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Old 10-04-2022, 07:41 AM   #1
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Ick prevention using garlic

Hello,

To begin my story, several days ago I looked into my aquarium & noticed
that one of my guppy had white spot on his top fin, the rest of his body was fine. I initially suspected he had Ick.

I was about to treat the whole tank with Ick treatment, but did a double check of other possible diseases. I came across "stress ick" (Lymphocystis).
The symptoms looked like it could be lymphocystis & I also read that it could make lymphocystis worse if you incorrectly treat the aquarium for Ick
and to make sure it is Ick before starting treatment.

So I took their advice and delayed treatment and kept monitoring the guppy.
I suspected if the guppy had Ick, the number of spots would increase daily and other fish might start showing white spots. However, after 3 days I see no increase in number of spots on the guppy and no other fish in the tank are showing any symptoms of white spot disease. Therefore, I suspect my guppy has lymphocystis (it gets chased by a Yoyo loach so may get stressed by this).

As part of researching Ick I read articles about using garlic to make the fish's immune system stronger to fight off Ick.
I was wondering if it would be advisable, even if no fish have Ick,
and as a matter of routine, and to give the fish a mixed diet, to somedays feed the fish with garlic to slowly strengthen their immune system to fight off any future presence of Ick ?

what do you think ?

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Old 10-04-2022, 08:03 AM   #2
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For a start there is no difference between ich and stress ich. They are the same disease caused by the same parasite. The reference to stress ich is that healthy fish generally live with the ich just fine and only show symptoms when their health is compromised, eg by stress.

The disease is the same, the parasite is the same, the treatment is the same. Ich is ich. Its just that fish are more vulnerable to it when stressed.
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Old 10-04-2022, 08:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
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For a start there is no difference between ich and stress ich. They are the same disease caused by the same parasite. The reference to stress ich is that healthy fish generally live with the ich just fine and only show symptoms when their health is compromised, eg by stress.

The disease is the same, the parasite is the same, the treatment is the same. Ich is ich. Its just that fish are more vulnerable to it when stressed.
I was told with lymphocystis you don't need to treat the fish and the disease will just go away by itself and it won't infect other fish
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Old 10-04-2022, 08:43 AM   #4
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Lymphocystis is a viral disease. Ich is caused by a parasite. There is no such thing as "stress ich" or you could say all cases of ich are stress ich.

Same as for ich there is no treatment for fish infected with lymphocystis, your fish either dies or recovers. Same as for ich, healthy fish are less prone to infection than unhealthy fish. Difference is if your tank is free from the ich parasite fish cant be infected with ich. It doesnt spontaneously appear. Whereas viral disease will always be present.

I would support maintaining a healthy environment for your fish. The discussion is similar to should you add salt to a freshwater tank as a general preventative/ health booster? I would say it doesnt do any harm, but if you maintain a healthy environment its not needed. If your fish are getting infected with "whatever" its a sign of something triggering that infection and its better to remove the trigger.
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:02 AM   #5
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ok, I will not use the term "stress ick".
From my monitoring I believe my fish has Lymphocystis as the white stuff has not increased and looks the same for 3 days. Also all my other aquarium fish don't have any white stuff on their bodies.

As for my original question. Would you recommend feeding garlic to fish as part of the routine of giving them a varying diet ?

As for removing the source of stress ('trigger') this might be more difficult.
Even if I remove the Yoyo loach (so it does not chase the guppy with Lymphocystis),
this guppy also bully's my other male guppy and chases him !
Also I have a Platy that also chases other platys away in my tank. So I have many fish that are trying to be the prime/head/leader fish in the tank.
Fear that if I remove any bully fish I may end up with an empty tank !
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:14 AM   #6
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If you have a fish bullying others sufficiently to cause injury and infection in other fish adding garlic wont help very much.

Can you post a photo of the infection?
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:37 AM   #7
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I don't see any injury on the guppy (or any other bullied fish), I believe the Yoyo just chases the guppy away to be dominant in his territory.
If there is no injury would feeding garlic still be a good idea
(like humans taking daily vitamins)
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:59 AM   #8
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It might help out a little with a fishes general health, but i dont see it solving your issues.

