Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where does Ick come from?

I've actually put this hear to explain how the disease works. I had made a response to a previous question, and someone said they didnt know why I thought ph had anything to do with ick. Actually Ick is a parasite that all fish carry, but break out with when stressed. Usually any drastic change in ph or tempature will bring on an ick breakout.

Ich is a ciliated protozoan parasite that infests freshwater tropical fish, goldfish, koi, and other gamefish species. Ich is a relatively large protozoan, up to one mm in diameter. Ich infestations can wipe out an entire tank of fish or pond if left untreated.

The most common symptom is the appearance of white spots on the fish. The spots can be seen on fins, the body, and eyes of the fish. Infested fish may not immediately show the characteristic white spots. Ich infests the gills, feeding on cells and fluids. Gill tissue suffers extensive damage, leading to suffocation of the fish.

Ich also infests the body and fins and can lead to secondary bacterial and fungal infections. In the early stages of infection fish may be seen scratching on ornaments, rocks, or gravel. In the later stages fish are often seen hanging near power filter outlets, pumping their gills, in an attempt to get oxygen. Some fish may sit of the bottom of the aquarium or pond. Infested fish often will not eat.

Ich parasites burrow just under the skin of fish, causing the characteristic ';white spot'; or trophont stage. At maturity, the adult parasite, called a tomont, detaches from the fish and swims freely for about six hours. The trophozite eventually settles to the bottom of the aquarium. The parasite then secretes a protective membrane. The ';cyst'; now undergoes many divisions, producing 1,000 or more offspring, called theronts. When the cyst breaks open, up to 1000 theronts emerge in search of a fish host. Theronts invade their fish host by burrowing into the skin with their cilia and digestive enzymes. The tomites feed on fish cells and tissue fluids until mature, starting the cycle over again. Tomites especially devastating to delicate gill tissue. The gills are destroyed by the destructive feeding action of the parasites, causing the fish to suffocate.

Considering that each trophozite releases about 1000 infective theronts, it is easy to see how fish can quickly succumb to an Ich outbreak. Water temperature controls the speed of the Ich life cycle. At 21掳 -24掳 C (70掳 -75掳 F) it takes about three days for a complete cycle.

Ich parasites can only be killed when they are in the free-swimming theront stage. Medications do not kill the parasites attached to the fish (white spot) or when the parasites are encysted in the gravel. Disappearance of the white spots simply means that the parasites have advanced to the cyst stage. In a few hours or days, depending on water temperature, thousands of infective theronts will burst out in search of a fish host. It is precisely at this point that the medication does its job. Since not all the Ich parasites ';hatch out'; at the same time, it is necessary to treat the aquarium or pond for several days to insure control. When one fish has ick, all fish in the aquarium or pond will be infected. All fish must be treated. Ich parasites are easily transferred to other aquaria or ponds by nets, hands, boots, etc. Quarantine the infested fish. Do not add or remove fish from the infested aquarium or pond. Begin treatment immediately.Where does Ick come from?
Ich is not always present on all fish. It is not a disease. It is a parasite. It is temperature sensitive. It's life cycle is 7 days.

If you raise the temp to 86 degrees and don't see any white spots on your fish for 10 days, the parasite has died out in your tank and cannot reinfect unless you add an infected fish or a plant/decoration from an infected tank.

A holding tank for new fish and plants is a must. Two weeks is the absolute minimum to house the new fish/plant in the holding tank. Remember, 7 days is the life cycle of the ich parasite. Other diseases or parasites may present during this time also, or even in the third week. Many top authorities in the field of fish diseases and parasites reccommend a 4 week period in the holding tank before adding the newcomers to your community tank.

If you have already tried medication without results, there is another way to cure ich. The other approach is to actually destroy the organism with heat, and can be combined with the salt treatment, but not with meds.

The data that was studied (including a report by the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center) suggests that most strains of Ich cannot reproduce at temperatures above 85潞F. To use this temperature treatment approach, slowly (no more than 1 or 2 degrees per hour) raise the temperature to 86潞F, while maintaining strong continuous surface agitation to oxygenate the water.

This is extremely important because water holds less O2 at higher temperatures. (This is why meds should not be used in conjunction with high temp ?most Ich treatment products also reduce oxygen levels. Less available oxygen, combined with the respiration difficulties an infected fish is already faced with, could be fatal.)

The adjusted temperature should be maintained for approximately 10 days, or a minimum of 3 days after all signs of the parasite have disappeared (the life cycle of the parasite is 7 days).

Do not discontinue treatment when the spots go away. This is critical, because we know that the parasites are visible only as a white spot (trophont) on the body of the host, and not during the reproductive or free-swimming stage. We also know that trophonts on the gills are impossible to see.

Salt inhibits all freshwater parasites and is commonly used with many livebearers to keep them healthy. Most fish benefit from salt in their water, but some are affected detrimentally. Do your research before adding salt to any tank.Where does Ick come from?
I stand corrected.

I do however stand by the fact that different fish have different Ph requirements. But that is not the point here.

EDIT: Nevermind, this is not your own writing.
I think this is the best fish website I've seen, please join the forum
Boy lots of false information here in the question and also in the responses.

Here is a good article on Ich.
first off be assured all fish do not carry ich. Ich is a free swimming parasite. The only way to totally elimate it is to have a sterilizer on your tank. Also where did you get your info? Research better. Ich can also affect saltwater fish. Perhaps you need a better web site or should I say more than one to figure out what exactly you are tryin to say. Good copy from a web page however you missed many different items. The web page where you got your info was from a novis not a pro. This is the problem with surfing the web. Don't take the info that sounds like what you want to hear, take what is correct. Ich does not attach itself to non stressed fish. NO MATTER what this web page says. Medications DO kill the free swimming form as well as a sterilizer. Where did you get this crap from? Disapperance of the white spots, right does not mean it is cured but they have not necessarily ';Moved on to another stage.'; GOD you people will believe anything. Water temps don't mean didly. Sterilize and treat, however Kick ich may be way beyond your financial means, then again, if this quack diesn't recommend it it must not be true. Quarantine a fish after the entire tank is infected? that is a smart move bowles. Each medication is different. There is no host fish, they all are treated as such. I think you need to go back to aquarium 101 hun since apparently you didn't learn anything the first time around. AND QUIT surfing web pages and taking the crack pot sites as fact. No wonder your tanks die. You should not be allowed to have fish until you learn how to actually care for them. What a waste of time and typing.
I am not sure......all I know is that it is a disease(for fish of course).

good luck!

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