View Full Version : Super Chilodonella (not piscicola/cyprini) infecting goldfish

12-28-2005, 06:36 PM
Greetings to all the great koiphenated folks here! :D:

Ok, I seem to have a strain of chilo, infecting a couple goldfish tanks, that is impervious to most or all of the meds suggested on the net and in books. Let me start by saying that I scope regularly and have become VERY adept at IDing almost every bug I find. Easy as pie when you are a google feind. I have ID'ed chilo and tetrahymena as the culprits but I feel that tetra is a secondary invader of necrotic tissues and not the actual root of the problem.

One goldie in particular (3 inch body, fantail/ryukin) is my test animal as he is the most affected (I eliminated tetra on him and they are definitely not there anymore). Whats left on him, or more precisely, in his gills, is chilodonella. This strain lacks a notched posterior and is definitely NOT C. Cyprini/Piscicola. Possibly C. Hexasticha or some other unkown strain (maybe C. uncinata as it more closely resembles that strain than any other)

My 12" comet in in a 55 gallon is OK with it but still flashes and flicks fins every now and again. The shubunkin, 10", sems to not even notice they are there. I have found that if I keep everything as stable as possible, they live with it. Tetrahymena is still in this 55 gallon as a "secondary" invader. Tons of other microfauna, I believe, are helping to keep the chilo's numbers low. Checks and balances, you know?

All of the treatments I have tried on my fantail/ryukin are carried out in an uncyled tank with vigorous aeration and a keen eye on ammonia. Sodium thiosulfate is my detox/dechlor of choice. Large to total waterchanges are done between each addition of meds.

Salt at 0.3% with acriflavin produced nothing.

PP at 2ppm for 4 hours and they laughed at me.

Quick cure dosed every 8-12 hours (after 100% change) and they seem bothered but live through it, repeatedly.

Chloramines T produced the best results after a 4 day regime at 20ppm (hard water, high pH). But it could have to do with the fact that I was dosing quick cure for 4 days before that. Possibly pulling a one-two punch on them.

I am now growing very discouraged in that I may never find a cure that does not kill my fish. My big question is........ What should I do? What should I try? Is there a method that works better than what I am employing or should I try to see if my fantail/ryukin can eventaully become immunologically "use" to this strain by addng him to the 55 gallon or get another tank cycling for him?

Is ProformC or RidIch+ (MG chloride) really better than Quick Cure's MG oxalate?

Keep in mind that this fish is a toughie and I am open to new ideas on treatment for him. Please, any ideas are welcome as I am close to running out of ideas..........

:confused: :confused: :confused:

Thanks in advance for any advice I may recieve.

By the way, I have a couple videos I would like to share. One is a great clip of Tetrahymena Pyriformis injesting the soft tissues from a scale found in the gravel. there is even a couple of them undergoing binary fission. The other is Chilodonella (my sooper strain). A sinlge organism close to death. I am less than a week away from recieveing a much better scope in the mail and will be hunting down these baddies for better videos and pics. Will post them as I take them.

Here they are:

Tetra: http://home.comcast.net/~p_vaughn/HPIM1546.AVI

Chilo: http://www.putfile.com/media.php?n=HPIM1411

Again, thank you for taking the time to read this.


Roddy Conrad
12-28-2005, 06:53 PM
I suggest you increase salt to 0.8% over a period of 5 days, then keep the salt at that level for at least two weeks. The salt is cheap, it won't hurt the fish at that level, and it should kill the chilodinella. I have kept goldfish at 1% salt for months at a time with no problems.

12-28-2005, 07:17 PM
REALLY???? :eek:

I had no idea! I am certainly willing to give it a shot. I haven't read a single thing suggesting that goldfish can handle that level of salt. However, I've read plenty of stuff that you've wrote and I certainly trust your advice. MAN! Could the answer to my problem have been on my shelf all this time...... :cool:

Thanks Roddy! I letcha know how it goes.


Roddy Conrad
12-28-2005, 07:46 PM
A local pet store with 250 aquariums full of various kinds of fish asked me to help them with their high fish deaths a few years ago. About 20 of the aquariums had various kinds of goldfish, both feeder goldfish and fancy types. I kept all 20 of those goldfish aquariums at 1.0% salt (by accurate measurement) for 6 months, and the death rate dropped from and average of 30% per week to zero in a few days from bringing the parasite populations under control.

I also have done this with my own goldfish ponds, meaning raising salt to the 0.8% to 1% range, taking the pond plants out first, of course!

Don't add the salt all at once, preferably about 0.15% per day additions so there is no sudden change in osmotic pressure, and giving the fish time to adapt to changing water conditions.

As a side note to this subject, pounds of salt added per 100 USA gallons of water, assuming the source water is the usual 0.05% salt, follows below:

No salt added is presumed to be 0.05% salt, normal for most water supplies.

1 pound salt added per 100 gallons then gives 0.17% salt.

2 pounds salt added per 100 gallons gives 0.29% salt.

3 pounds salt added per 100 gallons gives 0.41% salt.

4 pounds salt added per 100 gallons gives 0.53% salt.

5 pounds salt added per 100 gallons gives 0.65% salt.

6 pounds salt added per 100 gallons gives 0.77% salt.

7 pounds salt added per 100 gallons gives 0.89% salt.

8 pounds salt added per 100 gallons gives 1.01% salt.

Don't add more than 8 pounds salt per 100 gallons, above 1% becomes risky to fish health, at 1.5% salt some of the fish may actually die.

12-28-2005, 07:51 PM
What efect would a shorter exposure to a strong salt dip have on goldies?

Roddy Conrad
12-28-2005, 07:57 PM
Why risk the salt dip? There is no risk at 0.8% salt, and it should kill the chilodinella.

Okay, professional fish handlers do the salt dip thing and it is likely to kill the chilodinella, too. But does it get rid of any chilodinella that may be in the pond water? No.

12-28-2005, 08:04 PM
So if the fish are staying put, the lower salt concentration is better. Makes sense.

12-28-2005, 08:09 PM
In koi, I would increase the PP to 3 or 4 ppm and follow Roarks regimen. If you did the 2 ppm PP but did not follow a similar regimen, then I would redose it at 2ppm and do Roaks way.

I do not however have much goldfish experiance with PP, so get other opinions.

Pro C is only 22% formalin and weak MG and Quick cure is 37% and a stronger MG than ProC. ProC is a VERY mild treatment/dosage, and there are lots of bugs it won't kill at times. I use it on a regular basis, and have lots of experiance with it. You will need multiple treatments no matter what in most cases, to be assured of a good kill rate.

I have also found that Ultimate water conditioner (an ammonia binder/dechlor) absolutely 100% affects the performance of ProC. I have not tested it with TS or other dechor/binders or other formalin/MG treatments. At the moment, and until I do more testing, I would not use any dechlor or binder with ANY treatments, due to the findings of the Ultimate ProC testing I have done to date.

I have used salt up tp.6% many times and can,t get it to kill anything any longer. I have not done many tests with higher solutions of salt, so I cannot say one way or another about the .8% Roddy speaks of. I prefer shorter and stronger treatments.

By the way, I agree with Roddy on the salt dip vs constant bath a lower levels. I have never liked dips, as they do not cover the pathogens life cycle in most cases, and are only a temporary fix if that. However, I do not think the .8% salt will do the trick, and especially after knowing the other treatments did not. It is harmless to try though., and if you do, let me know if it works for you.

12-28-2005, 08:17 PM
Welcome to the Koiphen and please keep us posted on your progress and results.


12-28-2005, 11:22 PM
Tanks for the warm welcome guys! :D:

My take on salt dips (strictly with goldfish) is that they do serve a great purpose. Namely the congestion that builds up in the gills. Its even awesome for stripping away a lot of the "stacks" and excess slime that columnaris causes to accumulate on the body and around the dorsal fin. I can only suppose that the increased slime production helps strip the old slime and infection away. I have done quite a few dips on my comet in the past and preffer a 1.5% dip for up to ten minutes. They work extremely well for getting parasitic treatments under way. A couple years ago, I "almost" completey dessimated this strain of chilo (and tetra) with daily 1.5% salt dips during a bucket to bucket treatment on my comet. However, because I didn't know that chilo is a facultative parasite and needed total eradication in the tank before being placed back in, I was just re-infecting when his bucket to bucket and salt dips regime was over. The viscious cycle began.

