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Mazzy21

Questions about display tank disease eradication theories

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Mazzy21

Because I have a sick fish I have been reading A LOT about marine fish diseases and treatments, on web pages and also in forums.

On the forums, people seem to agree that in order to truly eradicate a disease from the display tank you must allow the tank to go fallow for months so that the parasite or other disease has no host and dies off. People also point out that parasites can live on rocks, snails, etc. so even though nothing is infected it is still in the tank. Further it seems to be agreed upon that if your fish's immunity is good (due to good husbandry and minimal stressors) they won't get sick even though the disease is/could be in the tank.

So my confusion is this: if the only way to eradicate a disease from your DT is to completely tear it down or let it sit with nothing in it for 6 months or so (after seeing it on one of your fish) so the disease can't have a host, wouldn't the disease ALSO not have a host if your fish were treated, made healthy, and didn't get re-infected? Because at that point the parasite wasn't able to take hold of a host either, just like if there was nothing there. These ideas are contradictory to me and don't make sense.

Any clarity on this?

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Clown79
1 hour ago, Mazzy21 said:

Because I have a sick fish I have been reading A LOT about marine fish diseases and treatments, on web pages and also in forums.

On the forums, people seem to agree that in order to truly eradicate a disease from the DT you must allow the tank to go fallow for months so that the parasite or other disease has no host and dies off. People also point out that parasites can live on rocks, snails, etc. so even though nothing is infected it is still in the tank. Further it seems to be agreed upon that if your fish's immunity is good (due to good husbandry and minimal stressors) they won't get sick even though the disease is/could be in the tank.

So my confusion is this: if the only way to eradicate a disease from your DT is to completely tear it down or let it sit with nothing in it for 6 months or so (after seeing it on one of your fish) so the disease can't have a host, wouldn't the disease ALSO not have a host if your fish were treated, made healthy, and didn't get re-infected? Because at that point the parasite wasn't able to take hold of a host either, just like if there was nothing there. These ideas are contradictory to me and don't make sense.

Any clarity on this?

Fallow periods differ for each parasite.

Some are 6 weeks, some 8, always advised to add 2 weeks to it to be sure.

 

The purpose of the fallow period is to provide no host which a parasite needs to live on.

 

If you don't remove fish and treat them, allow the tank to have no fish for the proper fallow period, the parasite therefore has a host to live on. 

 

Each parasite has cycles, so what may appear to be gone for a period of time will reappear. Some parasites kill rapidly and each fish reacts differently due to their biological make up.

 

So yes, you can remove fish from tank but 

 

If they aren't treated they reinfect the tank when added back in(so fallow period becomes useless)

 

If fish are removed, treated and returned to tank that didn't have a fallow period- they will be reinfected.

 

The belief of fish only being reinfected while under stress or bad conditions isn't exactly 100% 

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Mazzy21

Hey guys, thanks, but I understand parasite life cycle. What I'm asking is the about the conflict in these ideas - IF you treat all your fish and your fish are healthy then there's the idea that the fish's immune system keeps ich and other diseases at bay, and that stress brings those diseases to the forefront.

Okay. So then, just as you both pointed out above, parasites have a life cycle that they must complete to live. If the concept above is true, and the healthy fish has enough natural immunity to stave off the disease, then the idea that the tank needs to stay fallow is bogus because the parasite ALSO can't find a host if the fish doesn't get the disease. And in opposite, if the disease can lie dormant forever, then the fish ALWAYS has the disease and stress will just bring it out, regardless of any fallow-ness you do for the tank.

Do you see the conflict in these concepts?? They don't make sense together, yet they are both believed to be truths.

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Clown79
5 hours ago, Mazzy21 said:

Hey guys, thanks, but I understand parasite life cycle. What I'm asking is the about the conflict in these ideas - IF you treat all your fish and your fish are healthy then there's the idea that the fish's immune system keeps ich and other diseases at bay, and that stress brings those diseases to the forefront.

Okay. So then, just as you both pointed out above, parasites have a life cycle that they must complete to live. If the concept above is true, and the healthy fish has enough natural immunity to stave off the disease, then the idea that the tank needs to stay fallow is bogus because the parasite ALSO can't find a host if the fish doesn't get the disease. And in opposite, if the disease can lie dormant forever, then the fish ALWAYS has the disease and stress will just bring it out, regardless of any fallow-ness you do for the tank.

