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Old 08-15-2013, 03:02 PM   #1
lullafishi
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Help! Flubendazole treatment about to kill


I am using flubendazole 10% (from Doc) as a general de-wormer for new fish during their initial quarantine. I currently have 6 kerri tetras (Inpaichthys kerri) that have been in my bare-bottom 10 gallon quarantine tank for 5 weeks now.

I followed the instructions on Doc's site (http://www.inkmkr.com/Fish/FlubendazoleTreatment.pdf 90-95% water change and the first treatment of flubendazole (1/4 tsp) on August 10th. I dissolved the powder in hot water first. Three days later I did another 90% water change and added another dissolved solution of 1/4 tsp flubendazole. It has been two days since that treatment. Instructions say to wait 5-7 days after the second treatment and then do a water change and that's that.

All but one of my tetras have been active and are eating well. The sixth is not doing well at all. He is separating from the group, is very lethargic, and only rises to catch food that has fallen to the bottom. His fins are getting progressively torn up and have white edges (fin rot, I'd say) and I think it's from the others nipping (they've been trying to establish a hierarchy since day one) and him not being able to evade them. He was fine during the first treatment but is deteriorating quickly and now I fear for his life.

I never saw signs of nematodes or gill flukes in these fish, but rather decided to be proactive about de-worming after reading and talking to wkndracer about quarantining processes. So I cannot say if these fish are or were ever infected with nematodes. They all seemed healthy prior to treatment.

My question is, should I abandon the 5-7 day waiting period and start doing water changes to help him recover since they never showed symptoms of nematodes to start with? Can I start adding Melafix to help heal the torn fins? Is there anything else I can do to help the sixth fish survive and recover? I feel so bad... I was trying to be proactive and take preventative measures but here I'm nearly killing him.

P.S. My lone pond snail that was living happily in this tank after hitch-hiking in has keeled over and appears very ill if not dead. There is a thick, fuzzy and transparent growth/film on parts of the bottom of the tank. My first reaction was a mini-cycle since I changed out so much water, but ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are all at 0 ppm. If it were a mini cycle, wouldn't there be ammonia and/or nitrite readings since there are fish?

Last edited by lullafishi; 08-15-2013 at 03:20 PM.. Reason: fixed url
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:07 PM   #2
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Move the guy to the main tank.
Are there any plants in QT?

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Old 08-15-2013, 03:16 PM   #3
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You think it's safe/wise to move him to the main tank in his condition? I was planning on moving the others next week but keeping him back so I can treat with Melafix to help his fins recover. But the others are definitely harassing him. I was considering going out and getting a tank divider to separate them so he won't get nipped anymore, but my LFS has it priced at $16. :/

The only plants in QT are some fake ones I have floating and a few small sprigs of unhappy water sprite.

ETA: Just witnessed one of my healthy males trying to do a breeding dance with a female so I have no idea what's going on in this tank between the sick fish, fungal growth (reminds me of what grows on new driftwood), dying snail, and apparently happy-enough-to-court male.

ETA (again): I have a second air stone running in addition to the sponge filter for extra oxygenation.

Last edited by lullafishi; 08-15-2013 at 03:27 PM.. Reason: added info
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:14 PM   #4
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Even better, move out the rest.

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Old 08-15-2013, 07:57 PM   #5
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I've never had an issue when using flubendazole but it does knock back my bio filter, especially inkmker's stuff (when compared to kusuri 5%) that is evident by the growth of funk in the tank, does it have a funky smell also? I would not add melafix unless you want to make thinks worse. Start doing large daily water changes until they get better, you can add 1 tbs of salt per 10g if you want to add something.
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:34 PM   #6
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Treating with the 10% flu is 1/4 to 1/2tsp mixed in a 20g water volume so you used the stronger dose. (FYI) The cheap glass 10g tanks I have here when I measure filling an empty tank is only 8.5 gallons when filled within 3/4" of the top.

Using flubendazole and levaisole hcl during entry quarantine I watch the fish closely looking for any sign of discharge during the treatments. Not seeing anything in the fish waste or behavior I often stop after a single dose of flu stopping 4 days in with a water change. I stop with one dose when I see no reaction to the medication because I'm not treating based on symptom but to eliminate possible carriers. If a fish is 'wormy' (internal parasites) it will show some kind of issue within 48hrs of dosing the tank from what has happened here. You'll see the dead or wiggling bugs hanging out of the fish or the fish will go off in some way either stop eating or hiding. Healthy fish don't seem to be bothered at all by the treatment. If they aren't passing anything and acting normal right or wrong I feel good after a single dose (knock on wood). Do consider though that if one is acting oddly and off it's normal behavior dead bugs might be trapped and not passed out of the gut, maybe making it sick in secondary reaction to having dead parasites in it (IDK). The weak fish would be a concern here (imo).

