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FAQs on Freshwater Ich, White Spot Disease 6

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

Related FAQs: FW Ich 1, FW Ich 2, FW Ich 3, FW Ich 4, FW Ich 5, FW Ich 7, & FAQs on:  FW Ich Causes, Etiology, Diagnosis, Ich Remedies That Work, Phony Ich Remedies That Don't Work, Ich Remedy Sensitive Livestock, Ich Medicines, Ich Cases, & Aquarium MaintenanceFreshwater MedicationsFreshwater Infectious Disease, Freshwater Fish ParasitesAfrican Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid Disease

Ich.    9/6/16
<Ah, dispensing with the pleasantries I see... the Lord Vader approach!>
Gouramis one has the dreaded. All my tests are 0 can I use Epsom salts.
<Understood. But Epsom salt has zero impact on Whitespot/Ick. What you want to use is non-iodised sodium chloride salt. Some sea salt from grocery stores is non-iodised and works, but otherwise so-called aquarium salt (NOT marine aquarium salt/artificial sea salt). In fact, I'd honestly suggest going with eSHa EXIT Whitespot medication. It's perfectly safe with gouramis, tetras, barbs, and most other community fish. Some catfish and loaches react badly to fish medicines, so if you have loaches especially, the old salt/heat method is better. Read here:
www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Do follow the instructions; don't just dump the salt in the tank!>
I have cleaned the substrates changed 25%. I do this twice a week. Still a problem has brewed. First time. Also lights off temperature 28. My tank is 100litre.
Thanks Sylvia. UK.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
re:    9/6/16

Thanks for that have ordered Waterlife Protozin.
<Cool. Not a medication I personally use, but been around forever and many people seem to rate it highly. Do remember to remove carbon from the filter, if used. Follow the instructions to the letter! If you don't, anti-Whitespot medications won't work.>
Should be here Thursday.. no change in the infected gouramis. so the increase temp and no lights is holding for now.
<Lighting has no effect on Whitespot. The idea it does is an old idea that apparently had something to do with a similar disease called Velvet. Even then, it doesn't really help.>
Will change water ever other day until it comes also feeding every other day to cut some nasties.
<Remember to do any water changes BEFORE adding that day's dose of medicine!>
Testing every day.
Thanks again Sylvia
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Fwd: re:    9/6/16

Thanks again ah me our pets why do we go there?
<Good for our souls, maybe? But honestly, kept well, fish are almost zero maintenance compared to cats and dogs, and many times less expensive.>
For interest what do you use for infection?
<I strongly prefer eSHa EXIT for Whitespot and eSHa 2000 for Finrot and Fungus. Effective and extremely good value.>
I have a Interpet 3 what is the best filter and do I need an air stone?
<How big is the tank? I think the best value filters are the Eheim Aquaball filters. They come in various sizes and are very easy to install and clean.
Being Eheim, they are also very reliable with a good availability for spare parts, should you need them.
https://www.eheim.com/en_GB/products/technology/internal-filters/aquaball-0
I'd recommend the 60 for small tanks (15 gallons or less), the 130 for tanks in the 20-30 gallon range, and the 180 for tanks up to 40 gallons (or smaller tanks with big/messy fish). Eheim also have a more budget-price range called the Pick-up Filters which would be fine for small tanks stocked with small fish up to the size of small Gouramis.
https://www.eheim.com/en_GB/products/technology/internal-filters/pickup
These are designed for tanks in the 10-25 gallon range. They are cheap, easy to maintain, but don't produce as much water movement as the Aquaball filters. You do not need an airstone with a canister filter, and some canister filters, including the Aquaball filters, will add air to the outgoing water if you want them to!>
Thanks Sylvia
Subject:     9/6/16