How much of an effect should I expect the 0.8% solution have on my bio-filter in the 55 gallon? I use two Biowheel 330's and both the bio-wheels and the media chambers are WELL colonized. Never a single spot of ammonia or nitrItes in 2 years.

Since this fantail is small (3 inch body) I am treating in a ten gallon tank without a bio-filter. Soooo, this should be rather easy to get the % up there. I plan on starting tonight by adding 0.15% and increasing the load by 0.15% each day. so, this should conform to the 5 day increase nicely. Ill slow it down as I near 0.8%.

By the way, I am operating on the premise that 1 gram per liter is equal to 0.1%. Is this correct?

Thanks again guys and I'll keep you posted on how well he takes it. If it goes over well, I'll be removing my cories and dojo loaches to a tropical tank and treating my comets with the same regime.


12-29-2005, 12:03 AM
Ok, being that I do not have a salinity meter but have a digital scale, I plan on going at it this way. Correct me if somethings wrong:

Being that a ten gallon tank does not actually hold ten gallons, I cut the 37.8 liters per gallon down to just plain 37 liters per gallon.....

Day 1 (right now), add 37 grams

Day 2 100% waterchange and add 74 grams

Day 3 100% WC add 111 grams

Day 4..........

So on and so on until I have reached day 8. Once there and beyond (for at least two weeks) after each waterchange, I will add 296 grams.

Sound about right?

Thanks again guys! :thumbsup:


12-29-2005, 12:24 AM
Paul, if you are going to use salt at that level, please do get your hands on a salt test kit. If you're off on your dosage, there will be issues with this level of salt in the system IMHO.

Something else that you might consider is using Proform-C, but not at the recommended dosages or intervals. I keep only koi, but have had a few run-ins with Chilo myself. I've found Proform-C very kind to the fish and effective.

If you decide to go this route, do the following:

This assume water temps at around 70 degrees. If water temp is lower, spread the treatment out by adding 1 day in between treatments.

Day 1 - Drop the water level down to 1/2. Add Proform-C at the recommended dose as if the tank were filled. This, in essence, is a double dose of Proform-C. At the 2 hour mark, start refilling the tank using ST (dechlor). This reduces the concentration to the recommended dose.

Day 2 - Do nothing

Day 3 - Same as Day 1

Day 4 - Do nothing

Day 5 - Same as Day 1

Day 6 - Do nothing

Day 7 - Water change - no more chilo :D:

This routine has worked without fail for me in the past.

NO SALT when using Proform-C please.

12-29-2005, 12:43 AM
Thanks, Sue. :D:

I will definitely be looking for a salinity meter, regardless of what treatment works. Mony's pretty tight right now though. So, Grams/L is the closest thing to prescision that I can think of. :(

I have read this exact treatment regime in several other threads here and I'm very interested in giving it a go but I want to try this salt scenario first. I'm pretty broke since Christmas and still have rent coming up in a few days. So, the ProformC will have to take the backburner for now. Until I can get the ProformC, I need to try something instead of sitting here watching him pout in the corner with his fins clamped.

Also, after seeing this strain actually conjugating with Quick Cure in the water column, I fear that MG/F isn't going to do it. They even seemed pretty happy with PP in the water as well.

Thanks again, Sue. :)

12-29-2005, 01:28 AM
Is there anyway you can get a picture of those devils and post here? I know you can use a digital camera and take shot through the lens using your fingers to circle the eyepiece where the camera can sit. If you have a digital camera and maybe use some food coloring for contrast, I'd love to see this critter up close and personal!!!

I can understand the $$$ issue especially right now after Christmas!!! Good luck with the salt. If Roddy says it will work, then by all means, go for it!!

12-29-2005, 05:38 AM
Do you have a drop type salinity test? I'd want to make sure that my calculations for salt/gallonage are accurate when taking the salt level that high.

Roddy Conrad
12-29-2005, 06:45 AM
1 gram per liter is definitely 0.1%.

The large constant water exchanges are for what purpose? Is it because the biowheel filter system does not convert ammonia and nitrite fast enough for the goldfish load?

Do not attempt to use the salinity meters sold for purposes of measuring the salt concentration in salt water tanks, they never give an accurate measure for fresh water purposes. I prefer salinity meters based on conductivity, but they sell for around $120. The drop type test kits usually work okay.

The change in salt level as described should not hurt the biowheel biofilter.

12-29-2005, 06:54 AM
I forgot that dropper salinity test exist! I'll definitely be searching one out. I have an excellent local shop that probably has tham as they also have saltwater fish and reef tanks. Thanks for the reminder! :D:

This is most definitely chilo. I scoped them numerous times and watched them VERY closely for the characteristic movements. Chilo indeed, I am positive of it. But, being that my scope is a cheapo I can't get any really good shots of this bug yet. But, in my first posting, I have a video of tetrahymena as well as a single chilodonella organism, both from the infected tanks. The chilo is very close to death as it has been on the slide for about 10-15 minutes before I found one good for pics and video. I will, however be recieveing a very good microscope in the mail (probably January 3rd). Then, I will go through my 55 gallon tank and taking many shots and vids of them. I'll post them as I get them.

Ill be using some staining techiques to try and count the kineties and other morphological characteristics for a definitive identification. Hopefully, I can get close enough to see the characteristics of the pharangeal basket (sp.) as this is one of the characteristics used in ID. Im REALLY lookin forward to a new scope...... :yes:

Anyway, gotta run to work, I'll post more later tinight!


12-29-2005, 05:16 PM
Sorry Roddy, I must have been posting this morning when you posted your reply.

My total waterchanges are specifically for the purpose of making sure that ammonia does not rise beyond the limits of what the natural detoxification of ammonia into ammonium (VIA pH and temp). I use sodium thiosulfate but I try not to rely soley on it for ammonia.

This fantail is not and has not been in the 55 gallon with the large comet and Shubunkin. To tell the truth, until I can cure the two in the 55 gallon, he will never go in there for fear of a flashing fit from the comet injuring the fantail. Maybe once I have this chilo whipped I will consider putting them together. Anyway, a while back, I began treating the fantail with a few different meds and it really knocked the bio-filtration capacity of the filters out of wack. Ammo and trItes were rising daily. Soooo, I began treating him in a ten gallon tank, sans bio-fitler, with lots of waterchanges to keep ammonia very low to nil. Until I can get a tank up and cycled, with bio-spira, for him, this is my only option. I could get a tank fully cycled, within a matter of days, with media from from my other tanks, however, all my other tanks still have tetrahymena scurrying around in them and I don't want to have to battle both tetra and chilo on my fantail again. It took me several weeks to rid the tetrahymena as well as some kind of carchesium/vorticella/epistylus and I do not want to battle them again.

Should I approach it a different way? Is there some danger in the way I am doing this as of recently? The way I figure it, the total waterchanges are going to make it a bit easier to dose the salt and keep it at the, supposed, proper level.

Thanks so much for your guidance Roddy. :D:

Roddy Conrad
12-30-2005, 06:50 AM
ST or sodium thiosulfate does not detoxify ammonia, just to make that point very clear. It only removes active chlorine from city water. It has no effect on ammonia.

12-30-2005, 09:07 AM
Does tetrahymena require a host to survive periods longer than 24hrs? If no, you could seed the new tank with media from your current filter, then just wait out the tetrahymena before you add any fish. Some ammonia should keep the newly established filter alive long enough.

Incidentally, are these fish in a clean-bottomed tank or do you have rocks and such in with them?


12-30-2005, 10:43 AM
Tetrahymena do not need a host to survive. I do not reacall there exact life span, but actually they primarily live outside a host. Not a true parasite in the sense of the word (if I remember correctly), and they are more plentiful in dirty systems with excess organics. Usually not a big problem for the fish until they become overpopulated in a system.

12-30-2005, 04:43 PM
Really! This is also news to me? So Prime isn't sodium thiosulfate? It says that it detoxifies exactly 0.6ppm ammonia so it sounds like I was misinformed.

