Sunday, June 27, 2010

Flowerhorn Hexamita Treatment

In grooming a flowerhorn sometimes we failed to see existing problems that somehow cause for our flowerhorn to be sick. One of the major illness if this type of fish that is still unclearly understood is hexa. When a fish of mine got this disease, i ask hobbyist for remedy but most failed to explain the exact thing to do. Ones idea may contradict to the other. a friend of mine said the fish will be back in its normal condition in time and others suggest to apply medications when ask what doesnt have the answer. Will lets say they offer few things but obviously those are in no relation to internal parasite treatment. I went over to the internet to check solutions. Ideas are there but grouping this idea into one is hard since others have their own unique way of the treatment process.

This article would explain the method i find effective so far as this was the method i applied for the treatment. i got this from a forum whose URL is placed at the last part of this article.

Before anything else, we might want to be sure that before proceeding with the treatment it is important to be sure that your fish is really infected with the disease (hexa). This can be check if this two (2) sympthom is found. i would consider this an absolute indicators to conclude this disease.
  1. There are signs of long white stringy poop coming out from the fish.
  2. A total lost of appetite.
When you feed your fish with market prawns or shrimps, sometimes the fish does excrete white poop as describe in no. 1 so you have to check for no. 2. These two (2) indicators must be confirmed. Some cases also happen when your flowerhorn loses its appetite but does show signs of white poop. The situation may be something else, like from a poor water quality or other diseases.

Before anything else we need first to know the facts about hexa. Hexa also known as hexamita is a flagellated protozoa that lives in the intestinal tract of the fish, including several species of Cichlids which  are popular aquarium pets. Angel fish and discus are also effected by this serious health problem. Healthy fish do have hexamita. Due to malnutrition, shipping, and poor water quality contributes to the rapid reproduction of the protozoans resulting in disease.

The recommended treatment for hexamita is metronidazole (Flagyl) administered in a medicated food or, if the fish are not eating, in a bath treatment. Below is a method that can be done if the fish isn't capable of eating. Again this method is what i found to be effective based on actual application to my infected flowerhorn and it turns out to be effective. Other articles in the internet may also suggest similar method.

Method for 7-10 day treatment for flowerhorn infected with Hexamita.
  1. Provide a hospital tank about 10gals. The primary purpose is for the ease of water changes to be perform daily and to save dosages for the expensive medication.
  2. Add simple filtration like sponge filter or aeration via air stone. Heavy filtration isn't  necessary since no feeding will be done thus reducing biological load and ammonia level is expected to be low.
  3. Set the thermometer at 32C. The effectiveness of the metronidazole can be maximize at a higher temperature.
  4. You need to add half cup of aquarium salt. In the Philippines, most hobbyist use rock salt (without iodine) as an alternative to aquarium salt.
  5. Dissolve 500mg of metronidazole usually sold as flagyl forte in warm water (not boiling water). You can buy this on pharmacy as over the counter medicine so no need for prescription. If you think Flagyl is too expensive then ask for the generic drug. It is suppose to do the same effect unless the it is fake.
  6. Perform a 50% water change every day, and dose it with metronidazole after every water change. Replinish about 1/4 cup of salt daily. With salt,  it helps to increase the osmotic pressure in the water allowing the absorption of the metronidazole through the gills of the fish. It also helps to sooths the natural slime coat of the fish. 
  7. In the first 5 days of treatment, no food must be given. You can give it One pellet on the sixth day, if it eats its a good sign but Do Not Stop the treatment. Not yet. Only give a little amount of food up to the 10th day.
  8. On the 11th day do a 50% water change. Slowly reduce the temperature to 28C or whatever temp you like to keep you fish. This marks the end of the treatment.
  9. Once you are satisfied with the overall health of the fish, you can move it back to its main tank.
If you have the budget and if Azoo Anti-Endoparasite is available in your area, you can also try it. It is good for treatment and for maintenance. 

Idea posted herewith was initiated by "Round Head" in a forum that can be accessed here.


Fazarally Sameer said...

Hi, By the illness syptom you indicate above, I can say that my F.H has got hexamita. Well I did the water change and put him on metronidazole treatment. The fungus on the fins has completely been cleared but I tried to feed him also with medicated pellets but he doesn't seem any interest on food. Hence he is active without eating anything for 2 days. Im just worried that without food his condition may deteriorate as see the half og the body to tail has darkened. Plz help

Shoaib Parkar said...

hey... when i change water should i remove the previous medicine(flagyl)?
when i change water everyday how much more flagyl should i add? as the previous day medicine is already present in the tank
i add rock salt please help my flowerhorn is having hexamita......