Anchor Worms
Ardan Huck May 25, 2002

This is a parasite that is extremely rare in aquarium fish. It is a copepod. It must be brought in by an infested fish. It is usually found in ponds. They resemble a thread (dark brown to red in the picture I have) hanging from the fish up to 3/4 of an inch long. The head of the worm is anchored into the fish's skin. The distal end of the worm holds an egg sack. They reproduce using an egg. The wounds from the worm are subject to secondary bacterial or fungal infections.

  1. Potassium permanganate dip at 100mg/2.5 gallons of water, or

  2. Salt dip, or

  3. Formalin dip at 2 to 4 ml Formalin/2.5 gallons of water for 30 minutes, the fish may lose equilibrium and must immediately be transferred to clean, fresh water

  4. Modern antiparasitics (such as Disco-worm, Fluke tabs, and Clout) may be used

  5. Salt in the aquarium at 1 to 2 tablespoons may help prevent secondary infections

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