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ICH Alert

Posted By: Mr Leadfoot <leadfoot@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Thursday, 24 October 2002, at 2:37 p.m.

I think I've come across a strain of ICH that seems to be very resistant to some meds, and thought I'd share my experience to possibly help others avoid potential disasters.

I had a striata in my q-tank for two weeks, looking very healthy. No prophylactic treatment, just time and good conditions.

About a week ago, I bought a platy, molly, two tiger barbs and an SAE. All fish looked very healthy, and came out of good clean tanks, but the SAE came out of a tank where most fish had ICH, and he had 1 small cyst.

I added all these fish to the q-tank, where the striata was, and immediately dosed with Seachem Paraguard. Since ICH meds kill the parasite during the swimming stage, having meds in the tank should prevent all the other fish from contracting ICH, because the parasite would die in the water when it tries to swim off and find a new host.

2 days later, the ICH was gone off the SAE. Of course, I kept treating. On day 4, all of a sudden a barb had cysts. At first I figured the barb probably had ICH all along and it was now showing, so I thought nothing of it. The next day, though, the platy had ICH, and so did the striata, which I know did not have it before.

Suspecting Paraguard to not be as effective as I had previously thought, I immediately did a 50% water change, and started dosing with Maracide instead. Last night, 3 days into the Maracide treatment, the SAE had developed cysts again, and ALL fish have several spots.

It seems to me that this particular strain of ICH is not affected by either the aldehyde/malachite in Paraguard, or the analine green in Maracide.

This morning I did another 50% water change and am now treating with the risky-to-loaches QuickCure, which is a stronger combo of formaldehyde and malachite green. I'm acutally using it at full strength, although some recommendations are 1/2 dose for loaches. At this point, I'm more interested in ridding the tank of ICH, rather than compromise all the fishes' lives, so if a loach dies to save the rest, so be it.

I've learned a HUGE lesson here. Theoretically, my original thought to add an ICHed fish to a medicated tank should have worked. The ICH SHOULD have died in the water column, and no other fish should have gotten it. But, I hadn't thought that a particular strain of ICH might be resistant to a med that I'd used successfully before. But, I guess theories are often flawed when applied to the real world, huh?

Wish me luck, or rather, wish my fish luck. I'm already feeling guilty that I probably harmed the striata, who seemed perfectly fine before I added the ICHes SAE. I confess! :-(

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