Ich: Finding My Truth (amidst the gazillion philosophies, schools of thought and approaches)

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by dmhinsf, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    +1 to rygh. Catalina's are a subtropical fish, but, let's face it, 60-70 degrees in a reef tank is cold. Again, matter of thriving vs. surviving. How do you know that "she" has finally reached her limit in stress? Water is too warm and she's in the overflow. I don't care if you QT or not, any stress like that can cause illness or crypt. I mean, doesn't crypt live on the fish in the gills anyways? It only attacks when the host gets too stressed and their immune system is low?

    I went thru crypt (ich, I use them interchangeably even though I know they're different). With my fish and they were miserable = / Like someone told me in my thread: if they eat, feed the hell out of them and keep up on water changes. Also, Jim mentioned to me that beta glucan helps bolster fish immune systems. I wholeheartedly agree with this after using a feeding regime of food soaked in garlic, beta glucan, selcon and vitachem. My freezer is also almost totally dedicated to fish food xD they eat better than we do, but I believe the variety and vitamins help. I tend to swear by beta glucan and garlic. Beta glucan does seem to help their immune system, and the garlic, when fed enough, seems to act as a natural repellent; ie you take garlic pills when living in Alamaba for long enough, the mosqitos tend to avoid you. This is what we did as kids and it worked great! I apply that theory to the fish and it seems to have worked well for me. I hope this helps you a bit. Start fortifying their food and doing huge water changes or take them all out and run fallow for 2-3 months. :)
  2. Thales

    Thales Past President

    There is a lot of myth around ich and it's treatments. Despite the use of such things, here is little but anecdote to support the idea the vitamin C, garlic, beta glucan, selcon and vitachem do anything to effect ich. I do like the idea of using the word seems, at the same time people who live in mosquito areas sometimes build up an 'immunity' without taking garlic so its important to remember that correlation is not causation. You can have ich at subclinical levels. Anyway, I think critical thinking on this stuff is wicked important because without it you get killing fish that could be saved, so I wrote a series of articles about it. The first one covers some ich myths and how they got where they are today:
  3. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    Sorry Rich, I didn't mean to make it sound as a "cure all" treatment. I wrote that kind of late last night, so I'll have to go back and edit it. I was aiming more at upping the fishes' over all health when saying that I used that. I mean, if we eat healthy, eat our fruits and veggies, we get sick but are able to fight it off more efficiently right, or get sick less, depending on how strong your immune system is. (LoL except if you catch what's currently going around. Whatever it is, it made both Denzil and myself miserable).

    If garlic is supposed to make the food appealing to the fish, and we fortify their foods with all the good vitamins and amino acids that they would other wise not receive in our enclosed system and then give them the variety that they need, can we not conclude that they will have a healthier immune system to be able to fend off the tomites, provided that they are in the right environment, and your water params are in check? (I'm really asking a question, not being a smartass, but that's hard to convey through text).

    I guess I have always chalked fish health up to about three factors: is it the right environment for said fish? Are they getting the diet they need? and are your water parms in check? My thought process was that if you could say yes to the environment, and yes to your water params, then maybe it was time to look at what you are feeding them, and seeing if they are getting the proper nutrition. I could have articulated that better in my first post, sorry, my only excuse is that it was late :) I didn't mean for it to sound as if I was using it as others would use ginger. Thank you for the article, it was a great read :)
  4. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    My opinion on where this anecdotal evidence on vitamins comes from:

    KEY: A lot of people out there do not feed their fish all that well.
    Mostly cheap flake food, and maybe a few non-enriched brine shrimp.
    It has been pretty much proven that poor nutrition can hurt your immune system. People, fish, whatever.
    And since ich is often present, a fish with a damaged immune system might get it fairly easy.
    In that situation, adding extra vitamins could really improve the immune system, which would then have a real impact on ich.
    Interestingly, it still might not be the vitamins directly. In adding vitamins, it could simply be the hobbyist noticing
    and feeding better in general at the same time. But psychologically, the "big difference" seems to be the vitamins.

    So it could be real causation, and real evidence, but only for a specific situation. ... Maybe.
  5. Thales

    Thales Past President

    :D I gotcha!
    Its hard to come to a conclusion based on an idea that starts with and 'if'. Some thing garlic makes the food more appealing to fish, but I haven't found anything besides anecdote to support that idea. It does seem that eating more gives the fish more energy and makes them overall healthier, but the idea that garlic helps them eat more is usually put forward by people who feed garlic (and when they do the tend to feed more often because that is what they are focusing on). Fat healthy fish that have been eating well have been known to come down with an infection of ich, and it is unclear if the immune system is fighting the parasite or if the the fish is developing an immunity or if the filtration in the tank is enough to sweep the parasites and cysts out of the system or to a part of the system where they have a problem reinfecting fish. Ich is sucky and complicated!
  6. ReefLove

    ReefLove Guest

    This article, makes more sense. Check out the experiment of his on ich.

