I think is comparitive to overgrowth of candida in humans, brought on by excessive antibiotic treatments. May be a similar parasite.
Correct me if I'm wrong!!
White spot disease,*Ichthyophthirius multifilis* also known as Ich, is a parasite that most Tropical Fish enthusiast will at one time or another have to deal with. These parasites can be fatal to a fish and getting rid of them takes persistence. The following steps should be taken to treat and cure a tank that has been infected by this parasite,
- You will have to treat the entire tank even if only one fish is affected. It may be wise to set up a separate quarantine tank if only one fish has it, but treat both tanks. You may ask why but if you change the water daily in the second aquarium you can help to stop the ich from being as bad. This may also be achieved by doing daily water changes in the main aquarium but this is stressful on fish without ich, so isolate the fish that has it.
- The water temperature of a tropical fish tank normally should be kept at between 68 and 78 degrees. 26 degrees celsius. SLOWLY increase the temperature of the tank to a maximum of 86 degrees. Increase by a degree every few hours until you reach the desired temperature. This depends on the type of fish because some fish can handle higher temperatures than others.
- Add aquarium salt to the tank. While this doesn't have any direct effect on the parasite, it does aid in gill function, but it is a specific dosage as specified on the box. This can be beneficial with species with high oxygen requirements and aid the fishes osmotic function to replace electrolytes lost during stress. Do not use where scaleless species (eels, loaches, catfish) are present. One dose per entire tank is all you will need until you change the entire tank's water.
- Add the measured dose of a recommended brand of commercial white spot /ICH treatment. Follow the directions on the back of the bottle carefully making sure not to overdose or miss any part of the course. Because most tanks are not always filled to the brim, take off a drop the recommended dose. Repeat the course if the spots are still visible 4 days after the last dose. Most treatments require you to do daily medications, this is Exactly what you should do to help your fish.
- Continue the treatment every day until six days after the spots have disappeared and the fish are acting normally. The ich parasite goes through a life cycle and another outbreak can occur within a few days if the parasite infestation isn’t completely eradicated. After an outbreak be scrupulous in checking the fish daily for those dreaded white spots. It is very common for the ich to make a comeback.
- The best way is to feed the fish a vitamin enriched diet- i.e. soak food in selcon or similar. This special diet will boost the fishes immune system and help them fight the disease off. None of the brand name medications will be effective. Don't move the infected fish, the excess stress can kill them. If you need to isolate the fish, move all the other tank inhabitants.
- These parasites go through a life cycle that averages about 2 weeks in duration. There is usually a factor which brings on an outbreak of ich. Also the temperature will determine the lifetime of ich. It can be as short as a few days or possibly a few weeks. Possible sources include poor water quality, the introduction of water carrying the parasites and stress to fish causing their immunity levels to drop. Temperature fluctuations may also cause a white spot outbreak in species such as loaches.