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Hello,

I have noticed many small red worms in my aquarium. I currently have one large and one medium sized fish that are both flowerhorn x firemouth. I had the medium sized fish in another tank with some large common Plecos. I first noticed the worms there in the Pleco waste. I dosed that tank with a parasitic medication called SulfaPlex from SeaChem. It Sulfathiazole has in it which I read was good at removing parasitic worms. It seemed to work as the worms were no longer visible in the substrate or filter. I moved the medium cichlid to the tank with my large cichlid about 2 months ago. Then recently in the last few weeks the medium cichlid began to have a bloated abdomen. It didn't appear to cause much harm so I thought it was some intestinal blockage due to feeding the same pellets too considtently so I started feeding them some garlic and peas in the last week. Yesterday and today the medium cichlid has been sluggish and not eating much. Her poop is white and stringy, and she has been breathing heavily. I did a 50% water change just now which seemed to help with her breathing but she is still bloated and I am worried she will get worse. I also noticed that these red worms are now all throughout the substrate in the new tank meaning they must have never been eradicated from the medium cichlid. I have looked everywhere to find out what these parasites are so I can kill them off but can’t find anything that matches the small red worm I am seeing. I am thinking of trying the API general cure next but wanted to post here to see if anyone could help me out. I have attached a couple pictures below of a few of the worms I found to help identify them. Thank you for any help you can provide.
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I believe your tank is infested with parasitic, Camallanus Worms. This is a pretty serious problem, and can kill your fish if left untreated.
Info here:


The medication Fenbendazole is an effective treatment for camallanus worms. It might, however, kill other inhabitants of your tank, so it is best to prepare a fish-food with it. Instead of instantly killing the worms, fenbendazole works by slowly expelling them out of the fish. If a large number of the parasite infects your fish, it would not be suitable to kill all of them as they would begin rotting in your pet’s gut.
You can source for the fenbendazole packets in animal health stores. Ensure that you thoroughly mix the powder with the food, that is mix until you cannot see any chunks of the medication in the food. You can use a blender for improved efficiency.
The fish will start releasing the camallanus worms a few days after consuming the medicated food. The treatment can be given once a week for two or three weeks. Clean the aquarium and remove the debris since fenbendazole will not target the larvae in the dead worms. The free-living larvae can also survive for three weeks without a host.
 
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