Help treating anchor worm in betta


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2 years
I have found what appears to be anchor worm on my betta. I notice a long worm thing on him yesterday (which freaked me out), then this morning there appears to be a sore with a little worm coming out of it on his head.

I have never dealt with anchor worm before, so I’m panicking a little bit. I did some research, and I don’t really think I feel comfortable just pulling it out of him.

What are the best courses of treatment?

Edit: so I did a waterchange and dosed 5 teaspoons of rock salt to hopefully inhibit it’s growth until I figure out the next course of action.


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Ok I knew I had read it somewhere how I knew was anchor worm. Just needed coffee to wake up brain. This is passage from expert in fish disease.

You can catch the fish and use a pair of tweezers to pull the parasites off the fish but it usually leaves a wound.

Treat the tank with salt.
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 2 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate (4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will affect some plants and some snails. The lower dose rate will not affect plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

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