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kittyfiends

Question About Anchor Worm

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Hello

I originally had 5 goldfish in my 55 gallon. One by one they kept dying of dropsy,months in between before another would get sick. I did what I could to try to save them. There was only one left. So I waited a month and he was still fine.

I went to my Family owned LFS and bought him a friend, a calico fantail. This was about 2 weeks ago. I didn't quarantine the new fish.

Anyway today, the original fish has 2 huge anchor worms hanging out of him and the new fish has a tiny anchor worm.

I got my neighbor to come over and hold the fish, while I plucked them out with the tweezers. None of my local pet stores that were open tonight carried dimilin, or Anchors Away, so I ordered it online. One place tried to sell me some kind of copper stuff, but know that some meds can be harsh, and I didn't want to add something I didn't know works, or might kill the fishes.

My question is if the new fish brought it in, why are the original fish's worms so much bigger? Is it possible that the original fish had these all along? I'm due for a water change tonight. Should I add some melafix and salt until I receive the Anchor's away in the mail?

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I believe the new fish transfered the anchor worms to the original fish. I am not sure why the worms were such different sizes, but I don't think it is of too much consequence.

Your plan sounds good! Make sure you do HUGE water changes and THOROUGH gravel vaccing to get any parasites that might be hiding.

Way to go for plucking the wormies out! You are SO brave!

And good for you for not dumping medications in the tank! Your instinct was right, copper would have done more harm then good in this case!

:bingo:

When you get the anchors away (dimilin is illegal in most states now, BTW which would be why you couldn't find it) it might be best for you to go barebottom if you aren't already.

There is virtually no way for the medication to get into all the layers of gravel. It will be healthier and easier to dose your tank with NO GRAVEL. You can then boil the gravel, thoroughly dry it out, and then add it back in when you are done dosing. Make sure it is only about 1/2 inch at the deepest part though.

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Doesn't matter why one fish or the other got a much larger anchorworm. Remove the adults with tweezers. Leave the wounds and simply do daily water changes along with 0.1% salt. Dimilin or Anchors Away should be able to destroy the larval forms. Forget the Melafix. This is going to create more headache for you IMO. Trichlorfon is your last ditch option. Use the dimilin if you manage to access it.

Sarah is right about the substrate. It is for this reason I leave most of my quarantine tanks barebottom.

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I don't really have that much gravel in my tank. I was just starting to add some back. Most of the gravel is in the plant pot. Should I add salt and Melafix for the wounds? Or just do the water change? I give all the credit to my neighbor for holding the fish for me :) It was like plucking out splinters.

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Either just water change, or water change and 0.1% salt. Either is fine.

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What are your water readings? Ammo, NitrIte, NitrAte and pH?

Salt should be fine. I find nothing wrong with melafix. I use it on my tanks because I have a salt-intolerant fish. They do the same thing, IMO. But you can add both if you want. Just make sure you don't use it for more than 5 or 6 days in a row. It can coat the gills of your fish.

I would re-pot the plant with new (completely unused) gravel, if it were me.

I wouldn't want to take any chances that an egg or larva could survive. Unless you have literally one layer of gravel on the bottom of your tank, the medication will have a harder time getting into all layers.

In my honest opinion, you should take it all out. At least for the duration of the medication regime. Like I said, take no chances.

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I use api drops the Ph is 7.4 with high scale drops and 7.6 with the low scale drops. Amm 0 NitrI 0 NitA 0.

I have 2 penguin biowheel 350's on there and two bubble wands. It's been going about 3 years now.

Do I need to do something with the plant it self? It's an live Amazon Sword plant.

I guess I could tear down the whole tank bleach everything and put them in the 10 gallon quarantine tank temporarily. Actually there really is only one layer of gravel on the bottom.

Everyone who comes to my house laughs at my 55 gallon tank with 2 three inch goldfish in it. I tell people they're dirty, they need lots of water.

Edited by kittyfiends

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Your tank hasn't cycled yet, so you are going to have to be EXTREMELY vigilant with water changes. :testkit:

You can disinfect your plant with a 1:19 bleach to water solution for one minute. Rinse, rinse, rinse the bleach off with plain water.

I am also curious as to the causes of your dropsy problems in the past, how often did you preform water changes and how big were they?

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Potassium permanganate is fine to use for disinfecting plants. I don't personally think I'd strip down the tank. Just remove the substrate and disinfect the plant. Treat the fish as instructed before and then check the filter for thickening sludge and remove it.

