Does Ich have to be treated?

Discussion in 'Diseases' started by Trigger01, May 11, 2009.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. Trigger01

    Trigger01 Plankton

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    22
    I've just recently noticed some of my fish (regal, sailfin, kole tangs) have white spots. I have a 150g reef tank with lots of live rock, so catching each fish is next to impossible and a copper treatment is out due to inverts/corals.

    My question is if the fish are eating, swimming, behaving properly and the only thing wrong is the white spots should I be trying an ich treatment? Obviously if they were acting strange, not eating, rapidly breathing I would have to try some treatment, but if they seem otherwise healthy do you attempt a treatment?

    I have been supplementing their nori with selcon and garlic guard, and am thinking of getting some more cleaner shrimp (I have 2 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and am thinking about getting 2 Blood Red Fire Shrimp or 2 more of what I already have). Any thoughts as to which kind of shrimp is better? Should I be trying a cleaner wrasse?

    Please help, I am new to this hobby (6 months) so any advice is greatly appreciated! I've read tons of info on line and my head is still spinning with all the different "treatments", any advice you can give based on experience would be awesome! Thanks for your help!

    Also can Ich come into your tank on corals?
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. Breed

    Breed Feather Duster

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    249
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Marine Itch is a free-floating parasite that needs a host to feed off. From my understanding, fish are the only candidate for parasitic invasion as I believe this has something to do with the attachment to scales that a fish possesses, compared to the 'shells' or 'polyps' that inverts and corals have.

    Most reef safe treatments are ineffective, and the only real treatment is to try to beat the lifecycle. Decreasing the suspended gravity (amount of salt) to around 1.018 over a few days can help. You can also try adding a UV Steriliser which can kill some of the itch floating around in the tank.

    I terms of adding a cleaner fish, you will find that they are usually quick to contract the itch and are generally the first to die. Adding Cleaner shrimp may help.

    If your fish aren't showing any signs of stress, and are eating then they should be fine, however keep monitoring them. Your last option is to place them in a quarantine tank and let your tank sit bare. This may seem extremely difficult and time consuming, however you will feel much better doing this, than to watch your fish suffer and die. Itch need a host, and without this you will destroy the life-cycle.

    Hope this blabber was of some use :)

    Good Luck,

    Breed
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Annie3410

    Annie3410 Teardrop Maxima Clam

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    827
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    i would just supplement their food with garlic for awhile, and maybe think about a UV sterilizer, but if everything is eating, your should be able to beat it with this
     
  5. PharmrJohn

    PharmrJohn The Dude

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,615
    Location:
    Shelton, Washington
    I agree with Breed and Annie. Keep the params in line and suppliment with garlic. Ich tends to be self limiting in a healthy environment. The fish's own immune system should do the job well. Just remember the garlic to give them a boost.
     
  6. reeftrons

    reeftrons Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Messages:
    55
    I do not think it would be wise to leave the ich untreated. The tiny white spots that are visible on your fish are parasites attached to the fish's skin/gills sucking blood. If they are not taken care of they will most likely kill your fish. The safest and most effective treatment that I know of to use in a show tank without quarantine is a product called Kick Ich by Ruby Reef. This medication contains no copper and is safe to use in your aquarium with your fish, live rock, invertabrates and corals. Check out the product details in the link below.

    Ruby Reef Kick-Ich
     
  7. Da_Gopherboy

    Da_Gopherboy Fire Shrimp

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Morgan Hill, CA
    +1

    I would say that the best possible thing you can do for the quality of life for your animals is to remove the parasite so they can enjoy swimming without having things eat at them. Look around the forum and the web for hyposalinity. By doing this process you will 100% eliminate ICH from your aquarium, and it will never return (unless you reintroduce it from new purchases). Time frame will take a few weeks, however its little investment for the health of your critters.

    -Gavin

    P.S. Check out: http://www.chucksaddiction.com/ich.html, for a great article on the ICH parasite.
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. Annie3410

    Annie3410 Teardrop Maxima Clam

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    827
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    i personally would go more natural. i dont think you should risk your livestock by using a med if you can take care of the problem with some healthy water params and immune-boosting with garlic. its like giving your kids an antibiotic every time they sneeze.
    He's not losing fish, so i see no need to use meds.
     
  10. PharmrJohn

    PharmrJohn The Dude

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,615
    Location:
    Shelton, Washington
    A thing to consider.....Ich is always present in your aquarium. It can rear it's ugly head at any time. Disruption of it's lifecycle will get rid of the problem temporarily and it will weaken to a point (most will be killed) where it will leave the fish unharmed, but it is always there. Some even survive hyposalinity. Just enough to come back to bite your fish in the butt later on, when they stress out or get weakened somehow. And I am not just talking hyposalinity of 1.015, I am talking 1.008 carefully monitored.
     
  11. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    Messages:
    7,172
    Location:
    America
    Great post John. Hyposalinity and lowered salinity are not the same thing. If you want to take out the ich, you need to hit 1.008~1.009.
     
  12. reeftrons

    reeftrons Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Messages:
    55
    I agree, I had forgot to mention some things about ich. The medication is only one step. Hyposalinity along with a garlic mixture will help jump start the process. Purchasing a cleaner shrimp at the LFS is something that is quite beneficial in the removal of ich. The shrimp cleans the rocks, sand, and most importantly the fish of parasites. I purchased one and my fish form a line to get cleaned by the shrimp. It is quite amazing and they really work!