The snail loss is expected as flubendazole is known to eliminate most snails as a side benefit of treatment. Remove the snail and I would vacuum any 'film' out of the tank and not add anything but clean water to replace what is siphoned out removing the film. The dosage used is again really on the strong side added to a 10g tank. The choice is to either transfer the healthy fish now (weighing the risk) leaving only the effected one in QT or reduce the treatment dosage by changing a percentage of water everyday vacuuming the bottom and finish the QT.

Allowing a recovery week between meds is something I do without really thinking about it during quarantine. NOT between flu doses but between different meds. I need to review my own QT thread and add any changes or maybe increase the details a bit.

Salt is best used in a bath only with respect to softwater species when treating for external problems. I would not change the TDS in a big way when a fish is already acting off it's game.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:10 PM   #7
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Thanks for weighing in OVT and lipadj46! I'm seriously considering moving the five healthy fish to my display tank and keeping the sixth in QT for observation and treatment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Treating with the 10% flu is 1/4 to 1/2tsp mixed in a 20g water volume so you used the stronger dose. (FYI) The cheap glass 10g tanks I have here when I measure filling an empty tank is only 8.5 gallons when filled within 3/4" of the top.

Using flubendazole and levaisole hcl during entry quarantine I watch the fish closely looking for any sign of discharge during the treatments. Not seeing anything in the fish waste or behavior I often stop after a single dose of flu stopping 4 days in with a water change. I stop with one dose when I see no reaction to the medication because I'm not treating based on symptom but to eliminate possible carriers. If a fish is 'wormy' (internal parasites) it will show some kind of issue within 48hrs of dosing the tank from what has happened here. You'll see the dead or wiggling bugs hanging out of the fish or the fish will go off in some way either stop eating or hiding. Healthy fish don't seem to be bothered at all by the treatment. If they aren't passing anything and acting normal right or wrong I feel good after a single dose (knock on wood). Do consider though that if one is acting oddly and off it's normal behavior dead bugs might be trapped and not passed out of the gut, maybe making it sick in secondary reaction to having dead parasites in it (IDK). The weak fish would be a concern here (imo).

The snail loss is expected as flubendazole is known to eliminate most snails as a side benefit of treatment. Remove the snail and I would vacuum any 'film' out of the tank and not add anything but clean water to replace what is siphoned out removing the film. The dosage used is again really on the strong side added to a 10g tank. The choice is to either transfer the healthy fish now (weighing the risk) leaving only the effected one in QT or reduce the treatment dosage by changing a percentage of water everyday vacuuming the bottom and finish the QT.

Allowing a recovery week between meds is something I do without really thinking about it during quarantine. NOT between flu doses but between different meds. I need to review my own QT thread and add any changes or maybe increase the details a bit.

Salt is best used in a bath only with respect to softwater species when treating for external problems. I would not change the TDS in a big way when a fish is already acting off it's game.
I was hoping you'd see this and offer your advise, wkndracer! I e-mailed Doc and he also confirmed that flu kills snails. I did some more digging on other forums and read that flu treatment can sometimes cause slime build-up, too. So I'm less concerned about those two effects now.

I realize now that my dosage was much stronger than it needed to be. I figured 1/4tsp to 1/2tsp for 20 gallon would equal 1/8tsp to 1/4tsp for 10 gallons. So I went with 1/4tsp, but if you're right about the actual gallon measurement of a cheap glass 10g, then the 1/4tsp was even stronger than I thought. Won't be doing that amount again in the future.

I guess I'm also confused as to whether or not these tetras had/have worms so I can determine what to do next. Everyone was acting and eating fine after the first dose. It wasn't until after the second dose that the one fish started reacting poorly. I have already done a 50% water change and will be doing so on a daily basis for awhile. Doc stated that "Treatment with Flubendazole should put the medication into the fish's system and it will last for several days after you change out their water", so I'm assuming this means interrupting the second treatment with a water change after two days (versus 5-7) will not actually interrupt the drug's effect.