Do you see the conflict in these concepts?? They don't make sense together, yet they are both believed to be truths.

theres conflict because of hobbyists beliefs vs fact.

 

Not all fish can fight the parasite and with time every time a fish is effected by the parasite, it can have long term effects.

 

Fallow is not bogus, its not something hobbyists made up, rather its proven. 

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Kayman
8 hours ago, Mazzy21 said:

Hey guys, thanks, but I understand parasite life cycle. What I'm asking is the about the conflict in these ideas - IF you treat all your fish and your fish are healthy then there's the idea that the fish's immune system keeps ich and other diseases at bay, and that stress brings those diseases to the forefront.

Okay. So then, just as you both pointed out above, parasites have a life cycle that they must complete to live. If the concept above is true, and the healthy fish has enough natural immunity to stave off the disease, then the idea that the tank needs to stay fallow is bogus because the parasite ALSO can't find a host if the fish doesn't get the disease. And in opposite, if the disease can lie dormant forever, then the fish ALWAYS has the disease and stress will just bring it out, regardless of any fallow-ness you do for the tank.

Do you see the conflict in these concepts?? They don't make sense together, yet they are both believed to be truths.

I think that even if a fish is healthy and can keep the parasite at bay, they are still infected. They are like a carrier of the disease and just don't show symptoms because they aren't infected enough for it to be a real problem for them, but they are still infected. So if you don't go fallow to the point that ich is killed off completely then even your "healthy" fish that is showing no signs is still infected. Their immune system is just in a good spot that they can keep up with it. If a stressor event happens, such as a move, new fish or whatever the fishes immune system will become more susceptible to the parasite and it will start to hurt their health to the point that you see the symptoms.

 

Hope that makes some sense.

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jservedio

@Humblefish, thank you for this post! I'm just responding to say that I (and I'm sure everyone else here) really appreciate the amount of time, thought, and research that go into your comments and replies.

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Humblefish
11 hours ago, Mazzy21 said:

Hey guys, thanks, but I understand parasite life cycle. What I'm asking is the about the conflict in these ideas - IF you treat all your fish and your fish are healthy then there's the idea that the fish's immune system keeps ich and other diseases at bay, and that stress brings those diseases to the forefront.

Okay. So then, just as you both pointed out above, parasites have a life cycle that they must complete to live. If the concept above is true, and the healthy fish has enough natural immunity to stave off the disease, then the idea that the tank needs to stay fallow is bogus because the parasite ALSO can't find a host if the fish doesn't get the disease. And in opposite, if the disease can lie dormant forever, then the fish ALWAYS has the disease and stress will just bring it out, regardless of any fallow-ness you do for the tank.

Do you see the conflict in these concepts?? They don't make sense together, yet they are both believed to be truths.

Once a pathogen has been introduced and fish are always present, there's a good chance it will remain in an aquarium indefinitely. Possibly at a low level because the fishes' immune systems are now familiar with it and possess a serum in their mucous coat equipped to fight it. But the pathogen is unlikely to ever be completely eradicated in a closed system because 1 or 2 parasites still manage to latch on and feed - usually inside the gills where the mucous is reduced in composition. The gills are out of sight for us, but are also the most vulnerable part of the fish when it comes to parasites & worms. This is why people say the fish looked clean when they bought it, but within a week or two is covered in white dots. The few parasites that were hiding inside the gills had time to reproduce and become more numerous.

 

So, let's say your tank with low level parasites is doing fine. Maybe you see fish scratch every now & then, or a random white dot appears sometimes. But overall, the fishes' natural immune system is keeping everything in check. What happens when the tank loses power during a storm? Or some other unforeseen occurrence stresses all of your animals out and lowers the fishes' immune systems? This is when hobbyists usually find out that the Ich they haven't seen in years is still very much alive & well inside their tank.

 

Going fallow works because you are interrupting the parasite's lifecycle by denying them a host to feed upon. Parasite free swimmers need fish flesh to eat or they starve to death. The lifecycle thus ends, and you've hit the reset button on your DT when it comes to fish diseases. The other side of the coin is to treat the infected fish you take out of your DT and also QT any new tank additions; to prevent more diseases from entering your DT. Quarantining requires discipline and you must be strict about it to keep all pathogens out, but it is a very possible thing to do.

