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Question about Ich

Tttay89

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Am I correct in thinking once a fish has visual white spots there is no healing that fish or destroying the parasite, and that only the ones that can be killed are the ones not latched onto a fish? So if a fish has spots it has a very near death? At what stage would large water changes and temperature increases not be enough before you have to use medicine chemicals?
 

Byron

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Am I correct in thinking once a fish has visual white spots there is no healing that fish or destroying the parasite, and that only the ones that can be killed are the ones not latched onto a fish? So if a fish has spots it has a very near death? At what stage would large water changes and temperature increases not be enough before you have to use medicine chemicals?
Ich is a parasite which has a life cycle that lasts approximately one week, at normal aquarium temperatures. In warmer water the cycle will be quicker (I'm not sure just how many days less, doesn't matter). At a temperature of 86F/30C it will basically be killed. However, in stubborn cases some may slip through; at 90F/32C this is pretty much game over for the parasite.

The spots you see on the fish are the second phase, and there is nothing that will get at the ich when it is protected. However, this does not normally kill the fish. I have had fish with one or two visible spots and these have disappeared and no more occurred and the fish basically fought it off. As the spots drop off they fall to the substrate and rupture, releasing innumerable parasites that must find a host fish within 24 hours or die; it is at this free swimming stage that we can kill them via the heat, or treatments. Removing the fish from the tank for two weeks will obviously kill off the ich, but the fish have to be treated anyway so it is less stressful to leave them in the tank and raise the temperature.

In very stubborn cases, and when the highest temperature may not be safe for the fish species, salt is without question the safest additive. Most fish can tolerate salt before they can tolerate any of the so-called "treatments." These may not be effective some of the time, and they certainly will kill fish some of the time, depending which ones. Salt is far safer, if something beyond the increased temperature is deemed necessary.

Fish will build up a resistance or immunity of sorts to ich, if they are healthy and if they are free of stress; if this were not true, by now there would be no fish left in nature, as they deal with ich there. In fact, it is strtess and only stress that causes fish to succumb to ich. I have many times acquired new fish and while in quarantine observed a flash here or there, a sign of ich which first attacks fish in the gills where we cannot see the spots, but I do nothing and this ceases within a few days at most. Stress is the direct cause of 95% of all fish disease in aquaria; the various pathogens may be present, but it is only when stress has weakened the fish that they succumb. This is why preventing stress by providing what the fish "expects" in temrs of its environment is so crucial to healthy fish.

Which takes me back to your question about killing the fish...only if the fish is under severe stress, and the ich has advanced well beyond the first week or so, will fish die from ich. But at this stage, ironically, they are just as likely to be killed by our "treatments."
 

vanalisa

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Thanks, great info.
I'm a little stressed now wondering if my fish are stressed.
 

Guppy10

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I'll tell you the fish will enjoy a bit more heat .... Mine were great... No catching n stressing n no chemicals !! It's easy to get rid of with heat but some like chemicals which I don't condone AND your whole tank will be rid of the pesky things but you can only kill them at certain stages of their life is when they are free swimming etc.
 

Colin_T

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I have many times acquired new fish and while in quarantine observed a flash here or there, a sign of ich which first attacks fish in the gills where we cannot see the spots, but I do nothing and this ceases within a few days at most.
Fish rubbing on objects in a tank can be any external protozoan infection, not just whitespot.

Protozoan parasites like Costia, Chilodonella and Trichodina will cause fish to flash/ rub on things in the tank. Water changes will regularly dilute the number of these organisms in the water and the infection will sometimes stop there (no more rubbing).

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The following link has information about white spot. The first post on page 1 and second post on page 2 are worth reading.
 
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Tttay89

Tttay89

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Turn up the heat and fry those little parasites:devil: Good luck hope all your fish make it though this:angel:
Hi, I have not personally got any evidence of this, it is in fact a friend of mine wondering why 50 percent of his fish are rubbing and scratching on surfaces, a couple of his neon tetras have shown signs of tiny white specs on their dorsal fins and has said they are much less active than usual and huddling in a group instead of swimming around.

I just said to turn the heat up to 30 for a couple of weeks anddo a 50 percent water change every day, and that it might be game over for the tetras with spots.

Are their any fish that will definitly not withstand 30 degree C out of interest?
 

Retired Viking

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Tetras should be fine, I have a tetra tank with neon, ember, red eye and glow light tetras and had the temp up to 89 F just make sure you allow the temp to drop gradually. It would depend on what other fish he has, most tropical fish can handle the extra heat and some become more active.
 
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Tttay89

Tttay89

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Tetras should be fine, I have a tetra tank with neon, ember, red eye and glow light tetras and had the temp up to 89 F just make sure you allow the temp to drop gradually. It would depend on what other fish he has, most tropical fish can handle the extra heat and some become more active.
I think he has neon tetras, Rummy noses, black skirt tetras and a couple of bristlenose albino catfish
 

vanalisa

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Tetras should be fine, I have a tetra tank with neon, ember, red eye and glow light tetras and had the temp up to 89 F just make sure you allow the temp to drop gradually. It would depend on what other fish he has, most tropical fish can handle the extra heat and some become more active.
Do you have any pictures if your fish in the "Tetra Tank?"
I have wondered how they all look together!
 

Colin_T

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Are their any fish that will definitly not withstand 30 degree C out of interest?
Coldwater fishes cannot be treated with heat. The increase in temperature is too much for them.

The only time coldwater fishes can be treated with 30C heat is if they are in a warm water tank to begin with (around 24C), then you can usually get them to 30C. But never use heat treatment on fish living in water with a temperature below 20C.
 
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Tttay89

Tttay89

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Just a thought...
If warmer 30C water could kill parasites like this, is it likely to kill off beneficial bacteria aswell especially working alongside all the large water changes and filter clean?
 
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