The white spot fish diseases or Ich is undoubtedly one of the main diseases of our aquariums. With this short text, we intend to inform briefly about what this disease is and above all, how to treat it effectively and without medication, through Thermotherapy. This treatment is possible and even recommended, in many cases.
What is the white spot fish diseases or Ich?
The white spot fish diseases produced by a ciliated protozoan called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. The most obvious symptom of this disease is the presence of small white spots, like grains of salt, on the skin of the fish. This can be accompanied by movements to rub against objects by itching, irregular breathing and low activity of the fish.
This parasite has, broadly speaking, two vital stages. One under the skin of our fish, where it feeds. And another one of free life, where it reproduces. The time to develop a cycle depends a lot on the temperature, being faster at higher temperatures
The parasite comes to our aquariums for other fish or for contaminated water. This parasite can attack immediately or stay in dormancy and in balance with our fish until something weakens the fish (stress, poor diet, etc.) and then the parasite gives the face.
Treatments against the white spot fish diseases: Medications and/or temperature
The medicine against the white spot has its problems
When our fish are sick the first thing we think is to go for medicine. In the market abounds treatments against “the white spot fish diseases”, (Methylene blue, malachite green, metronized, etc). But there is something that we are rarely told, these treatments are quite harmful to our aquariums. On the one hand, they damage the bacterial flora of our filters. This causes that break the natural balance that we have achieved in the aquarium and therefore weakens our fish even more. On the other, these drugs are toxic to many fish, including very common fish in community aquariums such as neons, plecos or corydoras. Here we share 10 common aquarium fish diseases or how to treat it’s may help you.
But luckily there is a solution, which can be effective in many things, and without the problems of medicines. This solution is the THERMOTHERAPY.
What is the temperature treatment for the white point based on?
It consists of raising the temperature of our aquarium to 30-31 degrees (some fish may not hold it, so we must make sure before, but the vast majority of conventional tropical species if they can stand it). With this temperature, the parasite develops very fast and soon takes off from our fish (few days). In turn, that temperature is fatal for the free phase of the parasite and therefore cannot reproduce.
Precautions when raising the temperature of the aquarium
- To an aquarium, you cannot get sudden changes in the parameters, so acclimation to the new temperature is essential. If the outbreak is not very strong, the ideal is to raise the temperature at a rate of one degree per day, if the outbreak is very strong and there is urgency, you can raise 1 degree every 8-12 hours
- At these temperatures the dissolved oxygen in the water is very low, therefore it is recommended to increase the oxygenation of the same, either by orienting the filter so that it removes a lot the surface or by adding the typical aerating pump to the water.
- Not all fish endure these temperatures, so it is best to make sure beforehand. Although, as we have already mentioned, the most common fish in a community aquarium, if they can tolerate them without any problem (provided we take the precaution of acclimating them little by little and ensuring them oxygen)
- If you do not have an oxygenator, buy one now! Do not worry if you do not put it from the first day since the acclimatization has to last several days. If you do not have a trustworthy store nearby, look for one online (Amazon, Zooplus, etc) and it will arrive for you when you have the water at 30 degrees.
Methodology for curing the white point by raising the temperature
- Climb the temperature making good acclimatization (look at caution 1).
- Increase the oxygen exchange of the water. To do this, orient the filter so that it moves the surface a lot or add an aerator pump. You have more information about the problems and have the aquarium at a lot of temperature in this post, although to us now we are interested in having the high temperature, we must take precautions
- Maintain the temperature between 30-31ºC until the points have completely disappeared.
- Once there are no symptoms in the fish, keep the temperature elevated at least one more week, to eliminate the parasites that are in free phase.
- Lower the temperature gradually 1 degree per day (now there are no emergencies and our fish will thank us).
Water changes must be made regularly or even increase their frequency. As well, in addition to eliminating the typical pollutants that the aquarium accumulates, we help reduce the burden of free parasites.
The feeding of our fish should remain optimal and be especially careful since they are weak and they have a harder time eating. If we see that this happens we can feed them with more quantity so that the healthy ones allow the sick to eat (be careful with the uneaten food), the food can be chopped and/or they can be helped with live or frozen food.
Turn off the light to the aquarium to cure white spot fish diseases: a false belief
Many people say that with this technique you have to turn off the light of the aquarium. This is a misguided error of treatment with medicines. Malachite green, used as a treatment, is inactivated in the presence of light. Therefore, in the medicine, they recommend having the aquarium open. If we are not using medicines it does not make sense to have the light off since we do not get any benefit and the fish and plants, although they survive a period of darkness, will not be in optimal conditions. We have already commented before that the white point can give you stress and that you have to have the fish in the best possible conditions to fight against the parasite.
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Have a nice day!!