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Mazzy21
On 1/22/2020 at 3:45 PM, Humblefish said:

Going fallow works because you are interrupting the parasite's lifecycle by denying them a host to feed upon. Parasite free swimmers need fish flesh to eat or they starve to death. The lifecycle thus ends, and you've hit the reset button on your DT when it comes to fish diseases. The other side of the coin is to treat the infected fish you take out of your DT and also QT any new tank additions; to prevent more diseases from entering your DT. Quarantining requires discipline and you must be strict about it to keep all pathogens out, but it is a very possible thing to do.

Yes, I understand teh concept of fallow and how a parasite's life cycle works. What I"m saying is that if you see no symptoms - not "occasionally" seeing glancing and white spots, but nothing at all, then in that same vein, there is nothing for the parasite to latch onto. There is no host if there is no fish hosting the parasite. THIS is my point and why I question the idea of the fallow tank. I understand that if the parasite is still being hosted then obviously it's alive and well. That's clear. But if it isn't being hosted by a fish then it can't just hang out indefinitely. Parasites need a host.
If they can't host, they can't live.

I assume the fallow thing is for simplicity and nothing else. It's so you don't have to really think about it. A parasite can only live for so long without a host so with no fish at all, you don't have to question it. But in reality, a healthy uninfected fish doesn't magically make a parasite live if it isn't a host for that parasite, just by it's mere presence. This is what I'm getting at. This is what I'm questioning.

I also wonder where the publication is that determined how long these parasites live without a host. Did someone just randomly claim it one day and everyone followed along? Or is there real science behind it, that I can look up? Because I only find this info on fish sites with no citation to any kind of scientific publications for the statements.

These are the questions I ponder about parasite treatment.

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Humblefish

Are you saying if you never see evidence of parasites on a fish (i.e. white dots), then that must mean they are gone or have died out without ever having gone fallow? The problem is oftentimes free swimmers are only able to penetrate the gills (thinner mucous) and trophonts feed there (out of sight). This is why taking gill scrapes to examine under a microscope is important sometimes when there are no visible physical symptoms of a disease.

 

There is very little scientific literature to corroborate the recommended fallow periods. (Only for Ich and Uronema, actually.) Most peer reviewed studies were funded by the aquafarming industry for their benefit; information gleaned for home aquarium use is an unintended side benefit. However, one only needs to have an intimate understanding of the lifecycle of each & every parasite in order to determine a safe fallow period. I think this is where it all began: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2435164

 

More info (for Ich): http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2388421

 

If you're curious about where the 72 day fallow period comes from for Ich, this explains in more detail: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/marine-ich-and-temperature.232825/page-2#post-3367199

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Mazzy21

No, I'm not saying you have to see them to be there. I'm saying that no parasite just lives forever, even in it's dormant stage, and if the fish is healthy for a year or some crazy long period of time. that by default the parasite is no more, because it isn't made of magic and can't just live forever, but it seems I am unable to use my words correctly, so here:

I found real/peer reviewed info on marine ich on PubMed. Unfortunately most are protected, all by the same publication company though, which makes me think those articles are exactly what you are talking about with the aquaculture industry, because, and this is not a "brag" just a fact, there is very little that my University of Michigan credentials won't unlock if it's a peer-reviewed article on PubMed.

However, I did find one article out of U of Florida, still part of the USDA Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), but ~shrug~ I'm happy with it's credentials, given we don't have a lot of sources to look to.

The link: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FA/FA16400.pdf

And the pertinent parts to our conversation is this:

Temperatures for optimal growth of most strains of Cryptocaryon appear to be about 23–30°C (73.4–86°F) (Dickerson 2006; Yoshinaga 2001), although active infections at 15°C (59°F) have been documented (Diggles and Lester 1996). Encysted stages, off the host (tomonts), were also observed to survive for 2–4 weeks under experimental hypoxic conditions (24% oxygen saturation); these released free-swimming infective stages (theronts) 10–11 days after excystment (Yoshinaga 2001).A more recent study demonstrated that two life stages of one strain of Cryptocaryon (trophonts, i.e., the feeding stage during which the parasite can be found on the fish, and tomonts) survived dormant for 4–5 months at 12°C (53.6°F), and, after the water temperature increased to 27°C (80.6°F), developed and infected fish (Dan et al. 2009).

