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Old 07-19-2008, 03:09 AM   #76
DementedMindz
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Just figured I would let you know Ich (cysts) can live for 60 Days or more without a fish host.

Here is a nice article from Doc Johnson about Ich.


http://www.koivet.com/index.php?view...tent&Itemid=55


Freshwater Ich - Ichthyophthirius multifilis - is a killer of very small fish, and can cause "redskin" disease in the winter regardless of fish size.

Look closely at gill tissue under the microscope to be sure to exclude this pathogen, because it does not usually cause the typical "white spot" syndrome as in other fish. Therefore, it's often an overlooked diagnosis. Clears easily with salt (0.3%) but sometimes takes four to five days because the epidermal phase (explained in the book) is safe from treatment


If I had to guess, I would guess that every singe hobbyist in the whole world WILL encounter Ich at some time. Usually the meeting occurs early on, as a beginner, before water quality parameters such as Ammonia, Nitrites and 'The Cycle' become more familiar, and 'Quarantine' is just a high ideal observed by a few pathetic perfectionists.

What is 'Ich'?

Freshwater Ich (Ichthyophthirius multifilis) is a ciliated protozoan that encysts under the epidermis of the fish; and, in its encysted condition, causes small white spots all over the fishes body and fins. In some cases, Ich spots may be present, but will not be visible. You may still see them under the scope, or you may see them exclusively on the gills. This is how infected fish may get into a tank without being detected, even if quarantined for a period of time. Asymptomatic carriers can sustain a population of Ich in a tank or pond for an indefinite period. Sometimes an owner will purchase a new fish who, being immunologically naive to Ich, will contract the condition immediately upon introduction to an 'endemic' (already infected but asymptomatic) group of fish. If a fish contracts Ich, and survives without treatment, they have shown strong immunity to re-infection, indicating that the potential for a vaccine exists, and is being worked on at University of Georgia and other institutions. It would have astonishing impac on the Catfish industry if it could be achieved.

Ich rapidly kills smaller tropicals and goldfish, while often sparing the larger varieties (fish such as Oscars and Koi). Damage to the gills is the primary way it kills, but damage to the skin with secondary bacterial infection may also figure prominently.
Its life cycle is roughly 2-5 days, but can be longer (5+ weeks!) if the water is cool, much shorter if the water is warmer. There is the old rumor that warm water eradicates it. This is substantially true when temperatures exceed 85 degrees, however; there are strains coming out of Florida and detailed by researchers at University of Florida that can survive and thrive up to NINETY degrees or more! Recall that many of our bread and butter species of tropicals come from Florida, and so may harbor this heat tolerant strain.

The parasite has a phase that encysts in the epidermis of the fish as previously stated (called a theront). It matures under the skin and finally drops off, falling to the bottom (becoming a trophont) to divide into numerous (hundreds) of tiny swarmers (tomites) that actively seek out a host on which to encyst and renew the cycle of infection. Because an important phase of its life cycle occurs on the bottom of the aquarium, it is for this reason that you can help limit infections with water changes made by siphoning the gravel, removing those dividing Ich packets.

Interestingly, some research at Oklahoma has revealed a strain of Ich that does not have to leave the fish and whose Ich packet (trophozoite) remains under the epidermis (safe from medications) and the tomites swarm out under the epidermis. The lesions look much like Carp Pox lesions, being large, flattened, and waxy looking. This parasite is harder to clear because it is the free swimming tomite that we can kill with medicaments.

Prevention is attended at the wholesale level by the maintenance of a 0.3% salt solution which crenates (kills) the emerging tomites. We do not recommend that you as a hobbyist maintain this salt level all the time because live plants can be killed by this, and all species of fish are NOT universally tolerant of this. Still, many have found that salt is a very effective annihilator of Ich infections if normal precautions are observed.

There are numerous reasons to reach for salt, first, for Ich.

1) It does not harm the majority of fish species.
2) It does not push sick fish 'over the edge.'
3) It eliminates, QUICKLY, most of the serious pathogens of tropicals.
4) It does not get bound out of the system by organics or sunlight.
5) It does not pose a health risk to humans contacting it.
6) It is CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP.
7) It WON'T harm your filter if administered in divided doses.

