View Full Version : raise temperature to treat ich ?

07/29/2000, 01:33 PM
From my freshwater experiences with ich(the white-dots) I found that raising the temperature in the tank to 30 degrees celsius (86 F) always cures ich within two or three days. My question is : Could this also work in a marine tanks . Since there is no need for any medication , this would be a good solution. Luckily I never had ich in my marine system, so I havent been able to test this, Did anyone test it ?

07/29/2000, 03:36 PM
Raising the temperature is not a cure for ich in a marine tank, but it can be part of the cure. Basically, raising the temp shortens the three part life cycle of the parasite, and since medication (copper) is only effective during one of the three phases, raising the temperature moves the parasites through the phases more quickly (until they get to the free-swimming phase where copper is effective). This allows a shorter treatment regimen.


Terry B
07/29/2000, 11:52 PM
I agree that raising the temperature does not cure SW Ich. Actually, 86F is the optimal temp for them to reproduce. I do not suggest adding thermal stress to the problem by raising the temperature.
Terry B

07/30/2000, 12:04 PM

08/02/2000, 12:35 AM
Try salinity swing: from where you are now (1.025?) to 1.020 then back. Fish and many corals can take it but simple life forms that don't osmoregulate can't. This is how I treated several yellow tangs with great results (and it quite simple).

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Terry B
08/03/2000, 11:42 PM
Sorry, I have to disagree that a salinity change from 1.025 to 1.020 will kill Ich. Cryptocaryon irritans have been documented to reproduce and thrive at far lower salinities. Hyposalinity requires a salinity of 16ppt or less (a specific gravity of 1.009 depending on the water temperature) Dropping the salinity from 1.025 to 1.015 won't kill Ich. The normal procedure when using hyposalinity is to drop the salinity over two days to a SG of about 1.009 and it s not the quick drop that kills it. What kills the parasite is it cannot hatch from the reproductive stage at such a low salinity.
Best wishes,
Terry B

08/04/2000, 05:10 PM
Tagged for the archives

08/04/2000, 05:54 PM
Hi TerryB, it's been a long time. I hope all is well with you. I hope with your background and more precise knowledge of the ich you might come forth with an article about eliminating ich from a system, and by non-introduction, prevent it from ever happening. I know this was a question we had discussed some time back (the ability/inability of ich to remain dormant). I still have not been able to "produce" any ich in "immune" tanks. I would hope that folks get some exposure to the complete eradication and non-introduction (new fish, infected water, etc.) as a means of not getting this infestation. I know with some folks getting a new fish every few months and improperly acclimating to prevent ich from entering this might be hard for some folks. Nonetheless, it is discouraging to see folks with repeat occurences who think that ich is something that they can only hope to avoid as much as possible. I am still an avid supporter of the fact/hypothesis ;) that SW ich can be non-existant in a closed system. By focusing on proper acclimation and, more importantly, effective quarantine people can really eliminate one of the larger "killers" in marine tanks. Again, it is good to see you and let me know if you plan on doing an article along those lines. I believe you would make a very respectable source of information on the topic, and I think more folks should at least be contemplative of that approach. :)

San Jose, CA

Tank at: FISH WHISPERER'S LAGOON (http://fishwhisperer.homestead.com/fish.html)

Terry B
08/04/2000, 09:26 PM
Hi Monty,
Thanks for your kind comments. I collaborated with Dr. Colorni of the IOLR in Isreal when researching an update on what we now know about this parasite. I already sent FAMA the two part article but who knows when they will print it.
Best wishes,
Terry B

08/05/2000, 05:20 AM
Hi All, Terry is quite right about the salinity. I have observed ich (cryptocaryon) to actively reproduce in salinities as low as 1.014 on a regular basis. For years I maintained my tanks at 1.019 (due to the NSW I was using) and while the fish did fine the ich didn't seem to have a problem with it either.


