How to Spot the ICH Parasite in Your Aquarium
Ich is a parasite that can cause all of your fish in your aquarium to die and can be very hard to spot. With simple hints on how to spot this parasite, you may be able to save the life of your aquarium.
Ich is a horrible parasite that hides out on the bodies of your fish in an aquarim. This parasite acts quickly and can kill off all of your fish in no time at all. Most people who set up an aquarium have heard all about this little parasite from friends, or family members with an aquarium. Some people even hear about this little critter from their local pet store where their fish are purchased. No one really knows where this parasite came from, but we all do know that it is the number one killer of fish in an aquarium. The worst part about having Itch in your aquarium is not being able to tell before it is to late. A lot of us, "Fish Keeper's" do not even know the signs to look for. With a few easy hints on what to be looking for, you may be able to spot the Itch parasite and save the life of your aquarium.
Sign Number One that Ich is in your tank:
Your fish have a fluffy,white substance on their bodies. When you purchase your fish from the pet store always make sure you check out their bodies before you bring them home and add them to your aquarium. The fish you pick out should have clear, glassy eyes, and no color splotches on their bodies. If you notice any problems like clouded eyes, irregular gill movement, or even dis-coloration,make sure you do not purchase these fish or any others that come from the same tank.
When your fish are at home in your aquarium make sure no white splotches, patches, or marks appear on their bodies. If so, you need to remove that fish immediately and either flush him or put him in a separate tank. Ich spreads rapidly and can kill all of the fish in your aquarium in no time at all, so no time needs to be wasted. After you believe their might be Ich in your aquarium, take a sample of your aquarium's water to your local pet store and ask for a free water test. The fish department should be able to tell you in minutes if this is Ich that you have contaminating your aquarium.
Sign Number Two that Ich is in your tank:
Your fish are scratching their bodies on anything in the tank. If you notice that one or more of your fish are scratching their bodies on your artificial plants, rocks, or decorations they might in fact have Ich. Ich makes the bodies and fins of your fish very itchy and causes them to rub their bodies or fins on anything around so they feel better faster. If you notice this watch your fish a little closer and make sure that it is their bodies they are scratching and not just their fins. When it is just the fins that your fish are scratching it is most likely going to be fin rot and not Ich.
Either way these are both horrible parasites that need to be treated immediately. Take the fish out that is scratching and place this fish in another tank or bowl. Then test your water at your local pet store and ask for antibiotics so you can then treat your aquarium's water so the other fish do not die from this parasite. When you see one of your fish itching it's body on something in your aquarium, make sure that you take out that piece of decoration and either throw it out and buy new, or wash it in boiling water. Never use soap or bleach when cleaning anything that goes into your aquarium, this can cause the same amount of problems that Ich can cause in your aquarium.
Sign Number Three that Ich is in your tank:
You notice that your fish are dying rapidly. It is not usual for fish to die one after another. If you come home to check on your aquarium and see that a few of your fish are now dead you need to scoop them out immediately and bring them and a sample of your water into the pet store so they can tell you what disease or parasite is lurking in your aquarium.
Ich is the number one killer of aquarium freshwater fish so when a lot of your fish wind up dying in a short amount of time, you will usually find yourself battling with this certain parasite. There is no need to worry though because your local fish experts can show you exactly what to do when you are faced with the problem of Ich so you can save the other fish in your aquarium and start over with other fish and decorations. It may be a very stressful time for you, especially if this is a new aquarium but you will get by it. Every good "Fish Owner" has come into contact with Ich so you are not alone.