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Originally Posted by yippee View Post
If there is only one spot and it disappears after a couple of days and no others occur, it may or may not have been ich, but it is not worth treating when you don't know. Medications can cause other problems and should only be used when absolutely necessary. Some fish are able to fend off the first attack of ich and it goes away. The best plan is to maintain a healthy aquarium. Regular partial water changes greatly assist in this, and ensuring proper diet, water parameters (temp, pH, hardness, nitrates) that are as close as possible to the fish's natural preference, and very importantly consistency in these whatever they are. Fluctuating water conditions can stress fish and bring on various diseases.
Unless the fish is severely weakened (by any of the afore-mentioned things) ich should not result in fish death. Normally we see the spots early; I never bother about one or two, as it may be something quite unrelated or the fish may defend itself and the ich doesn't take hold. Some fish seem to never get it even when others in the same tank are covered with it. I wait until I see new spots and usually on more than one fish. In my experience, it is almost always on the fins that I first spot ich. Fish will sometimes rub against things (called "flashing") but here again this can be due to a number of other things--high ammonia (like in a new tank that is cycling), various parasites, or food caught in the gills (I've had this occur especially with live or frozen worm-like food that will come out the gills rather than go down into the stomach, and the fish may rub against something to help dislodge it) so this in itself should not be taken as a sure sign of ich. Proper and regular maintainance and regular observation are key.
Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]
Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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