When people start getting into the saltwater hobby, they soon learn about ich. The scientific mumbo-jumbo is Ichthyophthiriasis. You will usually hear it called “white spot” or ich for short.
Ich is a very contagious, very common parasite that affects aquarium fish.
Here is the ringer…it can be lethal.
Ich appears as very tiny white specs on the fish, no bigger than a grain of salt. The spots are generally consistent in size and once they are there, you need to treat them.
Early signs can include the fish scratching on the rocks or swimming in an odd behavior. Like they are doing an uncomfortable little dance trying to brush this infection off.
Ich is for fishies what colds are for you and me. The causes can be bad water conditions, live food that’s infected, and even stress.
Believe it or not fish get really stressed when you change their environment.
Ich spreads like a second grade chicken pox epidemic, so you need to be careful when you are buying fish to look for the symptoms above.
If you do happen to catch a little white spot, there are a few treatments.
We usually start by supplementing garlic in their food, that helps to boost their immune system and fight the parasite.
There are lots of medications that you can buy at local fish stores, but we have not tried any so we aren’t giving out recommendations. There are other remedies like UV light treatments, fresh water dips, lowering your salinity levels and even adjusting your temperature. Like I said, we haven’t tried that so we can’t give you any advice. Now if you want to know about vodka dosing….we got cha.
Our best recommendation is to pay attention to your tank, you will catch ich early and be able to take simple steps to get your fish back kickin.