Thanks so much for info. Now have an Eheim filter plus new thermometer on it's way. They reside 10 miles from where I live.
<Glad to have helped.>
Any more problems I will be back. When this hobby goes wrong It goes wrong with no half measures.
<Sort of agree, but really, fish are A LOT easier to keep healthy than, say, cats or dogs. Vet bills are staggering!>
Yes I have show dogs and a big I agree , wish my dogs ate a pinch of food.!!!!
<Ah, yes!>
This company have really knowledgeable people and really good customer service.
<Not a company. Just volunteers helping Bob F to maintain this site and "give something back" to the hobby we love.>
Thanks again Sylvia.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Almost empty aquarium...   FW Ich      6/27/16
Hi, Neale - I hope you're doing well over there in Jolly Old...
<Yes, all good.>
We were doing the salt and heat thing, but new fish seemed to show spots, so we used some Tetra Ich Guard, researching the stuff and talking with the tetra folks about how to use it.
<Cool.>
The third morning the 38 gallon tank was very cloudy and all of our neons were dying, as were all but one of the white skirt tetras. "Big", our platy developed some kind of white growth around his eyes, which seems to be painful to the touch (a flake of food bumped one eye and Maria said he went berserk). He doesn't seem to be in pain, swimming and, for a while, guarding an algae tablet. But he can't see well. We don't know what the beat thing to do for him might be.
<The cloudiness usually indicates some sort of instability in the aquarium; it's a bacterial or algal bloom, more often than not. So the question is why. A lot of fish medications can be remarkably hard on filter bacteria. I haven't used this product, Tetra Ick Guard, so can't offer any experience either way. Tetra products are normally quite good, though often rather old (their foods for example are excellent but pretty much unchanged in decades). Looking on Amazon the reviews are rather mixed. So I guess the formula used sometimes works, maybe even mostly works, but occasionally
reacts badly with "something else" in the aquarium. I just don't know. But a water change, as much as practical, to flush out the medication, is a good idea. 50% at once, and then another 50% a couple hours later, each time doing your best to keep water chemistry and temperature as close to constant as possible (slight changes aren't a problem, but big changes
are). If fish have been poisoned by something, flushing out the system like this can perk them up. But beyond that, there's not a huge amount you can do. Adding carbon to the filter is about the only thing I can think of.>
We're down to three fish -one white skirt, the half-blind platy and a Pleco - in a 38 gallon tank. We lost a total of maybe 20 fish.
<Yikes!>
We stopped using that toxic, fish-killing Ich guard and have been doing a lot of water changes. If these guys don't make it, well clean the tank and start it over, letting the tank cycle before we add fish, and quarantining any fish for a couple of weeks before putting them in, and doing that from now on. If these guys live, we'll have to figure out what to do. We don't know if they have Ich or not.
<Well, assume they do. Let the tank settle. Treat with heat/salt as suggested earlier on. Leave the tank to settle for a month, no less! Don't add anything by way of new fish. A month will give you plenty of time to establish what's happy and what's not.>
Damn. I appreciate your help over this period.
Tom
<Glad to help, and trust me, your experience is not usual! Fish tanks usually are very low maintenance. Most even thrive on a certain amount of neglect, provided the basic system is not overstocked and the fishes chosen like your existing environment (water chemistry) conditions. Cheers, Neale.>

