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Fish Lice!


Guest Minion

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Guest Minion

I just bought a baby goldfish and it seems he(she?) has fish lice. I don't know what to do really. I don't exactly have the best access to meds. and ATM all I really have is kosher salt(will that help?) If the salt will help I'm not sure how much to use, the gf is pretty small, only about an inch.

I'm going to try to pluck them off..I'm just scared I'll hurt him...he has one on his fin..

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My fish, thank goodness, have never had fish lice (it's basically the only thing they *haven't* had), but I'm almost positive you're going to actually need to use medicine for them. There's something called "Anchors Away" that is available at every petstore in my town, so hopefully it's in yours -- I think that's one of the better meds to use for fish lice.

Oh, and I'm sure a wise wise mod can back this up, but don't fish lice lay eggs like crazy beasties? I'm pretty sure that's the other reason you're supposed to treat the fish with meds; because there are baby fish lice probably already in the tank, so you'll have to make sure they get killed off as well.

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On top of Minx's advice, which is great, try plugging the little buggers off. With a little practice, you'll learn to handle a fish really fast. Even a tiny one like yours - a small fish is bugged by fish lice even more, since his body is too tiny to fend the parasite off.

There gotta be a tweezer somewhere in the house... :D

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Hi! : )

First off, can you please copy & paste this box of questions and answer them the best you can? It's very important to have this information before any medications are administered to the tank. When medicating, you must make sure your water is PERFECT (ammonia and nitrite need to be zero or as CLOSE as you can possibly get it and nitrites should be less than 20 if possible).. Also, with medications often you need to make sure you have enough aeration, filtration, things like that. SO if we can get that information, we can make sure everything else is on track. If you have a drop test kit that would be great. : ) If not, most pet stores will test the water for you, just be sure to ask for actual numbers. Don't let them say "oh it's okay!". :D

Is it possible to get a picture, just so we can double check what it is?

My fish have never had fish lice, but they have had anchor worm and the treatments are the same.. The best treatment for this will contain Diflubenzuron, and some options are Anchors Away, and Dimilin.. (I believe both are in the pond care section and are in many stores)... Removing them with a tweezer is definately a good idea if you are comfortable with it! Afterwards you can quickly dab the spot with hydrogen peroxide.. (just once) And yes Minx is totally right about wanting to treat the water as well...It will work best as a repeat use that way you can kill all the forms at different stages...I believe I treated for 2 weeks and I am pretty sure Trinket told me in the begining that I might even want to treat longer.. It's a good idea to do daily water changes each day, that way you can remove any forms on the bottom, in the gravel... etc...Make sure to take the carbon out of your filter box, and check water parameters daily.. Usually dimilin will not affect the cycle but anytime you are medicated you need to have perfect water...

Now, go get those nasty things! lol

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Guest Minion

Thanks for all the replies! I just finished plucking off 5 louse from this baby! =( He was very good for me and actually didn't wiggle around as much as I thought he would.. Poor baby -.- Afterward, I changed about 50% of the water, did a vacuum on the bottem(bare bottem), and I did add in .1% of salt because I was reading and I heard that fish lice can lead to other problems such as ich and other parasites and I really want to avoid that. If, however, the salt solution is going to mess with any meds. I'm going to use, please tell me so I can discontinue treating my tank with the salt. My baby fish seems to be having no ill affect to the salt what-so-ever.

Sorry I didn't answer these Qs first =P

Ammonia Level: 0ppm

Nitrite Level: 0ppm

Nitrate level: Not sure, I don't have a Nitrate test in my kit for some reason.

Ph Level, Tank: 7.6 or 8.2 (I know..HUGE diffrence, but it reads 7.6 on the normal pH test and 8.2 on the high range pH test..Whats the diffrence in the tests? Which one should I be using?)

Ph Level, Tap: 7.4 or 7.6 ( 7.6 is from normal pH...7.4 is from high range pH..)

Brand of test-kit used: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, INC. (drops)

Water temperature: 75F

Tank size: 10 Gallons (just set up..used 75% cycled water from other tank and filter from other tank)

What is the name and size of the filter(s): 100gph Aqueon

How many fish in the tank and their size: 1 small, about 1"-1.5"

What kind of water additives or conditioners: Stress Coat

What do you feed your fish and how often: Homemade gel food 2 times a day

Any new fish added to the tank: No, just the one.

