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Re: Re: Ick

I would appreciate comments on apparent "hibernation"? of Ick.  I have
observed outbreaks several times over the past 25 years of keeping fish.
These have followed some drop in the quality of the water, temperature,
etc. in tanks where no new residents had been introduced.

My latest experience happened several months ago.  I had planned a two week
vacation and I thought everything had been covered.  I have a 55g tank with
a few cardinal/neon tetras and several rainbowfish.  All residents had been
in the tank for several months.  The tank is heavily planted.  I bought an
automatic feeder for the fish and provided enough light for the fish while
keeping plant growth to a minimum.  Everything was covered.  Everything but
Murphey's Law.

Apparently a day or two after we left for vacation, a blackout followed by
a power surge destroyed all but one small room light.  The fish and plants
were left with less than adequate light for nearly two weeks.  When we
returned, most of the neons and cardinal tetras were dead; all were
infected with Ick.  Only one rainbowfish showed the white spots although
most showed the discomfort of the itching.

The neons and cardinals apparently are more sensitive to the level of
light.  When it drops below their idea of day, they crawl into the plants
and go to sleep.  The prolonged low light level apparently resulted in
lowered resistance and the Ick outbreak; all in a tank that "appeared" to
be Ick free two weeks before.

Faced with destroying the plants by trying to cure the Ick or destroying
the plants trying to catch the fish, I decided to try Tetra's medicated
food.  In a few days the Ick was "gone"?  The spots slowly disappeared and
over several more days the "itching" subsided (fish scratching themselves
on leaves, etc.)  I lost no more fish after restoring the light and
treating with the medicated food.

Now I know the Ick is still there and given any sudden drop in the quality
of the fish's environment, it will return.  My question is this:  Is the
Ick cycle continuing at a level that makes it seem not present or is the
Ick parasite "hibernating" until conditions are right again?  In either
case it would seem that there is a high probability that without treating
all your fish for Ick, you probably have it.  Any comments?

k5vkq at ix_netcom.com