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Parasite?


fantailfan1

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Im not enough of a microscope expert to really tell you wich ones are better, for the money. However, I CAN tell you that whatever scope you choose to get, make sure that it has DIN objectives (objectives are the lenses that rotate on the turret). DIN is a term for universally compatible with all other DIN lenses and turrets. There's an international set of standards for scopes and compatibility so that you can swap out objectives for different ones.

Keep in mind that the eyepieces are usually 10X. The objectives are usually 4X, 10X, 40X, 90X and so on. Multiply the eye[piece lens by the objective and you get your total magnification for that objective. So, you could get a scope that only has 40X, 100X and 400X, try that for a bit, then, if you feel the need for 900X, you can get a DIN 90X objective and screw it into place of the 4X objective. 900X is, I believe, the highest magnification you can go before you have to use oil immersion technique to stabilize the light rays coming through the lenses into your pupil. Basically, it makes for better viewing.

Practically ALL parasites are visible at a magnification of 400X to 600X. Hexamita/spironucleus/giardia, costia and even some motile bacterias are visible and identifiable at this magnification.

hope this helps! :D

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Yep, that helps. I'll look into the 40X, 100X, 400X later today.

Now a new development. This morning when I went to feed the fish, I noticed Dorothy is losing another scale and this time there is a little bright red spot of blood where the scale came off. Anything I need to do with that? I realize it's from flashing but she's never had a little spot of blood before. Could it become infected? I have MediGold and MetroMeds on hand if necessary.

I'm planning on a large water change today along with a dip. I'm going to get some Bio Spira ordered so I can get their temporary home started cycling and begin the sterile tank scenario (probably later this week).

Thanks again for your continued help!! :)

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Keep their water EXTRA clean and the little bloody spot should begin to heal. If you see this spot getting ANY larger, let us know immediately and we can try a few things on it. ;)

Good luck!

Paul

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I will keep the water perfect and let you know if anything changes.

How does this microscope look? It says there is an optional 20X eye piece to increase mag. to 800X. But I could change one of the objectives instead to a 90X and get 900X if needed, right?

If this one looks good to you I'll order it today. ;)

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Ok I just did a salt dip and large water change. Dorothy was just floating in one spot chewing and chewing and chewing--I couldn't watch anymore she looked so irritated. So I did the dip and she looks better now. I had her in there 3 min 15 sec and Shoomey for 4 min. He just looks so much stronger while in there. Dorothy mostly hangs at the top.

Anyway, some good news--the scale that was coming off fell all the way off and there is no blood spot. The bright red was apparently on the scale itself. Her "skin" looks normal.

Bad news--my nephew (who was in a boating accident 10 yrs ago and lost a leg) was in a car accident last night. He is in the hospital with a broken leg (the whole leg that he has left) and has blood on his brain. So I may be a little distracted by that for a while but will keep on top of these fish as best I can. I can at least get a scope ordered. Hopefully we'll get some good news from the hospital soon. :crp

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And another thing--I need to order my tank light and I thought I'd better pick up a sponge filter for the sterile tank but none of them say how big of a tank they are recommended for. I'm going to use a 10 gallon. Any ideas which of these would be appropriate?

http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/catego...ategory_id=1725

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Because you'll be doing daily maintenence and probably total waterchanges, I would sugest you get the junior dirt magnet: http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/produc...id1=2885;pcid2=

Just be sure to rinse it out VERY well each day so that the wastes are kept low to nil (and so that it keeps flowing freely).

Is your aerator a good strong one? If its a dinky one, you may want to get a good one.

As for the microscope, You didn't link me to what your looking at... :unsure: A 90X objective could run anywhere from 30 and on up.

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Oops, here's the link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/STUDENTS-MICROSCOPE-HI...9QQcmdZViewItem

Or here's another option.

http://cgi.ebay.com/STUDENTS-MICROSCOPE-HI...9QQcmdZViewItem

From what I can tell they are the same microscope, just one comes iwth slides?

