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FAQs on Freshwater Ich, White Spot Disease 2

Related Articles: Freshwater DiseasesIch/White Spot Disease, Choose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks, Formalin/Formaldehyde, Malachite Green, FW Disease Troubleshooting,

Related FAQs: FW Ich 1, FW Ich 3, FW Ich 4, FW Ich 5, FW Ich 6, FW Ich 7, & FAQs on:  FW Ich Causes, Etiology, Diagnosis, Ich Remedies That Work, Phony Ich Remedies That Don't Work, Ich Remedy Sensitive Livestock, Ich Medicines, Ich Cases, & Aquarium MaintenanceFreshwater MedicationsFreshwater Infectious Disease, Freshwater Fish ParasitesAfrican Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid Disease

Ich Vash!  Betta is Ich-y  11/30/05 I bought this Betta a week and a half ago. His name is Vash. He has white spots on his body. He was acting healthy yesterday and I saw no signs of anything wrong. Today I noticed the ick and went to the store and bought Ick Away. I clean his water very regularly, but I'm afraid I feed him too much. Could that have caused it? <You should feed very, very sparingly in this small tank.> I'm so confused. He is in a 2.5 gallon tank and seemed extremely healthy (flared fins and playful movements). <Yup, betas are great.> Why did he get this disease? I just lost another beta exactly a week ago. <He may have already been carrying it at the store (the life cycle of Ick is around 4 weeks).> This one is my favorite and I really don't want him to die. I'm sorry, I didn't have time to read through all the sites on WetWebMedia. Is there anything else I can do? I'm afraid I will lose him very soon. Please respond as soon as possible. <I would gradually raise the temperature in the tank (you'll need a small submersible heater) to over 85 degrees. This will speed up the life cycle of the ick. Add aquarium salt according to the directions on the package to kill parasites. Replace part of the water frequently with dechlorinated water of the same temperature, salted enough to keep the salt concentration at the correct levels. When removing water from the tank, try to suck it from the bottom. Continue this treatment (heat and salt) for a couple of weeks after all symptoms have disappeared. After this, do read up on nitrogenous wastes (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate), and how to keep them in check.> Thank you. -Katie- <Welcome. Best of luck to you and your Anabantoid friend. John> 

Ich! Vash!  Getting Better  12/1/05 Thank you so much, John, for the quick reply. <You're welcome> You probably saved my fish. Vash is clearing up. He only has a few spots now. <Good to hear. Remember, Ich has a 4-week lifecycle... and is only visible on the fish for one week of this, so be sure to follow the recommended course on the bottle through to completion. Vacuuming off the bottom will also help to get rid of parasites which have dropped off the fish.> I wasn't able to go purchase a heater last night, but I turned up the heat in the dorm. <Stability is key here> The Ick Away seems to have done the job for now, but I am still concerned. Should I continue the treatment? I'm afraid I have become rather paranoid about Vash after Wolfwood (my other Betta) died last week. Wolfwood's bowl sat next to my "super loud" alarm clock. Could that have been a factor in his death? <It's always important to limit stress factors in fish, especially in such small quarters> I don't know what was wrong with him. He wouldn't eat and he laid vertically at the bottom of the bowl with his tail straight up. He swam on his side and had to do complex acrobatics just to get up for air. It became increasingly harder for him to do so. He eventually gave up and dove down into the rocks as fast as he could and didn't attempt to get air any more. I don't know if it was the lack of air or the force of the impact that killed him. Could he have had a swim-bladder problem? <I'd suspect water quality issues.> As for Vash, do I have to look online for a heater for so small a tank (2.5 gallons) or can I get one at Wal-Mart or PetSmart? <I can't say (don't have such stores locally). It may even be cheaper to just buy a cheap 5g tank and a 50W heater. Then, with a small hang-on filter, you have the perfect tank for a Betta.>  Also, should I purchase rock salt and pH test strips? <Nitrite and ammonia test kits will be of more use here.> Another question I have concerns my friend's betas. She keeps her room fairly cold (probably around 60 degrees), and she keeps them in rather small bowls. Her fish have been doing fine for months now. Is this a fluke? <It can be done -- these fish are very hardy. Unfortunately, they all-too-often suffer for this.> I gave her Vash's old bowl after I bought the tank for him, but it still doesn't seem big enough. Her fish often change to a grayish color when the water gets dirty but become vibrant again once their bowls are cleaned. She changes the water once a week, but that doesn't seem enough for such a small bowl. Sorry for writing so much.  <You're very welcome. Good luck with Vash.> Thanks again, Katie. <Best regards, John> 

Ich, Shrimp, Frog, and More - 11/25/2005 Hi all. Four days ago I noticed that my Pleco had Ich. This apparently came with a ghost shrimp, who also appears to have it. <Mm, anything wet can have cysts (invisible to the naked eye) "stick" to them, but ghost shrimp and any other invertebrates cannot actually "have" ich.  This parasite affects only fish.> I did a saltwater dip on the Pleco and placed him in a quarantine tank. <Your Plec is likely not the only animal affected - the parasites have multiplied by now and are spreading or will spread to your other fish.> I have been watching my other fish closely, and apparently overnight my clown loach also came down with ich...he has white spots all over. I also have an albino Cory, an albino Pleco, 2 killifish, a dwarf puffer (he will be moved to a larger puffer only tank shortly) and an African dwarf frog, all which look fine. I have now put the clown loach in a quarantine tank and treated the quarantine tank with QUICK CURE. At this point I am not sure what to do about the regular tank. <Your best bet?  Remove ALL the fish to a quarantine system and medicate.  Most medications will harm your invertebrate(s) and your frog.> I haven't had a lot of luck finding information on the African dwarf frogs. Some say you can treat a tank with the frog in, others say take him out. <I certainly would not subject this animal to ich medications.> The 'active ingredients' in the quick cure are Formalin and Malachite Green. Do I need to treat my regular tank at this point since the other fish look fine? <If possible, remove all fish to quarantine and treat there, and leave your main tank "fishless" for at least two weeks before returning your healthy livestock.  Otherwise, remove any/all invertebrates and the frog, treat the main tank (but NOT with ANYTHING copper-based, if you want to keep the inverts), and once the medications are removed, return the frog and inverts.> Or should I just continue to treat the quarantine tank? If I do treat the regular tank do I take the frog out? <Just as above.> Thank you in advance for your help.  ~Jennifer <Oh, and please read here, familiarize yourself with this parasite, its lifecycle, treatments, etc.:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Ick Medication Related Question  11/24/05 Hi: I hope you might be able to answer my question regarding the ick medication I am currently using. <Will try> I have a 50 gallon tank with two Black Moors  and one Fancy Goldfish. Two weeks ago one of my Black Moors developed ick. I put him in a separate 10 gallon tank <Mmm, need to treat all> and added Coppersafe medication by Mardel in it. <I would use Malachite Green on goldfish here> It has been two weeks now and he has developed even more tiny white dots all over his fins and body. He looks very stressed, sits on the bottom of the tank and does not eat at all. I do know that this medication takes up to 20 days to work <Mmm, no... not for this, other protozoan complaints> but I am afraid that my fish might die before it is actually treated. <Likely so> So, I was thinking of either adding an Ick Guard by Jungle Products or either adding salt to the aquarium. Should I change all of the water first or could I add the new medication given that the water Ph, Hardness, Alkalinity, Nitrite and Nitrate levels are within the normal ranges. Thank you so much for you answer, Iana <Please... take your time reading what we have archived on WWM re FW ich: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files at top... then on to Goldfish Disease... Bob Fenner>

Sick fish  11/22/05 Hi, hope you can give me advice please.... <We'll see> 3 weeks ago I bought 3 new fish to add to my tank which was currently containing just 1 fish - a 9 year old goldfish. Three days later the new shubunkin had tiny white spots on it <... the new fish introduced ich, a parasite> - I didn't have a spare tank to isolate it in & so bought a white spot treatment & treated the whole tank. The spots disappeared only for me to find ALL 4 fish covered in them a few days later. <The disease just cycled...> I've continued treating the tank as per the instructions on the treatment bottle but the shubunkin died on Friday after being really lifeless with a ragged tail fin, the black moor had the same ragged fin & white spots & died on Saturday. <The make-up of the system "uses up" the medication...> My Blue Oranda is swimming about still with a couple of spots but is very active & feeding. My original goldfish has spent the last week lying at the bottom of the tank with his head in an ornamental pot (coming out occasionally to a circuit of the tank before returning to the bottom). His shine has gone & he looks dull & a there's a grayish white fuzziness look about him, especially on the fins. I really don't know where to go from here - continue with the white spot treatment or is something else wrong? <Need to do a few things more here... Remove any chemical filtration (e.g. carbon), vacuum the gravel, perhaps remove it if this is the only tank you have, and the gravel is "natural" (i.e. not coated, colored... as it is/will absorb the medication... and test daily for ammonia, nitrite... keep these below 1.0 ppm by changing water> My tanks is 11 gallons with a filter running. I've had the original fish 9 years with not a problem. I did an ammonia & ph test today which were both normal. Help please!!! <An eleven gallon tank is not large enough for even the one goldfish... all new fishes should be quarantined... Sorry to read of your troubles. For review, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm.  Bob Fenner> Ich troubles, and a lack of detail  11/20/05 A week ago I noticed our Oscars and tinfoil barbs were itching on rocks and had white spots on them. <Yikes> We started treating them with Rid Ich, but it made my largest Oscar mad and he started attacking the barbs. <Interesting> We tried to keep the barbs alive but they are all dead now. Our Oscars still have ich, their eyes are cloudy and the white Oscar has red streaks on his fins. They are barely eating anything. Should we stop giving them Rid Ich and give them Maracyn 2 instead? <... need much more information here... as in the history, make-up of this system, what your water quality tests show, what else you have done thus far... Maracyn (1 and 2) are antibiotics, Ichthyophthiriasis, caused by a protozoan... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above... and quick... I would be elevating water temperature, checking for ammonia, nitrite... Bob Fenner> 

