Re: ich and other conclusions

>From: Nick LaRocca <godfatha at hotmail_com>
>To: Aquatic-Plants at ActWin_com
>Cc: williaro at ftmcphsn-emh1_army.mil
>Subject: Re: Apple Snails and Ich (Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #446)
>Aquatic-Plants-Owner at ActWin_com wrote:
>> From: "Williams, Rochelle - DCSPIM" <williaro at ftmcphsn-emh1_army.mil>
>> Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 08:38:00 -0500
>> Subject: Apple Snails and Ich
>Ich medications contain malachite green.  This will cause major problems with
>your inverts (snails, etc), perhaps even kill them. 

Not all ich medications contain malachite green. One I can think of is
Aquasol, made by aquarium products, Inc. It is also friendly to your plants. 

Unless you have a bad case which is not caught early, you can also treat ich
by raising the temperature alone. Or even by leaving things unchanged. If I
make the mistake of getting a fish that is already infected (say by not
paying attention at the store or not checking to see that the tank is on a
central system where the UV sterilizer may not be working) and introducing
the new fish into my home tank, when I notice the ich spot - I often let the
situation ride. Most of the time the ich goes away on its own. Siometimes I
raise the temp to speed up the parasite's life cycle so that I can find out
more quickly if the problem will worsen. In a tank with healthy fish, and
expecially a plant tank where the fish seem to be happier <g>, the existing
fish can resist the ich. 

Like a lot of aquarium treatments, people do not use a control in their
experiment.  In other words, if you add an ich medication and 2 weeks later
the ich is gone, then people often jump to the "usual" conclusion that the
ich disappeared because of the medicine. On the other hand, it could have
disappeared without the medicine as well! I am not advocating not using
medicine. It adds to the comfort level and is extra insurance. My point is
that it is not necessarily cause and effect.

The same argument can be extended to many other topics discussed on this
list. My favorite is heating coils and its effect on a tank during the first
2-3 months. I frequently hear people say that they set up a new tank with
CO2, certain fertilizer, lots of plants, heating coils, etc. and they assume
that all of these components contributed equally to the success of their
tanks. This is so naive. While heating coils "may" be useful in the longterm
and "may" be useful if the plants are not immediately  pumping O2  into the
substrate, then the heating may be a factor. Otherwise it is unlikely
(IMHO). On the other hand, if the same person talked said that they had
multiple tanks - some with and some without heating coils -  (everything
else equal) - and they discussed the status after 1 year, 2 years etc
(similar to what George and perhaps other people have done); then the
comment would be meaninful. Most of the people that make these comments do
not keep their tanks that long. My suggestion is to be aware that all
variables do not contribute equally and to not jump to conclusions too
quickly.  Sorry to get off topic.
Neil Frank      Aquatic Gardeners Association         Raleigh, NC