Ich: Conflicting information and questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ich: Conflicting information and questions

I posted this is the fish subsection originally but it fits better here.

I have ich. I am not sure how I got if, but I am treating via Dogfish's method. It looks like it is controlled and going away.

My question is not so much about the ich in treatment, but about tank accessories and plants and future infestations.

I have read the tomont can only survive without a host for a few days. I have also read that one should leave a tank fishless for 90 days after an ich infestation.

If the few days theory is correct, then using the same siphon a week later won't reinfect the tank. If not, well I should use something else.

The same with plants, I pulled a couple of swords to move to another tank. They have been sitting in a tub by their lonesome waiting for me to get around to planting them. 90 days in a tub seems excessive, but passing ich on to another tank doesn't sound like fun either.

And finally, a conundrum. I have read a lot of posts saying that pro-actively treating for ich doesn't make sense. Quarantining fish is enough. However, if fish have ich but do not have the physical manifestations of it for the three weeks they are in quarantine, you could still be introducing ich to the main tank. Thoughts?


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 02:51 AM
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When Ich parasites attach to the fish they are not visible to the naked human eye. It only takes 1 drop of water to introduce or reintroduce the parasite. Healthy thriving fish in excellent quality water may not get infected by the parasite or at best avoid infection longer.

Once the free swimming parasite attaches it will develop are grow over the next few days. Hence the benefit of a Q-tank. I've come to believe pre-emptive treatment in the Q- Tank is a mistake. Many of the traditional Ick treatments are stressful to fish, so I just doesn't seem wise to intently stress healthy fish in Quarantine.

Last edited by DogFish; 01-30-2014 at 01:49 AM. Reason: sp
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for answering dogfish. Your ich attack method laid out in another post has worked really well. The two fish that were showing signs are now "salt" free and only one other fish has developed it.

My questions are a bit different that what you answered

1) how long does ich live outside of contact with a fish host?

2) Is a 90 day quarantine on infected tanks and plants warranted?

3) if we can't see the parasites in the three weeks fish are in quarantine, how can we prevent infecting our tanks? Extend quarantine?

There is a lot of information on this forum and elsewhere that seems to be contradictory as to ich's lifecycle. Even when taking into account temperature, a difference of three days to three months is quite large.

I would love more feedback because I have been trying to find a definitive answer and can't seem to find one.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 04:33 AM
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I've ready many many many places (not just the interwebs) that FW ich only lives a few weeks at best without a host. Its the marine ich that survives for 90 days. This theory is kinda proved by my experience helping out at my LFS. The treatment we use is elevated heat and total blackout for 3 days. We have a 100% success rate with this treatment plan. No medications are used in this process. If the 90 day theory were correct, I would think we would almost continually experience ich breakouts (which we don't).

It is also my understanding (I'm no pathologist) that it is essentially always present. Making sure your fish are healthy and well fed will prepare the fish to better fight the (almost) ever present possibility of infection. Much like feeding ourselves a healthy diet helps our immune system better fight infections.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 01:53 AM
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Maybe this will help:

The ich protozoa goes though the following life stages:[1]

Feeding stage : The ich trophozoite (a protozoan in active stage of life) feeds in a nodule formed in the skin or gill epithelium.[1]
After it feeds within the skin or gills, the trophozoite falls off and enters an encapsulated dividing stage (tomont). The tomont adheres to plants, nets, gravel or other ornamental objects in the aquarium.[1]
The tomont divides up to 10 times by binary fission, producing infective theronts, thus dividing rapidly and attacking the fish.[1]
This life cycle is highly dependent on water temperature, and the entire life cycle takes from approximately 7 days at 25 °C (77 °F) to 8 weeks at 6 °C (43 °F).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthyo...us_multifiliis

KEY POINT - NOT every infective theronts is born on the same day AND they are NOT all killed by the treatment one the same day. Hence the time honored 30day Quarantine period.

The reason I double dose Ich Attach on the 1st three days is to wipe out as may free swimming infective theronts and ones just hatching as fast as possible giving the fish a chance to start getting healthy enough to bounce back.

In a severe cases where a fish was heavily infected, I would initially do a salt bath for 5 to 10min. at 1.005 to 1.010 SG(specific gravity) based on the species. I prefer marine salt to use as a bath. Be advised a failing fish may not handle this well. At the fist sign of sever reaction get the fish out of the salt water bath. I do not Salt Bath a scaleless fish like loaches.

Last edited by DogFish; 01-30-2014 at 02:06 AM. Reason: link
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