Ick and other problems        7/30/16
Hello, crew, hope you are doing well. I'm writing to you because I need help with quarantined fish.
I hope you can guide me to the best decision.
4 days ago I bought 4 Congo tetras, 2 Kribensis, 1 gold ram and 3 Glossolepis incisus.
<Mmm; the Rainbows and African and Ram fishes have quite different water quality ranges.... cooler/harder/higher pH vs. the opposite>
I noticed at the store the Glossolepis and Congos had a mild Ich attack. I figured I could bring them all home and treat them all for Ick,
<Yikes. My personal statement here re: NEVER buy obviously diseased livestock>
with proper quarantine procedure. They went into a 40 gal bare bottom with just a few rocks for the cichlids to hide, a sponge filter, and two powerhead filters all cycled. I cranked up the temp to 31 c
<Good>
and observed them... The Ich infestation got worse on the Glossolepis and Congos, but just yesterday the Glossolepis seems to be getting better( fewer spots, more active) the Congos all dropped their spots except for one, who's conditions got worse.
It no longer has Ich, but its scales are peeling, his mouth looks damaged and its fins are ragged or cut... I suspected a secondary bacterial infection so I gave him a quick bath in Methylene blue and fed it Metronidazole for any internal parasite. Its having trouble keeping balance... Certainly it doesn't look like its going to make it...
The rams and Kribs never got sick, and the other Congos seem to be in perfect health now, the Glossolepis still has a few days forward.... However I fear this conditions that is affecting the single Congo may present itself on the rest of the fish... Do I continue to quarantine them all or can I move the ram and Kribs to the display tank?
<I would definitely continue to quarantine all>
I would do so making sure that the quarantine water doesn't reach the display tank. What is my best course of action and what would be a better treatment for the condition my Congo has?
<I REALLY hate guessing re the root causes... and subsequent blind treating... W/o sampling, looking under a microscope, possibly culturing.... I'd probably opt to treat w/ an antibiotic and Anthelminthic in combination here. There's so much to go over, I must refer you to searching, reading on WWM re>
Tank parameters are 0,0,0 ( 20% water change daily, scarce feeding.. But they all are feeding) ph is 7.3.
Thank you, for your time, may you have a good day!
<Please do write back re updates and specific concerns. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Ick and other problems   7/31/16

Hello, again. Thanks for the response.
<Welcome>
As expected, the Congo didn't make the night. The single Congo has blood stains on the base of its fins. Mouth seems peeled.
<Stress...>
The rest seem better, Glossolepis seem more active. Two display tanks actually( well, three...) the Congos and rainbows are going into the "tap" water parameter tank. Ph 7.3-7.6 and 10 GH and KH... The ram and Kribs are going into the slightly softer water tank, 6 GH and KH and 6.7-7.0 ph.
<Ahh; good>
Everyone ( except the ram) were a first in the country, so I felt desperately tempted to try them out...
<Someone has to be first! BobF>
Ick and other problems /Neale    7/31/16

Hello, crew, hope you are doing well. I'm writing to you because I need help with quarantined fish.
<Sure!>
I hope you can guide me to the best decision.
4 days ago I bought 4 Congo tetras, 2 Kribensis, 1 gold ram and 3 Glossolepis incisus.
<Mostly nice fish. Not sure about Gold Rams though. Crummy fish at the best of time, sadly. Need a lot of warmth to stay healthy. You can get lucky, but keep a close eye on your specimen and keep the temperature around the 28 C/82 F mark, which mightn't be ideal for your other livestock, so adjust aeration accordingly.>
I noticed at the store the Glossolepis and Congos had a mild Ich attack. I figured I could bring them all home and treat them all for Ick, with proper quarantine procedure. They went into a 40 gal bare bottom with just a few rocks for the cichlids to hide, a sponge filter, and two powerhead filters all cycled. I cranked up the temp to 31 c and observed them... The Ich infestation got worse on the Glossolepis and Congos, but just yesterday the Glossolepis seems to be getting better (fewer spots, more active) the Congos all dropped their spots except for one, who's conditions got worse.
<Understood.>
It no longer has Ich, but its scales are peeling, his mouth looks damaged and its fins are ragged or cut... I suspected a secondary bacterial infection so I gave him a quick bath in Methylene blue and fed it Metronidazole for any internal parasite. Its having trouble keeping balance... Certainly it doesn't look like its going to make it...
<I would doing the combined heat/salt method here, rather than just the heat. Glossolepis dislike acidic conditions (which your Rams must have) and also dislike high temperatures (again, which your Rams want) so I don't think these were a wise purchase here. On the upside, they should tolerate salt/heat extremely well over the short term if you provide ample aeration.>
The rams and Kribs never got sick, and the other Congos seem to be in perfect health now, the Glossolepis still has a few days forward.... However I fear this conditions that is affecting the single Congo may present itself on the rest of the fish... Do I continue to quarantine them all or can I move the ram and Kribs to the display tank? I would do so making sure that the quarantine water doesn't reach the display tank. What is my best course of action and what would be a better treatment for the condition my Congo has? Tank parameters are 0,0,0 ( 20% water change daily, scarce feeding.. But they all are feeding) ph is 7.3.
Thank you, for your time, may you have a good day!
<Let me direct you to some reading re: salt/heat...
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
There's no particular reason not to use a standard Whitespot medication here, particularly if there's a chance you're dealing with Velvet; I find eSHa EXIT to be especially reliable, safe and cost-effective. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ick and other problems        8/3/16

