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Thread: How long can parasites live without host?

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    How long can parasites live without host?

    Anyone know approximately how long protozoans can live in 70F water without a host? I'm pumping lake water into a holding pond to use for water changes and was wondering if i just left it for a week without PP dosing it if any bugs would die out naturally. I really doubt there is anything harmful in that water, but you never know?

    thx

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    I think it all depends on the type of bug. They all have very different life cycles and I'm sure some can last a very long time.
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    Yes, but I believe for most the life cycle is dependant on water temp. I would think in warmer water it is relatively short, i.e. a few days at the most?

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    Some have the ability to encyst if conditions in the environment are not suited for 'going for a ride'.

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    KHV is known to have a lifetime of approximately 24 hours without a fish host. Like others said above, some of the fish parasites can live for a significant period of time without a host, at least a day, for some several days, for a few a week may be possible.

    Certainly a week hold time will dramatically reduce the possibility of a virus or parasite contamination.

    Be aware however that birds, frogs, and a variety of other wildlife can bring parasites to the pond. The normal sources are new fish, new pond plants, and fresh lake water.
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    I would be more worried about bacteria's.......................

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    If the lifetime of KHV is only 24hrs w/out fish host, why all the draining , disinfection w/ bleach, no water refill, disinfect all filters, pipes, etc.,etc. that I've read has to be done. Has the protocol changed following KHV exposure that wipes out all fish? If so, what would the new procedures be to get back up and running following a KHV disaster? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by 68bruin View Post
    If the lifetime of KHV is only 24hrs w/out fish host, why all the draining , disinfection w/ bleach, no water refill, disinfect all filters, pipes, etc.,etc. that I've read has to be done. Has the protocol changed following KHV exposure that wipes out all fish? If so, what would the new procedures be to get back up and running following a KHV disaster? Thanks
    Better safe than sorry...still a lot of unknowns

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    parasites are either obligate or not. obligate means they cannot live long separated from their hosts. ich is an obligate, and the tomite will die quickly if it doesn't get to a host. that said, there are plenty of other hosts besides koi. if the holding pond is free of all host life including frogs, snails, and such, there still will be something. pseudomonas are not considered parasites for koi but are rather opportunistic protozoa, and every tree seed is filled with them.

    if you flowed the water through your pond at a given rate to approximate an open pond rather than filtered it, that would change your situation considerably, but for a closed filtration system, you might consider prophylactic treatment or sanitize the water before introducing it.

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    I think I would want to use Roddy's water reclamation method... PP the crap out of it then use it once you know it's safe.
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    good thread, I have hyacinth thats been out of the pond for weeks
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff reiter View Post
    parasites are either obligate or not. obligate means they cannot live long separated from their hosts. ich is an obligate, and the tomite will die quickly if it doesn't get to a host. that said, there are plenty of other hosts besides koi. if the holding pond is free of all host life including frogs, snails, and such, there still will be something. pseudomonas are not considered parasites for koi but are rather opportunistic protozoa, and every tree seed is filled with them.

    if you flowed the water through your pond at a given rate to approximate an open pond rather than filtered it, that would change your situation considerably, but for a closed filtration system, you might consider prophylactic treatment or sanitize the water before introducing it.
    That's good Jeff, you're now re-reclassifying the animal kingdom.

    Pseudomonas is a gram negative bacteria that is in all environments including saltwater but most species are freshwater, It, along with aeromonas are usually the opportunistic invaders of wounds that cause ulcers on our fish.

    Protozoa on the other hand are simple single cell animals.These include Ich, costia , Chil, etc...........very different things.

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