Anchor worms, also known as lernea, are small worms that are visible to the naked eye. They attach themselves to fish and will cause harm when they do so. They are typically found near the base of the fish’s fin and cause inflammation within the fish’s body. This may result in redness, ulcers, and the fish may appear lethargic.

How will Anchor Worms Affect Your Fish?

Anchor worms are a type of parasite which is rarely seen among aquarium fish. However, it is often found in ponds, and when infected fish are placed inside an aquarium with other fish, the parasite can easily spread as it is highly contagious.

The worm will anchor its head into the skin of the fish, and will then produce eggs (only female anchor worms directly attach to fish and male anchor worms attach to the female anchor worms), and the eggs are released inside the water. Once the eggs hatch, they become swimming larvae known as nauplii.  When the anchor worms die, they leave behind a wound on the fish that will make the fish susceptible to additional infection.

Symptoms of Anchor Worms

  • Small red or green worms that appear in wounds
  • The development of ulcers
  • Constant flashing or rubbing
  • Fish have breathing difficulties

Fitz’s Fish Ponds is the Best Fish Care Specialist to Help You Combat Anchor Worms

We have considerable expertise dealing with fish health and anchor worms in particular. Treatment for anchor worms will involve substances such as potassium permanganate, antiparasitics such as Disco Worm, salt, and Formalin. The primary purpose of the salt is to prevent the fish from developing secondary infections.

The fish will need to be removed from their pond or aquarium and transferred to a location where the water is fresh and clean. We prefer to remove fish by hand before we quarantine the tank. This typically has to be done several times, which is a complex procedure. This is why at Fitz’s Fish Ponds, we do not recommend attempting to resolve this condition on your own. Tweezers are excellent for physically removing the anchor worms, but they must be gripped close to the wound. The fish must also be periodically placed in a water bucket so that they can breathe. Once the anchor worms have been removed, a stress coat will need to be applied.

As with many other fish diseases, anchor worms are easier to prevent than eliminate. They usually appear in private ponds or even aquariums as a result of carelessness when introducing new fish. New fish which are purchased from stores or other sources should be carefully quarantined before being combined with the rest of the fish in your aquarium or pond. Fitz’s Fish Ponds specializes in pond care, cleaning, maintenance and construction. Pond or aquarium owners who detect anchor worms in any of their fish should contact us immediately. Removing these parasites is a challenging task and those who attempt to do it without the proper experience can easily make the problem worse. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you ace in pond fish care.