I'm also using medications for them called QuICKCure. It's treated them when I first got them back in January. I'm not really sure what causes Ick but I do know that while I was in Florida, my tank temperature dropped really bad into the upper 60's because the heater was turned off so they got really cold. :( It might have been from that or just something else! They're all about the same age and was introduced at the same time.
When a fish is stressed, an infected fish is intruduced to the tank, or it's immune system is compromised by a rapid decrease in tank temp., the ich parasite can then penetrate the fish's protective slime coat. This is where it begins.
A lot of bad stuff lurks in the tanks or on the fish itself, but a healthy fish has a strong immune system that will ward off attempts by all of these nasties to infect it! This is why STRESS for a fish can be very bad. Stress negatively affects the immune system, which gives parasites, diseases, etc. an opportunity to do their things. A stressed fish is often a sick fish.
Hrm! I'm almost sure then it was the temperature drop. I felt so bad about it because those fish are like my little kids (xD I probably sound like a loser!). So yeah, I know they're usually not stressed and if they were stressed it was because of the temperature change. They've been happy and healthy. I had to treat my betta Wartooth (who constantly stays sick mainly because he's a Walmart fish but has a strong will to live) because he had this white blotch on his head but it's long gone now!
Stress affects a hormone called cortisol. A little bit of cortisol is good, but too much is a bad thing. Stress raises cortisol levels. Too much cortisol will slow down the production of something which supports the immune system, therefore the immune system will be supressed! A little stress won't really have much of an effect on a healthy body (this includes fish). But, a lot of stress will be overwhelming for even a healthy being. And, on a weakened immune system, just a little bit of stress can trigger an illness or disease.
So in fish, some things that could be a source of stress are aggressive tankmates, tapping on glass, too low or too high of a temperature, etc. So, when you read or hear it said that something causes stress in fish, take it seriously as it could be very detrimental in the end for your fish.
Last edited by LeroyTheBetta; 05-26-2011 at 10:51 PM.
Awesome information! Thank you so much! The internet just babbles in circles and this is the info I really needed!
Sure thing. Although I haven't had fish very long, I've done lots of reasearch on their diseases, care, etc. I also have a good understanding of human physiology and health, etc. and you'd be surprised how much of it applies across the different species.... the effects of stress, for example.
Ich (Ichthyophthirius multifilius) is a protozoan and very commonly affects freshwater fish. Ich is an obligate parasite, this means they need a fish to live part of their lifecycle or it will die. Their whole lifecycle takes about 7 to 10 days depending on what temperature your tank is.... the higher the temp the faster its lifecycle.
First, the parasite gets through the slime coat and burrows into the skin. It feeds off of the fish for about a week then drops off into the gravel. After a day or two this cyst bursts and releases hundreds of copies of itself and they go off and look for a fish to attach to. Without a fish, these free swimming parasites die within about 2 days in an 80 degree tank. This is why it's recommended as part of the treatment for ich to raise the temp of your tank into the low 80's... to speed up the lifecycle and increase the rate at which this parasite is killed.
You can treat ich with heat only.... 86 degrees.
Heat and salt - 1 tsp/gallon, raise temp to low 80's ..... treat for 10 days and do daily water changes & gravel vac. WCs are important to remove as many of the parasites as you can to speed up the process. Remember to add the proper salt for the water you're replacing.
Chemicals - see what's available at your lfs for these.
Hope this helps a bit.
DO NOT take your betta to 86 degrees. Just about anything will kill the ich, lifeguard, maracide, beatings with very small sticks. The "ick cure" sold by jungle/tetra is actually an antifungal that kills ich but also keeps the fish from developing a fungus.
DO NOT take your betta to 86 degrees. Just about anything will kill the ich, lifeguard, maracide, beatings with very small sticks.
You can safely have your betta at that temp while treating ich.
You wouldn't want to keep that temp normally as it would be a bit warm, but for a treatment it's fine as it's temporary. (And I wouldn't recommend the stick method. Not that it wouldn't work, but I've never come across it in any research nor heard it recommended by experienced aquariests.)
Last edited by LeroyTheBetta; 05-28-2011 at 02:40 AM.
Way back when (Wow I felt old and wise writing that, when really it was just back in December) when I had my 'Little' Anacharis episode (More like breakdown lol) I did ALOT of ICH research.
To POSSIBLY fill in a few (But interesting) dots...
blah blah blah this is nothing you caused (but who knows).
Ich is present in MOST if not ALL tanks.
A fish is only infected with ICH if it's immune system is already compromised.
Kinda like in winter for us... we get sick more in winter because of the cold. The germs are already floating around us... just in the winter OUR immune systems are alittle weaker.
(Don't attack me, I honestly may not be making any sense. But me myself and I think I am! *Eyes cross* HEHEHAHAHAHAHAHaaaaa).
Hence you need to crank up the heater, blah blah blah, water changes, blah blah blah kill the life cycle, blah blah blah and lower the parasite count. What every one else has been saying.
Don't feel bad about the emergency tank. Better they throw a (Healthy) tantrum than just be all limp and listless right?
After my 'Mysterious' Ghost Shrimp die off... I put Drax in a cup for a few hours (I don't has an emergency tank) while I cleaned and he just thrashed the whole time. Which tells me he's at least strong and healthy.
Think of an Emergency Tank as a Hospital room! They don't WANT to be in it, but they MUST! MUST I TELL YOU! (Sorry if this is all drivel, *Hic* I may have had a few glasses of wine too many)