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FAQs on Freshwater Crustacean Parasitic Diseases

Related Articles: Nematodes, Flatworms, Anchor Worms and Other Worm Parasites of Freshwater Fish by Neale Monks, Freshwater DiseasesFW Disease Troubleshooting, Ich/White Spot Disease, Choose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks,

Related FAQs: Anchorworms/Lernaeids, Fish Lice (Argulus), Organophosphate Use, Aquarium MaintenanceFreshwater MedicationsFreshwater Infectious Disease, Freshwater Fish ParasitesAfrican Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid DiseaseIch/White Spot Disease,

Look like an anchor, a worm?

eye “thread”     8/2/19
<Hello William,>
I have a male blue gularis killifish. He was in quarantine for a month with no problems. I moved him to the display tank about a week ago. I now notice what seems to be a single, small, white mucus-like filament coming from the exact center of each eyeball.
The filaments are less than the thickness of a human hair and about 1-2 mm long. I tried to take pictures, but none captured it. My first thought was Anchorworm, but nothing of what i have read says they can embed in the eye.
<Indeed, but there are other crustacean parasites that certainly can. Diplostomum (a fluke/worm rather than crustacean) is another eye parasite, though internal, so results in a cloudy eye.>
I also thought of a Columnaris thread, but it does not look like any Columnaris i have ever seen. The killie is otherwise happy and healthy, feeding and playing (even though his female companion was predated by a 7” blue sheatfish in the first hour she was in the tank!!)
<Why is there are large, predatory catfish in the aquarium with these small Killies?>
Two days ago i euthanized a praecox rainbow who has been sick for a couple of weeks, hiding, labored breathing, and had unilateral PopEye that was dark and cloudy.
<Pop-eye to a single eye usually indicates physical damage. If there's a predatory catfish in there, or at least one trying to be predatory, that could easily have alarmed the Rainbowfish, who then swam into a rock or something else and so damaged its eye.>
Tank has been running for about 7 years, with several inhabitants still alive from the beginning. 400gal total volume (inc sumps), stable ph 7.7, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate ~30. 70 gal water change each week.
If you have any thoughts, let me know. Thanks for the great information.
<The threads on the eye sound most like an Anchor Worm-type parasite, i.e., an external crustacean, and my immediate suggestion would be to treat as per Anchor Worm. Diplostomum (or "Eye fluke") is unlikely to cause a thread to emerge from the lens, but is worth considering. Similarly, fungal (as opposed to bacterial) infections can produce threads, but you'd expect to see them across the fish rather than just one specific place on each eye. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: eye “thread”     8/3/19

Thanks for getting back to me. So I should attempt to remove the thread from the eye, like is normally done per anchor worm?
<I would not.>
That freaks me out a little, tweezing something from the eye.
Can you direct me to any reading on technique? .......
<I would use medications as per Anchor Worm; removal creates wounds that need sterilising (e.g., with iodine) which isn't practical here.>
Also, the sheatfish do not bother anyone who is too big to eat--they have been in there for two years. The euthanized praecox was sizable at about 5 years old.
<Perhaps. But even if the catfish didn't kill the Rainbow, it's activity at night could have been enough to startle said Rainbowfish into a startled escape response -- and from this the damage to the eye. As a I say, pop-eye on one side tends to be physical damage (both eyes tends to be environment) so assess and act accordingly.>
My error was indeed putting the female killie in the tank, thinking she was large enough. She was about 2". The male is over 3" and I chose this species because of its larger size, with the male reaching 4-5 inches. And interestingly, I have albino Ancistrus that have spawned, and I returned 10 one-inch fry to the display tank (after selling 128 to my LFS), and none were predated, now all over two inches. The sheatfish eat exclusively off the substrate, which I found odd, so I was concerned for the small Ancistrus. But there was no problem. These observations led to my error in assuming the 2" killie would be safe. I was wrong.
PS. While the sheatfish were sold to me as Kryptopterus cryptopterus, they most certainly are not that species; they have a pronounced nuchal concavity. My best estimate is that they are K. parvanalis. Many thanks for this public service that you provide.
<Interesting. Ompok app are quite commonly seen in the trade, so do look at these too. Indeed, so many Kryptopterus and Ompok species out there, and the two genera being difficult to separate, that I'd tend to be very open minded about any name offered by retailers. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: eye “thread”

Got it. Many thanks.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Epistylis on crawfish       9/14/18
Hi, my name is Susan, i have 6 Louisiana swamp crawfish that i rescued from one of our crawfish boils. In the last month they have developed a white fuzz all over them. the best i can tell from all the internet searching is that it is Epistylis. But i cant find anything on treating it. 3 of the crawfish are berried and some of the eggs on 1 also has the fuzz. Please advise on how to get rid of it. My perimeters are all good, and i do monthly water changes.
<Epistylis spp. are commensals, not parasites, so while they might be unattractive to look at, they don't do any actual harm. However, because they grow in water with plenty of planktonic algae and bacteria that they can feed on, they're seen as indicators of poor environmental conditions.
More specifically, high levels of organic material and mineral nutrients in the water. So your best approach to tackling them is two-fold. First, find out how to improve ambient conditions. More water changes/removal of uneaten food, more filtration, and less (wasted) food would all be part of this. Secondly, understand that since these ciliate Protozoans are attached to the exoskeleton of the crayfish, they will be "shed" during successful molting, in which case quick disposal of the old exoskeleton would be helpful. I would remind you of the need for iodine in the diet to ensure successful molting (for some reason moults frequently fail under aquarium conditions otherwise) and also for a source of calcium, such as unshelled shrimp, if you're going to remove the old moult (crayfish normally consume the moult, in part, to recycle the minerals). You could also try medications used against other ciliates (such as Velvet and Whitespot) but they are likely to be toxic to crayfish unless clearly stated as "safe for
invertebrates" on the packaging. Cheers, Neale.>

Lice - Solve      6/13/18
I used Lice – Solve last night on my happy active fish and this morning 16 of my fish are dead leaving only 5 left alive. I am heartbroken that despite using the correct amount and following instructions to the letter that I have inadvertently killed my beautiful fish with this product.
<Hello Jay. Lice-Solve is a product for killing off Argulus, Anchor Worms, and other (external) crustacean parasites. It's basically an insecticide, and should have low toxicity to vertebrates such as fish. Consequently the chemical inside Lice-Solve, Emamectin, has been used on fish farms where the food produced ends up on our dinner plates. With that said, insecticides can cause problems for fish if used at the wrong dosage (so double-check that) and can also cause problems to 'sensitive' fish species. If we're talking about pond fish, that's going to mean things like Orfe and Sturgeons, and possibly other species as well. Goldfish and Koi should be fine though. One problem with using any sort of poison is that if other things in the pond die as well, such as insects in the pond, and there's enough 'dying' going on to reduce water quality, then the fish may suffer as oxygen levels drop. It's often recommended that aeration be increased when medicating, which in a pond situation might include using a fountain or air bubbler. In a pond without filtration or aeration, it's entirely possible that even irritation to the gill membranes caused by the medication can be sufficient to stress, or even kill, your fish. I'd certainly reach out to the manufacturers to see if they can offer some insight, but I agree with you that this is a very unfortunate outcome. Hope this helps, Neale.>

