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jetman73

Flukes and the Prazi protocol

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I've finally had a chance to peruse the board after many years and notice a huge change in not only Fluke treatment, but also how the drug of choice praziquantel is implemented.

The recommendations that I am now noticing sounds quite harsh and with a duration that was not necessary only 5-10 years ago. It has been around 5-6 years since I've kept any type of fish and am wondering if there is some super strain out there causing people to dose prazi for 5,6, and even 7 rounds.

Considering most people have aquariums here and temps can be regulated to speed up their life cycle, I don't understand why more than two doses would not be sufficient in the long-term. The old treatment regime was dose.....keep in water 7 days at higher temps.......huge water change......dose again.....and leave in the tank for 7 more days. I have NEVER seen that method fail based upon microscopic scrapes and 100's of success stories.

I also see recommendations for preventative fluke control.....I.E. Dose the tank because it's been awhile, and I can't wrap my head around that one. Flukes are eradicated 100% with proper treatment, why would one need to do a maintenance dose unless they didn't QT new fish? For ponders I understand it can be a different story....but indoor fish tanks that are well maintained?

I'm not trying too start a ruckus....just looking for answers as to why todays protocol is so different and general discussion on how the routine treatment of flukes with the same medication has changed so much, over a short period of time.

  

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I'm interested to follow this thread.  I've always dosed prazi "once" (7 days, then a big WC, done).  I do this 1-2 times per year.  After reading the instructions for prazi here on this site, I figured that next time I'd dose several more rounds to be more thorough.  

 

I'd always heard that you can never get rid of flukes 100%, and that's why you have to treat a few times a year, bc their numbers build back up.  But like usual, it's just something I've heard but don't have hard facts from studies.

 

I'm excited to see what others say here.  I love learning  from you all!

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Personally, I've never dosed prazi for 6 rounds.  I typically do 2 or 3 on new fish, depending on the reaction I get.  If there is a lot of bottom sitting, etc during round 1, I'll take it out a couple more rounds until I don't see any reaction.

 

I don't think you can totally eradicate flukes from a tank unless it is completely closed (no new fish, plants, snails, plecos, etc) for several years.  I QT any new fish and then do a maintenance dose about every 4 months.  Often by that time (or if I let it go longer), I will start seeing some flashing, yawning, bottom sitting, etc from one fish in particular (my 6+ year fantail).  Sure enough when I check my records, it's been too long since my last round of prazi.

 

Having said that, if you have a method that works for you, stick with it.  :D

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Alex did a lot of research to come up with that protocol.  I know he used this resource.  I would have to do more research than I care to do to figure out all his sources. The protocol appears to be very successful, even if it might be overkill. 

 

I have only used the instructions on the prazi containers which typically say 2 treatments of one week each.  I do not do prophylactic treatments, and have not encouraged others to do so,  however I do a week of prazi whenever I combine fish from different ponds.  We all have parasites, but if healthy and with a strong immune system, we keep them under control.    Fish who share the same tank/pond for a long time also share the same strain of flukes and all have immunity to that strain.  However they do not necessarily have immunity to the fluke strain carried another tank/pond of healthy fish.

 

I have never seen research that indicated any treatment kills 100% of flukes, and have seen research that have said prazi does not.  Unless one scrapes every mm of the fish, and did so perfectly, one doesn't know that there no flukes left.  To paraphrase a line from an old children's book, "Not seeing flukes is not the same as seeing no flukes."

 

Yes, flukes, and other parasites and pathogens do appear to be harder to treat than in the past. 

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To paraphrase a line from an old children's book, "Not seeing flukes is not the same as seeing no flukes."

 

 

What kind of children's books are you reading?  :tomuch:

 

:rofl

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That was an interesting read but it follows the tried and true methods of using prazi. Even in that document the most they recommend treatment for is 3 doses. I also don't understand the addition of salt at .3%. That is just another irritant for the fish and flukes laugh at salt as do most of todays parasites. 

 

I believe that you can get 100% eradication of flukes in an indoor tank environment if it is treated as a closed system and it don't take years, just weeks. In the outdoor pond I agree with you 100% that you have a chance that small numbers of flukes will be around.

 

Regarding microscope scrapes, you are correct that you can't scrape the entire fish, but if you scrape the 4 right areas you will know if you have flukes. At least that has been my experience and flukes are easy to identify even with a basic microscope. 

 

I started the thread because it seems like treating for flukes is all the rage now. If I was a betting man I'd wager that over 90% of the people who treat for flukes just because, don't have them and are treating their fish for no good reason. It would be better if one invests in a scope, learns how to use it, and saves some money on the dose of prazi.

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Alex did a lot of research to come up with that protocol.  I know he used this resource.  I would have to do more research than I care to do to figure out all his sources. The protocol appears to be very successful, even if it might be overkill. 

 

I have only used the instructions on the prazi containers which typically say 2 treatments of one week each.  I do not do prophylactic treatments, and have not encouraged others to do so,  however I do a week of prazi whenever I combine fish from different ponds.  We all have parasites, but if healthy and with a strong immune system, we keep them under control.    Fish who share the same tank/pond for a long time also share the same strain of flukes and all have immunity to that strain.  However they do not necessarily have immunity to the fluke strain carried another tank/pond of healthy fish.

