White Spot (Ich)- alternate treatment


(Article By Spotz)

Many species of fish are sensitive to ich medication. Included in this article is the way to safely treat loaches without side affects. Note: this is a cut & paste job on my part.

Raise the tank temperature to around 86 degrees provided that you have no cold-water species like weather loaches, goldfish, minnows etc. Add areation by dropping in an airstone, or anything that will agitate the surface of the water to increase oxygen supply. The warmer the water gets, the less dissolved oxygen it can hold. Darken the tank to reduce stress. Remove carbon from the filter. Add the medication at 1/2 dose. Treat for 16-18 days. Make sure you do the water-changes indicated on the bottle.

The reason that you must treat for 16-18 days is because the cysts contain the eggs. Sure, they fall off, but then the eggs hatch, and if you've stopped medicating, the fish get reinfected. Also, the ich parasite is only vulnerable to medication for 3 days after it hatches. Say a parasite passes the vulnerable stage just as you pour in the medication. That parasite will finish the life cycle which is definitly longer than two days. It will form a new cyst, and drop off, and you will have more than 300 new parasites ready to seek out a new host.

There is a second way to treat ich. This has been rumored to work. Raise the temp to 86 deg F. Increase areation. Add a small amount of aquarium salt to the tank. Cover the tank with a dark material. Take care not to block all vents. Turn off the lights inside the tank. Try not to disturb the tank for a few days, except to feed and check on progress. Nobody knows why this works. The salt stimulates the mucous layer of the fish making it thicker. At the same time, the salt acts like an antiseptic, preventing secondary infection. The darkness helps calm the fish, strengthening the immune response. The high temperatures stress the ich, as well as increasing metobolic functions, and reducing the lifespan.

(Note: permission to copy is not required. Spotz wrote this for the benefit of all aquarists. Feel free to copy.)




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