Sorry for all the questions Roddy, This too, is news to me.....

Good thought Raymond. I wish it were so.

Yes, I've been reading about tetra watching this strain for almost two years now and they are definitely scavenger/hunters of detritus. I've noticed that they like to invade along with saprolegnia and other damage done to any tissues. I've got a resident population in my tropical tank and because none of them seem bothered by the chilo and tetra, I have a good tank to study them from. They love to get all up in saprolegnia tufts and eat the dying tissues and probably the cyanobacters that tend to grow in the sap...... I've become convinced that if water quality is kept-up, they don't pose a real risk. From what I've experienced, tidying up the system are the best thing for them. My creedo for medicating for most things is to do nothing unless it becomes obvious its not going to get better with better/stable care.

Heh, I've actually grown sort of fond of tetra after watching them for so long. :shrug:

My Fantail (Spud is is his name), has been eating like a pig and his water has just been brought up to exactly 111 grams of salt to 9.5 gallons of water. This should be as close to 0.3% you can get without a salinity meter (evaporation rate is almost nil). Still see some suspect swimming patterns and such but fin clamping has decreased a bit. I guess I am going to continue with this regime.


12-30-2005, 05:34 PM
I wish I could see that Chilo slide. Either my eyes are really getting bad, or its too fuzzy for me.

I hope you still have some around to photograph when you get your new lens. OR is that too cruel? :(

12-30-2005, 06:00 PM
.....So Prime isn't sodium thiosulfate? It says that it detoxifies exactly 0.6ppm ammonia so it sounds like I was misinformed......

Without looking at the label of Prime it may or may not contain sodium thiosulfate. The ST only neutralizes the chlorine then the other compounds in Prime bind the ammonia so that it is in a less harmful state till bio-conversion can consume it.


12-30-2005, 06:07 PM
From Seachem's web site:

Prime™ is the complete and concentrated conditioner for both fresh and salt water. Prime™ removes chlorine, chloramine and ammonia. Prime™ converts ammonia into a safe, non-toxic form that is readily removed by the tank’s biofilter. Prime™ may be used during tank cycling to alleviate ammonia/nitrite toxicity. Prime™ detoxifies nitrite and nitrate, allowing the biofilter to more efficiently remove them. It will also detoxify any heavy metals found in the tap water at typical concentration levels.

Prime works by removing chlorine from the water and then binds with ammonia until it can be consumed by your biological filtration (chloramine minus chlorine = ammonia). The bond is not reversible and ammonia is still available for your bacteria to consume.

12-30-2005, 06:35 PM
Cruel?! Now way! :D:

Yeah, that video isn't a very good representation. But, it does show the two main contractile vacuoles that are characteristic of only a few species. After the video, the vacuoles got larger and larger til they caused the cell to change shape into a blob of nothing.

I've got TONS of chilo, and tetra, to view for as long as I still have my tropical tank. I keep two baseball sized applesnails and a bunch of mollies in there. Once I get to treating my comet and shub in the 55 gallon, I'm going to have to move my two dojos and a cory in with the snails and mollies because theres no way they'll handle salt that high. Well, maybe the Dojos could but they arent bothered in the least bit by tetra OR chilo. So, you will soon see a MUCH better video of it at 200X 400X and 800X.

A few observations:
They can free swim in a straight line very well, at times, but tend to rotate/spiral, like a football, as they go. They can get a little hasty and lose control causing them to tumble uncontrollabley as they move. Obviously becasue their cilia on their anterior.

They are NOT roundish with a dimple/indentation like C. Cyprini/Piscicola. Instead, they are shaped MUCH like a human heart without the aortic valves and stuff.

Imagine your hand being a chilo, now imagine your hand cupping a large orange or grapefruit. Thats how flexible their bodies are as they crawl over mulm and debris chunks.

Anyway, I'm getting my new scope, a nice one, next week so stay tuned.... :yes:

Lee B
12-30-2005, 06:44 PM
OK - I gotta ask: what do you do for a living (in other words, how come you know so much about "bugs"?)

12-30-2005, 07:09 PM
Thanks Lee, I was just over there at SeaChem, I even looked up the product safety data and still no details on the exact ingredients.

I SWEAR I read something plainly stating that Prime was ST. I can't find it anymore but it listed it as the ONLY ingredient. Anyway, At least I know that the ammonia is really being dealt with. I;ve been using Prime for years and have always had success with it....... :yes:

Hahahaha, I'm just a "NERD" thats very interested in scoping microfauna inhabiting our waterways, ponds and tanks. I had to completely teach myself how to use a scope and identify things. I even taught myself how to judge general micron sizes of whats under the coverslip. I guess you can say that google has allowed me to fullfill most every question I have ever had about the stuff I look at.

Actually, a flukes infestation, a few years ago, got me to buy a cheapo scope and start searching. Once I saw them there, doing what they do (along with everything else), I was hooked. Since the 55 gallon tank has had MANY plants and fish through it, throughout the years, I have a HUGE array of different organisms to look at and try to identify. Stentors, euplotes, carchesium, about 5 different amoeba, 3-4 different rotifers, motile cyanobacters and quite a bit more that I can't remember offhand.


EDIT* I meant to say that I thought I had read that Prime was ONLY ST.

Lee B
12-30-2005, 07:31 PM
Cool! I think that's the way most of us started: something goes wrong, we try to find out what, and we get bitten - HARD! :yes:

Prime won't tell you what's in it: it's a "secret" :rolleyes: You may try to do a search for its MSDS . . . it usually tells you more than the website.

Sodium thiosulfate (ST to those of us who know and love it :D: ) will detox chlorine, and chlorine only. Except for large water changes, most of us use ST instead of the more expensive binders (of which Prime is one). The ST breaks the chlorine/ammonia bond of chloramine, neutralizing the chlorine and releasing the ammonia. An established filter will process the "unbound" ammonia in a few cycles. It's also much cheaper. You're only dealing with 55 gallons; how'd you like to spend that kind of money for 5500 gallons????

The use of ST or binders also determines which ammonia test kit you use. Once upon a time, all "binders" were based on formalin to bind the ammonia. Then the manufacturers started getting fancy and came up with "new" and "improved" versions, and the salicylate tests began to get flakey results when the reagents don't quite read the chemicals used. Many of the binders now come with a companion test kit for ammonia testing, and if you don't use THEIR test kit for THEIR binder, you can get bad readings.

So, if you're using Prime, then you're using an ammonia binder, not just a dechlor. And if you don't need a binder (like, if you're on well water), then you can use the much cheaper ST, and keep the Prime for large water changes (> 25% or so) or when cycling a new filter. Also, most of the binders "burn off" (run out of steam!) in about 3 days.

12-30-2005, 08:00 PM
You know, I think the ST and test kit desrepancy isn't exactly as most stuff says it is. I have compared salicate and nessler kits (AquaPharm), side by side, with the same ammonia load and Prime load. Both kits registered the same results. However, if I let the salicate kit sit for beyond the amount of time it says to check the results, the water turns a amber/brown color. The "false reading" was a delayed reaction. So, I have found that if your using Prime, no matter wich kit you use, if you take your reading at precisely the time alloted for the test the results come out right. Of course, it could be different with different water chemistries. I wouldn't know that.


Roddy Conrad
12-30-2005, 09:36 PM
Hey, Paul, as long as you keep those Apple snails in with your fish, you are practically guaranteed to keep parasites since it is quite well documented in many places that is practically impossible to get a good parasite kill when Apple snails are in the system. The parasites are protected from the poisons effectively inside the snail, according to many well based technical reports on that subject.

So unless you completely eradicate those snails, plan to keep on viewing parasites in that system.....

12-30-2005, 11:19 PM
Yeah, they're kinda stuck with chilo and tetra in my tropical tank. But, I keep the water and gravel immaculate. The KH is tested and corrected in the snail/tropical tank bi-weekly because the snails tend to be KH sponges. ESPECIALLY since they've grown to be a handful each. Nobody in that tank ever flashes or shows any sort of discomfort/respiration difficulties. So, I figure somethings keeping them in check and I don't want to mess with an otherwise perfectly healthy system. Leave well enough alone, you know? Heck, even if I wanted to treat them, WHAT would I treat them with? Also, that tank resides downstairs (and has its own equipment) and the rest are up here. so cross-contamination from that tank is pretty minimal.

