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Interrupted ich treatment, FW, mixed plants, fishes,
Heat treatment for ich -- in Dallas, Question on Salt, Re: Neale's article 9/13/11
How is Katia treating ya'll?
<Is a wee bit blowy, that's for sure.>
Read your article http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
It was extremely helpful.
Needless to say, my sudden interest in ich is the result of an infestation, probably the from the new tetras introduced a week ago. When calculating the capacity of the tank, do you subtract for the ornaments, gravel, etc.?
<I don't normally do anything other than lop about 10% of the quoted aquarium capacity. So if the tank is 100 litres, I reckon there's only 90 litres water. Slight errors one way or the other won't do any harm.>
Re: Ich . . . from Dallas 9/12/11
A thought on heat treatment for ich. . . Is one factor in it being so effective that it raises the temperature through the tank, including gravel/sand, ornaments, etc.? It would seem to me that the heat would be
able to kill the ich even in places in the tank where the parasite could hide but with poorer circulation where medications would not be able to reach as effectively.
<Sounds a sensible explanation, Nancy. Bob F. maintains that heat alone can work, but I recommend the use of salt as well for better results. That way, both heat and salinity are stressing the free-living stages of the Whitespot parasite. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ich . . . from Dallas 9/12/11
I have used salt in the past with success. However, I am just stocking up this tank (how the tank got it in the first place). If I use salt, what is the schedule to get the salinity down in my tank to where I can safely
introduce new fish?
<Do weekly water changes as per usual, 25% at a time, and after 4-6 weeks you should be fine. Do remember to wait at least 4 weeks before adding any more fish to an aquarium. It'll take that long to let the filter recover
and for any signs of disease reoccurrence to make themselves apparent.>
Is there an article you want to refer me to that gives more information?
<Not aware of any!>
I have a freshwater 30 gal. tank with Black Skirt and Von Rio tetras, silver dollars, an angel and albino Corys.
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ich . . . from Dallas 9/12/11
Oh, and how will the salt impact my plants I just introduced?
<Shouldn't affect them, if salinity kept low, 2 g/l. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Quick question re: dipping... FW Ich trtmt. 5/31/11
Neale - Thanks for your reply.
I did use the heat/salt on the cardinals, but I caught it too late. I bought the rid-Ich+ well before I started reading at WetWebMedia, and I can vouch for the heat/salt method working better than the medication. Gotten through 2 cases of Ich with zero fish loss using the heat/salt. I do have a question about pH, though. I live in an area where all of our water comes off the mountains and is very hard with high pH. I use a mix of mostly distilled water with a bit of treated tap water when changing the water in my main tank and my quarantine tank. I tested my water a few weeks ago and found the KH was 4, the GH was 6 and the pH was 8.6.
<Although the pH isn't ideal, the general hardness and carbonate hardness are acceptable for South American fish generally. I am a bit confused why the pH is so high. Can you get the pH tested again with a different test kit or device? General hardness (degrees dH) generally doesn't affect pH, whereas carbonate hardness (degrees KH) does. Once the KH value dips below 5 degrees, you should find pH hovers around 7.5, and the lower the KH value, the more likely you'll be to see an acidic pH if there are acidic chemicals in the water, such as tannins. If all else fails, try a 75% RO/25% tap water blend to see if that's better, or else use 100% RO and add Amazon buffer salts as used for Discus keeping.>
In my main tank, I added DIY CO2 until I can afford a better CO2 system.
It's a 35 tall with 5 black Neons, 5 Neons, 2 SAE and several cherry shrimp. The pH dropped down to 7.4 and has held constant there, but I plan on changing the ratio of distilled water and treated tap water to bring the GH down a bit more and see if it doesn't bring the pH down even more. (On a side note, I would like to say that simply adding the DIY CO2 cleared up a stubborn case of black bush algae that was smothering my plants. I have been battling that for months, and adding the CO2 cleared it up in one week.)
<Yes, adding CO2 will do little/no good if the fast-growing plants aren't there to use it, and if you have strong lighting, then again, algae can pick up the slack before your plants get established. It's a tough balance to get right.>
Now that I've reset up my quarantine tank, it's getting the 4 KH, 6 GH and 8.6 pH numbers, too. I want to lower the pH, but don't have any plans to add CO2 to this tank. No plants. But I've read mixed reviews on peat moss.
<Would skip this.>
I don't care about the coloration in this tank. If the water goes tea colored, I'm fine with that.
<And your fish will be very happy. But at low carbonate hardness levels the acidity drop can be rapid and unpredictable. If you do want to do this, try something like Eheim Peat Granulate. Use a small amount at first, perhaps a tablespoon in a media bag in the filter, and leave for a month to see what happens. Check pH at least weekly. Adjust the amount of peat up or down as required.>
But I've read about people having issues with the pH remaining constant, and I'm afraid it still won't lower the pH enough.
<Would not use peat to control pH -- too difficult to predict. Better to use a standard pH buffer such as some brand of Discus buffer/Amazon salts, and then use the peat purely for cosmetic reasons, to tint the water.>
During water changes, I'm only using a half gallon of tap water as it is, and I don't really want to go all distilled, from what I've read.
<Indeed not, 100% RO water without any buffering salts would be dangerous if not lethal for your fish.>
How much will peat moss drop my pH? And what about my water hardness? Will it drop that too much if I'm starting at 6 GH already? And have you heard anything about the peat balls found here:
<Worth a shot, but again, approach with caution, and start off using a minimal quantity until you know what happens.>
Thanks again for all your help,
Re: Ick; BobF's preference for heat treatment; possible immunity? (Was: Re: Brackish Setup) 2/22/11
Great, I can't wait to try the brackish tank, I will just get some silk
plants, you know I needed a reason to get another bigger tank, lol.