And this:

The time required for theront development varies. In one study (Colorni and Burgess 1997), theronts emerged from a group of tomonts sometime between 3 and 72 days, with most released from 4 to 8 days after tomont formation. In another study (Diggles and Lester 1996c ), tomite develop-ment and theront release occurred, on average, between 5 and 12.1 days after tomont formation, depending upon strain and temperature.
 

And lastly, this:

 

How long each life stage will need for development will depend upon the fish species affected, the fish’s immune status, the strain of Cryptocaryon, and environmental factors including temperature and salinity. However, the wide variability and length of the Cryptocaryon life cycle, and, in particular, the time required for tomite development and theront release; the presence of protected, “embedded” and encysted stages on and off the fish; and the potentially devastating consequences of an outbreak of this infection necessitate a prolonged quarantine and treatment period. A minimum quarantine period of 3–6 weeks at 24–27°C (75.2–80.6°F), is advised, and longer time frames (e.g., 7–11 weeks) may be necessary.The water in the affected system must be treated in some way to kill the theronts living in the water column. Likewise, substrate (including, possibly, parts of the fish) may harbor encysted tomonts, and, therefore, tanks and associated substrate and materials will act as “incubators” of Cryptocaryon. Clean or replace these to help to reduce reinfection.


So it seems, at least from this source, that the fallow period is indeed 72 days for the most susceptible fish (I see 76 above; I'm sure a few extra days is good) that an encrusted tomont can live in aquarium temps before releasing. It is also stated in this article that newly hatched theronts only have 6-8 hours to find a host before they lose their cilia and are no longer able to infect. So from science it looks like it's about 2.5 months of total lifespan of even encrusted parasites before their life cycle must continue, as all living things must, and they must die off if there is no infection after that point.

I agree that the BEST approach is simply to take all potential hosts out and so a 'better to be safe than sorry' approach, but I also accept that all living things have a life cycle and if it is unable to infect a healthy immune system then it has to die off. The common cold can live outside the body for two weeks. If it was in an elevator for two weeks and no one who went into that elevator got infected because their immunity was good then that virus would die, period. This is what I'm talking about with infections in general and why I was asking about 'if a fish doesn't get infected'.

 

 

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Mazzy21
On 1/22/2020 at 10:08 AM, Clown79 said:

theres conflict because of hobbyists beliefs vs fact.

 

Not all fish can fight the parasite and with time every time a fish is effected by the parasite, it can have long term effects.

 

Fallow is not bogus, its not something hobbyists made up, rather its proven. 

I would disagree, based on my reading, that "fallow is proven". In literally all cases that I've read the fish all still die. So at that point, saying your tank is "fallow" is just saying you are tearing down your tank and literally starting over. I DO believe that tearing down you tank and starting over is effective to get rid of really anything, but it seems that at the point the disease is actually seen, pulling the fish, pulling your gravel, and leaving the tank as bare as possible is only effective in the sense that starting a new tank is effective.

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Clown79
1 hour ago, Mazzy21 said:

I would disagree, based on my reading, that "fallow is proven". In literally all cases that I've read the fish all still die. So at that point, saying your tank is "fallow" is just saying you are tearing down your tank and literally starting over. I DO believe that tearing down you tank and starting over is effective to get rid of really anything, but it seems that at the point the disease is actually seen, pulling the fish, pulling your gravel, and leaving the tank as bare as possible is only effective in the sense that starting a new tank is effective.

The point of the fallow period is to eradicate the parasite from the tank, it doesn't save the current fish that were in the tank unless you remove them for treatment.

 

 not everyone on this Earth has had their fish die because they remove them and treat them.

During treatment the tank goes fallow.

 

If the process is not followed properly, the chances of treatment/fallow will not work.

 

If the fish are properly treated and the tank is fallow for the appropriate time period, not only do the fish have a good chance of survival but the tank will no longer have a parasite 

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GraniteReefer
3 hours ago, Mazzy21 said:

I would disagree, based on my reading, that "fallow is proven". In literally all cases that I've read the fish all still die. So at that point, saying your tank is "fallow" is just saying you are tearing down your tank and literally starting over. I DO believe that tearing down you tank and starting over is effective to get rid of really anything, but it seems that at the point the disease is actually seen, pulling the fish, pulling your gravel, and leaving the tank as bare as possible is only effective in the sense that starting a new tank is effective.

