Long rant on Ick I guess. Can be very touchy topic.Be Warned Plus a Story!

Discussion in 'Fish Disease Treatment and Diagnosis' started by Dilan Patel, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. Dilan Patel

    Dilan Patel Well-Known Member

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    So I knew I introduced ick into my tank a couple weeks ago due to the fact when i brought home a naso tang and copperband one of them had the parasite. The fish seem to be good. But now I am noticing flashing on my clown tang(the only fish flashing) I thought this could be from the sparring it does with the yellow tang and it was the damage he took. But I never noticed anything wrong with my kole tang...Until today.

    It was swimming in the light and I could see the ick parasite on him clearly. So I know there is for sure ick in the tank. he is eating well still and quite fat as is the clown tang. and the new Naso is thin but is bulking up. They all are eating nori everyday with a feeding of frozen everyday and a feeding of pellets twice a day. So it is not like they do not get to eat a lot. My only plan is to not add anymore fish and keep these fish eating. If a fish looses it's appetite it is just a harder battle. If I want these fish to survive they are going to have to eat and keep on the weight. My plan is to let everything run it's course. i think of Ick as the cold. What do you do when you get the cold? You rest and eat. That is sort of my idea. While keeping these fish well fed and keeping the tank as stress free as possible.

    Now people will ask if I quarantine my fish. The answer is no. I personally think quarantining is a waste of time. Now let me explain myself. To me quarantining a fish is our way of watching a fish and making sure everything checks out as far as eating habits and disease. You also could quarantine corals and inverts. I bet more than half of the people who read this write up do not/did not think of quarantining corals/inverts. Some people do not know that a cycle of Ick can live on any invert such as crab shells or snails or even coral plugs. If you do not quarantine these things when you put it in the tank, than without even knowing it you might have already introduced the ick parasite into the tank.

    So lets say you have a brand new tank set up. You quarantine your first fish and place it in the tank free of disease. Perfect the fish is happy. Well than you get into the diatom phase and a CUC is added without quarantine. Than all of a sudden your new fish which was disease free due to you going through all the correct procedures to kill off most common diseases, comes up with white spots all over its body. You decide it is ick. You start wondering what could have gone wrong with your quarantine process with the fish without ever thinking about the CUC you added without quarantine. Now you have ick in your system. But lets say you don't over react with this and decide to not try and stress/catch the fish. you decide well I will create a hopefully a low stress environment and make sure it eats and stays up on weight. Well a few days-a couple weeks pass and now sign of Ick and or any sign of disease on the fish. Fish is eating well and has grown. you decide it is time for another fish. Quarantining this fish but once adding to the tank this fish gets ick but your other one does not. Keep in mind im not saying once a fish fights off ick it will never get it again. im saying that once a fish gets/fights off ick it builds a little resistance too it. So it takes more stress on the fish to contract it. So that new fish gets ick and you wonder why. Than you remember that your old fish had ick but got rid of it. if you did not physically remove any fish the ick parasite is still present in the aquarium. The tank HAS to sit without fish for a minimum I think of 6-8 weeks for the whole cycle to complete and the ick to die off.

    Sometimes this is not possible with a large aquarium and or an aquarium with lots of fish. So I guess my Idea of sharing this with you is to say that if you do not quarantine every thing you put in your aquarium and that means keep specific ,nets and buckets for each aquarium, You run the risk of adding this parasite into the tank. if you do not plan to do this than I do not see the reason to quarantine. I would rather put that time/money into the main display to help stress relieve the tank.

    But Now I see others will say what about velvet. I am not saying once velvet is in the tank a fish could fight it off. If velvet is in the tank that is worse than the common flu. If you want to protect your fish from velvet than I can see why you would want to quarantine.

    I guess I will end this before I get into velvet and other diseases. What I hope you take away from this is that. Ick can be fought without removing all fish and also you can either deal and affect the fact ick will make it into your system somehow/someway or try and prevent ick from entering with a step by step procedures. Hope everyone who took the time to read this post gained something from it and if not can add onto this to help somebody else.
     
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  2. Ryan T.L.

    Ryan T.L. Member

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    Great write up thanks! I personally don’t care about ich as over time I’ve lost way more fish to copper treatment than ich (used to be paranoid about it) and yes I guess perhaps the fish would’ve died anyway though doubt it...