<Glad to hear you're so excited. Too many folks think going brackish means things gets hard. If you're keeping Mollies and other livebearers, it really doesn't. Even at very low salinities that Platies and Swordtails tolerate, you'll find Mollies and Guppies so much easier to keep.>
I am sorry, a few last questions. In the past few months, as I look at my fish on a daily basis, I had noticed my only swordtail with three opaque pimple looking things on its body, it never scratched. I looked at the
spots with my jewelry lens, and they look like that, opaque round pimples, you can tell they stick out from under the scales, like half in half out from beneath the scales. Thinking this was Ick, I moved the fish to
quarantine tank, did the salt heat treatment and all seems well. Now again, on a Cory I noticed the same, one spot. So here is my question, in this tank I have the loach and Cory cats, which don't like salt much.
<Indeed, but at the 2 gramme/litre concentration needed to medicate against Whitespot, Corydoras will be fine.>
I read that if I raise the temperature to 86 for ten days, this should stop the reproduction and kill the Ick, without using salt, if you don't agree, how much salt would be safe to use for these sensitive fish?
<Bob F. does sometimes recommend using heat alone to treat Ick. I have no experience of that, and always use heat plus salt. I'd suggest you review Bob's comments and act accordingly:
The spots never seem to get too bad, maybe because I notice it so quickly and take action, if this is not Ick, what other parasite shows as an opaque pimple. I also use a UV,
<Nice, but not really necessary.>
and 40% weekly water maintenance, maybe that helps kill them as well. I have Quinine Sulfate, which is suppose to be safe for loaches, if you think I should use that.
<Would always use salt/heat in preference.>
I guess I need to invest in a microscope to really tell what this is showing up on my fish.
<Much to be said in favour of that. Stores like Maplins, Radio Shack, etc. sell these neat USB microscopes that might be fun. Never used one, but the idea is pretty cool, and you'd be able to take a screenshot presumably you could send on to us.>
I have had the one loach die, and one swordtail, heavy breathing, then dead, however, neither of them had any visible spots. I know sometimes the Ick can be in the gills, and not seen. I also treated main tank with Prazi Pro, thinking maybe it was flukes, but then again the spots!!! Yes, I have the tank at the hardness you told me to make it so all the fish I have can be happy together. What is also weird is my original loach has never shown any spots of Ick, if this was in my tank, and they are so susceptible to Ick, why has this clown not gotten it?
<There is some evidence fish develop resistance to Whitespot/Ick, and that "outbreaks" are more about fish being stressed -- and therefore no longer immune. This is surely an explanation for situations where Whitespot appears out of nowhere months or years after the last fish was added to the tank.>
Thanks again, you are the best. Sincerely, Lu
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ick; BobF's preference for heat treatment; possible immunity?
(Was: Re: Brackish Setup) - 2/23/2011
Thanks again, you are correct, how can a brackish be more difficult, you just need keep salinity correct, how hard can that be,
and to me a benefit cause you don't have to worry about Ick as much, lol.
<Indeed! And livebearers tend to be much hardier, as do certain other fish, like Australian Rainbows and Bumblebee Gobies, given a little salt, even if they inhabit freshwater in the wild.>
Great reading, I think I want to try to do just the heat, see how that goes.
I have a wet/dry sump, which I believe adds more oxygen to water,
<In theory, and drives off CO2.>
and I have extra airstones going, so hopefully the fish will fair well with the gradual increase in temp. Neal, I can't say enough how helpful you have been, how helpful the site is, without it I probably would have given up on the fish keeping hobby. Be well, and bless you for all the help you have given to many. Sincerely, Lu
<Glad to have helped. Good luck! Neale.>
Re: Ick 3/10/11
I am truly sorry to bother you again on this Ick issue. I have treated my main 54 gallon with the temp and salt treatment.
Tomorrow will be the 14th day of this treatment, however, today I noticed one of my fish itch itself on the side of tank.
I guess I can assume that I still have Ick in the tank because all the water perimeters are fine, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrates below 40, Hardness good, PH good for species.
<Or else Velvet, which produces "flashing" behaviour but may not show any of the characteristic golden sheen that gives it its name, since the Velvet often attacks the gills in preference to the skin. Velvet is more salt tolerant, and thus less easily treated this way.>
No signs of Ick on body of fish, just the itching. My question is, keeping in mind I have a clown loach and Cory cats, can I continue the salt treatment another 14 days without harm to these fish that are not crazy about salt,
<Yes, absolutely safe, though the salt itself may well cause the fish to flash now and again.>
or do you recommend I try some harsher chemicals?
<Would not do this without good reason.>
The salt was put in as 2g per liter, as stated in directions, temp was kept the entire time above 80 degrees even had it up to 86 for a week. The salt was measured with a scale. Maybe I should add a bit more salt?
