Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
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-   -   Help!!! ANCHOR WORMS!!! (

qk607 02-15-2009 01:16 AM

My tank is showing signs of an anchor worm epidemic! A few days ago I saw one attached to the gills of my raibowfish. To me, it looked plastic, so i thought it was a piece of plastic from a decoration that got lodged into the fish. I took that out with some tweevers. However, just this moment I found 3 more like it on 3 different fish. I took them all out with tweezers and did some research. I'm almost 100% sure its anchor worms. Does anyone know about them? How do I get rid of the damn thing?

Lupin 02-15-2009 03:36 AM


Anchorworm (Lernaea elegans)
The crustacean Lernaea is often called "anchorworm" by aquarists as it anchors deeply in the fish skin with its branched suction organ and has an elongated body without visible limbs. At the back end, there are two sac-like outgrowths where eggs develop.

It takes the eggs between several days and and two weeks to attain maturity. Then they fall off and the larvae hatch. The mother crustacean dies and is repelled from the fish tissue after the eggs have fallen off. The larvae are also parasites and go to the gills of the fish to suck blood. As larvae, they attain sexual maturity there. After mating, the female larvae leave the fish and swim around as planktonic organisms for a short time. Then they find a host and bore their way into its skin.

1. Dimilin Powder
The only known method of killing this parasite, without killing the fish is DIMILIN POWDER which can be used safely at any water temperature and has an action of sterilizing the adult and larval stages of this parasite which insures that all eggs produced, after the application of Dimilin, will not hatch.

Method: Dimilin Powder at the rate of 1 gram per ton of pond water. Measure out the quantity required and mix in a plastic bucket with pond water ensuring that the powder is dissolved then add to the pond in the previous manner. A second dosage may be needed to ensure that the life cycle of the anchor worm has been halted. After this second application the dead adults, which will still be hanging from the fish, can be removed using tweezers but making sure that the hooks, as well as the tail of the anchor worm are removed and then apply a proprietary topical dressing to prevent a secondary infection.

2. Potassium Permanganate
There is another way of removing anchor worm but more care has to be taken when removing all parts of the anchor worm which is to mix a strong solution of potassium permanganate crystals of 1 gram into 25 mls of hot water. Mix well until dissolved and then dip the tweezers into this solution prior to the removal of the anchor worm, once the solution touches the body, the anchor worm releases its grip immediately and it can then be lifted clear of the fish and the water. Wipe the end of the tweezers on a clean tissue to remove all traces before attempting to remove another anchor worm.

3. Sera Cyprinopur
Follow the instructions accordingly. Use Sera Baktopur to treat the wounds of the fish after the anchor worms have been pulled out. When pulling anchor worms out of the fish, firmly grasp the tweezers near its base where it is burying to the skin and quickly pull it out.

qk607 02-15-2009 03:36 PM

That's dandy and all, but where do you buy those meds? I checked at practically all the pet stores around my area and can't find any one of those. I settled for the jungle brand parasite clear tabs, since it says it removes anchor worms rite on the box. If anyone's aware of them, do you think it will work. However, I've read around and people say anything short of dimilin, anchors away, proform la, or KMn04 will not work. Any advice?

aunt kymmie 02-15-2009 04:24 PM

I found my potassium permanganate at an "aquatic pond store". Do you have anything like that in your area? My LFS didn't have it but the pond shop did.

Lupin 02-15-2009 07:29 PM

Ebay is always at your service.

qk607 02-15-2009 09:42 PM

You can buy deadly chemicals off ebay? No wonder terrorism's everywhere these days.

Lupin 02-15-2009 10:26 PM


Originally Posted by qk607 (Post 172046)
You can buy deadly chemicals off ebay? No wonder terrorism's everywhere these days.

:shock: :shock:

aunt kymmie 02-16-2009 12:53 AM

Heck, even Home Depo sells deadly chemicals :-)

qk607 02-16-2009 09:03 PM

Mix that potassium permanganate with some sulfuric acid and you got yourself the evening news.

Anyways, my tank is getting out of control. I just added some parasite medication yesterday, the jungle brand parasite clear, and so far nothing. An angelfish of mine has died for some unknown reason. before it died, it had weird fungus like fluff on its body, kinda looked like cotton or a crumpled spider web, hanging from its body and fins. it was never there before, and I only found one anchorworm on it while some of my fish got 3 or more. He was floating listlessly but calmly, and wont move even when you touched him.

What do you guys think is going on? Is it some secondary infection? A rainbowfish of mine is starting to get the same symptoms and I dont want another fish to die. Do you guys think I should get some Dimilin, or stick with the fizz tablets?

qk607 02-17-2009 07:59 PM


the problem is getting worse. a rainbowfish of mine has just died this morning. It suffered the same fate as the angelfish I mentioned earlier. I've started giving them anti-bacterial foods to help cure the wounds. So far, the remaining fish seems normal, and I haven't seen any new anchorworms popping up, though the old ones haven't fell off.

To be honest, I dont have much faith in those tablets I took Kymmie's advice and ordered some dimilin from a local pond store.

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