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Old 04-05-2004, 02:43 PM   #1
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ick feedback and questions....

Question for the pros and please do not tell me HOW Im wrong, but rather why Im wrong. I have been doing a lot of reading, AND calling to large aquarium fish stores and heres what I have found. Im not convinced that Ick is defeated or controlled by quarantine. Heres why. From what I have found almost all fish have the possibility of ick just like the human is prone to the cold. Just like stress on a human can cause a breakdown in the immune system, stress can cause ick to a fish. I know this is lame but is the closest analogy I can make. I would almost go as far as to say that ALL fish have ick, just whether or not they have the right conditions around them to set the ick in motion. The whole quarantine thing really makes no sense to me in that you are moving a fish from the person(s) you buy it from, to another set of water conditions and water surroundings, then to yet another set of water conditions and surroundings. Which in my mind only adds one more step to the possibility of the fish stressing and obtaining the ick. I know and realize it’s a parasite, but from all accounts the parasite is “set off” by stress, bad water conditions, etc.
I have never quarantined any fish in Saltwater or Freshwater. However I have observed all of the fish I have ever bought and made sure they seem to be normal in the tank I am getting them from. So far I have in my 4 years not ever had a problem with ick.
I always buy the fish, take 10-15 gallons of my own tank water (AFTER acclimation/floating of 1-2 hours) and let them sit in the water from my tank with Formalin in it. I find this is very effective for me. Also I find that a most if not all of the BIG fish stores that are into SW do this as well and have very little problems.
I would like any and all feedback on this. Preferably not articles….I have read so many articles on this my head is swimming. (no pun). I would just like to hear any feedback on this. Im very curious for sure. Sorry so lengthy.
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Old 04-05-2004, 03:54 PM   #2
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Re: ick feedback and questions....

Fish...Let me start by saying that I am going to take a "get to the point" way of addressing the issue..hope I'm not too blunt. I was going to try to break up your post and address each of your statements individually, but I think they all tie back to a lack of understanding the parasites life cycle and requirements.

Okay..the basics....

Cryptocaryon irritans are parasites that live off host.

susceptibility can, but is not always, be triggered by environmental changes such as temperature, salinity, or poor water quality in general.


Life cycle....This is crucial in developing an approach to curing the problem.

The stage where it is visible on the fish usually last about 7 days, depending on the temp. At this stage it is called a Trophont. After this initial stage it leaves the fish and is called a protomont. At this stage it travels to the surface and attaches. It begins to encyst and is called a tromont. This stage usually last around 8 hours, but can last as long as 18hours. Division into "daughter" parasites inside the cyst begins...these are called tomites. This stage is Noninfectious and can last up to 28days, but no less than 3. The tomites hatch and then begin looking for a host..these are called theronts. They must find a host with in 24hours or they will die. Then..the cycle starts over again.


Now...why do we quarantine? Simple...Isolation and Starvation. If you are able to isolate the parasite for the 6 weeks recommended and he still shows no signs of ick, you can be 100% sure that you are not introducing the parasite into your tank. Once it is in a tank, letting it go fallow is the only way 100% guaranteed to remove it from the system. (Starvation)

Now..To address a few of your statements.

It is not a cold, that they can "come down with." You cant catch Typhoid if Typhoid isnt present. Same here.

The fact that you have never had a serious bout with ick and you dont quarantine only means that your lucky..not right. (sorry)

The issue of it stressing the fish and obtaining ick. Well, stress wont give a fish ick, but it can make it susceptible to it. If it does come down with ick, it either already had trace amounts of the parasite, or it was already present in the system. If you quarantine properly, you can be sure its not in the display. If it comes down with it in the QT, then it already had it and now you can treat it.

As far as the Formalin approach. The LFS pockets are deeper than mine, and a dead fish is a tax write off for them....not for you.

I know you didnt want articles, but I really believe you need to read one that explains it in depth. I have covered the basics...you can read the rest here.

http://www.reef-aquarium.net/resources/disease/ich.html


Hope that helped.

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Old 04-05-2004, 05:14 PM   #3
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What would be the difference in the fish store holding the fish for me for 3-4 weeks and if it doesnt come down with ick, then the same holds true.....probably didnt have it. I would think whether it be in my tank or in theirs, if the end result is the same, then all is good.
No you werent to harsh. I guess like the article says, there are many theories on how to rid or cure ick, everyone opinion is different. I do see some of your points but still am not sure...
I cycled my tank with 3 damsels of which 2 died....I didnt know any better at the time.sorry....however one made it all the way through and to this day along with the others have been fine. Since the 2 died, I have added 4 other fish and all of them are fine as well. This was last year. So based on what you have said, I can come home one day and all of my fish suddenly have ick?? just curious....and thanks for the info but as previously stated, I have read this article.
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Old 04-05-2004, 05:25 PM   #4
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What would be the difference in the fish store holding the fish for me for 3-4 weeks and if it doesnt come down with ick, then the same holds true.....probably didnt have it. I would think whether it be in my tank or in theirs, if the end result is the same, then all is good.
The LFS is constantly getting new fish in their systems, each of which have the potential to infect the entire system with ick. Holding the fish for 3-4 weeks is not good enough, the fish must be isolated from the rest of the fish. Same holds true of a quarantine system at your home, if you add another fish to quarantine after one has been in for 2 weeks, it's quarantine starts all over from square 1.

