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Clowns and Ick, could WE make a difference in the future?

Posted By: Martin Thoene <martin.thoene@lakenheath.af.mil>
Date: Monday, 11 January 1999, at 2:51 p.m.

Anybody that keeps and Loves Clown Loaches.

One of the most repetative questions that appears on here is people's problems with ick on their beloved Clowns. It seems to be generally accepted that the organism is probably present in most of our tanks, but something triggers it into action. Countless fish have died and many owners have been devastated by the loss of their fish and it just seems so sad that although there seem to be countless proprietry medicines available, plus lots of succesful home cures, fish are still regularly getting it and dying.

I work in the Medical field and therefore fall into the "prevention is better than cure" camp. It seems to me that what is lacking is identifying the "triggers" that lead to infection. Stress in various forms is thought to help infestation, but knowing exactly WHAT stressed the fish is important. There might be a certain factor involved that so far as individuals we cannot identify, but as a collective we might be able to identify.

I've spoken to Jeff Schafer about this and he could set up a kind of form,similar to the one we use for postings, where data could be input. Someone would have to collate and interpret the data, and I'm prepared to take that on as I feel very priviledged to have so far (touch wood) been ick free in my tanks, and want to stay that way. The study would have to last a reasonable time to be meaningful, as we need to know the parameters in healthy tanks as well as ones with ick infestations, before any pattern is likely to appear.

It could all be peeing in the wind, as we might not find out anything more than what we know now, but I think it's worth a try for the sake of our fish and others in the future that want to know how best to keep them healthy.

What I need to know is are enough people interested, and commited enough to see it through, knowing there's no magic solution guaranteed, to make it viable for Jeff to initially set up the form, and me to spend time collating data.

I need feedback, also on what are the important factors to consider in everyone's opinion, in such a study.


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