Levamisol, alternative to Discomed

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Since this board has been up, we have found there are several questions that routinely get asked in order to help diagnose problems. If you can have that information to begin with in your post, we'll be able to help right away (if we can!) without having to wait for you to post the info we need.

1) Your water parameters - pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrates and salinity (if appropriate). This is by far the most important information you can provide! Do not answer this with "Fine" "Perfect" "ok", that tells us nothing. We need hard numbers.

2) Tank size and a list of ALL inhabitants. Include algae eaters, plecos, everything. We need to know what you have and how big the tank is.

3) Feeding, water change schedule and a list of all products you are using or have added to the tank (examples: Cycle, Amquel, salt, etc)

4) What changes you've made in the tank in the last week or so. Sometimes its the little things that make all the difference.

5) How long the aquarium has been set up, and how did you cycle it? If you don't know what cycling is read this: Fishless Cycling Article and familiarize yourself with all the information. Yes. All of it.

We want to help, and providing this information will go a LONG way to getting a diagnosis and hopeful cure that much faster.

While you wait for assistance:
One of the easiest and best ways to help your fish feel better is clean water! If you are already on a regular water change schedule (50% weekly is recommended) a good step to making your fish more comfortable while waiting for diagnosis/suggestions is to do a large water change immediately. Feel free to repeat daily or as often as you can, clean water is always a good thing! Use of Amquel or Prime as a dechlor may help with any ammonia or nitrite issues, and is highly recommended.

Note - if you do not normally do large water changes, doing a sudden, large water change could shock your fish by suddenly changing their established water chemistry. Clean water is still your first goal, so in this case, do several smaller (10%) water changes over the next day or two before starting any large ones.
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Post by Pufferpunk »

Subject: lone clown loach
Posted by Dr. Momfish on Wednesday, 17 February 1999, at 12:48 p.m.

The loaches imported from Malaysia are notorious for having internal parasites. The best thing to cure them with is Levamisole hydrochloride. You can get this drug from a farm feed supplier. It is available as 'oblates' or infectible. Use 800mg per 10US gallons and make sure your pH is about 6.6. If the pH is above 7 the drug is made unusable.

The drug is absorbed through the gills of the fish, so even if your fish is too sick to eat, it will get the full effect. After 24 hours do a very very large water change. Repeat the dose after 3 to 4 days because any eggs or casings present in the fish are not affected by the drug. Therefore, you have to wait until they hatch.

Unfortunately the intestinal walls of some fish are so badly damaged by the parasites that they will not survive despite the fact that they will be free of the parasites.

I have found that big city vets know nothing about the use of this drug except for sheep and cattle. Tablets are available at the pharmacy, but they are prohibitively expensive, as they are now being used to boost the immune systems of AIDS patients. As a side effect, they also boost the immune systems of your fish.

The local lfs had 12 small clowns that they were going to destroy. We brought them home. 9 survived and are now big, fat and happy. Three died due to severe intestinal damage resulting in perforation of their abdominal walls. If you are 'into' purchasing wild caught fish, you should keep this drug on a regular basis, regardless what part of the world the fish come from. All wild caught fish should be suspected of carrying internal parasites, whether they appear to be ill or not. Transportation stresses decrease the fish's ability to withstand the debilitating effect of the internal parasites. Quarantine all of your fish and dose them. The drug has absolutely no effect on the biological filter.

I have a feeling that ick and other opportunistic parasitic infections of loaches has a lot to do with the fact that various internal parasites weaken the immune systems of these fish. Fish can have internal parasites and still look fine. It is only when the immune system of the fish is incapable of keeping these in check, that the fish begins to show signs of disease and disease susceptibility. (Much like with human beings who live in areas of the world that are endemic to Giardia.)

Levamisole hydrochloride is not a dangerous drug. It is somewhat expensive when purchased as the injectible. Unfortunately, the 'oblates' which are fed to sheep contain a lot of insoluble and soluble excipients. If you dissolve them and filter through a coffee filter most of the junk will be removed. However, some of the soluble stuff will get into the water. This is only pectin-like and aids in providing a slime coat on the fish and it breaks down to provide fertilizer for the plants.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

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