Thanks for the suggestions on how to cure ich, but I'm pretty well convinced that none of the cures are effective.
I'll do a little checking on garlic and uv
treatments, but honestly, I'm pretty pessimistic about the chances that those things are going to do much good. If they did, we wouldn't be talking about whether or not anyone else ever uses them ,or how some people have had some degree of success with certain things.
I would guess that half of the posts about sick fish on this site are related to ich one way or another, and the problem never goes away. If there were a real cure for ich, EVERYONE would know exactly what it was.
Certainly, cleaner shrimp won't do the trick. What they eat is not really related to the symptoms or causes of the disease, and even if it were, the problems caused by ich are way bigger than merely removing the cysts from the outside of the fish.
Unless you can treat with copper -- and I can't, because I have a reef tank, with corals and inverts -- Marine Ich just isn't susceptible to any of the cures that are out there. Not reliably; not by an mechanism that can be understood, or tested, or predicted, or repeated.
It's like the flu in humans: Sometimes, you can treat some of the symptoms; but in reality, once you have it, you just have it. It runs its course and you take your chances on the outcome.
I don't mean to be a jerk, because I do appreciate the suggestions. In the end though, I'm not looking for ideas on how to cure it. Practically speaking, ich is incurable, unless you can treat with copper. I just want to know what the prognosis is for fish with ich, and how long I have to wait before I can conclude that I'm out of the woods and the fish has recovered.
OK, thanks. Take care!