<Can do so, to 3 g/l safely with Clown loaches and Corydoras, but I'd actually tend towards dropping the salt to zero, waiting a couple of weeks, and seeing how things went. If needs be, then re-do, at 2 or 3 g/l. To some degree healthy fish can fight off both Whitespot and Velvet, so letting the tank settle back to normal for a while, and then observing the fish, can be a wise move in between treatments.>
I have Quinine Sulfate, and if need be I will find a product that is safer for the loach. Thanks for your help, have a pleasant day. Sincerely, Lu
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ick 3/14/11
That sounds like a plan. I shall put tank back to normal salt fee conditions, after another 10 days because I did find one visible spot on a Platy, one lone spot on her tail, and this is how it happens for me. I never see an infestation of spots, just one spot on one fish. Indeed, I really don't want to use any harsher chemicals. I have not lost anymore fish, so that is good. I hope you are well and have a groovy day. Thanks again Neale. Cheers Lu
<Good luck. I think you're doing the right thing, and to some degree it's worth holding off stressing all the fish just because one fish is exhibiting a single odd symptom. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ick 3/24/11
Yes, you are so smart. To date, the one fish still has a white spot on it's tail, and at the high temperature I was keeping the tank at, I imagine if it was Ick it would have dropped off by now. All fish show no signs of Ick, and no scratching, so I keep my fingers crossed all will be okay. The kicker is I always quarantine my new fish, and for double the duration that you should. However, these tiny parasites are easy to miss especially if you can't see them. Thanks as always for your prompt response to my questions. Cheers Lu
<Thanks for the kind words, Lu. Does sound as if this fish is otherwise fine, and even if this is some weird parasite, it's very unlikely to cause long-term harm to this or your other fish -- most parasites not being able to complete their life cycle under aquarium conditions, hence the particular focus on the ones that can, such as Ick. Cheers, Neale.>
Ich Treatment follow-up 2/13/11
I had posted the beginning of January about getting Ich from some newly purchased Cardinal Tetras, and stupidly tossing one into my 29 gallon planted tank. Out of the 9 fish purchased, only one Cardinal Tetra lived from a 4 day treatment of Rid Ich; the Betta survived as well. The other fish all died within two days of purchase. Of course I did call the LFS and let them know the next morning that their fish had Ich, but of course they had found out right after I left with my fish.
In the 29 gallon I raised the tank temperature to 86... that's actually as high as the thermostat would go on the heater. No other treatment was added to the tank, only raising the temperature. During the first 10 days only a few Cardinals showed a couple spots but I saw nothing on the other fish. Since there were still one or two spots visible after the first 10 days, I kept the heat up another 5 and after all spots were no longer visible for at least three days an additional 5 more days of 86 degree temp was left on since all the fish showed no signs of stress.
<Good. While I don't personally recommend the "heat on its own" approach to treating Whitespot, I know that Bob does, and it can sometimes work. When it works, it's less stressful than anything else.>
Last week I started bringing the temperature back down 2 degrees every three days. It's now at 80. None of the fish showed any signs of stress during the heat only treatment. My peppered Corys and White Cloud Minnows did better than I thought they would. I suffered no fish loss in that tank.
I had changed the fishes' diet switching to New Life Spectrum small fish formula pellets during this time and sometimes treating with garlic and VitaChem,
and some chopped frozen Tubifex worms.
<I would skip these. Tubifex worms aren't the safest foods for a variety of reasons. They live in organic rich waters (read: sewage) and are commonly exposed to high heavy metal concentrations. They are known carriers of some notorious pathogens, and freezing doesn't kill all types of pathogens.
Bloodworms are much better and safer, but the best "treats" are either brine shrimp, daphnia (both excellent sources of indigestible fibre that prevents constipation) and tiny morsels of human food: shrimp, white fish fillet, hard boiled egg yolk, and cooked peas.>
The Cardinals definitely have gotten bigger, fatter and have much better coloring. And it also appears that the black beard algae that has been only "barely manageable" with tufts on various plants has died off during the high temperature treatment with only barely visible tufts on one or two leaves, The Ludwigia repens has suffered the most due to lack of CO2 injection, but I started the CO2 injection yesterday.
Lessons learned, and discoveries made... but happy that the "heat only" treatment did work quite well and things are pretty much back to normal, and my fish look healthier than ever.
<All's well that ends well! Cheers, Neale.>
Ich And Heat Treatment - FW - Mixed Info
dosing Ich in qt tank 12/5/10
Ich, FW, salt 10/20/10
Salt and heat treatment of Ich 7/9/10
Any advice for leaving a fish with ich while on
Sick Clown Loach 3/19/10
Ick Problem/ Dilemma 12/23/09
Help with Ich 10/4/09
Question about fish with ich! 3/24/09
When to treat Ich? 11/05/08 Hello Neale,
About 2 months ago I treated my 46 gallon tank with Rid Ich + for 8
days due to a minor ich issue on 2 of my neon tetras. I stopped the
treatment after 4 days that I didn't see any white spot on any
fish. 3 weeks after the treatment was over one of the Neons had 1 white
spot and started hitting the plants. I didn't do anything and all
the fish looked to be fine. Even that neon looked fine after few days.
This week I noticed 1 small white spot on one of the rosy tetras. This
fish also started getting rid of the spot by hitting the plants and
again I didn't do any treatment. This fish is now spotless. None of
the fish shows signs of ich now. I understand that ich is a
parasite living in pretty much all the aquariums and changes in
temperature or other events may cause it to attack the fish. My
question is, do I need to treat my tank again for Ich or I should wait
until I see more signs, such as more white spots on 2 or more fishes? I
have a great pair of Kribensis in a quarantine tank that I'd like
to move to the main tank, but I don't want them to get Ich. I also
want to avoid that the other fish in the main tank get a ich
infestation. Thanks for your help, Giuseppe <Hello Giuseppe. You
absolutely MUST use Whitespot/Ick medication precisely as instructed on
the package. This may mean several doses across several days. You must
also remove carbon from the filter (if used). It is VERY IMPORTANT you
understand that the medication kills the free living parasite, not the
white spots on the fish. So even if you don't see any white spots
on your fish, the parasite can still be swimming around the tank. The
idea Ick "lives" in tanks all the time is actually a
misconception. There is no evidence at all that this is the case. In
fact the free living parasites die within about a day or so, depending
on the temperature, if they cannot find a host. So when Ick appears in
an aquarium, it is usually introduced into the tank on a fish, on
plants, or perhaps even with certain live foods. You can also carry Ick
from one tank to another, for example on your hands or by sharing nets
and buckets between tanks. Ick cannot survive drying out, so the mode
of transfer has to be wet. In any event, treat your tank now, and make
sure you complete the dose. Oddly enough not all brands of Ick
medication work equally well against all outbreaks of Ick. There's
some discussion here in the UK if the so-called "Super
Whitespot" parasite is something else. It often takes two or three
treatments before it is dealt with. That said, I find eSHa EXIT to be
extremely reliable and highly recommend it. Alternatively, the
salt/heat treatment should work well against any strain/species of Ick.
