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What is ICH?

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by Dragonslair, Jun 29, 2003.

  1. Dragonslair

    Dragonslair Dragon.
    Retired Moderator

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    This is a common question that is often asked, what is ich and how is it recognisable and what causes it?
    The real term is ICHTHYOPHTHIRIASIS. OR commonly known as white spot.
    It is an extremely comon parasite that affects aquarium fish. It is highly infectious and potentially lethal and manifests as tiny white spots all over the fish. The spots are no larger than grains of salt. The wide host range of this parasite is it's life cycle, and speed of mutiplication especially in a tropical aquarium. When you can see the white spot on your fish it's already too late for those ich particles to be killed, they can only be killed in the parasitic stage.

    FISH parasite stage under the skin and fin. }TROPHONT exits fish and forms a reproductive stage(TOMONT) } The tomont then settles on the substrate and starts its division. The Tomont can reproduce 200-800 THERONTS The Theronts must locate a fish within 24 hours otherwise it will die.It is at this stage when the free swimming Theronts can be destroyed by treatment/chemicals. If it infects a fish the cycle starts again, if not and it is killed off by the treatment the cycle stops. Early signs of white spot are when fish begin to flick themselves against rocks. Other signs are your fish swimming in an odd behaviour as if they were trying to use the water to wash away an irratation. Then you have the white spots. There are many causes for white spot, fish catch white spot like we catch a cold! Some of the more common causes are stress, bad water conditions, live food that have been infected or you've bought an already infected fish without knowing it. The main culprit is the parasite Ichthyophthrius multifiliis
    Treatment: There are many remedies out on the market, most are based on either Methylene Blue or Malachite Green. Salt can also be used(not table salt),but only with salt tolerant species and if you have a major outbreak than the "big guns" need to be brought in. The big guns being UV irradiation.

    *edited one line for clarification and opened it if dragonslair wants to amend my own alteration! :) *
     
  2. Snailguy101

    Snailguy101 Moved On

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  3. jollysue

    jollysue Member

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    It is my understanding that all untreated water contains ich. If the tank water has been cleansed of the ich parasite, the next untreated water change will reintroduce the parasite. It is a practice to treat the water at a water change with a mild ich remedy (like aquarisol.) I have also been directed to treat all incoming fish in quarantine with an aquarisol wash. When treating the water at waterchanges it isn't necessary, I am told, to mess with the filter media. It is treating the water to kill the parasite, not treating the disease.

    If I am posting here incorrectly or my information is wrong, dragonslair, let me know and I'll immediately remove it. ;)
     
  4. The-Wolf

    The-Wolf Ex-LFS manager/ keeper of over 30 danio species

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    :cool: great post dragon.
    I'd just like to add that some fish (such as neon tetras), after becomming infected and sucessfully treated, can be carriers of the disease; thus giving (potentialy)
    the chance of infecting any addition to the tank.
     
  5. Jules H-T

    Jules H-T Member

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  6. allwet

    allwet Member

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  7. juliehainsworth

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    I've had Ich in my tank for about two weeks I have done the regular water changes, increased temp, added salt, and tried the white spot treatment at the pet shops, all that has happened is that it just hasnt spread rapidly is there anything else I can do! Beside the fish having the white spots they seem healthy enough but I keep noticing others in my tank starting to scratch themselves on the rocks or wood in my tank! I don't know what else to try so would be grateful for any suggestions that may help
     
  8. jollysue

    jollysue Member

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    Have you posted a thread in the main emergency section?
     
  9. The-Wolf

    The-Wolf Ex-LFS manager/ keeper of over 30 danio species

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    There is a new strain of Ich that is highly resistant to most comercially produced treatments.
    The only thing that will cure this form of ich are copper based treatments.

    I'll just add that copper is highly toxic to most life on this planet and many fish can not tollerate it at all
    so you have to be extreamly careful when useing copper based treatments.
    it maybe a case of the cure is deadlier than the disease.
     
  10. Smexxxyy

    Smexxxyy Member

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    my fish also has fish and i read in here that it is allready to late to get rid of the white spots on my fish... the question I have is ... Will my fish die....I have a huge goldfish that has white spots all over the place ad it was hard to tell he had Ich...and now one of my Black Moors has white spots also... will they die or will treatment help them??
     
  11. adam98150

    adam98150 Member

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    Tap water does not contain ICH, it is introduced by new purchases, this is one of the very few ways it can be introduced. White Spot does not have a dormant stage like many believe, if you quarantine your new fish, ICH will never infect your aquarium. :good:

    It has been proven. ;)
     
  12. adam98150

    adam98150 Member

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    Keep treating the tank and doing regular water changes. The treatment should help, if you have a spare tank, set it up, and use some of your mature gravel and filter media to get it instantly cycled, add the most infected fish and treat it separately.

    If you manage to get rid of the parasite, keep treating your aquarium for at least another week, just to ensure all of the parasites are eradicated. :good:
     
  13. luckyd

    luckyd Member

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    Will using ich medication hurt other healthy fish in the tank, or newborns?
     
  14. biensurmacherie

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    Hello,

    Sorry to reply to this thread but I'm not allowed to start a new one.

    One of my fish has ich, and one has shown the early symptoms of glancing off the rocks and glass. I have treated one course of Waterlife Protozin, but the fish with the worst case still has some cysts on her flesh and fins, she spends a lot of time near the surface, and now one of her eyes is very swollen and she doesn't seem to be able to see out of it. Obviously she's still got a lot of parasites on her body, but I don't know how long I should wait until treating her.

    The population of my tank is:

    1 Molly (worst affected)
    At least 3 newly born Molly babies
    1 Three-spot Gourami (showed early symptoms but no visible progression)
    1 Silver Shark
    2 Scissortail Roasboras
    2 Bristlenose Plecos
    6 Harlequin Rasboras

    Please advise me on when I can start another cycle of treatment, as I'm very worried about the molly.

    Thanks for your help,

    Emma
     
  15. fishkeeper694

    fishkeeper694 Member

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    whats uv irradiation? x
     

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