To recap my points, here's the nuts and bolts of Salting Ich..

1. Remove valued live plants.
2. Raise temperature to 80 degrees, tops.
3. Increase aeration!
4. Add one teaspoon of salt per gallon.
5. Twelve hours later, add another one teaspoon of salt per gallon.
6. Twelve hours later, add another one teaspoon of salt per gallon.
7. Within 48-60 hours of the second salt dose at 80 degrees, the Ich will be gone.
8. Leave salt in the water for another 3-5 days unless you're worried about your live plants.
9. Remove salt via partial waterchanges. (30-40% at a time if desired).
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:15 AM   #77
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I just might add the fish food. That's not a bad idea.

I truly appreciate your concern. I know you are wanting the very best for me and for my tanks and fish. And I understand where you're coming from. I've heard of people fighting ich over and over again because they don't completely kill it out, and then they end up with a medication resistant strain.

I think we're a lot alike in that we both take a lot of precautions. How many people do you know that will set up *6* H/Ts to care for their fish? But I'm not going to take chances. I want every fish in that tank to be medicated so there is no chance they could be harboring ich in their gills that can reinfect the entire tank.

I've done really well with keeping my tanks free of ich, but I pushed things too fast with this one. I should have Q/T'd the plants. Instead, I washed them and put them right in. Never again.

BTW, as a side note: I could not find a 50ft Python so I went with the Aqueon brand. I like it more than the Python brand! This will be my regular "python" while my old one will be my "H/T python".
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:19 AM   #78
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Wouldn't it be so much easier to remove the plants and treat the entire tank? This way you know its gone from the fish and the tank?
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:01 AM   #79
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And where would I put the plants? And then how long do I keep the plants out before they are considered "ich free"?

Again, from your article, DementedMindz, it clearly defines the time period for the ich life cycle:
"Its life cycle is roughly 2-5 days, but can be longer (5+ weeks!) if the water is cool, much shorter if the water is warmer. "
I am not going to leave the water cool. I will raise the temperature. That will speed up the life cycle which is how the ich will die (in the tank without fish).

All the other talk in that article is regarding the ich on the fish itself (skin and/or gills). It is not talking about what happens to ich when it cannot find a host.

ALL fish are being medicated. ALL. Every single one of them. Regardless of whether they're showing spots or not. Each and every fish will be medicated in their respective H/Ts.

The inverts are being moved to their own tank for their protection. Any ich on them will die off the same as it will in the main tank.

All the ich in the 75g tank will die off on its own when it cannot find a host. There will be no fish in the tank to hide ich in its gills. No fish to be a carrier. No fish to feed high temp resistant ich. NO FISH.

There are many variations on the details of ich, but one remains reasonably consistent. Ich requires a host to survive. Without a host, it dies. And when the temperatures are raised, the life cycle will complete itself in 2-5 days (with warm water).

Please, anyone, show me where either of these articles say that ich can survive 30-60 days (or even 10!) without a host. Please quote the precise sentence(s) that say this.

Oh, and Demented, I don't want to use Malachite Green in my 75g tank because it will permanently stain the silicone blue. It would be much easier if I could treat the fish in the tank.
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:04 AM   #80
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Also, to be clear, I will use salt in the H/Ts as long as the species of fish in the tank can tolerate it.
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:33 AM   #81
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I would put the plants in a H/T if I was to treat my personal tank. Ich (cysts) can live for 60 Days easy without a host before they hatch and (hundreds) of tiny swarmers once again infect the tank if the host is back in the tank.

I treat alot of my pond plants and aquarium plants with Potassium Permanganate since I would lose alot of money if my pond was ever to get infected from buying plants. I know some are going to say it will kill plants but so far I have had great success with it.

I have talked to Bonnie numerous times from Bonniesplants who very knowledgeable in plants and fish.

Here is what she does everytime on every plant she has to ship and has got me to do since we have spoke.

You may want to due this in a bucket then move them to a H/T after treatment.

Dissolve 1 tablespoons of Potassium Permanganate (PP) for every 4 gallons of water. Make sure the PP is thoroughly dissolved. add a pump and air stone to the container to keep the PP solution circulating around the plants. Treat for 3 hours and then rinse with a garden hose to remove residue.

