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Worms coming out of ram's anus

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Hi guys,

some of you may have seen my previous posts, you may have noticed that the beginning of my fish hobby has been a rocky road: given the ich, velvet disease, some behavioral/territory issues with Bolivian rams, and now finally this: I noticed red tiny worms peeking out of my rams anus, and wiggling back inside. After googling and confirming with the images, it is 99% Camallanus worms. :crying:

I have read that the infestations start due to live food, and I thought this might be the case - when I got the ram couple they weren't eating at all so I thought I will make them happy by giving live black worms from a local pet store (this was just a couple of weeks ago, around 20th Feb).

Then I read that for the Camallanus worms to show (come out) they need at least 6-12 weeks, so it seems that I may have bought them already infested?! I got them on 14th of February, so it hasn't even been 3 weeks.

To sum up, I read this (probably realistic) post about Camallanus worms being too difficult to get rid of and it may be the most humane to euthanize the fish and start the tank over after complete sterilization. It breaks my heart to think about doing such a thing, especially when the fish don't seem to be suffering, they all eat well and seem to have settled in the tank. I have also become attached to them and learning about their personalities. So my question is, what treatment would give them most chance to pull through?

It is also really sad that me and my partner are spending so much time and money to make these fish happy, healthy, getting all types of food, testing and changing water, getting high end filters, lights etc, but some or another issue just seems to come up all the time. Is this part of what this hobby is, or are we just unlucky?
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Is this amount of trouble normal for the new fish folks? I hate to admit it but I feel it is "normal" for new folks to have a variety of trouble, no matter what the hobby. Thinking of this hobby as compared to something like learning to ride a bike. We do often fall off the bike, run into things and break things but most of the time, we simply get back on and try again as we see so many folks riding without problems.
Like the rest of life, if it's too easy, we get bored but if it's too hard we consider quitting but the best answer is to just keep getting back on the bike until it gets better! But at least we do have the advantage of it being a hobby and we can quit at any time without doing any real harm to our real life? I tried golf a couple times and decided fish are better than chasing lost balls!
 

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I understand the frustration. I eventually gave up keeping discus when I moved to a more isolated location where it was a longer trip to get supplies.

Almost anyone can keep guppies in a tank full of plastic plants. It takes time, money, effort, and some talent to keep a beautiful planted tank with rare fish species in it. The trick is finding the right balance point between the extremes where you get the maximum satisfaction for the amount of effort involved.
 

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Ouch. I hate these things.
Flubendazole or Levamisole are what you want, and neither are easy or cheap to get.
The good news, if there is any, is that these drugs can often rid the whole tank of the worms without your having to tear it all apart and restart it, especially the Levamisole.
Veterinarians can get it for you, but the kind they tend to have needs to be mixed with the food. You can also get it as flatworm-remover for saltwater reeftanks, and that kind just needs to be added to the water. Finally, you can get it from specialty sellers on Aquabid or Amazon, but I'm not sure how your being in Australia may affect availability.
Good luck!
 

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If you can get them you could try Seachem Focus + Flubendazole. Flube doesn't dissolve very well into water and probably works better when ingested so that's why I use Focus to bind it into medicated food. Focus also helps with potential internal infection that may or may not develop if the worm is not passed. Kusuri Wormer Plus is the brand I use but you can also use pure Flube if you can get it.

Camalannus worms have indirect life cycle where they produce live offspring that needs to be ingested by other creatures than fish (i.e. copepods and other small crustacean) to develop into fish infecting nasties so once you get rid of them chances are they won't come back. You could also dose water column just to be on the safe side as flube is relatively benign as far as wormers go. Just mix it into a drop of vodka or similar pure alcohol (though even vinegar might work) until it turns into slurry and dose the water column.

I've no experience with levamisole since it can't be sold under small animal exemption here in the EU as far as I know. Sera also markets a product called Sera Nematol which is made of emamectin benzoate that (among other things) kills nematodes. It's just much more toxic than flube and is used as an insecticide.

Note: Both flube and nematol kill shrimps and snails if dosed into water column or ingested by them. They also kill anything that might act as a vector for worm larvae.
 

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Agreed with Levamisole. I had this happen to angelfish in a tank about 15 years ago. I ended up having to drive out to the sticks to a farm supply store and buy cattle dewormer. Stained my tank water a neon yellow color, but it killed all the worms in short order. Sadly, I ended up losing more than half my stocking to the intestinal damage the worms did.
 
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