Aquarium Ich, Cryptocaryon, Ichthyophthirius multifilis, oodinium, velvet, Piscinoodinium pillulare
ICH (Ichthyophthirius), FW VELVET (Piscinoo dinium pillulare), and Freshwater FUNGUS TREATMENT, Marine Oodinium; Resources and information for the identification treatment of ich, cryptocaryon and Oodinium.

A Few Recommended Sites
Aquarium and Pond Information, answers
-A great source for current aquarium information that is updated regularly as new research become available.
*Also see: Unique Aquarium Information Articles or Aquarium Information Directory

This site recommends Everything Aquatic; Aquarium Forum for a A unique Aquarium Forum with member contributed blogs and fish profiles, boards, and links to the internets premier aquatic resources

Problems finding the correct UV Replacement Bulb? See UV Bulbs

Friday, December 12, 2014

Aquarium Ich Prevention; GH, KH, pH, more

Much of the information used with permission from:
Aquarium Ich; Treatment, Identification, Prevention

Aquarium Ich Prevention, LifecycleAs in many parasite caused fish diseases the fish may need to be stressed due to changes in environment, poor water conditions, and/or stress from other fish to be susceptible to the parasite.
This is not to say a perfectly healthy fish cannot get ich, only that often a foothold in a stressed fish is the starting point.
Also, the Ich parasites must be present in the aquatic environment, as Ich/Ick is NOT air borne.
It is not unusual for an aquarium population to have a low level of Ich/Ichthyophthirius Multifilis infestation present but not be showing any signs of the disease. Then, once a new fish is placed into the system or a weak/stressed fish becomes the start point for an ich infestation gets a foot hold in the aquarium.
Fish can sometimes carry the parasite and not actually be diseased. These carriers can shed the parasite into a new aquarium into which it is placed. If the fish in the new aquarium have never been exposed to the parasite, and they become stressed, they can then develop the disease.

Put another way, with healthy fish, they can usually produce enough mucous to prevent the ich tomites from getting started on the fish, but once these tomites get a foot hold on a stressed fish, even the healthy fish get overwhelmed.


What is so often missed is that the health of an aquatic environment can play a major role in susceptibility of fish to the ich parasites. High ammonia and nitrites severely stress a fish. Also long term nitrates above 40-50 ppm in freshwater or 30 ppm in saltwater can weaken the immune system in fish.

Calcium and positive calcium ions (Cations) constantly available in the water column is also often forgotten as an essential to fish health (including soft water fish such as Discus). Without calcium, fish cannot carry out many osmotic functions and are more susceptible to disease, including ich infestations.
In fact, research has found much quicker response to treatment when adequate calcium is present in freshwater aquariums.

Further Information/Reference:
AQUARIUM CHEMISTRY; Including the importance of Calcium

A healthy, cycled aquarium with 0 ammonia/nitrites and low nitrates, with a steady temperature and a GH above 100 ppm WITH CONSTANT positive mineral ion replenishment is less likely to develop ich, or when it does, a healthy aquarium will have a less serious and more easily treatable infestation.

High DOC (dissolved organic compounds) can allow for a more serious infestation and hinder treatment by creating a less stable environment as to KH, pH, and poor Redox Balance, so a clean aquarium with low DOCs as well as good circulation is essential. It is also worthy of note that these DOC can absorb many medications rendering these treatments less effective.

Further Reference about Redox:
Aquarium Redox Balance

Before you begin any treatment, make sure your water parameters are correct, otherwise this may just worsen the situation and make treatments ineffective and/or poisonous.
Here are some water parameters to check and what they should be:
  • Ammonia- 0

  • Nitrites- 0

  • KH- 80 ppm or higher (depending on fish, marine much higher)

  • Aquarium Ich Prevention, Mineral Cations SourceGH – 100 ppm or often MUCH higher (again depending upon fish kept) for important mineral ions (electrolytes) along with CONSTANT mineral cation replenishment necessary during times of stress, especially an ich infestation.
    It cannot be emphasize more how important this constant mineral ion (Cation) replenishment for Ich prevention and treatment is!!
    Controlled tests by C. Strohmeyer, primarily with goldfish in the 1990s showed a 15-20% lower incidence of Ich when constant mineral Cations were supplied

    Product Resource for Mineral Cation Maintenance:
    Proprietary Wonder Shells ONLY available at AAP

If you are having problems with ammonia, Prime is an excellent product for de-toxification of ammonia and nitrites. Prime only changes the electron number in ammonia (NH4 to NH3) making ammonia less toxic, but ammonia will still show in ammonia tests (except with the SeaChem Ammonia Alert).

Product Resources:
*Prime Water Conditioner
*Ammonia Alert, ONLY measures Toxic NH3

A preventative fish bath (or quarantine if possible) is generally a good idea for new fish arrivals, even if the fish are from a known good source.
With this bath for freshwater fish, I generally recommend salt (sodium chloride) at one teaspoon per gallon, Methylene Blue at or double the recommended in tank dose recommended by the manufacturer, and with ParaGuard by AAP or Metronidazole for. This bath should be for 30 minutes using the water the new fish arrived in along with a slow introduction of new tank water.

