From Jeff Snyder@1:345/3777 to All on Thu Jul 22 07:31:00 2010
What Are These White Spots On My Fish?
Another "How-To" By Jeff Snyder...and he ought to know! :)
Sooner or later, most tropical fish hobbyists discover that one or more of their fish are covered with white spots, and rubbing themselves against the rocks and other aquarium decor. This rubbing action may also be accompanied
by rapid breathing, lethargy, deterioration of their fins, and a noticeable drop in their appetite.
If you encounter this situation in your aquarium, you may be dealing with an outbreak of "Ichthyophthirius", or what is commonly refered to as "ick" or "ich". Ichthyophthirius is a parasitic protozoan which normally reproduces
in the substrate -- or gravel/sand bed of an aquarium. There are both freshwater and marine varieties of ick. In the marine environment, ick is caused by two parasites: Cryptocaryon and Oodinium.
Under normal conditions, most fish are able to withstand coming into contact with these parasites; however, if their natural resistance is down due to stress -- such as that caused by overcrowding and poor water quality -- they may become a host for ick.
Ick is normally introduced into an aquarium by an infected fish, infected aquarium water -- such as in a fish bag from a LFS -- or tags along in
plants or gravel introduced from an infected aquarium.
While there are many cures on the market for both freshwater and saltwater
ich -- such as malachite green, formalin, quinine, methanidizolein, et al --
in my personal experience over the years, I have found that a copper sulfate based solution has been the most effective.
Regardless of which remedy you choose to apply, it is important to remember that different fish possess different sensitivity levels to chemical agents which you introduce to your aquarium. As a result, some hardy species may be able to withstand a full dose of copper sulfate, while others -- such as
tetras -- will require a partial dose. Equally important is the fact that plants and invertebrates are even more sensitive to chemical agents, and can die from the same. For this reason, it is extremely important to carefully
read the instructions regarding the proper use of a particular medication before applying it to your aquarium. Failure to do this could easily result
in an unexpected disaster in your aquarium.
Furthermore, if your aquarium is not a fish-only tank, but is a planted
tank, or is the home to invertebrates such as anemones, corals, feather dusters, etc., then it is imperative that you remove the sick fish from the aquarium, and treat them in a separate quarantine, or hospital, tank.
While in their enthusiasm many tropical fish hobbyists fail to do this, one
of the best ways to avoid spreading ick to an aquarium, is simply by
adopting the safe policy of quarantining and observing all new fish, before introducing them to the main aquarium. Additionally, it is wise to never use the aquarium water that comes in a fish bag, and to carefully wash all
plants and gravel which may originate from another aquarium.
I hope that the above is useful to you.
Jeff Snyder, SysOp - Armageddon BBS Visit us at endtimeprophecy.org port 23 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your Download Center 4 Mac BBS Software & Christian Files. We Use Hermes II