Red Devil with sore/parasites <Lernaea?> 12/31/12
Dear Crew/Neale/Anybody,
<This is Rick, but I'm leaving this note in the inbox so Neale can take a crack at it also..>
Where do I start.....
First off.....I am a advanced fish aquarist, I know my stuff so I will get right to it so to speak. Please bear with me I am not a good letter writer.
<No problem>
I have a Red Devil ( Midas)  he lives alone in a 110 fish tank, age  almost 2.  He has been thriving and doing beautifully for at least a year.......all of a sudden Bubba develops a sore about the size of a dime, it  happened within a matter of two days!!!!!!!!!!   When I first spotted  it I about dropped over, in hindsight I should have recognized his behavior was  off, he wasn't greeting me or eating as robustly, I mean he literally jumps out  of the tank for his pellets.   Attaching you tubes so you can see the  sore when it first was spotted.  It was horrible, I knew I had to get him  on something quickly, I started him on Furan 2.  After two days the sore  came to a head and I got my fish out of the water and I lanced it.......pus came  out and I swabbed it with A&D.  I put him back into the tank with furan  2 for two more days and it started to mend nicely......so I put him back into  the 110, I just use salt and Melafix and thought I was on my way to healing, I don't like to medicate fish, I don't even use carbon in my filters!
<sometimes necessary.>
Yesterday I did a large water change and his sore was ok, today I looked at my fish and I am besides myself........inside the sore two worm like things are  hanging out and one is actually coming out of his gill at the bottom, it's  red/blackish, I am going to attach a video of that when I finish typing this to  you.  
<I did not see the parasites in the videos.>
Evidently the Melafix isn't working, so I don't know what to  do!!!!!!!!!   Should I get him back on Furan 2, or Parasite  Guard?   I have both in the house.  Do I pull those wormlike  things out with tweezers?  I am besides myself here not knowing what to do  now........He was doing beautifully, the sore was mending, how could things pop  out of the affected area over night?  
<Hard to predict when you don't know the root cause in the first place. The MelaFix might be helping the sore itself but worthless against parasites.
Take a look at this page:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/anchorwrmfaqs.htm and see if the parasites you  observed match Anchorworms. It's a place to start, anyway.>
My water Param.s are fine, I am a breeder of cichlids, I raised Discus so I know water changes trust me. 
<Trusting, but for the reference of people with a similar problem who check this forum five years from now, the parameters are useful.>
This fish gets water changes weekly at 60% 
and always has since a baby.   Please get back to me email wise so I  don't get lost in the shuffle.   I need help asap, I can't sit and do  nothing here, this fish is my child fcs.
<Start with the Anchorworm FAQs I linked. It has a photo at the top of the page.>
I appreciate any help or advise, Neale you helped me long ago, I hope you or anybody can come thru for me now.   I am attaching three video's so  you can see my dilemma.  BTW, My fish has never eaten a feeder fish in his life, I know they are worthless. 
<I'd say feeders are risky rather than worthless. Depends on a lot of things, but I digress.>
First Video of the sore  ~~~~~~>   _http://youtu.be/06TisLU6ILs_ 
Another vid of the sore ~~~~~>      _http://youtu.be/JO-jARSQBf0_
it started to mend very nicely after I lanced it, something has happened literally overnight with these things protruding out from that affected area.   Plz Somebody Help Me!
<Surely the parasites were there when you lanced, only out of sight.>
Can you please email me back so I don't lose my correspondence in the muck of things.  Thanks very much, sigh, I am besides myself.
This is what is happening now ~~~>   _http://youtu.be/dOd5jmjETyo_
<Let's start with comparing to Anchorworms and also see what Neale or Bob can contribute.
- Rick>
Re Red Devil with sore/parasites 12/31/12
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, especially on a night when we all should be out having a good time sigh.  Just having somebody know my  problem has made this a lot easier on me.
<Sharing the load often helps.>
I did read about the anchor worm, and I think you hit the nail on the  head!!!!!!! 
<Ah, good!>
When that sore first started, it was the worm/parasite working  it's way out, when I lanced that area, you were right again, it didn't show
itself yet and that is why I didn't see it at all.  I do believe the  Furan 2 and the Melafix helped him survive that outbreak but now the worms are  showing their ugly heads, they are to small for me to grab, and like the article said when the fish comes out of the water they suck back inside......how on  earth am I ever going to be able to grab it.....I feel I need to wait until the  worm/worms are hanging out more before I even attempt to do anything at  all. 
I did get Parasite Guard into his tank, I knew it was a parasite of some  kind today when they came out and showed their ugly heads, I know I am going to  have to do a surgical removal on them, I have no problem saving the life of my  fish, I have to do this for him but I feel I can't grab it now it's to  small......what a horrible situation I am in here.  My sister will have to  assist me yet again while I do this.
<I had similar trouble with a nematode outbreak a few years ago. Frustrating.>
I am going to wait two days to see if they come out more, I have salt in  the tank along with the parasite guard, 1 tablespoon per ten gallons of  water.   I don't have the heart to put him back into a 50 gallon tank  at this point, he's just to big now, so I have to keep him in his own 110.
<Well, it may be wise to move him anyway. Much easier to treat in a smaller volume of water. If the eggs have hatched, there will be free-living juveniles in the water that can remain alive without a host at least five days.  According to my favorite book (Manual of Fish Health by Andrews, Exell and Carrington, best work for a reasonable price) the tanks should be treated with an organophosphorous  insecticide such as metriphonite, but there may be better proprietary options out there. (Neale/Bob??)  Says to allow active ingredients to dissipate over ten days at summer temperatures, so probably longer this time of year.
Also, for the adults, swift removal with a fine forceps, which might need repeating after two weeks or so if others emerge. Dab area with a topical antiseptic. Book recommends mercurochrome. Minimize time out of water.  I'm not sure how available these kinds of meds are to regular people (as opposed to veterinarians).
Is there anything else I should be doing while waiting on the worms to show? 
<I'd still move to the smaller tank and perhaps feed an antibiotic food as part of the diet. Infection is a concern here.>
I will also state that my fish is oblivious to being ill, he's  eating as always and is demanding as ever,  it breaks my heart to see these things
hanging out of that sore though, I swear this hobby is going to do me in if  I lose him.  
<That he is still strong is a positive, for sure.>
Also I wonder what brought this on?  I have sand as  my substrate and I am always careful to stir it on water changes because of  anaerobic gases etc, I wonder if I laxed in some way perhaps wiping down the  sides of the tank, I have NO idea what brought this on.  Old food  maybe?  I don't give night crawlers to him either.   His diet is  varied in all ways but his main staple is Hikari Gold Pellets.
<Hard to say. I don't see any obvious vector unless maybe you added new plants or inverts recently.>
Oh a question.....should I bump up his heat or keep it at 78-80?  What would help the most?
<I honestly don't know as my book says nothing on this topic. Lacking any other information, i would keep the tank at the optimum temperature for the fish.>
I will wait on hearing from Neale or Bob Fenner ( I hope he is kind  ;-) )
<Oh, Bob is a sweetheart.><<Oh, I wouldn't go this far. B>>
and see what they have to say back to me.  This fish has stolen  my heart.....I have a female RD and I love the species.  This is my third  RD, but Bubba is more Midas and is a beauty and very girthy and much wider than  a regular RD.   I am rambling now, so I will close and wait to hear  back from the others.   Have a safe and sound New Years Eve tonight,  my best to you all at WWM.         
<Good luck>
 Sincerely, Julia
Anchorworm issue    12/31/12

