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Confused about Ich

Posted By: peterinwa <peterinwa@attbi.com>
Date: Friday, 31 January 2003, at 2:37 p.m.

In studying Ich, I read every technical paper I could find on the internet. These were written by scientists and I never found a single reference to Ich being capable of living in a dormant stage. Thus I came to believe that when fish got Ich because they were stressed, it was also because Ich was recently introduced into their environment.

I don't mean to sound like an arrogant know-it-all, but until someone can show me where it is documented that Ich can live in a dormant stage I'll continue to think it's a misnomer.

Documentation or not, though, I would also be interested to hear the details if some believes they have kept fish for a month or more and then the fish developed Ich without the introduction of ANYTHING that could carry Ich into the tank, e.g., fish, plants, water, rocks, contaminated hands from another tank...

Lastly, it puzzles me that if Ich were to be capable of living in a dormant stage that medicine could kill it as medicines are known to only work in a brief period of the Ich life cycle.

I would love to get to the bottom of this because it certainly is a common belief (or misunderstanding?) that fish can develop Ich simply by becoming stressed. This is very similar to what your mother always told you, "Put your coat on or you'll catch a cold!"

It is possible -- though it's a long shot -- that becoming cold might lower you immunity and allow a cold virus to be successful in attacking you. But the virus has to be present. Just like the Ich parasite has to be present -- which it could be IF it could live in a dormant state.


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