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Ich

Contents:

  1. ICH: MORE THAN YOU WANT TO KNOW
    by dthamm-at-dolphin.upenn.edu (Douglas H Thamm) (29 Oct 1994)
  2. RE: diseases
    by "Griffiths, Richard" <rgriffit/visa.com> (Tue, 20 Jan 1998)
  3. diseases
    by Wright Huntley <huntley/ix.netcom.com> (Tue, 20 Jan 1998)
  4. Freshwater ick
    by "Holmes, Robert" <HolmesR/whiteoaksemi.com> (Tue, 31 Mar 1998)
  5. ick in the plnts
    by "Maladorno, Dionigi {DRUG~Nutley}" <DIONIGI.MALADORNO/ROCHE.COM> (Tue, 10 Aug 1999)
  6. salt and cories... was Re: safe catfish
    by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com> (Mon, 24 Apr 2000)
  7. Your cure for ich
    by "Michael Laflamme" <spicolte/hotmail.com> (Sun, 21 May 2000)

ICH: MORE THAN YOU WANT TO KNOW

by dthamm-at-dolphin.upenn.edu (Douglas H Thamm)
Date: 29 Oct 1994
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria


	***** WAY MORE THAN YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ICH *****

				By Doug Thamm


	"Ich", or "White spot disease", is a primarily cutaneous 
infection of freshwater fish caused by the protozoal parasite 
Ichthyophthirius multifilis.

	Ich most often causes the appearance of small white spots over 
the body and fins of fish. However, it is important to note that ich can 
present with many different appearances, and that other things besides 
ich can cause small white spots on the body. Thus, the only sure-fire way 
to know that what you're treating is ich is to scrape the skin of your 
affected fish and look at the scraping under the microscope.
	
	For those of you interested in looking at things under the 
microscope, Ichthyophthirius is a large ciliated protozoan with a U-shaped 
macronucleus. Its shape changes as it moves through the water, and it 
appears to "tumble" as it moves. (You can mail me for more detailed 
instructions on skin scrapings etc. if interested.)

	For those of you not interested in skin scrapings, you can have a 
high rate of success just assuming that what you're treating is ich.

	To effectively treat ich, it's important to understand a little 
bit about the life cycle of the organism.

		-------> ADULT (on fish) -------
		|				|
		|				|
		|				|
	  ** TOMITE **			   TROPHOZOITE
		|				|
		|				|
		|				|
		------------- CYST --------------

	The adult stage lives on the skin and body of the fish. It will 
burrow under the epidermis, causing skin damage. Disruption of the skin 
leads to osmoregulatory disturbances, osmotic stress, and allows for the 
easy entrance of secondary invaders like bacteria.
	The cyst stage lives on the bottom of the aquarium, and gives 
rise to about 300 tomites per cyst.


   ** THE TOMITE STAGE IS THE ONLY STAGE WHICH IS SENSITIVE TO MEDICATION!


	The life cycle takes 12-16 days to complete, depending on the 
temperature, and the tomite stage lasts for only three days.

	All of these facts may seem trivial, but they are important 
because they dictate what treatments will be effective.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

	***** HOW TO TREAT ICH (THE IMPORTANT STUFF) *****

	1. Check your water quality!!!!!! 9 times out of 10, the fish can 
do fine with a few Ichthyophthirius in the water, but when they are 
stressed by anything, like questionable water quality, it makes it much 
easier for the little buggers to set up shop in your fish's skin.

	2. Do a 50% water change, just to be safe.

	3. Add 3 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon to your tank. This 
reduces the osmotic stress on the fish caused by the invading organisms, 
and may adversely affect the organism as well.

	4. Pick up an ich medication of your choice at the local fish 
mart. Most of the ones that are sold are more or less effective. My personal 
favorite is a malachite green/formaldehyde combination sold under the brand 
name "Quick Cure". ("RidIch" has the same ingredients.) Note: Most people 
recommend halving the dose of Malachite-containing medications if you are 
treating small catfish, any scaleless catfish, or tetras.

  ***** 5. DISREGARD THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE BOTTLE!!!!! Use the DOSE 
written on the bottle, but treat like this: Treat every 3 to 4 days for 4 
treatments, changing 50% of the water before every treatment. Do NOT 
treat once or twice, like the directions will tell you! You need to treat 
over 12 to 16 days in order to get all the little guys when they are 
vulnerable. (See life cycle diagram for explanation)

	(Excuse the digression here, but this is my chance to vent my 
frustration at the aquarium trade -- I think they purposefully give poor 
medicating information so that the consumer will treat only partially, 
and knock down the parasite burden only enough to temporarily cure the 
fish! Because not all the organisms are dead, they will bounce back in a 
few weeks or months, and the poor consumer has to run out and but more of 
the ich medication! What a scam!!)