    Over the summer I attended a lecture at Columbia about aquatic parasites in fish farming mainly sea lice was discussed...during the q&a I asked about fish immunity to ich as research points fish can develop immunity for up to 6 months I believe. The lecturer and I’ll dig out his name said he was no expert but he believed that over time provided there’s immunity to break the cycle (months, years) ich would weaken and die off in a closed system provided nothing new is introduced. Curious to know if there is any evidence that fish can be asymptomatic carriers indefinitely?
     
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  3. LuckyPhil

    LuckyPhil Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Ich is a parasite (cryptocaryon irritans) and unless treated it will remain on the fish and in your tank - I don't agree when people consider it as a cold/flu for fish,
    If you understand the life cycle of the parasite how can you consider it a virus like the cold/flu?
    The white spot is not a symptom, it is the parasite in its trophont stage.

    I am in the middle of a 76 day QT for few pieces of coral/inverts (moving from LPS to SPS).
    It's not too difficult, and if you have been in the hobby long enough you would have accumulated quite a few things ;)

    I have an achilles tang which went through TTM and definitely don't one a small frag of SPS to be the cause of an ich outbreak in my tank.
     
  4. Mark Derail

    Mark Derail Well-Known Member

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    Well, I lost the battle. Did a tear down and QT. 5 fish left lost 4.
    Once I reach mid-December it will be 2 full months of no parasites.
    Next fish will be QT, I never want to go through that again.
    New corals will be dipped and QT a bit also.
     
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  5. Daltrey

    Daltrey Well-Known Member

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    Everything gets quarantined before it goes into my tank in a 40 breeder.

    20171123_173348.jpg
     
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  6. Maritimer

    Maritimer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader CTARS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Dilan, you're quite correct in saying that tomonts (the encysted stage of ich's lifecycle) can come into your display on corals, snails, shrimp or frag plugs. Many folks don't quarantine those items ... but many folks _do_.

    You're also correct in saying that fish can develop a temporary immunity to ich, (seems to be about six months) which can roll along as long as they're exposed to the parasite. A great many folks run tanks based on that principle, they're referred to as "ich management" systems, and it works - to an extent. There are many fish which can get along just fine in such a system, and some which can't. Achilles and powder-blue tangs are high on the list of the ones who won't live long in an ich management system. I'm not sure about other tangs in the genus Acanthurus, though I have heard of success with others genera such as Zebrasoma.

    The other major issue arrives along with any new fish, who've not built up that six-month immunity - and often don't get the chance, as the parasites swarm them in numbers too great to fend off.

    ~Bruce, who's been through ich in the display, and quarantines
     
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  7. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Unfortunately op, I hear a timeline and description and suspect velvet may be at play. If you have to look closely to see spots on a fish and you see it in certain light that’s more likely velvet.

    A good rule is if you can count the spots easily, it’s probably ich. If you cannot, it’s probabky velvet.

    I will just say that velvet is every bit as common as ich today which makes “ich management” today a very different ballgame than it was in the last... if you have velvet you’re dooming your fish. Clown tangs are of the acanthurus genus and thus they’re very fragile with regards to parasites.

    I have on occasion seen one in an ich management tank but see many more perish than survive. Orange shoulder are among the hardier and more ich-resistant acanthurus tangs.

    Anyway, are your tangs swimming in to power heads?
     
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  8. Dilan Patel

    Dilan Patel Well-Known Member

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    Nope all tangs are spot free except for the kole tang.
     
  9. Dilan Patel

    Dilan Patel Well-Known Member

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    All other fish have no signs of ick and or what I could suspect as velvet. I thought ick was bigger spots. Velvet i thought was more like a sugar coat of white spots. The Kole has more of the bigger spots which I can see but I guess I never really observed him since he always kind of minds his own buisness.
     
  10. Dilan Patel

    Dilan Patel Well-Known Member

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    So looking at what Velvet is. the life cycle is anywhere from 4-15 days right? Fish do not usually survive velvet from my knowledge. I believe the kole just has ick but will keep a close eye on him.
     