Fish can get an aquired immunity, if you will, to the parasite, but if week enough, they will succumb. So yes, if the fish were never quarantined and treated for ick (I recommend hyposalinity for quarantined fish), there is a potentia that at some point in time after a large environmental disturbance or chronic stressor, yopu could have an ick infestation, however, after this amount of time, I find it highly unlikely.
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Old 04-05-2004, 05:49 PM   #5
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Look at it this way..your tank is a "sterile room" and the QT prevents the ick from contaminating the sterility. If the room starts out "sterile" and you never allow the contaminant into the room...its going to stay sterile. So you quarantine the fish for the known life span of the contagion. Only once it has been deem non-contagious is it allowed into the Sterile Room.
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:27 PM   #6
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squishy this makes sense and I do agree with this. The part Im still having questions about are from what I can tell is people are qrting fish and treating them for ick without any symptons?? Is this correct?
Also as I stated before, I think my tank in cycling back last year, a couple of fish died because of ick from what I could tell. Does this mean I still have ick in my tank some 5-6 months later??I would think that it were in the tank it would have presented itself before now??
Also I see people not wanting to treat their tanks with meds....if you fish come down with ick, and you put them through the stress of moving them to a qrt tank just to treat them, why not treat them with meds such as reef max that is reef safe...no copper? Looks like it would kill the culprit in the tank itself.
Lastly, I spoke to a LFS and they said they keep copper running in all of their fish only tanks to ensure they do not spread ick or sell fish with ick....so if copper is being run in the tanks, copper is the cure for ick, and how would a fish attrat ick if they are in copper tanks??
Sorry so many questions. Dont want to be argumentative just curious....so many opinions!!!!!!!
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Old 04-06-2004, 10:24 AM   #7
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I'm not getting frustrated with you, and I know your only asking questions...so were good....


Quote:
Originally Posted by fishman
squishy this makes sense and I do agree with this. The part Im still having questions about are from what I can tell is people are qrting fish and treating them for ick without any symptons?? Is this correct?
Yes...they are quarantining their fish because you can not always see the ick. Sometimes it is only on the fish in trace amounts or only in the gills.

Quote:
Also as I stated before, I think my tank in cycling back last year, a couple of fish died because of ick from what I could tell. Does this mean I still have ick in my tank some 5-6 months later??I would think that it were in the tank it would have presented itself before now??
The problem is that Ick is very persistent. It can exsist on a minimal amount of host, meaning if a few can live through the cycle and be able to attack a fish, that is enough to keep the cycle going. In other words..it only takes one to find a host and reproduce to start the cycle again.

Quote:
Also I see people not wanting to treat their tanks with meds....if you fish come down with ick, and you put them through the stress of moving them to a qrt tank just to treat them, why not treat them with meds such as reef max that is reef safe...no copper? Looks like it would kill the culprit in the tank itself.
Steve Pro..author of that article addressed that...
---------------
It is my strong preference and my general recommendation to never add any medications to a display tank. In my experience, it is always better to remove all the affected fish to a separate quarantine/hospital tank for treatment. This ensures that none of the display tank's other inhabitants such as corals, bacteria, worms, amphipods, copepods, or mysid shrimp are affected
----------------

Quote:
Lastly, I spoke to a LFS and they said they keep copper running in all of their fish only tanks
That right there would be enough for me to never buy any more fish from that LFS. I spend too much and invest too much time into my system to let copper get into it because the LFS water got into my tank some how.


Ultimately it comes down to an old saying that I used to hear on SWF... "Your tank...Your choice."
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:10 PM   #8
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Ok last question....this is where I have been leading to..if "preventing" ick is the name of the game, and the LFS keeps copper in small amts in their tanks to ward off ick, then why would it be bad to buy from that store given that when you acclimate a fish from their water to yours, the only exposure to your tank (with regards to the copper) is the amt on the fish..if any at all? Because when I acclimate a fish from the bag to the tank, it ends up in my water before it hits the tank? Make sense? So if there were to be ANY copper at all, it would be so minute that I doubt it would matter in the size of tank we are dealing with (in m y case 125). I would think them running copper in their fish only tanks would be a good thing. again just trying to convince myself to go with the masses on this theory!! :P Thanks for all the feedback!
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:32 PM   #9
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Authors view on copper:


Quote:
Even when within the appropriate ranges, some fish cannot tolerate copper. Some of the fish more sensitive to copper are lionfish, pufferfish, mandarins, blennies, and any other scaleless fish. Copper is also a known immunosuppressive, making fish more susceptible to secondary infections.
Invertebrates are extremely sensitive to copper and cannot be housed in a tank undergoing this treatment. Lastly, copper cannot be used in the presence of any calcareous media. Live rock, sand, crushed coral, and dead coral skeletons will all adsorb copper, rendering it useless a treatment.

It is far too labor intensive for me to recommend to the general public, has a large risk of overdose, lowers the fish's resistance to other diseases, and can cause serious damage to the kidney, liver, and beneficial intestinal flora of the fish being treated. Damage to intestinal flora is what many hobbyists point to as a possible contributing cause for Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE), although there is currently no definitive cause of HLLE.
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:57 PM   #10
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Im sorry to be a pain here, and call me a retard if you will but I still have no clarity on this. I will try it again and hopefully ask the question a different.
We all agree that copper treats ick....and the best prevention is to make sure the fish doesnt have ick before putting it in the tank. SO with this said, why not run a small amt of copper in a tank if you can to PREVENT ick....because if you dont, and your fish shows up with ick, then you have to move them to a qrt tank, TREAT them WITH copper to cure the ick....
so back to my original question, if treating ick after the fish shows signs of it (after the fact) with copper is ok, why would it not be ok to treat the tank at a fish store in very small doses to make sure they dont have it or get it?? Its like on one hand people say its ok to treat a fish with copper once exposed to ick, but not ok to use copper to make sure it doesnt have it or get it?? does this make sense to just me? Sorry again for beating a dead horse!!
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