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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, as per usual I found a ton of conflicting information.

I recently moved 7 cardinal tetras out of my betta's tank after I saw them nipping him. I've since brought their numbers up to 13, in a species only 60p tank (17.1g). I've tested the water and everything seems to be within reason, but I may not have acclimated them very well, truth be told.

Over the last 2 days I've seen at least two of them flashing. I read this could just be some normal activity, but I have been carefully observing since then. This morning one of the afflicted individuals would not eat, and was very bright, instead of the deep red you might expect. A few moments ago I noticed that one of them (not sure if it's the same fish or not) had a white poo, which I would consider long for the fish (though I am new to this species).

I don't see any visible ich yet, though my other fish had been treated for it probably 2 months ago. My betta is kind of sickly, and has been through hell, so it's possible the original tetras picked something up from him.

My questions:
Can someone confirm that internal parasites would cause the fish to flash against the substrate and hardscape/glass?

Assuming it's internal parasites, should I use Metronodizole or Praziquantel?

I read that API general cure contains both, is that a better idea than just treating with one?

If I use the medication should I just dump it in the water as instructed, or should I try to soak some food pellets in a solution? I guess the fish not eating would necessitate me to dump it.

Will either/both of these kill my dwarf hairgrass carpet, which I just planted?

Someone else mentioned Hex on another board, and that garlic was a good method. Is garlic really effective enough to forgo the chemicals?

Anything I might be missing?

Thanks to anyone taking the time to weigh in.
 

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I do not think garlic by itself is enough to get rid of internal parasites.
It can help in this way: For some reason most fish seem to like garlic. If you add garlic flavor to the food they seem more interested, more willing to eat. So I would crush a clove of garlic and soak medicated food in it. Might tempt the ones that are not eating.

I do not think internal parasites (worms and related issues) make fish flash. Usually that is an external irritation. Ich, Velvet, larger parasites, or water quality issue such as pH or ammonia are the most common reason most fish flash. I think fish can itch the same as we can, so an individual fish might flash a couple of times to scratch itself where it itches. But if several fish are flashing then look into what could be causing it.
 

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I think, with the amount of parasites in the industry these days, I am going to dose all new fish/plants for internal parasites with Levamisole hydrochloride (found in some sheep and pig de-wormer).
I have checked 5 pet shops, not a single one carried or could source medicine or food for internal parasites. Importing a bottle of Prazi, is almost R1000, vs R150 ($10) for a bit less than 4.5 ounces of 99% pure levamisole from the farmers cooperative.

I already treat for external parasites during quarantine.

I have been feeding garlic laced tetra crisps (thicker type of flake that is easier to crush, wet, and dry again) this week, and I have to say the fish poop is a lot more solid already, but it seems to be hit and miss, some fish still display signs of internal parasites.

One needs to understand how the medicine works. It paralyses the worms, which are then excreted into the tank, after which you need to replace as much water as possible and vacuum the substrate, to remove the worms and nematodes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info!

Is it possible the flashing is a sign of aggression? I just noticed them doing it again after being fed, and this evening, when they usually fight.

The only other symptom is rapid breathing at this point.

I did just hookup some diy co2, but it's been running for less than an hour in the tank, and at about 1bps.

I'm still thinking of treating for the parasites if I don't see any Ich, and they continue the flashing/rapid breathing. I found reports that flubendazole is extremely effective against internal parasites, and quite safe. Still doing some research. Thanks everyone
 
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