Nematodes fish disease


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Nematodes are threadworms that can infect all types of fish. They have to be introduced to the aquarium somehow to infect your fish, and are usually introduced with new fish, live food or plants. Nematodes can be hard to treat and it is therefore very important to prevent ever introducing the worms into your aquariums in the first place. This is not hard to do and if you follow the advice below you will likely never see nematodes in your tanks.

To avoid introducing nematodes with new fish you'll need a quarantine tank where you can place your fish for three weeks to observe them before moving them to your main aquarium. If the new fish has nematodes you will hopefully spot it and avoid introducing it to your main aquarium/aquariums. Plants can be given a bath in a parachlorometaxylenol and water solution to kill any nematodes that might hide among them. Preventing nematodes to enter your aquarium via live food is harder and the only way to be 100% sure is to only feed live food that you have cultivated yourself. If you still want to feed your fish outside live food I recommend only getting live food from reputable sources and from waters without fish in them.

The threadworms infect the entire body of infected fish but the only visible sign of the infection will be worms hanging out of the anus of the infected fish. Severe cases can cause the belly of the fish to sink in but most cases don't cause any external signs other then the anal worms and usually don't cause any real problems for the fish. It should be treated none the less.

Nematodes are as earlier described hard to treat but there are a couple of methods that might or might not be successful. One is to treat the fish using parachlorometaxylenol. The treatment can be given by mixing the parachlorometaxylenol in food, as a bath or in the aquarium in which case you should use 10 ml parachlorometaxylenol per litre aquarium water. Soaking the food in parachlorometaxylenol and feeding it to the fish is usually the most effective alternative if the fish will eat the soaked food. The second method to treat nematodes is to feed you fish medicated fish food containing thiabendazole. Such food can however be hard to find and hard to get the fish to eat.

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