Thank you. I also feared it could be velvet. By the way, I have 3 display tanks, a soft water Amazonian-like tank ( 28-29 c, GH, KH of 5-6 and ph of 6.5-7.0) and a " tap water" hard water tank ( ph 7.1-7.5, GH , KH of 10, temp of 25-26c) and a third " catfish" tank ( also tap water parameters, but dim lighting, lots of rocks and dry leaves, mild black water so I suppose the ph and KH may be actually lower). The first two tanks are high tech planted tanks, the first housing dwarf cichlids, ( including my breeding pair of German blue rams and macmasteri cichlids, I have found most of the Amazonian dwarves that reach my country seem to be a little hardier, I did have troubles with my first batches of rams and Apistos but my recent dealer seems to be getting very healthy specimens... E.g. the gold ram I just got is beautifully vibrant and active, and the last problem I had was with a macmasteri female at the start of the year), Kuhli loaches and a school of cardinal tetras, it is a 90 gal. The second tank is a rainbow/ livebearer and a large school of red phantom tetras,@@ 150 gal tank. The third houses Raphael catfish and glass catfish and is mildly planted with ferns, Anubias and swords.
Update with the quarantined fish : one of the Glossolepis succumbed, it seemed to eat one day and the next day it just wasted! Very thin and shimming... On a good note everyone else is free of spots as of today... Used some malachite green at half dose to help with free swimming parasites ( don't have access to much medicines) and did a major 50% wc... The fish I'm treating are in a quarantine tank and will go separate ways once cured ( the ram will go to the soft water tank and the Kribs and Congos/ Glossolepis to the hard water one). I'm a bit hesitant to use salt due to the ramirezi.
On a side note, I noticed today one glass catfish in my catfish tank is seemingly wasting too... It is very thin, it is eating as always but it is separated from the group and has trouble swimming. I haven't added anything to my tank in over 6 months... And I conduct 50-60% water changes weekly, I'm at a loss... I feed them at least 3 different times of commercial food + freeze dried Tubifex and live daphnia which I grow... Sometimes throw some veggie mix in. The tank houses 3 Raphael catfish, 10 glass catfish, 2 royal Farlowella and a single African butterfly fish... It is an 80 gal. I'm very worried that can be carried over to my other fish. Tested parameters also, no ammonia or nitrite readings... Nitrates are probably a bit less than 10 ppm ( strip test). Temp is 25c today ( room temp).
 Roberto Mejía
Subject: Ick and other problems        8/3/16