This was written as if the fish in a tank are the only life forms being valued.  A fallow tank will still have all invertebrate life(shrimp,snails, stars, copepods, etc.). Plus corals, macros, bacteria.  I don’t see how all fish die when in a proper QT they will be treated and held safely until the 76 days pass of fallow in the DT.  Basically not all fish die,  and fallow isn’t akin to a tank tear down as not all reefs even include fish.  The science behind a fallow period isn’t something to dispute IMO.  

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Mazzy21
19 hours ago, GraniteReefer said:

This was written as if the fish in a tank are the only life forms being valued.  A fallow tank will still have all invertebrate life(shrimp,snails, stars, copepods, etc.). Plus corals, macros, bacteria.  I don’t see how all fish die when in a proper QT they will be treated and held safely until the 76 days pass of fallow in the DT.  Basically not all fish die,  and fallow isn’t akin to a tank tear down as not all reefs even include fish.  The science behind a fallow period isn’t something to dispute IMO.  

Right, but then this goes exactly back to the point of this post, which everyone is saying isn't true - if there is no fish host or if no fish is diseased, then the parasite isn't going to live, period. But what is stated, in non-science fish literature on the web, is that the parasites will live on anything; snails, in the rock, etc, etc, etc... Which brings us full circle to the OP - if a fish isn't infected in your tank, then the parasite can't live forever, because, just as you pointed out, if there is no fish hosting, regardless of whatever else is in the tank, even fish if they aren't sick, the parasite has no host. This was the original post.

We're just going in circles. Everyone seems to be so dug in to only what they've read that they feel somehow personally challenged it seems to even be asked to think about the lack of science behind the statement on most all fish sites that parasites (and other diseases as well) are ever-present and just waiting for a fish to get stressed or otherwise have compromised immunity. That's just nonsense. If there is no host, there is no host. Unlike ourselves, who come in contact with any number of people with illness, fish only come in contact with the fish in our systems so if none of them are sick, then the diseases/parasites can NOT exist anymore or at all if they were never there. That's it. That's what I've been saying this whole time.
 

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GraniteReefer
41 minutes ago, Mazzy21 said:

Right, but then this goes exactly back to the point of this post, which everyone is saying isn't true - if there is no fish host or if no fish is diseased, then the parasite isn't going to live, period. But what is stated, in non-science fish literature on the web, is that the parasites will live on anything; snails, in the rock, etc, etc, etc... Which brings us full circle to the OP - if a fish isn't infected in your tank, then the parasite can't live forever, because, just as you pointed out, if there is no fish hosting, regardless of whatever else is in the tank, even fish if they aren't sick, the parasite has no host. This was the original post.

Troll much?  The longest lived portion of the ich  lifecycle can remain without a host for a set period, thus a 76 day fallow is recommended.  They are not ever present that’s the point, but the potential remains for that recommended period.  It was mentioned if fallow wasn’t adhered to and fish were introduced before 76 days the parasite may be present in small numbers and still hosted by the fish in their gills or somewhere you don’t notice.  Look up ich eradication vs ich management.  And maybe don’t ask questions if you don’t want answers, research for yourself as it seems that’s all you’ll believe.

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Humblefish
4 hours ago, Mazzy21 said:

if there is no fish host or if no fish is diseased, then the parasite isn't going to live, period. But what is stated, in non-science fish literature on the web, is that the parasites will live on anything; snails, in the rock, etc, etc, etc... Which brings us full circle to the OP - if a fish isn't infected in your tank, then the parasite can't live forever, because, just as you pointed out, if there is no fish hosting, regardless of whatever else is in the tank, even fish if they aren't sick, the parasite has no host. This was the original post.

Ich has 4 distinct stages of its lifecycle:

 

* Trophont: The “feeding stage” of the parasite that attaches itself to the fish, commonly associated with salt or sugar-like “sprinkles” on the body or fins.

 

* Protomont: The stage where the parasite drops off the fish, before becoming a tomont. Protomonts crawl around looking for surfaces to encyst upon.

 

* Tomont: The “encysted stage” which adheres to rocks, shells, substrate – and even possibly corals/inverts. Tomonts produce “daughter” tomites, which are then released into the water column as theronts.

 

* Theront: The “free swimming” stage which seeks out fish to infect/feed upon.