The only reason I asked about the 90X objective was because the higher powered microscopes were about $60 more but I'll stick with one of the above scopes if you think they are ok for now and get the 90X in the future if need be. ;)

I have a new Tetra Whisper 40 (the blue ones). I think that would suffice for a 10 gallon and a small sponge filter?

One more question: What size tank do you have your Coralife T5 light on? My 90 is 24" deep. Just want to make sure it's bright enough v. the All Glass Triple Tube. :D

Again, thanks for all the help.

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Your aerator sounds like a good one.

The scopes are identical except one comes with a few slides. Not enough, if you ask me. I would stick with the cheaper deal and get some slides and coverslips on the side. Also, it might work out for the better if you were to go ahead and get the 20X eyepiece (or just wait and see if its needed and order it later. A 90X objective seems a little hard for me to locate.

My coralife light penetrates the deep water in my 55 gallon, very well. Its also 24 inches deep. Not sure how long a 90 gallon is right now but if its no longer than 4 feet, the model light I have would be perfect for your tank. that is, unless you wanted to grow a lot of plants in there, then, the triple bulb light might be the better route. If im not mistaken, 90's are a bit wider (front to back) than a 55 gallon and would need the extra bulb.

Hope this helps! :D

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I ordered the Coralife light. My tank will be 48 long X 24 high X 18 deep. I don't have any live plants now but I think I may get some of those Marimo balls eventually. Other than those I don't plan on any live plants.

As far as the microscope goes, I e-mailed a couple of questions to Precision World. (See--I don't save ALL my questions for you :D ) Apparently they do not have a 90X objective lens available for the 40-100-400 scope and suggested going to a 1000X scope if I needed 900X. They do have the 20X eyepiece available, bringing the total magnification up to 800 on the 40-100-400 scope. So do I remember you saying I'd need 900X to see costia and others so I should get the 1000X scope? Or would 800X be ok?

So many decisions . . . .. :blink:

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I like the idea of the 20X ocular lens. 800X is a fine power for veiwing any parasite we see in freshwater fish. Costia and Hexa/Spiro are the smallest (besides the rare myxos and other sporozoans)

At least 400x and as low a light as you can see with is needed to bring the contrast together for viewing costia. Because they are very small and slender from a profile, they easily flow in and out of focus. Its their movements that are the telltale signs. Hexamita/spironucleus would need in the ballpark of 800X-900X.

The whole thing with using 1000X and up is that you need to use a drop of oil on top of the coverslip. The tip of the objective is lowered into the oil. All the while, your suppose to have your specemins under the slip. This is all very time consuming and some parasites die very quicky after being away from the host. Besides, you'll EASILY be able to see costia with the powers you'll have on the scope in question (along with the 20X ocular later, if need be).

Would marimo balls be the same as algae balls? If so, PP them babies a couple times before introducing them to the fish. Oh, and plecos can do a number to them. I had a common tear one to shreds. Now it grows like an algae "clump" rather than an algae ball..... :lol: I tried one in a tank with some baseball size apple snails and they gave it a haircut! It was all pruned back on one side! :rofl

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Excellent!! Thanks for all the help. I will order the microscope tonight along with some slides. I'll stay away from the 1000X as it seems a bit more involved.

I think the Marimo balls are the same as algae balls. I won't be adding those for a while but I'll definitely use the PP on them first. ;)

I don't have any pleco or snails--although I'll bet the algae balls with a haircut quite a site!! :rolleyes:

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So here's an update:

I did a 50% water change on Wed (12-7) and today (12-10). I also did salt dips each of the 2 days. My dear fish are looking OK. The parasites are definitely still bothering them though (of course)--flashing and chewing, some rapid fin movement. They are both still eating like lil piggies and look pretty good otherwise. They just seem to have times when they look so irritated I can hardly stand to look at them. The dips do seem to help but I don't want to do them too often either as they both hide from me when they see me coming to get them for their baths (kinda like my human kids, now that I think about it. :rofl )!!

The microscope is on it's way and should be here at the end of next week. In the meantime, I will continue with water changes and salt dips as needed. I try not to do it more than every 2-3 days.