Hello, crew, hope you are doing well. I'm writing to you because I need help with quarantined fish.
<Sure!>
I hope you can guide me to the best decision.
4 days ago I bought 4 Congo tetras, 2 Kribensis, 1 gold ram and 3 Glossolepis incisus.
<Mostly nice fish. Not sure about Gold Rams though. Crummy fish at the best of time, sadly. Need a lot of warmth to stay healthy. You can get lucky, but keep a close eye on your specimen and keep the temperature around the 28 C/82 F mark, which mightn't be ideal for your other livestock, so adjust aeration accordingly.>
I noticed at the store the Glossolepis and Congos had a mild Ich attack. I figured I could bring them all home and treat them all for Ick, with proper quarantine procedure. They went into a 40 gal bare bottom with just a few rocks for the cichlids to hide, a sponge filter, and two powerhead filters all cycled. I cranked up the temp to 31 c and observed them... The Ich infestation got worse on the Glossolepis and Congos, but just yesterday the Glossolepis seems to be getting better (fewer spots, more active) the Congos all dropped their spots except for one, whose conditions got worse.
<Understood.>
It no longer has Ich, but its scales are peeling, his mouth looks damaged and its fins are ragged or cut... I suspected a secondary bacterial infection so I gave him a quick bath in Methylene blue and fed it Metronidazole for any internal parasite. Its having trouble keeping balance... Certainly it doesn't look like its going to make it...
<I would doing the combined heat/salt method here, rather than just the heat. Glossolepis dislike acidic conditions (which your Rams must have) and also dislike high temperatures (again, which your Rams want) so I don't think these were a wise purchase here. On the upside, they should tolerate salt/heat extremely well over the short term if you provide ample aeration.>
The rams and Kribs never got sick, and the other Congos seem to be in perfect health now, the Glossolepis still has a few days forward.... However I fear this conditions that is affecting the single Congo may present itself on the rest of the fish... Do I continue to quarantine them all or can I move the ram and Kribs to the display tank? I would do so making sure that the quarantine water doesn't reach the display tank. What is my best course of action and what would be a better treatment for the condition my Congo has? Tank parameters are 0,0,0 ( 20% water change daily, scarce feeding.. But they all are feeding) ph is 7.3.
Thank you, for your time, may you have a good day!
<Let me direct you to some reading re: salt/heat...
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
There's no particular reason not to use a standard Whitespot medication here, particularly if there's a chance you're dealing with Velvet; I find eSHa EXIT to be especially reliable, safe and cost-effective. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ick and other problems        8/3/16

Thank you. I also feared it could be velvet.
<Often misdiagnosed or missed completely, but even more dangerous than Whitespot.>
By the way, I have 3 display tanks, a soft water Amazonian-like tank ( 28-29 c, GH, KH of 5-6 and ph of 6.5-7.0) and a " tap water" hard water tank ( ph 7.1-7.5, GH , KH of 10, temp of 25-26c) and a third " catfish" tank ( also tap water parameters, but dim lighting, lots of rocks and dry leaves, mild black water so I suppose the ph and KH may be actually lower). The first two tanks are high tech planted tanks, the first housing dwarf cichlids, ( including my breeding pair of German blue rams and macmasteri cichlids, I have found most of the Amazonian dwarves that reach my country seem to be a little hardier, I did have troubles with my first batches of rams and Apistos but my recent dealer seems to be getting very healthy specimens... E.g. the gold ram I just got is beautifully vibrant and active, and the last problem I had was with a macmasteri female at the start of the year), Kuhli loaches and a school of cardinal tetras, it is a 90 gal. The second tank is a rainbow/ livebearer and a large school of red phantom tetras,@@ 150 gal tank. The third houses Raphael catfish and glass catfish and is mildly planted with ferns, Anubias and swords.
<All sounds great!>
Update with the quarantined fish : one of the Glossolepis succumbed, it seemed to eat one day and the next day it just wasted! Very thin and shimming... On a good note everyone else is free of spots as of today... Used some malachite green at half dose to help with free swimming parasites ( don't have access to much medicines) and did a major 50% wc... The fish I'm treating are in a quarantine tank and will go separate ways once cured ( the ram will go to the soft water tank and the Kribs and Congos/ Glossolepis to the hard water one). I'm a bit hesitant to use salt due to the ramirezi.
<Don't be. I've used salt/heat with Cardinal tetras for example. Short term, it's fine. Don't want to be using salt indefinitely, but for a couple of weeks it's a lot safer than not medicating or treating Whitespot and hoping for the best. I know Bob F. is a fan of just using heat to treat Whitespot, but I'm not, and prefer to add salt. Just use non-marine aquarium salt so you don't change the hardness. Even cooking sea salt will do, preferably non-iodised.>
On a side note, I noticed today one glass catfish in my catfish tank is seemingly wasting too... It is very thin, it is eating as always but it is separated from the group and has trouble swimming.
<Not a good sign. Has its body changed colour at all? Become more smoky?>
I haven't added anything to my tank in over 6 months... And I conduct 50-60% water changes weekly, I'm at a loss... I feed them at least 3 different times of commercial food + freeze dried Tubifex and live daphnia which I grow... Sometimes throw some veggie mix in. The tank houses 3 Raphael catfish, 10 glass catfish, 2 royal Farlowella and a single African butterfly fish... It is an 80 gal. I'm very worried that can be carried over to my other fish.
<Understood. But these fish are semi-delicate, as well as difficult to feed, often not taking a full range of things, just live daphnia or brine shrimp. Animals that don't consume a good range of foods can suffer from a lack of vitamins. Do your Glass Cats eat flake? That's the best thing for pretty much all fish because you can be sure they'll get a good range of nutrients. If not, you need to vary the live or frozen foods as much as possible.>
Tested parameters also, no ammonia or nitrite readings... Nitrates are probably a bit less than 10 ppm ( strip test). Temp is 25c today ( room temp).
<Review diet and aeration, but otherwise nothing obvious to recommend. Unlikely to be anything contagious as such, though if you can isolate the catfish in a small aquarium for a few days to try and getting him eating something, that would be good. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ick and other problems    8/4/16