 

So, the parasite does live on snails, rock, etc. but just in a different form than it exists on fish. The lifecycle continues almost indefinitely so long as fish (i.e. food source) are present. The table (below) was taken from this publication, and lists out which surfaces trophonts & tomonts can adhere to:

 

1746349878_Encystment20Substrates_zpsb4i4oawy.thumb.jpg.24c7d844661a2e120ad505efa3d5750d.jpg

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Mazzy21

I agree that the cysts can live on anything. I do not agree that they can live indefinitely. Science tells us that at 80F they can live in cyst form for a couple weeks max, and at a low temp of about 60F they can live in cyst form for up to 5 months. Indefinitely is not a thing, at least with the life cycle of this specific parasite. 

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Mazzy21
On 1/27/2020 at 7:51 AM, GraniteReefer said:

Troll much?  The longest lived portion of the ich  lifecycle can remain without a host for a set period, thus a 76 day fallow is recommended.  They are not ever present that’s the point, but the potential remains for that recommended period.  It was mentioned if fallow wasn’t adhered to and fish were introduced before 76 days the parasite may be present in small numbers and still hosted by the fish in their gills or somewhere you don’t notice.  Look up ich eradication vs ich management.  And maybe don’t ask questions if you don’t want answers, research for yourself as it seems that’s all you’ll believe.

Easy. I'm not trolling anything. I'm simply pointing out that without a host a parasite can not live, period. Yes, I get that it is POSSIBLE that they live in hiding on a fish, but what I was saying all along was that if that isn't the case, if the fish doesn't get sick, then they can't just magically live. I'm not talking "in hiding," I'm saying the fish doesn't get sick, period, end of story. The parasite MUST have a host and if they don't, the disease is eradicated regardless of the presence of fish. There is a life cycle and it requires a host.

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Humblefish
21 hours ago, Mazzy21 said:

I agree that the cysts can live on anything. I do not agree that they can live indefinitely. Science tells us that at 80F they can live in cyst form for a couple weeks max, and at a low temp of about 60F they can live in cyst form for up to 5 months. Indefinitely is not a thing, at least with the life cycle of this specific parasite. 

I know about going dormant in low temps, but can you share your source for "80F they can live in cyst form for a couple weeks max"??

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Amphrites
On 1/29/2020 at 8:09 PM, Mazzy21 said:

Easy. I'm not trolling anything. I'm simply pointing out that without a host a parasite can not live, period. Yes, I get that it is POSSIBLE that they live in hiding on a fish, but what I was saying all along was that if that isn't the case, if the fish doesn't get sick, then they can't just magically live. I'm not talking "in hiding," I'm saying the fish doesn't get sick, period, end of story. The parasite MUST have a host and if they don't, the disease is eradicated regardless of the presence of fish. There is a life cycle and it requires a host.

This is a circumlocutive bit of nonsense, you're trying to strawman the entirety of a complex, multi-cycled parasitic organism, numbering in the thousands within our small closed systems, into "sick or not".

 

You cannot do that, I don't care how good Mr whiskers looks, I don't care if it's doing backflips and training the other fish to hold parliament. If there was ich in the tank, Mr. Whiskers has ick in its' gills or body and there are thousands of parasites at all stages of life everywhere in the tank, even if "he don't luuok seiuck tuh yuoh". You would be dead-wrong even if we were discussing virus outbreaks and theory, much less active-swimming parasites with a complex lifecycle involving stages both on and off the host.

 

I know you really, really want exactly what you've read on blogs and in anecdotes, what you've come to believe, to be true -but it isn't-, and throwing more and more character counts at people trying to help you isn't going to change reality.

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mcarroll
On 1/22/2020 at 4:28 AM, Mazzy21 said:

What I'm asking is the about the conflict in these ideas

Eradication is a theory -- nothing more or less in spite of how it gets promoted. 

 

For a theory to be considered a good one, it apparently has to be observable and repeatable.  Until folks practicing the theory start identifying what they're treating I'm not sure we can prove or disprove that it's working.

 

Half the time (or more) they are treating healthy fish that don't have any problems.

 

Half of the time (or less) they are treating fish with unknown/unconfirmed infections.

 

How can you claim to know much of anything if you don't know if your fish is even infected with anything, or if it is infected you don't know what with?  I certainly can't confirm OR disprove your results that way. 

 

So on that basis it's not a good theory.