Ick/Whitespot 7/22/08 Hi Guys, I added five new baby neon tetra's to my tank recently - it seems the neon's have all developed Ick/Whitespot. I already had 6 Neon's 2 guppies and a Sailfin Molly - these all appear to be fine. <So far at least... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mollies.htm Do review the needs of Mollies, and also be warned Neons may nip the fins of fancy male Guppies.> I have read your articles regarding ICK and just wanted to confirm your recommendation for best way to treat. <Promptly!> I was just going to buy meds and treat the tank with meds and regular water changes. However from reading through your site would you recommend increasing temperature and treating with Salt instead? <Makes no odds either way. I tend to use commercial medications such as eSHa EXIT (a brand I find works well even with sensitive species like puffers) because it's easier. But if you want to use salt/temperature, go ahead.> I have added salt before but never with the neon's only with mollies/guppies can my neon's tolerate salt? also my temp is at 80f already is it safe to increase the temp further? <Neons should tolerate the very low salt concentration required, particularly if you build up the salinity across a few days. As for raising the temperature, I wouldn't. Temperature is about speeding up the life cycle of the parasite; in itself it isn't a "treatment" as such. The idea is that the salt only kills the free living parasite, so the sooner that phase begins, the better.> Thanks in advance Scott <Cheers, Neale.>
Sick fish, FW Ich, formalin poisoning 1/9/07 Hi crew, I have recently had an outbreak of ick in my aquarium and have started to treat it with formalin and malachite green, <Yikes... easily toxic... to both your livestock and beneficial microbe populations that perform critically important biological filtration> as well as frequent water changes and addition of some salt to the water. It seems though that after having added the medication the fish seem to be "drowsy" as they appear to be sleeping most of the day. <Good observation... poisoning> Some just lie down at the bottom of the tank, behind rocks and leaves, but there are also some that seem to prop themselves up against an ornament in the tank and sort of stand on their heads. Is this normal? <For being poisoned, yes> And also, not long after the ick started they seem to now also have fin rot now. <Secondary...> I assume this is because they are stressed and weakened by the ick. <And/or whatever the root cause was/were, and the medication...> Should I be treating for both illnesses, or will the fin rot heal itself as they get better? <You should be using other means period... NOT formalin... and elevated temperature> I've checked the water quality and the only thing that is slightly high is the nitrate level but it is still below 20 (only at about 5 or 10). I read that generally just adding salt and keeping the water quality good is what will help them recover the most from fin rot. I'm really worried about losing all of my fish since one has died already. Thank you for your help. Erika <Please read here, and soon: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above; particularly on Ich and Formalin use. Bob Fenner>
Thanks.. and Ich Treatment
Question 4/25/06 Hi, <Danielle> First,
thanks so much for providing this site with all of its information;
I've learned a lot and certainly have become a better aquarist
because of it. Second, does the following sound about right for an ich
treatment? After five months of waiting and cycling and
more waiting, I finally stocked my 120 gal with seven juvenile
(2"-3") discus last weekend. It's continuing inhabitants
include ten cardinal tetras and five Corydoras. There are no live
plants. Two days ago, I noticed that three discus had come down with
ich. There were only 2-4 spots per fish, but they were definitely
there. <Rats!> I started treating immediately: daily 25% water
changes with gravel vacuuming followed by a daily 110 gal-size dose of
Rid-Ich+ (produces a concentration of 15 ppm formalin and 0.05 ppm
malachite green), <Yikes... dangerously toxic... but likely
ineffective... absorbed quickly here... by the substrate, detritus,
fish slime...> combined with a gradual temp increase. <I would
raise this quickly (lower slowly after done)... to the mid to upper
eighties F.> I made sure to remove the carbon from my filters;
should I also remove the peat as well? <Oh yes... this, among other
things will negate the addition of soluble chemical treatments> I
have the tank lights off except for 2-3 hours each evening for feeding
(after which I gravel-vac and treat the tank) and keep the tank covered
to prevent light from degrading the medication. Is that enough light
for the fish, even for the duration of a two-week treatment? <...
