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New Marine Ich! Wipes Fish Out in 24 - 48 Hours

Traditional Treatment Resistant Strain Shows Up

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New type of marine ich that wipes fish out in 24 to 48 hours!

Lionfish With New Resistant Strain of Ich

© National Fish Pharmaceuticals

October 2007

After contacting National Fish Pharmaceuticals and consulting with Dr. Brian G. Aukes, PhD (Dr. Brian) for help with treating a severe case of what was diagnosed as Hole in the Side or Koi Ulcer Disease caused by Aeromonas bacteria in the freshwater pond Koi at Animal Jungle in Kinston, NC, my eye caught this N.F.P. Web site caption.

    Resistant Cryptocarayon Shows Up In 06' - This strain of marine Ich is resistant to traditional treatments with Formaldehyde, Malachite Green, Copper & All the dyes.

Greatly peaking my interest, I investigated further, and upon reading this next statement, my interest became concern.

    "Here's a picture of a Lionfish (Pterois Volitans), that has the new strain of Cryptocaryon that is going around. This strain of marine Ich is not sensitive to treatments with Copper or Formaldehyde. This strain of Ich is responsible for severe mortalities in the industry right now. It shows up a bit larger than usual, followed with a slime that covers the fish and starves it for oxygen. The fish will die with it's mouth open (anoxia)."

Wow. That's really scary! As most saltwater aquarium keepers know, Cryptocarayon is the form of ich commonly known as White Spot Disease or Marine Ich. It is a force of nature that undoubtedly every aquarist dreads, but with proper treatment can successfully be eradicated. Apparently not with this new kind of ich. At this point I again called Dr. Brian to learn more about this alarming malady, and this is what I found out.

In the fall of 2006 a customer came to him asking for help with an extreme, to say the least, case of ich. Just trying to get some of the fish to his lab alive was difficult, but success came when they finally transported the sick fish in formalin and malachite green solution treated water. Placing them in a treatment tank, the medication appeared to be helping, but by the next morning the fish were a least five times worse, completely covered with ich and coated with thick slime. Inspected the menacing organisms under a microscope, Dr. Brian said he was amazed at what he saw. A new strain of ich he'd never seen before, and one of the most viral and rapid developing he said he has encountered thus far in his career. And yes, it can and does wipe fish out in as little as 24 - 48 hours.

Much like bacteria in the news these days that have mutated and formed new strains that are resistant to antibiotics traditionally used to kill them, this new ich parasite is also a mutation of nature, which in a similar way has developed an immunity to the medications traditionally used against it. The good news is that after much experimentation with searching for a cure using all the traditional treatments, Dr. Brian told me he thought back through his years of education and experience of treating fish diseases, and decided to try one of the first successfully used medications against ich, quinine sulfate. It worked, and National Fish Pharmaceuticals developed Crypto-Pro™, their answer for the fight against new stubborn strains of Ich and Cryptocarayon being seen lately, and a product that is effective against stubborn strains of Hexamita (Hole in the Head Disease) and Chilodonella (body slime), and Heteropolaria (Epistylis) in Koi ponds.

The intent of this article is to bring this new deadly form of ich to the attention of those in the marine aquarium fish hobby and industry. This is something I feel everyone should be aware of, and would be wise to be prepared to treat at any time in case it pops up. A medication containing quinine sulfate appears to be the answer to this problem, but this treatment can be difficult to find. At N.F.P., which has been providing bulk pharmaceuticals and chemicals to pet shops, importers, breeders, zoos, hobbyists and other freshwater and marine tropical fish and Koi wholesalers since 1971, pure, top-grade quality fish meds are their business. They not only have this hard to find remedy, but a wide range of fresh and saltwater fish medications available for sale you may be looking for.

I want to thank Dr. Brian Aukes for taking the time to professionally discuss this treatment resistant strain of ich with me, and am greatly appreciative for the insight he has given me, because I can better educate others about it. Whenever I hear or read about occurrences such as this, I think of the movie "Jurassic Park". Things in nature will always find a way to survive and live on. I will be ready if this ich comes my way. Will you?

~ Debbie Hauter

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