I've read up on apple snails and they actually use other living organisms to help digest the stuff they eat. So, I would imagine them being able to house any number of "bugs" through and in their "guts". Even chilo or tetra.

I REALLY hope this salinity level works for my little guy. I would go as far as to send him to KoiLab if they had a treatment center for diseases and parasites. Course, not to many folks send "sick fish in the mail, do they? :thinking:

Tomorrow we reach 0.4% in Spuds tank. After it hits 0.5% for him, its uncharted territory so I gotta keep a close eye on him....

thanks again, everyone. Especially you Roddy, you've breathed new hope into me and for that, I thank you dearly. :D:

12-31-2005, 03:01 AM
This is a looooong one. I need to put these thoughts somewhere and maybe even hear some of your own.......

OK, for any of you scopers interested in strains of chilo with different morphological differences, I found these in my favorites from a while back. Theres some great info below. I wish I could just link to them but it seems that either the pages were removed or the server is down or something. Here is where the pages copied below are suppose to be: http://www.aapqis.org/main/sp/path/viewpath.asp?PathID=39

The following are the only two Chilo species known to be parasites of freshwater fish.......

Pathogen Type Parasite

Pathogen Environment Fresh Water

Pathogen Name Chilodonella hexasticha

Disease Name or Pathogen Common Name Chilodonellosis, Chilodonelliasis, Warmwater Chilodonelliasis

Authority (Kiernik, 1909) Kahl, 1931

Description Pathogen Description (after Kabata 1985 (R), Wiles and Cone 1985 (R), Lom and Dykova 1992 (R), measurements in micrometers with means in parentheses): Body dorsoventrally compressed, rigid, suboval, lacking notch on posterior margin; dorsal surface convex (flat anteriorly), ventral surface flat (P). Ventral cilia arranged in two bands; right ciliary band arched, longer than left, composed of 5-7 kineties, left ciliary band straight, composed of 7-9 kineties (P); (P). Oral basket protrusible, conspicuous, opening anteriorly on ventral surface. Three oral kineties; two circumoral, in front of oral opening, the third preoral, long, extending along the anterior line of contact of the two ciliary bands. Transverse row of bristle-like cilia on anterior part of dorsal surface. Macronucleus subspherical, near posterior end of cell; micronucleus oval, close to macronucleus. Several digestive vacuoles and one or two contractile vacuoles usually present. Dimensions (from Kabata 1985) (R): length 33.6-47.6 (40.3), width 23.0-44.2(33.0), macronucleus 7.8-13.3 (10.9) x 7.8-12.3 (9.9). Wider variation in body measurements and range in number of kineties in ventral ciliary bands has been reported (see, for example, Kazubski and Migala 1974 (R), Jee et al. 1996 (R)).

Zoonotic Importance none

Host Tissues or Organs Infected Skin and gills

Life Cycle and Epidemiology Direct life cycle, the parasite capable of swimming from host to host. Asexual reproduction via transverse binary fission, sexual reproduction by conjugation. Resting cysts formed during unfavorable conditions. Reported unable to survive off the host for longer than 12-24 hours (Kabata 1985 (R), Lom and Dykova 1992 (R)).

Clinical Signs and Pathology Uses the cytoskeletal armament to cause tissue disintegration and feeds on the resultant cellular debris. Clinical signs include irritability and jumping, followed by lethargy, weakness, emaciation, and production of a bluish-grey mucus.

Pathology is due to the parasites feeding activities, and is characterized by extensive hyperplasia of the gill tissue which may lead to severe fusing of lamellae, reduced respiratory capacity, necrosis, loss of osmotic balance, suffocation and death (Hoffman et al. 1979 (R), Kabata 1985 (R), Paperna and Van As 1983 (R), Lom and Dykova 1992 (R)).

Pathogenic Significance Common pathogen of freshwater fish in both temperate and tropical regions. In temperate latitudes, outbreaks are associated with the onset of warmer weather following weakening of fish during winter. Infections reported to cause epizootics and mass mortalities in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and gold fish (Carassius auratus) in the United States (Hoffman et al. 1979) (R), in cichlids in Israel and South Africa (Paperna and Van As 1983) (R), and in bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis) in Malaysia (Shariff 1984) (R). Often found in mixed infections with fungi, other protozoans and bacteria. Chilodonella hexasticha usually infects the gills of older fish, while C. piscicola (Zacharias, 1894) is typically found on the skin and gills of fry and fingerlings (Kazubski and Migala 1974) (R).

Next one.......

Pathogen Type Parasite

Pathogen Environment Fresh Water

Pathogen Name Chilodonella piscicola

Disease Name or Pathogen Common Name Chilodonellosis, Chilodonelliasis, Coldwater Chilodonelliasis

Authority (Zacharias, 1894) Jankovski. 1980

Description Pathogen Description (after Lom and Dykova 1992) (R):
Body asymmetrically oval, dorsoventrally compressed, with notch on posterior margin (P); (P); (P) . Ventral cilia arranged in two bands; right ciliary band arched, longer than left, composed of 7-15 (usually 8-11) kineties, left ciliary band straight, composed of 8-14 (usually 12-13) kineties, 5-6 of which are postoral, having their anterior ends facing the long, outer circumoral kinety (P); (P). Oral basket protrusible, conspicuous, opening anteriorly on ventral surface. Cytopharynx reinforced by 14-16 conspicuous nematodesmata, forming a long cyrtos (a tube), curved at its inner end. Three oral kineties; two circumoral, in front of oral opening, the third preoral, long, extending along the anterior line of contact of the two ciliary bands. Short transverse kinety on anterior part of dorsal surface.

Macronucleus subspherical, near posterior end of cell; micronucleus oval, close to macronucleus. Two contractile vacuoles opening via separate pores, one anteriorly at right, the other posteriorly at left. For surface ultrastructure based on scanning electron microscopy (SEM), see Wiles and Cone (1985) (R) and Urawa and Yamao (1992) (R). Dimensions (from Lom and Dykova 1992 (R), Urawa and Yamao 1992 (R), measurements in micrometers with means in parentheses): length 30-80 (55), width 20-62(43), macronucleus 19-32 long, 10-21 wide.

Zoonotic Importance None

C. Cyprini identification requires detailed examination using a compound microscope. Can be separated from C. hexasticha by the presence of a notch at the posterior end of the body, more numerous and less widely spaced kineties [7-15 (usually 8-11) in the right ciliary band and 8-14 (usually 12-13) in the left vs 5-7 and 7-9 for C. hexasticha] and slightly larger body size (30-80 x 20-62 vs 30-65 x 20-50 in C. hexasticha). Silver staining may be used to demonstrate infraciliature and Giemsa's stain to demonstrate nuclear apparatus.

The taxonomical descriptions sound like a bunch of "crazy talk" at first. But, if you have a knack for breaking compound word down to their roots, it isn't to hard to grasp. Especially after running the hard ones through dictionary.com.

Ok, my chilo more closely resembles C. Hexasticha. All except for the mention of them dying off within a day or two of not having a host fish. There might be a mistake in that statement though. My chilo lives just fine without a fish as long as there is some sort of mulm and/or uneaten food. I also notice that oxygenation plays a large role in their survival. After removing mulm and some water, to a bowl, from one of my tanks, they seem to die off (or maybe encyst??), if the water sits stagnant for longer than 20 minutes or so. That might not be particularly true but it seems to be a trend. I cannot elaborate on the mention of encystment (yet?) but If I have this strain for long enough, I will try to run some controlled experiments to try to verify it.

I am willing to bet that there are more than just these two species that are facultative parasites. Maybe some sub-species that have a slightly different morphology are in some of our tanks and ponds. For instance, the photos of Chilo that is on Bonnies Hales site (Bonnies Plants) certainly don't look like C. Cyprini/Piscicola but they differ from mine as well.

