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?
Although Anchor worms are a type of parasite rarely seen among aquarium fish, they are often found in pondes. Unfortunately, anchor worms have the ability to spread throughout the pond.
The female worm will anchor its head directly into the skin of the fish, and will then produce eggs (the male anchor worms attach to the female anchor worms). The eggs are then released inside the water. Once the eggs hatch, they become swimming larvae known as nauplii and can infect other fish in the pond. When the anchor worms die, they leave behind a wound on the fish that 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
At FFP, we have considerable expertise in regard to fish health and anchor worms in particular. If you notice the signs or symptoms of anchor worms in your fish call us to schedule an appointment for treatment.
Treatment for anchor worms will involve a fish care expert properly identifying the anchor worm, calculating gallonage of your pond and quarantine tank, and dosing for the treatment. Treatment substances such as potassium permanganate, antiparasitics such as salt, and Dimilin-X will be used in caring for your fish. In addition, the primary purpose of the salt is to prevent the fish from developing secondary infections.
When we come out, we will remove the infected fish from the pond and remove the anchor worms on the fish by hand. We use tweezers and we must grip close to the wound. Once the anchor worms have been removed, a slime coat builder will need to be applied. Then, then we will transfer the fish to a holding container or quarantine tank where the water is fresh and clean.
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 or equiptment can easily make the problem worse. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you in caring for your fish.