not likely of any consequence> I currently have the temp up to 85
degrees F. - can I take it higher without harming the Corys? (They are
C. trilineatus, C. axelrodi, and C. leucomelas.) <Can take the
heat... and the ich can't> Or is it too high already? Yesterday
spots appeared on two more discus, and today three of the tetras show
spots. None of the visibly infected fish has more than six small spots,
so I hope to catch this outbreak before it really takes hold. None of
the fish appears to be unduly stressed and all were willing to take
food this evening. Tank parameters are stable at: (I am
testing daily) NH3 - 0 ppm N03 - 0 ppm N02 - 0 ppm pH - 6.8 KH - 100
ppm GH - 50 ppm <Keep your eye on the ammonia... the formalin will
kill off your nitrifiers in short order...> Am I doing the right
thing? <... No... these animals should have been quarantined (easy
to see, state in hindsight), and not treated in the main tank... and
the active ingredients listed are too toxic... See WWM re> I plan to
continue this treatment for two weeks, or longer if I observe spots
after the seventh day. Any other advice? Thank you so much, Danielle
Gilbert <... Where to start... At this juncture, I might try to just
utilize the elevated temperature to effect a "cure"... For
what you have invested, a microscopic examination of the fish slime
might be revealing in terms of whether this is Ich/thyophthirius or
not... Do quarantine all new livestock going forward, or be aware that
relapse/s will likely re-occur. Bob Fenner>
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/,
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>
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>
Yucky, Yucky Ich! I received a 27 gallon tank for Christmas, and have it set up and running. I have been told all along that my water checks out great, but have been having trouble with the fish coming down with ich. <Well, ich is a parasitic disease, and the most likely cause of ich is a fish bringing the parasite into the aquarium. Yes- good environmental conditions and water chemistry provide optimal conditions to keep the fishes healthy, but the primary cause, the parasites themselves, needs to be addressed.> I have treated the tank, and this last round has left me with three fish. I'm not sure what to do now, whether to take the tank down and start over from scratch, or what exactly I should do. Any suggestions would be most helpful. I am also planning on changing where I buy fish from. Thanks... <Well, regardless of whether you have a freshwater or marine system, I do not recommend treating the main aquarium with medicines. Much better to remove the infected animals to a separate tank for treatment. Meanwhile, let the main system run "fallow", without fishes, for at least a month. This will allow the parasite population to diminish for lack of fish hosts. I'd execute this procedure today on your tank. Even if the remaining fishes are not currently displaying symptoms, get them out and let the tank run fallow...be sure to conduct all regular maintenance on the tank during the fallow period (water changes, etc.). For more on attacking this disease, see the wetwebmedia.com site and do a keyword search on ich using the Google search feature. With quick action and good observation (not to mention quarantine of all new fishes)-you'll lick this disease! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Success in treating freshwater parasite problem >Hi Marina: >>Good morning, Bill. Your treatment seems to have worked! The white angel is free of all outward signs of ick and the other fish are all fine. >>Excellent! Very glad to hear it. >I bought a device that allows me to read salinity and it is at 3 ppt, and I am going to leave it there for a couple of more weeks just to be certain. >>A refractometer, perchance? >Can loaches and Bala cats tolerate the salinity treatment? Would a seawater dip work with an Oscar? (My Oscars are fine, but just wondering for future possibilities.) >>Yes, they can tolerate this better than they can certain medications. >Boy, I love keeping fish! (Although I do feel a little odd when I eat sushi now - and should I catch me any salmon, trout, halibut or grayling, it's going to feel a little different than it used to, now that I have fish buddies.) >>Yes, some folks do find themselves in a similar quandary. As of yet, I have no problem eating what I keep (raising animals for food does help in that area). Very glad I could help! Marina
Pleco with Ich
It seems my Pleco has Ich. I have
been studying up but would like to act fast. He is the only
one in the tank and my QT doesn't have a heater yet. <Does the
heater from the main tank fit in the QT? If he is the only
one in the main tank you can treat him here, but there is a chance you
will kill off your beneficial bacteria which means more water
changes.> I have read many things on meds <Me too, always very
blurry, but the Reef Invertebrates book has a lot of pretty
pictures.> but am very unsure on what is safe for him. So
at the moment I am raising the temp (slowly of course). How
high can I go with him and can I use freshwater salt? How much? Temp,
at only 73 right now but slowly increasing. <You could go up to
around 82 over a period of a few days, be sure to keep your water well
aerated. When you bring the temp back down drop it about
1/2degree per day until you reach around 76-78.> I really don't
want to lose him. No rubbing or hanging at the top yet, but
he definitely has a couple of white spots on him. Did an 8
gallon change already. Please Help ASAP. I am
going to keep studying your website to see if I can find info on Plecs
and ich. Water conditions still the same, Ammonia 0.6,
nitrite 0 and PH 7.5 <Check out this page http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/loricariids.htm
"The too-common infestations of ich can be quickly resolved with
malachite with or without formaldehyde preparations. Be wary of
utilizing too much salt, metal (copper) or insecticide (DTHP, Masoten,
Dylox, Neguvon) medications on these catfishes; they succumb to these
treatments more readily than the apparent cause you're
treating." The ich meds will have the ingredients
listed on the back of the bottle. Best of Luck, Gage>
Thank you very much A very worried Tracy
Ich treatment? Aquarium salt? What to do next? (1/5/04) <Hi! Ananda here this afternoon...> Hi, I just added a treatment for ich parasite. I took out the carbon filter cartridge. I have the pump still running. <Sounds okay so far....> When can I put the filter back in? <That depends on what medication you are using. You might want to get a carbon-free cartridge for mechanical filtration.> Aquarium salt is that a one time add. I added some for my black mollies one teaspoon per gal. <That's not enough to affect the ich. To treat ich with salt, you want to get the concentration up to about 3ppm. The amount of salt you will need to get to that level can vary somewhat.> If not how often do I make the aquarium salt add and how much per gal? thank you.... <It depends on what fish you have in the aquarium. Most fish can tolerate the concentrations needed for the length of treatment, but many cannot tolerate those levels in the long term. Do look into information about treating freshwater ich with salt on the WetWebMedia site and in the forums at http://wetwebfotos.com/talk. --Ananda>