Just FYI, there are two emails in the freshwater area from somebody fighting Anchorworms. I answered the queries, but left them in the freshwater area in case you want to comment or add something to what I told this person. I've not dealt with Anchorworms before so everything I said is right out of my books.
<Will take a look. Thank you Rick. B>
Neale or anybody please help me......plz plz help me.    12/31/12

Dear Crew/Neale/Anybody,
<Bob Fenner here, WWM's common progenitor. Rick asked myself (and Neale) to look over your messages, his responses. I do concur w/ his statements and encourage you to read the prescribed link on Anchorworms. These crustaceans can be eliminated w/ the instructions detailed there>
Re: Neale or anybody please help me......plz plz help me. (Maybe not Lernaea)   1/1/13

It isn't obvious to me what's the deal here, but my guess is some sort of ulcer. Whether there is also a parasitic infection of the skin as well is hard to say. In any event, I'd medicate the tank with both Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone, and I'd also use seawater dips (aquarium or marine salt, 35 gram/litre).
Such dips are very good for cleaning external infections and preventing further decay of the skin. Amphilophus spp. have a high tolerance for salt, so anything up to 20 minutes will be suitable -- remove the cichlid before that time if it shows signs of severe distress, such as rolling over. Do make sure the seawater dip is the same temperature and approximately the same pH as the display tank.
You could also add salt to the display tank at 3-5 gram/litre. Won't do any harm and may do some good.
The aquarium does look rather small for this fish.
Cheers, Neale
Re: Neale or anybody please help me......plz plz help me  1/1/13
> Ok I am still at a stuck point.  Parasite Clear has the metro it in.  Furan 2 has the Nitro in it....Two products I have and are using but not at the same time.  I am going to finish up the rounds with Parasite Clear, in two days I am going to see if I can tweeze out whatever is in that sore.  I will finish up the recommended amount.  Then I will move him over to Furan 2, continue the salt.  Is my fish going to be able to withstand all this medication?  I am going to go to Wikipedia now. 
<Should be fine but do 25-50% water changes between finishing one set of medications and starting another. Keep water chemistry, temperature the same. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Neale or anybody please help me......plz plz help me  1/1/13
> Neale thanks again for all info.   I am going to tackle this, I must do this for my fish.  I only wish I knew how he got this Neale, it scares me not knowing for sure.    I will let you know what happens after all the meds have been giving and what I get when I tweeze out what is hanging.  I am scared to do this but I have to.  Julia
<Good luck. Next time, do please try and write via WWM rather than our personal e-mails; that way, other crew members can chip in, and hopefully, WWM readers can benefit from your experiences. Cheers, Neale.>
<<Ah, t'was I forwarding the query to you Neale... to speed a response along. B>>

Spots on my Kissing Gourami, likely Lernaeids  -12/14/07 Hello, <Stephanie> I have had a kissing Gourami for a couple of years now but over the last few days it has developed about some spots which I put down to a bacterial infection <Mmmm> and so I've been treating with a fungus, Finrot and bacteria treatment. But the spots, which appear to be only on one side of it's body have turned a peachy/orange colour and each seems to have something like a black barb type thing sticking out of it - almost like a splinter. <Ahh!> There are approximately 5 of these spots and they are in different places on the body and one near the eye. The fish seems to be well enough at the moment it is eating and behaving as usual. Do you have any idea what this might be? <I do... most likely a Lernaeid, aka Anchorworm... Please see here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwcrustdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Had you recently added "something live" (new fish, FW food, plants) to this system? The parasite had to have been added some how... See Google Images for the common name as well... Cheers, Bob Fenner> Many thanks, Stephanie
Re: Spots on my Kissing Gourami -12/14/07
Bob, <Steph> Thanks so much for your response. Thanks for the link and "yuk" it looks like Anchorworm! I bought some new plants about a week ago. So, up go my sleeves! <Ahh!> I've pulled the things off with tweezers and now breathe a sigh of relief - so does my Gourami! <I'll say!> I've bought a bottle of parasiticide which I'll have to administer tomorrow as I have been treating the fish for a bacterial infection and it says to wait 48 hours before using. <Good> Thanks so much for you swift response and the link - much appreciated! Stephanie <Welcome my friend. BobF>

Trying to find a diagnosis. Oscar With Fish Lice  8/21/07 Hello, I have a tiger Oscar that has been self-mutilating himself. He rubs against things in the tank and has opened his flesh at times. I did not see anything with my naked eye (at first). Then, one day, I sat down by the tank and looked up. He swam into the light and behold, there were microscopic white specks on his head. Then, I looked closer and they actually were moving. They are so very small, too small to compare them to anything. The only reason I saw them, was because he is black and swam into very bright light. They look like bugs crawling around over him. Now that I knew what to look for, I noticed them on the glass of my tank. Lots of them. Only in the light and very microscopic. I have tried researching "parasites" and nothing seems to fit the description. Fleas would be too big and flukes are described as "worm-like" rather than "bug-like". I couldn't stand to see my Oscar with open wounds and frayed fins so I bought "parasite eliminator" to cure flukes, anchor worm, and fleas, etc. I am about to give the 2nd dose. They have not responded to treatment so far. They are still there and there are plenty of them moving around unphased. What can I try next if this doesn't work? I appreciate any response, Thanks, Tina < Try Clout or Fluke-Tabs. The parasites probably came in with some feeder fish.-Chuck>

Goldfish lice -- 08/02/07 Hi how are you. <Tolerably well, thank you.> I had emailed earlier for the goldfish lice. <Yep.> It had happened to all my 9 fishes. But then I removed it with my hand and then all of them became fine except 2 which died. <OK.> Now after 3 months I again discovered 2 lice on my 2 fish. However I have removed it and now none are seen in the tank. But pls tell me that what more precaution can I take. Any medication. Or what. <Try and understand how the lice get into the tank, for example, by buying fishes from retailers with a goldfish lice problem.> Also pls tell me that why these lice happen. Any reason behind it. <Reason? Evolution. Parasites have evolved to take advantage of host organisms. But why they occur in your tank? Simple: you aren't quarantining your fish. If your fish are isolated from infected fishes, they won't get the parasites. If you dump infected fish from the shop into your aquarium, your fish will get infected.> I had bought 3 fishes a week before and added in the tank. Is it because of them because among the 2 which got infected one was the new one. <Likely, yes, assuming you killed off the lice last time round.> Pls tell me the reason behind it and what precaution should I take <The usual precautions will work: buy healthy fish from trustworthy retailers. Quarantine new stock, treating for parasites if you suspect they are infected. Hope this helps, Neale>

