12-04-2006, 03:05 PM
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A little bit of information on Anchor Worms for you:
They are an external parasite that needs a living host to survive. Once removed from the fish via tweezers method, as Blue described (good description Blue, I have done this many many times over the years at the store, it's not a fun job), the biggest issue is then with infection. Melafix is a good medication to use for this.
When plucking the anchor worms from the fish, try to grasp the worm as close to the fish's body as possible, so the head of the worm doesn't break off and sink deeper into the flesh of the fish. The head of an anchor worm has "hooks" on it, and you must remove this entire head piece to get rid of the anchor worms.
As was already advised, please get a much larger tank. Fancy goldfish reach up to 8 inches, and comets up to 14 inches, and they grow extremely fast. 50 gallons would be a bare minimum for 2, and would still be temporary(the first year or 2). Full grown, these fish will need 75 - 90+ gallons for 2 of them.
As for how they got anchor worm... it is likely that it was there when you purchased the fish, simply due to the fact that it needs a living host to survive. Once 1 fish is infected, any other fish in the tank are likely to have it soon. It's important to pull the worms and treat the fish as soon as possible, as infection sets in quickly, especially if waste levels in the tank are high or if the tank is cycling. In a new 5 gallon tank, I would expect to see both of those problems.
Let me know if there's anything more I can do to help.