Treating Hexamita aka Spironucleus

RD.

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Treating Hexamita aka Spironucleus with Epsom Salt Solution


This is a rather safe way to treat any newly imported fish, as a prophylactic, just as one would use a de-wormer. It's not only an extremely cheap way to treat fish, the active ingredients are readily available world-wide, and it's also much safer than using most forms of medication. Unlike most medications, there should be no worries about flagellates/pathogens building up a resistance to it, and excess magnesium is easily flushed from a fishes system. In my experience, it's very easy on fish, even very young juvenile fish. The best part - it works! (If the fish has worms when arriving, the epsom salt solution in the feed will also help with purging any worms)


While Metronidazole has always been the drug of choice when combating internal parasites such as hexamita and/or spironucleus, metro (or any other type of medication) should never be used on a regular basis as a prophylactic, and doing so may cause flagellates/parasites to develop a resistance to the medication, and possibly even mutate and become super bugs. It's also been stated by at least one researcher that excessive use of metronidazole can cause organ damage in fish.

In fish, an excessive use of metronidazole can damage kidneys and other internal organs.(Bassleer, 1983)
Other cons with metronidazole is its solubility in water is very poor, in aquarium settings it has been suggested that it can precipitate out of solution within 6-8 hours, and it can become rather expensive when treating large systems.

While doing some online research on spironucleus I came across an interesting study that mentioned the use of Magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) in treating internal parasites in angel fish.
http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-120399-140825/unrestricted/ANGEL.PDF

A long read (200+ pages) but the idea of using something as basic as epsom salt to treat internal parasites in fish intrigued me, which in turn lead me to dig deeper.


This is where it got interesting ........

The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture – Bamidgeh 57(2), 2005, 97-104.

http://siamb.org.il/uploads/57_2_Ogut.pdf

Mortality ceased with application of medicated feed (magnesium sulfate at 3% of the feed) - Hexamita salmonis.
In early June 2004, a treatment of magnesium sulfate (3% of feed for three days) lowered the parasite load to almost undetectable levels.

In his book; Fish Disease: diagnosis and treatment, Edward J. Noga mentions treating hexamita (spironucleus) orally with Magnesium sulphate.

This is certainly encouraging news for anyone who's fish is still eating, or begins eating after treatment with Metro. Not only does Epsom salt assist in recovery when added directly to the aquarium (as per the links above), but according to the research posted above it has a deadly effect on hexamita when ingested.

Dr. Edward J. Noga, MS, DVM, is a highly respected professor of aquatic medicine and immunology, and he has been published approx. 150 times in related papers/journals. His lab at NC State University specializes in the study of infectious diseases of finfish and shellfish. As a side note for Discus keepers, Dr. Noga's book on fish disease is the book that Andrew Soh often refers to for disease/treatment information.


Now for the treatment ......


For a 3% solution of Magnesium sulphate, add 1 level tablespoon (15 grams) magnesium sulphate to 500 milliliters of distilled water. Stir, and it's good to go.

Use an eye dropper or pipette to add to pellet food (or any other food that will readily absorb it), and stop dripping water once the pellets become saturated. Use only enough water to saturate the food, with no excess water, so that the water soluble vitamins in the food remain intact. Feed twice a day, for 3-5 days. (I went with 5 days)

In extreme cases, the oral solution could be administered to a fish via a pipette.Just make sure to use a flexible tip so as not to damage the fishes esophagus when squirting the solution down the fishes throat. Only a small amount is required, but repeat daily until the fish is accepting pre-soaked pellets, and continue treatment for 5 days.


My own experience with this treatment ........ so far it's proven to be a life saver, where all other previous 'textbook' methods of treatment for internal parasites have failed, including several days of treating with 500mg Metro per 10 gallons, while feeding Metro soaked food at the same time. (fish was chewing & spitting, but was eating some food twice a day)

In less than 48 hrs of the 3% Magnesium sulphate treatment, for the first time in 30 days the fish was no longer shedding the mucous lining of his intestine. (white/clear feces) After 5 days of feeding the 3% solution via pellets, the fish had made a complete recovery & was back eating like gang busters.

Hopefully some members here will find this information useful.

Neil








 

RD.

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I would imagine that it's safe for all species of fish. I don't believe that ingesting Epsom salt would harm any fish unless one gave the fish too much, for too long. IMO this is hands down FAR safer than treating with any type of medication on the market, and in many cases FAR more effective.
 
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jcardona1

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Good thread!

I used epsom salt on my wild discus when I noticed the white stringy poo, many bounced back within 2 days.

I now use Flubendazole for internal parasites, along with epsom salt.
 

jcardona1

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LOPAKA;5002641;5002641 said:
RD, why is it that I see other threads saying that salt is more harmful than it is good ? Just asking.....
Epsom salt is different, not the same as "aquarium salt" that guys add. That's sodium chloride. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, different compounds.
 

RD.

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Pre-soak your pellets. The process is explained in detail on page 1.

For a 3% solution of Magnesium sulphate, add 1 level tablespoon (15 grams) magnesium sulphate to 500 milliliters of distilled water. Stir, and it's good to go.

Use an eye dropper or pipette to add to pellet food (or any other food that will readily absorb it), and stop dripping water once the pellets become saturated. Use only enough water to saturate the food, with no excess water, so that the water soluble vitamins in the food remain intact. Feed twice a day, for 3-5 days. (I went with 5 days)

In extreme cases, the oral solution could be administered to a fish via a pipette.Just make sure to use a flexible tip so as not to damage the fishes esophagus when squirting the solution down the fishes throat. Only a small amount is required, but repeat daily until the fish is accepting pre-soaked pellets, and continue treatment for 5 days.
 

ECW

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Oahu, Hi.
Thanks RD. Your post has helped me save my dad's first flowerhorn that he had been massively overfeeding for most of its life. He lost his appetite, refused to eat, and his waste was white and stringy as in the symptoms of Hexamita. I starved him/put him on a diet and did daily water changes until he started to feel better. He ate small amounts... though relectantly and stll often refused food. After finding your post on MFK a little while back and doing the 5 day treatment he has now regained his appetite 100% as well as his original "spunk". My dad is now informed of how much to feed and to do water changes regularly.

I also give you credit for helping convince me to use NLS foods. Which I am very thankful for. Your knowledge of the product on this and many other sites, as well as your never back down fortitude and your faith in the product made me have to at least give it a try. That was long ago and I am very glad I did. I am a believer.

P.S. The flowerhorn that got Hex was fed Hikari foods my dad bought him, and not NLS... If that makes any difference. I bought a big bottle of NLS EXLg. Fish Formula and a bottle of NLS Thera-A Jumbo Fish formula mixed them up half/half and gave it to my dad to feed from now on. All my fish get NLS!:D.
 

Lusus_Naturae

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Good stuff, I like soaking NLS pellets in 1/8 inch deep solution on a plate and simply letting the water soak in and then evaporate out until the pellets are dry again. It takes about 48 hours to make a bunch and there is no mushing up the pellets or any mess, just mix the salt water up, put it on a plate, dump a bunch of NLS pellets on the plate, and let it dry out again. The fish eat it fine too.
 

RD.

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Yes, that would work too. The only downside to that method is that a certain percentage of the more sensitive vitamins will be lost, such as Vitamin C. Also, while the moist pellets are definitely more messier, when sick, some fish will find them more palatable vs a dry pellet, so getting them to eat the soft presoaked pellets can sometimes be easier.
 

RD.

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Epsom salt baths are typically used to treat constipation. If your fish has hex/spiro it is far more effective if your fish ingests the magnesium sulfate directly into its gut.
 
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