I can tell you that another species, C. Uncinata, is a facultative parasite of mosuito larvae. There is also solid evidence that C. Uncinata can encyst and even avoid dessication for a period of time.In their cystic stage, its usually within the eviscerated bodies of the larvae. So, perhaps some of the "resistant strains" that are reported are actually cases of re-infection from equipment not properly sterilized. C. Uncinata is even in an application for a possible patent for controlling mosquito populations VIA biological control. Wholesale release into the environment... Imagine if Uncinata were to evolve a taste for fish slime!

I have read and understood some stuff about C. Cucullulus wich has the ability to evolve (or maybe switch between a preset list of evolutionary traits) rather quickly, when the need to do so arises. During cunjugation, an exchange of genetic material happens and unused or unneeded genes or chromosomes are quickly ditch in favor of genetic material that is imperative for survival in the immediate conditions. This genetic trait, if present in other chilo species, could also explain resistancies being formed rather quickly.

I guess what I am trying to accomplish by posting all this stuff is to share my sources of info and ideas in hopes of trading for others thoughts and info. I very much value the opinions of the people on this board and cannot think of a better place for this posting. When its all said and done, I would like to help establish a better understanding of this nasty family of parasites. Who knows, maybe it can lead to revelations that open doors to new treatments or different treatments for different species?


12-31-2005, 04:52 AM
Chilodonella cyprini.....

12-31-2005, 09:33 AM
Hi Ruth, I'm not 100% positive but I believe that C. Cyprini is the same organism as C. Piscicola. Actually, 2 different guys "discovered" and named the same organism, years apart.

Chilodon piscicola (Zacharias, 1894)

Chilodonella cyprini (Moroff, 1902)

This strain is the most commonly seen chilo infecting fish. I have yet to see a video that wasn't this strain (besides Bonnie Hales). Thats why I studied Chilo so much. I wondered why my strain didn't look like the ones in the videos of slime exams. I doubted myself for so long thinking that it wasn't Chilo but a relative like trithigmogaster and it wasn't the organism causing all the trouble. I still have a slight doubt but most or all the other chilos and close relatives are larger than the two listed above. Here's a page with almost 50 different Chilos and descriptions of most: http://www.nies.go.jp/chiiki1/protoz/morpho/chilodon.htm

Here's two videos of C. Cyprini/Piscicola. Each is from a totally separate tank in different states and both are resistant to a week of Quick Cure, 0.3% salt and acriflavin with 0.3% salt. Salt dips were even administered to the infected fish before the Quick Cure treatments. :

C. Cyprini at 800X (http://media.putfile.com/Chilo--800x)

C. Cyprini/Piscicola at 400X (http://www.putfile.com/chico69)

And just for good measure, here my shoddy video, through a cheap 25 dollar scope from Walmart with proffesional slides and coverslips. My Frankenstrain : Chilo sp? at 400X (http://www.putfile.com/media.php?n=HPIM1411)

And a blurry pic of a few of the same frankenstrain:


You can barely make out their outlines but its very plain to see that theres no indentation on their posterior...


01-03-2006, 11:05 PM
Hi all! :D:

I now have Spud at 0.6%. He didn't seem to like it when he got to that level yesterday, so I am holding him at 0.6% for an extra day. In fact, he hasn't quite been acting all to happy since he reached 0.5% but I guess thats to be expected. Will continue with extreme care.

I recieved my scope today. I immediatey scoured his ten gallon and found nothing moving at all, so, thats a plus. :cool: After that, I went into my 55's filters and removed some detritus from the floss and found several Chilo organisms. However, I had no luck in capturing photos or videos before their cells were destroyed. I hate that **** 15 minute window I have for finding them.... Anyway, I'll keep plugging away at it and post them when I get something good. Since Everyone seems pretty happy in the 55 right now, I suppose the chilo is being kept in check by predation and competition. But the jigs up for them, FOR GOOD, as soon as I get done with Spuds treatment.

This strain is definitely not Hexasticha OR Cyprini/Piscicola. So, I have to assume that it's either an undescribed facultative species, or it is C. Uncinata as it more closely resembles it than ANY other species listed with pictures/drawings. I have yet to find mention of Uncinata infecting fish....

Number 3 and 4 on this page seems identical to mine: http://protist.i.hosei.ac.jp/taxonomy/Ciliophora/Phyllopharyngea/Genus/Chilodonella/

Thanks again! :D:


01-03-2006, 11:37 PM
Hi all! :D:

I now have Spud at 0.6%. He didn't seem to like it when he got to that level yesterday, so I am holding him at 0.6% for an extra day. In fact, he hasn't quite been acting all to happy since he reached 0.5% but I guess thats to be expected. Will continue with extreme care.

I recieved my scope today. I immediatey scoured his ten gallon and found nothing moving at all, so, thats a plus. :cool: After that, I went into my 55's filters and removed some detritus from the floss and found several Chilo organisms. However, I had no luck in capturing photos or videos before their cells were destroyed. I hate that **** 15 minute window I have for finding them.... Anyway, I'll keep plugging away at it and post them when I get something good. Since Everyone seems pretty happy in the 55 right now, I suppose the chilo is being kept in check by predation and competition. But the jigs up for them, FOR GOOD, as soon as I get done with Spuds treatment.

This strain is definitely not Hexasticha OR Cyprini/Piscicola. So, I have to assume that it's either an undescribed facultative species, or it is C. Uncinata as it more closely resembles it than ANY other species listed with pictures/drawings. I have yet to find mention of Uncinata infecting fish....

Number 3 and 4 on this page seems identical to mine: http://protist.i.hosei.ac.jp/taxonomy/Ciliophora/Phyllopharyngea/Genus/Chilodonella/

Thanks again! :D:


Paul, I guess I'm a bit confused!! Did you find these critters on debris taken from the filter? Is that right? I've seen similar critters on biofilm that are not Chilo and are harmless. When I first started learning to use my scope I practiced with gunk from the ponds. Saw several critters that looked like Chilo and even flukes, but they were not. Have you scraped the fish itself?

01-04-2006, 12:04 AM
My scope and a few Chilo back in November..

Marie :)

01-04-2006, 01:40 AM
Well, Here's how I figured out that this species of Chilo is the culprit:

I scraped my comet, from the 55 gallon a year ago and found Tetra infecting a spot that had just lost a couple scales (right behind the gills), Not many, but they were there. Shortly after that, I examined tissues from a dead guppy from a watersnake tank I had going and I found both chilo AND tetra. After that, I went back to my 55 and found that Chilo was there as well. After scraping a bunch, I found a couple chilo on my comet.

When I got Spud, he was fine for several months. After some time, I accidentaly cross-contaminated his tank with something from one of the other tanks. Well, I scraped and scraped but never found what was causing him to pace, bottom-sit, flash and fin flick. Being that he was so small, I had great difficulty in trying to procur a gill sample. Thats when I brainstormed and figured out a great way to find what was causing all his discomfort. I devised a 1 micron screen module where ALL water flowing out of a powerhead would have to flow through the screen. Thats when I removed him from his cycled tank and placed him in the "sterile" tan gallon with the micron module. After scoping and identifying ALL of the harmless critters that were still hanging around, I was left with the Chilo and the Tetra. Well, I DID find plenty of carchesium or some other bell animalcule along with some other completely harmless critters. I went right to treatment with MG/F. After two rounds, everything was dessimated EXCEPT for the Chilo. The symptoms just kept going. After experimenting with this micron module for several months, I found an unmistakably direct correalation between his symptoms and the number of these chilo organisms per slide. Hes at his worst when I see these guys regularly. When I treated with Chloramines T and he seemed cured for almost a week, there were no chilo organisms to be found in his tank. The symptoms began again and I found more chilo....

Now, couple the info above with the fact that chilodonella is a free-living ciliate, NOT a true parasite, then I think you can see why I choose to inspect the detritus in the micron module instead of scraping him all the time. I DO scrape him sometimes but I never get anything becasue he is so small still (2 inches from gill plate to caudal penduncle). Besides, the symptoms are strictly limited respiratory distress. So, I believe it would take a good gill snip to see them doing their thing in there. There are no other living organisms in this system besides Spud and this chilo. Nothing. Well, maybe some bacteria. I have scope several hundred times in the past 6 months and if there were something else there, I would have found it.

Since this chilo species is the ONLY visible living organism in the system, I have to assume that it is what is causing the respiritory distress. This distress happens even though the water chemistry and parameters all checked out.