Couple questions:

Should I add a dose of Quick Cure while waiting for my scope? I know it won't get rid of the parasites but at least it would keep the #s down a bit. Or would it be better to continue to wait. It's kinda hard to jsut stick with the dips, knowing those little buggers are in there and multiplying!!

Once I get the scope and a diagnosis *crosses fingers*, how readily available are the treatments? I have PP in the crystalized form from Sears. If we need Formalin (or whatever else), is that something I'll need to order or would I most likely be able to find whatever I need around here? (I'm just hoping I don't have to put off the treatment any longer as I've read another thread involving parasites and the poor lil fishie has passed away. :( )

Thanks again. :D

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I think it best not to dose haphazardly with any medications. If your going to dose them, go all out and do a full treatment. Otherwise, the salt dips will have to do until the scope arrives. As long as they are still eating and do not have septicemia, they should be able to hang on until you can get your diagnosis.... ;)

Keep us updated on them!

Paul

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My scope is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. I would like to get things underway as soon as I get it so let me ask a couple questions:

What should I put under the scope? Tank water sample, gunk from filter, something from fish (slime coat)? All of the above? If I should get something off the fish, what is the procedure?

How do I know what I'm looking at/for? I do have Fancy Goldfish--should I reference that? Also I believe I've read a thread on this website with pics of parasites.

Anyway, that's all I can think of for now. Just want to be prepared so when it arrives I can get started ASAP. :D

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I would suggest taking a sample of the gunk in your filter.

Get your slide. Get your gunk. Put the gunk on the slide. The gunk should be wet enough, but if not, put a drop of water on the gunk - can't hurt ya. Put the coverslip on top of the gunk. Put it all under the microscope.

Start out at 100x just to get your bearings. Then move up to the 400x. The parasites can be found in the "coastlines" of your sample. Meaning, not in the middle of all the gunk, but on the outside rim of the gunk. Look for things that are moving.

If you followed my post at all, it took me 2 or 3 times before I diagnosed the right "moving" thing. There are a lot of creatures in the water so don't be freaked out - yet!

Here are some of Toothy's links to a few of the common parasites you'll want to look for:

Tetrahymena

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=36188

http://www.aquar.cz/Tetrahymenozy.html

http://www.fishdisease.net/fd/disease_imag....php?img_id=388

Chilo

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=12847

http://microscope.mbl.edu/scripts/microsco...il&imageID=1036

http://microscope-microscope.org/applicati...hilodonella.htm

Toothy's Putfile page:

http://www.putfile.com/toothless/images

Flukes are pretty easy to identify and are the largest of all the parasites:

http://www.fisheries.org/education/fisheri...yrodactylus.JPG

and trichodina is also very easy to tell, but is just about the same size as chilo and tetra:

http://www.fisheries.org/education/fisheri...0trichodina.jpg

This should wet your appetite. Good luck and keep us posted! I am excited to hear your results!

p.s. All of this information was learned from Toothy - without him I would be lost. He is my mentor. Just want to give him his due credit.

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OK my scope jsut arrived. I threw some filter gunk under there. I feel sooooo bad for my fish. There are soooo many creepy crawly things in there I think I'm going to hurl!!

There are lots of really looooong skinny worm-like things. There are big blobby long things. There are smaller things with 2 little tails sticking out the back. And some really small things roaming around.

My skin is crawling. I just want to know what these things are and KILL them!! Many of the links Chico posted are not coming up. I'm just having a hard time telling what is what.

Someone please help me figure this out!!

My poor fishies!!!!! :ignore

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OK - I'm going out on a limb here, but do you have a digital camera? If so, you can take a pic of what you're seeing and upload them for us...that's how I got my diagnosis.

I don't know what your long skinny worm like things are - I have em too. Those are okay.

The thing w/the tails sticking out the back could prob be a rotifer which is common and not a problem. This is a rotifer:

http://forum.mikroscopia.com/index.php?showtopic=868

You need to describe how these things are MOVING. Each parasite has a characteristic movement about th em.