  11. Gmj4409

    Gmj4409 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Following - please keep us posted - thanks
     
  12. Dilan Patel

    Dilan Patel Well-Known Member

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    Well The fish is doing well from what I can see. the fish is swimming as usual and eating and constantly picking at the glass and rock. I still cannot get a decent Idea of if I am battling Velvet or Ick. It is hard to tell due to teh fact i have a gold headed goby who loves to spit sand and put it into the watercolumn hitting the fish. i did notice this one weird thing the kole does. He kind of swims and than bam he kind of seizes up with one fin fluttering while the other one is just sticking out and he just kind of lets the current morve him than a couple seconds later he will start swimming like normal. Maybe this behavior helps with an identification. i would get a photo but the sand in the wate column is unreal and basically impossible to get a good photo of the tang.
     
  13. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    Yea , most diseases are actually bugs. And there is no immunity to a stomach worm.

    For folks who do not like to Medicate for them, I do reccomend looking at good "ick "management practices. In most all types of animal husbandry, a quarantine exists. Qt and cooper meds are now often confused. Management skills and techniques have become lost are oft times scoffed at.

    Consider this, your dropping a sick puppy in with your healthy ones. It's just like kindergarten. But these ines came from The wild , or Petco.

    Part of the old school management methods was actually more about stress and acclimation. Stress can kill animals even without a parasite. Salinity acclimation is actually is still highly studied and very well could vary from species to species.

    Here's a simple, fast , effective method to qt a new fish. I got this from a Guy with a doctorate in marine biology.
    Skip cycle the qt by using live rock from your tank and tank water. aqua clear carbon.
    When you get the fish match the tank salinity to the bag.
    Leave the lights off. Temp then drip the fish for ph acclimation. Get the fish eating. Over the next few weeks let the salinity slowly change to that of the DT. Start using the light.
    Use a food with a de wormer while you train it to eat .
    The use of a small UV , diatom filter , ozone , oxidization based ick med (peroxide etc) will reduce the number of fleas. It chemically burns them to death like when used for dinoflagellates and cyano bacteria.
    Observe for weeks or a month
    Before introduction to the display , add water from the qt to the display to allow the DT fish to smell the new guy. This reduces aggression. (There are no meds in the qt that will effect the corals and inverts in the display)
     
  14. Gweeds1980

    Gweeds1980 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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  15. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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  16. nvladik

    nvladik Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Your plan it all good, until you fill a tank with fish, hopefully some of them very expensive fish, and suddenly Ich wipes it out. My bud has a 180, about 40 fish in it at prime time. We rushed the copper treatment on one set of fish, did 2 weeks instead of 3. We knew the risk, but has to do it, QT tank was urgently needed for a friend who's tank leaked. My buddy now has a dozen fish in the 180. About $1500 lost in fish.

    I am trying to eradicate it in my system. Also introduced by quick QT, also knew the risks. Caught it in time, didn't loose a single fish, everyone is in QT, clean of ich. Finishing 76 days in DT. If you get lucky and never have an outbreak, it's awesome. But after we witnessed healthy fish all go out one by one, have to try and eradicate it, no matter what. I have a gem tang, some other expensive(ish) fish, last thing I want to come home to from work is a dead Gem. My 5c.
     
  17. Daltrey

    Daltrey Well-Known Member

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    I can understand why people with these tiny tanks under 100 gallons don't bother quarantining as you really can break it down fairly easily. But for the rest of us quarantining is just smart practice. Its like buying insurance. Chances are you will never need it but when you do you will be glad you had it.
     
  18. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    Size doesn't matter.
     
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  19. nvladik

    nvladik Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I agree. You can have gems (I mean important fish, not Gem tangs) in a smaller tank too. My tank is 88g.
     
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  20. chefjpaul

    chefjpaul Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Ich management worked great for me, for very many wonderful years.

    Velvet.

    Lost fish I've had for and some 6+ years.
    (Positive it wasn't introduced from a fish either).

    There aren't many tanks as old as Paul B's, that have bio diversity and fully blown ecosystem to be that successful, even he, at the beginning had losses, and still does, Read his book, great info, with caution for new tanks, his tank is actually coming down soon as he moves.

    ** I was able to save one tang, went through full QT / CP and is doing great in an observation tank currently.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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