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Dude my tank is cycled. It's been running for 3 years. The huge Amazon sword plant and the algae eat up all the Nitrates.

I Had my roof on my house redone and the clumsy roofers fell through my ceiling and also cut the electric to my house.

I had to have drywall work done. Even though I covered the tank I do believe some of that material got in the water. Maybe

they did have anchor worms and I didn't notice. IDK.

I do change 50 to 75% of the water about every 7 to 10 days.

Edited by kittyfiends

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What's the plan so far on treatment course and maintenance, Kitty?

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I'm going to do the water change tonight and remove some of the gravel. There really isn't that much either. Check the filters. Can't really deal with the potted plant tonight. Going to get the salt to 1% tonight. 2% tomorrow morning and 3% by tomorrow night.

It's going to take a few days for the meds to get here. So i guess I'll do another huge water change when the meds get here and deal with the rest of the gravel and the sterilization of the plant then.

Sound like a plan? I have some work cut out for me.

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I'd just maintain 0.1% for the wounds. No need to elevate it further. The med itself will take care of anchorworms. Salt will keep infections out. Goldfish are natural fast healers.:)

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Just make sure you keep an eye on those water parameters, using any kind of meds with ammonia in your water can be disastrous for your fish.

Dimilin or Anchors away can be used with up to .3% salt safely so that sounds like a good plan to me.

You've removed your plant right? Salt is no good for your plant.

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The plant is still in there. It's been in there with 3% salt before and it's been fine. If it dies I'll go buy a new one.

The good thing is the tank is lightly socked. But I'll be sure to keep an eye on the parameters. I haven't seen an

ammonia reading in years.

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Have you checked your tap water for ammonia? That may be the culprit.

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When dealing with anchor worms, I tend to go against the majority of the people with suggested treatment. The prevailing thought is to pluck the adults from the fish - and then treat the tank for the unattached parasites - and subsequent injuries to the fish.

I tend to believe that it is a real toss-up as to which causes more harm.... leaving the imbedded parasites and treating, or plucking them and ripping a fair amount of fish flesh out with them! I really believe that in most cases, it is better to simply leave them. Large parasites do not let go easily - and it can be difficult to get the entire parasite when plucking. Too close and you get some fish skin - too far and you leave the head of the parasite in the fish - setting up hard-core infection.

Luckily - in fresh clean water, most injuries will heal fairly rapidly.

Unless the fish is near death - and in that case, plucking would probably cause enough shock that the fish would die anyway - I leave the parasites alone and, instead, do a salt DIP - The few minutes in the high salt concentration will curl and kill 99.999% of the parasites on the fish. The fish is then put into a separate, CLEAN volume of water and raised to 0.3ppm salt over 36 hours. The tank, now void of fish is treated. Tub to tub with salt for the fish will clear up anchor worm in a very short order. A tank that is treated - (Dimilin of course being my choice - if available) and the fish is then replaced in the clean, original tank. In most cases, since I have an abundance of cycled media available to create a new cycle, I simply nuke the tank. PP takes care of things. Gravel is boiled, the tank is reset. The fish are added back. All is good.

In my personal experience, I have NEVER seen a planted tank that can keep the water devoid of nitrates from goldfish - even one small one. Yes - I have seen some that come close - but the problem quickly becomes the fact that there is little swimming space left for the fish. The quantity and size of the plants needed to process the waste from even one smaller goldfish take up nearly all the tank's water volume. The fish gets lost in the forest! I think I would check your parameters regularly - clean water is essential for healing. Tub to tub for a while might actually be the easiest to manage.

Death to your anchor worms!

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Thanks for the input Daryl. So you're telling me that there is something wrong with my tank because after 7 days no nitrAtes show up on my API test? I used to get nitrAtes but after I put the one huge Amazon sword plant in they don't show anymore.

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Well how much of a water change are you doing in the tank?

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Well how much of a water change are you doing in the tank?

Hi KoKo,

I take any where between 50% and 75% of the water. More like 75%. It's a 55 gallon and there are only 2 fish in there. One of the fish is 3 years old. Both fish are 3 inches long ( not including the tails). I don't think the 3 year old fish is going to get any bigger.

I feed pro gold pellets every other day, and peas, broccoli or spinach on the off days. I only feed once a day.

Edited by kittyfiends

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