Ich or the White Spot Disease is the most common disease that one’s fish can get in an aquarium. Every aquarist has gone through this disease and has tackled it at some point in their time. With this disease, your fish will get lethargic and have white spots all over its body.
These are parasites called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. You might be surprised that these parasites get into your aquarium through the new additions to your tank. They can be fishes, plants, snails, and many more.
In this article, we will be dealing with problems regarding snail and Ich disease.
Can Snails get ich Disease?
A straightforward answer to this question is no. Snails do not get Ich Disease. It is a fact that they don’t get this disease. In addition to it, there have been no cases where anyone has reported their snails getting affected by Ich or White Spot Disease.
Can Snails spread or carry ich Disease?
Snails don’t get or are affected by Ich Disease. Although, they can carry Ich Disease and can spread it into your aquarium.
As the parasites that cause this disease are microscopic and cannot be seen by the naked eye, you cannot know if a snail carries this disease or not. Ich will attach themselves to the snails, and upon adding the snail to your aquarium, it will spread it to your fishes.
How do the Snails bring Ich into your aquarium?
Ich is the type of parasite which cannot survive without a host or a carrier. So this makes it pretty simple to know or understand how snails bring Ich to your aquarium.
As soon as the host to which Ich attaches itself dies, they will depart the host’s body and not go to another host. These Ich trophonts will swim freely and attach themselves to whatever substrate they come across. As a result, the snail existing in the tank next to the infected fish will provide a place for the Ich to attach themselves.
The ich trophont begins to encyst itself once it has attached itself to the snail. It might take anything from 2 to 18 hours.
The encystment then proceeds to split into thousands of clones after 8 to 12 hours. Until the snail finds a suitable host, all these encystments stay in the snail’s skin. As a result, when you add this snail to your tank, you’re adding these parasites as well.
How to know if a Snail is carrying Ich?
You might not be able to see the Ich in a Snail carrying Ich, but if a snail is carrying Ich, it can show some symptoms. The snail who is carrying Ich shows some odd behaviors. The Ich first attaches itself to the shell of the snail and then spread towards the body of the snail.
If a snail has Ich then it can come towards the surface and stay there. They can rub themselves on objects in the tank. They can also begin to hide behind substances in the tank.
How to avoid the infected snail from bringing Ich into your tank?
Your aquarium getting infected by Ich is one of the worst nightmares. First off what you must avoid is adding a snail straightaway to the tank. One must never do this. Not just with snails but plants, as well as plants, can carry Ich as well.
Quarantine the snail
Before adding a snail to your main tank, you must quarantine the snail first. By quarantining the snail, the Ich will not be able to complete its lifestyle.
As the snail cannot be affected by Ich, so it only serves as the carrier. So by quarantining them the Ich will not be able to find a host. You can quarantine your snail for about 2 weeks before adding it to your tank. With this, the snail will be safe to add to a tank.
Raise the Temperature of the tank
You can also raise the temperature of the tank to get rid of Ich from the snail’s body. Free-swimming Ich trophonts to survive must find a host within 24 hours.
You can raise the temperature to 80℉. The snails can handle this range of temperature but it will be a nightmare for the Ich. Ich cannot survive in high temperatures for too long.
At this high temperature, the Ich cannot survive for more than two days in the absence of a host.
How to treat a tank infected by Ich?
If you were unaware of a snail carrying Ich and you added it to your tank, it is a given that it will affect your fishes at some point. A fish infected with Ich disease leads a miserable life and gets weaker day by day. So once you start seeing the symptoms of Ich appear, you must resort to remedies immediately. There are remedies that you can use to get rid of Ich from your fish and your tank.
Quarantine the tank
If you see a fish getting infected by Ich disease, then it’s time to take some action. You must start to treat the disease in the early stages. For in the early stages, there are higher chances of getting rid of the disease. Remove all the fish from the tank and move them to another tank. Keep all the snails and the objects in their place. Then you have to raise the temperature of the tank to 80℉. Remember to quarantine the infected fish and keep it away from the healthy fishes.
You can do this for two days as the free-swimming Ich cant handle high temperatures for too long without a host. But you have to make sure that every facet of the Ich has withered away.
Use Aquarium Salts
The most popular and easiest technique to cure Ich in the tank is to use aquarium salt. However, keep in mind that most freshwater fish do not tolerate the presence of salt in the tank.
As a result, it is preferable to keep diseased and healthy fish apart. While using salt in the diseased tank, keep healthy fish in the other tanks. Now, for every 2 gallons of water in the tank, add one tablespoon of salt. If you do this for nearly 10 days, you will notice a difference sooner. You can raise the salt content per gallon of water if the symptoms, and condition of the fish are growing worse.
Use Chemical Treatments
Resorting to chemicals for treatment is the last resort. Using chemicals is not recommended in an aquarium. They might bring fruitful results but will have side effects if not used correctly. To treat ich chemically, one must first be aware of it and follow recommendations. Furthermore, it must not be damaging to the health of fish or snails. You should also consult with a vet before using chemicals to treat Ich. You can use treatments such as Methylene blue, Formalin, and Malachite Green.
Will the chemical treatment effect snails?
You must take into account the presence of snails in the tank when treating your affected fish for Ich. You mustn’t fish as the only priority. Your fish may be able to tolerate the meds and treatments you’re giving them. Your snail, on the other hand, isn’t used to dealing with chemical treatments. They do not favor the presence of chemicals in a tank at all. The treatments mentioned above are safe for snails when used in the right amount.
There are Ich treatments that are safe for snails as well. They are API Super Ick Cure and Jungle Ich Guard. If you cant get your hands on these you can quarantine your snails to use chemical treatments in your tank.
What are the Symptoms of Ich Disease in Fish
If your fish is infected by Ich then they will start to show symptoms. Distinguishing a fish affected by Ich is simple as the symptoms of this disease can easily be noticed. There are various symptoms of this disease.
- The one that stands out is the white spots that appear all over the fish’s body.
- The fish will begin to show lethargic behavior and it will lose its appetite.
- The fish will begin to breathe rapidly and they will rub themselves on surfaces of objects.
Ich is one of the worst and the most common disease that can affect your fish. There are a lot of ways that your tank can be affected by Ich disease. The most prominent one is introducing the infected fishes, snails, and plants to your aquarium.
Luckily there are ways that you can treat this disease. They range from raising the temperature of the tank to chemical treatments. Although chemical treatments should be avoided and kept as last resort. But remember you must begin treating it as soon as you notice it. If it is too late then we’re afraid, that even treatments cannot help your fish.