  7. Thales

    Thales Past President

    Of course it could be, but you need real evidence to show it, which is kinda the whole point right? :D
    I would want to see support for points one and two. How nutritionally deficient is cheap flake food? I suspect not so much. I also suspect that most off the shelf saltwater food are just fine nutritionally and in regards to vitamin content.
    I would also want evidence that vitamins make a big difference, or any difference, in fighting off the parasite.
    It also depends on what is stressing the immune system - fat healthy fish that are shipped and moved to a new system can often show ich, but that seems to have little or nothing to do with nutrition.
    There are a lot of things that you can make to seem to make sense when you right them out - I could write out a compelling list to support the existence of bigfoot, that the earth is 6000 year old, that vaccines cause autism or you could take the information in reefloves link to show that garlic actually causes ich and the ich related deaths of fishes - but that still isn't evidence, its conjecture.
  8. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Rich...arent you suppose to be on vacation ?? 8)
  9. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Hey, you know about transitive logic. (And of course the common fallacies thereof)

    Vitamins and ich: A good question.
    Vitamin C and E play a BIG role in the immune system. That is a fact. Go to NIH/etc. It is everywhere.
    In particular, vitamin C is important for wound healing (connective tissue).
    So does it help fight ich?? : Not proven. Don't know for sure.
    But since fighting ich relates to immune system and healing wounds from ich - most likely.
    Likely enough for an internet post, but not for a scientific article.

    Yes, if the idea the fish are not fed well is wrong, then the whole argument breaks down.
    Blows it out of the water.
    Because the only way extra vitamins work is if the fish is low on them in the first place.
  10. Thales

    Thales Past President

    I don't think there should be much of a difference in the standard of evidence in an internet post and a scientific article.
    Does C and E play a big role in FISH immune systems or fish wound healing?
    How does the fishes immune system react to ich and how do we know that?

  11. Thales

    Thales Past President

    LOL. We are at the relax part now, and this kind of discussion is way fun for me!
  12. Thales

    Thales Past President

  13. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    Rygh, how can the vitamins only be good for a fish if they are only low on vitamins in the first place? What if you are using vitamins in the first place, then stop? Then all of the sudden what they were getting before they now are not getting, which could, in theory, make their systems fluctuate, causing a lowering of the immune system, opening them up to sickness or disease. Wouldn't it be better do supplement vitamins once or twice a week regardless of whether they are lacking or not, as a preventative?

    **Edit** I was reading so fast I didn't see the "extra" in there. Sorry :)

    The way I look at it at the end of the day, and this may be a dumb way of looking at it, if I feel that I am doing everything possible to keep my fish happy and healthy, feeding them right, and tank params are in the accepted range, and the environment is suitable, and they still get ich, it was something then that was out of my control and all I can do is QT, treat, and hope to goodness it helps.
  14. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    > I don't think there should be much of a difference in the standard of evidence in an internet post and a scientific article.
    A fun separate topic. I tend to disagree, because resources, time spent, and general expectations are so different.
    Although you did say "Should be". It would be a nice goal.

    > Does C and E play a big role in FISH immune systems or fish wound healing?
    Well, fish have a more innate immune system, instead of adaptive.
    But the low level mechanics (white blood cells, and so on) are very similar.
    So I do not see a big question there.

    > How does the fishes immune system react to ich and how do we know that?
    Well, I had to do some searching on that. A good point.
    It is a parasite, not a flu/cold/bacteria.
    I found an interesting freshwater (yeah-yeah) article here:
    Basically, the immune system seems to react like it would for other invaders, and while it may not cure it
    completely, certainly has a big impact.
    Which is all the data we need. Because it does mean that a weakened immune system versus
    healthy one will make a difference.


    Side point:
    This theory is the only one that also explains why so many scientific tests fail to see a connection
    between vitamin C and ich.
    The problem is : All of these details tests (like the one linked above) are done by advanced aquarists, which means the
    likelihood of them having poorly fed fish to start with is low.


    But of course - I still have no way of proving the first and most key point that fish are low
    on vitamins in the first case.