 

I have never seen research that indicated any treatment kills 100% of flukes, and have seen research that have said prazi does not.  Unless one scrapes every mm of the fish, and did so perfectly, one doesn't know that there no flukes left.  To paraphrase a line from an old children's book, "Not seeing flukes is not the same as seeing no flukes."

 

Yes, flukes, and other parasites and pathogens do appear to be harder to treat than in the past. 

I finally had the chance too read that entire link and I don't agree with most of the conclusions regarding treatment. Why they even mention formalin and potassium permanganate as options for treatment befuddle me.

Formalin was never a treatment of choice for flukes and PP at 2ppm will do absolutely nothing for flukes.

 

Edit: Sorry, I was trying too quote the link to that article. 

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Interesting...and confused :doh11:

Then my post worked. Honestly, I was hoping for more feedback by now because it's an important topic and should be debated more. 

 

IMO Any protocol that calls for 6 treatments of prazi is beyond overkill and detrimental. Unless you're dosing fish in 50-60 degree water I fail to see the logic behind the recent recommendations.

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I suppose treating preemptively for flukes is a lot like worming a new puppy. You do it because its likely that the dog (or fish in this case) will have the parasite. Not guaranteed, but likely. Also, in the case of dogs, worming treatments are considered fairly safe and of little detriment to the animal. Worms in dogs can be totally eradicated, though.

That being said, I got my two fish from Walmart tanks. We all know how bad they usually are. I didn't know a shred about fish - as many people who buy from Walmart don't. I never treated them for anything at all. Never even added salt. Didn't know about any of these things. Still barely know about it. I got the fish October 15th 2015 and they've been quite healthy the entire time.

If someone told me to treat for flukes because I didn't do it initially, I'd have to ask why. And for me to actually do it, the answer would have to be excellent. Anything like "just because" would not cut it. Slamming tons of medication into a tank "just in case" or "just because" JUST doesn't seem like a great idea to me.

Seriously. I know I'm a noob, but heavily medicating as a preventative type thing or without knowing the severity of a condition isn't sensible to me. Its kind of like taking a prescription grade migraine pill IN CASE you might get a headache. How about you see if you get one first, gauge the severity, and THEN treat it? Makes more sense to me. But that's just me.

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I don't have any problem with keepers that treat new fish as a routine. If they come from unknown or untrusted resources it helps. My concern is the current protocol that is being used too treat flukes and why someone would need to go to those extremes. Prazi is not a drug that is 100% safe.....none of them are. 

 

If a keeper will go through those extremes for flukes.....why not costia also? Costia kills more fish than flukes and they can do it much more rapidly. 

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My only answer to that has to be that they are seeing a reason to. If they are treating symptomatically, and it takes that long for symptoms to disappear, that makes sense, right? I'd ONLY treat symptomatically, which I guess makes me a loner here. Most of the time, from what I've been able to gauge - a seemingly healthy fish is usually actually a healthy fish. Treating said fish is just EHH altogether if you ask me.

As for costia (which idk what that even is) I'd assume - using logic ONLY, that either the prevalence of that issue is FAR LESS than that of flukes, preventative or early stage treatments are more dangerous, ineffective, not readily accessible, or expensive, OR the disease isn't as readily identifiable and thus nobody thinks to treat. I'm here to learn, but I know that for an action to truly make sense, there has to be a logical reason behind it.

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I did the 2 round, 2 week thing with Prazi (like it says on the label) just because I didn't want to miss out on some important health thing; I'm used to de-worming sheep, goats, horses, dogs & chickens, so it seems logical in retrospect that fish need it too? My fish have already been together for over a couple of years, but 3 of the 4 came out of feeder tanks where they might have picked up who knows what. Also, they're a little on the small side, & I thought Prazi might get rid of any freeloaders that might be stealing nutrients. I waited quite a while before trying this medication, because some people have had problems with their fish on it; this is another reason I just followed the label.

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There is a big difference in treating new recruits. I've learned over the years that I am willing to pay a premium for fish that  come from respectable sources. In the end.....you will always end up ahead of the game with superior fish. When I receive fish from those sources the only thing I do is intense observation and no treatments. The fish will let you know if something is wrong.

 

If you a buy a fish from a sketchy LFS, Petsmart, Petco I would still err on the side of caution but I don't have a problem with those that treat. My only concern is the level of treatment. Costia is nasty and hard to treat, flukes are easy. I wonder how many folks here are treating for flukes when they have a different parasite. 

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What is Costia and its symptoms? I haven't really had any experience with this...

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What I've experienced is that the mod team usually, not always, recommends around 3 prazi rounds unless symptoms continue to present.

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What is Costia and its symptoms? I haven't really had any experience with this...

Costia is a parasite. When I think of costia I think of clamped fins, listless, and increased mucous production. I'm not sure about now, but ~10-15 years ago it was turning into a very hard parasite to eradicate in koi.

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