1. What causes ick in fish tanks?
White spot disease, or Ich, isone of the most common and persistent diseases in fish and is caused by a protozoan parasite.
• The most common reasons for manifestation of the ick is sudden changes in environmental conditions, like a sudden dip in the water temperature during transportation or replacing the existing water.
• Stress:Stressed fish have a low immune system and they tend to catch ich easily.
• Entry of infected fish or introduction of plants that carry cysts of the parasite into the aquarium.
2. What are the symptoms of ICH / White sport?
The most visible and common signs of ich are:-
• The appearance of little white dots on the body and gills of fish. The spots may sometimes be together and appear like white patches.
• The fish may inordinately rub itself against surfaces in the tank in an attempt to get rid of the itching caused by the parasites.
• The fish constantly folds or clinches its fins against its body.
• The fish shows a difficulty in breathing by panting at the surface of the water or hovering near the tank's filter, due to the ich on its gills which makes it difficult for the fish to absorb oxygen from the water.
• The fish will appear withdrawn and elusive and will show poor eating habits.
3.What does ick do to fish?
The parasite in its infecting phaseinfests and feeds off the tissues like skin, gills, eyes or fins of the affected fish. The protozoa causes damage to the gills and skin, leading to lesions which are sometimes fatal. The fish finds it difficult to breathe when its gills are infected.
The immune system reacts to arrest the infection, isolating the parasites by encasing them with a layer of epithelial cells. This appears as the white spots.
Once the parasite matures, it leaves the fish and descends to the bottom of the tank where it multiplies, producing up to 2,000 new parasites.
4. Can fish ick affect humans?
No. Humans are not susceptible to the virus. This viral disease affects only crawfish and shrimp and consumption of infected crawfish does not endanger the health of humans
5. Is ick contagious to other fish?
Yes it is contagious and deadly to other fish. New fish or equipment which accommodates the parasite is the main carriers of the disease. Since the organism reproduces at a rapid rate controlling it is a very difficult.
6.How do you treat ick on fish?
Ich can be destroyed only when the parasite is fully mature and drops off the fish's body to multiply itself.
Trophont stage: This is the first stage when the parasite is within the body of the fish,and is protected from chemicals so any treatment becomes ineffective.
Tomont stage: At this stage, the parasite is removed from the fish’s body and will float for several hours in the water until it attaches itself on a plant or some other surface where it starts reproducing rapidly. Treatment is possible at this stage. Various treatments include: Use of aquarium salt which disrupts the fluid regulation of the ich and also helps in developing the fish's natural mucous to protect it from ich parasites.
Always change the water,clean the tank and remove the carbon from the filter before the medication.
Raising the temperature of aquarium water gradually can be a very effective remedy in the early stages of the illness.