What’s the difference between ich treatments

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Jay Hemdal

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Jul 31, 2020
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My blue tang has black ich and I’m trying to find treatments (in Australia) and the only treatment I can find is for white spot ich, I was wondering if they do the same thing.
Typically, no. White spot marine ich (Cryptocaryon) is a protozoan. Black spot disease is caused by a turbellarian worm. They require different treatments. White ich can advance and kill a fish in a week to 10 days, while black ich takes much longer to kill and sometimes goes away on its own.

You will see many recommendations to treat black ich with praziquantel. That really doesn't work. Prazi just makes trematode worms loosen their grip on a fish and drop off to die. Turbellarians are encysted in the tissue of the fish, so they don't fall off like that.

Here are some treatment options:

Treatment options

Siphoning the bottom of the tank each morning helps reduce the number of worms that return to infect the fish.

Because turbellarians cause a fairly deep-seated infection, they are difficult to remove using freshwater dips or other topical treatments. Other treatment options that have been utilized with varying degrees of effectiveness include:

Praziquantel at 2 mg/l is a safe, commonly used treatment for this malady, but for some reason, it is not always effective.

A 45-minute formalin dip at 166 ppm can be effective, but then the fish must be moved to a non-infected aquarium.

Chloroquine at 15 ppm has been shown to be an effective treatment, but some fish may experience toxic reactions at this dose.

Organophosphate pesticides, such as Trichlorfon (Dylox), have been the treatment of choice for many years but cannot be recommended due to their potential toxicity to humans.

Copper treatments are ineffective, at least at the concentrations well tolerated by fish.
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