 

I did see someone call you a troll for bringing this up and not letting it go quietly.  

 

Nice.  🙄  (And good for you for not letting it go quietly.)

 

Worth pointing out that MOST folks don't act that way here on nano-reef.  I presume it's behavior they imported from one of those other sites I mentioned.

 

On 1/21/2020 at 8:50 AM, Mazzy21 said:

I have been reading A LOT about marine fish diseases and treatments, on web pages and also in forums.

Maybe not the best resources. 

 

True there are tons of testimonials online which can be useful in some ways.

 

But as you have found, there is A TON of contradictory, incomplete and just plain wrong info out there on the topic....much of which is held up in our hobby as if it were "gospel".  IMO it's not gospel, if anything it's dangerous.  If eradication was all its cracked up to be, folks would not be losing fish the way they do while trying to follow the guidance.

 

Look for information from the experts within the Aquaculture crowd instead -- that's what I do. 

 

Academic books or articles and scientific journals are the way to go by far.

 

Edward J. Noga's "Fish Disease..." book is an excellent reference, but pricey.   Worth looking for if you have an interest in the topic.

 

The Southern Region Aquaculture Center information archive and U of Fla's archive are both also great resources and FREE.   

 

The Fish section on my blog has lots of journal references to get you started too.  This post is related and wasn't too long ago in fact: Velvet (Amyloodinium) infections in fish can easily be avoided.

 

 

On 1/27/2020 at 12:03 PM, Humblefish said:

The “encysted stage” which adheres to rocks, shells, substrate – and even possibly corals/inverts.

Can you share a source or two that speaks to the stickiness of Crypto or Amyloodinium cysts?

 

And maybe also speaks to the conditions under which sticky cysts are produced as well?   

 

(A lot is made of this point so I have been very curious about the source.)

 

 

On 1/30/2020 at 8:15 PM, Amphrites said:

This is a circumlocutive bit of nonsense, you're trying to strawman the entirety of a complex, multi-cycled parasitic organism, numbering in the thousands within our small closed systems, into "sick or not".

 

You cannot do that, I don't care how good Mr whiskers looks, I don't care if it's doing backflips and training the other fish to hold parliament. If there was ich in the tank, Mr. Whiskers has ick in its' gills or body and there are thousands of parasites at all stages of life everywhere in the tank, even if "he don't luuok seiuck tuh yuoh". You would be dead-wrong even if we were discussing virus outbreaks and theory, much less active-swimming parasites with a complex lifecycle involving stages both on and off the host.

 

I know you really, really want exactly what you've read on blogs and in anecdotes, what you've come to believe, to be true -but it isn't-, and throwing more and more character counts at people trying to help you isn't going to change reality.

I think you just pulled a pot-kettle-black character-count situation there.  😉

 

(This thread has really taken me back to my experiences at R2R on this topic..........)

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Humblefish
6 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Can you share a source or two that speaks to the stickiness of Crypto or Amyloodinium cysts?

 

And maybe also speaks to the conditions under which sticky cysts are produced as well?   

 

(A lot is made of this point so I have been very curious about the source.)

Everything we know about what/how tomonts encyst is found here: https://pearl.plymouth.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/10026.1/2632/PETER JOHN BURGESS.PDF?sequence=1

 

To my knowledge, it is the only non-anecdotal source of information on this subject.

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mcarroll
10 hours ago, Humblefish said:

Everything we know about what/how tomonts encyst is found here: https://pearl.plymouth.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/10026.1/2632/PETER JOHN BURGESS.PDF?sequence=1

 

To my knowledge, it is the only non-anecdotal source of information on this subject.

Interesting!  Took me all day (including interruptions) to read that.  Thanks!  👌

 

image.png.d3200c9e0d379ff3f1951f64e2414641.png

  • So cysts are often, but not always sticky.
  • And when they are sticky they are not universally sticky to everything.
  • Nor is being sticky a foolproof survival strategy for them.

Just my observation, but it's interesting that cysts appear to be more sticky and more successful under conditions and materials commonly found in holding tanks and quarantine tanks.

 

Look at these stereotypical QT's taken from a quick Google Image Search -- almost nothing but glass, PVC and polystyrene! 

