Praziquantel

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Praziquantel (dewormer) - (updated 8-4-22)

What It Treats Flukes (Monogeneans), Black Ich (Turbellarians), and intestinal worms*.

How To TreatFor most hobbyists, it is easiest to use an aquarium medication which contains praziquantel in a Quarantine Tank: Prazipro, API General Cure and Fritz Paracleanse are examples of such which can be sourced in the US market. Two products I know of in the UK which contain prazi are: Sera Tremazol and Fluke Solve. Follow the dosing instructions for whatever product you are using, with one exception... Always use this treatment calendar to determine when is the best time to add the second dose: Marine Parasites

The treatment calendar takes water temp & salinity into consideration which affects the lifecycle. The reason for the second dose is to eradicate the “next generation” of worms before they can lay eggs of their own. Because while Prazi does kill worms, it doesn’t eliminate any eggs they might leave behind. A 25% water change is recommended (but not absolutely required) before administering the second dose.

More advanced hobbyists may prefer to use straight praziquantel powder, but a solubilizing agent (such as ethyl alcohol or Dimethyl sulfoxide liquid NOT gel) should be utilized as powder prazi is not easily water soluble. Dimethyl sulfoxide (or DMSO) is what I personally use, and there is information here on how to use DMSO to dissolve medications. Dosages + treatment times for powder prazi are as follows:
  • 2.0 - 2.5 mg/L for at least 24 hours (Quarantine Tank dosage)
  • 7.5 mg/L in a 6 hour bath (temperature control and heavily aerate the water)
  • 10 mg/L in a 3 hour bath (temperature control and heavily aerate the water)
^^ Which of the above is best to use when treating a known prazi sensitive species (e.g. wrasse) is debatable. You have to decide which is more tolerable for the fish: Long-term exposure at a lower dosage, or short-term exposure at a higher dosage. :unsure: However, the higher bath dosages should be more effective against so-called prazi resistant flukes. When doing the baths, transfer the fish into a new/clean QT afterwards to avoid possible reinfection from fluke eggs in the old tank. And remember to do a second bath (in accordance with the treatment calendar) + transfer into a clean QT to deal with any leftover fluke eggs on the fish itself.

Prazipro is generally considered reef safe, although anytime you use medications in a tank with corals + inverts there is risk involved. With prazi, anemones + SPS may bleach; LPS + soft corals may retract; inverts are usually unaffected except for snails sometimes. Prazipro will also usually cause a protein skimmer to overskim for a week or so. The best way to pull prazi out of the water is to run carbon and do water changes.

When needing to treat for intestinal worms*, it is better to lace fish food with medication than dose the water column. You can use prazi powder to do this (but NOT Prazipro), or API General Cure, or Fritz Paracleanse. Just be aware that the last two also contain metronidazole which is used to treat internal parasites (flagellates). However, since intestinal worms + internal parasites have many of the same symptoms it actually works out to be advantageous to food soak both: White stringy feces, pinched stomach, faded coloration, unusual thinness i.e. fish is eating well but still seems to be losing weight. My recipe for food soaking deworming medications can be found below:

Using a shot glass:
  • 1 tbsp food (preferably pellets or frozen food)
  • 1 scoop (~ 1/8 teaspoon) of medication
  • 1-2 scoops Seachem Focus* (binder that also makes it reef safe)
  • A pinch of Epsom salt to help expel dead worms/parasites
  • A few drops of saltwater or fish vitamins
  • Stir until a medicated food slurry has been achieved
  • Feed after soaking for 30 mins
  • Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers for future use
  • You can feed this mix 1-2 times per day. Not recommend to exceed 2 feedings per day with medicated food.
  • Feed daily for 2-3 weeks, or until poop returns to a solid brown or green color (no white).
* Agar or unflavored gelatin can be used in lieu of Focus. More medicated food recipes can be found here: How To Make Medicated Feed - Hikari Sales USA

ProsReadily available, effective dewormer that is relatively gentle on most fish.

Cons/Side EffectsAppetite suppression (usually only lasts for a day or two), oxygen depletion, wrasses can be sensitive to prazi. If the water clouds after dosing, add a couple of air stones (cranked on high) or point a wavemaker towards the surface to infuse more oxygen into the water. Prazi resistant worms (both external and internal) do exist, so sometimes an alternative treatment must be used. This includes Hyposalinity or Formalin or Fenbendazole (to treat external worms), and food soaking Fenbendazole to deal with intestinal worms.

Further reading: Praziquantel use in aquaculture – Current status and emerging issues

Deworming Saltwater Fish Video:

 
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what kind of signs are there that fish are suffering from flukes? i haven't GC'd or prazi'd my current group of fish, but i did do h2o2 baths on all of them before putting them in. on top of that i've fed medicated food for several weeks, but i feel like the fish are acting a little funny with some twitchiness so i'm wondering if some fluke eggs snuck through. i haven't seen any white stringy poops, but i did see something long white and stringy floating around the tank the other day (maybe was just a hair, but it was really long). i haven't seen any flashing or scratching on rocks, so i don't think ich snuck through hence why i'm kinda zoning in on maybe flukes

the other thing i'm pondering is the cyano is pretty bad despite numerous water changes and siphoning, could that possibly be bothering the fish somehow?
 
