Tropical Fish Site

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Anchor Worms Fish Disease

Introduced into aquariums by infected fish, young anchor worms are small crustaceans that burrow into the fish’s skin and enter the muscles. Here they begin to develop and release eggs before they die – leaving behind damage which can become infected.


  • Scratching against objects by the affected fish
  • A protuberance of whitish-green threads from the fish’s skin
  • Points of attachment are marked by inflammation


Common methods include physically removing the parasite and cleaning the wound with an antiseptic like iodine. Also common is bathing freshwater fish in a seawater bath (35ppt) for about 5 minutes for multiple days until the parasite falls off.


Quarantine all new fish or plants in a hospital tank before adding them to your main tank. Maintain a high quality water and feed fresh food.

Tropical Fish Site takes no responsibility for diagnosing the exact problem with your tropical fish, this is purely meant as a guide only. Be sure to look at other common tropical fish diseases to ensure you have made the correct diagnosis as there is often crossover between them.