 

Every one of them is a sticky cyst's dream come true!  😄

image.jpeg.fc7f3001940e9a051c5566560fcaa659.jpegimage.jpeg.ad0e20a2b6791419c73178c04e71c8d6.jpegimage.jpeg.4530ef06a97c55e959a34a64815cb41c.jpegimage.jpeg.a0511cf3936b6c2daeccdabcd0e5239b.jpegimage.jpeg.3cbddaaa90e54cf7ef0bbd5d09a959ca.jpegimage.jpeg.eed879da6c5387f384e28bea366ca5b3.jpegimage.jpeg.9362bc521b9798a50f239b684cb5c143.jpegImage result for humblefish "quarantine tank"image.jpeg.9239976659c73913cffd4bc15e0c7bbe.jpegimage.jpeg.88f7bf8d51f5ef31120ed64b9dbad71a.jpegimage.jpeg.a0aaa75fdec9a409eaf05372c1e96acf.jpegImage result for "quarantine tank"Image result for "quarantine tank"

 

Look back again at Table 10 for glass and plastics....both are right up there with things such as any kind of gravel that QT'ers avoid like The Plague.

 

With setups like those you'd think they were all trying to cultivate parasites rather than to avoid them!  

 

(The "standard" QT needs a serious update.)

 

From Table 10, they can stick to corals and shells, but the corals and shells were all washed/cleaned beforehand. 

 

Using unwashed/uncleaned "shell material" that is populated by reef microbes would likely have dimmed the apparent cyst success of the "shell material" section.

 

Likewise, when fibrous things like rope and wood or living critters like starfish or urchins -- or even some shell materials -- are the "surface" that cysts try to adhere to, they have lower levels of success...sometimes far lower.

 

All things considered, inert and cleaned surfaces (coral skeleton, tank glass,  plate, plastic) in their study were more or less necessary for maximum success.  (The metal plate and polished glass make for interesting exceptions....surface has to be somewhat roughened apparently.)

 

Also, this bit about removing sticky cysts:

Quote

Trophont adherence was designated as "normal" if the trophonts or cysts could not be dislodged by a direct stream of water expelled from a pasteur pipette, or "moderate" or "weak" if a low or high proportion, respectively, of parasites were dislodged by this action.

A pasteur pipette:

736319_LE.jpg

 

Worth pointing out that they were trying to show that sticking was "possible" and to what extent.

 

They were NOT trying to find out how easy or difficult they are to remove if you wanted them gone.

 

If we were concerned for any reason about cysts on a coral....

  • ...we'd opt for mechanical removal.  Scrub down that frag plug with a toothbrush (or remove the plug altogether) and be done with it.  No chemical dips needed -- just a separate container of seawater to use during the cleaning.
  • ...then simply "waiting cysts out" in a holding system outfitted with plenty of flow as well as UV and/or micron filtration to catch swarmers would also work based on the hatching/encysting time frames mentioned in the article.
  • ...buying from someone who doesn't mix retail frags with retail fish would eliminate the risk and be a better way to start buying coral.  👍

 

There are still a lot of assumptions and unasked questions tho...like what is the survival rate in a microbially mature reef tank vs a sterile holding tank?  How many would be eaten and digested by a cleanup crew?  How many would be eaten and digested by corals?  The assumption is that something like 100% survive and reproduce even after being eaten -- but that assumption doesn't seem to withstand a lot of scrutiny.  

 

Possible predation of cysts—a gap in the knowledge of ... and Fate of resting cysts of Alexandrium spp. ingested by Perinereis nuntia (Polychaeta) and Theola fragilis (Mollusca) indicate that cysts are a part of the food chain (shock!) AND give us a place to start further reading.

Edited by mcarroll
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Humblefish

@mcarroll Purely anecdotal, but I can't tell you how many velvet outbreaks (in particular) can be traced back to snails or corals being recently added. It has happened too many times without another logical reason (i.e. no fish were added in months/years), and the timing of the outbreak lines up perfectly with free swimmer excystation. You can try scrubbing a shell or frag with a toothbrush, but you can't scrub too far inside the shell (for example) and IMO a 6 week observation period in a fishless environment is not that big of a deal. My coral frag tank looks like this:

 

spacer.png

 

Not that much different from a DT? However, a fish QT which contains mostly glass, PVC and polystyrene is not too dissimilar than glass and plastic equipment found in a DT environment. Both are breeding grounds for parasites, but a fish QT can be dosed with copper or chloroquine to kill the free swimmers before they latch onto a fish.

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