Latin name: Lernaea Other names: Anchor worm Pathogen:
Fish do swinging movements,
Fish itch (fish scratch on the rocks and other objects),
Sick fish will sway, rub against hard objects. Ulcers with bright-red edges can be observed on the body.
It is an invasive disease caused by the Lernea copepod crustacean, up to 12 mm in length with two pairs of outgrowths on the head which it uses to attach itself to the host. The female develops egg sacs (two fingerlike projections attached to the end of the body). The Anchor worm’s life-cycle begins with larva hatching from eggs in the water. The larva is free swimming until it finds a suitable host where upon it attaches itself to the gills. Here, the larva matures. After fertilization, the male will die and the female will move to another fish where it will attach to the muscle tissue or get into the internal organs. The parasite gets into the aquarium with live food and water from a natural reservoir.
How to cure:
Place sick fish on a wet pad and remove the anchor worms with tweezers. Affected fish should be given baths in a separate tank (sodium chloride solution, 8 g/L for 2-3 weeks, or hydrochloride solution, 0,2 mg/L for 4 days). Trypaflavine or potassium permanganate dabs can also be used.
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