If someone kept coming round your house and banging on your windows, pushing you around when you went out, generally harrassing you, this would cause you stress, and the stress would have a secondary impact on your health. Vitamins and minerals wouldnt do anything to help you.
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Old 10-04-2022, 01:24 PM   #9
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I understand. I wonder why so many of my fish seem to have "bully" traits ?
When I previously kept fish 40+ years ago I didn't have such a problem.
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Old 10-04-2022, 08:27 PM   #10
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Post pictures of the fish so we can check them for disease.

Most common livebearers like guppies, platies, swordtails and mollies live in groups of males or females. There is a dominant fish in each group that has a group of friends that hang out with it. The dominant fish will bully all the lower ranking fish to keep them in place. If you have a number of dominant fish in the tank, they will sometimes fight.

It can take a few days for new fish to find their position in the pecking order. If 2 fish are still fighting over position after a week, remove one of them.


--------------------

LYMPHOCYSTIS
Lymphocystis causes white lumpy bits to grow on fins. It is uncommon on domesticated fish but does occur on wild caught fish that have been exposed to the Lymphocystis virus and stressed out. The fish most commonly seen with Lymphocystis are coloured Chandas. They are a glass fish that regularly get painted or injected with a coloured dye. The process of painting/ injecting the fish causes huge amounts of stress to the fish. This is made worse by the fish normally occurring in water with a pH above 7.0 and normally containing some salt. When the fish are shipped around the world, they are shipped in fresh water with a low pH and this adds to the stress.


--------------------

GARLIC
Garlic, onions and onion relatives (spring onions, shallots, etc) should not be fed to fish or most animals because they have some chemicals in them that can be poisonous. Garlic also doesn't do anything to treat white spot or Lymphocystis in fish.

Feeding fish a balanced varied diet made from foods the fish naturally eats, is the best way to boost their immune system. And keeping the aquarium clean by doing big regular water changes, gravel cleaning the substrate, and cleaning the filter
regularly, will help to reduce the chances of the fish getting sick.

All new fish, shrimp and snails should be quarantined for at least 2 (preferably 4) weeks before they are added to an established aquarium containing other fish.


--------------------

USING HEAT TO TREAT WHITE SPOT
If you suspect fish have white spot, the safest way to treat them is to raise the water temperature to 30C (86F) and keep it there for 2 weeks, or at least 1 week after all the white dots have disappeared. No chemicals needed, just heat.

You can use heat treatment for all tropical fishes. However, if you have coldwater fishes, then you need to use a chemical medication unless the coldwater fishes are in warm water with a temperature above 24C.

If you use heat treatment for white spot, do a big water change and complete gravel clean before raising the temperature. And increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise oxygen levels in the water.
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Old 10-05-2022, 02:13 PM   #11
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Hello,

It is day 4 and when I came downstairs this morning I checked my aquarium fish.
The guppy I suspected to have Lymphocystis had not changed and looked the same
(no increase in number of spots)

Then I checked the other fish in the tank and they all seemed fine and spot free, good !

However, I finally checked a Platy fish and she was covered in white spots. I was shocked. This Platy showed no signs of spots yesterday but seems that overnight she is now totally covered in white spots.

Here are pictures of the fish. Sorry this is the best I can do since they were moving all the time

Platy


Guppy


So I started treatment for Ick using
API White Spot Cure


do you think my issue is Ich or a mixture (guppy=Lymphocystis and the rest Ich)

If it is Ich, why hasn't my guppy got any more spots and have the same number of spots ? Also why hasn't the rest of the fish got spots ?
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Old 10-05-2022, 02:36 PM   #12
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As said before, otherwise healthy fish can be infected with the ich parasite and show no signs. If one fish is infected they all will be, but only the ones with a weakened immune system due to other issues will show symptoms.

And be aware that if you have ich in your tank, someone sold you an infected fish. Ich doesn't spontaneously appear.
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Old 10-05-2022, 02:56 PM   #13
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As said before, otherwise healthy fish can be infected with the ich parasite and show no signs. If one fish is infected they all will be, but only the ones with a weakened immune system due to other issues will show symptoms.