	Other things which may help:

	6. Raise the temperature in the tank above 85 degrees for 5-7 
days. The tomites do very poorly at these temperatures, and it also 
speeds up the life cycle so more organisms are vulnerable to killing at any 
time.

	7. You can use a diatomaceous earth filter to decrease the number 
of infective tomites.

	8. Move fish to a clean tank after 7 days. This reduces 
reinfection by tomites left behind after the initial treatments.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

	Please note: This is intended for people of all different 
backgrounds and levels of experience. Please don't be put off if some of 
this information seems too basic, or if some of this information seems 
unnecessary or superfluous. 


	I hope you find some of this information useful!

	Good luck!

	-Doug

	DISCLAIMER: I am speaking for nobody but myself in writing this:
The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has nothing 
to do with my dissemination of this information, so please don't sue them 
(or me, for that matter) if you still have trouble treating ich after 
reading this.


--
-----------------------------------------------------------------
| A student asked his master, "Master, what is the Way?"        |
| The master slapped the student, and the student went away	|
| 	enlightened.						|
-----------------------------------------------------------------
| Douglas H. Thamm		| University of Pennsylvania    |
| dthamm-at-dolphin.upenn.edu	| School of Veterinary Medicine |
-----------------------------------------------------------------


RE: diseases

by "Griffiths, Richard" <rgriffit/visa.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998
To: "'apisto/majordomo.pobox.com'" <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>

The only problem with 90 degree's is potential sterility of fish in the
aquarium. And yes, I understand that some fish can, and will, withstand
high temperatures because they have evolved techniques to deal with that
issue in the wild.

Prevention is to have healthy, stress free fish, non-major temperature
swings which causes stress. The higher temperatures, to -at-84 will kill
the ich-cycle--if kept at that temp for 3-4 days and a slow resumption
of the 'normal' temperature.

Anything that opaque the water--like methlyene blue is helpful in
reducing the ich reproducing process; but silicone is blued, too. Some
of the ich-medicines are useless; others work, but also have the
potential of killing some fish, killing the patients, and one's
patience.

I typical rung tanks without heaters, no filtration--only room temp
(55--75), water changes of 50%. Have not had a case of ich in 17 years
in any of my up to 100 tanks (20 now, in an apartment).
>


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diseases

by Wright Huntley <huntley/ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Griffiths, Richard wrote:
snip...
> Prevention is to have healthy, stress free fish, non-major temperature
> swings which causes stress. The higher temperatures, to -at-84 will kill
> the ich-cycle--if kept at that temp for 3-4 days and a slow resumption
> of the 'normal' temperature.

I must disagree with this point. My experience, and several good
reference books run counter to this advice. Ich will fatally reinfect
fish that are weak, stressed, and suffering from ammonia burn. The
elevated temperature just acellerates the hatching part of the cycle, so
any anti-ich treatment can get them all.

It's a three-part cycle, fish skin lesions (white spots), cyst encased
in gelatin (bottom of tank) and free-swimming infectious zoospores. This
last stage is where malachite green, often combined with other materials
can effect a true cure. The zoospores must find a new host within about
70 hours, or they die.

Healthy fish become semi-immune, but still act as carriers, while
showing no spots.

> 
> Anything that opaque the water--like methlyene blue is helpful in
> reducing the ich reproducing process; but silicone is blued, too. Some
> of the ich-medicines are useless; others work, but also have the
> potential of killing some fish, killing the patients, and one's
> patience.

This used to be very true, but several good products (Jungle's comes to
mind) are out there to break the cycle and really cure ich, without much
stress on the fish.
> 
> I typical rung tanks without heaters, no filtration--only room temp
> (55--75), water changes of 50%. Have not had a case of ich in 17 years
> in any of my up to 100 tanks (20 now, in an apartment).

At least no "visible" cases. ;-) I, too, never see a case, unless on a
fish I acquire from a store (rare around here). Unstressed fish deal
with it and you will never actually see an outbreak. Shipping stress is
often why store fish show visible spots, IMO.