Even Plants Can Transport Ich - 11/10/2005 Hi, <Hello.> I have a 30 gallon aquarium with a penguin BioWheel filter with a flow rate of 170 gallons per hour and do a 20% water change weekly.  This aquarium contains live plants, mostly Elodea (Anacharis) and recently I added some Vallisneria gigantea to the tank but I did not isolate the plants from the tank for 2 weeks since these plants were stored in a plant only tank and looked healthy.  Four days later, I started seeing what appears to be ich on my oldest goldfish's tail.  It looks like a few grains of salt.   <Ack, bummer.> I opened up the filter cartridge and removed the all the carbon from the penguin filter and immediately started treating with a malachite green/formalin based medicine following the proper dosage information on the bottle.  Prior to adding the medicine I would perform a 20% water change.  I also have been testing my tank to make sure ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates are in line.  My ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0 and Nitrate is under 20.  My pH is 7.2.   <All excellent.> When I add the medicine, the tank turns blue but after an hour the water returns to its colorless state.   <Mm, a touch odd - are you sure you've removed all the carbon?  Including any filter cartridges that have carbon in them?> I have the temperature at 78 degrees to try and accelerate the treatment of this pathogen and so far my goldfish seem fine except for constant flashing against the gravel.  I've added an airstone to oxygenate the tank at night when the plants are in the dark.  The ich has done nothing but gotten worse with more spots and now all 3 fish have it with my black moor showing it on his body also.  I am afraid to add salt since I don't want to kill my plants.   <You could remove the plants to a separate container for a couple of weeks while you treat....  but Formalin/Malachite Green concoctions should be effective.  You will need to continue treatment for the full life cycle of the parasite - two weeks at the least.> Any help would be much appreciated.   <If you haven't yet, please read here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm  and the files, linked in blue, at the top of that page.> Thank you very much.  -Robert <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Even Plants Can Transport Ich - II - 11/11/2005 Hi, Thanks for the reply, <Sure thing.> to give you an update I read on your site that my plants can tolerate brackish water so I decided to hit this ich with salt in addition to the medication.  <Do be aware that some of the plants may still respond badly or perish; if possible, I would still consider moving them to a separate, fishless system for a few weeks.> I gradually added 3 tsp per gallon of Morton's Plain Uniodized Salt <I would use a salt sold for use in freshwater aquaria - but this will "do".> over a 36 hour period and took my filter apart and gave it a thorough cleaning except for the BioWheel right now I have no filter cartridge in at all since I don't wasn't any activated carbon to possibly be in my tank. The medication still only stays blue for about an hour and then disappears, I have no clue why.  <I suspect that the malachite green is breaking down very quickly from organic material in your system.> My poor Black Moor died from the ich and my other two goldfish are starting to show signs of fin rot. Probably from the stress caused by the medication and the disease. Should I start treatment with Maracyn Two?  <I would not.... Be testing ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate; maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes alone.> I don't want to make things worse than they already are. I also don't like how my goldfish are starting to lose interest in food, they will nip at the flakes and spit most of it out.  <These behaviours and the fin rot are likely environmentally related, from a die-off of your bacteria (from medicating) - please test, maintain optimal water quality.> I am not sure if they are still eating some of my Anacharis since that plant is still growing very rapidly, about a 1/2 inch a day. As for the ich itself, the number of spots on both fish seemed to have gone down but the fish look worse than they did before, I hope the disease is not just cycling but actually being killed off by the salt and Rid Ich+. <Test that water.... I bet you'll find it's "off". Fix it, and you'll see improvement.> Thanks, -Robert <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Even Plants Can Transport Ich - III - 11/15/2005 Hello, <Hello again, Robert.> I am sad to announce that my second goldfish Flipper passed away from this horrendous bout of illness that hit my aquarium.  <Man.... So sorry to hear this.> I decided to transfer my last goldfish named Pig to my 10 gallon hospital tank and have completely drained my 30 gallon tank and started over by sterilizing every part of the aquarium with hot water and then letting everything air dry to remove any last trace of this disease from the tank. I even sterilized the BioWheel (I know that is not a good thing to do but I wanted to kill this bug for good). <For future reference, allowing the tank to run "fallow" (no fish in it) for two or three weeks (dependant upon temperature) will eliminate ich as they will die without their fish hosts.> I have now restarted the tank and am cycling it with the fishless cycling method while I treat Pig in the other aquarium which is cycled. Hopefully 3-4 weeks without any fish in the tank + my efforts to sterilize it will eliminate any trace of this bug.  <The 3-4 weeks alone would do it - so you should be plenty safe.> While cleaning my big aquarium, I found what was taking all the medicine out of the water. This happened to be an aquarium decoration which seemed to be made out of plaster. The inside of it used to be white when I bought it, but now resembles a darker blue from the malachite medication.  <Hm. Interesting. I'm not sure this item actually "removed" the medication, but was quite obviously stained by it at least.> Maybe Pig will recover in the hospital tank which is relatively bare except for some gravel, and the aquatic plants which are now in it with him.  <Removing the gravel from a hospital tank gives you a couple benefits - it's easier to clean, and without gravel ich doesn't really have any cracks and crevices to "fall into" when it becomes reproductive - siphoning the bottom every day in a bare-bottomed hospital tank can go a long way toward beating ich.> Maybe in a month when the fishless cycle is completed, Pig and the plants will be transferred back to his larger home and get two more friends to join him after I quarantine them of course.  <Sounds perfect.> Thanks for your help, -Robert <Any time - and again, I'm sorry to hear about your two losses. I'm hoping for the best for Pig. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Sick White Molly  11/10/05 Hi, <Hello there> I have a 10 gal tank freshwater aquarium, inside are a female guppy who gave birth to around 20 fry guppies, 1 orange platy and 1 white molly.  My white molly has been the healthiest fish since the first time I bought her ( 8 months ago), but since yesterday she has been acting different. she hid behind the rocks, stayed still near the heater or stay near the bottom of the tank on one of the tank's corners. I checked the pH, nitrate, ammonia, nitrite levels, and they checked OK. I was wondering if it's because I put too much salt yesterday, I put 2 tablespoon full. <Mmm, this shouldn't be too much> I used to have a black molly that died due to white spots that looked like flaky skin, I wonder if my white molly is having the same thing, it's hard to see because she's white. <Ah, I see> One thing I noticed though is that her fins/scales are darker than usual, and there is a red visible patch on the top of her head. <Good observations, bad symptoms> I have "quick cure" and "MelaFix" already, which one do you think is better for my fish? <Mmm, likely the latter... Quick Cure is quite toxic... Melafix has only a mild antimicrobial effect... I would treat these fishes for white spot/ich with Malachite Green...> Or do I need other medication? Thank you very much, Ike <Not unless there are specific symptoms... Bob Fenner>  

Loaches, Ich, Salt, and Copper - 11/08/2005 Hi Crew, <Hi Brian; Sabrina with you, today.> First let me give my thanks, Bob Fenner replied back in late June concerning our highly alkaline well and the use of SeaChem's "Acid Buffer" on incoming water to bring our FW tanks down from a pH around 8.2-8.4 to a much more reasonable 7.0-7.2. After a lot of experimentation, it seems about 1/4 tsp Acid Buffer added to water mixed at 2:1 - 3:1, RO/DI: well does the trick, when combined with occasional small water changes at 6:1 RO/DI: well with no Acid Buffer to give back some alkalinity and thin out the GH.  <Great.> Now on to my questions. I've got a 29 gallon tank setup with 7 red swordtails, 2 honey Gourami, and 8 checkerboard barbs. Water parameters consistently check fine - no ammonia, no nitrite, ~15mg/L nitrate. Two medium sized Amazon Sword plants, one medium tiger lotus grown from a bulb, and a small chunk of Java Fern reproduced from another tank. Water temperature is at 77 deg F, pH = 7.0.  One of the swordtails, male, has been steadily looking worse and worse over the last month and a half or so, with no other symptoms apparent on any of the other fish. Best description I can give of the swordtail is that he's lost a lot of his color on the bottom half of his body. His lateral line is very evident as a greenish line down the length of his body, and most of the damage seems to be at or below his lateral line. The lower area near his tail has also really washed out. With the lights out, the bottom half of the fish looks almost grey, with lights on it is more a faded red with some silverish looking parts. I'm fairly certain it is not ick or any other transmissible disease as none of the other fish look at all affected.  <Is possibly nerve damage.... from an injury, or developmental/genetic disease....> My only theory is that he has been spending way too much time hanging out by the tank's heater, which is placed horizontally instead of vertically to try to provide more efficient heat dispersion. I've added an airstone near the heater to try to discourage him from resting from near/on the heater.  <Even better, get a plastic guard to go around the heater, or wrap the heater in airline tubing with "gaps" between the coils of tubing if you are unable to find a guard for it - and couple this with the airstone.> For about 2 days in a row, about a week ago, he was doing a little flashing on the Amazon Sword leaves and the bottom, but that seems to have subsided. I have not added any treatments to the tank, other than my usual water change schedule which includes a trace (less than 1/2tsp for 3 gal) of salt, along with 0.1mL/gal of SeaChem's "Prime", and Acid Buffer for pH. New water is aerated and temperature matched for about four hours pre-each water change, haven't set up a system for longer term aging of water yet but can certainly do so.  <Your current maintenance sounds plenty adequate.> He still eats readily (flake food and dried Tubifex worms, which he devours), does not appear to be struggling for air or otherwise moving erratically. Even before he showed any of these symptoms, back when he was much smaller and being reared only with the three other fry from his batch, he looked a little different -- he has always had a tinge of green and a much more readily visible lateral line compared to the other swordtails from the batch. All the other swordtails that made it beyond fry stage have survived, with the exception of one female that died a few weeks ago, pregnant, that we deemed to be physically incapable of giving birth. Back when he was a small small fry (looking back over my notes) there was one point where I was afraid he was going to die, acting very lethargic and darty and not swimming straight at all. I added a large amount of "LiquiFry" food and after eating that he seemed to perk back up and seemed okay for several months.  <Quite possibly this is just genetic/developmental, then.> His feces I must admit have appeared nothing but white and stringy for the past month or so, haven't seen anything that looks comparable to that of the other fish in the tank receiving the same food.  <This is disconcerting.... I have to ask, are these Tubifex live? Please do be aware that live Tubifex (and even freeze-dried) can transfer parasites to your fish. If you must use live worms, please instead use Blackworms, which are much less hazardous (though there is still some degree of risk involved with them). Better still are bloodworms or other insect larvae.> This fish (along with the other swordtails in the tank) is the offspring of a pair of swordtails we had months ago -- the father was a fish I was always worried about once we bought him, as he had a very obvious green coloration to him (along with the very visible lateral line) that I at first attributed to illness, then to just genetic makeup giving more of a wild type coloration. <The green could indeed be just coloration - there are plenty of swordtails with prominent lateral striping and green coloration.> Is this a nutritional deficiency? Genetic problem? Velvet?  <I highly doubt velvet.> Is he just sleeping on the heater and baking the color out of him? Any thoughts would be appreciated. We've already mourned his loss a week or two ago when he just looked a little worse than before (that's when I started feeding the Tubifex worms again), but he keeps fighting back and does not look ready to give up the ghost just yet. My apologies for the length of the question, I've just been battering around so many different possible theories for so long and don't want to just leave the guy to waste away. I'm going to try to get some pictures of him, but it's tough to get one where the degradation is clearly visible. It may be what I need to do is add more hiding places (tank has only plants and a large rock), in case the fish are just feeling that the heater is a safe, hidden spot, and burning themselves thusly. Our blood parrot cichlid (in yet another tank) managed to burn herself pretty well a couple years by leaning on the heater, ended up covered in black spots before the problem was fixed with a higher tank temp.  <Please, please consider using guards or wrapping those heaters! They do present a danger to your fish.> Second question, hopefully easier. We bought two clown loaches (2") at the LFS on 5 Nov. After getting them home and placing in the 10g QT tank, it was fairly obvious that one of them had ich. After a lot of reading I decided the thing to do was to get the temperature up (was at 77 deg F, now at 82 deg F, aiming for 85 deg F) and start adding salt to the tank. The QT tank is planted (good sized Java Fern, Amazon Sword almost too big for the tank, plus some floating Wisteria), so I know the salt may not be good for the plants but I can handle plants dying much better than fish doing so. The next day (6 Nov), figuring that the QT tank was already exposed to ich and that the clowns would be happier with more than just two around, we went ahead and got three more that the LFS had from the same tank, also obviously exposed to ich. Maybe that was a stupid move, bringing more ich to the QT tank, but I wanted to try to reduce stress on the clowns by increasing their numbers.  <I must point out that it is almost invariably a bad idea to purchase fish with obvious symptoms of disease....> Also bought some Aquari-Sol (copper sulfate salts) at the same time, but have not dosed any into the tank yet.  <I wouldn't.> By this point, I figure I have added a little over 2 tbsp of salt to a tank with estimated 9 gallons of water, over a couple days.  <You'll need a LOT more than that. Please read this article: .> The loaches are eating well, they've nearly de-snailed the entire tank already. I know I need to find some longer term foods for them, and that they sure won't be living in the 10g any longer than they have to beat the ich. So, my treatment plan is this: Increase tank temperature to 85 deg F and keep it there. Increase salt levels in the tank to some number of teaspoons per gallon (wish I had a way to measure salinity down in the 1.00X ranges).  <A refractometer is really your best bet, here, followed by a hydrometer that measures low levels.... there are at least two brands readily available, of box- swing-arm type hydrometers that do read quite low levels. Just be aware that there is some significant degree of inaccuracy.> Removed carbon from the filter (Whisper 10), added an airstone on a pump for more oxygenation of the warmer water. Replaced the Purigen in the filter with fresh Purigen (~15mL), in hopes that the synthetic beads may be capable of removing some of the encysted or free swimming ich, <Mm, I wouldn't hold my breath on that.> I'm prepared to replace the Purigen every 48hrs or so if that's a valid theory, or just leave as is if not. If there is no obvious improvement in about three days from now, my plan would be to begin dosing the Aquari-Sol at about 50% of the label directions (12 drops per 10 gallons per label, I would add about 5 drops to the tank) and test copper levels frequently, combined with daily water changes to combat ammonia/nitrite buildup from loss of nitrifying bacteria.  <Try to avoid the copper if at all possible.... Salt and heat alone should affect a cure.> My hope is the plants may help with some of the excreted ammonia if the salt/copper/heat do not completely hose their metabolism. I've used SeaChem's "Flourish Excel" in the past in the tank to provide more available carbon to the plants, have stopped for now to deal with ich but can continue if increased plant respiration would be indicated. I'm even considering eyedroppering in a little bit of 22ppm colloidal silver.  <I wouldn't.> Is this a reasonable treatment plan? I've seen people say copper salts work great with loaches at low doses for ich, but I've seen just as many say not to ever use copper with loaches.  <I am more of the latter batch of folks - though have used copper in the past with success. I am much more a proponent of salt in this case.... Less harmful to the animals.> Are my salt levels within an order of magnitude of what could be expected to help?  <Not yet.> Is it pointless to try to treat with simply heat + salt, and instead I should be getting the minimal dose Aquari-Sol in there ASAP?  <Mm, as above, heat and salt WILL work, at the proper levels.... you'll get there, no worries!> I've purchased a copper test kit and verified no free copper in the tank at this time, so I should be capable of maintaining an appropriate level of copper if it comes to that. I really appreciate the time taken to read and consider these issues. -Brian Pardy <And thank you for your kind words. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Rid-Ich Affecting Catfish  11/7/05 The guy at the pet store told me it was ok to put Rid-Ich in the tank with my Raphael catfish. He started staying up at the top of the tank gasping for air. I took him out and put him in another tank. He is on the bottom breathing very hard. Looking swollen. I checked the water and others. Ok. I have a horrible feeling my baby is going to die before you get this. I wanted to know if it was to late for him or is there something I can buy to make him better.  Peetsi <Rid-Ich is a very good medication. Rid-Ich is an older form of a malachite green and formalin combination that was found to be very toxic to scaleless fish such as catfish and loaches. It is to be used at half the recommended dosage and says so on the bottle. A new formulation came out a couple of years ago called Rid-Ich+.  This is suppose to be a safer medication than its earlier formula. The clerk may have confused between the two different bottles, especially if both were on the shelf. They still look almost identical. You did the right thing by removing him from the tank. Place him in a net in a quiet corner of the tank with plenty of aeration and hope for the best. There is no antidote for you fish and it will try and purge the copper from its system over time.-Chuck> 

