Dwarf Puffer with Suspected Anchor Worm

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Since this board has been up, we have found there are several questions that routinely get asked in order to help diagnose problems. If you can have that information to begin with in your post, we'll be able to help right away (if we can!) without having to wait for you to post the info we need.

1) Your water parameters - pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrates and salinity (if appropriate). This is by far the most important information you can provide! Do not answer this with "Fine" "Perfect" "ok", that tells us nothing. We need hard numbers.

2) Tank size and a list of ALL inhabitants. Include algae eaters, plecos, everything. We need to know what you have and how big the tank is.

3) Feeding, water change schedule and a list of all products you are using or have added to the tank (examples: Cycle, Amquel, salt, etc)

4) What changes you've made in the tank in the last week or so. Sometimes its the little things that make all the difference.

5) How long the aquarium has been set up, and how did you cycle it? If you don't know what cycling is read this: Fishless Cycling Article and familiarize yourself with all the information. Yes. All of it.

We want to help, and providing this information will go a LONG way to getting a diagnosis and hopeful cure that much faster.

While you wait for assistance:
One of the easiest and best ways to help your fish feel better is clean water! If you are already on a regular water change schedule (50% weekly is recommended) a good step to making your fish more comfortable while waiting for diagnosis/suggestions is to do a large water change immediately. Feel free to repeat daily or as often as you can, clean water is always a good thing! Use of Amquel or Prime as a dechlor may help with any ammonia or nitrite issues, and is highly recommended.

Note - if you do not normally do large water changes, doing a sudden, large water change could shock your fish by suddenly changing their established water chemistry. Clean water is still your first goal, so in this case, do several smaller (10%) water changes over the next day or two before starting any large ones.
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Puffer Fry
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Dwarf Puffer with Suspected Anchor Worm

Post by ADT87 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:24 pm


New dwarf puffer (purchased 12/18/2015) has white strand hanging from dorsal fin (picture attached). Puffer is active and eating (frozen bloodworms daily, pond snails are in quarantine). The puffer is exhibiting some flashing (I think) but for the most part seems to be acting normal (scrounging for food, swimming up and down glass, exploring).

However, I'm new to puffers (and fishkeeping in general) so I'm not sure what normal behavior entails.

Tank details:
- temporary 3 gallon, cycled for a few months, heavily planted, 80 degrees
- ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate <5 ppm (checked this morning via liquid test kit, before water change)
- 50% water change this morning, Seachem prime added
- 1/2 TSP aquarium salt added (half yesterday, half today): Yesterday, the "worm" just looked like a white spot or ball on the fin. I asked my LFS what to do and was told to begin salt treatment.

I ordered Tetra Parasite Guard online today, expected to arrive by Thursday. My local stores do not have many options.

So, question is: does this appear to be an anchor worm and if so, can I treat the puffer with Tetra Parasite Guard? I know that for internal parasites its important to medicate the food; would it make more sense in this case to medicate the water? Any other thoughts?

Thank you so much for your time and consideration!
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Dwarf Puffer
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Re: Dwarf Puffer with Suspected Anchor Worm

Post by grup » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:19 pm

That's a worm.

I don't know who wrote this, but it's pretty good.

How to Treat a Puffer with Anchorworms - 7:26 video


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Re: Dwarf Puffer with Suspected Anchor Worm

Post by ADT87 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:22 pm

Thanks for your response! The video suggested Jungle Parasite Clear which from other posts on this forum appears to be the same as the Tetra Parasite Guard. Can I dose according to directions or do I need to modify for a puffer?

Thanks again!

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Re: Dwarf Puffer with Suspected Anchor Worm

Post by Pufferpunk » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:01 am

Use as directed.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

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Re: Dwarf Puffer with Suspected Anchor Worm

Post by ADT87 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:22 pm

Thank you! Started treatment and puffer is tolerating it well.

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