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[APD] Aquatic-Plants Digest, Vol 4, Issue 103

 >> ICH is quite often , if not always present in any water, in any
 >> All it takes is a shock to the fish to bring it out. I recently sold
 >> otos to a customer that I had in a well established tank for over three
 >> months.  He reported they showed signs of ICH within the first week. It
 >> was either the shock of transport, or his enviornment that triggered
 >> since they were ICH free for three months in my possetion. And my
 >> remaining stock is still ICH free.

I disagree. All the scientific evidence I've seen says that ich must find a
host within a short period of time, or it dies. This is backed up by
practical experience. I've never seen ich develop in an established tank
unless it had new (infected) fish introduced or was cross-contaminated by
another source-- such as using the same bucket to make water changes in
infected/uninfected tanks or using the same net, etc. Once an ich infection
is cured in an aquarium, it is gone forever, unless the tank becomes
reinfected from an outside source.

I think the belief that ich is always present, but dormant, is a wives'
tale, probably developed by dealers. Rather than admit to an irate customer
that, yes, indeed, the fish they bought may have been carrying a latent
case of ich that no one could have detected-- and that it's just a basic
risk in the hobby-- the dealer takes the easy way out and assuages the
customer by moving some "blame" to him with the claim that the protozoan is
everywhere. I hear dealers state this myth all the time. I've heard some
say it travels through the air like an algae spore! I've never seen
scientific studies that back up any dormancy phase beyond the short period
where the tomite is attached to the bottom and actively dividing.

As to your otos that came down with ich in a customer's tank, when your
stock remained healthy, there are many possible reasons for this that you
overlooked. One likely reason is that the customer added other (infected)
fish at the same time and did not tell you. Otos are delicate to begin
with. The stress from shipping adds to that. Plus, they're relatively
sedentary and easy for a parasite to find as host. So it would be no shock
that they'd be the first to show infection.

Another possibility is that the fish were cross-contaminated during
bagging, such as using a contaminated specimen container. Still another
possibility is that you were operating off a false premise. How many
customers don't even know what ich is? I was a dealer for 25 years. There
aren't enough fingers in the world to count how many customers came in
looking for ich medicine, but a few simple questions quickly determined
that their fish had some other disease, or maybe no disease at all. How
many hobbyists have thought their head-n-tail light tetras had finrot
because of the white tips on the fins? MANY hobbyists, it seems, think
EVERY fish malady is ich-- whether it's dots, rots, fuzz, or bulging eyes!

Mike Wickham

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