Coppersafe to fight ich Dear Sir, <<Hello. Gwen here.>> We have a large community of freshwater fish in a 60 gallon tank. The fish are mostly live breeders (mollies, platys, guppies, swordtails) mixed in with a few Columbian catfish, Corys, Plecos, tetras and a few other little guys. I would definitely not think that the tank was overcrowded. However, we are having a real problem with parasites invading the tank and I have treated for Ich so many times that I fear it is just pointless. Therefore, I felt trying something like CopperSafe just in case this is a velvet attack as opposed to Ich. My question is, how often can you treat with the CopperSafe? When can I do a water change? If I do a 50 % water change (I'm also having crazy ammonia spikes on this less than one month old tank) will I need to retreat? Any ideas would be most appreciated. Kindest regards, Rev Shannon Symons <<If your fish are stressed, they will become sick. You need to find the cause of the stress, or the ich WILL keep coming back. Stress can come from many things, overstocking being one of them. In order to know if your tank is overcrowded, you need to test your water. Water testing is the MOST important part of keeping fish. You need to test your tank regularly for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. If you do not already own these test kits, I highly recommend buying them at your LFS. Ammonia is waste produced by the fish, and is changed nitrite by the biological bacteria, and then into nitrate, in a well-kept tank. Therefore, even though you should test all three, just to be sure there is no problem with your biological bacteria (good guys), you should be using the nitrate test kit to ascertain if your tank is overstocked. You should keep the nitrate level relatively low, say 20-60ppm for most community fish, and even lower for sensitive species, like neon tetras, etc. If you find that you cannot get your nitrate levels low enough by doing regular partial water changes, then you are overstocked! Overstocking leads to high levels, and your fish will definitely be stressed. Other stressors include pH changes, (do not change your pH while your fish are sick) and temperature fluctuations, please make sure the temp is stable! The heater should be good quality, and you should keep a thermometer on the tank so you can make sure the temp is exactly the same each day. When you do water changes, the incoming new water must be the exact same temp as the tank water (use the same thermometer). Temp stability is important, especially when you are fighting Ich. First, for the duration of your ich treatment, make sure your water is between 80-84 degrees F. If need be, you can raise the temp by a couple of degrees each day. Warm water speeds up the lifecycle of the parasite, giving you a better window of time to kill the free swimming parasites. Once they attach to the fish, they are hard to kill. Second, remove all carbon from your filter(s), and treat with a good ich medication, like Quick Cure or Super Ich Cure. Treat for the duration on the package, at half dose for tetras and catfish. If you still see the parasites on the fish after the treatment, you may continue for another day. When the treatment is done, do a water changes, and replace the carbon into the filter. If you really feel the need to use copper, use Cupramine instead. You will find it in the saltwater section of most fish stores. I would not use it at full dose with the fish you have. Copper is extremely toxic. Even one quarter dose should help without harming the fish, assuming this is a normal ich problem...it is also possible your Ich is a secondary infestation, caused by the stress of an internal parasite/bacterial infection. If the above steps do not help your fish, please write me again, as you may need an antibiotic to cure a primary infection. But try the above first, since antibiotics are expensive, will kill your biological filtration, and are a last resort. -Gwen>>
My guppies have ick I've been treating my tank for ich for 3 days now. It doesn't seem to be clearing up. I have 6 guppies and 2 babies (guppies also) . I'm using Cure-Ick. The ick doesn't look horrible. It is just sprinkled on. It is small little spots. all of my Syno-cats came down with the ick first but then started to develop a white film over their body. Which also covered their eyes. The medication I'm using says use for three days. It is a Malachite Green-formalin base. Should I try something else? < That is the right stuff.> Unfortunately where I live the only place that is slightly fish experts is Pet Smart. I'm really worried about losing the babies. They are still going strong but I've noticed that now they have a little bit of ick. they are only 4 days old. The Ph is around 7.4-7- < Make sure the water temp. is around 80 degrees. And do a 30% water change every other day. The parasite likes under the skin of the host for a couple of days and can only be killed when it is off the host and free swimming. Your catfish do not like the medication so make sure you follow the directions when it comes to treating catfish. Watch for ammonia spikes because the ich medication may affect the good bacteria that breaks down ammonia and nitrites.-Chuck>
Maracide? I have a little Honeycomb Tatia that seems to have
Ich. And I don't know what I'm
doing!! Please bear with me here... I have other fish,
they're all fine. I put her in a 2.5G hospital tank,
removed the charcoal filter. Tried aquarium salt treatment
for a few days (a couple teaspoons a day). After that, I was
going to start partial water changes. Well, I came home from
work the third day and thought she was dead. So I started dumping out
the water into the toilet. Come to find she was just
sleeping. Upside down. On the bottom of the tank
and not moving or appearing to breathe. Not
dead. Just the stress she needed! It's not
that I don't love her, but she really did look dead. At this point,
almost all the water's gone. So I cleaned out the tank
again real good and filled it with some aged water and got the temp
back up to normal (about 82F). Put her back in and tried the
Maracide, since she was still covered in "salty granules"
from the Ich. I read that I should get the temp up really
high so now it's at 88F. And yes, I realize I'm
probably dong EVERYTHING wrong, but I've read about 100 different
versions of what to do. And I'm very confused because I've read
that I should treat her from 3 days to a week. And yet my
Mardel Maracide bottle says NOTHING about duration. It says
it treats the fish, not the water. Helpful. Do I
only use it once??? Do I use it every day until she looks
better? And. How do I tell if it's working? Will I be
able to tell when the parasites become free swimming? If it
treats the fish and not the water, but Ich is impossible to kill when
it's in the fish, then what's the point??? Should I
be treating the water and not the fish? And to confound me further,
I've read that Malachite is dangerous and I should only use 1/2
dosages of it. I've also read that catfish are harder to
treat (which would imply a fall does to me). I've also
read that while "Maracide" is pretty safe,
"Malachite" is dangerously toxic. The bottle of
Maracide says that the ingredients are Malachite Green and Chitosan.