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Robert Schnell
08/06/2000, 12:01 PM
Hi Terry,
It's nice to see you back.
Here is my experience with the parasite.
I had my quarantine tank at 1.014 for 2 weeks at 81.6F while deciding whether or not to treat any additional fish (didn't want to drop it any further in case I was going to add any additional fish). The Cryptocaryon had no problem continuing its life cycle until I dropped it to 1.010. The only change I would recommend is increasing the time for the treatment. I treated all the fish originally for 5 weeks at 1.009 to 1.010 with the infected tanks fishless at 81.5F to 82.5F for 7 weeks. After 5 days, most of the fish returned to my 200 gallon was reinfected. The fish in the other 3 tanks appeared to be parasite free (even up to today). I collected the cysts (from an almost fresh water bath SG:1.005) and sent one dead fish (on ice for skin scraping - lost only one) to have it examined to ID the parasite. It was confirmed by two vets (specialize in fish research) to be cryptocaryon. Both advised that they have seen / heard of the parasite surviving up to 3 months without fish and recommended leaving a tank fishless for at least 2 months with 3 being ideal. The other theory is that is could possibility survive / dormant on the fish (only problem with this is that most of the fish in the 200 gallon showed visible spots within a day of each other).
The other interesting thing is that fish can and do build up a resistance to the parasite. The parasite still resides in the 200 gallon but there is no visible of it. After the fish had their initial outbreak upon being returned, I removed the worse fish (Achilles Tang - was covered with hundreds of spots in two weeks and placed back into quarantine). The few remaining fish in quarantine (just finished treatment and water back to 1.025) were reinfected with visible spots in approx. 6 days (back to hyposalinity). In the 200-gallon tank, the amount of visible spots reduced until by 3 weeks there was no visible sign of the parasite at all. I placed 5 neon gobies into the tank approx. two weeks later and all of them were covered with spots with a couple of the other fish getting only a few spots by the time of the neon's second cycle with the parasite. This lasted for almost 3 weeks. It is now a few months later and there has been no visible sign of the parasite since (not a single visible spot). I would conclude that it is still there but in a low numbers.
I did originally try kick ich w/o any effect at all. I was going to try garlic but was advised not too by the vets and two curators of public aquariums as it is unproved and that most fish will build up a resistance to it if the infections level is low (The Achilles seems to be the exception. All other fish including a sailfin and yellow tang seem to have built up a resistance).
For the 200 gallon I decided to use Dr. Ron's suggestion to build up the sand bed and increase the amount of sand bed life and coral that can use the tomites as food and help keep the level reduced.
On the note of temperature swings:
One of my kid's tank has 2 three spot demsels that were covered with white spots while they were in main tank. After hyposalinity treatment and letting a 20 long go 7 weeks without fish, they have no visible spots for many months. This tank was place (didn't realize at the time) near a ceiling AC vent. When his fan was on, the tanks temp would drop. I measured changes from 70 to 81F occurring daily between the window and vent. It has been corrected, but either fish showed any signs of the parasite.
The fish in the 200-gallon have also been stressed out with their light being turned on and the fish being caught in the middle of the night to remove 20 ciroloid isopods that came in on a live rock. This required catching the sleeping fish and removing the isopod that was attached to the fish with forceps on a sheet of plastic. No spots became visible during this time period or after it.
PS: If I knew that I was going to go through this with a reef tank, I would of put a nice picture on that wall instead of a tank.

** I am not endorsing or putting down any treatments, just stating my experience with this parasite.

[This message has been edited by Robert Schnell (edited 08-06-2000).]

Terry B
08/06/2000, 08:33 PM
Hi Robert,
Its nice to hear you that finally got rid of the Isopods in your tank! Thanks for your report. According to Dr. Edward Noga, the leading expert in aquatic medicine in the USA, 72 days is the longest period that Crypt has been reported to survive in a fishless system. That long is highly unusual. Four weeks is usually more than long enough but I usually recommend six weeks. There have been reports of a new parasite that looks like white spots on the fish that are deadlier than Crypt. In the case of Amyloodinium, it does take longer for it to die out in a fishless system. The parasite does not actually go dormant. However, some fish do build up a limited resistance after being exposed. It is possible for a low level of infection to exist in a precarious balance with the fish for a time. This is why you can sometimes experience and outbreak after a new (non resistant) fish is added to the display. The new fish may be clean but becomes infected upon exposure to low levels of Crypt in the display.
Ron’s idea that a deep sand bed would help reduce the number of tomonts in the aquarium is interesting. However, tomonts (reproductive stage of Ich) not only encyst on the sand, but on the rocks, glass and equipment.
Best wishes,
Terry B