What I'm going to do here is copy/paste what Toothy explained to me in my post while I was looking for things....I haven't seen Toothy in a few days. If you want, PM me and I'll give you my ph# and we can chat about what you are seeing if you'd like.

Take your time...it is very overwhelming at first. After about 20 mins get a different sample.

Live trichodina resemble little flying saucers in the way they move. Here's a pic that illustrates their movement pretty well: http://training.fws.gov/BART/images/parasi...richodina-1.jpg

Trichodina, once dead, actually become a mass of tissue that is not easily recognisable. So, if it does not move, yet retains a very symetrical shape, and is a yellowish color, it is most likely a "shelled" amoeba. Shelled amoeba are VERY, VERY common. They are completely harmless. Look 1/2 the way down this page: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexm...03/jmcpark.html

This is a rotifer. http://forum.mikroscopia.com/index.php?showtopic=868 Philodina species to be more precise. They are pretty easily mistaken for flukes as some are relatively close to the size of a fluke. They move in an inchworm-like fashion, more often than not. When they are moving like and inchworm, their mouth "corona" as retracted. When they anchor themselve to a piece of muck or substrate, they will spread their corona open and begin fanning food particles into their mouths with tiny cilia that ring tthe corona. They can tell if its food, very quickly and spit it out if its not. Then, it can often become trapped in the vortex of the water circling around the corona. this makes it seem as though they are juggling their food. If you look closely enough, you can often see a little snorkel-like protrusion near the end where their mouth is. They always taper to a fine point at their "foot" end with either two, or four little spikes that are their actual feet. Rotifers are VERY, VERY common and soooper hard to kill (if one were to try). Completely harmless.

This is gill flukes: http://www.fisheries.org/education/fisheri...actylogyrus.jpg

A side view of their large hooks in the clamp: http://www.cib.uaem.mx/agebiol/bol_abril20...os/image050.jpg

This is skin flukes: http://www.fisheries.org/education/fisheri...yrodactylus.JPG

The flukes above are all actually pretty similar in size and shape. They CAN move in an inchworm fashion but tend to be a bit more eratic in movement... retracting and protracting their bodies kindof jerkily. Remember the rule that if the tail tapers to a point, its a rotifer. If its rounded, it could very well be flukes. Do not suspect flukes until you actually see their clamp with hooks or you find them attached to fish slime and or gill tissues.

This is trichodina as a size comparison to flukes, this may not be completely accurate but is close enough: http://www.gartenteichfische.de/Beratung/K...eiten/para4.gif

Trichodina, tetra and chilo are all about the same size.

Chilo does not resemble flukes in any way that I have ever seen. Chilo moves like those battery powered toy cars that turn around after bumping into a wall. They always turn in the SAME direction. They can move pretty rapidly and straight, for a lopsided ciliate. However, you will always be able to tell them apart from the other harmless critters like them as they will always exhibit their "mouse in a maze" pattern of swimming like the toy car I described above. Its as though, for a second, one foot is nailed to the floor as they turn around, sometimes they spin circles, seemingly uncontrollably, until they die. Chilo dies from the heat and pressure of being under the coverslip, within ten to twenty minutes. If you see something moving on the slide after 20 minutes, it is most likly NOT chilo.

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OK - I'm going out on a limb here, but do you have a digital camera?  If so, you can take a pic of what you're seeing and upload them for us...that's how I got my diagnosis. 

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We do have a digital camera. How do I take pics with my camera of what I'm seeing in the scope? Do I need some kind of attachment? :(

Let's see if I can upload some pics soon and then you can see what I'm seeing. Then maybe we could talk. I'll PM you tomorrow. :D

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Just aim your camera into the eye piece and take some pics. You'll end up taking a ton of them before you can get some good ones.

I took my camera, zoomed it all the way, pressed the zoom lens up close the eye piece and started taking the pictures. I don't have any sort of attachment. You just have to be really still. Toothy recommended a tripod, but just for starters my pics were fine.

Here is a link to my putfile page of my chilo; just so you can see what I saw moving...and to give you something to look at:

http://www.putfile.com/chico69

:)

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