Yes - an aquarium hobby is fun. You have some nice looking pets; then think - hey - I should get more beautiful fish for my awesome tank. Then WHAM. ich.

So I've been doing this for around 7 years now - ich has hit me twice. Both times when introducing new fish to the aquarium from a reputable fish store. So - Mike! - next time just wait the incubation period calmly! this could have been easier.

45 Gallon Tank

I have a 45 gallon tank - with some 5 pond goldfish/koi; a large pleco; 2 black tetras; and 2 albino buenos aires tetras. Some are here to stay, some are only here for the winter - they mostly get along.

The introduction of the tetras and plants occurred at the same time. The plants were from a separate plant only tank in the fish store; and from what I've been reading - ich doesn't survive without a host to complete the life cycle... so I blame those little tetras for my troubles.

Suffice to say - i'm half venting here. Both from frustration and kicking myself cause I knew I should have separated and waited the incubation period. Anyhoo - here I am. A 45 gallons of ich infected fish.

The solution

Using the API "Liquid Super Ick Cure". It is a 5ml to 5 gallon ratio solution; then after 48 hours apply it again. After another 48 hours gravel vaccuum and replace 1/3 water. Caveat here of my own notes - rinse repeate the directions if fish still have observable trophonts (white spots on skin).

Sure - so I'm now into my second application and 8 hours into the 48 hour wait. The first dose definitely did something. I started with all fish exhibiting the tell-tale white spots; and now have only 1 albino and 1 large goldfish/koi showing the bumps - and no deaths (yet)! Last time I went through this -

  • I didn't know what it was
  • By the time I realized something was going wrong, 1 fish had already died.
  • Apparently a dead fish from ich is some sort of super spore breading ground.
  • And around 96 hours later - I had no fish. even tho I had started treatment. :[

This time I caught it early - and the future is looking good.

Myths and facts

Won't repost the lifecycle image here - but you can find it here.

  • Trophonts (the parastic stage under the skin) doesn't get affected by the medication
  • Always keep treating until the last 48 hours after the last observable Trophont "white spot"
  • Encystment (the disassociated trophont free from the host) will breakdown under medicated water
  • Excystment (the free swimming hatched tomites) die in medicated water
  • The Encystment stage does not have (an optional) dormant stage - that is - after a certain period the parasite consumes all its energy if it doesn't find a new host to complete the lifecycle. This period can sway between 3-28 days apparently due to temperature. It then dies.
  • The Encystment doesn't live outside of water for very long - ie. drying nets and whatnot is a good idea.
  • Raised temperature hastens the lifecycle speed. So raising temp during medicated water will speed the process.
  • Safely assume all foriegn fish have Ich! quarenteen, and treat with copper solution.
  • Tormonts are invisible to naked eye until they are nearly ready to pop into encystment stage.

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April 3 2015    -    20:05