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Ich Lifecycle


Derek

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Since I upgraded to my 185 I have gotten a lot of tangs. Tangs are pretty susceptible to ich so needless to say, they have it right now. All of the tangs are eating like pigs.

I am running a small UV sterilizer to help with some of the ich that is water-born but am curious about how long the ich will last in the tank if the hosts do not die. I have heard that the ich life cycle is about 10 to 14 days. Will it keep reappearing and then slowly get down to almost non-existent?

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My understanding (anybody feel free to update me) is at 78 - 80 degrees it's 2 days as a "larva", 7 days as an adult sucking on your fish and 7 days as a cyst on the bottom of your tank (anecdotally I've heard the cysts may not drop off the fish). The cysts go through some kind of binary reproduction and always produce 256 larva. Worst case scenario reproduction out paces a sterilizer and more drastic measures have to be taken. Metronidiazol (Kick-Ich uses a variant) will kill the larva and is "supposed to be reef safe" but I've had corals not open completely until I ran carbon to remove it. I've also had inconsistant results using it. What I find frustrating about UV sterilizers is the flow rate to achieve a decent "kill rate" needs to be relatively slow but a high turnover rate through the tank is needed to keep up with the larva that are hatching. Here's an example what needs to be taken into consideration for a 9 W Turbo-Twist 3X to be used for parasite control. For a single pass kill rate at most you want to run just 55 gph through it. Keep in mind this is for a new bulb. Assuming a 30% drop in output over the life of the bulb the flow should probably be dropped down to 35 gph. If this is being used in a 125 gal tank we're looking at least 3 1/2 hours to get a complete turnover through the sterilizer. Probably longer since each hour a certain percentage of the water PROBABLY will have just been recently filtered. Now we're looking at looking at 4 or 5 or maybe even 6 hours the larval parasites are swimming around in the tank with your fish before they get sucked into the sterilizer and get killed. Depending on the health and species of your fish (and number and species of your corals, I've seen parasite problems spontaineously dissapear in reef tanks so I'm sure aggressively feeding corals will do their part to control parasites, just can't always count on it) this may or may not be enough to break the life cycle of the parasite. I think best results with a sterilizer are achieved when it's sized to give a 100% kill rate with one (or more) turnovers an hour.

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If the fish is eating, let it run it's course!

Yep. I'm not going to bother them at all. They are all eating. I think they are just stressed from there being so many "new faces" added over the past couple of weeks.

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My understanding (anybody feel free to update me) is at 78 - 80 degrees it's 2 days as a "larva", 7 days as an adult sucking on your fish and 7 days as a cyst on the bottom of your tank (anecdotally I've heard the cysts may not drop off the fish). The cysts go through some kind of binary reproduction and always produce 256 larva. Worst case scenario reproduction out paces a sterilizer and more drastic measures have to be taken. Metronidiazol (Kick-Ich uses a variant) will kill the larva and is "supposed to be reef safe" but I've had corals not open completely until I ran carbon to remove it. I've also had inconsistant results using it. What I find frustrating about UV sterilizers is the flow rate to achieve a decent "kill rate" needs to be relatively slow but a high turnover rate through the tank is needed to keep up with the larva that are hatching. Here's an example what needs to be taken into consideration for a 9 W Turbo-Twist 3X to be used for parasite control. For a single pass kill rate at most you want to run just 55 gph through it. Keep in mind this is for a new bulb. Assuming a 30% drop in output over the life of the bulb the flow should probably be dropped down to 35 gph. If this is being used in a 125 gal tank we're looking at least 3 1/2 hours to get a complete turnover through the sterilizer. Probably longer since each hour a certain percentage of the water PROBABLY will have just been recently filtered. Now we're looking at looking at 4 or 5 or maybe even 6 hours the larval parasites are swimming around in the tank with your fish before they get sucked into the sterilizer and get killed. Depending on the health and species of your fish (and number and species of your corals, I've seen parasite problems spontaineously dissapear in reef tanks so I'm sure aggressively feeding corals will do their part to control parasites, just can't always count on it) this may or may not be enough to break the life cycle of the parasite. I think best results with a sterilizer are achieved when it's sized to give a 100% kill rate with one (or more) turnovers an hour.

Too bad we don't have "ich bombs" like we have for fleas.

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I'm dealing with ich right now since the move. Ich is always about, its all about the health of your fish. I run a HUGE UV sterilizer, 5 GPM capacity, just for this reason. It's a sterilight brand and is made from 316 SS, not designed for aqauriums but works just great for that.

Here is MY sure fire way of getting my fish over ich

Overfeed my fish with emerald entree twice a day

Soak the food for 15 min in Zoe and garlic extreme

Leave nori in the tank, I buy the one that has garlic added

Run the UV sterilizer

15% water change every other day (right now I'm going through 5 gallons of salt a week in my new tank! OUCH!)

I do also beleive that the cysts stay dormant on the fish...here is a perfect example and I would like to hear some others comments on this. I bought a new tang at RC a couple of weeks ago, I had them hold if for me b/c my fish were getting over ich. The ich mostly cleared up so I picked up the tomani tang and a powder brown and added them yesterday. This morning the tomani tang was COVERED in ich and the powder brown was fine. This is weird to me, how did this fish go from no visible signs of ich and within 8 hrs this fish is so covered in ich that there isn't a flat piece of skin on it. It has huge white cysts on it, I was really surprised. I though about freshwater dipping this fish but I'm worried that the stress might make it worse.

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Very true. I have been keeping nori in the tank and have been dropping in some frozen tang blocks every once and a while. They love that stuff and eat like crazy.

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Adding garlic and Zoe to the food really important IMO. Honestly I think that this attributes the most to the recovery of the fish. Once I started adding the Zoe and garlic even the colors on my fish imporoved significantly within just a week. I don't normally add this but after seeing the colors improve and the ich go away I decided to do this from now on.

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