Credits: michelle.khuu on Flickr under creative common license
ICH (Ichthyophthirius multifliis), also known as the white spot, is a common disease in the fish-keeping community. In the past, it was seen as a fish problem, but now it is prevalent in shrimps as well.
The primary cause of this is the importing of shrimps from areas where they already have this problem. As a result, many shrimp keepers put their shrimps in a quarantine tank before mixing them with other shrimps to prevent such possibilities. This helps in controlling an outbreak of foreign diseases in their tank.
However, despite the best efforts to keep such conditions at bay, they can sometimes find a way to break into your aquarium.
Can Cherry Shrimps Get ICH?
Yes, cherry shrimps do get ICH, but theirs is different from the fishes, so it can’t be transmitted from fishes to your shrimps. Instead, shrimps suffer from white spot disease, which is equivalent to ICH but not the same.
However, the white spots on your shrimps can be transmitted to other crustaceans like crab and crayfish. So until you have seen the ICH prevalent in other crustaceans, you have nothing to worry about.
But cherry shrimps can become a carrier of the ICH Tomonts or eggs which affects fish. So, although your cherry shrimps won’t technically suffer from the ICH that fishes have, they can still transmit ICH to other fishes in the aquarium.
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What Causes ICH In Cherry Shrimps?
Bacteria, parasites, or fungi can cause fungal disease in shrimps. If the water in which the shrimp were farmed happens to be contaminated, then your shrimps can suffer from ICH. Usually, the new shrimps brought via importing have these diseases and could easily transmit to other crustaceans in the community tank.
How To Spot These Fungi? Signs And Symptoms
To spot ICH, you need to look closely for the spots and pores on their exoskeletons. Usually, these spots are single or in pairs dispersed all over their exoskeleton. If you can see the presence of an excessive mycelial (fungus) network through the exoskeleton, this is a grave sign of ICH and Larval Mycosis.
Physical signs of a shrimp suffering from ICH would be distress and loss of appetite.
Treatment And Control
First, you need not worry about the ICH that occurs in fishes, as shrimps are entirely different than fish.
Let’s begin the treatment of fungal disease in cherry shrimps.
First, take the infected cherry shrimps out of the tank and into a separate quarantine tank. Take all the shrimps out of the water as these types of diseases transmit faster through the water.
Fungus in shrimps can become a severe casualty, so these fungi and bacteria must be removed using chemicals.
If your nearest vet has Formalin, then use it to treat the fungus. Use 1 milliliter per 100 hundred liters. Use a syringe to draw out the exact amount. If the case is severe, increase the dose from 1ml to 5ml.
If you are unsure about the usage of Formalin, you can also use Methylene blue, which will do the job effectively too.
I use the Kordon Brand’s Methylene Blue as this one has always worked like a charm for me. You can also use the same to treat your fish ICH. Here’s the link for it.
Now, pour the chemical (Methylene Blue) into the quarantine tank. Do it again after three days, and in a couple of weeks, you will notice the improvement.
By the time you are done with treatment, you will notice shrimp molting and getting rid of that fungus from the affected exoskeletons.
And while you are treating your shrimps in the quarantine tank, you can clean the other tank using the Methylene Blue. It will kill all the bacteria and ICH from your tank. Just remember to take out the carbon filter to let Methylene do its miracle in full effect.
Treatment Of ICH In Fish
Did you know that cleaner shrimps scrape ICH from the fish tanks and eat them? They will also clean the gills and help the fishes breathe when suffocating due to ICH. Although it isn’t a permanent way to clean the ICH from your tank, it helps. Cleaner shrimps will eat the ICH parasites when they are in a cyst stage, thus preventing the outbreak of ICH in the tank.
If there are fishes diagnosed with ICH in your aquarium, then I’d suggest you remove the crustaceans at once. It is because you need to start treatment immediately for the fish before the ICH outbreak gets serious.
Here’s how you start treatment of fishes diagnosed with ICH. It is similar to that of the shrimp.
- Take your shrimp out of the aquariums so that the healthy ones aren’t affected by the chemical.
- Take the Methylene and pour a minuscule amount as mentioned in the package. Blue Methylene in large amounts can prove deadly for your fish. So, be mindful while managing its dosage.
- It is better to put the chemical only during the night. The ICH parasites are highly active during the night and tend to come out to transmit to other fishes. This is the optimal time for you to kill those parasites and swarmer.
- Revise this treatment every 3 days, totaling about three weeks. You can stop this treatment after you notice your fishes getting rid of ICH.
- Acclimate all your treated shrimps before putting them back into the regular tank.
Final Words On Can Cherry Shrimp Get ICH
The ICH that affects fish cannot be transmitted to shrimps. In fact, the shrimps will devour ICH parasites when they are in cyst stages, helping to keep the tank clean. However, shrimps also suffer from various fungal diseases. These diseases can look similar to ICH in fishes which will confuse shrimp keepers thus, mistaking them for ICH.
Keeping optimum water temperatures, quarantining the new shrimps before putting them in your tank, and watching over the diets help prevent the outbreak of fungal-related diseases in a shrimp tank.