Is Ich CAUSED by bad water quality? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Is Ich CAUSED by bad water quality?

I, myself, believe that bad water quality cannot make ick (or ich) appear out of thin air (ahem, water). I've always read that if it appears even months after any induction of anything from another tank that may or may no be infected then it was already in your tank, introduced by something from an infected tank. The most likely thing that kept it from becoming visible to the owner's eye is probably good water quality and health of the fish.

However, everywhere I go I run into people insisting that this, much like a fungus or bacteria infection, can appear in a tank even without being introduced; literally out of thin "water" or "air". I don't believe this.

So, I thought I'd make this tread for anyone who wants to throw in their opinion, explore the dark mysteries of this parasite, and to share their opinion. It's open for anyone to use and to throw a link to or even to copy my words and use them (with a link to this thread, of course, so whoever you're explaining this to can read the whole thing) to their own heart's content.

What do you think of this great debate?

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 10:36 PM
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Stop changing your water for a couple of months without adding anything critter wise or
plants either to your tank and see if ICK doesn't show up.
This is especially true in tanks which contain Mollies.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Stop changing your water for a couple of months without adding anything critter wise or
plants either to your tank and see if ICK doesn't show up.
This is especially true in tanks which contain Mollies.
So are you saying that you believe it is caused directly though bad water quality? Or that it multiplies when the fish is weak and the water quality bad? Sorry, I couldn't really tell.

I could try something like that, but it's a little unethical for me. I could do it for the sake of knowing for sure, but there's still no way of ruling out that there is no ick already hiding in the fish's gills.

I doubt it'll be in a lake, I could try this with wild caught fish and with store bought fish just to see if there's a difference.... But I don't know if I could subject the fish to something like that...

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 10:56 PM
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I have no evidence either way but it would seem logical that small things are able to hide out in the water without us spotting it. Many times, I have seen a spot here or there and made a note to watch it and it goes away. Ebola, plaque and many things are hiding out around the world, so why not something as small as ich? Inside the gill plates would seem to be an obvious place to hide. But then I'm a firm believer in keeping the water as good as practical and DO NOT want to try to clear ich if I don't see it doing any damage. I know I can cause a death spiral when shotgunning with meds so I leave that dog lie.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I've had my share of meds. I avoid them whenever possible. However, my local supplier for fish has a nearly 90% ick infestation rate. So, I always treat with 86 degree water (regardless of species of fish) for at least a week as soon as I get a new fish. So far I haven't needed medications, even when I skip the week's heat and end up with ick (which then forces me to do a 2 week treatment).

Is it fully gone? I have no idea. Could I check and find out using the "stress the fish out method" as suggested earlier, yes I could. Would the fish die from that? Maybe. Would I see ick? Doubtful but nor impossible.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 11:29 PM
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so are you really asking, do all fish carry it?

If you get it in your tank it had to come from somewhere. An infection or infestation just can't appear without a source for the organism.

If you NEVER got exposed to a cold virus, you would never get a cold.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Basically, yes, that is the basics of this. I've heard people say that ick is directly caused by bad water quality and doesn't have to come in from another infected tank. That, like the bacteria we all rely on to power our filter's bio filter, it's just found naturally in the air and infests dirty tanks seeking out weakened fish.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 11:46 PM
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I think the bad water thing is like the cold thing.

If you get wet and chilled you will catch a cold. Well, you still have to have exposure to the virus. So maybe they say that because the poor water quality weakens the fish immune system.

But again, you have to have exposure, and where does that come from? Probably most fish store fish have a latent case of it? I don't know??

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 12:10 AM
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Ich is a parasite. People don't quarantine new fish & plants so they don't know any better. It can hide out in fish gills and on plants.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 12:19 AM
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Yes it's a parasite, but it can live in water it just needs fish to reproduce. I'm not positive our municipal water treatments would've killed the ich in the water supply. Heck, most treatments of ich just prevent it from reproducing until it's dead, they don't actually kill it.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 12:25 AM
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Chlorine kills it I'm sure.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 12:28 AM
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It doesn't kill infusoria
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 12:35 AM
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Ich is released into tanks by plants,water,rocks, fish and just about anything that has come from a tank that has it. Pretty much all tanks will contract this parasite from unknowingly introducing it from additions to your tank. Bad water quality does not make it appear out of thin air but what it can do is cause your inhabitants to be unhappy and reduce their immune system. This is when ich is able to easily infect fish. It does not take poor water quality for a breakout to happen but it does make your fish more susceptible.

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 10-26-2015 at 08:04 PM. Reason: .
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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This is very interesting to read, thank's guys!

So, what we have so far is:
The fish have to be exposed first.
Chlorine may or may not kill it.
Bad water quality can make it worse.
Our treatments may not fully eradicate it from our tanks.


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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 12:44 AM
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Talking

That's an awesome summary, made me laugh.

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According to my husband, I have a habit of jumping right in!
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