06-20-2007, 10:14 AM
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flashing is often a symptom of ich whether they have shown white spots or not yet. Check for white spots though, they will look like little grains of salt. If you don't notice any or if you only see a few, their are a few preventative methods you could take before just throwing medication in. What temperature do you keep the tank at? Do you use salt? I've had cases of ich before and I treated it solely with raised temperature and salt/salt baths. At higher temperatures, the ich lifecycle speeds up. Since you can only kill the parasite during its free swimming stage, speeding up the life cycle also speeds up the ammount of time you have to treat the tank. Adding salt to the tank helps the fish osmoregulate its cells to conserve energy but it also messes up the parasites own fluid regulation. Salt baths can actually kill any parasites imbedded in the fish, even when protected by a cyst. At very high temperatures (86-90F) the parasite can actually stop reproducing and even die off. If you do this though you need to watch the fish's behavior to make sure it is handling the temperature, do frequent water changes of 25% to make sure you remove parasites and keep water quality clean, and also add aeration because warmer water will hold less oxygen and the fish metabolism will increase so they need more oxygen. I had an oscar that I purchased already showing signs of ich (moderate ammount of white dots). Before entering him into the tank he got a saltbath. I put salt in the tank and raised the temp to about 87F. Within about 2 days his body healed and no other fish became infected. I dont think i've ever medicated my own tanks actually. ANyways, I just wrote a lot but people should know that if you catch ich early enough, you can usually treat it before adding medications that could stress the fish more. So I would try those two things first maybe a small temp rise (82F) at first and a normal dosage of aquarium salt to begin with. Also use StressCoat to help the fish produce slime coating and protect itself.