    The way to prove this:
    Give fish crappy but not unreasonable food for a few months, low in vitamin content. Testable?
    Expose them.
    Switch some to good food, high in vitamins. Others not.
    Check the difference.
  15. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Still a good argument. And unknown.
    Putting it a different way : We can normally get plenty of vitamins through food,
    but when fighting a serious infection, vitamins get depleted, and we need supplements.
    Vitamin vendors use that theory a lot.

    Sounds very reasonable and practical to me.
    (That is all I do as well - this is more of a fun discussion)
  16. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    And with my vitamin c comment , I've been using it with the same theory as we do in our house. I take vitamin c to boost my immune system. It doesnt stop me from catching everything but it certainly helps. In no way did I mean to say vitamin c stops ich. But along the lines as a few others , the healthier i can keep my fish the better chance they can fight off ich
  17. ReefLove

    ReefLove Guest

    The guy, Lee who is author of the article(originally link shared by Jim) has about 30+ years of experience. Now, he says he has handled thousands of fish and only few have died using his QT methods and so I would trust him more than any other post I find on Internet. He also says that vitamin C very important. Check this out. Also, he had fished as old as 17 years in his tank so I would think he knows his stuff about what to feed the fishes. However, I dont know much about these thingz myself, but I'm going to religiously follow his instructions about QT and food.

    Immune booster- http://www.reeffrontiers.com/forums/f15/immune-boosters-additives-marine-fishes-27158/#post296141

    Master Article that has link for other useful stuff - http://www.reeffrontiers.com/forums/f15/starting-fowlr-marine-system-27189/#post296445

    Finally the nutrition - http://www.reeffrontiers.com/forums/f15/feeding-marine-fish-fish-nutrition-rev-1-a-27014/#post294728

    I think out of everything I have read Yet these are one of the most logical and experience driven things I have read, it's not he said or she said stuff.
  18. dmhinsf

    dmhinsf Guest

    Rich (Thales),

    I got a kick out of the video you posted, the cartoon too. AND...the article you wrote totally touches upon where I am. That's why the title of this post relates to finding my truth. At the end of the day we each have to do what works for us to keep the animals in our system happy and healthy - or as happy/healthy as can be.

    It seems a lot of the information floating around is anecdotal and not tested by way of the scientific method.

    I have been pondering Leebca's posts a lot. He has a lot of strong opinions backed up by years of experience. I was about to go out and get everything for hypo-salinity treatment in place. Then I started to wonder if I am dealing with MI or MV - for which hypo will not work. But from what I've read, if it is MV, my fish should be dead by now.

    Some people just keep doing garlic, Vit C, UV, cleaners...all things that you can see on the internet reviews and opinions that are 180 degrees different. Some people swear by em. Others (most notably Leebca), claim they don't work. So many people have said, MI or MV may be in their tanks but they accept that and just do the best they can to keep their fish as happy, healthy as possible (irregardless). OK. Here's where I get tripped up...is that irresponsible or is that just some one taking their own approach to reef keeping?

    Sifting through the material on the shelves and on the world wide web only adds stress to a stressful situation.

    UPDATE to my situation: I lost 3 new fish to whatever over the past two weeks (note: I added too many fish at once - lesson learned) - none of them ever had spots on them. My other fish that have the dusting of spots visible mainly in the purple glow of my LEDs in the evening hours are still eating and swimming and being marginally social. Both are newer additions.

    No fish losses to the "spots" - be they MV or MI.

    I will say, I think I threw my tank in to re-cycle mode here recently by doing two things: adding 3 chunks of live rock - sorta medium sized pieces - the rock had previously been cured but had dried out completely and been in storage for a while. The other thing was just adding too many fish at one time. I think I kicked my bacteria population in to overdrive and they couldn't keep up with all the de-nitrification activities they needed to do.

    Nonetheless, for now, I would say if I have MI/MV, it is not killing anyone - I know, I know...YET. Everyone is quick to say it is just a matter of time. But days have gone by...since I first observed this. And I'm pretty sure I've had MI and/or MV in my tank in the past with no resulting deaths.

    Thanks to all for posts and interesting tidbits of information. I am mucho grateful.

  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    > OK. Here's where I get tripped up...is that irresponsible or is that just some one taking their own approach to reef keeping?
    Not caring at all would be irresponsible.
    Doing they best you can, especially with conflicting data, would not be.
    But that is all in the eye of the beholder.

    > Thanks to all for posts and interesting tidbits of information. I am mucho grateful.
    We all are grateful. These discussions benefit everyone.
    And they are rather entertaining.
  20. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    What Mark said.
    Thanks to all participants.

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