Thank you for your response! I will try adding salt again, its been a long time since I last did, at what concentration would it suffice for the current state of things?
<Let me direct you to some reading:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Should help.>
I normally also cure Ich with just heat, it normally did the work in 5-6 days and I would keep them quarantined for another week, then release them, but it seems this time it was a little harder... Probably a more resistant strain... I have never seen velvet personally by the way, and pictures are misleading... I'm supposed to be looking for very small white spots that create a sort of golden film right? What my fish show are rather big, separate white spots, so I suppose I is Ich.
<Correct. I think of Velvet as like icing sugar, Whitespot like salt.>
About the catfish: they eat everything! Flake, crisps, daphnia, veggie mix, pellets... Everything... In fact, all my fish take eagerly everything I offer, ( with the exception of the butterfly fish, which I'm slowly training to take pellets) Have had them for more than a year, so these guys are used to their current lifestyle, I assume. When I drop the catfish pellets for the Raphaels they will get picked away by the glass catfish... So that's what puzzles me, they had always been very hardy... Could it be an internal parasite?
<Conceivably, but unlikely to come out of nowhere if the fish have been healthy for more than a year or so.>
Would it hurt to use Metronidazole preventively?
<No; a good idea in fact, unlikely to do harm, and can sort a variety of problems. Do remember to remove carbon from the filter, if used.>
The catfish is skinny and is starting to present slight deformities,
<This can be a sign of bacterial infections, but also environmental stress, even genetics (though poor genes usually mean the animal was deformed all the time, not just in the last few weeks or months).>
it is swimming, but it will sometimes just float for a bit... Just fed them by the way and it is still looking for food voraciously. He looks white-ish, whereas the other catfish are a perfect transparent with blue linings. His whiskers are also damaged, or so they seem, sort of like broken.
Thank you, again, for your time and prompt response.
Roberto.
<Most welcome, and good luck, Neale.>

Does this look like ick?.... A hoax? No data of use, crap pic... a hoot      12/13/15
<Heeeee! This is my candidate for all-time worst pic sent... 3 megs of what?>
75 gallon tank with mature spotted catfish and a variety of others. Lost the normal catfish and2 algae eaters. We poured the ick remedy into the tank. Should we drain the tank ?
<Is this a joke? Are you trying to pull olde Bob the fish man's fins? Just in case you're for real DO READ here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm
Bob Fenner>

