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Can Ich Lay Dormant?

Posted By: peterinwa <peterinwa@attbi.com>
Date: Monday, 3 February 2003, at 4:26 p.m.

The possibility of Ich lying dormant contradicts all of the theories about the Ich life cycle -- especially that without a host fish all Ich parasites will die within a few days. Yet many insist that Ich has attacked their fish in tanks which have been Ich free for long periods of time.

To try to get the bottom of this, I wrote to the United States Department of Agriculture and got the following reply. It implies that it is still an open question -- a possibility -- but that it has not been proven. (I hear some of you screaming -- come over here and I'll show you! LOL)

This is just one other person's experience and opinion, but I am impressed in that he is a researcher in the field and has spoken with others about it.

Anyway, the discussions we have had on this forum the last few days have convinced me that it certainly is a possibility. Based on reading technical papers on Ich -- rather than from practical experience -- I was convinced that it was not a possibility and that the fish keepers were unknowingly introducing Ich into their tanks.

"Dear Peter,

Your message was passed on to me from our director. I read your web page and you seem to have done a good review. I'm working on research to gain FDA approval on copper sulfate and potassium permanganate as a legal treatment for Ich. Your question is a good one that I was curious about a few years ago, so I called a very knowledgeable extension agent from the Mississippi delta (catfish country) that I used to work with. He said that he didn't know of any research, but there is debate with one side of the argument leaning toward the thinking that the tomont will lie dormant in the mud (or perhaps gravel) until favorable conditions exist for it to make an appearance."

Hmm. I will update my notes he refers to: http://www.caloriesperhour.com/fish/notes_ich.html

Thanks to the many of you who have helped me with this project.



Something else that confuses me is that people speak of Ich lying dormant waiting to attack a stressed fish with a weak immune system. They say that it is when their fish become stressed that they acquire Ich.

Well, which is it? Is the Ich dormant or not?

If it's dormant, it can't be swimming around looking for a sick fish?

Maybe it would be different if it were attached to the fish.

I don't like Ich.

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