Knock on wood I have not lost a plant and have had a pretty healthy fish tank.
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:37 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DementedMindz View Post
Ich (cysts) can live for 60 Days easy without a host before they hatch and (hundreds) of tiny swarmers once again infect the tank if the host is back in the tank.
Right. Some ich is able to live as a cyst on the fish for longer periods of time than the typical ich we normally think of. From the articles I read, that type of ich causes either tiny cysts or cysts in the gills so they cannot be seen. Another article said there is a type of ich that creates flat, waxy cysts on the fish which do not drop to the substrate, but releases its next generation directly from the cyst on the fish. In those cases, a fish can be a carrier, constantly reinfecting the tank with ich.

But notice that in all of those more extreme forms of ich, the ich survives those longer time periods on the fish, not in the tank. In all cases that I have been presented with so far have said that once the ich either falls off the fish or is free swimming, it has to find a host (fish) in 3 days or it dies.

So the risk is not letting the tank be untreated. The risk is that a fish will go through the entire ich treatment, appear to be cured, put back into the tank, and reinfect the tank all over again.

The risk follows the fish, not the tank. The ich in the tank is self-limiting by their need to find a host. No host, the ich dies. Period.

I truly appreciate the concern, and if someone can show me any source that indicates ich can live for more than 3 days without a host, please show me. All of the articles that have been offered so far only repeat what I am saying. The ich must find a host in 3 days or it's dead. Treating the tank is not warranted.
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:34 PM   #83
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Quote:
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Right. Some ich is able to live as a cyst on the fish for longer periods of time than the typical ich we normally think of. From the articles I read, that type of ich causes either tiny cysts or cysts in the gills so they cannot be seen. Another article said there is a type of ich that creates flat, waxy cysts on the fish which do not drop to the substrate, but releases its next generation directly from the cyst on the fish. In those cases, a fish can be a carrier, constantly reinfecting the tank with ich.

But notice that in all of those more extreme forms of ich, the ich survives those longer time periods on the fish, not in the tank. In all cases that I have been presented with so far have said that once the ich either falls off the fish or is free swimming, it has to find a host (fish) in 3 days or it dies.

So the risk is not letting the tank be untreated. The risk is that a fish will go through the entire ich treatment, appear to be cured, put back into the tank, and reinfect the tank all over again.

The risk follows the fish, not the tank. The ich in the tank is self-limiting by their need to find a host. No host, the ich dies. Period.

I truly appreciate the concern, and if someone can show me any source that indicates ich can live for more than 3 days without a host, please show me. All of the articles that have been offered so far only repeat what I am saying. The ich must find a host in 3 days or it's dead. Treating the tank is not warranted.
See there is different stages in ich's life cycle. While in the cyst (Reproductive Stage) it does not need a host and can stay in your tank or gravel. When it is in the Parasitic Stage then it needs a host. Ich can lie dormant for long periods in established aquariums.

No matter what both the tank and the fish have to be treated. I just think it would be easier to move the plants treat them and put them in a small H/T until you kill the ich. Its your choice in the end how you go about doing it but good luck with it.
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:45 PM   #84
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I know I'm beating a dead horse a bit, but IME with ich (and unfortunately, I've got rather a lot) letting a tank lie fallow only works if you let it lie fallow for a LONG time.

I know that there's a lot of debate about whether and how long cysts can lie "dormant" but IME 2 weeks is barely even touching the "safety zone"- if they were my fish I'd go a month.
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Old 07-19-2008, 05:01 PM   #85
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Correct it will only work if you let it stay without a host for a long time but then again you will have to recycle you tank over again.

This is how I would treat my tank.

I would remove the plants put them in a H/T or treat them in a bucket.

Raise the temps to around 80 to increase the reproductive stage. Once you raise the temps it makes there life cycle work faster.

Treat the tank with a small dose of medicine at first to make sure the fish dont react to the meds you will use. If fish dont show no signs of stress then do full doses or what ever the label on the product calls for and how long it calls for.