Any medications added to the tank: None

Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus: Fish Lice

Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.: Nope, acts like a normal baby fantail.

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AWesome!! : ) Both you for doing it and for your fish for being so good about it : )

The salt can be used at the same time as the dimilin/anchors away. When I treated for anchor worm I was salting as well.. The most important thing is just to keep testing the water to make sure the cycle is safe. The salt is a good thing to have in your tank right now.. like you said, it can help ward off secondary infections!

You did everything PERFECT! Only thing I would suggest is getting a nitrate test so you can be sure where you are at 100%

The normal Ph test kit won't go higher than 7.6.. Basically once it hits that point, I think all colors look the same, and then you need to go by the high range kit.. My tank water is 8.2 as well. And my tap water is the same as yours also... Although a bit "high", it's actually quite okay for the fish. Goldfish can adapt to higher Ph's, they most important thing is stability.. And MOST times a high ph will mean a stable ph.. (The best way to test this for sure is a KH/GH test kit)..

You're doing really well :)

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Thank you! Your really helping me through this! I'm always worried that I'm doing something wrong..

So, I'll keep up the salt in the tank, work on getting meds asap, and a getting Nitrate tester soon(which I was planning on doing anyway :P )

I'm glad to know about the pH. I figured the same with the normal and high range test kits. I just wanted to be 100% about it. I've very knew at 'real' fishkeeping and want to do the best I can!

This is something weird..my test kit comes with a test for GH, but I can't find the color card for it. It's not like I lost it, it just seems that it never came with the box. Odd, but I'm trying to see if I can find a printable colorcard off the internet..hopefully I can.

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Ohh I am soo sorry abt this...you have wonderful advice everyone has given...I have no advice to offer...just to offer some support..I ll check in again tomorrow..you are doing gr88 with the lil guy...hope he gets better..and dont worry nothing bad will happen after this..take care.. :heart

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I'm always worried that I'm doing something wrong..
I just wanted to be 100% about it. I've very knew at 'real' fishkeeping and want to do the best I can

You sound just like me when I came to this board a few months ago. Actually, still! I always like to make sure I am 100% about things.. It feels good to be able to talk thing out with people and know you have everything JUST right : ) That's the nice thing about this board, everyone loves to help. Whether you are a beginner, an expert, somewhere in the middle.. you can always talk with, and learn from everyone else..

Ooh hopefully you can find that card. It's odd that your kit doesn't come with the nitrate kit.. The API master test kit for freshwater comes with Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and Ph... Is that the test kit you have?

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Just one other thought to add to all the good advice you're getting.

If you haven't already bought Anchors away or Dimilin, I would consider getting Parasite Clear by Jungle Labs. The advantage of this med is that it deals with quite a few parasites and also has a small antibiotic chaser, to help protect the fish against secondary infection of the bite wounds. This is a big risk with lice and anchor worm. Salt really isn't really going to do much for your problem, so I would get hold of meds as soon as you can. These parasites lay eggs all over the place and until putting meds into the tank your fish is very exposed. The PC tabs are very easy to use and you'll only need one fizzy tab per 10gals. That would be my first choice considering the fish is small and has a heavy infestation.

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If you haven't already bought Anchors away or Dimilin, I would consider getting Parasite Clear by Jungle Labs. The advantage of this med is that it deals with quite a few parasites and also has a small antibiotic chaser, to help protect the fish against secondary infection of the bite wounds. This is a big risk with lice and anchor worm. Salt really isn't really going to do much for your problem, so I would get hold of meds as soon as you can. These parasites lay eggs all over the place and until putting meds into the tank your fish is very exposed. The PC tabs are very easy to use and you'll only need one fizzy tab per 10gals. That would be my first choice considering the fish is small and has a heavy infestation

Thanks Pixie!!! : )

Minion, Pixie is really good at this stuff, so I would go with her medication recommendation if you haven't already bought one of the others! (Good news is, Parasite Clear tabs are on the cheaper side too!!!)

:)

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The GH test doesn't come with a color card. The way you test for this is how many drops (don't forget to count each drop!) it takes to get the water to change from orange to green. You then have to look at the conversion chart at the end of the instruction leaflet and find your # of drops and it will then tell you your ppm of GH.

