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What disease is this

Discussion in 'Freshwater Illness and Disease' started by tphendy, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. tphendy

    tphendy Registered Member

    Mar 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    I have lost over half of my fish. I have a 75 gallon tank that I broke down for several months last year when we redecorated our first floor. I restocked the tank beginning in November. I do have a problem with brown algae that doesn't seem to want to go away.

    I started losing fish a couple of months ago. Many of them had white stuff all over their body. Then it appeared as white sticks. I have used Coppersafe for the last two weeks because we thought it was anchor worm but that doesn't seem to have affected it.

    I have atttached some pictures. The congo tetra has the worm like thing atttached to the dorsal fin that got really long but appears to have broken off.

    Anyone have any ideas of what I can do? I have to be careful of the coppersafe because I cannot add anything else while that is still in the water.

    Thanks for your help. IMG_0172.JPG IMG_0171.JPG IMG_0173.JPG

    IMG_0172.JPG IMG_0171.JPG IMG_0173.JPG
  2. mel_20_20

    mel_20_20 AC Members

    Sep 1, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Deep in the heart of texas
    This does look like Anchor worm. Here's a link to the "sticky" at the top of this forum, FW Illness and Disease.

    Scroll down the page to Anchor worm. Dimilin is mentioned as being the best choice to treat this, but I didn't see copper listed at all.

    You mentioned that some of the ones that have died had some white stuff on them? This could be bacterial, as in Columnaris, or fungal, but pics are really needed to have a better idea of what that might be.

    In the second pic you posted it looks to me like some finrot going on there, so possibly water quality is part of the problem. Certainly at this point I'd try to keep the water pristine and the parameters, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate around 20ppm.

    I would run some carbon to remove the copper, do some water changes to make sure the water is really pristine, and try to get the Dimilin, or use one of the other suggested treatments in that link.

    Here's a good pic of Anchor worm to compare with what you're seeing. You can see that this is what you have going on. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this, and sorry for the poor fish.

    Once the worms have been killed by the treatment, you still have to carefully remove each one from the skin of the fish, and then treat the wounds with a topical med. The article discusses this. I've never had to deal with this issue, thankfully, and I'm sorry you do, now.

    Here's the pic I found for comparison:


  3. mykidsmylife

    mykidsmylife Princess of Peons

    Aug 26, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Indiana, U.S.A.
    It definitely looks like anchor worm to me too. In the first pic you can see the end of the worm where it has the "Y" at the end. The worm could weaken the fish and cause other issues like columnaris, bacterial infections etc.

    The copper safe will not do much. It's best to do water changes to get that out of the water, add some carbon and use a different medication. Dimilin is usually successful. A good place to look for the med is in the pond fish supplies and continue the medication for a while, even after you see the worms no longer on the fish.

    Did you introduce something new into the tank? I've only really seen anchor worms on cold water species such as goldfish/pondfish and feeder fish.

    It's not fun to deal with at all. Good luck.

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