Its your choice in how you treat your tank. I am not trying to argue or nothing just trying to give advice that was pasted to me before.
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Old 07-19-2008, 05:25 PM   #86
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Let's try to get more specific so we know precisely what we are talking about. Ich has 3 (some people claim 4) stages in its life cycle. Which stage are you two claiming is able to remain dormant or otherwise survive for 30-60 days unless medication is used?
Ich Life Cycle

Some stages are given different names, depending on the author. Therefore, I have listed both names as they apply to their respective stage.

1. trophozoite the stage in which the ich is attached to the fish.
2. tomont/trophont the encased cyst that falls from the fish's body, landing on the substrate (or other object) and is in the process of multiplying.
3. tomite/theront the free swimming cyst.
In order for the assertion that ich can survive 30-60 days in 85F water when not medicated, but can be killed if medicated, requires that the stage in question is #3 and further requires that the stage 3 ich can live 30-60 days (dormant or otherwise) without a host.

This is absolutely not true. It is very important that either you guys show me something to verify the claim or that you guys understand that you are believing an untrue myth. Laura Lee, even the article you linked to talks about this myth. Either way, one (or more) of us will be educated. I think we all prefer to know the truth, especially with something this important.

You have shown me a source verifying that ich can survive on a fish in stage 1 for 30 days or longer. But that's on the fish, not in a fishless tank. So that does not apply to the argument that the fishless tank must be medicated.

I have found no source to substantiate the claim that ich, while in stage 2 can survive dormant for 30+ days in an aquarium. Please show me a source that offers this information.

Further, it is my understanding that ich in stages 1 and 2 cannot be killed by medications. Therefore, even if ich in stages 1 or 2 could lie dormant in the tank for 30-60 days, medicating the tank would not kill that ich and, therefore, be useless and needless.

It is my understanding that the only stage that can be killed by medications is stage 3, and no source has substantiated the claim that ich in stage 3 can remain alive for more than 3 days without a host.

So you guys need to show me one of two things. Either ich can be killed in stage 1 or 2 -OR- ich in stage 3 is capable of surviving without a host for 30-60 days. I believe this is not true, and would either like to learn from you or bust the myth so you can learn. Either way, we all come out ahead.
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Old 07-19-2008, 05:32 PM   #87
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Quote:
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I am not trying to argue or nothing just trying to give advice that was pasted to me before.
I completely understand. I don't consider this an argument.

We are trying to learn the truth regarding ich so we can all better deal with it; plus, the more we know, the better advice we can give others. Passing on bad information is how myths are perpetuated. This is not only not good for any of us, but not good for anyone else we try to help.

I am wiling to be wrong. I just don't think I am. None of what you two are saying follows any understanding of the ich life cycle that I know of.

I honestly think you both have received bad advice, and I'm hoping to help you both see this. But if I am the one who's wrong, that's also fine. Then I need for you guys to show me so I can see it.
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Old 07-19-2008, 05:35 PM   #88
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My source remains unpublished- it's 25 years' experience dealing with these things. I'm also in Florida, so perhaps my tanks are exposed to strains of ich that might not be as prevalent everywhere else (I honestly suspect that I get treatment-resistant strains of ich more often than not). I've got no scientific studies to back up the treatment I'm advocating- it's based on my own experience, not myth.

If I had ich in my main tank with valuable fish I'd honestly scrap all the plants, boil all my substrate, and bleach the tank. Perhaps it's how long I've worked around the medical field, but I tend to respect that most life forms are more hardy and able to survive in real life more often than not what might kill them in a laboratory setting. I take eradicating stuff pretty seriously.

I do whatever it takes to ensure that I don't have to deal with ich more than once per fish.

I haven't had ich in any of my main tanks in more than 10 years. I deal with it just about every time I buy new fish, however. My methods work, and that works for me.

Take that or leave that, my advice is what it is LOL
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Old 07-19-2008, 05:43 PM   #89
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That's fine, Laura Lee. As I've said, I very much appreciate that you are concerned enough to try to warn me. And I'm certainly not trying to be argumentative.

I would like to point out something, though. If this dormant ich has been around for 25 years, wouldn't someone have published something about it? That's a very long time for something like that to not be documented by anyone. Just food for thought.
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Old 07-19-2008, 05:48 PM   #90
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Our hobby isn't that high on the list of things that get research grants... It's all about $$.

Chances are there's research out there- just might not have made it online, or not a source that your typical webbrowser has access to.
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