09-22-2009, 08:59 PM
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I am sorry I missed this thread when you posted. I assume at this point that my advice is to late to be helpful, and that you have already taken steps to treat the ich. Given that the advice you were about to follow is high risk at best, most of your fish have probably passed on. Can you give us an update?
A few thoughts on your idea. First, it is far worse to expose fish to an uncycled and unstable aquarium environment than it would have been to keep them in the display. In fact, the stress associated with the move to such a tank would probably be enough to cause many fish to perish. Second, ich can live for up to 90 days without exposure to fish. Your short time span of 4 weeks is not nearly close to being effective. It would be a totally wasted effort. Finally, the hobby has yet to identify any chemical method of treatment for ich that would justify a hospital tank environment for medication. I have to respectfully disagree with the comments of Steven Pro in the article that you linked. I am quite surprised to find such outdated material being referenced from such a normally reliable source. Until the last 18 to 24 months, studies of ich treatments have been widely inconclusive and unable to be duplicated in lab environments. Over the past couple of years, there has been rather wide spread documentation that the common ich treatments are rather ineffective at best. This is a fact that has been generally agreed upon by nearly every source you will find in publications dated after 2007. Unfortunately, the references linked above are all dated 2003 and prior. You can check out issues of TFH and FAMA over the last 18 months for several ich related discussions.
In my personal experience at home, the best bet is to boost the immunity of the fish by feeding a garlic supplement, and adding a UV Sterilizer to your system to help prevent the spread of the ich from one host to the next. I have found this natural method to be highly effective against ich when symptoms are caught early.