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Old 09-05-2013, 12:05 PM   #1 
Aalistair
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Exclamation Possible Ich Infection? Take Action Now?

This morning when I woke up I noticed a small white dot on my Betta fish's body, and I've been really worried about it being a possible Ich infection. It looks like a small grain of salt, and it isn't some sort of patch or bump. I haven't noticed any change in his behavior patterns, swimming ability, or appetite. He still swims to the feeding hole whenever I'm nearby and seems to be doing fine. My tank is always pretty warm due to the hot temperature of my location, so I thought that he wouldn't have to worry about this. Is it possible that it's something else or is there something I should be doing right away before things potentially get out of hand?

Housing
What size is your tank? 6.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80-84
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega, New Life, Frozen Brine Shrimp and Blood Worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Daily
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API cleanser

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: .25ppm
Nitrite: .25ppm
Nitrate: 10ppm
pH: 7.4-7.6
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Small white dot appeared on his body
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Hasn't.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Just now
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Not yet.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Just a little bit of contipation
How old is your fish (approximately)? Probably around 6 months
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:47 PM   #2 
LittleBlueFishlets
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The easiest way to treat ich is to raise the water temperature to 86F.

Ich can't reproduce in warm water. So the elevated temperature disrupts their reproduction.

It can take about 5-6 days to see results using this method. (The white spots are from parasites that have burrowed into the fish, and are protected. They'll eventually fall off, but it takes a few days.)

If this doesn't work, there are some strains of heat-resistant ich. So raise the temperature another degree or two.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:54 PM   #3 
Aalistair
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Thanks for the advice. I made sure to leave the fan off when I went to class so the tank would heat up to 86 (which it did) and when I looked at him, I couldn't see the little spot anymore. However, a few hours ago I noticed he had two little white dots. One on the very tip of his pectoral fin, and the other behind his other pectoral fin. It took me a few hours, but I wen to get a camera and let the temp rise another degree, but now those two white dots aren't there anymore. I feel like I'm going crazy, but are they falling off and dying or something? Should I do a 100% water, gravel, and ornament change?
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:58 PM   #4 
LittleBlueFishlets
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Some additional info might help....

There are 3 parts to the life cycle of Ich:

Stage 1) trophont - this is the stage where you see the white spots. The parasite has burrowed into the fish, where it's protected from treatment (which includes medications, salt and heat). So treatment isn't effective here. This stage lasts several days.

Stage 2) tomont - the trophont finishes feeding, and falls off. It's now called a tomont. Since it's in the water column, treatments (medications/salt/heat) are effective now - BUT only for several hours. It then forms a protective cyst around itself, so treatment isn't effective. Unfortunately, the organism is reproducing during this time.

Stage 3) thermonts - Several days later, the cyst bursts, and lots of new organisms go in search of a host fish. They have several days to find a new host, or they will die. Treatment is effective during this time.

So basically, you have to treat while the parasite is either in the early part of stage 2, or during stage 3....

Raising the temperature speeds up the life cycle of the fish. This reduces the total amount of time you'll need to use salt/medications.

Most strains of Ich can't reproduce at temperatures of 86F or higher. (However, some strains are now heat resistant, and require higher temps.) So raising the temperature to at least 86F is often the only thing required to treat ich.

Some people also use aquarium salt or medications (especially ones that contain both malachite/Victoria green and formalin) in addition to heat. But obviously, heat alone is less toxic than adding salt/medication, so it may be something you want to try first.

Because the parasites go through three stages, you'll need to continue treating for at least THREE DAYS after you see the last of the white spots go away. This is because the parasite is only visible during stage one. There are other parasites in the tank going through stages two and three, so you need to continue treatment until it's gone through the entire sequence.
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