A note on ich

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Ich isn't an of-course-they-have-it disease unless your environment is infected. (Not actually a 'disease' but an infestation of parasites.) And there is NO effective medication to kill ich that will not also kill your tank, let's say that first. NO EFFECTIVE MED EXISTS that is safe.

It lives in sandbeds. Goes into a swimmer-phase, gets under the skin of a fish or into its gills and feeds, raising a sort of pimple or irritating the gills. Then it breaks out, drops off, reproduces madly, and then goes into a swimmer phase again. It's a cycle. It also can get into your tank from water on your hand, on a net, on a thermometer or a test instrument that has been dipped in an infected tank: also from water surrounding a newly purchased fish. It takes a microscope to see it when it is in 'swimmer' phase.

IF YOUR SANDBED is hosting these, your only good solution is to have no fish in there for 72 days, during which time the parasites will try to find a fish and fail, and die without reproducing. (The fish is necessary for nourishment for that process.)
You can have corals, invertebrates, all sorts of marine life---just not fish, for 72 days. Most susceptible to the plague---tangs, angels and rabbitfish. If you're going to install one of them, (and quarantine IS the best method of being sure they're not going to break out in spots---need I say that quarantine should have NO rock or sand?)---if you're going for one of them, make them the last fish you put in, well-quarantined.

ALso, if you have seen a lot of this pest, either it IS flourishing in your own sandbed, or the place you're buying from is massively infected. I have bought fish in my own city for the last 18 years and have only seen ONE case, from which the fish recovered. Having ich should be RARE in your life, not a common occurrence. I can predict that having HAD fish with ich, your sandbed is now guaranteed to have it; but if your source is also contaminated, you're going to reacquire ich every time you buy from that source. Clean up your tank first, and then meticulously quarantine what you buy from that source (possibly change sources), and may you also have 18 future years of NO occurrence of ich.
 
Top