Re: Goldfish lice -- 08/02/07 Thank you for your efforts and advice. Pls tell me that how can I quarantine the new stock. Any medicines. Also the fish vendor from whom I purchased the fishes say that the fishes are always under the medication in his shop. Pls tell me any medicines or antibiotics so that I can cure them. Also after finding 2 lice what more precaution can I take so that other fishes don't get infected. Pls help <Hello Mr. Bond. Quarantining is described in most aquarium books, and is simple enough to understand: keep new fish in a *separate* aquarium for a few weeks, long enough for you to observe their health. Six weeks should do the trick. In that time, you should see evidence of fish lice, Whitespot, or whatever and be able to treat it safely. After quarantining is over, you move the fish into your display aquarium. All fish retailers will say they quarantine their stock. Can you imagine them admitting otherwise? To be fair, most actually do quarantine their stock to some extent. But the problem is that display tanks in the store mix lots of fish together -- they have to, since the retailer can't place one goldfish per aquarium! So, simply by being placed on display, the fish are exposed to diseases. Medications for treating fish lice depend on what's available in your area. In the UK, it's products such as Interpet #12 Anti Crustacean Parasite and Waterlife Sterazin. In the US, you have things like Mardel CopperSafe and Aquarium Products Fluke-Tabs. Visit your retailer, and see what they have available. Saltwater dips might also work. In this case, add 20-30 grammes of salt per litre of aquarium water in a bucket. Net the fish, and immerse in the bath for 5-20 minutes depending on the size of the fish (bigger fish tolerate dips for longer). Repeat daily, and with luck the lice will drop off. I'm not a vet, so can't comment on antibiotics, but since antibiotics are for bacteria, there's no reason they would work on lice. Hope this helps, Neale>
Re: Goldfish lice -- 08/02/07
What are the medications available in India for fish lice. Here all stupid people sell fishes and so they don't know anything. Pls recommend it. Is there any particular reason why these fish lice happen <Mr. Bond, some manners please. How about saying "please" or "thank you"? Over here in England we still take these things seriously. Anyway, as for brands of fish lice medication in India, I haven't a clue. The following medications are used in the US, UK, and Europe to treat fish lice, and some may be available in India. For all I know, there may be Indian pharmaceutical companies producing their own brands. A bit of time spent visiting aquarium stores or shopping online may help. - API General Cure - Aquarium Products Clout - Aquarium Products Fluke-Tabs - Aquarium Products Life Bearer - Hikari CyroPro - Mardel CopperSafe - Seachem Cupramine - Seachem PolyGuard - Interpet #12 Anti Crustacean Parasite - Kusuri Parazoryne - Waterlife Sterazin - JBL Gyrodactol - TetraMedica ContraSpot You probably want to see if there's an Indian or local fishkeeping club you can join. That's often the best way to make friends among fishkeepers near home, and so learn about the best places to go shopping and what products and traded. As for "why" parasites happen, I think I explained that before. When a healthy fish and a parasitised fish are brought together in one tank, then there's a good chance the parasite will infect the healthy fish. Your job is to prevent that happening. Bob's written a nice intro to the subject, here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm . Hope this helps, Neale>

Goldfish with White Pimple and Hard Hair like White Spikes growing from Pimples... Lernaea7/14/07 Hi I have a goldfish that looks like it has "pimples" that eventually start growing a white "hair like" spike from the "pimple". There were several around the tail and on the body. Most of those are gone except for one over an eye and one on the side of the fish. The goldfish is not rubbing or scratching on the aquarium decorations. It is eating normally and swimming normally. I did have another goldfish with the same whitish protrusions that died. <... Lernaea...> I initially thought it was ICH and treated with Maracide <...> without resolution. I also raised the temperature of the tank. Then I decided to salt the aquarium after doing several water changes. I am in the process of that now. I have added a total of 3 tablespoons of salt to the tank over 24 hours. <... not efficacious either...> However, I did decide to see if I could pull the hair like protrusion out of the goldfish and I did. The part outside the body was fairly hard and thin with a wet squishy blob that was inside the "pimple" part on the body of the fish. <Yes...> I have read multiple sites and I am at a loss as to what this could be. Am I overlooking something obvious. My thought now is the it might be anchor worms. <Bingo!> I have been doing 15 - 25% water changes every other day. My nitrates and nitrites test 0. <So?> My tank is 10 gallons and has one goldfish and a Pleco. <Mis-placed here> I have an under gravel filter that I just placed in the tank with new rock about three weeks ago. So it is essentially a new setup and going through the cycling. I had no choice as the tank had been in my daughter's room and not cared for very well. Any help of advise is greatly appreciated. <Please peruse here: http://www.google.com/search?q=Lernaea&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=utf8&oe=utf8 You need to remove the adult "worms" (actually crustaceans) manually, and treat the system with an organophosphate... Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish with White Pimple and Hard Hair like White Spikes growing from Pi... -- 07/14/07
Wow thank you ever so kindly for your fast response. I have never encountered anchor worms before and I could not find a picture that looked the way my fish looked. I have ordered some Trifon <Mmm, likely Trichlorofon... Please read here re DTHP use, cautions: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm and the linked FAQs file above> and hope this will meet the needs of my fish and aquarium. Once again thank you ever so kindly. Myra <Welcome my friend. Life to you. BobF>

Arowana with Anchor Worms  3/16/2007 Hello Crew,                   I tried to email you thru the website but it would not go thru. I have a 5 inch Silver Arowana and I noticed it had a few Anchor Worms on him. Well I looked it up on the internet and found several ways to treat Anchor Worms, and I am not sure of the best way to go. So I was wondering if you could help? <Gladly>                   I have him in a 55 gallon tank with 2 Leopard Plecos (3 inches each) and 2 Sun Catfish (3 inches each). The Plecos and Cats look fine. I do have a Hospital tank set up and running as I type (35 gallon long), but I am not sure what to do. What treatment method should I use and what Medication? Do I have to treat the 55 gallon even if I move him? <I would treat this main tank, either in addition, or leave the Arowana in place, and treat it there as well> I am just lost right now and do not want to lose my Aro. If you have any ideas on how I should handle this issue please let me know. <Do get some help... as I suggest you carefully net out and hold this fish down (gently) and use tweezers to remove the adult worms/crustaceans from the Arowana (pull near their points of insertion, away from the fish (toward the tail)... daub the area where they're removed with a Mercurical (e.g. Mercurochrome) on a cotton swab (e.g. "Q-Tip")... and treat the water for intermediate forms with an Organophosphate... (e.g. Fluke Taps, Dylox, Masoten...) Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>                                                                                                         Thanks in advance, Sara N.

Black Moor - Anchor Worm  12/30/06 Hi hope you can help, I'm new to fish so don't know much about them. I've had a Black Moor for 4-5 months now, this is my first ever fish and I don't seem to be having much luck. <Not much to do with "luck"... but knowledge in action> After 2-3 weeks of having Jet (Black Moor), I noticed a small insect <Mmm, not an insect, a crustacean> on the tail of his body and a few hours later it had moved <... not Anchorworm then... perhaps a fish louse? to his gills. I done some research on this and found out this was Argulus. <Yes... Fish Louse...> I went to the fish shop for help who said this was quite common? <Can be... seasonally, regionally... depending on where folks/dealers are getting their livestock mostly> and told me to pick this off with tweezers,  clean out the whole tank, and that should be it so that's what I done   (Although I wasn't so sure myself). <Mmm... no... should treat the tank/water for intermediate forms not feeding/on the fish host... With an organophosphate... DTHP/Masoten et al. names, or Dimilin likely> A few weeks later again I noticed a silvery tic tac shape attached to Jet with a string and I think this was an Anchor Worm? <Yes, possibly> I again went to the fish shop for help who purchased me with Omnipur. On the bottle it says 'with  broad range effect against the most common ornamental fish diseases'.  That day when I had came home I was watching Jet and at one  point he shook very hard and all of a sudden the Anchor Worm had came off and  lay at the surface, I scooped it out (I heard that you cannot pull Anchor  Worms from a fish as they are hooked under the skin)? <Not so... You can and should remove the adults in this fashion... with tweezers> Tonight when I was doing a water change a bit of the fish's toilet appeared and it looked like a very small Anchor Worm in between it.. Is this possible, can an Anchor Worm come out of Jet when he's passing waste? <No... this appearance is something else> I also have another 3 wee fish in the tank, I can't remember what they are called but if it helps they are small (red, brownish) in color and follow one another all the time. They seem perfectly healthy and I had purchased them before Jet. <They should be carefully observed over time...> Is there anything I can do to stop these Anchor Worms if they are breeding or any medicines I can try? My tank is a 17L and I change two and a half litres every 10 days. Hope you can help, Lisa :) <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm and the linked FAQs file at top. Bob Fenner>