Am I missing something or is there an organism that is smaller than 1 micron that can infect a fishes gills and cause fin flicking and the whole speil? :confused:

01-04-2006, 03:41 AM
:eek: :eek: :eek: VERY INGENIOUS!!! I sure hope I never come across this little devil!! Seems to be bullet proof!!! Are you sure you aren't missing Costia??? You seem very adept at using the scope so I would guess that if they were there, you'd spot them.

EDIT: What type of scope are you using?

01-04-2006, 09:01 AM
Thanks! :p:

Well, for the longest time, I was using a cheapo plastic scope. Since I was using proffessional slides and coverslips, It worked well enough for me to see stuff at 100X and 400X. 900X was tough to see with but I could still use it for getting in close to suspects. Now, I am using a GREAT scope with DIN optics, mechanical stage, ABBE condenser and 10X and 20X eyepieces. I can view at 40X, 80X, 100X, 200X, 400X and 800X. The clarity of this thing is AMAZING compared to my old one.

I have often been paranoid that I've been missing costia in my exams but after checking out a gazillion pics and vids, I don't really think they are there. I believe the micron module would have produced at least a couple commas tossing end over end, if they were indeed there. Besides, I have yet to see a single red spot or heavy slime patches anywhere on this little guy. I woll certainly keep looking closely for them though. I HAVE, however, seen a couple flagellates since I got my new scope. I had seen the organism before, but I couldn't see their flagella til just now. Definitely not costia though.

01-04-2006, 11:33 PM
Well, He's now at 0.7% and holding his own! Its been about 20 minutes and I am seeing the same reaction as if I had raised him from 0.1% to 0.2%. A tad agitated but not in distress. If he does well tonight and seems good in the morning, I will raise him to 0.8% and hold him there for two weeks.

I haven't found any Chilo in his tank since I got him to 0.4% but from time to time, he acts as though they're still there. So, I assume I'm just missing them.

I sure hope this works cause this is my last hope for dessimating these nasty buggers...... Bulletproof indeed! :mad:

01-05-2006, 04:54 AM
It's problbly much like when we scrape ourselves - once the healing beginns it starts to itch.


Lee B
01-05-2006, 06:45 AM
Way to go, Toothless! It would be very cool, indeed, if something as simple as salt could finally handle a problem you've had such a hard time with. Just remember that when you go to drop the salt level, it has to be done just as slowly or you will shock the fish. If you had taken him from an ambient level of salt and plunked him into .8, you'd have a dead fish. The answer lies in slow changes.

But no sign of the wee beasties is very good!

01-05-2006, 07:44 PM
Thanks Lee. I was assuming that I would bring the salinity back down slowly. It makes sense and all to make these changes, gradually, both ways. ;)

After doing a bit of homework, I found out that goldfish bloods salinity is about 0.9%. So, It seems to make sense That they can handle betwen 0.8% and 1%. So long as its not any higher than that, their osmoregulation doesn't have to work so hard (or run in reverse too hard). At least, this is my basic understanding of the principles at work. Am I close, Roddy?

Im still in a bit of shock that he's in this high a % of salinity. I mean, I have NEVER read the first thing stating that it was even remotely possible. Heh, if it was anyone other than Roddy that informed me of this, I might not have even attempted it...... :rofl:

Scoped again today and still not a single soul stirring under the coverslips! :cool: I think its working! But, I've said that before. :thinking:

thanks again, everyone!

Roddy Conrad
01-05-2006, 08:24 PM
Brett Rowley, a koi fish farmer near the Gulf Coast in Texas, "ran out" of fresh water for one of his koi mud ponds one summer, and had to use brackish water with 1.5% (yes, the decimal point is right) salt content to keep a growout mud pond full of koi all one growing season. He was shocked both that the koi did well at that measured salt level, and was also shocked when he harvested them to discover no fish parasites at all.

But the higher salt levels, meaning 0.6% to 1.2%, are risky unless the fish are taken up at a gradual rate in salt level. It does a good job on many parasites, and other issues too, such as some fungus infections.

01-05-2006, 11:45 PM
Cool stuff, Roddy! Thanks :D:

Ok, I got busy with my scope tonight and got a video of this chilo species from my 55 gallon:



In the first vid above, you'll see the organism completely stop for a brief second. What it did was expell a vacuole full of nothing but water. I watched it do this at least 5 times while I was chasing it down. Within a minute, it had another vacuole full of water taking the place of the expelled one. Also, these vacuoles can join together to make a large vacuole. The bubble at the posterior of the cell is its macronucleus. The macronuclei of these organisms are always posteriorly located.

So, waddya think, ever see this species? I'll work on better video.......

01-06-2006, 12:02 AM
(EDIT, gotta figure out how to upload photos from my hard drive.....)

01-06-2006, 02:22 AM
VERY KOOL!!! What power did you use on the second video!! I've never looked at them that close up before. It looks like it actually searching and/or eating something in the water - foraging in some way.

To me one Chilo looks just like the other!!! :rolleyes:

01-06-2006, 05:05 AM
Darn! I couldn't see it, heard some head banging heavy metal, but no video just black. Maybe my rural snailpaced dialup?

01-06-2006, 06:34 AM
Thank Sue. I have to work on my technique for getting in close and still having a little bit more light without giving up any contrast.

Aart, Im not sure, but I think you may have to let it play through a couple times before youll actually be able to see it, otherwise, dial-up will only display the black screen for the first one or two go-rounds.

Ill get more, believe me. :yes:

01-06-2006, 06:51 AM
Sorry, forgot to add that the second video is at 800X with my camera zoomed in closer. The first video is at 200X.

Heh, I just relized that I had music playing in the background! :rolleyes: It kind of dates me as the second video's tunes is from an old early 80's Punk band :To funny:

I'll do anohter search this evening and get some vidoe at 400X. With my current set-up, I think that power will produce the best images for posting.


01-06-2006, 05:21 PM
Ok, here's Tetrahymena (Pyriformis?) next to Arcella (shelled amoeba).

Cick to enlarge:
http://x11.putfile.com/1/516190689-thumb.jpg (http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic=1/516190689.jpg&s=x11)

01-06-2006, 05:44 PM
WOW that's a great shot!! And still very sharp pic file at only 28k. So what's the magnification and is the amoeba the big one or the little one?

Thanks toothless....I'll have to try the video again later, run it thru a few times and see what happens. I wish I had high speed but it's just not available out here in the sticks, they just put a wireless highspeed antenna 3 miles from my house but it only has a range of a 1 1/2 mile radius :(

01-06-2006, 05:53 PM
Arcella is the large one. The tetra is moving away from the arcella so the pointy end is the anterior. I can tell you that Tetra does indeed irritate the living #@$% out of fish skin and gills. People may say that they arent much of a threat but I have experience otherwise. Especially when I can find them on scrapes or shed scales....

Sorry, I suppose I need to get use to providing the specs on my photos, huh? :thinking:

Magnification is 200X and taken through a 3.2 megapixel hp photosmart 735 on a tripod with maximum zoom.


01-07-2006, 09:53 AM
Given enough numbers, ANY waterborn, microscopis organisn can and will irritate fish. Even if they are not "true" parasites so to speak. Voticella, and fish mights are other good examples.

01-07-2006, 04:12 PM
Thanks John. :D:

I figure too much of anything could be bad news.... :yes:

Fish mites? Do you mean Acarina? Or the mites that invade dried fish stores? I have some mites that I find from time to time in my 55 gallon. Here's a pic of one (taken with my old scope) :


Lee B
01-07-2006, 04:57 PM
ACK! Paul, I *must* say that you have an interesting collection of photos! (and what do you do in your "spare" time, when you're not scraping, scoping and photographing????)

01-07-2006, 09:02 PM
hehehe, I have been bitten by the "microscope bug" ..... and its seems to be a terminal case. :p:

Usually I like to fill my spare time with surfing and skateboarding. But for the past six months, I've been riddled with BPPV (Vertigo) from a blow to the back of the head. So, I've had a bit of spare time to dedicate to scoping. Of course, I've been scoping a lot for the past two years and really enjoy IDing everything I find.