I have not observed anything hanging out of the fish or wiggling on the bottom. Poops have been normal brown to half brown/half translucent, with a few opaque yellowish white, short lengths after the first treatment. What do the passed worms look like and are they short or long? I honestly couldn't tell if the whitish wastes were off-colored poop or what would be dead worms. I'm also unsure if the weak fish has been passing anything or not.

I'm torn between moving the five healthy fish to my display tank (which currently only has one guppy, two Amanos, and snails) and nursing the sixth back to health in QT, or keeping them all in QT and hoping the sixth rebounds. What would you do?
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:12 PM   #8
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If the 6th is being harassed, I do not see many choices if you want to give him a chance at survival. Move the 5 out to display tank. That's what I would do.

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Old 08-15-2013, 11:46 PM   #9
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Ok, I'll move the 5 healthy ones to the display tank tonight and cross my fingers the 6th survives in QT with time, Melafix, and water changes. I really hope he pulls through. They're my first group of fish for my 40b and I got quite attached counting down the weeks of quarantine.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:09 AM   #10
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You could always set up a THIRD qt tank and move the harassed one into it. That way you don't risk anyone.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune_Gem View Post
You could always set up a THIRD qt tank and move the harassed one into it. That way you don't risk anyone.
I would set up a second one but I don't have an extra filter. I need to get one.

I've released the five into the display tank after drip acclimating them (my ph is lower in my display thanks to driftwood) and they seem pretty excited by all the space and plants.

I'll update you guys tomorrow how the weak tetra is faring. I'm open to suggestions on how to best increase his chance of survival, aside from a daily water change and Melafix (waiting on confirmation if this is ok/wise to add).
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:21 PM   #12
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The more I learn the less advice I feel a hobbyist can lend with total confidence. Based on what you have posted here I would move out the five fish that are acting/looking normal leaving the single in QT.

What I have experienced here I'm confident identifying as camallanus worms. Heavily infected critters you can see the worms protruding from a fish anus, rather than a simple port (hole) or blunt tube it can appear shredded or even have live worms hanging out. Less effected fish looking only slightly bloated seem to react by getting a case of the fish poo's flushing out the dead bugs. Gill flukes have the fish 'puff' breathing after adding flu. (I'm not a sick fish know it all). Thankfully tanking now I rarely see stuff and am very happy to keep it that way.

I do lose a lot of fish during entry quarantines sometimes. (sadly)
Currently I have three small clown loaches in QT (started with six). Walking though looking before the purchase I saw no dead fish in any of the store tanks.
All six were very skinny when acquired but otherwise looked fine in the store.
Ich spots showed on two almost overnight in QT. Contacting the store to pass on the FYI I was told the store never has Ich in it's tanks (LMAO). I just move on and expect it honestly. The remaining three are now fat active little piglets soon to be placed in a tank.

* When adding anything to a tank remember the directions referring to gallons or liters is in reference to a liquid volume not a marketed tank size.

I don't add much salt anymore and don't use the tree oils at all but offer this on salt.
A one-time addition of salt (1 level tsp/10g). Salt at this concentration (about 0.015% according to D. Walstad) hasn't damaged plants here and can help perk up a fin damaged fish without spiking TDS. (My entry QT is a planted one). To make sure the salt gets quickly mixed in the tank water I dissolve the salt in a container of water and then add the salt solution slowly pouring it into the tank.

Hope things go your way and best of luck to the fish.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:06 PM   #13
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UPDATE:

The five fish are still happily swimming around their new home. Annnnnd the sixth weak fish has perked up considerably. He is eating, passing waste, and swimming around the tank whereas before he would only swim when chased by another. I just need to get his fins healed but I think he'll be fine with daily water changes. I'm relieved! I'm still unsure if he had/has worms or just suffered from two overdoses of flu, but I'll keep him in QT for another week.

I think I'll add some salt at the suggested amount to see if it helps him heal faster, too. There are no plants in my QT to worry about. I know to get non-iodized salt, but there are so many choices at the store. Epsom? Kosher? Any non-iodized?

And I realize that experiences vary and there are often so many variables that it's hard to take something as absolute truth when the circumstances vary, but I appreciate you sharing your experiences and input because it's much more educated than mine. And thanks for sharing the symptoms you've witnessed! That helps me know a bit more of what to look for. Sorry to hear about your clown loaches and other fatalities. I'll keep that in mind as an unfortunate possibility as I go forward in the hobby.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:25 PM   #14
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You can use any salt (even iodized in a pinch). Ice cream salt or kosher salt is fine. I would not worry about shocking them with a tds change. Then again clean water alone will probably clear it up just fine.

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