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Help- The dreaded ich!

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Shane H View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shane H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2010 at 10:04am

I'm sorry to hear about your firefish.  I'm curious about your garlic treatments though.  Were the firefish consuming the garlic marinated foods?  How long had they been eating this food before they perished?  Were you feeding any garlic proactively - as a preventative measure?  Do you think the garlic has helped in any way?

I'm not a proponent of using garlic to combat ich.  Although I don't believe it is harmful, I'm skeptical of the reported benefits.  Curious to get your take as you're right in the middle of problem that garlic is advertised to solve.
 
Good luck!


Edited by Shane H - October 29 2010 at 10:04am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DLindquist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2010 at 11:04am

Shane- it was and still is a sad loss.

In my 14 years of SW, I have never had any issues with ich. Therefore, I was not using garlic as preventative measure. I started using Kent Extreme Garlic (as recommended) about 1 week after acquiring my Melenarus & Kole Tang- which is when I noticed the ich on the Kole Tang. Shortly after that I was able to pick up my Pacific Redstripe Hogfish. A total of 10 fish and no husbandry problems. In fact, I would ofter observe all 10 fish hanging out together. 
 
I believe all fish where consuming the various marinated food but did not pay particular attention to any individual fish. Second week into the problem, the ich began to spreed. The Helfrichi were the next 2 fish to get hit with ich. I increased the garlic treatments to include a couple of daily drops of garlic directly into the aquarium (as recommended by the manufacture).
 
Between the second and third week in, the ich appeared to be clearing up and on the point of being gone. Continued treating garlic regularly. Soon after the ich was back. The Kole Tang showed large pea size white spots on his body. Firefish were covered in ich. My Filamented, Exquistie and Mystery wrasse showed small signs of ich. (Melenarus, Blue Spot, Pacific Redstripe and Diamond Goby never showed any signs of ich through this entire time). Interesting- these four along with my Mystery Wrasse fish eat like pigs. The Melenarus and Mystery Wrasse has almost doubled in size. As recommended, I began treating with three other types of garlic.
 
At this point, I paid very close attention to each fish to ensure they were eating. I did notice the Helfrichi were very particular as to the type of food they would eat (very small sized pieces, mainly Reef Plankton). I could probably assume they were not getting as much to eat as they could have. Continued treating with garlic. Problem appeared again to get better. Firefish and Kole looked to be clearing up. All other fish showed no signs of ich.
 
Week four, Firefish appeared to be covered with ich. I even noticed  them scratching against the sand. That day, the first Helfrichi appeared to be dead. Death confirmed the next day and second Firefish disappeared and has not been seen since. Kole Tang shows sign of ich also.
 
Current- all remaining fish look healthy besides the Kole Tang. Can't get close enough to confirm his condition. I am still treating with the four different types of garlic. 
 
Rather or not the garlic has made a difference is very hard to say. All fish consumed foods marinated in garlic. Yes, some fish ate and eat more than other fish. I was very aggressive with the garlic treatments and still lost two of my prized fish. Ich still seams prevalent.


Edited by DLindquist - October 29 2010 at 11:10am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cl2ysta1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2010 at 11:27pm
Honestly.. I dont believe in the garlic. I think it makes things worse.. JMO... Science wise... the UV sterilizer is the only treatment... It will kill the ich as they pass through it.. remember ich is a parasite.. all the garlic in the world into your tank isnt going to stop their life cycle... I think it just stresses out fish more and in turn causes them to shed their slime coats... Get a UV ... they are very cheap on ebay.. We got two large ones for under 100 bux i believe and run both on our large system
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MadReefer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 12:28am

Garlic engages the immune system of the fish. It doesn't make the immune system work better. It doesn't kill the ich. Just turns on the immune system so it's active before needed, and that might prevent ich from being able to attach. I think it helps, but only a little bit. I think it can be overused and I don't think it should be used for every feeding.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SGH360 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 12:52am
UV will not kill all of the ich parasite, it will only kill them if they come in contact with UV, before this ich will already have found a host to be in. Unless the whole tank is in UV than ich will be present Copper treatment will eradicate it or even dip FW with copper will help along with UV and garlic treatment and no stressful life they will thrive
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DLindquist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 9:28am

Another Update-

        Kole Tang and Filamented Flasher shows signs of ich! In my opinion (and experience) garlic doesn't seem to do much if ich is already present. I would also say, in my experience, garlic is not needed to prevent ich. I cannot say however, if using garlic preventatively would have helped in this situation. In fact, that is something that would be impossible to determine.
 
        Time to track down a UV unit. Lets hope for the best.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 10:40am
Someone here probably could loan you a UV Sterilizer. Just post the request.

I don't know exactly why just a little tank water flowing through UV radiation can stop Ich, but it does. A little water flowing through a skimmer with Ozone also does the job, although these methods are still not 100% effective. It's physically impossible for most of the parasites to be drawn through the UV Sterilizeror or Skimmer and the Ich on the fish does not go through. Perhaps it works because the change to just a small amount of water changes some part of the water chemistry of the entire tank enough to irritate the parasite. It is my understanding that UV actually produces some Ozone.

From what I have seen and what I know of body functions, Garlic Oil does not enhance the fishes immune system. Technically, when we talk about the immune system we are talking about antibodies; living microscopic cells produced by the body and put into the blood for the purpose of mass attacking with the intent to kill the microscopic cells called bacteria and virus.

Ich is neither of these. It is a little bug; a tiny parasite that lives in the "skin" of the fish. In most tanks, the introduction of Garlic Oil into the body of the fish seems to bother the parasite, causing it to leave the fish. Some hobbyists report that Garlic Oil in the water surrounding the fish can cause the parasite to leave. Unfortunately, Garlic Oil, like other natural remedies, is not so potent that it can kill, like a chemical or medication would, it just repels... like mosquito repellent. This means that in some situations, conditions in the tank are such that the Garlic Oil seems to have little effect, or as Dave reported, it had only a temporary effect on an infestation that was already way out of control.

Hope this helps.Smile
Personally, with all due respect, I believe that adding 10 new fish in 2 months is asking for trouble, even if Garlic Oil had been used and was previously effective. This is why LFS have special procedures and setups to minimize death due to parasites and disease.Stern Smile


Edited by Mark Peterson - October 30 2010 at 10:46am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DLindquist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 11:57am
Personally, with all due respect, I believe that adding 10 new fish in 2 months is asking for trouble, even if Garlic Oil had been used and was previously effective. This is why LFS have special procedures and setups to minimize death due to parasites and disease.Stern Smile
[/QUOTE]
 
Mark, I am curious, what trouble are you referring to? The ich? Or do you have other thoughts in mind?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Laird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 3:43pm
All my fish got ich after I added my snowflake and borbonious. I can hardly look at my fish under the moon lights because that's when the ich stands out the most, makes me sad and depressed.

I run a uv, ozone, and feed garlic flakes all the time.   I had an extra uv that I just started running with my other uv and have started to feed with garlic extreme as well.   The ich isn't getting any worse but doesn't look much better.   I've had ich in my swim tank lots of times but this is the first time any of my reef fish other than my powder blue has had it.
Indefinite hiatus from sw aquariums.

Once I have my glorious return I'll set back up the following.
50 Gallon rimless cube.
180 Gallons mixed reef paradise
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