moving driftwood from one aquarium to another (infection possible?) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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moving driftwood from one aquarium to another (infection possible?)

i'm going to be moving some pieces of driftwood in this aquarium that had an ich outbreak to a new aquarium i'm going to be setting up in the future. should i be concerned that any bacteria or infections would spread into the new aquarium? should i put the wood in boiling water before placing it in the new tank?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 12:22 AM
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You can boil the piece of wood to be safe.

Ich cysts attach themselves to surfaces in the aquarium--so the driftwood probably has ich cysts on there as well.

Another way is to leave the piece of wood in a tank with no fish--the ich parasites need a host to survive. No host, no food, they starve to death. It will depend on the temperature. The higher the temperature, the faster their metabolism, the faster their life cycle. So if you raise the temperature, they will die faster if there is no host (the fishes).
You can also let it dry out completely in the sun before putting it in the new tank.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 01:15 AM
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I'd probably boil it for at least 1/2 hour plus let it dry out thoroughly, to be on the safe side.





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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 01:40 AM
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I recall reading somewhere that there are always ich cysts in some number in aquariums. Maybe this is not the case but is seems plausible to me that pathogens are always present and just waiting for a weakened host to gain a foothold on. I have introduced new fish in the past and have seen small infestations appear on one or two fish which almost always go away and no other fish show signs of infestation. If you have healthy conditions in your tank some new/old driftwood is hardly going to pose a threat.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 02:13 AM
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Mark, I actually disagree. Here's a great article on ich that refutes the "ich is always in every tank" idea, I encourage you to read the science behind the ich life cycle: http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/docs/health/ich.shtml





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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 02:22 AM
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I can see how that rumor persists. I have (in the past year) had a heater go out in an established tank that I hadn't added anything to in nearly a year and had an outbreak. At the very least, dry that driftwood out for a week. I've transferred ich just by using a net from an infected tank, so I wouldn't consider using driftwood from a tank with a recent outbreak.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Mark, I actually disagree. Here's a great article on ich that refutes the "ich is always in every tank" idea, I encourage you to read the science behind the ich life cycle: http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/docs/health/ich.shtml
Thanks for the link. I am familiar with the life cycle of ich but the details of it are admittedly hazy: it's been a few years since I've been concerned with an infestation-I haven't treated this tank for a disease in well over 10 years. Sure I've had fish die-mostly of old age. Sometimes they do develop symptoms but treat the tank for one sick fish? I learned long ago to resist running to the pet store to buy some antibiotic to pollute the tank with. I can also go into a pet store and and walk out without buying fish-that took some doing. But back to ich: if the article/link you referred me to is accurate (and I have no reason to believe it's not) then boiling is not necessary. Merely a waiting period is all that is needed.

"They quick sprout cilia and start actively swimming about in search of a host. The fully developed "swarmers" are now called theronts (Greek ther- denotes a critter). The tomites'/theronts' metabolism is also temperature-dependent, but they must find a host within a very few days or perish: at 68oF none survived after 55 hours, according to Schaperclaus."

If the poster has not seen any signs of ich in his tank that holds this driftwood for over this time period then wouldn't it be safe to say that there are no viable cysts on it? Couldn't they just take it out and put it in the other tank?


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
I can see how that rumor persists. I have (in the past year) had a heater go out in an established tank that I hadn't added anything to in nearly a year and had an outbreak. At the very least, dry that driftwood out for a week. I've transferred ich just by using a net from an infected tank, so I wouldn't consider using driftwood from a tank with a recent outbreak.
Wait a minute: are you saying that you had an outbreak in a tank that had nothing added to it in a year? The heater broke, the temp dropped and fish became infected?


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 03:20 AM
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That's what I'm saying. It was a South American cichlid tank that had no new fish introduced (and I don't feed feeders) in at least 8 months, maybe twelve, I don't remember when I got the last specimen (I don't document like I used to, it's a good habit). I do use a communal python, and put my arms in tank after tank, but hadn't had an ich outbreak before (or since) in ages.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 03:26 AM
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Ich is such a small parasite that it can persist without visible symptoms. It's only when a fish is weakened for some reason (such as temps dropping) that it gains a foothold to the point the fish start dying.

The most effective parasites need their hosts to stay alive, after all.

Boiling may not be necessary- but I'd do it anyways.

Possibility of other parasites always exists, as well.





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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 06:11 AM
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Ich parasites cannot spontaneously appear in a closed environment like an aquarium.

They have to be introduced by something, say new fish, plants, decor, etc.

Ich "spontaneously" and persistently appearing in aquariums is a myth. If they seem to be appearing and disappearing in cycles, it is only because the ich on the fish have left the host to repeat its life cycle, then coming back several days/weeks later appearing as if they were new parasites.

They have to introduced from some sort of external source first.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekstr View Post
Ich parasites cannot spontaneously appear in a closed environment like an aquarium.

They have to be introduced by something, say new fish, plants, decor, etc.

Ich "spontaneously" and persistently appearing in aquariums is a myth. If they seem to be appearing and disappearing in cycles, it is only because the ich on the fish have left the host to repeat its life cycle, then coming back several days/weeks later appearing as if they were new parasites.

They have to introduced from some sort of external source first.
Just to clarify: No one is claiming "spontaneously" appearing ich. The other poster is just reporting their observation. But a persistent population can be possible. My position is that the health of the fish (which relates directly to tank conditions ect) determines whether fish get infected and if so whether they perish. At least that has been my experience over the years observing this tank. IOW a fish with signs of ich does not equal an epidemic and require treating.


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Thanks for the link. I am familiar with the life cycle of ich but the details of it are admittedly hazy: it's been a few years since I've been concerned with an infestation-I haven't treated this tank for a disease in well over 10 years. Sure I've had fish die-mostly of old age. Sometimes they do develop symptoms but treat the tank for one sick fish? I learned long ago to resist running to the pet store to buy some antibiotic to pollute the tank with. I can also go into a pet store and and walk out without buying fish-that took some doing. But back to ich: if the article/link you referred me to is accurate (and I have no reason to believe it's not) then boiling is not necessary. Merely a waiting period is all that is needed.

"They quick sprout cilia and start actively swimming about in search of a host. The fully developed "swarmers" are now called theronts (Greek ther- denotes a critter). The tomites'/theronts' metabolism is also temperature-dependent, but they must find a host within a very few days or perish: at 68oF none survived after 55 hours, according to Schaperclaus."

If the poster has not seen any signs of ich in his tank that holds this driftwood for over this time period then wouldn't it be safe to say that there are no viable cysts on it? Couldn't they just take it out and put it in the other tank?
well since i have to cycle the new tank anyway. wouldn't the ich parasites die from no host during cycling time? so it'd be safe to just put it in there?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 01:25 PM
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If you're doing a fishless cycle, yes, it would all die without a host in < 30 days. But look that up! I've always heard/read/repeated that 30 days in a fallow environment would cause all ich organisms to die, but I'd double check if I were using that driftwood! Why not just let it dry, boil or dip it in bleach?

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 04:24 PM
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Better safe than sorry with parasites. Also, water temperature has so much to do with their life cycle that I would not consider the 30 day rule set in stone by any means.





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