Baby platys and adult fish have ich... mis-use of Acriflavine 10/30/05 I have a 23 gal. tank. I have 15 baby platys about 2 months old. some are over an inch long and 3 are about a quarter inch long. I also have 3 adult platys, 2 neon dwarf rainbows and 1 Raphael catfish. They all have ich. I gave them Acriflavine. <Not efficacious> I didn't give them the full amount. guy at the pet store said not to with the baby fish. after 3 days they still had it. I treated them again but not the full amount. now the ich got worse. I don't know what to do any more I think there going to die. <Mmm, try reading... here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked FAQs files above> How long does it take before the Acriflavine starts to kill them? <Generally doesn't> 2 platys are swimming real weird and stay at the bottom. I'm was going to put my babies in a 5 gallon tank. I put one platy in there instead. swimming real crazy and lays at bottom of tank. I did a 25% water change. Put the charcoal back in. Tank is still green. Should I start all over with the right amount of Acriflavine. <I wouldn't... read> will that be to much since I don't know how much is still in there. should I treat with salt first and if so how much. Or should I treat them with Acriflavine and if so how much. Or both. Should I take one third of the water out and retreat them, should I put salt in tank with the catfish. how much. I need help really bad. My ph is 7.0 - 7.2.  It was 7.6. Is this effecting them. I'm sorry I am such an idiot. I just want it to go away. I have to do something I know or they will die anyway.  <Mmm, time "is of the essence"... you should read, come to an understanding of what you're up to here... and act, soon... With a medicine that will kill ich. Bob Fenner> 

Ich, Overstocking, Scaleless Fish, Fry, and Research - 10/28/2005 Hi, My name is Saran & I fear my tank my have an ick epidemic!  <Hi Saran, Sabrina with you this afternoon.> I have a 20 gallon tank with a whisper filter, heater & airstone. I keep the temp at 78 degrees. In my tank I have 1 Pleco, 4 clown loaches, 6 guppies (2 male & 4 females), 5 swordtails (2 male & 3 female), 6 Harlequins, 4 guppy fry, 8 swordtail fry,& lots of live plants.  <This is way too many fish for a 20 gallon tank.... the Pleco and clown loaches will outgrow it rather quickly - common Plecos get well over a foot in length, clown loaches nearly a foot.> All of my guppy fry & 6 of my swordtail fry are in a breeding net & 2 swordtail fry are in the tank. The guppy fry are almost 3 weeks old & my swordtails fry are 2 1/2 weeks old. I love them so much!!!!! <Best, then, to prepare for them and their needs - after researching what those needs are.> I had bought a 10 gallon tank to rear them in when my clown loaches came down with the dreaded ick!!! So I started to use it as a hospital tank. I took the loaches out (what a mission that was!!!) & started to treat them with Jungle Lab's Ick Guard II for scaleless fish at a temp of 80 degrees.  <You're going to need to do some reading about ich, its life cycle, and treatment of ich.... this is a parasite that spreads readily. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> I moved the tank around a lot to get the loaches out & I fear I may have really stressed out my other fish because when I got home from work 2 of my guppies & 1 of my harlequins now have ick.  <To be expected.> Should I treat the whole tank for ick now? Do I have an epidemic on my hands? Also can I treat my tank with my beloved fry in it? <Read the link above, and the files linked at the top of that page.> Can I use the Jungle Ick medicine for the rest of my fish. Also I have a bottle of CopperSafe from when my male beta got ick last month, should I use that instead or will it hurt my loaches when it's time for them to come home?  <Can/will hurt the loaches and fry.> By the way my Beta lives in a different tank (5 gallon w/ internal filter, heater, under gravel filter & a very cute fiddler crab). <Fiddler crabs are actually not freshwater animals - it is unfortunate that they are sold as such. I will also caution you that they are carnivorous and may pose a threat to your Betta.> Will my plants be ok with medicine? <Possibly.> Can they get ick? <No, but ich "cysts" can "stick" to them and be transferred to other tanks if you move them. Anything wet moved from an infected tank to another can bring ich with it.> I also have a 10 gallon tank w/ whisper filter, treasure chest air pump, heater (set for 72-74 degrees), 3 common goldfish, & 2 butterfly loaches. <Uhh, more reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm .> Should I move my fry in there for the duration of the epidemic? <No. They can/will spread ich to the other fish - not to mention that they need an incompatible environment.> I am afraid that the tank will be too cold for them & my butterfly loaches like low temps. <Correct.> I am buying a used 20 gallon from someone in my town next week to deal with the fact that when my fry get older they will need more than a 10 gallon. Can I wait that long to treat so I can take them out? <Next week is likely too late.> I am such a worried fish momma!!! Thanks, Saran <Please read.... those articles and others on our site.... Much for you to learn. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Ich, Overstocking, Scaleless Fish, Fry, and Research - II - 10/29/2005 <<Oh boy.... Bob, my apologies first and foremost.... Not sure how to format this to make it "work" in the FAQs.... That said.... Saran, my responses will be in double-carrots. -SCF>>  <<All in italics is from the previous correspondence.  Marina>> <<<Thanks, M!  -SCF>>> >Hi, >My name is Saran & I fear my tank my have an ick epidemic! ><Hi Saran, Sabrina with you this afternoon.> >I have a 20 gallon tank with a whisper filter, heater & airstone. I keep the temp at 78 degrees. In my tank I have 1 Pleco, 4 clown loaches, 6 guppies (2 male & 4 females), 5 swordtails (2 male & 3 female), 6 Harlequins, 4 guppy fry, 8 swordtail fry,& lots of live plants. ><This is way too many fish for a 20 gallon tank.... the Plec and clown loaches will outgrow it rather quickly - common Plecs get well over a foot in length, clown loaches nearly a foot.> - I realized very quickly that there were too many fish which is why I am getting the other 20 gallon so I can divide in half. Pleco in one with the fry, 2 swordtails, & 3 guppies. Then the other with the loaches, 3 swordtails, 3 guppies & harlequins. The Pleco & loaches are really young (Pleco is 3" & loaches about 1 3/4") as well & when they get too big we were going to get a bigger tank. Is this ok or am I making a mistake & should just get a 55 gallon soon rather than later? Or should I get an even bigger one? <<Mm, ultimately (years down the road), the Plec and loaches will outgrow this, but it would do for several years. Were it me, I'd skip the second 20 and go straight for the 55, if you do plan to purchase one in the future anyway.>> >All of my guppy fry & 6 of my swordtail fry are in a breeding net & 2 swordtail fry are in the tank. The guppy fry are almost 3 weeks old & my swordtails fry are 2 1/2 weeks old. I love them so much!!!!! ><Best, then, to prepare for them and their needs - after researching what those needs are.> - Well what I have been doing is having them in the breeding net. I feed them 3-4 times a day on finely ground fish flakes. I scoop out excess food after 10-15minutes. They are getting really big & are almost ready for freedom. They have double in size from birth size. That's what I read in the freshwater fish books that I bought after my guppy let em drop. Is there anything I am not doing for my fry guys! <<I usually prefer to recommend that they be in a dedicated tank for them, and them alone, with a sponge filter (great place for microscopic food to grow, and won't "suck up" healthy fry like a power filter would). Breeder nets are quite small, don't allow much flow through them - you might find a better survival rate if you transfer the entire brood into a dedicated 10 gallon tank. The other major thing I urge you to think about in your care for all your fish (not just your fry) is a quarantine system for new livestock; this would have entirely prevented your tank getting contaminated with ich in the first place.>> >I had bought a 10 gallon tank to rear them in when my clown loaches came down with the dreaded ick!!! So I started to use it as a hospital tank. I took the loaches out (what a mission that was!!!) & started to treat them with Jungle Lab's Ick Guard II for scaleless fish at a temp of 80 degrees. ><You're going to need to do some reading about ich, its life cycle, and treatment of ich.... this is a parasite that spreads readily. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> >I moved the tank around a lot to get the loaches out & I fear I may have really stressed out my other fish because when I got home from work 2 of my guppies & 1 of my harlequins now have ick. ><To be expected.> >Should I treat the whole tank for ick now? Do I have an epidemic on my hands? >Also can I treat my tank with my beloved fry in it? ><Read the link above, and the files linked at the top of that page.> The above link doesn't address the fry issue. <<Consider fry as delicate as scaleless fish, perhaps more so, and treat accordingly - and carefully, with close observation.>> >Can I use the Jungle Ick medicine for the rest of my fish. Also I have a bottle of CopperSafe from when my male beta got ick last month, should I use that instead or will it hurt my loaches when it's time for them to come home? ><Can/will hurt the loaches and fry.> So can I treat my main tank with the Jungle Ick medicine for scaleless fish? Will it work for fish with scales? Will the Jungle stuff hurt my fry or just the CopperSafe? <<I believe this is a formalin medication.... to be used with some caution. I would recommend that you follow the instructions on the bottle very, very carefully; also, do a Google search on treating ich with salt and heat.... Take a look at this article: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showquestion.php?faq=2&fldAuto=32 . With any treatment you settle on, there will be some degree of risk for the fry. I think it is better, though, than allowing them all to contract ich, especially since it would be very difficult to tell if they have any parasites.>> >By the way my Beta lives in a different tank (5 gallon w/ internal filter, heater, under gravel filter & a very cute fiddler crab). ><Fiddler crabs are actually not freshwater animals - it is unfortunate that they are sold as such. I will also caution you that they are carnivorous and may pose a threat to your Betta.> Oh my god I can't believe they sell them as freshwater when they are not!! <<Agreed. This is one of my biggest problems with the freshwater pet trade. Very depressing.>> Will it be ok?  <<Not long-term.>> Should I add a little salt or will it hurt my Betta.  <<The amount of salt the crab would need to thrive would not be okay for your Betta, unfortunately. Ideally, the crab should be in a situation where it has the ability to spend its time in and out of the water, and have access to saltwater. This would be really tough to do without a tank set up just for him and maybe a friend for him. If you have the space and time, you might think about this.>> The crab spends most of it's time in the filter & never really interacts with the beta. It molted last weekend I was so excited! <<That it molted is perhaps good news, at least.> >Will my plants be ok with medicine? ><Possibly.> >Can they get ick? ><No, but ich "cysts" can "stick" to them and be transferred to other tanks if you move them. Anything wet moved from an infected tank to another can bring ich with it.> Is there anything I can do to get the cysts off? <<Not really.>> Does this mean I need to do something to my filter since it is wet? <<Probably will need to replace any filter media that you remove while you're treating, but other than that, no.>> >I also have a 10 gallon tank w/ whisper filter, treasure chest air pump, heater (set for 72-74 degrees), 3 common goldfish, & 2 butterfly loaches. ><Uhh, more reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm .> Why did you send me to a link for Dropsy?  <<Whoops! My apologies, meant to send you here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm  .>> My goldies aren't sick they are doing great. I feed them in the morning & then they nibble at the plants for the rest of the day. They swim around constantly nibbling & the butterfly loaches are always hiding out in the pipe ornament. <<Do please read the article I just linked.... And again, my apologies. All the best, -Sabrina>> 

