How to treat anchor worms in goldfish

Anchor worms are another external parasite that usually affects goldfish and other types of fish that is quite common. Anchor worms are often referred to as Lernaea cyprinacea, a common copepod parasite that are small crustaceans. These parasites are mainly found in pond-raised fish, but if left untreated, they can cause serious harm to your fish, not only in the parasite population, but also in secondary bacterial infections that can also arise after parasites are adhere to the body of the goldfish. What happens is that they pierce the body feeding on tissues and fluids that cause the appearance of more bacterial infections. The good news is, in fact, it is not very difficult to learn how to treat anchor worms in goldfish or any other type of fish. These parasites are very treatable, as there are many treatment drugs on the market to choose from. Here I will show you many different ways on how to treat your goldfish for anchor worms.

Remove anchor worms with tweezers

This method of treatment for anchor worms is not one that I will recommend to people. However, you will be able to see these worms found on your goldfish as they are like little green hair-like parasites that look attached to your goldfish. They are quite easy to see and can be removed with tweezers, but the only downside to this method is that you don’t see all the small worms that might be attached to the goldfish that are already starting to grow. Anchor worms start out small and end up growing into larger worms as they begin to feed on the goldfish’s body fluid, which you will then see later without a microscope. This method can work, but you will never know if they have spawned in your tank or pond and are just waiting to find a new host.

Drug for the treatment of anchor worm

To know for sure that you have gotten rid of anchor worms once and for all, people must vigorously use fish medicine to kill these external parasites. There are many types of fish medications on the market and here are just a few people to choose from: Anchors Away, Dimilin, Proform LA, and potassium permanganate. These anchor worm medications work very well and will kill the parasites that affect your fish.

Anchors away

To treat your fish with anchors, be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage. This is how you treat your fish with this drug:

1. Perform a 25% water change before treatments.

2. Always be sure to remove the activated carbon from your filter.

3. Add a teaspoon for every 40 gallons

4. Treat every 6 days for up to 3 weeks.

Anchors away is a great and effective product for removing anchor worms and other parasites as well. You will notice after the first week of treatment that they will fall off your goldfish.


Dimilin is another great product on the market that will treat fish suffering from anchor worms. Here’s how you treat your goldfish for anchor worms with Dimilin:

1. Shake the bottle very well before use.

2. Remove the activated charcoal.

3. Add 1 tablespoon for every 60 gallons

4. Wait 14 days to see if the anchor worms have completely disappeared.

5. If not, repeat dosing and do not change water.

6. After completing the second treatment, wait another 14 days to ensure parasites are removed and then perform a water change to remove some of the chemical.

Proform LA

This is one of the best forms of treatment for anchor worms and fish lice on the market. It is really safe for humans and it is a very low maintenance treatment method. The great thing about Proform LA is that it can be used in any water temperature, where some can only be used as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. You can do three treatments a week apart and it is a fairly low cost medication as 1 pint will treat 5000 gallons and 1 quart will treat 10,000 gallons of water. This anchor worm medicine will not harm turtles, frogs, or snails. Follow the recommended dosage

Potassium permanganate

This treatment method should only be used by experienced fish farmers. This is a very strong drug that, if not administered correctly, will kill all the fish. Note that this can cure your goldfish or other fish of anchor worms, but it can also easily kill them. With whatever medications you use, people should always be very careful about wearing protective glasses, long-sleeved clothing, and a mask when possible. Never inhale these medications and always work in a well-ventilated area. Even the smallest crystal of potassium permanganate, if it gets into your eye, can cause severe irritation and possible blindness. Therefore, be careful when working with any type of medicine. Again, this form of medication should only be used by qualified individuals, as other forms are easier to use and less risky. Here’s how it’s treated with potassium permanganate:

1. Make sure to bypass your filter and turn off your UV sterilizer before treatment.

2. Make sure aeration is at the highest level.

3. Wear necessary protective equipment before adding treatment.

4. Add 1 gram for every 100 gallons or 1 teaspoon for every 600 gallons of water.

5. Wait until the water turns brown

6. Add 1 pint of hydrogen peroxide for every 1000 gallons. This will clean your water in no time and replenish the oxygen in your water.

7. Turn the filter and UV sterilizer back on.

This method should be done up to three times to ensure that you have removed all anchor worms and any other parasites that may be in the water. When you add hydrogen peroxide to water, you remove all the effectiveness of potassium permanganate. So in case of an overdose, just add hydrogen peroxide and your fish will be fine. Wait about 3 days before repeating the treatment, as the hydrogen peroxide may still be in the water, making a new treatment ineffective. After 3 days, you should be ready for another treatment.

Now here I have covered several different ways to treat goldfish for anchor worms. Every drug is different, and some are easier to use than others. Just be sure to use the one that is most comfortable for you. Each of these above anchor worm treatment methods will work. Just follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage and your fish will soon be free of anchor worms.

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