2 questions about ICH life cycles

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by syosinsha, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. syosinsha

    syosinshaNew MemberMember

    I have 2 questions about fish ich disease. Could someone teach me about them please?

    (1) How long will the ich trophozoite stay on the fish body ?
    (The water temperature is about 86 F)
    I did a research but could not find a certain answer that said how long would the ich trophozoite stay on the fish body until it falls off from the fish.

    (2) Does the high water temperature kill ich tomites ?
    Some people say that the ich trophozoite and tomites will die when the water temperature is raised up to 86 F. Is it true? If it is true, how long I have to keep that high temp water to kill both ich trophozoites and tomites?

    I'm having ich problem with my clown loach and pleco. I can not use medicine.

  2. Coradee

    CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

  3. junebug

    junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Read the link Coradee gave for sure :)

    The point of high temps in ICH treatment is to kill the "adult" ICH before it can reproduce. Not by actually killing it with the temperature, mind you, but higher temps = faster growth = faster death. So by keeping the temp up, you're increasing the parasite's metabolism to the point where it can't reproduce before it dies.

    The safest way to treat ICH with heat is to keep the heat up for at least 2 weeks after you stop seeing spores on the fish's bodies. This ensures that you've sped up the lives of all of the parasites in your tank, which means that 2 months down the road, you won't get another outbreak.
  4. OP

    syosinshaNew MemberMember

    Thank you Coradee,

    I have read that article before I wrote and posted my questions. It is a good article to help me to treat my fish's ich disease. But I could not find the answers for my questions from that article. It only tell me "a few days" the trophont will stay on the fish body. It mentions to raise the water temperature, but it does not say why.

    I am doing the treatment following the instructions, but I want to know why I'm doing this, what is it I'm doing this for.

    Thank you.
  5. Bluestreakfl

    BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    What is your reason for not being able to medicate? If its because of the scaleless fish and or inverts, Kordon makes Ich Attack which contains no copper, and is much more gentle on fish as well as invertebrate safe, but still obliterates Ich. I treated my tank at 84 degrees and that Med, also running an air bar and lowering the water level just slightly to make sure there was enough oxygen in the water. Worked wonders for me.
  6. OP

    syosinshaNew MemberMember

    Thank you Junebug,

    In that article, there are 3 words termed as 3 stages of ich parasite's life cycle.

    They are: trophont, tomont and theront.

    My understanding is: Trophont is on the fish body, maturing; Tomont is a cyst, reproducing; Theront is free swimming in the water, finding new fish to attach to.

    The high water temperature can stop its reproducing means they will die as in the form of tomont, There will be no new theront coming out from cyst. Is it correct?

    I have moved all my fish from my main tank to a smaller tank to let them get treatment. I want to know how long I have to wait until I can add fish to my main tank safely. I'm keeping the water temperature of my main tank at 86 F, doing a partial water change every day.

    Because there is no fish in the main tank, there will not come new tomont from the fish body. All old tomonts will die or reproducing and burst to theronts within 24 hours. There is no fish for the theronts to attach, so they will die after 24 - 48 hours. Is that correct? Is my main tank safe to use after 2 weeks?


    Hi Bluestreakfl,

    Thank you for your information. The reason for I'm not using medicine now is because of the clown loaches and a pleco are in my tank. I bought them a week ago. They are very very small (the rubber lip pleco is about only 2 inches).

    I had clown loaches about 1 year ago, and they dead when I treated them with medicine after I found white spots on their bodies. I did not have any knowledge about how to treat scaleless fish with ich at that time.

    The Kordon's ICH Attack looks good for scaleless fish. I will buy some for my fish.

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2015
  7. junebug

    junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Your understanding of the lifecycle sounds right. However I have been able to find absolutely 0 documentation on how long ICH can live, or what it can do, without a fish host. This is why I always suggest treatment in the main tank - however, since you've already moved your fish, I would simply keep the temp up in the main tank for the entire treatment period to ensure no parasites have survived.

    For the record, using meds AND heat is generally not a good idea. Both lower o2 levels in the water. Using them together can lower them to the point where fish begin to suffocate, no matter how much aeration you provide.
  8. OP

    syosinshaNew MemberMember

    Hi junebug,

    Thank you for your instruction.

    I am now just keeping the water temperature at 86 F, not using any medication and salt. I am going to keep all the fish infected with ich in the quarantine tank for more 2 weeks after I confirm there is no white spot any more on any fish body, and then move them back to the main tank. I think it will be safe.

  9. junebug

    junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Good luck!