Re: Black Moor - Anchor Worm   12/31/06 Thanks for replying. Do you know anywhere online that I can buy DTHP?   Thanks, Lisa <Mmm, yes... is sold under various commercial names... as listed on the link you were referred to... Write the etailers you deal with and ask re Dylox, Neguvon... likely most available as a component of Fluke Tabs... but this acetylcholinesterase inhibitor is found in at least a dozen products. BobF> Weird lumps on a swordtail under the scales  9/15/06 Hello, I'd just like to say in advance how much your site has helped me, I've spent hours some days reading through other's emails. <Glad this has helped> I've tried searching around for this problem but the search terms are kind of vague and I get hundreds of thousands of results. I bought a new velvet wag swordtail the other day who looked very healthy at the LFS, the past few weeks weren't good ones for their sword shipments. <Oh for the days when "local folks" used to supply most all such livebearers... the "product" from overseas (most now come from the Far East) are too often "forced" to produce more apparent males... in poor health, parasitized... and die easily> So I got her home and put her in my isolation tank (5gallon eclipse) and immediately put a dose of Maracyn two and MelaFix in the water to stave off any fin rot which every fish I buy seems to get, even with brand new equipment. A few hours later she had a lump under her scales which caused about 3 rows of scales to protrude dropsy style. She had no other signs of illness, she's very active and eats and passes the food on a regular basis, no clamped fins and no hanging at the surface. A few days later the scales started to subside but now she has one on the right side of her head, same deal, 3 or 4 rows of scales protruding dropsy style but now she's starting to sit around with her fins clamped. She's not hanging at the surface but she is remaining stationary for long periods of time near the surface and she's not trying to hide or anything. Any ideas what this could be? Thanks! <Could be a few things... but from the description of raised scales and timing... I fully suspect "Anchorworm" (Lernaea)... or the beginnings of same. This (and happily quite a few other parasites) can be treated with organophosphate-containing remedies. Please search the Net/WWM with these terms. Bob Fenner>

Help we got Lice!  7/23/06 Great page. Thank you for all the super information. I have 2 Oranda both with what I think as Argulus. <No fun... and not uncommon...> Introduced the second Oranda about a week ago, I think he give the gift of Argulus to the other. <What a gift!> My original Oranda has been with me for about 2 1/2 years. The Older one is now covered, and all the other fish in the tank are attacking him. <Yikes> Started dosage of prima fix and MelaFix until I saw the brown spots swim when I scraped one off. <Mmm...> Have just treated tank with Copper Safe, <All inappropriate treatments thus far...> and removed each fish and tired to scrape of the rest of the living lice. Not to much luck with that. <Your fish will be dead...> I am going to start an ant fluke medication, which helped to remove anchor worms about on the older one years ago. <Ahh, now we're getting somewhere> Should I try salt, and how do I kill the rest of those creepy ECTO'S, without killing the fish. <Economic poisons... organophosphates... acetylcholinesterase inhibitors... Either Dimilin or Masoten/Dylox/Neguvon... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm and the linked FAQs file above> The older one has frayed his fins, and the younger is taking advantage of the other. Help!!! Thanks, (the other fish in the tank are two small Cory's and one Plecostomus. The Corys are also beating up the older sicker fish.) <Read on... act soon... Look for commercial products containing DTHP in one of its many generic-names. Bob Fenner>
Re: Help we got Lice!   7/26/06
Hi, Thank you for the information. One fish survived, the older one did not. We will keep the support of your great site for all of us fish lovers. Paul <Thank you for this update. BobF>

Re: *sigh* MORE problems... Anchorworm, using WWM - 05/05/2006 Yes, I did send this email a while ago, but it was never answered.... mail problems? <Sounds like it> Anyway, the day after this was sent, I noticed small *worms* on my fish. I looked them up, and saw that they were anchor worms. I decided that infection from the worms' bite-things was causing the red/white bumps. <Not uncommon in "pond-raised" fishes> I still have the lethargy problem... ANOTHER fish died in the same way as the others. I treated the WHOLE pond for the worms, with "Parasite Guard" (which is made for ponds... in largish bottles, for treating bigger amounts of water than aquariums...) Now I need to treat the supposed infection from the anchor worms, along with the lethargy, the thought cause of which was supposed to be treated with the parasite guard. Please help my fish, Alison <Mmm, Fluke Tabs, Clout... a few other products have the organophosphate DTHP or Dimilin is what you're looking for... all posted on WWM... use the Google Search tool for "Anchorworm" Bob Fenner>

Fish lice?   4/1/06 Hello. <Hi. Tom with you> About a week ago a purchased 2 Fantail Goldfish and 1 Platy. I have all of these fish in a tank together. <Not a good plan, Savanna. The Goldfish require very different water conditions than the Platy does which may have led to stressing this particular fish.> The other day I started to notice on my Platy white bumps all over it's tail. Then yesterday I noticed 1 huge bump on the back of the fish. Today I found 4 new bumps on the left side of the fish. These bumps are white and about 1-3mm wide. I have no clue what is going on, but I did take the Platy out of my tank and put him in a separate one by himself. Tell me what's going on; is it fish lice? <Your Platy almost certainly has Ich. Fish lice are quite a bit larger than you describe (visible to the naked eye) and are dark (brown or green) in coloration. Frankly, that's not all bad since Ich is much easier to treat. You do want to be prompt with the treatment, however. Lots of information here in WWM on the course of treatment. I'd highly recommend heat and aquarium salt as your Platy will be very tolerant of both. Tom>