If I find something I can't ID, it drives me mad :yernuts:

01-07-2006, 09:18 PM
Thanks John. :D:

I figure too much of anything could be bad news.... :yes:

Fish mites? Do you mean Acarina? Or the mites that invade dried fish stores? I have some mites that I find from time to time in my 55 gallon. Here's a pic of one (taken with my old scope) :

Yeppers...that's one of many types for sure.

Lee B
01-07-2006, 09:23 PM
Well, if ya gotta get bit, I guess there are worse things (like sharks!). Vertigo can be devastating; I hope it goes away.

Surfing - skateboarding: ya must be a young'un!

Well, welcome: we can always use another geek, especially one that likes 'scopes!!!!

01-07-2006, 10:45 PM
Surfing - skateboarding: ya must be a young'un!

Well, I use to be. hahahaha :To funny:

Im turning 32 in a month. I just stuck with it for longer than most of my friends I grew up with...... ;)

01-08-2006, 05:14 PM
I got an excellent video of the chilo in my 55 gallon (same as what is/was infecting my fantail/ryukin):


It gives you a 3D view of it as it is flipping around every so often. Note the lack of vacuoles in this particular organism. I believe it was near daeth as it completely stopped moving within seconds after taking the video. I also got some pics of it too. Will post those later......

01-08-2006, 09:20 PM
OK, last photo installment for a while..... I swear. :rolleyes:

This is a photo that illustrates the macronucleus, pharyngeal basket (throat), the beginning of the kineties at the anterior and the tranverse row of cilia that is located on the anterior surface (upside-down U at the pointy part of anterior). These are the parts that will allow me to eventually, hopefully, ID this particular strain. When I get ahold of some silver nitrAte, I can stain and count the kineties. At this point, it more closely resembles C. Uncinata than any other I have found. Wich, if you remember reading earlier, "they" are trying to file for a patent for using C. Uncinata as a form of biological mosquito control. Very disturbing indeed.

Anyway, here's the pic:

Click to enlarge
http://x11.putfile.com/1/719495196-thumb.jpg (http://putfile.com/pic.php?pic=1/719495196.jpg&s=x11)

Lee B
01-13-2006, 03:45 PM
Yo Paul!!! What's goin' on, Dude?

No updates . . . how's the fish doing???

01-14-2006, 01:44 PM
Hi Lee! :D:

Sorry for the delay in updating. I didn't want to jinx myself. You know how it is, I start hailing the treatment as successful and WHAMMO, I find them the next day..... BUT, all seems VERY well. I have yet to find a single chilo organism in treatment tank that Spud is in (scoping daily). I believe the salinity did indeed do the trick. :yes:

However, he is starting to show some clouding in his pelvic fins and the redness seems to be returning as well. I MAY have missed some ammonia rising though. Either way, being that I haven't found any chilo kicking in there, I am going to start slowly reducng the salinity back down. I don't think he can handle much more of the salt......

Incidentely, I fond an excellent source (and CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP) of salt. Mortons Rock Salt (ice cream salt). It goes for less than a buck for 4 pounds! I did some research on their homepage and they take it from underground salt mines. They grade it and package it up without adding any YPS or other anti-caking agents. I sure wish I found it before I went through all the salt I have gone through til now.

After finding a page or two mentioning C. Uncinata as being able to parasitize fish gills, I am pretty confident that my identification was correct. I must say, there is a serious lack of information on the different species of chilodonella parasitizing fish. I am positive there are even more but the three that are definite culprits are C. Cyprini/Piscicola, C. Hexasticha and now C. Uncinata. I believe some experimentation needs to e don to figure out wich species are succeptable to different drugs. I know there MUST be differences, but with my lack of money and access to a lab, I am not the candidate for the research.

Anyway, I know its been less than two weeks but I am pretty darn confident that this chilo is gone from him. Will begin reducing the salinity tomorrow. After all, it has been a week and a half since he got to 0.8% salinity. I just don't think hes quite up to 4 more days.......

I'll update in a couple days. Thank again guys! :D:


Lee B
01-14-2006, 04:22 PM
Great news! (well, except for the reddening of the fins and all). I thought we'd discussed salt and the cheapest ways to get it: I go to Sam's Club and pick up a 40# bag for less than $5 a bag. It's the blue Morton's bag for water conditioners. I buy the yellow (pelletized, non-bridging) bag for the water softener, and the blue (rock salt) for the fish. If ya look for it, most grocery stores will sell the smaller bags (20# or so), also for about $5 (ya pay for the convenience!). It where they sell pool supply stuff, or sometimes auto supplies or whatever. Just ask a lackey!

Psst: your knowledge of bugs is downright impressive! *I'm* impressed, at least :cool:

01-15-2006, 04:16 PM
Well, I did it. I jinxed myself. :mad:

Just after posting, I decided to do another exam of the detritus from the bottom of his treatment tank and found a rather lively chilo negotiating some chunks of "stuff". This, I am assuming, is the reason for the decline in his appearance and activities. The redness has decreased a bit but the opaqueness of his pelvic and dorsal fins is still there. Bottom sitting has increased.

I realized after re-reading through my notes, he has not quite been in 0.8% solution for as long as I thought. So, I am going to keep the salinity stable for another 5 days or so. I am not exactly confident that this salinity is going to off them for good. So, I am steadily losing faith that I will find a cure.

I have a few questions I hope can be answered:

Any thoughts on copper for a treatment?

I know that Cupramine is the copper-based drug of choice for freshwater fish. Can cupramine be used in tandem with this level of salt (or ANY level)?

My tapwater has a high alkalinity (180ppm), so a chance of overdose of copper would be relatively low. I've read some info from Doc Johnson stating that "amine" copper is relatively safe to dose up to 4-5ppm. Is this necessarily true for goldfish as well as koi?

Jeez, man. I must have the most resiliant strain of chilo ever. NOTHING seems to work on them. What gives? If this is indeed C. Uncinata, then the use of it as a biological control of mosquitos seems to be a VERY dangerous thing for neighboring fishponds and other aquaculture facilities. This to me, is VERY unsettling.......

thanks for the info, Lee. You know, I found that Rock salt seems to have some sediment mixed in with it. Not much, but enough to throw off the weighing of it. I estimate that out of 300 grams, there is an average of 5-8 grams of sediment that does not dissolve. Somewhat negligable, but worthy of mention all the same.

"Trying" to hang in there....... :(

Roddy Conrad
01-15-2006, 07:05 PM
Have you tried the combination of PP and high salt? That should kill off the rest of the chilo the high salt did not kill by itself.

I would try leaving the salt high, and using a 2 ppm PP treatment every three days.

01-15-2006, 07:42 PM
Actually, I didn't know that high levels of salt could be run with PP. If you say that it can, I trust you. I will give it a go tomorrow evening. I'm still a tad hesitant but willing to try anything at this point.

Are there any other compounds that can be run with this level of salt?

Incidently, have you ever come across a strain of chilo that you could not kill? Even at the levels of salt that I'm using?

Thanks Roddy.

01-15-2006, 07:55 PM
Actually, I didn't know that high levels of salt could be run with PP. If you say that it can, I trust you. I will give it a go tomorrow evening. I'm still a tad hesitant but willing to try anything at this point.

Are there any other compounds that can be run with this level of salt?

Incidently, have you ever come across a strain of chilo that you could not kill? Even at the levels of salt that I'm using?

Thanks Roddy.

Oh yes, PP and salt!! Very good and very powerful combo!! The salt is said to increase the effectiveness of the PP so go for it!!!

01-16-2006, 08:58 PM
I just got through PPing him. He made to 2 hours 45 minutes before I didn't like the way he was flaring his gills when he respired. Wasn't overly responvive to nudges either. So, out he came. Hes slowly rebounding back in his tank.

Later on, I'm going to collect the "fried bio-bits" (manganese dioxide?) the come away from him and settle at the bottom of the tank. Ill examine and hope that I dont find any chilo.

If he winds up with bacteria gill infection in during all this, can I use Chlora T at this level of salt?

