Your Guide to Anchor Worms

It's not unusual for freshwater fish enthusiasts to find anchor worms on their prized fish. But what are anchor worms? Keep reading for everything you need to know about anchor worms, including what they are, symptoms to watch for, how they can affect your fish, and how to treat them. At iFISH Store, we strive to share our knowledge of common fish diseases to keep your fish healthy, as well as offer a large selection of freshwater fish online. Continue reading to learn more or place an order today!



What Are Anchor Worms?

Anchor worms are a type of parasitic crustacean that can affect freshwater fish in aquariums and ponds. They get their name from the way they attach themselves to the fish, using two anchors at the front of their body. While not normally fatal to fish, anchor worms can cause irritation and lead to other health problems if left untreated. 

koi fish

Common Symptoms of Anchor Worms

  • Red and inflamed scales
  • A whitish-green thread-looking parasite protruding from the fish's skin
  • Scratching or rubbing against objects in the tank or pond

how to treat anchor worms infographic


How to Treat Anchor Worms

There are a few different ways to treat anchor worms, depending on the size of the fish. Regardless of size, you should always start with cleaning the tank or pond and ensuring the water quality is good.

For larger fish, you can typically remove the parasite by pulling on its body. Once removed, we recommend applying some topical antibiotic ointment to the affected area as this will help prevent any secondary infections.

For smaller fish, you will need to add a medicated concentrate to the water to treat the fish for anchor worms as removing them physically could further harm the fish.


FAQs About Anchor Worms

Q: How can I prevent my fish from getting anchor worms?

A: You can help prevent your fish from getting anchor worms by properly quarantining new fish before adding them to your tank or pond. You should also regularly check your fish for any parasites and take action immediately if you see any.

Q:  Why do anchor worms attach to fish?

A: Anchor worms attach themselves to fish to feed off of their blood and body tissues. They can also lay eggs on the fish that will hatch into more anchor worms. 

If you think your fish may have anchor worms, it's important to take action right away. At iFISH Store, we offer a wide selection of freshwater fish online and are always here to answer any questions you have about fish health and diseases!

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