Fish Lice Causing Major Problems    3/27/06 Hello.  I came upon your site by accident--researching copepods.   My problem is grave at best.  3 wks ago noticed my Oscar was very  lethargic. I looked  closer and   found what I now know to be copepods on   all over him.  An   appraisal of tank revealed millions!.  I  have the Oscar- 10", 4-line catfish, 6", Trinidad Pleco 6", and believe it or not,  an Opaline Gourami 3".  These fish are all 2 years old and are in a 68 gal. tank.  They have always  been  together  in progressively  larger  tanks. I  called my fish store,  and was prescribed (!)  CopperSafe (Mardel) .  This seemed to work, but a week later they were  back.  My fish store prescribed Maroxy (Mardel).  Knowing what I do now after what seems years of research,  I don't know why.  Same  results.  So I went to the store again and they said to try one  ANOTHER  medication; Quick Cure (Aquarium Products)  This got rid of  them,  but made my fish have a bluish-white covering (slime?)  even  their eyeballs!  After a 5 day stay in a hospital tank and a MAJ OR tank  cleaning and sterilization--new gravel and decor-- They were home again.   One week has passed and I saw the aggravating bugs again today!!  I  wouldn't care if they did not make my fish miserable--they fly into the walls  and rocks to scratch.  The Oscar cut his head open (2" gash!)  My fish  are my babies and I hate to see them like this.  I feed live goldfish to  the Oscar sporadically, about 3 times a week.  The goldfish have their own  tank especially for this purpose,  and I never mix a new batch with old one--even if its just one or two. No other type of fish has ever been   in feeder tank.  I guess this is where the   pods  came  from. <Bingo> Nothing   has been introduced into  the  tank besides  TetraMin food,  Wardley algae discs,  Old Roy dry  dog food (only twice--I felt guilty!  This was at least a year ago) and not more than 4 months ago, some live red worms I had been feeding to an African dwarf frog and some glass catfish.  When I did a thorough tank cleaning about a month later, there were thousands living in the  gravel!   (worms that is,  Texas Tea,  Black  gold.) I eradicated them all with a bleach sterilization  of tank and all equip.  because frankly it freaked me out to have those  things  (so mmmany!!!) in with my fish.  Now this.  Sorry so  long-- Your site is the bomb!  ANYTHING you can suggest will be greatly  appreciated and your likeness carved from stone to place on my  tank----...   Muchisimas Gracias, Kristan < The copper medications that you have been using to get rid of the fish lice are not the best way to go. many times the copper levels to kill the parasite are the same levels that kill the fish. I recommend Fluke-Tabs for lice. Follow the directions on the package and retreat as recommended to kill of any new lice that have hatched from eggs. Sometimes medications cannot get to the lice in the egg stage. These lice actually carve holes into your fish as they feed. When the lice are gone you fish have many little wounds that got infected. Treat with Erythromycin or Nitrofuranace. Stop feeding goldfish to prevent further infection. when the medications are finished add carbon to remove any excess medication. The n ad Bio-Spira from Marineland to get the biological filtration going again.-Chuck>

Goldfish and Anchorworms, Continued - 11/19/2005 Sabrina - <Jen> Thanks again for the advice, things are going much better for my goldfish (he thanks you too :) <Ahh, great. Tell him I'm glad he's feeling better.> I ended up purchasing Parasite Clear Tank Buddies by Jungle and it worked great... <I've had a few correspondences on Anchorworms in the last few days; can't recall if you were one that removed the parasite with forceps. If not, I feel obligated to mention to you that the parasite can and will drop off on its own when it becomes reproductive, so if you did NOT remove the parasite, consider getting the goldie out of the quarantine now while you can, and go ahead and break down the quarantine just to be safe.> possible suggestion to anyone else who runs into Anchorworm visitors. <Good deal, thanks for this.> Every one else in my larger tank seems to be doing well, no signs of anything yet. <Excellent. Just keep your eyes open.> I believe that the Anchorworm may have come from a neon-tetra (since 2 of them have died in close proximity to the parasite popping up). <Mm, rare that a tetra will bring them in.... more likely that a goldfish brought it with, if you've had any recent introductions. Could even be from plants, substrate, or decor from an infested tank. But it's certainly not impossible that it was the neon/s.> I am curious though, how long should I keep the goldfish in quarantine? <If there are no parasites currently on him (Anchorworms are quite visible), he's fine to come out of quarantine now. Though, I still urge you to keep your cool water and tropical fish separate.> I know that he's looking much better, but I know that could be misleading. <With very large ectoparasites like these, you can usually tell visually if "all is well". I think he's probably all set. As long as there is no significant wound left from where the Anchorworm was attached, you're good to go.> As per the directions from the Parasite Clear it says that I could medicate up to 3 weeks with a 25% water change to treat Anchorworms.  <The fish is fine; it's the system you should have concern for, and then only if you weren't able to remove the parasite from the fish, as it might be reproducing currently.> After this time, should I keep a longer quarantine?  <Only if there is cause for concern of a secondary bacterial infection from the wound the Anchorworm left.> Thanks again, you have been much help since I have never had anything like a parasite infection before in many years of having fish. Now I know where to come for great help!  <As always, glad to be of service.> -Jen <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Goldfish, Anchorworm - 11/14/2005 I have a large silver/blue 2 yr old goldfish. I noticed a red spot started to form where the body meets the tail fin. There now is something that is about the diameter of a human hair, white, and forked on the end of it coming out of the infected area.  <White.... aside from that, I would guess undoubtedly at Anchorworm.... though there are other copepod parasites of fish that are white(er), Anchorworms are usually brownish or reddish.> With this going on the goldfish is still swimming and eating normally. Today I noticed there is a blood red color descending down the fins from the body. <Be testing your water quality....> This sounds like an anchor worm, but I just want to make sure this is the illness. <Could very well be.> If this is the case, will I be able to treat the goldfish with out removing it from its tank buddies. <I would just remove the parasite with forceps, if you become confidant that this is in fact an Anchorworm.> It is housed in a 20 gal tank with tetras, male guppies, dwarf frogs, and a Plecostomus.  <Entirely incompatible.... goldfish really fare best with water temperatures much cooler than tropical fish can tolerate.... please take this into careful consideration.> Please let me know if any photos would aid in this diagnosis. <A photo is worth a thousand words, as they say....> <<I thought it was a thousand bytes.... sorry.  Marina>> Thanks. <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Goldfish, Anchorworm - II - 11/16/2005
Thank you for responding about my goldfish. As for the tank temperature, I usually maintain it around 72 degrees - which everyone seems to be happy with. <Actually, this is too warm long-term for goldfish and ideally too cool long-term for tropicals. You can "make it work", but best not to "push" things.... someone may end up prone to disease.> While reading up on the Anchorworms, it said that it could be pulled out with tweezers? <Yes.... As I mentioned in our previous email.> What would be the best to perform this with out injuring the fish? <I would remove the fish from the tank and place in a shallow, small bowl of water, and hold it (carefully, gently) with a thoroughly wet soft flannel cloth, then grab the Anchorworm with forceps/tweezers right at the spot where it's attached to the fish. I would use blunt/rounded tweezers and avoid pointed ones, for the safety of the fish, as it may very well thrash about in the bowl (I know I would).> Also, would I be able to treat this in the 20 gal tank with the other fish or would it be best to remove him to a 10 gal tank? <Mm, likely you don't need to treat at all, if this was an isolated occurrence.... I wouldn't add any medication unless you see another or others. If you do, then treating the main tank may be your best option, as there may be others present.> Thanks <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Goldfish, Anchorworm - III - 11/16/2005
Well I moved the goldfish into a hospital tank and pulled out the anchor worm with tweezers. <Ah, great!> I just wanted to find out after medicating the goldfish, will I need to medicate the larger tank as well to make sure that it has not spread to any other fish or frogs? <Mm, as before, I think you may be able to get by without medicating. Just observe all your animals very closely for signs of other Anchorworms. If you do see another or others, pull it with tweezers, and then consider medicating. Remove the frogs before you medicate; they are extremely sensitive and likely to be killed by medication.> Also, are anchor worms a goldfish specific parasite or can it be passed from species to species? <Can be passed to other species of fish. Um, think of them kind of like "ticks" of the fish world.... They don't really care what exactly they're latching onto as long as they get a meal out of it. Just keep your eyes open for more. All the best, -Sabrina>

