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How to Treat Anchor Worms in Goldfish

Anchor worms are another external parasite that often affects goldfish and other types of fish that are quite common. Anchor worms are often referred to as Lernaea cyprinacea, a common copepod parasite that are small crustaceans. These parasites are primarily found in pond-raised fish, but if left untreated, they can cause serious damage to your fish, not only in the parasite population, but also in secondary bacterial infections that can arise after the parasites attach. to the body of the goldfish. What happens is that they pierce the body feeding on tissues and fluids causing more bacterial infections to establish themselves. The good news is that 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 medications on the market today to choose from. Here I will show you many different ways on how to treat your goldfish for anchor worms.

Removing anchor worms with tweezers

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

Anchor Worm Treatment Medications

To be sure that you have gotten rid of anchor worms once and for all, people should use fish medicine heavily to eliminate these external parasites. There are many types of fish medicine on the market and here are a few to choose from: Anchors Away, Dimilin, Proform LA, and Potassium Permanganate. These anchor worm treatment medications work very well and will eliminate the parasites that affect your fish.

anchors away

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

1. Perform a 25% water change before treatments.
2. Always make sure to remove activated carbon from your filter.
3. Add one teaspoon for every 40 gallons
4. Treat every 6 days for up to 3 weeks

Anchors away is a great product and also effective in removing anchor worms and other parasites. 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. This is how you treat your goldfish for anchor worms using Dimilin:

1. Shake the bottle very well before use.
2. Remove activated carbon.
3. Add 1 tablespoon per 60 gallons
4. Wait 14 days to see if the anchor worms are completely gone
5. If not, repeat the dose again and do not do a water change.
6. After completing the second treatment, wait another 14 days to ensure parasites are killed, then do a water change to remove some of the chemical.

LA Proforma

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 is a very low maintenance method of treatment. 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 drug as 1 pint will treat 5000 gallons and 1 quart will treat 10,000 gallons of water. This anchor worm medication will not harm turtles, frogs, or snails. Follow the recommended dose

Potassium permanganate

This method of treatment should only be used by experienced fish breeders. This is a very strong drug that if done incorrectly will kill all of your fish. Be careful, this can cure your goldfish or other fish from anchor worms, but it can also easily kill them. With whatever medication you use, people should always be very careful and wear protective eyewear, long-sleeved clothing, and a face mask when possible. Never inhale for these medications and always work in a well-ventilated area. The smallest crystal of potassium permanganate, if it comes into contact with the eye, can cause severe irritation and possible blindness. Therefore, be careful when working with any form of medicine. Again, this form of medication should only be used by qualified individuals, as other forms are easier to use and less risky. This is how it is treated with potassium permanganate:

1. Be sure to bypass your filter and turn off your UV sterilizer before treatment.
2. Make sure the aeration is at the maximum level.
3. Wear necessary protective equipment before adding treatment
4. Add 1 gram per 100 gallons or 1 teaspoon per 600 gallons of water.
5. Wait until the water turns brown
6. Add 1 pint of hydrogen peroxide per 1,000 gallons. This will clean your water in no time and replenish the oxygen in your water.
7. Turn your UV filter and sterilizer back on.

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

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

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