Ich And Infections - 10/28/2005 I have a Black Molly and a Dwarf Gourami that both have a white spot on them. The Gourami has it on is and the Molly has it between the mouth and eye. They got this after I <Future reference: please capitalize "I".> treated 2 fish that I just introduced to the tank, a couple of platies, they got Ick just after they were introduced, I think because of stress or poor water at the store.  <Mm, "stress" and "poor water" don't *cause* ich.... might make fish more susceptible to it, but this is a parasitic complaint.... if the parasites are present, fish can get 'em. Likely they were infected before you brought them home. Consider using a quarantine tank for new fish....> I was thinking the Molly and Gourami might have gotten ick but it doesn't look like ick and didn't respond to treatment. I think it might have been because the filter has to be out for ick treatment but I don't know what I do know.  <I think you mean to say that you're not sure what to do now.> I also have an Orange Molly whose flesh is just rotting away from around her mouth. This was proceeded by bubble skin. She had bubble skin once before and we put her in a hospital tank and changed the water regularly and it cleared up. This time it has not cleared up and I don't know what to do.  <Sounds perhaps like a bacterial infection, perhaps brought on by poor water quality. Are you testing the water? Maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.... This infection may need to be medicated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic.> Currently all 3 fish are in the hospital tank. Any suggestions will be helpful. Thanks, -Dan <Seems to me that you might do well to learn a bit more about the lifecycle and treatment of ich. Please take a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm . Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Raising temperature to cure ich 10/27/05 Hi crew,  <Catherine here today!> An article that was referred to in one of your FAQs ( http://www.aquariumadvic/http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showquestion.php?faq=2&fldAuto=32) recommends raising water temperature to 86F to cure ich. Have you found this to be successful, or not?  <Raising the temperature to 86 makes the life cycle faster. Salt (either marine or Epsom) is intolerable to ich at certain stages. The combination has been successful for many people.> One of my Colisa has 3-4 spots on her fins that look like ich, and one of the platys has been "flashing" occasionally. This has been the case for a couple of days now, and it hasn't spread so far. My water parameters are all good.  <Ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate<20?> I am already treating one of the threadfins in my QT tank for a swim bladder problem, w/ possible septicemia, so I probably need to treat the ich in the display tank, which is a 12g planted tank. Denizens of this tank are: Betta splendens, Colisa lalia, threadfin rainbow (Iriatherina), coral platys, and siamensis.  Is a sustained temp of 86-87 safe for all of these? If so, is it absolutely necessary to increase aeration?  <For a short time (several weeks) 86-87 is probably better than having ich. They should be okay. Aeration is necessary because higher temperature water holds less oxygen. You have a planted tank which will help, but you're stocking level is pretty high. Air stones are pretty cheap. I'd add one.> Since the tank is planted I think salt treatment is not appropriate, but what about Epsom salts-- Epsom is safe for plants but will it have any impact on ich?  <At low concentrations (i.e., those that are used to treat ich), most plants are okay. A few species might be unhappy.> Thanks, -Dave  <Anytime. Catherine> 

Re: Raising temperature to cure ich 10/27/05 Hi Catherine, NH3 and NO2 at 0, NO3 around 5. pH 7.0 and stable. Temp at 77-78.  <I want to be your fish... if I didn't have ich.> What concentration of Epsom salts should I use? Just on WWM I've seen recommendations ranging from 1 tsp/g to 1 TBSP/g! So, what's a good quantity for dealing with ich, and what's the maximum safe levels for fish?  <I believe all your fish should be fine up to 1 tablespoon per gallon. I'm inclined to advise higher concentrations because more salt is worse for ich. I'd add about a half teaspoon per gallon over several days. If the fish seem to be stressed or doing poorly, you can always back off. Your fish should be fine, but there is always a possibility that they are sensitive for some reason.> Which plant species don't tolerate Epsom salts that well?  < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracplants.htm  DO tolerate salt well. If you have some that aren't on the list, check out the plant section of WWM, they do a pretty good job of describing the needs of many plants. If you are concerned, you can always put the plant in a smaller container for about 6 weeks. By that point the ich will be gone and your salt treatment will be done.> Thanks again! -Dave  <Best of luck to you and your fish. If you check out the WWM chat forum (link is on the lower right part of the WWM homepage and may require scrolling), people will be happy to discuss their ich treatments. "Don fishy" treated a bunch of Plecs with salt and they did amazingly well. Catherine.> 

Re: Raising temperature to cure ich 10/27/05 Catherine,  What I meant to say was, "I've seen recommendations ranging from 1 tsp per 10 g to 1 TBSP per 10g! Not per 1g! <Oops. I just answered your last question without noticing this. Okay. What I meant to say is 1 TBSP per 5-10 gallons is petty good. I'd go with 1 TBSP per 5 gallons final salt concentration -- nasty to the ich. I think your fish will be fine. Like I meant to say, I'd add about 1/2 t. salt per 5 gallons of water over the next several days. Sorry for the confusion. Catherine> 

Combining Medications 10/18/05 Can I treat for a bacterial infection at the same time of treating for Ich or Velvet? I am currently treating with formalin and malachite green, can I mix the med used for a bacterial infection with these? < Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Remove any carbon. Raising the water temp to 82 F will take care of the ich so you can add an antibiotic for the bacterial infection.-Chuck> 

Lack Of Quarantine, Bad Mix, Ich - 10/17/2005 I have a 37 gallon tank with 5 assorted Rainbows, 2 Congo Tetras, 1 South American Puffer, 1 Silver Dollar, 1 Pleco and 1 Clown Loach. Until recently, it also had a few Furcata Rainbows.  <Not really a great mix.... Schoolers without schools, aggressive fin nippers with very delicate animals, fish that will outgrow this tank....> 2 weeks ago, I added one of the Rainbows, the SA Puffer, a BGK and a Buenos Aires Tetra.  <The knife does not belong with fish that nip fins.... or in a 37g tank at all for that fact.> The BGK died 4 days after purchase (and no, I did not stick them into a quarantine tank), <Bad move, man.> and just 2 days ago, I noticed the Rainbows and the Silver Dollar all had chunks of their fins missing. The SD also looked like it had developed Ick.  <....and now you realize the vital importance of quarantining new livestock?> I observed the tank and noticed the Buenos Aires Tetra nipping at the other fish <To be expected.... learn about your animals prior to mixing them, and keep schooling fish in schools.> and removed him to our 10 gallon tank with our Blue Lobster and Goldfish.  <....you do realize he's likely brought ich to your goldfish now, yes? Furthermore, do you think he'll be any kinder to the goldfish than the tropicals? No. He also should not be in with cool water animals.> I turned off the bio-wheel filtration system and added an Ick medicine I had used in the tank last year called Metronidazole by Seachem.  <Not the best or most effective choice at all....> The fish were eating fine until tonight. They ate very little (including the SA Puffer who loves his Bloodworms) and I noticed several of them had the white spots. <Hope that didn't come as a surprise to you, and I hope you've read our information regarding ich: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> I removed all of the fake plants and ornaments and rinsed them off. Next, I gravel vac'd the tank and removed 25% of the water. I turned the filtration system back on because the water was still a little cloudy from the water change (which is done every 3 weeks) and I wanted to clean it up a bit. I have been reading all of the responses for ick and I am completely confused since I have a wide array of fish. Please help! <Much to think about here, for the long-term health of all the animals involved. Do please read the article linked above, and also search the 'net about treating freshwater ich with salt. I would likely treat with salt and elevated temperature for these fish, and begin considering what sort of fish/system I want.... and plan.> Sincerely, Steven M. Doctors <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Medication For Ich.  10/5/05 The pet shops here don't have that medicine (Rid-Ich). They suggested to buy tetracycline. What proportion will I use? < Tetracycline will not work on ich. Save your money and increase the water temp to 84 F and increase the aeration.> Is it ok if there will be other fishes in they same aquarium but it has a divider in between. Once again thanks < Dividers will not stop any medication if there is any water flow around it.-Chuck>

Ich and Popeye-Together Again  9/26/05 Hi~ I have a 12 gallon tank and I just recently noticed that most of my fish have little white spots on them and then one of my kissing fish has Pop Eye in both eyes. For the Ick I bought a bottle of Cure-Ick and for the Pop Eye I bought Maracyn-Two. My question is can I use both of these treatments at the same time or do I need to wait?? Thank you! <Usually not a good idea to mix meds unless they are from the same manufacturer and they clearly state they are safe together. Not sure about this combo, so lets err on the safe side. First thing to do is a large, 50%, water change. Siphon from the bottom using a gravel vac. Ich reproduces at the bottom of your tank. Popeye almost always starts with poor water quality. Especially a lot of organic matter. The water change will help both. I use salt for Ich. Not as harsh on the fish. But after the med of your choice is in place, raise the temperature to 82 to 84 degrees. Continue any treatment for at least three weeks after the last spot drops. Test the water and do water changes if you see any ammonia or nitrite. Add three level tablespoons (1 per 4 to 5 gallons) of Epsom salt if the Popeye is not helped by the water changes. Don>

Can Ich be transferred from a saltwater tank to fresh?  9/23/05 Just as everyone in the US was waking up, I was returning home from work to discover a tank full of tiny white dots.  Many were on the bare bottom and  some were floating.  The first thing that came to mind was Ich.  Here's the setup:  A 10gallon freshwater bare-bottom tank with HOB Tetra Whisper Filter (with added active carbon), heater, and light.  This tank is well established and t receives a 10% water change weekly...or 25% bi weekly...never more than two weeks.  It houses about 20 baby (3 week old) "Japanese" guppies.  Without starting World War III and engaging in chemical warfare, I did a vacuum of the bare bottom and a 25% water change.. adding salt to get it around 1.001-1.002.  So far, they still look genki (healthy).   I haven't tested the water in a week or so, but last check everything was good except nitrates were around 40-60ppm (those silly color sheets to compare the vials to!)  I did a water change last week too. As far as I can see (and they are tiny!) they don't have any white sugar coating dots.  Here's the catch.  I just started a salt tank 2 weeks ago and added the sacrificial fish (Damsel) to it last week to start the bio cycle rolling.  If the salt fish had Ich, could it spread to my fresh water?  It may sound crazy, but if I didn't wash my hands and arms, I thought maybe I was the evil one.  I never share equipment between tanks either.  I know that a good preventative measure for saltwater tanks for Ich is to keep the salinity level around a low 1.019-1.020...and to raise the salt level in freshwater tanks to rid of the pests.  Sooooo, salt water Ich wouldn't stand a chance in fresh water and visa-versa...right? Thanks for an amazing website!  The best advice I've gotten from a LFS so far was to go to your site and read, read, read! >> Thank you. Ich can not pass from fresh to saltwater or vice versa. The differences in osmotic pressure would kill any parasites. When Ich is in its free floating stage and not attached to a fish you would not be able to see it, only as the parasite matures on the body of the fish can you see it with the bare eye. Good Luck, Oliver

Ich... goldfish... blitzkrieg med.s... not studying... Ive scrolled through lots of your comments on questions.  You seem to be more knowledgeable than anyone at the fish store here in NYC. <Heeee!> I bought a new 48 gallon tank for two goldfish (one comet, one is a generic I dont know what it is called) w/an Eheim canister filter. The store installed it when I was out of town big help.  The less strong one (comet) developed ich, the other one has more or less fought it off.  They first recommended Coppersafe. <Mmm, better to use Malachite Green, rather than copper-based med.s on goldfish>   I followed the directions. They continued to have the spots, but were as active as always.  We left for eleven days and came back to one dying fish and the other lethargic. A person from the store came and serviced the tank and added Coppersafe.  The weaker fish just sprawled out.  I didnt think it would survive the night, but it did.  The store then recommended Rid Ick. <Is copper and Malachite...> I dont like using carcinogenic stuff, but .  I followed their instructions, which were to re-dose every two days (not enough according to the manufacturer). <... should be done daily>   After the first two doses, I stepped this up to every 36 hours, thinking they were too weak to take more.  Somehow or other, these fish are still alive.  Actually, it seems that the medication is the only thing keeping the stronger one down.   The weaker one hasnt eaten in at least a week, probably two, and mostly sits at the bottom listlessly.  The other one occasionally swims around and ate today.  I do not want to use any more Rid Ick.  The store recommended Aquarisol, which I bought. <Another copper salt solution...>   I have set up a QT (old two-gal tank, cant leave these 1 ½ yr olds there long) so that I can remove them and let the tomites in the display tank die.  I havent yet moved the fish. Frankly, I have no idea what to do, but this is taking a HUGE amount of time. Any thoughts??? <Yes... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the (many) linked FAQs, starting with the ones above... and Goldfish Disease... set upon one plan and adhere to it... I would add salt, one of these ich medications (if it were me/mine I would use just "Nox-Ich" or another just Malachite Green solution (like Kordon's)... monitor water quality... and the ich should be gone in a week. Bob Fenner> Thanks. Re: Ich  9/16/05 Thanks for the comments and for the direction to your ich treatment comments. <Welcome> Sorry to ask for more comment, but I have been getting so much conflicting advice including, just yesterday from the fish store, to slowly cool down the tank. <... no...>   According to your info., that wasn't such a great idea.  My problems with the Rid-Ich+ (or Nox Ich) is that the active ingredients are carcinogenic for me! <Much less so than putting gasoline in a car...> After a week of sticking my hand/arm in the water during water changes, etc., it occurs to me that I am not wild about doing that.  Also, I am not seeing any encouraging response at all from the weaker fish; it remains listless and rocks side-to-side a bit.  And just for good measure, I put in Aquarisol this morning for any lurking tomites.  Clearly, I've been all over the lot. <Yes... randomly, surprised you haven't hit a proverbial light post> My instinct is to try to get the weaker fish moving and eating again, then bomb the ich.  It may be too late, though.   What would you do at this point? <Read> One other question.  How do you know when they are "cured" (presumably returning to normal swimming around) and how quickly should all of the spots be gone? Thanks again. <Please don't write... read where you've been sent, the linked files beyond. Bob Fenner> Treating Corydoras paleatus in main tank 8/24/05 Hi again, I have a question about treating my main tank for ich. I have a 10 gallon tank with 4 peppered Corys in it right now. I've recently moved my 3 goldfish into another 10 gallon tank and don't know if I want to keep it as a QT tank or keep them in there for good. <... you were keeping Callichthyid (tropical) catfish with coldwater goldfish?> I also moved my 4th goldfish into a temporary 3? gallon tank. I plan on either giving that one away to a friend or a pet store because it's getting way too big and it's pretty aggressive towards one of my goldfish. I know... too many goldfish for a 10 gallon tank haha <Ahh, not funny...> I didn't know/read about fish when I got them for my birthday so here I am with too many. <Very common> Now I'm trying to get rid of them. Anyways the goldfishes are being treated for ich in the other tank right now but I don't know what to do about the ich that could be in my main tank and my Corys. I want to just treat them in the main tank but I heard ich med kills the beneficial bacteria. <Likely so> I wanted to try treating the tank with salt but I don't know how well my Corys would do in it. <Don't like> Is there a way to treat my main tank with my Corys still in it without the risk of any dying? <Half dose/s, elevated temperature> They are doing really well and I don't wanna jeopardize their lives. And does salt kill the beneficial bacteria? <Yes, can> Whenever I treat fish in a QT tank they always seem to get so sluggish and I don't know if I'm doing it right or not. <Good question, speculation> Oh and one more thing! This is just for the future if I wanted to keep other fish. I want to add 2 more Corys to the 4 that are already in the tank. Will any kind do or should I stick with peppered Corys? <Can mix> I would also like to add a few fish that aren't bottom feeders. Which kind would do well with Corys and also won't make my tank overstocked? Thank you so much your help. It's great to know that I have a reliable source to direct my questions to! Wayne <Read on my young friend... re livestock selection, ich... the latter here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Ich Immunities? - 08/23/2005 Hi, <Hello.> I've been reading about freshwater fish care from all over the web and the information I find on this site makes me feel the most comfortable. <Glad to hear this, thanks for the kind words!> 3 of my 4 goldfish have clear signs of ich, but the white spots only appear on the outside of their gills and their front fins, never anywhere else. Is that odd? <Not odd, no.> I treated them before for ich but I guess I stopped treatment too soon. I have 2 black moors, 1 orange fantail, and 1 gold common goldfish. I've read a significant amount about treating ich and I know I should treat all of them for ich just in case right? I was just wondering if ich affects ALL fish. <There are some very few animals that are rarely affected by it....  but most fish are susceptible to some degree or other.> I have 4 Corydoras paleatus in my main tank and they never showed any signs of ich like my black moor goldfish. <Though they may be somewhat resistant, it is still entirely possible that they have it in their gills, where it is easier for the parasite to attach.> If they don't have ich should I still move them to my quarantine tank and treat for ich anyways? <Yes.> If not how would I know if the free swimming ich are still present in my main tank? <You couldn't ;)  Especially if the Corys DO have ich on their gills, in which case, the goldies would be reinfected right away.> If my Corys are free of ich, does that mean they ich will die because the Corys are not hosts for the ich? <Nope.> It never seemed to bother them though but I really want to get rid of ich once and for all! <A good plan, indeed!> Thanks for your time!  Wayne <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> FW Ich, using WWM... 8/11/05   IMP:  ******Since I lost the Pleco, the peacock had ich and was treated w/ RID ICH.                  ****WHAT TYPE of med is best to cure and prevent ich from returning in the future? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above>                         It cleared up after seven days, and I continued treatment for another 3 days as suggested but the ich returned on the tenth day!  Then I said freak this and replaced the filter which I felt was important and he seemed to get better but he was never dipped in anything and the rest of the tank has been suctioned (cleaned) but nothing else was done. <Read...> THIS IS THE FISH THAT JUST DIED.  I'll take in a water sample but have been monitoring the water and did a water change just five days ago! He didn't eat last night. IF anything, there's sort of whitish stuff floating around in my water. It's whitish and kinda cloudy.  THE FISH STOPPED EATING. <Environmental...>   He was five inches long.  Maybe he died of ich or old age?  He was looking at me last night, but eyes weren't cloudy or anything. The ich seemed to have gone away, too. <No... just cycled...> NOW DO I NEED TO STERILIZE ANYTHING?  WHAT DO YOU THINK?  THANKS, Pam. <Read> I  Thought it would be a good idea to dip the net and ornaments w/ plastic plants, plastic containers, etc. in something to sterilize them just in case they are contaminated w/ something.  What do you think?  I'm just worried about the fungus growing back.  I cannot keep cutting down the plastic plants b/c there will be nothing left! Are you suggesting I don't sterilize anything?  Just rinse w/ hot water and let dry? <Bob Fenner>

Chilly Plec and an Ichy Bluegill? - 08/07/2005 Hi crew, <Hello, Andrew.> I have a 30 Gal tank with one 2 inch bluegill, which has ich on its tail. I've looked through your site, but couldn't find any info on salt baths as an after-the-fact treatment, <Probably because such a method is quite ineffectual.> but I've seen it mentioned briefly in some places. I don't want to add salt to the tank because the water changes would be extremely difficult. <.... Why?  It's just for a couple weeks or so.> Would a salt bath be effective? <No, not really.  If the fish definitely has ich, then you can be 99% certain that you have ich in the tank.  Getting the parasites off the fish just to toss him back in an infected tank only stresses him enough to help him contract more.> If so, what kind/dosage of salt should I use and how long should I keep the fish in the bath? <If you wanted to put him into a clean, uninfected hospital tank after the dip, I would use water with a salinity of seawater (SG 1.022 or so) for up to five minutes.  Be absolutely CERTAIN the water is of the same pH and temperature as that of his tank.  Still, I don't think this is an effective or useful method at all, unless followed up by treatment of one form or another.  I have only used a salt dip as a last resort for a Plec whose gills were so heavily infested that he needed relief immediately or die.  I don't think it is necessary or beneficial in your case.> On a different note, I want to add a Pleco to the tank for algae control and for more diversity, but I am not sure if it could deal with the temperature (as low as 65 degrees in the winter). <Just saw a talk last night on collecting fish in Argentina - there were a great many Plecs in a river that was colder than that.  I think it would be fine, if you're cautious.> I also am not sure that a Hypostomus (all that PetCo has) would be right for my tank because of its size. Do you have any suggested species? If so, where could I get these? <I *think* the "bulldog" or "rubberlipped" Plec is happier in cooler waters.  The talk I saw did include some Ancistrus, as well, so you might look to the commonly tank-bred Bushynose.  Both of these are relatively small algae eating Plecs.  Of course, do NOT add any fish until you're certain the ich has been eradicated, and be sure to quarantine newcomers.> Thanks, Andrew <Wishing you and your bluegill well,  -Sabrina>

Bluegill with Ich 8/11/05 Hello, <Hi there> I'd like to say thanks for the previous help you've given me. I have an ich problem with my bluegill right now. Its 2" long in a 30 gal tank (only fish), and I'm using 300 gal/hr Whisper filter w/ carbon. I think it would stress my fish to raise the temp over 75 degrees, which is what I have now (the bluegill is native to US and I believe it goes to cooler/deeper water when it gets hotter but I may be wrong). <Nope, you're right... rare for this fish/species to occur in warmer water> I wanted to use aquarium salts, but I wasn't sure if bluegills could handle 1ppm of salt - <They can... if in good health> I think they should. Also, could I remove the plants in the aquarium and carbon in the filters and treat with salt in the display tank? <Probably best... and I'd use a Malachite Green product as well...> If not, can my hospital tank (and in the future, QT tank) be a 5 gal plastic tub with a sponge filter? Suggestions? Thanks in advance. -Andrew <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Can it be something else but Ich? <definitely> - Please help soon urgent 7/15/05 To the Crew <Yes> I purchased a 20 gallon Tank to house freshwater tropical fish. After letting the tank run for 5 days with no fish, I went to the store to buy some starter fish. <... was this system cycled... in terms of biological filtration?> The store advised me that 3 platys and 2 cherry barbs will be a good start.  He did say I can go with just 5 platys, but the barbs will be a bit active and more fun to watch while I wait for the month of cycling.   <... you didn't "wait"... you added fish livestock> So I went with the suggesting of purchasing the 5 fish, the 2 barbs 1st and then the 3 platys 2 days later.  The tank temp is between 76f-80f, and I did add 1 tablespoon of sea salt per 5 gallons. Now here is my problem, last night when I went home I noticed the female barb had a small white dot (like a grain of salt) on top of her tail and 1 on the top of the dorsal fin.  When I left the house this morning the one on the tail was gone but the dorsal fin one was still there.  After some reading I concluded it was ich, and I know it is important to treat it as soon as possible so I purchased some Ich Cure.  I am reading everywhere to do a 10%, 25% or 50% water change.  This seems like a drastic difference which should I follow? <... I would wait, ascertain whether you actually have an infestation period. You can elevate temperature in the meanwhile... to the low 80's F> With a water change this big will this not cause an ammonia spike since it has only been just over 2 weeks? <You likely already have such going on> As well the bottle says to only use for 3 days, but the life cycle of ich is about 2 weeks should I use ich cure for the recommended 3 days or for a full 14 days? <... at this point, not at all> Once the last treatment is done should I do a major water change or just a regular 15%-20%? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm> I am a bit confused because with some more reading the barb is not displaying any symptoms of ich. <Bingo> She is swimming with the male barb, her appetite is extremely high and she is not staying near the heater, but she is sometime hiding under the coconut shell, and rocks.  I was wondering if this could be anything else besides ich?   <Could be... even just slime reaction to the stress of being moved, placed in an uncycled system... Don't "shoot yourself in the foot" (anymore than you have by stocking an uncycled system), by poisoning it needlessly with toxic "medicines"... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your time Chris

Dead Snail? New Cure for Ich? Hi my name is SuzAnn and I have two apple snails blonde in color. Anyway one has been floating for three or four days way out of it's shell and teenie weenie bubbles are forming around the front of the snail . The bubbles are in some form of thin slime. Is this snail dying? > < Unfortunately your snail has passed away and needs to removed quickly so its decomposing body doesn't add to the ammonia and nitrate problem.-Chuck> >  Chuck I removed the snail from the tank and put it in a bowl of water from our pond high in algae the snail is doing fine. I also cured ick that my three gold fish  had with salt and grapefruit juice and shallow water and sunshine they are growing so big and look very healthy.  SuzAnn < WOW, I thought for sure your snail was dead based on the description you gave. Curing ich with grapefruit juice, salt and sunshine's a new one for me too.-Chuck>

The Ich Cycle 6/31/05 Hello WWM crew. <Mike G here.> Sorry for the pestering emails on the ick problem but, I have another question. <Not a problem. That's what we're here for.> I was reading your A) B) C) stage about the ick cycle, and under C) i noticed how the free swimming stage was the time to cure. <Correct.> I'm going to get meds for the ick very soon but, after the ick has infected its host, can it ick parasite things restart cycle and continue? <Yes, yes, of course they can. The cycle is, after all, the parasite's reproductive cycle. Hope this helps, and best of luck! Mike G> Ich Problems I have a 55 gallon tank.  Water quality fine - nitrate at 40 though. < Too high should be under 25 ppm.> Did water change and filter change on Thursday.  Put feeder cube in on Friday morning and left town.  Came back on Monday to find fish covered in white spots - 3 Bala sharks, 4 Gouramis, 1 Pleco (who was added to the tank 2 weeks ago w/o a quarantine), 1 striped Raphael, 1 Cory catfish, and 1 black ghost knife fish.  All 3 Bala sharks died on Tuesday before I could medicate.  Removed the BGK to small fish bowl (with aeration) and treated the tank with Rid-Ich (after partial water change. Did water changes and treatments again on Wednesday and Thursday.  Raised temp to 80F and added salt as well.  Lost the Pleco today and the Raphael is laboring.  The sickest fish appear to be the Gouramis.  Not sure what to do at this point.  Please help. Thank you. Michelle < Check the ammonia levels. The medication may have affected the good bacteria and the elevated ammonia levels are adding to the stress of the fish. Rid-ich is a very good product that I recommend often. Keep the tank clean and don't overfeed. If they are sick and don't feel like eating then don't feed them. They will be OK for awhile. You got a late start on the treatment and the dead fish added to the elevated ammonia levels. I would continue with the water changes and vacuum the gravel as well. You should be seeing some improvement today.-Chuck>

Persistent White Spot Outbreak Hi, We have been admiring your site for a while now and sadly are going to have to ask for some help ourselves. We set up a new 150 litre tank about a month and a half ago and put in a pre-prepared filter from another tank to minimize cycling time. We also planted it fairly heavily (maybe 15 various plants). After about a week we began to add fish since the water tested ok. All was going well until we naively bought some 'Blue Tetras' which turned out to have been dyed. These fish had obviously been stressed by their appalling treatment and introduced a white spot epidemic that has wiped out a lot of our fish so far, with little signs of improvement. We have lost a Cory, a guppy, a harlequin and 12 Neons. The Blue Tetras have gone back to the shop who admitted that the fish had been treated for whitespot when they came in. We started treating the outbreak with Protozin as per the instructions. <Mmm, wonder what is in this product... the manufacturer does not state: http://www.waterlife.co.uk/waterlife/protozin.htm but it's used for most all metazoan, protozoan complaints> i.e. Days 1, 2, 3 and 6 but saw next to no improvement in the condition of the fish and, in fact, began to lose fish. We then realized that we had accidentally left the carbon pad in place in the filter and removed it. We spoke to the LFS and they advised treating on a daily basis (or even double dosing) until the outbreak was over and raising the temperature. We went up to 28C but since we have Corys in there we don't feel we can go any higher at the moment. <Correct> After the second week of daily dosing and steadily losing 1, 2 or 3 fish a day, we removed the 4 remaining Neons and 2 heavily infected Corys to a hospital tank (with a pre-prepared filter) and dosed them with Methylene Blue on the basis that there was no longer anything to lose. We have so far seen an apparent improvement in the condition of the Corys and have moved them back to the main tank and have lost 2 more Neons, with their mates looking as though they will follow them. Some of the Harlequins now look as though they have white and/or orange fungus on them and we fear that we are going to lose all of the fish in the tank. There are currently 7 Corys, 4 Guppies, 9 Harlequins and a few baby Platies that we (unfortunately) put in there for safe keeping. We have water chemistry as follows:  pH=7.7 NO2=0 NH3=0.6 NO3=6 But here's the strange bit, GH=100 & KH=40.  We had 3 rocks in there that we got with the tank, but didn't know the history of, so they have been removed for testing when they have dried out. We have added a supplementary filter to scrub up the water while we tip chemicals in there. Today I did a 20% water change to get the NH3 down a bit. Please does anyone have any idea at all what we might try next? We, and everyone else we've asked, are pretty much at a loss now and we feel as though the advise is going round in circles. The amount of fish we have lost now is very distressing (and tragic for them) and although it may be argued that we stocked a little on the quick side, we have got away with this before by constantly monitoring the water condition. Hope you can help and TIA, Mike <Thank you for writing so thorough- and lucidly. I do have input on how I would have treated your fishes... including quarantine of all, avoidance of infested fish/es... of course. And a S.O.P. here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm.  In your case I would have elevated temperature in a separate treatment tank and used half doses of Malachite Green solution... and done otherwise as you have... testing for water quality, making water changes... I do hope your travails are over soon and you have no more troubles with disease. Bob Fenner> 

FW ich, invert. scenario Hello! I am hoping that the crew can help me. I always reference your site. I always find the best information to keep my pretty fish healthy and happy. I have a small planted 10g tank with a Whisper filter, Bio-Bag cartridge, a small submersible heater with a constant temp of 79-80, a store bought (similar to a DIY) CO2 system, Eco-complete substrate and a couple rocks for hiding and helping increase pH slightly (local water is low), full spectrum lighting, and an air pump that is on only at night to keep the oxygen up when the plants aren't helping. Ammonia has been at 0 for some time. Nitrites were 0-.25ppm and Nitrates 5-10 for about a week. The livestock in the tank is 1 male Betta (Seppaku the spoiled fish!) 2 Cory cats (1 albino), 4 small Rasboras, 1 Snail, and 4 Amano Shrimp. I change 10-25% of the water weekly and have been adding a very small amount of iodine for the shrimp and snail (They are such great little helpers!) I added the Amano Shrimp about a week ago because I felt they would help with some hair algae that came in on a new java fern.  Sadly I did not QT the shrimp and only rinsed the plant. I thought they could not carry ich and so I put them right in (lesson learned). <Ich itself is very unlikely to have "come in" with the shrimp> Well, three days ago I noticed small salt like spots near the mouths of 2 of the Rasboras and a small white blotch near the Betta eye. I immediate put all of the fish in a 5g QT tank with Copper Safe and left the Shrimp and Snail in the main tank. After a day I decided to move the Betta to a smaller 1.5 also treated with Copper Safe because the close quarters seemed to stress him. Today I changed the water in the QT tanks and re added Copper Safe. I noticed in the main tank little worms that seem to drag themselves along the tank glass with a flat head and some white floating particles (egg sacs?) <Hard to say> I also see that after 3 days only 1 fish has lost a white spot and there is no evidence of ich on any other parts of their bodies. I think I have covered everything. My questions are: 1) How should I treat the main tank without hurting my shrimp, snail or plants? <Just leave it fallow, w/o fish hosts for a month or more> 2) How long should I keep the fish in QT? <This period of time> 3) Should I treat them with Maracide after the white spots disappear? <You could... far less toxic> 4) How can I be more sure that this is ich? <Microscopic examination> 5) What is the best way to keep my main tank cycling without fish in it? <A bit of proteinaceous dried food added every few days> ( I don't want to kill all of my good bacteria) I spent a few days reading and also posted on the forums. I am not finding a consistent answer on what to do with the main tank. I appreciate any help you can give I don't want to subject my fish to unnecessary treatment or mean parasites. Thank You, Blissgirl <Thank you for writing so completely. Bob Fenner>

FW Ich, mis-matched fish species I have a tank with 2 mollies, 2 guppies, 2 powder blue Gouramis, a Mickey mouse platy, a suckerfish, and two Oscars. <... Oscars in with livebearers? This won't work out... very stressful... like you being locked in a house with bears and tigers...> A few of the fish have come down with large cases of the ick. I raised the temp to 81, treated for 5 days with quick cure and did a 10% water change after the first two treatments. I took the carbon filter out and did what the directions said, yet 30% of my fish are still covered in it. I do not know what to do or how to get rid of it. My fish aren't acting different, it's almost as if it doesn't bother them, but I know it has to. If you could please send me any information on how to help get rid of it I would really appreciate it. Thanks. <I would use a Malachite Green based treatment... with elevated temperature... but you need to separate these fishes into two systems. Bob Fenner> 

Re: FW ich The Oscars are separated, they are only about 3 inches, and they are being moved to their own tank next week.  The treatment I use has the malachite green in it, and I now have the temp raised to 82, how long do I need to treat? Do I need to do any water changes? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Crayfish Safe Ich Medication Hello crew (probably Sabrina), <Sorry, Ya got Don tonight. Sabrina's birthday today. Hope she has a happy one> I apologize for resorting to e-mailing you, but I've searched quite a bit and I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. Neptune, my electric blue crayfish (Procambarus alleni), lives in a 55 gallon tank with a small selection of plants, 2 gold Gouramis, 2 blue Gouramis, a large Plecostomus (Jacques), a dinosaur eel (Scuttlebutt), a baby whale fish, and a temporarily small Arowana. I made the hasty mistake of dumping in some small feeder guppies for the Arowana without quarantining them. Now I have a fun little (deserved) ich outbreak.  I've slowly elevated the temperature to the mid-80's (Fahrenheit) and added some salt. The ich doesn't seem to be giving in that easily though, so I am going to medicate my tank. I currently have Quick cure. I understand that copper is quite unhealthy for my crayfish. The Quick cure label only lists the active ingredients (formalin and malachite green). Is Quick cure safe to use with my crayfish? If not, is there another effective medication that is crayfish-safe?  Would it be best to just remove my crayfish into my empty QT and medicate the main tank? If it is, I read that the too-small-to-see ich cysts can stick to a crayfish, so would my tank be re-infested when I moved the crayfish back? Again, I apologize for bothering you, but at least now anyone else with these questions will be able to find them! Thanks in advance for your help (again). -AJ in Florida <Don't use the copper in any tank where you may someday keep inverts. Months, and dozens of water changes, later it can still kill. If your QT is large enough to house all your fish for four to six weeks, move all the fish (but not the crayfish) and treat them in QT. Leaving the 55 fishless while treating in QT will starve out the parasites. If not then you will have to move the crayfish into the QT and treat the main.  Treating in the main is a last resort as the meds will nuke your bio filtration resulting in ammonia spikes. This will require that you do many large water changes to keep your fish alive, replacing the med with each. Much easier (and cheaper) in a small QT. I would use heat and salt only, no matter where you treat. Your eel and Plec will be badly stressed by copper. Possibly to the point of killing them.  Salt is much easier on the fish and 100% effective if used at the proper dosage, 76 grams per 10 gallons. For a 55 gallon that works out to 418 grams or just under 15 ounces. Make a brine out of tank water and add it back over a day or two. Take the temp up to 84. When ever you do a water change add the same concentration of salt to the new water before adding it to the tank. Of course you will need to test for ammonia and nitrite during any treatment. Continue treatment for at least two weeks after the last spot drops.  Always use a gravel vac to remove water. The Ich reproduces at the bottom of your tank. You have a lot of work ahead of you. Get your fish off of feeders. And oh yeah, the crayfish. Just keep him away from any fish for the four to six weeks and any hitch hikers will starve out. He can not be infected. Good luck. Don>

FW Ich, knowing part of solutions I have a 50 gal tank with a mixture of (17) fish including dwarf blue and pearl Gourami's, neon dwarf rainbows, boesemanni rainbows, von Rio tetras and Columbia tetras.  I just added a pair of Boesemanni to the main tank. Yes, I too should have isolated them first.  Two days after adding them I noticed 5 discrete white specs clustered on the middle of the side of one of the Boesemanni.  Within a day of discovering this I could see a couple of the white specs fall off one at a time.  I have to believe that this is ick. So far no damage, but I really do not want to risk any losses.    <The parasite is/has cycled off... is reproducing in your substrate... will be back in a few days> I went back to the Aquarium store and they tell me that ick is always present in an aquarium and surfaces at times of stress.  Is this true? <Mmm, more so than not... however, there is at least a hyper-infective component... once it gets going...> They recommended I use NOX ICK which I am now using.  The instructions say that with tetras in the tank I should half the dosage which concerns me that it will not be effective.   <Possibly...> I also read that the parasites when hatched seek light sources to help guide them the fish. <Mmm, no, not much... they find their way by chemical detection (smell if you will) and random locomotion. You may be referring to Velvet... a dinoflagellate/algae...>   I have wrapped my tank with a blanket to keep it dark which is not doing my plants any good (I can always replace the plants).  I also read that the treatment is more effective in lower pH.  In addition to the NOX ICK, I have raised the tank temp to 81-82 (should I go higher?), <Perhaps to the mid 80's> removed the carbon from my canister filter, lowered the pH (gradually), change water (30%) each day, add salt to about one tablespoon to each 10 gallons.   The instructions say to do the treatment for three days.  But if it is not effective (how does one know after three days?) they then say to skip a day and continue for three more days.  If I half the dose, does this mandate that II treat for three more days? <Possibly... I would administer this Malachite Green remedy for three cycles> I would consider a hospital tank but my 10 gal is too small for 17 fish and I dont want to infect the fish in my 30 gal tank.  I would buy another tank but it would have to be at least a 30 gal tank and it would only add to the stress of the fish perhaps leading to more serious issues.  Any suggestions? Charles <Mmm, have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/malachitegreen.htm and the linked files... I would. Bob Fenner>

ICH? Hi my name is Samantha. When I came home from my cousin's and aunt's last night I went up to my room to feed my fish and they had all these little white speckles/dots on their tails. Last time when I had a tiger fish he got those same little spots on him to. He ended up dying, but he was always under the rocks so that might have been why he died. My other fish don't go under the rocks, so I can't figure out what it's from. Can you please help me and figure out what these little white dots mean? < Usually these little white spots represent a protozoa infection often referred to as ich. It is common in new aquariums. I would recommend that you change 30% of the water, vacuum the gravel, service the filter and remove any carbon. Raise the water temp to 80 degrees F. Treat with Rid-ich by Kordon and follow the directions.-Chuck>

Swordtails with ick and fry breeder net About a week ago One of my females had about 11 fry (two conjoined and died naturally, so now I have 9) and at this time upon advice of my father and friends I got a air pump with air stone. However as of tonight (26/03/05) I noticed that my once aggressive male has Ick and the other male has early stages of it. I only have 3 females and 2 males and 2 Neons and a 2 catfish with the 9 fry in a baby breeding net, in a 10 Gallon Tank. Can I treat them with medicine, do I continue with two tea spoons of salt, should I create a nursery aquarium for the fry (5 gallon tank).  Desperately needs to know Marianne <Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and service the filter. Treat the tank with rid-ich as per the directions. Eventually your fry will need a tank of their own until they get big enough to be placed back with the other fish. Watch for ammonia spike because the medication may affect the good bacteria needed to break the fish waste down.-Chuck>

ICK Question Hello Bob. I am really sorry to bother you again but my 50 gallon tank has become infected with ich. I really tried to solve this problem on my own, but there is so much conflicting information/opinions and I feel that your opinion should always carry the most weight. My water parameters are fine and have been for quite some time (Ammonia-0; nitrite-0; nitrate-20ppm; pH-7.8; <A bit high for some freshwater life> ...total hardness-170ppm). I monitor them very regularly. I can only guess that the parasite was introduced via my three new swordtails. <Freshwater ich can be present constantly... showing itself when the host fish/es are challenged... generally by environmental stress> I know I should quarantine and believe me I will be getting a tank as soon as I can afford it (and explain the purchase to my wife). Quick side question... can I use one tank as both a hospital tank and a QT tank? <Yes> If I was able to purchase a ten gallon set up (I cannot now) would that, theoretically, be big enough to hold my 25 small (mollies, platies, tetras) fish for a month while I let my main tank go fallow? <Yes> Now my most important question: I have live plants, two Bengal loaches, and four diamond tetras, all of which I do not want to harm by adding harsh chemicals and/or salt. Therefore, after reading extensively on the subject, I decided that I should at least try to treat simply by raising my tanks temperature above 85F. <Worth trying> I did this over the course of three days and my Visi-Therm heater has held the temp between 86-87F for two days now.  However, after finding more articles/FAQS on the subject, I gathered that eradicating the parasite with heat alone is often difficult to impossible.  Is this true? <Yes> One FAQ stated that treating with heat required removing plants (which I am almost certain will cause them extensive damage)... <Depends on the species of plants... some are quite tropical... others sold in the trade are definitely temperate... you can read about these aspects on WWM> ...then to remove and boil the substrate. <No...> I find this highly impractical (I have over 70 lbs of gravel), and perhaps more stressful on the fish than the ick itself. <I agree> Is that what I should do? Or, will the heat treatment kill the parasite in the gravel and on the plants over two weeks (provided I do a massive water change with a gravel vacuum)? <Only time will tell> If you do not think the heat alone will kill the ick, what chemical would you recommend considering my sensitive/scaleless fish, and my live plants?  <Aquarisol... a copper sulfate solution> Will all chemicals kill my biological filter? <Possibly> If yes, is there a way to re-establish the bacterial colony without Bio-Spira or any other live bacteria cultures? <This is posted... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm> I bought Ick Guard II by Jungle Labs. I did not use it yet, for I am waiting to hear from you. It claims to be safe for scaleless fish and plants. It contains formalin, Victoria green, Nitromersol, Acriflavine. Is this a safe product? <... no... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm. Formalin is used to preserve specimens... dead people...> <giggle!> Could you recommend one? Thank you so, so much for your time! Very Sincerely, Brody <Please read, search WWM before you write. Bob Fenner> 

Ich Follow Up Hello Don. Thanks for your response. I read the article you suggested and I have a few questions. The article mentions that raising the temp to 86 Fahrenheit would likely kill the parasite. That is what I did in addition to adding a little more salt. Is that wrong in your opinion? I am a tad worried about salt on my plants so I do not want to overload the system with it. I have an Amazon sword plant, an Anubias, a Hygrophila, two pygmy chain swords, and a bunch of Italian Val. How much salt do you think those species can handle? I have a 44 gallon pentagon and I originally had just 4 teaspoons in it but I just doubled that to help with the Ich. Should I add more? Should I drop the temp? Should I use commercial meds instead?  My tankmates include 8 mollies, 7 platies, and 4 swordtails, all of which I am pretty sure can handle the salt/temps. But I also have two Bengal Loaches (I know these guys shouldn't have harsh meds), two diamond tetras, two beacon tetras and two Serpae tetras that I am not so sure about. Any suggestions? You mentioned that I will have to recycle my tank. What will kill the bacteria? The salt or the temps? Should I remove the carbon from my filter? Thank you so much for your time. Sincerely, Walt  <There have been reports on Ich being cured with water changes along with higher temps. The idea is to remove as many from the bottom before they can reproduce. Then kill the free swimming larvae with the heat. Not always 100% effective. If many parasites survive the heat your fish are in for a massive outbreak. If you opt to try this you should remove the gravel from the tank. Clean, boil, dry and store away for after treatment.  Be aware that at 86 you will be near the upper limits of your waters ability to hold enough O2 to support the fish. Add an airstone or two. The plants will have to be kept in a fishless condition for at least 30 day, longer if kept cool. Any hitch hikers will starve without a fish host. If you had that QT tank now we could move the fish for treatment and allow the main to go fallow for 30 days. You could then leave gravel, plants and inverts in the tank.  A temp of 82 to 84 would speed things up and ensure they starve out. Either high salt levels or almost all meds will kill your bio- filtration. I don't think a temperature of 86 alone will cause a big problem. But I still think you should add more salt, even with the loaches. I would measure out enough to get your concentration to around one tbls per two gallons. Remember, you already have some in there. Then make a brine and add it slowly over two or three days. Watch the loaches for breathing problems, discoloration. If they seem stressed stop adding the brine and do a small water change. This is really not the best way to use salt. You really should weigh out an exact dose. The size of the crystals makes a huge difference in the actual amount of salt in a tablespoon. But we should be close. Good luck. Don>

Ich after quick drop in temperature? Hi, <Good evening> After a quick drop in temperature (80 to 68 over about 30 minutes) and then slowly raising the temp. back over the course of the day, should I put dose ich meds now or wait to see if anything develops? Your quick response is greatly appreciated. Thanks for the help. <Mmm, of course, you don't want to subject your livestock to this sort of chilling in the first place... You don't mention if this is freshwater, marine... what sorts of livestock... but I would not add ich medicine prophylactically. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich after quick drop in temperature Sorry Bob for the lack of info. I was not thinking. <Happens to me... all the time> It is a freshwater cichlid tank. The drop in the tank temp was not intentional. Thanks for the help and great service you all provide. <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Ick on Brazilian Puffer and Hatchet Fish Hey guys <Hey yourself, it's Pufferpunk here> I have a 29 gal freshwater tank with a power filter that has all three filtration methods, heater set at 78 degrees. In the tank reside 1 1.5" Brazilian puffer, 6 serpae tetras, 5 hatchet fish, 1 blue crawfish, 1 weather loach, 2 Glo-fish, 2 butterfly loaches, 1 Pleco and some ghost shrimp for the puffer. I did a 25% water change and promptly got the ick REAL bad on the puffer and somewhat on the hatchets. I have been treating with 1/2 dosage of "Quick cure" (for the tetras sake) for 3 days and the ick seems to be getting worse. What are your recommendations? <I generally don't like to use meds for curing ich, especially on scaleless fish like puffers. The water change wouldn't have caused the ich, unless the siphon was used in a diseased tank. Generally it  comes form a new addition to the tank. The puffer will be the most susceptible to this parasite, since it is a scaleless fish. See: http://puffer.proboards2.com/index.cgi?board=hospital&action=display&num=1086103674  In short, large water changes while vacuuming gravel to remove free-swimming parasite, high temps (86 degrees) & 1 tbsp salt/5gal.> Thanks a bunch Dave <I hope your fish will be feeling better soon. ~PP>

White spot treatment, water changing and carbon filter removal Dear WWM Crew, <Jason> Firstly, congratulations on your great website. As a novice to keeping tropical freshwater fish I've found it a fantastic resource. I know I'm not the first to thank you for the time and effort you put in, but your willingness to share your knowledge has made getting started that much easier. <Ahh, good> I've tried to avoid asking any questions up until now but I've hit a wall, so I would appreciate your help. <Will try> Firstly, let me give you the background. I have a Juwel Rio 180 litre tank stocked with the following: 2 x Male Platies, 2 x Mollies (1 Male, 1 Female), 6 x assorted Guppies (All male), 2 x Dwarf Gouramis (Male), 4 x Rosy Barbs (2 Females, 2 Males) and 1 Crowntail Siamese Fighter (Male).  <Okay... do hope the size of your system affords the male guppies space to avoid nipping by your barbs, Fighter> These fish have been added around 4-6 at a time over the past month or so.  The water in our tank matured for 40 days before we added any fish, although I planted it after a week with a mixture of the most common plants, grasses and ferns. It also has a natural slate pile for cover and a large artificial tree root. The temperature is set to 25 degrees Celsius. I test the water using nitrate and nitrite kits once a week and perform 20% water changes once a week. The nitrate reading is always 20 or below and the nitrite is zero. (I'm sure this is too much info, apologies - this is my first post!) <All sounds good thus far> Anyway, a few days ago we introduced 2 rainbow guppies who settled in well on day 1, but by the following day were showing white spot. As I'm trying to go 'by the book' and look after my new pets as well as possible, I had already purchased some Intrapet No6 white spot treatment (I didn't want to leave it until the advent of disease - the store is too far away!). I have read on WWM about using salt as an alternative, but I didn't feel confident enough in applying a safe but effective amount so went with the chemicals.... <Likely wise here... your plant species mix will not likely tolerate much salt> I followed the instructions and treated the water the same day, removing the carbon filter first and slightly raising the temperature to 26 Celsius. Now, 3 days after treating the water two things have happened. Firstly, the white spot on the infected guppies is showing signs of reducing. I know I need to retreat the water tomorrow (4 days after the first treatment) to completely eradicate this, but I wanted to ask your advice about conducting a water change before this second treatment. This is because the second thing that has happened is one of the other, non white spotted guppies has died.  <Perhaps unrelated, but I WOULD do the water change> I have tested nitrate/nitrite again and these both seem good, but I'm a little perplexed at what may have caused the little fella's plight. I'm also aware that I'll need to leave the carbon filter out for another week after the next treatment, and that leaves me unsure about a water change.  On the one hand I'd like to clean and change the water, but on the other I'm worried about the effect of introducing hard water treated with my usual 'tap water anti-chlorine' treatment (sorry, cant remember the name/brand) into a tank without a carbon filter.  Please can you advise? I'm still on a steep learning curve when it comes to understanding water quality issues, the use of chemicals and such like and I'd greatly appreciate a more experienced fish keepers perspective. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. Keep up the good work!  Jason <Will endeavor to do so. The bit of chemical mixing from the water change is no problem... Do re-treat your system... and please do consider the advantages of having a separate quarantine/treatment tank/system... for at least isolating new livestock to prevent these issues. Bob Fenner>

On the battle field with ICK! Dear WWM crew, I know you get a lot of questions about ick, <Too many! I do wish folks would utilize caution, good selection (yes, including dealers!), quarantine all incoming livestock... OK, off my soapbox>   so here is another one. I have a 33g FW aquarium the inhabitants are 5 guppies, 5 scissortail Rasboras, 4 platies and 3 swordtails. This morning I noticed that on of the swordtails had small white dots on her. Then looking closer I saw that almost all of my other fish have then too. I have had a few encounters with ick in my other tanks but this 33g is my biggest and I'm just not certain on what to do. The medications that I have are: Pimafix, Fungus Eliminator, Ick Guard, Maracyn, and Maracyn-Two. I would like to know if any of these would work or if you have any suggestions on other things. Please Help Me. I won't add any medication until I hear from you. Thank you very much: Wendy Laresser <Only the Ick Guard is of use here... do read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top) and elevate your temperature... Bob Fenner>

Persistent ich problem, not mixing medications Hello Robert, <Jamie> Sorry to bother with this most surely worn question, but my aquarium has an infestation that seems resistant to treatment (I know how it got there, and it won't happen again). <These can be... trying>   Based on all that I have read re: ich, this should have cleared, as there has been treatment in the water for a minimum of two lifecycles.  Current water conditions: 82F; pH 7.0, NH3 0.0; NO2 0.0; NO3 10-15 ppm.  Fish: 3 Head and Taillight Tetras, 3 Lemon Tetras; 5 Neon Tetras; 5 Zebra Danios; 3 Peppered Corys and 1 Spotted Cory.  Aquarium is artificially planted 45 gal. w/Penguin 300gph filter. On 1-27 I noticed one spot on a Neon.  I immediately replaced the filter cartridges with new with carbon removed and added QuickCure - 35 drops. Repeating this daily, on 1-31 I added 4 tbs. salt @ 1 tbs. per 10 gallons (I've read that Cory's don't like it but thought some would help). <Yes>   On 2-2 I increased temp. to 82F and added 50 drops of Aquarisol @ 12 drops per 10 gal. <Mmm, you switched from a formalin to a copper-based remedy... for?> Through all this seeming over-treatment, the spots continued to show in an obvious but not rampant manner.  On 2-8, one of my Peppered Corys was obviously becoming washed out in color (I assume due to salt and probably toxicity of the QuickCure). <Likely>   I also noticed that one of the Lemon Tetras had inflamed gills and was experiencing difficulty w/respiration.  I did a 50% water change and vacuumed the gravel. <... did you check for integrity of your biological filter? You're treating your fish in their main tank... not a separate system?>   Treatment with QuickCure resumed.  On 2-10 I noticed some tail rot on a Head and Taillight Tetra and performed another 50% water change.  I also discontinued use of the QuickCure and began treatment with Coppersafe to a tested 1.5-2.0 ppm copper concentration per instructions and also began daily treatment with TriSulfa - 4 tabs. @ 1/10 gal. for the secondary bacterial infection. <...? Not warranted> As of tonight, my fish are still glancing and flashing and there are still visible spots.  Have I not given all this time to work, or have I encountered a resistant strain of ich? <You've induced some problems here with the mixing of two quite toxic medicines... likely killed off your nitrogenous microbes...> I would like to raise the temp to 86F as well, but in my research the temp. range of my fish is well below that.  Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jamie <I WOULD check for ammonia, nitrite... AND settle on just ONE of the medications (likely the CopperSafe), AND elevate temperature to the mid-80's F. Bob Fenner>

Paragon vs. Quick Cure Hi, folks! <Ted> I've a 60 gallon with 4 3 inch fancy goldfish and 3 weather loaches.  Recently, the goldfish developed a VERY nasty case of Ick overnight. The loaches scratch, but I don't see any spots on them.  <Can/could still be there... the spots are actually a reaction, not the ich itself... like slimy bumps from irritation> I had used Paragon on just the goldfish before for fish lice and it was a smashing success. However, I was told not to use Paragon this time for Ick because of the loaches. Even at half strength, it would harm the loaches. <Yes> Quick Cure appeared to be the most popular alternative. I've read the instructions and it is one drop per gallon. No problem. It will discolour the water, but colour will disappear in a few days. No problem. However, when I tried the Quick Cure, the water is tinted blue only for about an hour or two before the water is clear again....not a few days. What gives? <Ah, good observations... the compound that yields the color is "disappearing" (complexing with other material in the system)... and likely the more "active ingredient" (formalin)> I've taken out all carbon. Only filter left is an reverse-flow undergravel filter and a spray bar jetting out water through floss media and Biomax-type rings. There should be nothing that takes up the colour of the Quick Cure.  <Mmm, mulm, gravel, other "stuff" that makes up your water... even the livestock themselves will absorb...> Am I missing something here? Am I losing the Quick Cure before it can even do its job? <Bingo> There is absolutely no carbon. Just floss filter, Biomax-type rings and massive aeration. <Ahh, the biota on the rings also is absorbing...> I intend on following the instructions with a one drop per gallon DAILY regiment for a few days, but don't want to lose the medication before it actually does its job! As usual, thank you so much for your help! Ted <Ted, rather than going on with the present circumstances, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm  and the related file links above.... And switch treatments... elevate temperature, use a malachite based med... half strength... and test for ammonia... as your nitrifiers have and will take a beating... Bob Fenner...>

Re: Paragon vs. Quick Cure Thank you so much.  I did learn a few things. <Good> One issue I have noticed is that while it is widely recommended to do many water changes during treatment (I intend on keeping up with the Quick Cure, minus the Biomax ring that remains oddly white), there is no mention of whether the fresh water should be treated with the medication before adding to the tank to keep up the concentration. <Good point... all treatments (I DO wish there were ready assays for active ingredients to all) should be re-added per changes, time frames>   The way I see it, if I do a 25% water change every day or two, I'm diluting the medication.  Does this make sense?  Thanks! Ted <Does indeed... and at least a quarter re-application is therefore called for. Bob Fenner>

Clown Loaches with white spots laying on the bottom of the tank I have a new 90L tank (just over a month old). I have slowly introduced 8 Neon Tetras, 1 Siamese Fighting Fish, 2 Plecostomus, 2 Clown Loaches and a growing snail infestation. <Suspect these last two are related> I am a complete beginner here as this is my first ever tank, I have read some books and many web pages but none seem to answer specifically my question. Please let me explain a little first before asking yourselves. After introducing the Clowns they seemed to hide behind plants and rocks for the most part of the day, I hardly ever saw them. <This is normal behavior... they're new.> This did not worry me as they appeared to be doing their job (the snail population dropped dramatically). The Fighting Fish never seemed to display his colours as he did in the shop, this was solved by adding a mirror to the side of the tank. One day after adding the mirror I noticed a little white spot on one of the loaches on the rare occasions I saw them, by the evening it was covered and the other fish started developing it. By the second day I had added Interpret White Spot Plus No6. Over the next few days the spots diminished on all the fish except the loaches, after the second dose the other fish seemed clear and the loaches if not clear at least diminished. The loaches however are no longer hiding in the back of the tank where I can't see them, they are laying one on top of the other huddled up next to they mirror and barely moving. Every now and then they will dart into the middle of the tank for a few minutes then return and lay still for ages. My question is are they still suffering from the White Spot, are they suffering from something else or is this normal behavior? <Likely just the white spot/ich> Please excuse any ignorance here but I really am beginning to worry about them as it says on many pages white spot can be lethal, while on just as many it says it can be easily cured. Tony Robertson <Ignorance is acceptable... we're here to diminish this... Your fish, indeed your tank "has ich"... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm  Re: the medication, did you remove all chemical filtration (e.g. carbon) from your filters? This will remove the med. Did you raise the tank temperature? I would... all the livestock you list can easily tolerate the mid 80's F... but not the ich. Know that the loaches are "ich magnets" (i.e. very susceptible to this parasite), AND sensitive to ich medications... you will want to check the label, what you can re the med... and likely use half doses... Don't add any more livestock for a few weeks till after this problem is solved. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Clown Loaches with white spots laying on the bottom of the tank. Dear Mr. Fenner <Tony> May I say thank you very much for your advice, it has helped to belay my fears quite a bit. <Glad we have helped you> You asked if I had removed the carbon filters, I had as that was an instruction with the white spot medication although I must admit I was unsure as to why I had to do it but my guess matched your reason. You also suggested raising the temperature, this I had not done as the instruction suggested raising it to 26c while I have had my tank at a constant 27c since the second day after installation.  <I might raise it as much as 29C... the rationale: the causative organism (Ichthyophthirius multifilius) cannot tolerate heat as well as its fish hosts> It is now two days since I first wrote and things have improved a great deal with the Clown Loaches. All signs of ich appear to have left all the fish, the loaches (the ones I was worried about the most) seem a tad paler than I recall but they do seem a bit more active. They are not laying on top of one another anymore but rather moving around on the bottom of the tank. I definitely believe they are going to live, which was not my belief a couple of days ago. <Do understand the general life cycle of the protozoan...> I had planned on adding a few more fish later this week but I think now I will wait a week longer. <Yes! At least a few weeks... you may well simply be in "mid cycle"> I'm hoping to add some Angelfish, Red-tailed sharks and some small striped ones I saw in the shop last time I was there but unfortunately don't recall what they were called. I will seek advice from the shop before making any purchases as they did seem very knowledgeable last time. I had been blaming them for the ich in my tank but I now realize and understand that it is extremely common so I'll forgive them, but it won't stop me asking for a discount.  Again let me repeat my thanks as your advice and web pages were deeply appreciated. Tony Robertson <You are welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Ick Ills Hi. I have a 55 gallon tank that has obviously become very sick since I last added new fish. Including the new fish, I had 2 3-inch goldfish, 10 small feeder goldfish, two small Plecos, an African frog, and 10 guppies. Several days after adding the new fish, they began to develop ick. I did a partial water change and tested the water as well. Everything was within normal/safe parameters except the nitrites were 5.0ppm. Also, the pH was 8.4; is this too high? When I brought the new fish home, one of the guppies delivered babies in the transport bag. I bought a nursery net to keep the fry in. All of them have survived and seem perfectly happy. My problem is with all the other fish. Even with the ick treatments, the fish continue to die. Every morning there are 2-4 new dead ones. One of the large goldfish has a small whole in his head. I have read a bit about this, but not enough to know what caused it or how to help. I am certain that all of my fish will die if I can't find something else to do to try to save them. I went back to the store where I bought the newest fish and their tanks were quarantined for treatment. Is there anything I can do? Please help.  Thanks, Christina <Your biggest problem right now is the 5.0 nitrite level. Deadly high. The fix is a few large water changes. But before you do any changes I want you to check the pH of your tap against the tanks pH. If they are the same, change 50% at a time. The more they differ, the small percent of water you can change safely. If they are off by more than a full point only change about 10% at a time, but do two or three a day. Once the two pH's converge you can up the percent to a max of 50%. Always remove the old water with a gravel vac. This will help with the Ick which reproduces on the bottom of the tank. Not sure what you are using for the Ick, but salt is my preferred cure. Read the link at bottom on the proper use of salt to cure Ick. Take note of the life cycle and continue any treatment for two weeks after the last spot drops. Most meds will kill the bio filtration in your system and cause the ammonia and or nitrite levels to spike. I think that is what is killing your fish, not the Ick directly. Any meds will have to be replaced with the water changes. Another good reason to use salt. It's not as harsh on the fish, is 100% effective and it's cheap. Continue to test through any treatment and do as many water changes as it takes to keep ammonia and nitrite at zero, nitrates below 20ppm. Keeping less fish will mean less water changes. Also not good to mix tropicals with goldfish. Don>

FW Ich - II Thank you for the advice. I will do my best to keep the system as stable as possible from now on. I may have some bad news, however. I was just looking at my fish and noticed one white spot on my female black molly's tail. Is it at least possible that this is not ich, or, should I begin precautionary measures immediately? I should mention that this is the only symptom of ich I have noticed, albeit a rather strong one. At second glance, I noticed some more white spots on some other fish and I am now 99 percent certain that I have the beginning of an ich outbreak on my hands (most likely carried in from one of my new fish...when I get more money I will be investing in both a hospital tank and a quarantine tank). I read up on it and I just did a ten percent water change and added a little more salt to the tank. I also have begun raising the temperature incrementally until I reach about 86 degrees. Is this the right approach? Will my fish, for the most part, tolerate this? Sincerely, Walt <I combined your two emails into one here. Good catch finding this early. Please read here http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showquestion.php?faq=2&fldAuto=32. Take note of the life cycle of this parasite and continue treatment for at least two weeks after the last spot drops. If during treatment you notice your fish suddenly clear, do a big water change. It is very important that you do water changes using a gravel vac. The parasite will be living in the gravel preparing to reproduce. Salt will kill any you miss. But you get a 1,000 to 1 return on your efforts by removing them before they have a chance to reproduce. Always replace the salt in the new water before adding it to your tank. Heat will speed up the Ich life cycle. Only increase the temp after the salt or other medication is in place. Your tank will have to recycle after treatment. You should also read here on establishing FW bio filtration http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm  Don>  

Ghost Knife sick - please help Good Morning - I came across your FAQ on the Knife fish and was very appreciative. I read through much of what you had and it was helpful but not sure if what my fish has is Ich or not so not sure to use the info your site kindly provided. Hoping you can help as I really love my fish and am very worried. Here's the stats... 55 Gal tank - PH is 7.8. <A bit high for the fishes listed...> Tank established for 8 months. Put in feeder goldfish about 3 weeks ago to feed Arowana and two weeks later my fish are dying. <Not... an uncommon problem... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/goldfshfd.htm  this practice, feeding feeders, is a HUGE source of aquarium livestock mortality> Have removed feeder fishes from tank altogether.  <Too late> Water tested by local shop and hubby and both said it tested very good just pH a little high.  Just lost my Yo Yo Loach and Arowana with no visible signs of sickness.  Yesterday morning I checked my tank to see my Black Ghost Knife with white spots all over - but not like I've seen Ich before - like little salt sprinkles. These white spots appear to be more flat looking and more grouped. Please see attached picture. <Does look like ich... though could be another parasite... most all are treated similarly> He is eating and acting normally.  Was told to do following treatment but have seen no change as of yet; raise water temp to 82 degrees, use AquariSol 12 drops per 10 gal, add sea salt 1 teaspoon per 10 gal and remove charcoal from filter and use PimaFix 1 tsp per 10 gal. I'm worried that I'm overmedicating. <Might be... as Knifefishes are intolerant of the poisons that are used to treat such infestations... I would raise the temperature to mid eighties F., not use the PimaFix (it's of no use), and use half doses of the AquariSol (a copper sulfate solution)> Should I be doing water changes?  <Yes> Will that amount of salt hurt my BGK? <No, should help more than hurt> I'm worried he's not tolerant enough for it. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Thanks so much!  Jennifer Welker <Have you read the article and FAQs on ich on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm  The FAQs are linked (above, in blue)... Bob Fenner> 

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