Wright

-- 
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntley-at-ix.netcom.com
"Quantum electrodynamics (QED): the dreams stuff is made of."


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Freshwater ick

by "Holmes, Robert" <HolmesR/whiteoaksemi.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998
To: "'FAQ'" <faq/luna.wrq.com>

I recently stumbled across your web page with great delight. There are
very few things I enjoy more than MORE DATA about my hobby.

While browsing through the FAQ section, I read your section on
freshwater ick and want to pass on a new treatment option I recently
used with complete success. Several months ago I read in TFH magazine an
article discussing non-medicinal treatment for ick. One option involved
enclosing the infected tank in cloth and removing the light source. to
achieve complete darkness for 48 hours. A few weeks later I tried this
treatment to fight an outbreak in a 125g tank housing several large SA
Cichlids. It worked magnificently without exposing my breeders to
medication! 

Any word on this from your end?

Best regards,

R. Scott Holmes



ick in the plnts

by "Maladorno, Dionigi {DRUG~Nutley}" <DIONIGI.MALADORNO/ROCHE.COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999

 MBCREATIVE@aol.com wrote: ick in the plnts
I have had luck netting out the animals, treating them in a hospital tank, 
heating up the plant tank to 80, then adding a salt (1/2 tsp/gallon). Wait a

week, do a 50% water, drop the temp back to normal, then another 50% water 
change a few days later.  You will have about 1/8 tsp of salt per gallon.
Can 
your fish handle that? if so return the fish if not, do another 50% water 
change. No ick. Happy plants. The salt helps a lot.>>>>>>>>


I am glad this system worked for you. However, just for
the sake of an interesting discussion, consider the following:

- - A temperature of only 80 deg. would not effectively treat 
ich. See for example Untergasser's
Handbook of Fish Diseases for the needed temperature
levels (86 deg. F for 10 days for Ich).

- - The salt dose you recommend (1 tsp/2 gal, almost
two tablespoons/10 gallons if you consider the volume
of decor and effective tank volume) is quite high and
some plants may be sensitive to it. I would advise
caution if administered in planted tanks. Most fishes
on the contrary will tolerate that with no problems.

- - By removing the fish you break the life cycle of the 
parasites in the tank, which can survive only a limited
time without a host. So you effectively disinfest the tank
by removing fish for several days, no other treatments are
needed.  

- - Use of a quarantine tank would greatly reduce the risk
of ending up in this kind of situations.


Dionigi Maladorno
dionigi.maladorno@roche.com
This message presents personal opinions which are not necessarily those
of my employer.


salt and cories... was Re: safe catfish

by Mike & Diane Wise <apistowise/bewellnet.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com



"S. Ong" wrote:

> also, the reason for me using the salt is not to
> directly affect the parasites but i've read somewhere
> that the salt induces the fish to produce a thicker
> layer of slime coating that prevents the parasites
> from attacking.  i could be wrong...

If you have ich infected fish, increasing the slime coat on your fish will help,
but not prevent re-infection.


> well the thing is that none of the fish that i left in
> the tank have ick.  when you mean in the dark...do you
> mean complete darkness or just not turning on the
> light?

Total darkness is not absolutely necessary. I would cover the top & sides of the
aquarium with newspaper, leaving a few cm open at the top. Turn off the lights.
Check your fish every day. When you see the white spots disappear then clean the
bottom gravel. High temperature speeds up the life cycle of the parasite & give
the parasite less time to find a new host before it dies. Gravel cleaning will
remove many parasites. Dark tanks seem to prevent many parasites from finding new
hosts.

On corys, tetras and loaches I have had success by using malachite green at 1/2
dose + 2 drops/US gallon (1 drop/2L) of formalin when the parasites start to
drop. The next day I do a large water change. The formalin is very hard on
delicate plants, however. I hope this helps.

Mike Wise

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Your cure for ich

by "Michael Laflamme" <spicolte/hotmail.com>
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000

"Joe Loach" wrote:
>I increased the temp to 85F+ ... added some rock
>salt,
<snip> What cured my fish
>then? Was it the darkness? The salt?

The rock salt cured your fish.  This is also a known "cure".  By increasing 
the salinity of the water you are also increasing the osmotic pressure in 
the water.  This change in pressure causes the ich parasite to burst and die 
once they end up in the water.  This is why you can give salt water fish a 
freshwater dip to kill parasites (and vice versa for freshwater fish)

Michael Laflamme
spicolte@hotmail.com

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