Edited by Lynda Von G
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The GH test doesn't come with a color card. The way you test for this is how many drops (don't forget to count each drop!) it takes to get the water to change from orange to green. You then have to look at the conversion chart at the end of the instruction leaflet and find your # of drops and it will then tell you your ppm of GH.

DUH! ::: smacks self ::: I would have known that if I wasn't posting when I was half asleep LMAO

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Guest Minion

Thank you everyone! Your all so helpful! ((HUGS)) I'm so glad I found this site!

I went to the pet store where I live and all I could find was API General Care. It says it treats Gill & Skin Flukes, Velvet, Hole-in-the-Head, Anchor Worm, and Fish Lice. It sounded a bit too good to be true, so I was looking for something not so general, but It was all they had. So I bought it and just put a dose in my tank. I hope it works. Anyone had any experience with this med?

Also, Thanks for the GH info..I don't know why I didn't think to look it up or something. >.< Oh well, my bad =P

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General Cure, as far as I know, is kind of a great all-around sort of med. Hence the "general" part of the name, I'd imagine. :) I actually *just* treated my own fish with it! I suppose it may or may not have worked -- I was treating them for flukes, and they did stop flashing, but since they may not have had flukes in the first place... who knows -- but it didn't muck up my water, and you can't go wrong with a med that has instructions like, "Dump one packet in per ten gallons. Swish." Even I can't mess that up. :D

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General Cure contains 250 mg metronidazole and 75 mg praziquantel per packet:

These are only 2 of the drugs used in PC tabs (Metro is the same antibiotic along with Prazi which is good for flukes), but it is missing the Dimilin which is the active ingredient targetting the lice.

I would try to get PC tabs, if at all possible, OR order Dimilin online from the Goldfish Connection or some other supplier. Ordering online means that you can get exactly what you need in a day or so without having to troll around a million stores.

When it comes to lice there is some urgency in treating the fish; once they get into the gill tissue the devastation can be fatal very quickly

FYI - There is one 'miracle' drug which is successful in treating nearly all parasites. It is Fenbendazole - sometimes called Flubendazole or Flubenol. It works by preventing the uptake of nutrients and starves most parasites to death. I'm not sure which US aquarium preparations utilize this drug, but it is very commonly used for worming cats and dogs in the UK under the name of Panacur. The aquarium treatment is here under the name 'Wormer Plus'.

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General Cure contains 250 mg metronidazole and 75 mg praziquantel per packet:

These are only 2 of the drugs used in PC tabs (Metro is the same antibiotic along with Prazi which is good for flukes), but it is missing the Dimilin which is the active ingredient targetting the lice.

Thanks again Pixie! I saw this question last night and that is exactly what I was thinking. BUT I thought it would be better to wait and see what you had to say on that one : )

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Drs. Foster & Smith sell Panacur and here is a gel food recipe for fish.

Method 1:

1. Dissolved in a gel food at 1 percent by food volume = 1 gram per 4 ounces of food. Personally, I use flake or Tetra Bits as the food here because it is easy to measure.

2. Take the food you will be using and in a small pan add some hot water until it becomes a watery paste.

3. Add the Panacur and then add one packet of Knox gelatin - 7 grams and mix well.

4. Using aluminum foil make a shallow 1 inch high mold and pour the food mix into this.

5. Spread it out so it's about 1 - 2 cm thick, and let set in the refrigerator.

6. Next cut it up into smaller squares and store in the freezer.

7. When needed take out one of these small squares and cut it up into to bite size pieces.

8. I use this food for 3 - 4 days in a row, then repeat treatment in about 3 weeks.

Method 2:

If the fish is no longer eating, it can be tubed into the fishes' mouth at a dose of 75 - 100 mg/kg (2.2lbs), using a syringe.

Note: When using Panacur, check the concentration of the medicine. It comes as a powder or a liquid. If it?s a liquid suspension it's usually a 10 percent suspension, so multiply the above doses by 10. De-wormer Dosage Using Panacur By Al Sabetta

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According to the Johnson/ Hess book you can also use Program tabs. They're available at most vet's office and Foster's and smith also has them. It works the same as dimlin and is safe in large doses.

I used it for anchor worms and it worked well.

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