How to Treat Fish in Aquariums for Camallanus Red Worms


Fish diseases are notoriously difficult to identify, but the camallanus red worm, an internal parasite, is one of the more noticeable ailments. The Camallanus genus has a variety of nematode or roundworm species that can infect aquarium fish. They can frequently coexist with their host for a very long time and feed by clinging to the intestinal walls. The immune system may be weakened by additional stressors such poor water quality or tank violence, allowing the worms to inflict significant harm and even death.

My fish: Does it have red worms?

For a while during the early stages of the illness, the fish appears to be relatively normal. Then, over the course of months, you might start to notice that the juvenile fish are developing more slowly than usual, the adults may not be reproducing as frequently, and you are progressively losing a few fish here and there. A decrease in appetite was also noticed by some hobbyists.

One or more tiny, crimson worms emerging from the fish’s anal vent is the telltale indication of this disease. It can seem as a collection of tiny, red threads protruding between one-fourth and one-half inch (0.6–1.3 cm). As a result of the worms consuming all the nutrition, the sickness is now so far along that the fish may appear unnaturally skinny or have a worm-filled gut. Because the worms are obstructing the intestines, secondary infections may spread and result in additional symptoms.

Camallanus red worms are often more noticeable in small livebearers like guppies because it only takes a few worms to cause serious problems in a nano fish. The worms need a much longer time to multiply to a point where the population that is large enough to take down bigger fish like angelfish.

Why do Camallanus Red Worms Occur?

When diseased fish are added to your aquarium, the ill fish excretes worm larvae in its waste, which are consumed by small crustaceans like cyclops. The cycle is continued when a healthy fish consumes the infected crustaceans because the fish becomes contaminated and the larvae develop into adults that can reproduce inside the fish. Fish can contract camallanus worms directly by nibbling on fish excrement that have larvae in them, as some species do not require an intermediary host. Adding plants, gravel, or equipment from an infected tank to a healthy tank can induce cross contamination, which spreads the parasite as well. The sickness is moderately contagious in either case.

How Do I Get Rid of Camallanus Worms?

Use a dewormer like Fritz Expel-P on the fish to kill roundworms like camallanus because it includes levamisole. The drug paralyzes the adult worms, allowing the fish to expel them and remove them using an aquarium siphon. Use 1 packet of Expel-P per 10 gallons (38 L) of water, as directed by the manufacturer on the box. Perform a 25% water change to get rid of the parasites that have excreted after 24 hours. Levamisole does not harm unhatched eggs, therefore after the initial treatment, wait two weeks before giving the tank another dosage of Expel-P to get rid of any leftover worms.

Some publications advise mixing the dewormer with food and giving it to the fish, but we prefer to treat the water in the entire tank because there are times when fish lose their appetites and you can’t always regulate how much medication each fish ingests. Consider using broad-spectrum antibiotics or antifungal medicines if your fish has secondary illnesses that need to be treated.

In addition to medication, reducing stress in the hospital tank or aquarium is essential for rehabilitation. Give them a lot of nutritious food to eat so they may put on weight and get rid of the worms more rapidly. To get rid of any paralyzed parasites, keep the water quality high and vacuum the substrate more frequently. To prevent the spread of disease, you should also think about sanitizing any nets, siphons, or other shared equipment.

How Do I Prevent Camallanus Worms?

Before adding any new fish to your display tanks and perhaps infecting your current creatures, we advise quarantining them for a few weeks to evaluate their behavior, appetite, and general health. Most bacterial, fungal, and parasitic illnesses can be prevented with the quarantine drug trio, but if you are particularly concerned about camallanus worms, you might want to add Expel-P as a separate treatment regimen afterwards. Maintain clean water, offer only fresh items, and make an effort to reduce stress in the tank because most fish can survive on red worms for a time before it becomes an issue. Finally, keep the quarantine tank in a different location, wash your hands well after touching the quarantine tank, and use separate nets and siphons for fish to prevent cross infection.


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