Friday, August 6, 2010

Camallanus infection

       Because lately I had this problem in my tank at guppies, i did some research about this worm and I want to share with others having the same problem. It all started when I saw that one of my guppies had something red hanging at the anus, at the beginning i said that maybe is from the food, but after a couple of days almost all my guppies had this thing hanging. So, go quickly on the internet and after some diggings i found out that it was a intestinal parasitic infection with Camallanus, due to a nematode or parasitic worm which is found in wild fresh and salt water fishes throughout the world.
     The infestation is characterized by, among other things, the presence of tiny red thread structures protruding from the anus of the infected host fish. Close inspection of the victim shows a swollen and irritated vent area. The worms actually protrude 1/3 to 1/2 inch from the anus of the infected fish. This is about one fourth to one third of the worm’s length. The worms are red from the victim’s blood in their gut.
     I found out that the treatment for this infection is Sera Nematol or Levamisole Hydrochloride which can be bought from a veterinary pharmacy. This medicine has several names: Levasole (soluble pig wormer, mix with water), Prohibit (powdered drench, mix with water), Tramisol (sheep bolus - US), Ripercole (soluble powder for sheep - Australia, 'Ripercol Vet" or "Levaject Vet" in Denmark), Levam-30 (oral powder - India), Levacide (UK injectable), Avitrol Plus (liquid bird worming syrup, add to food, or directly to tank) and there are many others, this is only a representative listing.
     If you buy Sera Nematol the dosage is written on the bottle, but if you get Levamisole Hydrochloride dosage rate is 2 mg/L. Below is the treatment protocol:
  1. Determine the appropriate dosage for your tank.
  2. Treat with the lights off and increased aeration.
  3. Perform a largish water change prior to treatment.
  4. Treat once for 24 hours.
  5. Do a largish water change and vacuum to remove any paralyzed worms in the substrate.
  6. Return tank to normal lighting/feeding/cleaning cycle.
  7. Repeat this operation at a week for 2 more times.      

     For 100% Levamisole Hydrochloride in powdered form:      
                          1 teaspoon = 4 grams
                       0.5 teaspoon = 2 grams
                     0.25 teaspoon = 1 grams
     Levamisole Hydrochloride  is absorbed through the gut, can also be absorbed through the skin and is distributed throughout the body. It affects the neurotransmitters within the parasite and paralyzes the worm (spastic paralysis). The fish then passes the inactive worms. Good gravel vacuuming is advised after treatment to remove the paralyzed worms.  Levamisole Hydrochloride is a safe and effective anthelmintic for use in aquariums when administered in the proper dosage. It does not harm the biofilter, plants or invertebrates (including shrimp) in your tank and has the added benefit of stimulating the immune system of immunocompromised tank inhabitants.
     It took me some time to find this medicine, but after I did this treatment I manage to save some of my guppies. Hope this article to be useful and help others having the same issue.


  1. Levamisole is available from www.inkmkr.com/Fish/ in 5 gram packs measured to treat 100 gallons of water and effective dosing and treating information is also available there.

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