives in the tank microscopically, here is something worth doing: using a cotton swab or something similar, swab the leaf of a plant or the tank floor and dab it on a slide for a look. In a planted tank that doesn't get a lot of water changes, it can be like a zoo.
    That's a great idea!

    Please let us know how it goes... its helpful to know how well a particular treatment is working.
    Of course, I'll keep you posted. Yesterday he still had a lot of capillaria eggs in his feces and a few of those round eggs that might be nematode eggs. And I saw something that looked just like a beetle, I have no idea what that was. I'm pretty sure it's harmless, but I sure wasn't expecting to see that! I haven't put the video on my computer yet.

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