Prazi and Flubenole
Al Sabetta April 8, 2002

I have been emailing back and forth to someone with a lot of experience with prazi. This person used to be very active on the discus forums years ago and is not any more, but still tunes in from time to time. He has given me permission to use the information we have discussed, and I am sharing that with you now because I think it highly valuable and well worth looking into and experimenting on. His name is unimportant as I am only giving this information from the point of view of another experienced hobbyist. I think it is for us to try and gather additional info here through our experiments.

Please keep in mind that with most medications that we use on our fish, little is truely known as to the side effects and even the modes of action as many drugs were developed for use in other animals, or just have not been fully characterized. When we are faced with an illness we often want it cured and go with what the most popular treatment. We should do so, but cautiously.

Okay, here we go... from an experienced hobbyist.


Prazi is every bit as effective (if not more so) against Flukes as Flubenol, but more importantly you are setting yourself up for a lot of grief by suggesting Flubenol without some accompanying warning. Many people, including myself, have had Discus end up dead while treating with Flubenol. There are enough cases of this by experienced hobbyists that it can't be written off as mistaken overdosing. On the other hand it doesn't happen that often so its not a well known phenomenon. The best I can figure is that certain Discus are hypersensitive or allergic to Flubenol. I'm not saying don't recommend it, because most of the time it works well and is relatively inexpensive, just suggesting you be careful in your wording.

As far as Prazi goes… I did a lot of microscope research about 6 years ago on the effectiveness of Prazi against gill Flukes.

Taking fluid scrapings from inside the gills of adult Discus I was able to see several live Flukes with the characteristic double hooks just as pictured in Untergasser's "Discus Health". After a 48 hour Prazi treatment I again looked at gill scrapings. This time I saw lots of hooks with no bodies. There were never any living Flukes seen, only the hooks of what was a fluke. I did this several times over a year and with several fish; always with the same results. When I began researching Prazi I found two important facts. First it is used in a human medicine "Biltricide" for treatment of blood flukes that humans contract in tropical waters. This disease is Shistisimosos (sic) and is a real problem in tropical areas.

Prazi is extremely safe. A few years ago I was a very active member of the forums. Started out with Discus L and then was one of the first on Raffaele's forum. We discussed all these meds back then, just as you are now. When I began, people were losing whole broods of fry to Flukes and Prazi was the only med that was always safe even in high overdoses. Tapeworms were a secondary consideration because they may be ugly but they're not life threatening. I finally left the forums.

I really don't consider Flubenol as a viable alternative. Two other negatives about Flubenol; it takes 7 - 10 days to start working which is literally a lifetime to an infested fry, and it is a very dose sensitive med.

All the information I've ever seen (which, by the way, isn't much when it comes to treating fish with Prazi) is that Prazi does Not kill Fluke eggs. That's why the two treatments are needed. I honestly don't remember if Flubenol kills the eggs or not, but if it did that would be a plus for it. There's not much more I know that you don't. As I think you mentioned somewhere Prazi ruptures the Fluke skin, something about a Calcium ion exchange going on there. A parasitologist I work with said she was pretty sure there are close similarities between Fluke and Tapeworm skin cell structure. She did research with bird parasites and was quite familiar with Prazi but was surprised to hear that it could be used in water to treat fish parasites. I was very interested to hear that you used acetone as a solvent. When I first discovered acetone was a solvent I did some Fluke tests to see if the Prazi was still effective. I did get the same positive results but I really only did one test and I've been trying to get some more feedback from people that do use the acetone, just for confirmation.

Feel free to use our discussions however you see fit. If I tell you I did a certain experiment then it's first-hand knowledge, although the experiment will probably not meet scientific standards with controls, etc. and if i'ts not first-hand knowledge then its just hearsay or my opinion.

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