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I just noticed her today kinda acting like this. breathing faster, seems interested in food but didn't eat much from what I saw. kind of seems to be hanging off to the sides of the tank more stationary. which seems polar opposite of how she was normally acting, very social front and center first to eat food, etc. i've had her for at least a month now, but did add the magnificent foxface a couple weeks ago.
 
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Do you have dinos in the tank? (I thought I saw some "snot" on some of the rocks.) If so, might want to run carbon to remove any toxins being released into the water. Could be related to the heavy breathing.

yeah i noticed that too, it seems like cyano, but there has been added bubbles the last couple days (since i did a water change and tried to siphon it out, fail). so i added a new bag of carbon when i did the water change so it should be good on that front

i guess i could try to catch her after lights out in an hour or so and fresh water dip to see what comes off, but i don't have a good black container for it. i hate to make her afraid of me too lol, i loved how she was not afraid of me. the foxface still hasn't forgiven me for the h2o2 bath.

i should also add i've been doing a dose of h2o2 at night into the water column after lights out. usually 6-8 mL and it's in a 40 breeder minus some rock and sand so it's a fairly high dosage. maybe that's having a negative effect?
 

Humblefish

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i should also add i've been doing a dose of h2o2 at night into the water column after lights out. usually 6-8 mL and it's in a 40 breeder minus some rock and sand so it's a fairly high dosage. maybe that's having a negative effect?

I think @Jessican mentioned seeing dinos after a month or so of dosing H2O2. Probably because it cleanses the water so well. Which BTW, you don't want to perform water changes so long as you have dinos in your tank.
 
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there's definitely some bubbles and stringiness going on there, but idk it doesn't look like the more standard dinos i got in my DT awhile back.

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unfortunately i think she had been dead awhile before i found her (and apparently at least one nassarius snail survived my h2o2 dosing). i can't really see much? i didn't see those little fluke things in the container, but it definitely looks like the gills were bothered?
 
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so last night i didn't do my nightly dose of h2o2 since i thought i'd be dosing prazi soon, i wonder if that allowed just enough velvet to overwhelm her :(

super busy the next two days too not sure when i'll have time to set up another tank to deal with velvet..

man i'm really disappointed if it's velvet because that means h2o2 baths are pretty worthless outside of temporary relief
 

Jessican

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so last night i didn't do my nightly dose of h2o2 since i thought i'd be dosing prazi soon, i wonder if that allowed just enough velvet to overwhelm her :(

super busy the next two days too not sure when i'll have time to set up another tank to deal with velvet..

man i'm really disappointed if it's velvet because that means h2o2 baths are pretty worthless outside of temporary relief
Keep dosing the peroxide until you can get a QT tank set up. It should keep it at bay.
 
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i had a thought driving home from work, i did NOT give every fish in there a h2o2 bath. totally spaced, but that milletseed butterfly was the one that got stuck in the mail and arrived a couple days late so i gave it a methlyne blue bath rather than h2o2.

dosed 8 mL of h2o2 just now so hopefully that keeps it weak until monday when i guess i'll setup another tank and kill the wrasses with copper
 

Humblefish

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i had a thought driving home from work, i did NOT give every fish in there a h2o2 bath. totally spaced, but that milletseed butterfly was the one that got stuck in the mail and arrived a couple days late so i gave it a methlyne blue bath rather than h2o2.

dosed 8 mL of h2o2 just now so hopefully that keeps it weak until monday when i guess i'll setup another tank and kill the wrasses with copper

Yeah, MB is a mild antiparasitic, antibacterial, antifungal... but it has no where near the potency of H2O2.
 
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so I pondered it last night and I think I'm going to do the hybrid TTM method for the wrasses and just copper the foxface and clowns. might as well get the job done right, although i'm tempted to just h2o2 bath everyone and move them to see if that would get rid of the velvet...

could i get by using 5 gallon buckets for the TTM? would 2 fish in a 5 gallon bucket be too much?
 

Humblefish

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could i get by using 5 gallon buckets for the TTM? would 2 fish in a 5 gallon bucket be too much?

I'd strongly prefer you use a 10 gal tank (like below). I just feel 10 gallons provides more wiggle room when it comes to ammonia, and it is easier to see the fish (to look for problems) in an aquarium vs. looking down into a bucket. I also have this aversion to dosing H2O2 into anything plastic, although provided the buckets are "food grade plastic" it should technically be fine.

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well i figured i'd just take them out and do h2o2 baths in my glass containers that i have

mostly i just don't know if i'll have the time to take down a 10g tank and clean it every 3 days, plus i only have 1 10g tank :( , but i do have a lot of buckets.. i could do 1 fish each with their own 5g bucket

looking at my TTM timeline i think i'd be doing a transfer either on saturday or sunday next weekend when i'll be working 12 hour shifts :oops:
 

Humblefish

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