Ichthyophthirius disease which is otherwise called Ich or white spot is parasitic in nature that is caused by Ichthyophthirius multifilis. Each of the parasites that develop in the host might give rise to another thousand such parasites. You can compare this infection to a skin disease. These parasites affect the fishes that are fed inadequately and that live in a bad environment like bad water or polluted water in the aquarium.

A fish that is affected by Ich will have small white spots over the body. As with the many other symptoms for other diseases, the fish will rub itself against the objects it finds in the aquarium or in the body of the aquarium. The motility of the fish is affected in the advanced stages of the infections of Ich. You can also notice bloody streaks when the infection is in the advanced stage. It is hard to notice the white spots during the initial stages of the infection. It is only during the advanced stages that you notice the infections mostly.

The parasite that gets into the skin of the fish feeds on the tissues of the fish and develops. Since the parasite gets into the skin it causes a cyst like appearance which is the reason behind the white spots that are noticed. These are actually the inflammations caused by the parasites. Since this condition irritates the fish much, you can see it moving around and scratching itself against the body of the aquarium or rubbing against any object found in the aquarium to get some relief. During the free swimming stage of the parasite it is easy to eradicate them. Once they get into the host they are well protected from the chemicals that are found in the water.

Raising the water temperature to some extent could be one of the treatments. Medications are used for about two weeks. The medications used might affects fishes like cat fish that have no scales. In between the treatments it is better to change the water in the aquarium for the treatment to be effective. The parasite grows faster at high temperature and this is the reason to raise the temperature so that the life cycle is shortened and the chemical effects take over. Long periods of treatment are needed so that all the parasites are eliminated from the water and the fish. Once the skin of the fish is damaged due to the parasites it gives way for other secondary infections. So it is better to look for any other infections in the fish while treating for Ich.

Chemicals like methylene blue, quinine hydrochloride, malachite green, and mepracrine hydrochloride are affected in the treatment of Ich. These chemicals are available in different brand names. The package of the medications itself will have the instructions on how to use these medications on the fish. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully while treating the fish for Ich. Make sure you treat the fish for about two weeks by also changing the water in the aquarium and keeping the temperature high to expedite the life cycle of the parasite. Carbon filtration can be avoided during the treatment.

To prevent Ich, any new fish or plants that needs to the added to the aquarium has to be quarantined. Make sure you have good quality of water in the tank and give the fish a well balanced diet regularly. Rich diet in small quantities is always good.