Please help me. I have read so many posts but I'm just
more confused than ever. These fish always astound me with
how tough they are but it is a learning curve for me. < Some fish
always seem more prone to ich than others. First keep the fish in the
hospital tank. Keep the water temp at about 82 degrees F. Do not use a
filter just an airstone. Do a 50% water change and add the dosage of
rid-ich by Kordon recommended on the bottle. Usually it will
be 1/2 of the dosage for catfish than for other fish. At this
temperature the ich parasite will metabolize quickly, leave the host
fish in a few days. The minimum would be three days, at lower temps it
may take up to a week for cool water fish like goldfish. Since you do
have not filter in your tank you will need to siphon the water out of
the tank to keep it clean every day. A third will work. Get the junk
off the bottom too. Look closely at the main tank for signs of ich
Ich Problem I have a 20 gal. tank with 6 neon tetras, 4 guppies, and one Corydoras catfish. I have noticed that the fish are scratching against the gravel and decorations but there are no visible white spots. A few of the Neons do show signs of fin rot. What's happening? What medication should I use? -Tommy <<Hello. First thing you need to do is check your water quality: take a sample to your LFS and have them test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. The first two should be zero, and nitrates should be low, between 20-40ppm. If any levels test higher, you may need to do more frequent partial water changes. Once your water has been tested, you can buy some Quick Cure or equivalent ich medication. The water changes SHOULD clear up the fin rot, and the Quick Cure should take care of any parasites (use this at half dosage with tetras). Always follow directions for medications very closely. -Gwen>>
Ick and new tank I have multiple problems occurring all at once. I have a 55 gallon FW tank stocked with a 6" Oscar, 7" Pacu, 5" Iridescent Shark, 4" Blue Jewel Cichlid, 3" Turquoise Cichlid, 2 -1.5" Convict Cichlids, and 2 Plecos 4" & 6". All the fish were doing great in their old 39 gallon tank (the Oscar and Pacu being in there for well over a year) with no problems whatsoever. 3 days ago I moved them into the 55g when I went back to school.( I treated the water before release of fish). First: There is an Ick problem in the tank. The Blue Jewel and the shark being heavily afflicted. The Oscar and Pacu have little spots on their eyes. The rest of the fish are untouched. Here's what I did: in the 55g tank added treatments of Jungle ick guard, following directions to the letter. I also raised the water temperature to around 82. There doesn't seem to be any change. In fact the shark appears to be getting worse so I removed it from the tank. Any recommendations that I haven't tried, I'm not to sure on what would be the safest alternative. < For ich I like to use a combination of malachite green and formalin. It takes awhile for any ich medication to work and as you have found out some fish are more susceptible than others. Keep the water temp high and do lots of water changes to reduce the parasite load and you should see so benefit in a least three days.> Second: The Blue Jewel is acting very odd. It floats in one spot most of the time with jerky movements. It occasionally has a spasm of jerky swimming. It also seems to be unable to attack when the convicts pester it. It will merely turn on its side to them. Is this ick related or something else? < Could be the ich. You don't have to see spots to have the parasites attack.> Third: The Plecos seem to have a hard time finding algae, being a new tank and all. Is there something I can do for them? < I like to use guinea pig pellets to get them started. Fish need vitamin C and fresh guinea pig pellets are alfalfa with vitamin C added to them. Get them from a local pet shop and just drop a couple in and your Pleco will be out in no time. Commercially available algae wafers from the store are also accepted. too.> Fourth: The Pacu is less active than it used to be. I put some feeder fish in the tank and it doesn't even chase them where it used to keep swimming and eating until it was full or the fish were gone. Is this new tank syndrome? Traumatized from the trip to school? Or something else? Thanks for your time. <In the wild Pacus actually eat fruit that falls into the water. It may be sick or just tired of feeder fish . Try another type of food and see if things pick up.-Chuck> - Jason
Betta fin and tail discoloration Hi, we have a fish tank of 30L of water in our office place. We had 6 different species of community tank fishes including angelfishes, neon tetras, head standers and one Betta among others. About 13 days ago, a Friday, we left our fishes for the weekend, and when we returned on Monday we noticed they were infected with ich or white spots. Many of the little ones died over the weekend, and the others seemed very sick. Although our beta didn't showed any white spots on him, he acted as if he was fungus infected. So we began a fungus-white spot treatment, hoping to save at least a 10% (5) of the fishes. This weekend the last of the angel fishes died and the beta has good mobility and he is feeding well but we he has a strange discoloration in his fins and in the bottom of his tail. We don't know what to do or and we hope you can help us...thank you very much! < Ich or white spot disease is deadly to smaller tetras. You should be using a Formalin-Malachite green type medication and raise the water temp to 80-82 degrees to treat the ich. The sick and dead fish have raised the ammonia levels in the tank and your Betta probably has a bacterial infection referred to as fin rot. Clean the filter and do a 30% water change. Treat the tank with Furanace or Maracyn to stop the fin rot. These medications may affect the good bacteria that breaks down the fish waste into nitrates so you need to do water changes more often until the bacteria bounce back after treatment.-Chuck>
Fish starting to look like a ghost (Ick) One out five of my fish has the gotten the case of the ick. I've tried Internet surfing trying to find some information on what to do. One step I have already done is taken 1/4 of the water out of the tank (8 gallon) and adding in fresh water w/ a capful of IckAway by Wardley. The rest I'm clueless. Some say stop the filter and some say don't? Should I quarantine the fish or not? Raise the temperature if so how? Change the filter or not? The symptoms are of course furry spots and touch of scale damage. Still energetic but just covered w/ ick on some of the head and whiskers. I'm not sure of the type of fish, the best I can do is describe it as a miniature catfish that is highly energetic. If you can help I highly appreciate it. < Treating ich on catfish and loaches can be tricky. They usually don't like the typical medications on the market. Some fish are more prone to attacks of ich than others. I think I would recommend treating the entire tank at this point. I would recommend rid-ich plus by Kordon and follow the directions on the label. Remove the carbon and clean the filter and the medication will work much better. Raising the temperature will help but you will need to increase the aeration too. I think you will be ok if you follow the directions on the bottle.-Chuck>
