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Ramshorn pain in the butt

2104 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Zapins
Hi all,

I acquired, by accident some ramshorn snails on a plant that i purchased. I already have almost every kind of snail one would normally find in a planted aquarium (pond, MTS, nerite, and a small group of little guys with flat curly transparent/red shells) and have had no problems with them eating plants or breeding out of control. Normally I take the live and let live philosophy with snails. But these ramshorns are eating up a storm, and I think they may have transported some parasitic flukes with them. 2 of my guppies have died since their arrival and 2 more are sick - one with tail rot and the other with ich. I am worried their immune systems are compromised from these parasites. I have removed all of the ramshorns that I can find and hopefully not many more will show up.

How can I tell if my fish have parasites and what is a good treatment for it? I have an el natural tank with a soil underlayer and I also, have kuhli loaches in this tank - so salt is not an option. But if it was helpful, I could put together some kind of quarantine tank if necessary.
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If you want to catch them blanch a piece of squash and put it in before the tank goes dark. They will be all over it especially once the lights go out. The ramshorn snails in my tanks are the most aggressive of all the snails but don't seem to harm the plants. I don't know about the flukes some can be a parasite. Can you see them? I have a shrimp tank with no fish a I see all kinds of weird stuff moving around, no problem yet. check this out.
There are two main kinds of flukes. One is body flukes, they look like worms hanging off the sides of the fish.

Gill flukes are attached inside the fish's gills and they suck blood from there.

Signs of gill flukes are easy to see. Fish tend to "flash" against objects in the tank. They swim next to a sharp corner in the tank and quickly swim past it, rubbing or scratching their gills on the object.

Flukes don't usually kill fish very quickly, they normally build up over time, and only kill if the fish's immune system has been weakened by something else.

Your fish probably died from something else. What are your water conditions? Ammonia? Nitrites? Nitrates? Temperature? CO2? Any new fish added recently? Could it be ick?

You could do 1aquamfish's solution, dose a bit of copper medication (this will kill all invertibrates like snails, worms, SHRIMP, crayfish etc...), but not fish or most plants. You could also get assassin snails, or look into clown loaches, they both eat snails.
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They must not be flukes then - they are not flashing and there is nothing visible hanging off of their bodies. There are spots on some of their scales that don't look like ich - it looks like a few of their scales are raised... All levels are testing normal...

Well since the sick fish are both guppies so I think I will set up a quarantine aquarium with some aquarium salt - hopefully that will help! And it there is some kind of parasite hopefully it is freshwater and the salt will get rid of it!

I'm still going to pass on the snails though - they have chewed holes in tons of my plants and my e. tenellus has not fared well! all other snails are welcome to stay - but not these guys!

Thanks guys!
trackhazard is right - if a majority of the fish's scales are raised then it sounds like dropsy which is essentially incurable and results in death.

Fish can get dropsy for a number of reasons including diseases, or organ failure, cancer, etc... The disease happens when fluid leaks out of blood vessels (edema) and builds up beneath the scales causing them to rise in the distinctively creepy dropsy way. A lot of the time it is caused by renal failure (kidney failure), and even that can be caused by many different things (poisons, old age, disease, damage, etc...).

To be safe, remove the fish like you planned and do a few large water changes to remove any possible poisons, or disease agents that might be in the water.

Keep an eye on the fish and quarantine any at the first time of trouble.
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