Pumpkin Power

Pumpkin Power


The power of the pumpkin
COPYRIGHT Simon Bacon 1999 and beyond

The method I finally arrived at to treat my fish with the pumpkin seeds is as follows-First source your Pumpkin seeds-I found mine in a health food shop-cheap and loads in the bag-fresh could be better but knowing Pumpkin seeds sometimes the quality can be bad. Ideally get pre shelled seeds so you just have the insides to deal with-The Pumpkin seeds came with a green coating-not knowing if this was artificial or not I scraped it off-better safe than sorry.

Now the hard part-processing the seed-it is most important to reduce the seeds to as fine a powder as possible-nothing else will do as the Discus WILL reject it. My personal choice is to use a small bluntish blade moved fast across the seed sideways which shaves off a very thin sliver of seed-and in a lot of cases simply produces dust-this is good-you may find a better way of doing this-as long as you make dust thats great. You need to process around Four seeds into powder before you go further.

I personally use three cubes of frozen food as the carrier-defrost and put into a container draining off all free liquid-I find the best foods to use are Artemia and Beef heart but this can be altered for your fishes fav food as long as that ISN'T flake or pellets. Add the powdered Pumpkin seeds to the mix and stir in-I then leave the mixture to stand for one hour-then it's feeding time-using tweezers I add a little food at a time when I know the fish want to feed-it's important they eat the food as quickly as they can so the chemical isn't lost into the water. It is important that the fish ingest as much of the food as possible-if it takes half an hour to feed them slowly then it takes half an hour-then i'ts a case of monitoring the fish wherever possible. The chemical in the seeds is supposed to kill the worms but if the fish ingest a smaller amount than needed the worms may either not get passed or be passed while still alive-it is MOST important that ANY worms are removed from the tank so as to stop reinfection due to reingestion. It is a very good idea to do this treatment a fair while before lights out as sometimes it can take hours-if not days for worms to pass.


On my first trial treatment on a Discus I have seen pass a tapeworm in the past I was SUPRISED to see within ONE hour a worm being passed which was removed from the tank-no other worms passed. I thought to myself, well thats great but maybe it was just a coincidence-so a few days later I treated again-just before lights out-next morning I switched the light on and within 15 minutes THREE worms started to be passed-it took so long I called work to say I would be late as again it was important the worms were removed.

I now as a matter of course do this treatment every 2-3 weeks and have had no more worms pass-all the fish in the tank look great-the treatment had no negative effects on anything in the tank-which is a mixed tropical tank.

I now have a tank of young Blue Diamond Discus which I have noticed on occasion have had swollen stomach's-one was so bad it literally FLOATED on it's side on the surface-the Blue Diamonds are more picky and were more selective of what they ate and so when I treated them they did not ingest the food for a while-which I presume led to the chemical being leached out-I again treated them and 36 hours later on returning from work the fish that had the floating problem was passing a tapeworm-this I feel could be a very good reason why it suffered a blockage. When viewing these results it must be remembered that the seeds can contain very different amounts of Curcubitin (the active ingredient) so results should never be expected to be constant. I see no reason why a higher amount of seed cannot be added to the food mixture but an IMPORTANT point should be made-when fed to the fish I noticed a residue floating on the surface-I was concerned this may have an effect on oxygen levels in the tank but never found this was a problem.

I only have a small collection of Discus and only so many pet tapeworms so I cannot investigate further, but I feel this was a worth while investigation into alternative treatments which cost little and most importantly THEY WORK.

I feel my Pumpkin seed treatment is a real alternative for people who either don't have access to chemical treatments or who find them outside there price range although it should be remembered that this treatment can only have an affect on fish which are eating.

You can contact Simon on the email address on top of the page.

You can also visit his special page Power of the Pumpkin http://members.aol.com/powerfulpumpkins


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