And be aware that if you have ich in your tank, someone sold you an infected fish. Ich doesn't spontaneously appear.
Yes, this is what puzzled me .... where was the original source of Ich ?
From the pictures, is it your opinion that it is Ich ?

I understand quarantining fish brought from the store so you don't introduce diseases into the aquarium. However what I did not know until and just found out after some research is that Ich can be on plants.

I did purchase some plants and put them in my aquarium recently. Didn't know plants may carry Ich (thought it was only fish). So maybe this is how Ich got in. I have learnt now and will quarantine plants as well as fish.

Question 1:
From my recent research some fish may have Ich but have a strong immune system and not have any white spots. If these fishes undergo an Ich cure treatment can they still have some Ich hidden in them. Since they don't show spots you don't know when you have killed all the Ich.

I ask this, since I am treating my whole tank for Ich. I can go through the normal steps and treat all the fishes until all the white spots disappear. But fishes not having white spots may not mean all Ich is destroyed inside them, correct ?

Question 2:
I can treat the aquarium fish for Ich, but what about anything else (e.g. nets)
How can I clean these pieces of apparatus so I can be sure they don't have Ich on them.
How many days can Ich survive on objects outside the aquarium ?
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Old 10-05-2022, 03:38 PM   #14
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Yes that looks like ich on your platy. Really cant see anything on the guppy.

Ich can only survive in the presence of fish. Take fish out of the equation and the parasites life cycle ends when if there is no fish to infect and feed off. The only way it can get into your tank is if you put something already infected into your tank. Most likely an infected fish, but it could be water from an infected tank.

Plants and other decorations don't carry ich, but after the parasite has done feeding and leaves your fish to reproduce, if it happens to fall on a plant then the parasite could be transfered into your tank. If the plant came from a fishless tank it cant be infected.

As said, healthy fish normally live with ich and you wouldnt see infection. Your tank could have been infected months or even years ago, and if your fish are otherwise healthy you wouldnt know. I would expect many (if not most) tanks are unknowingly infected with ich. It would be difficult to keep your tank free without a robust quarantine procedure. Fish stores, with their shared water systems, must be very difficult to keep ich free.

Question 1.

The parasite can only be killed while its free swimming. This is the stage immediately before the visible infected stage. So to ensure all the parasites are killed you need whatever treatment you go with to be there for an entire parasite lifecycle. The length of the lifecycle is temperature dependent. At room temperature the life cycle is 2 to 3 months. At tropical fish tank temperatures, 2 to 3 weeks. At 28 to 30c a week to 10 days. That's why raising the temperature is important. It shortens the parasites lifecycle, shortens the time your fish is actually infected, and means the length of time you need to treat for is shortened. At 30c you have the added benefit that the parasite cant reproduce at that temperature, so medication shouldn't be needed.

Question 2.

You can buy off the shelf net soak, there are DIY solutions. If you mix some of your ich medication with water in a bucket and leave your net in there it should kill off ich same as it would in the tank.

I dont know how long the parasite can live out of water, im reading to 2 to 3 days.
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Old 10-05-2022, 05:26 PM   #15
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Sorry that the guppy picture is unclear. The guppy had white spot on his upper fin and on his body just below the upper fin. Just about 3 spots. The number of spots remain unchanged. Can a fish with Ich have low number of spots that remain unchanged or could it be something else?
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Old 10-06-2022, 01:45 AM   #16
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I don't think the platy has white spot;. I think it is covered in excess mucous, which is caused by something in the water irritating the fish. However, the picture isn't in focus and a clear photo of the fish would confirm mucous or white spot.

The best treatment for excess mucous is a big water change, gravel cleaning the substrate, and cleaning the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks.

Can you post clear pictures of the fish?
Check them on your pc first and then post a couple that are in focus.
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Old 10-06-2022, 06:52 AM   #17
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It is day 5 and I checked the fish.
The white spots on the Platy have vastly reduced so the treatment is working.
I will continue the treatment & fingers crossed it will cure the fish.

Colin, I don't believe it is mucous. Maybe it is the poor picture blur (sorry about that),
but they are clearly spots

Also checked all the other fish in the tank and there have been no new outbreaks there.
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