Just a thought......... I'm wondering if this salt level is actually holding their populations in check. Maybe by NOT allowing them to divide or conjugate or something similar. If that idea is at all true, then the PP should destroy the ones that are hanging in "reproductive limbo". :thinking:

Here's a hypothetical line of thought:

The other day, somebody reminded me of an old idea I've often toyed with in the past. There might be some other protozoan (that preys on other protozoans) that could be introduced to a tank, en masse, to destroy, or control populations of chilo and/or tetrahymena and the like. I've been checking out a ciliate called Dileptus and they heavily predate tetrahymena and other tetra-sized protozoans. Check 'em out on google. You wouldn't believe how far some of them can stretch their "necks" out. were talking a body/neck ratio of about 1:50!!!! Anyway, I know biological control of garden crops with wingless preying mantis/mantids and ladybugs with a drop of cola on the back (so they cant fly) is a reality, so perhaps the idea is feasable on a microscopic level.......... (more :thinking: )

Imma let him ride for a day or two before I think about doing the PP again. Hopefully I see some kind of improvement soon. :(

Lee B
01-22-2006, 12:34 PM
YO!!!! What's going on??? Remember - you're running an experiment for the rest of us! INPUT - gotta have INPUT!!! ;)

01-27-2006, 12:01 AM
Oh, I see, I guess Spuds a guinea pig here, huh? :confused: :D:

Sorry for the delay, I lhad some computer problems that just got sorted out.

Ok, first off, I must say that if this 0.8% salinity is to be tried by ANYBODY, the utmost care in keeping the temp stable in the mid to upper 70's be provided. There seems to be suggestive evidence that high salinity and a low temp can easily cause exopthalmia (pop-eye). So, Do not attempt this unless you are using a heater or have a very stable temp. My reasoning is that two of the 3 different folks that have been trying this (including me) have witnessed pop-eye in theor fancies becasue of a temp drop while at this high salinity. Just a warning to heed.......

Anyways, here's an update:

I think I whipped that Chilo with a series of PP dips while at 0.8%. He took 3 dips, 3 days apart, fairly well but could only take 2-3 hours @ 2ppm each time. A few days after I administered that last dip, I had company over while I was trying to do my calculations and %'s for a daily waterchange and DOUBLE dosed him on accident! Somewhere between 1 and 1.5%!! 2 hours later, he was spiraling around in his tank uncontollably and gasping. I freaked and realized what I had done. So, I whipped up a fresh batch of 0.8% water, placed one of my sandshark internal filters (converted with a hose for a return) into the new batch of water. I grabbed Spud from the too high salinity and held him in my hand, in the new batch. I pushed his chin forward a little, rythmically pumping, and held him in front of the water return hose. I did this for 45 minutes. He was absolutely LIMP and lifeless when I started. No gill movements, no eye movements, just a lifeless body. 5-10 minutes after starting CPR, he twitched and gave a little tiny gasp. Little by little, he regained respiration and strength til he was breathing on his own, once again. It nearly took an hour but I did it! I must say, I did NOT think he was going to make it.

So, Its now 3-5 days later and hes still kicking. He DID have a bout with Pop-eye when the temp here dropped (I wasnt running his heater at that time). Erythromycin and 78F took good care of that though. I havent gotten him to eat anything since the salt OD (and he flips easy now) but he is steadily improving as the salinity is reduced. He is now at .25% . I hope to get him to eat somehting over the weekend, if not, entubation is my next step. I HAVE to get his appetite back or he doesnt stand a chance.........

Any suggestions on getting him to eat? I'll be purchasing his favorite treats this weekend and trying them but is there something that seems to work for inducing an appetite? I heard some stuff about garlic before, is there any truth to it? :confused:

I still dont know if it was the salt OD or the PP that offed the stragglers, but I havent found any chilo in his tank for over a week now!

Ill be back tomorrow. Thanks again guys!


01-27-2006, 03:23 AM
A few things I've tried with success with Koi was to offer Krill. Hard one to resist even for a sick fish. The other is cooked Pearl Barley with lots of garlic. It sinks and can foul water if left in there too long so watch that. I've seen very sick fish "crawl" over to eat this homemade food. Easy to digest also. It's the garlic they like. Not sure it will work on goldies, but worth a try maybe.

01-27-2006, 09:00 AM
My goldfish will do fin flips for garlic barley. :)

01-29-2006, 09:35 AM
I finally got him to eat! And he's eating with gusto too! :D:

I think the PP dips and the accidental NaC1 overdose wrecked his gills for a while. Even though I have yet to see anything over 1 micron living in his water, he was/is still acting like his gills are irritated. You know the mouth chattering and yawning they do when the gills are affected? I think it took a week for him to regain the full use of his gills.

Anyway, his appetite has returned so strong that he isn't even waiting for his pellets to soften up before trying to chew them. Hes swimming over and grabbing them before they even hit the bottom. And I didn't even have to get the barley and garlic thing going. All it took was some frozen bloodworms to get his appetite going.....

He is now at 0.15% salinity and I think Imma hold him there for a while. Just until I can cycle his main tank once again. I have a new oranda that is in a cycled tank wich I may just add Spud to. BUT, I have to well and sure that the newbie doesn't have any nasties that were brought in with him. For a week now, I have been scoping the newbies filter and all I found is a flagellate with a single flagella coming out its front end. It uses the flagella like a snake (but in reverse, because the flagella is on the front end) to propel themselves. Definitely NOT costia or hexamita or spironucleus. So far, I think it could be oikomonas (harmless as far as I know) or something similar. I will report their ID as soon as I figure them out. Maybe I will grab a couple pics of them too.

So, that is where I am at with this. Im pretty darn close to success, I think. ;)

Will post back soon.

Roddy, and Auntie Sue, and Lee B, I cannot express the enormous gratitude that I feel towards you guys. I have been battling this strain of chilo for the last 6 months (3 years, really). This is the closest I have come yet. Got my fingers crossed for a reporting of a full eradication. The next week of waiting will tell me if they are truly gone or not.........


Lee B
01-29-2006, 10:19 AM
Great news Paul! (It's a bit of a shame that you didn't get to test out the Italian in you, but if Spud is eating - that's the primary goal!!!! ;) )

Please keep us advised. Usually chilodonella is not quite so stubborn, but it's good to know that a (relatively) benign treatment can still effect the desired results. :cool:

01-31-2006, 08:14 PM
So far so good! His appetite has returned in full. I haven't seen him eat this voraciously in a loooong time! :cool: His rounded figure has returned and I have even noticed growth in the past 3-4 days. The best part of all, no chilo found on him or in his tank for over a week. There is, however, a little organism that looks and moves similar to chilo but is much smaller (10 microns). They give me a little jump everytime I see one flitting by. I've become pretty paranoid after dealing with a "superbug".

After the salt overdose episode, he became very flippy. I would have to reach in with a little push-stick to right him several times a day. As the salinity reached closer to nil (.05% as of yesterday) he slowly regained his swim bladder function and has not flipped since.

I dont want to jinx myself but the PP and the high salinity sure seems to be the one-two punch that can whip the worst of 'em. I will always keep it in mind for any other tough cases I come across.

Thanks again guys and I'll update soon! :Drogar-Bi

Lee B
01-31-2006, 08:53 PM
I'll be looking forward to hearing about Spuds' progress! Keep your fingers crossed! The end is in sight!

02-04-2006, 12:29 PM
Hi Lee. So far so good! :D:

No chilo, no suspect behavior and still eats like a litte pig with fins! :p:

I think its pretty safe to say that his ordeal with chilo is indeed over. And good riddance! The light at the end of this dark and dreary tunnel is expanding further and further as each day passes. Thanks for being here Lee, it truly means a lot. :yes:

Roddy, thank you so much for your guidance. Without your suggestions, this wouldn't have been possible. It is truly a wonderful experience to look into his tank and see him happily begging for food once again. Truly, it warms my heart to know that I was finally able to give him some relief from such a nasty critter as "my" strain of chilo. Again, from the bottom of my heart ....... THANK YOU!!!!!!


Lee B
02-04-2006, 07:54 PM
You and Spud are most welcome, and I'm sure I speak for Roddy, too. It's a real pleasure when a fish recuperates. It was Roddy's idea to kill off the bugs with the high salt; I know it can be used to help dropsy victims, but had never used it that high for cooties :rolleyes: .

I'm pleased for you both :D: :yes: