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FAQs on Freshwater Ich, White Spot Disease: Remedies That Don't Usually Work

Related Articles: Freshwater DiseasesIch/White Spot Disease, Freshwater MedicationsFormalin/Formaldehyde, Malachite Green, FW Disease Troubleshooting,

Related FAQs: FW Ich 1, FW Ich 2, 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, P Ich Remedy Sensitive Livestock, Ich Medicines, Ich Cases, & Aquarium MaintenanceChoose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks, Freshwater Infectious Disease, Freshwater Fish ParasitesAfrican Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid Disease

Check labels for ingredients: Won't do: Acriflavine, Antibiotics, Mela-Pima-fix (worthless), Methylene Blue, Nitromersol, Victoria Green, Pepper sauce...

UV sterilizers, Diatom filters, mechanical filtration period won't cure.

Brand name Maker Active Ingred.s (e.g. excluding water, salt...)
Ich Attack Kordon/Novalek  "Organic herbal treatments"
Ick Clear Jungle Victoria Green, Acriflavine,
Ich Guard Jungle Victoria Green, Acriflavine, Nitromersol,
Kick Ich Ruby Reef Pepper sauce...
Melafix, Pimafix Aq. Pharm. Tree leaves...
Methylene Blue various Methylene Blue

Kordon Ich Attack    5/6/12
Hi crew!
here I am emailing again. Not so much as to ask a question but to relay my experiences with the Kordon Ich attack product.
<I thank you for this relating>
Using it a third time, I have to say that it does certainly work in freshwater systems. I have no experience with marine systems so I don't believe I can make any claims there about its effectiveness or detrimental effects.
The only ridiculous thing about this medicines is, that it is probably only good for very small systems, as I have needed to use it at double, triple, quadruple the dosage and redose done every few hours.
I used this on my infected 1 gallon heavily planted tank with a couple of Endler's, Oto cats, cherry shrimps, ghost shrimps and snails. It started when I failed to quarantine a  new comer. Day three after newcomer's arrival all fish were flashing and spots can be seen on the new fish, I dosed at about triple the recommended dosage every six hours. Sure the tank stank like nothing you can imagine and,  i changed out 20% in fear that the stink alone will kill everything, but it did its job decent and no spots were seen after a week. Tank is at room temperature, 75F. Ammonia-0 Nitrite-0 Nitrate-0 PH 7.6 . No plants or inverts died in the process.
Second time I used this was on a 1 month Betta fry(juvie?) , who showed spots almost immediately upon arrival from the pet store. From what I could see upon a second visit to the same store, they are having an outbreak of Ich. Salt was added at 1/2tsp/gal, temp is around 75/76F and the dosage was around quadruple the recommended amount dosed whenever I can remember.
Water was changed out every half a day or whenever a spot vanishes, and the jar thoroughly cleaned. In this case I believe that the religious water changes and salt contributed to the cure more than Ich attack. After four days, I reverted to 1 water change every two days and dosing a Ich attack after every water change. No Ich has come back as of today. The last spot was seen two weeks ago.
The third time was a year ago with my old Betta ( also when he was new, and came to me with a myriad of health problems) the lasting one was Ich. I cured him with salt, high temps, and Kordon Ich attack. At the time I thought of it more as a fluke and didn't credit the medication at all. But since it was used, I believe I should at least mention it.
Just something i thought I would share as it came for a pleasant surprise for me when this stuff I was skeptical about functioned quite nicely.
Although in a 10gallon+ system I'd hate to imagine how many buckets of this stuff one will have to go through....

New Aquarium non-cycled with Ich   10/6.5/11
<... non-cycled... Why did you add fish here?>
Dear Wet Web Media,
We started a 55 gal freshwater tank just shy of two weeks ago. We used all the guidelines for set up from professionals we trusted and started with 5 fish; 2 Bala Sharks
<These minnows get quite large... and are "jumpy">
and 3 yellow lab cichlids. They were doing great so after a week we added 3 Serpae Tetras and 1 Pleco (Albino bushy nose I believe). We did not realize at the time the Pleco had Ich, little white salt like spots but noticed after he was home.
Needless to say, all of our fish now have Ich. They all have spots and are starting to act strangely as well, swimming erratically, darting around and swimming at the walls. Sometimes they swim in place for awhile as well.
We've checked the water levels and there is nothing abnormal.
Is this behavior from the Ich?
<Very likely yes>
What's the best way to treat Ich in a non cycled tank?
<... heat. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwichremedyyes.htm
and the linked files above>
Thank you so much for any help you can provide, we don't want to loose any fish.
<Or lose them. Bob Fenner>
Sincerely, Roberta & Don
Re: New Aquarium non-cycled with Ich   10/6.5/11

Dear Bob,
I'd like to thank you for your quick reply to my first email!
<I apologize for the lag time... issues like yours need immediate attention/action>
We added fish after 48 hrs of setting the tank up as we were told we had to add fish to cycle the tank,
<Mmm, now you hopefully know better>
as their waste is what creates the ammonia and whatnot which cycles the water. Our water is good out of tap so the ph was neutral. Were we given wrong information?
<Yes... please search on WWM re... "fishless cycling freshwater" or such>
Also since this morning one of my Bala sharks has double the spots! Plus Neither of the Balas ate today and are still acting strange (dating around erratically).
<Yes... as stated, and the citation I gave you last email... You need to act, NOW>
So far we've:
Set the temp gradually (as suggested on your site) to 86 degrees and are using Kordon Ich attack.
<As much as I like the company... this product is bunk... a herbal placebo.
Please... put the name in WWM's search tool and read>
We didn't add salt as we already had 1 teaspoon per gallon in the water from day one. And we've been doing small water changes, 2 gallons a day, adding new salt and stability to the new water. Also we are keeping the carbon in the filter.
<... the carbon... removes all medications>
<Mmm, DO look into "Dr. Tim's One and Only"... as far as "instant cycling" products go, this is the best>
However, No improvement and we are on day 4 of treatment. Does Ich get worse before it gets better? I see some ppl only get a few spots per fish but my Bala & Pleco have a ton! The others only have a few (so far). I thought at this point the spots would be falling off so we could kill the parasite. Is it too soon?
We are really discouraged and want to save our new fishes. Should we continue what we are doing and wait it out? How long till they should loose the spots?
<... You need to read where you've been referred to... ONLY you can save your livestock... There's simply too much for me or anyone to relate to you... which is why I and friends have built and continue to build WWM as a referral resource. We are NOT a forum for questions/answers... there are some 30-40k people a day that use the site...>
Thanks so much for your help. Your site is very helpful, I just wish I had found it sooner before we started!!!
<I as well.>
Thanks, Roberta & Don
<Cheers, BobF>

Re: re: Hey again and Happy New Year! Ich, temp...?   1/3/11
Ok thanks Bob. One other thing I am in question about is higher temperature speeding up the life cycle of Ich. My temp is around 76 normally and when I increase it to 80 Ich becomes rampant in the tank and
on my fish. From the research I've done on wwm.com I was lead to believe higher temps are better for Ich infested tanks, why is it getting worse and not better?
<... Umm... please include previous correspondence when writing us. Am so forgetful now-a-years that I can scant recall where my keys are (I try to put them in the same place)... 80 degrees is not "hot enough" to do much good... for either marine or freshwater Ich... See WWM re. BobF>

Ich with guppies and newborn fry  11/28/09
Hi there,
<Hello Sharon,>
I read your thread about ich and it looks like we should be considering salt as opposed to "Ich Attack" for our fish.
<Yes, salt/heat is generally safer than standard medications. Since Guppies are very tolerant of salt, you can keep them in brackish water conditions and consequently never get Whitespot/Ick or Velvet.>
Here's what we have in our 10 gallon tank:
<Not wild about 10 gallon tanks for Guppies, given how aggressive the males become.>
2 male guppies (separated by divider) 2 female guppies, 2 upside-down catfish (male side),
<Tank is too small for Upside-down Catfish; these get to about 8 cm/3 inches in length, and are quite boisterous things.>
8 - 3 week old fry on male side and 3 - 3 week old fry on female side. This morning we noticed a cloud of newborn fry (both sides). The problem is we think we have ich - some of the older fry have what look like little crystals on their bodies & tails. They are acting fine. However, one of our adult females, who looked as if she had been sick for a while but was coming around, just died. We had noticed what looked like the scales on her back were standing up and shining white, but it was probably ich.
<Remove the Upside-down Catfish to a tank of appropriate size. Then raise the salinity in the Guppy-only tank to SG 1.003 at 25 degrees C (about 6 grammes salt -- or better still, marine salt mix -- per litre). Run the tank like this forever, if you want: your Guppies will be hardier and happier, and unlikely to get sick unless you do something really silly. The catfish will not tolerate this amount of salt. If you choose to do the
salt/heat method with the catfish, you'll have to use much less salt; something like 2 to 3 teaspoons of salt per 3.75 litres /1 US gallon. Should still work, but less quickly and perhaps less reliably, and won't
have quite the same tonic effect on the fish.>
Since we have this influx of newborn fry, I am unsure how to treat - if "Ich Attach" will kill them.
<Yes, will work. Some risk to the fry, but not substantial. Even if some fry die, you'll have a billion more before you know it.>
And if you recommend salt instead, or along with it, can you describe how to do that (container, how to deal with divider)?
<See above; also read WWM re: Ick.>
We have a filter that waterfalls water back in and a heater (temp is in the mid-70s). I am not sure the filter is able to work efficiently due to the divider in the tank.
<Your suspicions are correct: by definition, anything that divides the tank up also reduces water flow.>
We've removed the carbon filter because we noticed the ich (that's what the aquarium guy told us it may be) and were going to treat. I'd used tea tree oil 2 days in a row a few days ago but did not add today when I saw the newborn fry.
<Tea-tree oil products are largely preventatives rather than cure, and have zero impact on Ick anyway.>
thanks for your help!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Methylene blue  - 03/02/07 Hi there <<Hello!>> I have a 4cm black moor in my 10g tank and 3 days after buying it, it developed white spot - I'm assuming it had this when I bought it and I just didn't notice. <<Perhaps.  What are your plans for tank upgrade?>> So I put some Methylene blue tonic in the tank to treat the whitespot, and the people at the pet shop (another one - I didn't trust the first lot after the sick fish) said to replace the airstone once the fish was well and the blueness would come out of the water. <<Methylene blue is not the proper medication to treat ick. There are much better treatments for this.  You biofilter is likely gone now as well from dosing the main tank.  Id get on large water changes, adding Bio Spira and mature filter media from an established tank, and add some activated carbon to the filter to help remove the medication.>> I have an under gravel filter but not a carbon filter as such. The problem is that adding an air stone has made no difference, <<No, it wouldnt.>> And my healthy-looking moor is now swimming around in blueness. I've done two 50% water changes over the past 2 days in an attempt to clear the water but it's still very blue. I don't want to tip all the water out and start again because I don't want to kill or stress my fish, but I am quite keen to get rid of the blueness -any ideas? <<See above.  If you have nowhere to add carbon (a small HOT filter will do), keep up the water changes.  Please note that the Methylene Blue will permanently colour the silicone in the joints of your tank.>> Would tipping all the water out and starting again be that bad given that the Methylene blue probably killed my biofilter anyway? <<Usually does not. RMF>> <<I recommend large water changes, not total water changes.>> Rose <<Good Luck Rose! Lisa.>>

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>

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>   

Licking Freshwater Ich! Hi.  I have a 30G freshwater tank with an Eclipse 3 hood.  Stocked now with 3 platies, 5 cardinal tetras, 3 Rainbowfish (2 Boesemanni 1 turquoise), one OTO and one Siamese Algae Eater. Tank has had ich impervious to everything known.  Going on 5 months now. <Wow! That's a long outbreak!> Ammo, nitrite, nitrate, all 0, pH is 7.7. Do 15% water change weekly. Tried quinine, m green/formalin, Metronidazole, nothing has worked to eradicate it.  Lost 3 clown loaches on 3 outbreaks for 9 total. <Awful to hear...> I'm considering using a UV sterilizer now.  Thinking Turbo-Twist 9W with a mini-jet pump which is adjustable. Figuring I'd run it at about 60GPH, to allow sufficient contact with the bulb while still getting a 2X turnover. <That makes sense> But there is a lot of conflicting reports regarding whether UV sterilizers have any effect on ich.  Would I be wasting money?  Or might I get some benefit.  I want to keep clown loaches, but fear adding them will bring more ich, more death.  Don't see logic of QT tank as ich is most definitely in the main tank not on incoming fish (example: 6 days ago last clown loach dead.  No other tankmates had any ich signs. <I understand your thoughts on this, but I respectfully disagree...Quarantine will definitely help prevent new outbreaks of ich and other infectious diseases in your main tank...try this procedure before you discount its effectiveness...It works!> Treated with RidIch+ for 2 more days anyway.  Did 25% water change.  5 days after all that, new ich spots on a platy). Want to end this in the main tank.  Think I'd get benefit from a UV? Thanks! Joel <Well, Joel, UV is useful for killing the free-floating pathogenic organisms that cause some diseases, however, what you need to do is deprive the ich parasites of their hosts, which will disrupt the life cycle of the parasites, and cause their population to crash. Do this by removing all of your fishes (even the "healthy" ones) and placing them in a separate aquarium for treatment (if necessary) with the ich medication of your choice. Meanwhile, leave the main tank "fallow" for 30 days. After the 30 day period, you can re-introduce your now healthy fishes into the tank, which should have a much lower parasite count than it did previously...a level that healthy fishes should be able to withstand. This is not a fun procedure, but it works in both fresh and marine systems. Try it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Meds and UV Sterilizers I recently wrote about the amazing results I have had with a Coralife Turbo-Twist UV Sterilizer in eliminating a long, persistent and deadly ick outbreak. After about 3 weeks of ick-free life in the tank, I decided to try once again to add clown loaches. Surprise, surprise, they are now showing signs of ick, after about 4 days in the tank.  Earlier, a platy had shown white spots but those went away after two days on their own, the UV seemed to take care of it. <Operative words here are "seemed to"> My question is this: should I just let things be and hope the UV controls the parasite? <I wouldn't. I'd at least raise the tank temperature to the mid-80's F (which by itself will likely kill the trophonts/feeding stages on the fish/es>   Or should I medicate the tank?  If the latter, is there any medication I can safely use in conjunction with the UV? <Yes. Look for "other than" malachite, formalin based ones... Specifically, there are some based on silver salts that are fine for use  here, like Aquarisol> Or must I turn the UV off?  If the latter, what med would you recommend to help my clown loaches, and for how long should I use it before re-starting the UV? <See above> Prior to adding the UV, over a period of about 6 months I had lost I think 9 clown loaches (3 on 3 separate occasions, all to ick).  I have had horrible luck, but they are among my favorite fishes and I really want to keep them. Thanks. Joel <A good idea to put a quarantine procedure into place for all new livestock. Bob Fenner>

Re: Meds and UV Sterilizers Thanks for the reply.  As for Aquarisol: my bottle says copper Zycosin, as does their website.  Nothing about silver. <Yes... used to be silver based... now copper>   The word copper makes me think you can't use it with the UV on. <Depends on chelation, sequestering... Easy enough to do an experiment... with and w/o the UV on and testing for free copper> I just want to confirm it is ok to do so before trying it.  Whaddya think?  If not, what about Clear Ick by Aquatronics, which is quinine monohydrochloride and gentian violet, whatever that is? <Another good choice... or as stated previously just raising the temperature will do it...>   Just want to be sure my UV doesn't turn the meds into something that will kill everything in the tank. <Mmm, no, this won't happen. Bob Fenner> Thanks again!

Sick Fish ( HELP) Hello,  Where to start?   I have two 55gallon aquariums stacked on one another, with a bio filter and pump system underneath , its a freshwater setup that's been in place for the past 5 years . I've had aquariums for about 15 years are so.  My problem is I purchased new fish and made the mistake of not quarantining them first, Stupid I Know!   I had to go out of town on business and left someone to take care of my fish while I was gone, when I returned 4 days later not only do I have ick on my 8" Severums which I have raised from nickel size, but also have a ex-large Solid Black angel that appears to have cotton fungus.   All the sick looking fish seemed to be in the lower tank, which I realize the temp to be a little cooler, a degree or two but still at 76-78.  Note I had just did a water change prior to addition of new fish.  Water checks out fine!   I purchased Wardley's Watercare Ick Away ,   added to both tanks top and bottom as recommended , water turned blue for a short period of time then cleared up I'm guessing maybe cause of the Bio system?   The second day a repeated the dosage according to instructions.  On the third day I noticed a real serious problem on all fish in the lower tank . (Fin rot ). Side fins , and tails.   I  have now did a 25% water change and added  MelaFix to try and help the fins. I've since lost a half dozen smaller fish in the top tank, probably from meds I NO.  I'm really trying to save my fish can you help?  The Severums are still eating well but lying a lot on the bottom of the tank, still showing signs of ick, but not as bad as it seems to be cycling out . Is it possible that the ingredients in Wardley Ick Away caused damage to the fins of the fish?          Do you think an overdose would have caused this ? What do you recommend ?       The Ex-large Angel doesn't eat, closed fins ,   The Severums both Green and Gold , still have signs of ick, plus now have serious damage to there fins but or still eating well.     Thanks for your time, hope to here from you SOON. < A couple of things are going on. First of all you need to do a 30% water change on the systems by vacuuming the gravel in each tank. This will remove the crud in the gravel and help reduce the nitrates. Clean the filter. This will also help reduce the nitrates. Remove any carbon and treat the system with Kordon's rid-ich to get rid of the ich and Nitrofuranace to get rid of the bacterial infections. Raise the water temp to 80 degrees F to help get rid of the ich. Do not feed the fish for a few days. I suspect that when you went away your well meaning friend overfed your fish tipping the aquariums sensitive balance over the edge. The ammonia levels went through the roof and your fish got stressed and sick. Treating a dirty tank is an up hill battle. Organics in the water absorbs much of the medication so a clean tank is much more effective. When you treated the tank for ich the medication may have killed or at least affected the good bacteria in your filter system so watch and test for ammonia and nitrite spikes while treating this time. I would do daily water changes until the fish show signs of getting better.-Chuck>                                   Robert

New Tank + No QT = ICK Hi and thanks for having such a great site. Here's my setup: 20 gallon freshwater tank, whisper filter, heater usually set to 77 but is at 86 right now, live plants, 20w full spectrum fluorescent bulb, 1 powder blue Gourami, 2 clown loaches, water treated with AquaPlus tap water conditioner, no hospital tank   my tank is newly set up, and is just about done with the 1st cycle, ammonia=0, nitrites= trace, nitrates=12.5, pH= 7.2. My problem is Ick and an unknown white fuzzy patch. One of the clown loaches has Ick, a persistent case of it actually. I have been treating the tank with Ich Attack for over a week now and the ich is now worse than it ever was. Saturday (one week after first treatment) I doubled the  dosage (as was recommended on the bottle for severe infections), and have been  double dosing it every day since. The LFS told me not to do any water change or  gravel vac until the ich is gone. (I had been doing a 20% water change and  gravel vac daily during the first week of treatment prior to this last Sat) The odd thing (to me) is, that only one of the clown loaches has ich, the other  one is fine! And the Gourami does not have ich either.   White fuzzy patch on the powder blue Gourami's dorsal fin (fungus??/mold??). The spot is on the very top of the fin (on the top edge) When  I first noticed the white spot, I thought it was ich. This spot however has  grown to just a tad bigger than the head of a pin and looks in appearance to be  fuzzy. It is only this one very small spot and is not growing rapidly at all, nonetheless, is still there and I don't want for it to become a problem. Of  course during the first week of treatment this spot has not gotten any better and has grown ever so slightly.   The Ich Attack claims to be 100% organic and treats diseases caused by Ich, Fungus, Protozoans and Dinoflagellates. Directions say to add 1 teaspoon of Ich Attack for every 10 gallons of aquarium water. Repeat dosage daily for one week.  For severe infections the daily treatment may be increased by 50-100% (1.5 to 2  teaspoons) and the treatment continued for longer thank 1 week. For Ich (white  spots) treat for 3-4 days after the last spots are gone. Do at least a 20% water  change at the end of treatment. As I said, the first week I used the initial dosage. Since Saturday I have been double dosing and the ich on the loach is worse than ever. He does rub on the gravel and ornaments more now too. He eats just fine and acts fine otherwise. I am new to this stuff and am not sure of what different meds might be used on delicate loaches and also with live plants in the tank. Also of growing concern is the white fuzzy patch on the Gourami (who is also eating and acting just fine). I have looked and looked for info on fungus similar to what he has  to no avail, or maybe it's just so new that it doesn't yet resemble pics that I have seen of other fish with fungus. I do not have a digital camera so I cannot  provide a picture of it (not that even a pic would do much good as it is so  small). Do you have any recommendations as to what I should do to deal with the ich and this white fuzzy spot? I am truly at a loss here and from all I read, LFS is not my friend and only will direct me to spend money on things that will not help my fish. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! And thank you in advance for your help! Nancy   <Hi Nancy, Don here. Please start the water changes again using the gravel vac. This is very important. The parasite reproduces in the gravel. Do not add any more of the med. Great to see you are testing, you will need to continue for a while. You do have two problems here, but the cure is the same. Salt. Please read here on it's proper use. http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showquestion.php?faq=2&fldAuto=32 Take note of the Ick lifecycle and continue to treat for at least 2 weeks after the last spot drops. If during treatment many spots disappear suddenly, vac the gravel very well. They will still be alive and setting up to reproduce. Getting them out before this happens will give you a 1,000 to 1 return on your efforts. The salt will kill any you miss. Salt is 100% effective and will also knock off the fungus. However the levels needed will at least stress, if not kill, the bacteria in your filter. You will need to recycle after treatment. See the hassle (and lives) a QT tank can save you now?>   

Ich Dear crew, <Linda> I have two female guppies that appear to have ich (small white spots on their fins and body). I have been using Ich Guard for several days, and the one that first had ich seems more active and generally better (though she is still has a few spots), but the other did get sick (only a few spots). I have been putting the Ich Guard in every night after a 25% water change, and I have been vacuuming the gravel. I don't want to continue the medication much longer though, because I can't believe extended treatment is good for the tank. The temperature in the tank is probably low, because I don't have a heater. Would a heater help? <Yes, very much so> How gradually do you heat the water? <Can be raised several degrees quickly (hours), but should be lowered a degree or two per day> Is there anything else I can put in to help? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm  and the Related FAQs (linked above)> By the way, I have 6 guppies in all--3 female, 2 male, and 1 fry, who seems to have been born during this mess, does not seem ill-affected by the medication... <I strongly suspect the medication is only transient here... not staying about, doing much> ...and is doing a great time hiding as I only see him when I vacuum the gravel.  Thanks for your help, Linda <With the addition of the heater, medication, you should see no spots within a few days... Bob Fenner> 

Re: Ich Thank you so much for your help. I have purchased the aquarium heater and have started heating the water. I was concerned about your comment that the medication I was using was only transient... <Some "stick around" much longer than others> ...so I did switch to some other medication I had used for an earlier problem, Fungus Cure. This medication isn't specifically for ich, but the ingredients seemed really similar: Victoria Green B and Neutroflavine for Fungus Cure versus Victoria Green, Nitromersol, and Acriflavine for Ich Guard. <Yes, a Jungle Brands product> I hope I haven't made a mistake. I know, though, that the Fungus Cure stuff stays around long enough to cure problems. <Yes, the Acriflavine color is quite useful as an indicator> It turns my aquarium green until I put the activated carbon back in my filter, whereas the Ich Guard turns my aquarium blue for about an hour and then is clear again.  <Mmm, it should be staying blue longer... evidence of interaction with your water, decor, gravel (?) and its removal> Please let me know if I am on the wrong course. I saw the one baby guppy this morning, so I know the new stuff didn't kill him off.  <I think you have made an improvement here. With elevated temperature a cure should be effected... and its obviousness apparent soon. Bob Fenner> 

The Joy of Ick Hi, I am getting back into the "Joy" of aquarium ownership after about 10 years of time off from the hobby as my daughter recently got one for her Birthday. I have a 10 gallon aquarium with an Aqua Tech Bio Filtration System along with a bubble curtain. In the tank are 2 Swordtails Male & Female; 2 Red Flame Dwarf Gouramis; 2 Guppies Male & Female; 1 Algae Eater.  OK, here is my question. When I originally began to purchase fish for my tank about 3 weeks ago a male sword tail developed Ick. I believe that he may have brought it with him as it became present the day after I brought him home and there were no other fish in the tank except for the guppies and they were both fine and showed no signs of illness. He died about a day and a half later. I began treating for Ick using Jungle Ick Clear. The male Guppy developed Ick on his head and the other fish began picking at him so I placed him in an aquarium net breeder as the picking developed into a sore. The guy at the fish store said for me to continue treating for the Ick for 30 days and to use Mela Fix for seven days to help with the sore and to prevent secondary infections. He also told me that my guppies would probably die.  I have been putting the Ick meds 1/2 tablet in the AM as well as the 25% water change and the Mela Fix in the evening. The Directions on the Ick meds Say to add 1 tablet and if it doesn't clear then to repeat it every 24 hours along with a 25% water change until gone. The Ick has cleared up on the Guppies head and his sore is looking a lot better.  The Ick clear ingredients are Victoria Green, Acriflavine and the Mela Fix is Melaleuca. Do I need to make any changes or do I continue to do what I am doing and how long do I really need to treat for the Ick?  Is there another medicine that is better or that might work faster. If I have to continue getting up extra early then I will, but it sure would be nice to get some extra sleep.  The Guppies were my cycle fish so I figured that they would die and now that they have made it I am really rooting for him. As of now the other fish seem to be doing fine. Thanks in advance for your help. Your site has been invaluable to me. Sincerely, Christi <Your fish are getting better, so I do not want you to stop or change what you are doing. It was good advice to treat for 30 days. It was also a little self-serving since he's selling you all that expensive medicine when salt is all you needed. Salt is cheap, less stressful on the fish and is 100% effective. Please read here on Ick. http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showquestion.php?faq=2&fldAuto=32  Take note of the life cycle and continue treatment for at least 2 weeks after the last spot drops. Always, do water changes with a gravel vac. The parasite reproduces on the bottom of the tank. You should be testing your water until you are sure your bio filtration is re-established. Also, when stocking guppies or swords it is best to have one male and 3 or 4 females. The males are aggressive breeders and can harass a lone female to death. Best to spread out the aggression. Don>

The Joy of Ick part2 Hi Don, Thanks for your help and for reassuring me. Other things in my life are a bit hairy right now and keeping this tank has been great therapy. So when everyone else is pointing out how wrong I am, It was nice to hear that I am doing "something" right. Sadly Mr. Guppy didn't make it this morning. Although the guy recommended the meds in the hopes of me buying them all from him, I went to Wal-mart and saved $2.00 to $3.00 on the products. I do have Aquarium Salt (which the helpful lady at Wal-mart recommended, not the guy from the fish store) and I added it when I first set up the tank and when I made water changes. In the article it said to raise the level by 1ppm per day. I am trying to figure out how to do this in real measurements. Such as do I use a tablespoon or teaspoon and how many. My hubby is a scientist and he can figure it out but he is at work right now, so I will have him do the figuring when he gets home. Side note: I knew about needing more females to go with my males but the "guy" said that I can't have any more fish. He said that what I had was all that my tank could handle. Since I do not have the money or room for anything bigger I kept it at what he recommended. Thanks again and I will keep up with what I am doing unless you recommend different. Have a great day. Sincerely, Christi <Then using salt at these levels you can not measure by volume. The salt should be weighed or a refractor should be used. I once weighed out a dose of 76 grams using course aquarium salt. It was over a 1/4 cup. Did the same with a finer grain Kosher salt and it was about an eighth of a cup. Same amount of salt, but the grain size makes a big difference in it's volume. We're near the upper limits for the fish here, so we can't make a mistake. Weigh it out or pick up a refractor. I make a brine with tank water and added it back over two days. No problems. As to the guppy stocking. Again you got good advice as to number of fish, it's just the mix that is off, IMO. With the male guppy gone you could return the female and pick up another lady sword. Don>

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