Further Reference/Information:
Fish Baths/Dips for parasite/disease prevention

Use of a Medicated Wonder Shell is also advised when new fish are added for 10-14 days. If shrimp or other invertebrates are present, the Marine Medicated Wonder Shells which do not have copper can be used (however these are not as effective too).

Reading of the article below is highly recommended:
“Aquarium Disease Prevention”
Following ALL steps in this article, even improved lighting can affect fish disease resistance!

Aquarium Ich Prevention, LightingIn fact just as in human research shows persons kept in poorly lit rooms can suffer from more health issues that persons of otherwise similar persons exposed to more sunlight or high PUR/PAR artificial light so it is with fish as well.

With the many aquarium LED fixtures flooding the market, some of the better ones such as the GroBeam can produce highly accurate PUR light spectrums that can naturally help boost fish' immunity.

However, be wary of the low end LEDs such as the Fluval and Finnex which have poor PUR/PAR spectrums along with warranties that are less than 1/5 those of the better products.

Further Information/Reference:
*Economy Planted Aquarium LED; Fluval Aqualife & TMC AquaBar
*Aquarium LED Warranties; Reef or Planted

Product Resources:
*AAP AquaRay Ultra Premium Aquarium LED Lights; Including GroBeam

Interesting Reading for Reef Keepers:
*AquaRay Aquarium LED; Reef Central

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Friday, June 29, 2007


I have updated my Aquarium Ich: Ichthyophthirius multifilis and Cryptocaryon irritans treatment, identification, and life cycle. article to include more marine ich (Cryptocaryon) information as well as more freshwater ich information

I have also added a new article (at the request of many emails): MARINE OODINIUM (Amyloodinium Ocellatum); Also occasionally known as Coral Fish Disease or Saltwater Velvet.
. This article has up to date information about Oodinium, treatment and prevention and like all my articles is a work in progress.

Aquarium Ich, Ichthyophthirius multifilis, Cryptocaryon irritans treatment, identification, and life cycle.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Freshwater/ Saltwater Ich and Velvet

For complete information about freshwater (Ichthyophthirius) and saltwater (Crytocaryon) Ich, please visit the site in the upper right corner.

For more information about freshwater velvet (Piscinoodinium pillulare) , please visit the other site in the right hand corner.

Aquarium Ich: Ichthyophthirius multifilis and Cryptocaryon irritans treatment, identification, and life cycle.
FRESHWATER VELVET - Piscinoodinium pillulare (also known as oodinium)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Aquarium Ich and Velvet

During my 3 decades of aquarium and pond maintenance I worked on many combinations of disease treatments and preventatives. We needed treatments that were both effective and simple, as we could not be cost effective if we had to make too many return trips to our customers to add treatments. We developed the "Medicated Wonder Shell" during this time. One of the benefits of this product is the steady flow of medication instead of the spikes of medication during traditional medication, which is easier on the fish. Another benefit is the ph buffering aspect of this product. Malachite green (an active ingredient in this and most other ich remedies) is more toxic at lower ph, but this product help buffer the ph to lessen the toxicity of the medication towards the fish.

The Medicated Wonder Shell treats and prevents Ich, Velvet (probably the best Velvet treatment available) and fungus as well as being effective on prevention of some secondary bacterial diseases. They also can be used in ponds. The Medicated Wonder Shells also help with water clarity and help oxygenate your aquarium or pond. We recommend using them any time new fish are added to your aquarium and carbon filtration can even be continued during this time. We do not recommend using them longer than three consecutive weeks (although they may be used again after 2-3 weeks and a partial water change).

The "medicated wonder shells" are especially useful in cichlid, discus, tetra, and livebearer aquariums. Use with caution in planted aquariums (although we have used them effectively with live plants with little damage to the plants). You can find medicated wonder shells at:
"Medicated & Regular Wonder Shells"


For more in depth information about ich, please follow this link:
Aquarium Ich: Ichthyophthirius multifilis and Cryptocaryon irritans treatment, identification, and life cycle.

The Regular Wonder Shells are great for ph, KH, water clarification, chlorine removal and more.

* Helps keep aquarium clear

* Aids in Maintenance of a stable ph

* Adds necessary mineral ions (electrolytes)

* Removes chlorine

* Great for Goldfish, livebearers, cichlids, and more

* Contains Calcium carbonate; sodium thiosulfate; major, minor, and trace elements including magnesium sulfate. Magnesium and calcium been proven to help fish (and humans) during stress and to help prevent disease due to acid buildup in the body.

*And due to new research, Wonder Shells also help with Aquarium Redox Potential

SeaChem also makes Replenish which is useful for RO water replenishment

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