Fungus(?) Emergency! Once again I come to you in need of help. I only wish that this time it were under better circumstances. We have a fully populated 29 gallon community tank. We just returned from running last-minute Halloween errands so I stopped to say hello to the fish. The majority of our fish are speckled with tiny white spots! They are small enough that at first glance I thought that they were air bubbles from the airstone. It looks as if someone splattered the fish with white paint. I'm not sure what it is, or what to do. If it's ich, it's unlike any ich that we have seen before. We immediately put some MelaFix into the tank. Please help us. We don't know what to do! < Most likely it is ich and needs to be treated. Check the heater and make sure it is working properly and is correctly adjusted. It should be around 80 degrees F. Use rid-ich by Kordon or another medication with a combination of formalin and malachite green. Watch for ammonia spikes because some medication may affect the good bacteria that break down the fish waste into less toxic substances.-Chuck> Thank you so much (again) - Ian
A Cycle of Questions Hi again and thanks for your response. I do have some further questions. I believe I must remove the live plants from the tank during treatment? <Yep, Although some tough plants can handle the salt. Keep them in a fishless container for at least one month. Adding them back earlier could bring back the Ick> Should I keep the temp up at 86 during the minimum 2 week treatment? <Yes, Ick can only be destroyed during one phase of it's three stage lifecycle. Higher temps speed up the lifecycle and kills it quicker. Do not raise the temp until the salt is in> During this minimum 2 week treatment, do I continue the daily water changes and replace the salt in the new water? <Continue testing for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Do water changes if you see any of the first two or when nitrates climb above 20ppm. Yes, you would have to replace the salt in any new water. Mix it in before adding it to the tank. Be careful to keep the same concentration. Doing 50% water changes makes it easy to figure out the dose. Remember, treat for two weeks AFTER the last spot drops. Very important!> Being how I have a whisper power filter that has the filter and the sponge-thing, is there a way to remove the sponge thingy to a bucket or something therefore preserving the biological filter? <Not really. The bacteria will starve without an ammonia source (the fish). Keeping it with fish will spread the Ick> Or if I were to go out and buy a small QT tank, could I use the established filter or some water from the established tank in the new QT tank? or would that just be contaminating a new QT? My concern is that possibly killing my tank and causing it to recycle. Would my existing fish (powder blue Gourami, 2 clown loaches) die in the recycle? YIKES! I am not aware that these are "hardy" fish. <The best way to do this would be a small, bare bottom QT. Fill it with water from the problem tank. Add the fish, but not the filter. A simple sponge filter, or even just a airstone will do. With all fish out of the main, turn up the temp to 86. Throw in a small frozen shrimp to feed the filter. A little fish food added daily will also work. Let it sit this way for 30 days while you treat the fish in QT. The parasite will starve out with no fish host. Test the QT daily and do water changes to correct spikes in ammonia or nitrite. If you are doing enough water changes to control ammonia and nitrite, there is no need for a filter. Just an airstone. Treatment will prevent the establishment of any bio filtration anyway> Could I possibly use some sort of "dip" or "bath"? I guess what I am really saying is. I can probably afford to go and buy a small QT tank (with filter, heater, hood, and I could use my existing air pump for the new QT) but by doing so, (will probably get in the dog house with hubby) it would be starting out with new water? new cycle? same dangers? (ammonia, nitrites).. help.. I'm so confused! <All you really need is the tank with a glass lid, heater and airstone. You do not need a lighted hood or a filter. A 50% water change in a 5 gallon tank is easy. Just siphon the water from the bottom to remove the Ick that is reproduction mode. A dip may (doubtful though, IMO) clear the fish, but not the tank> If I were to go and buy a QT tank, what are your recommendations for this route? I understand that if I remove the fish from the main tank, that the ich will die because there will be no host. So I think that I can possibly save my main tank by getting a QT tank? <Correct, just add that ammonia source (shrimp).> Should I use the water from the main tank in the QT tank? And since I have to buy a filter for the QT tank, can I just put my established filter in the new QT tank and put the new filter in the main tank? Or will this also cause a recycle in the main tank? Or can I maybe switch out the sponge thing? (i.e.: keep the sponge in the main tank, and add a new filter, and put the old filter from the main tank in the new QT tank?) If I were to use new filter in the main tank, that contains the carbon, this would clear up the meds from the main tank water right? A final thought here... I am getting some algae on the walls of the tank (due to the lack of an algae eater), would this be enough "stuff" to keep the biological filter going if I put new filter assy. in the main tank and moved the established filter assy. to the new QT tank? <Only if it died and rotted> Ugh.. ok.. now I am getting a headache LOL... thanks for your help and support in this matter! Nancy <Now my heads spinning with filter jumping all around. But I think I answered all above. Main point is that you can save yourself a lot of money, work and worry, along with lives, by using a QT before adding any living thing to your tank. Moving an established filter will move the Ick, and any new filter will need to do through a cycling period. So any way you do it, you're going through a recycling. Better in a small tank while letting the large go fallow. Don>
Black ghost knife with ich Hi I have a Black ghost knife fish who is a new addition to my tank - though I have owned them in the past and have learned the * hard way* that these fish need a lot of individual care. <And don't "like" ich medications> through research and experience, there has been a great learning curve for me - My tank is 29 gal with only 5 other fish who have been stable and healthy ( 2 are Discus and healthy). <This tank is way too small for even just the Knife... or one Discus> 2 days ago, I bought a 4 inch BGKF who has a great personality but the aquarium shop I got him is only 75% reliable - has a fair number of unhealthy fish)- my tank has been quite healthy and I do 30% H2O changes every 2 wks w/ gravel vac. <I take it you did not quarantine this new addition> Today, my BGK started to show a number of ich spots - I killed my last BGK with Rx in the main tank for another sick fish - <Very common> (ironically - the 1st discus I got had a good case of hole in head!) I bought this fish because I loved the personality of this fish... - I need to *save him* - what should I do? all readings on my tank are normal ; ph is 7.8, Soft H2O, lots of hiding places sterilizer always running. Peggy <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top) and: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/knifefishfaqs.htm I would use half doses of AquariSol, elevate temperature to the mid-80's F... And get a larger system for this life ASAPractical. Bob Fenner>