Goldfish, Anchorworms, Environmental Disease - 11/12/2005 Hi, <Hello, Ashley; Sabrina with you, today.> I have a 58 gallon fish tank, Fluval 404 canister filter, UV light, and I do weekly water changes with Stress Coat, StressZyme, and a tablespoon of salt for each 10 gallons. Currently in the tank are 4 fantail goldfish. Recently it was only three. At a pet store I went to a saw the largest white fantail goldfish I have ever seen and I had to have it. At the time it had anchor worms so I put it on hold until the fish was treated and better. When time came to pick it up the fish was all white and some red streaks in the tail and I asked if it was fin rot which they responded that in white gold fish you can see the red streaks sometimes and the fin rot would not be contagious. Is this true?  <Mm, to an extent.... but I feel it is more likely that the medication that they used for the anchor worms may have left the goldfish slightly damaged.> It (Samurai) has been a very energetic and happy goldfish until today which is exactly a week later he has been laying on the bottom. He has achieved orange spots which I am guessing is normal. <Possibly, possibly not.> But today I noticed on the big tail fin towards the tip is a white fuzzy spot (which I thought at first to be a scab from the removed anchor worms) and the ends looks a little tore up and he is hardly moving. Also my other fish have their top fins down and one of the others tail is starting to look frayed maybe from nipping or from the fin rot if is contagious. I put in MelaFix <Useless, IMO> and added 4 tablespoons of salt. What could this possibly be and what should I do? <First and likeliest things first - test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate; maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes. If you find that your levels are currently perfect, then you might consider treating with a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as Kanamycin sulfate. I suspect, though, that this is all related to water quality.> I have had my gold fish for about 3 yrs and I don't want that to change. Thank you so much for all your time and effort. <And thank you for these kind words.> Ashley <Wishing you well, -Sabrina> <<And as an afterthought....>> Sorry I made a mistake I don't use tablespoon I use teaspoons. Very sorry I am just worried about my fish! <<Three teaspoons make a tablespoon!  MH>> <Oh, no problem. Even at tablespoons, that wouldn't be "too much" salt. All the best, -Sabrina>
Goldfish, Anchorworms, Environmental Disease - II - 11/15/2005
Hey thanks for your help.  <Sure thing.> I went to get a full test kit and ammonia is at 0 ppm, the nitrite is almost at 0.0 ppm maybe 0.1, <Best to try to maintain this at zero.> the nitrate is between 20 ppm and 0 ppm and the pH looks to be 7.0. <All good.> I went to the pet store and the other fish they had in the tank with the one I purchased looked the same as mine and I asked them what it was and they said they believed it to be a protozoan but they said it was not Ich. I have no idea what it could be then. <Many many possibilities.... If you/they are confidant that it is a protozoan parasite, I would consider treating with a formalin/malachite green combination (like Rid-Ich, Rid-Ich+, etc.) or a copper medication (CopperSafe, Cupramine....). Please do read on our website regarding these medications and diseases caused by parasites.> Thank you, Ashley <Wishing your fishes all the best, -Sabrina> 

Fish problems, goldfish, Anchorworm  11/9/05 Hi, I'm hoping you can help me because I'm pretty much at my wit's end with my fish keeping experiences. I was given a c.50 L aquarium last Christmas which was bought second hand with all gadgets etc included (filter, heater, potions and lotions etc). <Heeee!> I started off, I realize now, a bit ambitiously, going out and buying a tank full of little tropical beauties. All went well for about 2 weeks but then one by one they ALL went through a period of distress and eventual death. By the time I found a website (not this one) that I thought could help me, it was too late.  Empty tank and extremely guilty/unhappy/distressed fish owner. I printed out a small novel of paperwork telling me what and what not I should do. I realized I'd broken virtually all the gospel no-nos - over feeding and leaving the uneaten food in the tank, not changing water often enough, panicking when the fish looked unwell and tearing apart their home to try and make it beautiful and clean, too much gravel in the tank.  So after a month of psyching myself up again, I decided I'd discovered the reasons for my lack of success and if I tried again, all would be well. This was two months ago. I started off slowly and, as the website suggested, I bought three very very ordinary gold fish and put them into an aquarium I'd set up two days previously. <Mmm, was this system cycled?> I followed all the rules and looked after them really carefully. They flourished and were really happy and healthy for a good three weeks. So then I decided it was time to add one more gold fish - this time a little bit fancier (a red and white Ryukin I think). All fine for maybe a week until the new guy just suddenly got sick and died over the space of about 3 days. After that the three gold fish all started to act strangely - clamped fins, erratic movements, loss of appetite and eventual crashing on the bottom.  <Likely from "something" brought in with/by the new fish> Two have died and the third, though staying quite perky, is still not well. The thing is, I've just noticed that he has some sort of parasite on him - little strings about 4/5mm long hanging off him. <Ahh! Likely the crustacean parasite "Anchorworm", Lernaea> I'm completely gutted as I just feel that everything I do is wrong. I'm pretty much set on never keeping fish again because at this rate, all it has cost me is a lot of disappointment, distress and money. So. Any ideas as to what on earth I'm doing wrong - could it just have been an infected tank to begin with? <Yes, for sure> I'd really appreciate your feedback and thank you for your time! Gemma <Go to the Google search tool on WWM (on the homepage or the indices) and put in the terms, "goldfish" and "Anchorworm"... Treatment at this point, and careful selection, quarantine and acclimation going forward will help you avoid these sorts of troubles. Bob Fenner> 

Few questions about fish lice and quarantine 10/30/05 Hi there, <Howdy> I am looking for some advice and would appreciate any that you could give me.  I have a 25 gallon tank that was home to one fantail and one lionhead goldfish. I have had it for 2.5 years (the fish are about the same age) and change 30% of the water every two weeks. According to my testing kit all the water parameters were fine and even when we moved home, they remained stable.  I keep a base level of aquarium salt in the tank ~2g per gallon. A couple of weeks ago I was stupid - I purchased my very first "new fish" (an Oranda) and some plants. I did not quarantine properly (never again!) - I have excuses but I'll spare you apart from not knowing/reading enough. <Okay> The tank got Ich and despite attempts to treat it with salt (7.6g per gallon) and medication - <Which?> it got just got worse (temp is low and I was scared to raise it for them). After a week and my fantail becoming riddled with every new outbreak (and his tail basically being shredded by it) I set up two new aquariums (one to hold the very sick fish and one for the other two). Salt, treatment and daily water changes and one week later they are all alive and the fantail seems to be improving (they have remained active and eat fine). However I have noticed that the new Oranda also has lice (or at least a louse) of the type Argulus.  <"When it rains..."> I have read that the reproduction cycle of these things can be 30-100 days and I firstly am unsure how to treat it and secondly terrified that it has contaminated my big tank (which has now been empty of fish for two weeks). Since this email now seems a bit wooly - I have a few specific questions: <... Mmm, there are mentions of how to treat (organophosphates... Masoten/Dylox/Neguvon, Dimilin... such crustacean parasites...> 1.Re the 25 gallon aquarium: I threw out 50% of the water from the old tank, boiled the gravel, tossed the toys and plants, raised the temp to 86 deg and am treating the tank for Whitespot (with medication). I planned to re-establish their filter, new wood etc for a month after this before putting them back. Is this enough or should I throw out all the water, disinfect and start again? Is there anyway to know if the lice survive in this tank? <Mmm, only by seeing them as adults on their (fish) hosts...> 2. I would like to put new plants back in the tank but I am not sure how to quarantine plants (I put new a plant in with the Oranda and saw Ich on the plant)  <Are, can be quarantined as per fishes...> 3. I tried to remove the louse with tweezers but this only resulted in the fish (and me) becoming stressed. <Practice... best to remove adults in this way> I put him in a bath of 10mg/L of Potassium permanganate and the louse remained attached to him - it has since 'disappeared' but I am waiting for it to resurface again. Any ideas how to treat this? <Mmm, use the search tool on parts (e.g. the homepage) of WWM> There is no gravel or ornaments in this 'hospital tank' but I am not sure if the Argulus could still reproduce.  <Reproduce while attached...> I have had the fish for 3 weeks and he just has the one louse at the moment and I haven't seen any signs on the lionhead who shares a tank with him. Thank you for your time, Karen <Unfortunately the Argulus may have "dropped" young, in the system... I would treat with the organophosphate... Maybe start reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm Bob Fenner> 

