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sera guide - Healthy aquarium fish

6.6 Treating flatworm infections Animals of different phylogeny are classified in the worm group. Their worm shaped body is all they have in common. The parasitic worms occurring in fish need to be treated differently and with different active agents, depending on their group of related species. Flatworms include many important parasites. Planaria are independently living members of this group. They belong to the Turbellaria. They can quickly become annoying in case of mass multiplication. (If required, they can be removed with the sera snail collect trap, or by adding macropodes as predators.) Flukes (Monogenea) including skin and gill flukes are real parasites. Among the Trematodes, aquar- ists may know about scale worms. The fourth flatworm group, tapeworms (Cestoda) can al- so be found in ornamental fish. sera omnipur or sera mycopur are effective against parasitic flatworms in aquariums. The care product sera ectopur has proven well many times as a preventive measure, in case of slight infestations, for accompanying a treatment or for supporting recovery after a treatment. Diagnosis: page 16 Flukes of the order Gyro- dactylidea are more likely to be found on the skin than on the gills of the fish. They can also be distinguished from gill flukes (Dactylogyrus) by their lack of pigment eyes at the front end. The worms attach to the skin of the fish with the clasping apparatus at their back end. Their mucous membrane becomes thicker as a de- fensive reaction. The occurring skin injuries of- ten lead to secondary infections. While an in- festation with only a few flukes often runs symptom free, a mass infestation may quickly cause the death of many fish. Therefore treat with sera omnipur or sera my- copur according to the information for use in time – in a quarantine tank, if required. Since Gyrodactylus is livebearing, it is usually possi- ble to reliably remove the parasites with one treatment cycle. Gyrodactylus sp. with three larvae, one inside the other Skin flukes / Gyrodactylidea Diagnosis: page 16 Gill flukes (Dactylogyridea) live as parasites mainly on the gills of fish. The gill fil- ament irritations and in- juries caused by their clasping apparatus induce increased mucus forma- tion that inhibits gas exchange more and more, finally making it possible that the fish suffocate. Dactylogyrus can be distinguished from Gyro- dactylus, among others, by the presence of pigment eyes at the front end. The differences to the livebearing skin flukes is relevant for the treatment: As the gill flukes lay eggs whose shell is impermeable for the active agent, a second treatment must be carried out as to kill the larvae that have hatched in the meantime as well. sera omnipur or sera mycopur are used, just as is the case with skin flukes. A second treatment should be carried out after a few days. Development of the worm larvae de- pends on the temperature: it is complete after 3 days at a water temperature of 28°C (82°F), while it can take up to 7 days at water temper- atures about 25°C (77°F). However, you should not wait too long before conducting the sec- ond treatment, as the fish might be re-infected by worm larvae and the worms possibly even lay new eggs again. In case of uncertain diag- nostic differentiation to a skin fluke infection it is better to surmise a gill fluke infection and conduct a repeated treatment for safety rea- sons. Gill filaments with Dactylogyrus infestation Gill flukes / Dactylogyridea 34