Sunday, November 7, 2010

Treatment for Anchor Worms

      Lernea Elegans or Anchor Worm is a very common external parasite. Most often, it is common at goldfish and koi fish ,at smaller-sized fish such infections can be fatal. It is named "anchor" because get deep into the body's fish, especially in the tail or dorsal fin. Is easy to see with the naked eye.
     At the end of the outside shape, it develops their eggs, which mature very quickly, the maximum being 14 days. Although mature parasites prefer other areas to be fixed, lernea larvae choose to fix on gills, until they reach sexual maturity. After breeding, the male dies and the female is swimming  free in the aquarium for a period of time, then she's looking for a new host.
     Both during the growing and mature period, this parasites feed with the host's blood, which causes injuries, or worse, destruction of muscles. Anchor worm causes more pain, and the fish will be tormented a while to get rid of the worm, rubbing on gravel, decor, rocks, ornaments, etc.. In addition, the infected fish is quickly scared and is agitated.
     The wounds are hard to heal, so it is best to take action immediately to avoid their breeding. The more parasites, the more they need more blood to feed. In cases like this, the fish can be so weak that it becomes lethargic and will refuse food until death. Also, injuries caused, may cause true infections.

     The bad news is that, as I said above, anchor worm is multiplied by  eggs, so you have to apply the treatment in the entire aquarium, which, with this occasion, will become decycled.
     Besides treatment, you can pull the parasite with the tweezers through a fast moving. But before use an anesthetic, such as clove oil. Then, use a disinfectant, because after this operation, the fish remains with an open wound for a while. Both larvae and worms, can be treated with Sera Cyprinopur or JBL Argudol.
     Another treatment is baths with a substance called formalin. It is used in a concentration of 200 ppm in long baths, approximately one hour, during which the water will be aerated. However, these baths are made separately, so the eggs from the tank are still dangerous. Pay attention to formalin: if the fish has open wounds, do not use this method of treatment, it may be lethal. Also, if the fish is struggling, get it immediately out and make a weaker concentration.
     Another treatment is baths with potassium permanganate (5-10 ppm) but still can cause fish death.
     After treatment, disinfect the entire aquarium very well.


  1. That picture is disgusting and i hate the site of worms in my tank. Although some of them, like brittle worms are useful to the aquatic life balance. I found some more information on diseases and infections of cichlids from this website www.cichlidfishguide.com

    Yikes! Is that Goldfish gonna die or what? It looks so sad

  2. Hope is not dead :( that is a picture I've found for those that they don't know what an anchor worm look like, to better identificate it.

  3. Well , the Picture helped me in identifying and treating my my Guppies . Thankfully my Koi are healthy .
    Adding Salt actually helps with the wounds .

    Thanks for the picture :)

  4. How to treat the entire aquarium??

  5. I have a 29 gal tank with a 5inch common gold fish and a 2 inch fantail goldfish I got just recently.. I noticed a red spot below my 5inch goldfish's eye but I didn't think anything of it because the new fish was picking on the other one so I just thought it was a "battle scar" but then I noticed a short white string coming from it so I did my research and came to the conclusion it was anchor worm. So I went to my local pet store and they gave me coppersafe to treat my aquarium. I also managed to take my fish out of the tank and try to remove the worm with tweezers. I didn't fully remove it, it kind of like broke off?? I'm not sure if it will grow back into the full size worm or if that will kill the worm... Any thoughts?