Re: Few questions about fish lice and quarantine 11/3/05 Hi again, <Howdy> I just wanted to say thank you for the advice. Answering your questions (I just got back from a small vacation) I used two treatments for white spot:  "Anti white spot plus by Interpet" (dose every 4 days) and then changed to King British "white spot control" as it required a dose every two days and I thought that may be better (and seemed to be at low temperatures). <Am unfamiliar with the ingredients of these products. Such chemical information is posted by name on WWM for your perusal... look on the bottles re contents> I will have a look at the web pages re: the crustacean parasite (I haven't seen any sign of him since the potassium permanganate episode but as you say there is a chance there are young in the system). I know that we can't get Dimilin in the UK (according to my web searching) but I will search out some medications especially for crustaceans.  Your site is a fantastic source of information and I have searched it for many other questions in the past. Thanks again. Cheers, Karen <Welcome. I do believe Masoten and its many other names can be had there... This is what I would specifically use. Bob Fenner>

Outside pond fish... possible Lernaeid  10/21/05 <Sabrina, should we post this to the FW goldfish FAQs as well?> <<I sure think so.  Likely will go into Koi, Pond Fish Disease, Goldfish Disease, and Crustacean Parasitic Diseases.  SCF>>Hi, this is our first time on your web-site, and we have a question. We have an outdoor fish pond with 4th generation goldfish! Today I noticed something on one of the fish. It is gold in color, protruding ( from under his skin)? or sticking out of his skin, I can't really tell. It looks like a thick wire sticking out. He doesn't look or act different, eating as normal. I didn't see anything like this on the other five fish.   Do you think this is some sort of parasite? <Mmm, possibly... Lernaea... "Anchorworm"...> What would you suggest we do? <Mmm... place this/these terms on the WWM, general search engines... read... If this is the cause/parasite, removing the adults by tweezing, inspecting all fishes, using a organophosphate to kill intermediates is suggested. Bob Fenner> Thanks Donna

Tadpoles, Anchor Worms? - 09/16/2005 Hello. I recently acquired two new albino bullfrog tadpoles from a local PetSmart. Having worked in a reptile store a couple years ago, I know that PetSmart isn't exactly the place to get healthy animals, but because I had successfully raised another bullfrog tadpole that I got there, I thought it would be fine. Not only are these new tadpoles sickly, lethargic, and tiny (about an inch long still, as compared to my frog who was 3 inches or so) but they each have 3 copepods. <Hmm....> I am fairly sure that these are what they are, having skipped my first class of the day (ironically, biology) to do some research. They are about half a centimeter in length, thin, white / clearish yellow in color. They branch at the end. <Could be parasitic copepods called "anchor worms", Lernaea sp.  Definitely fits your description.> At first I thought they were small limbs, but unless the tadpoles are infected with Trematodes, this wouldn't make sense. If I look really closely, I can see that there is some sort of "pulse" inside of these things...a very tiny one but I don't know how to describe it other than that. In any case, my question is this: could the copepods, if that's what they are, be parasitically harming my tadpoles? <Yes.  And once reproductive, can be of more concern from greater numbers of them attaching....> They have both been sluggish and very very weak-looking lately. In fact, if I didn't think that removing the copepods would somehow harm my tadpoles, I would perform a small operation right now. How do I get rid of them? <Look up some images of Lernaea/anchor worms (many available on the 'net) to verify that's what they are, first.  Then, if so, you can remove these with forceps.> Thank you so much for your help. Sincerely,  Marisa <Wishing you and your frogs-to-be well,  -Sabrina>

Re: Bala bailed... "what we have here is a failure to communicate"... FW disease, parasitic? And the saga continues!  Let me start by saying I know the importance of quarantining new fish.   I have read the horror stories but for some reason, namely a rainy Saturday, a trip to the local fish store and my quarantine tank is occupied by 2 German Rams that I am treating, I ignored the risks and bought new fish and put them directly in my 45 gallon with everyone else. <What?> STUPID MOVE on my part! Everyone is getting along well and new tank mates are happy as little clams when I notice what looks like a bug on my angelfish.  So I call the store where I bought the new fish (2 Kribensis, 2 Cory cats, 1 rainbow shark and 1 rainbow).  They tried to tell me it must be a Lympho-something or other. I insisted that this showed up immediately after I added the new fish. So they want me to put my angelfish in a zippy bag and bring it to them. I am concerned that this will be traumatic to the fish and would rather treat him at home.  Not to mention, what if there are more of these little "bugs" in the tank?  From what I have read, I think it fish lice. It actually moved overnight from the top of his fin closer to his body so I know it is some kind of creature. I have read that if the lice is visible that you should remove the "bug" with tweezers.  Makes sense that you would want to pluck the thing off, but how do I get my medium size veiled angelfish to be still long enough for me to accomplish this. Is there some kind of dip I could put him to get the thing off? <Mmm, no... just hold semi-firmly in a large net, at the water surface> Also, what, if anything, do I need to do to treat the tank in case there are more of these things? <... this is posted on WWM... use the search tool> All of your help has been invaluable and probably keeps me from giving up the fish keeping hobby all together! <Good luck to you. Bob Fenner>

Arowana With Anchor Worms - 08/22/2005 I have a Australian Arowana about 8 inches long and he's got anchor worms popping out all over his fins, mouth underside and around his eyes.  I tried to treat him with a product "Life Bearer", a parasite treatment made by "AP PRO" or "Aquarium Products".   <Active ingredient is Trichlorfon.... should be effective against anchor worms....> The instructions say not to use on sensitive fish <Indeed, this is a pretty tough medicine!> but the guy at the pet store said that if it's not treated it would die anyway.   <Possible.> I live in Hawaii and so far all the pet store people have said that this and "CopperSafe" is the only medications available to treat these worms. <Either of these will do, or you can manually remove the worms, if they are not plentiful.> <<The adults (on the fish) should be removed... with tweezers, help, a wet towel... RMF>> Could you please give me some guidance on to how I can eradicate these parasites without killing my fish?     <Praziquantel should work, and is very gentle on fish.  If you cannot find this, I would go with the Trichlorfon - but be CERTAIN not to overdose if you use Trichlorfon....  very important.> Thank you, Loren <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> <<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm RMF>>

Anchorworm, using WWM 7/7/05 Hi, Thank you for creating such an informative website. I learned so much from it. :) I just plucked an anchor worm off the tail of my goldfish. I could not find information of what to do with the goldfish - should I quarantine it or release it back into the container pond? At the moment now, it is in a 1 gallon tank. I don't have space in the townhouse to set up a real QT tank. All the other fishes seem healthy. Thanks, Lai Hwa <... go to the homepage of WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/index.html put in the term "anchor worm" in the Google search tool...  

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