Hahaha

Re: Does this look like ick? Not a reader; but poss. a Trump contender!       12/13/15
Bob,
<Dennis>
Nope for real and it came on fast..
<Oh!>
Wife went out of town and left me with her 75 gallon tank. I purchased the Ick Remedy
<The Marineland product: Victoria Green, Nitromersol.... ineffective. DID you read where you were referred?>

but with all the crap growing on the bottom I'm getting out the smaller tanks to get the fish out of there.
I turned the Fluval up and turned off the bubbler but it looks like this crap is growing in the gravel. Now the fun of getting these suckers out.
That spotted catfish is so large he will get his own tank.
Thanks for the article. I need to run out in the morning and get some more stuff since the ick remedy is empty
<.... Re-READ.... temperature elevation is what you want>

Looks like these guys will be in the small tanks for a few days.
Dennis
<Don't write, READ. Bob Fenner>

Ick my wife's baby... Prickly something       12/13/15
<? Could just be air bubbles. Bob Fenner>

Ick - could these be the cause. Haaaa haaaa      12/13/15
Never heard of food causing it but Kids tank had it 2 weeks ago after putting one of these in. I saw the bag and put one in also
<What? Wacky. BobF>

Re: Ich! ... is gone! (?)      11/4/15
Hello, Bob.
<Robert>
White spots have all disappeared for the last two days, fish started to become listless but they are now much more active and feeding.
<Ah good>
I have lowered the temp to 31 C and will keep it at that for a couple days and then get to 30C and stay there for another week or so.
I just thought it would be good to share what i noticed and experienced this time...
<Oh yes; thank you>
First off, it was a terrible idea to treat the neon tetras with salt, they showed worrying levels of stress while in the salt treatment... shaking, darting and laying on the substrate... i used a bit less than recommended dose but it seems it is too much for these fish...
<Yes; Neons don't like salt; most Characins/oids ditto. I do hope/trust I mentioned this>
Just then i found 3 small neon tetras back in the 40 gallon main tank (at 32 C) that were at the surface of the tank (i lowered the water level and trimmed/removed a lot of plants when i started the treatment)... i know my stock so i know for sure these must be the offspring of the other neons, and have only shown themselves now that i trimmed back a lot of plants... anyway, they seemed fine in the hot water so i decided to move the neons in the "salted" quarantine tank to the main one.
As expected, one of the neons didn't make it as it was shaking uncontrollably, it didn't even have a single spot though so im guessing it was the salt. One of the cardinals just disappeared overnight too (i think it was the one badly affected with ich, most likely died and was eaten by snails/other fish) but after that everyone else made it, and the neons were actually more active than the cardinals which supposedly should like the high temp.
<Makes sense to me>
There is one Oto that seems very weak, it stays at the bottom breathing heavily on its side and then it darts to the top and stays there fixed to the tank wall, after some minutes or so it then drops again to the bottom. This is the same Oto that was badly affected with ich. Even though it has dropped all its white spots by now, it is still weak, i don't know if it will make it...
By the way, i noticed not even a single spot on any kuhli loach or dwarf cichlid so i guess they went by this period without any trouble.
In regards to plants, Pogostemon stellata and Anubias seemed to like the water temp and showed increased rate of growth (by their own standards). All my Rotala melted but they are sprouting side shoots, also Eleocharis parvula started to show yellow leaves... everything else is fine (Ludwigia, Vallisnerias, various ferns and mosses, Glossostigma, Bacopa, Indian fern, foxtail, Myriophyllum, and the various swords).
<Good>
So bottom line is high temp is probably the best treatment overall for ich, it is not harmful to most plants (and even then the plants recover) and it is safe with neon tetras (probably farm bred? used to higher temps?).
<Don't know; perhaps a factor. Have seen raised in huge numbers... in Singapore; at high/er temp.s at times>
Anyway, thanks again, thought it would be good to share.
<Again; appreciated. Bob Fenner>

Ich and Fin Rot?   10/19/15
Hi crew, hope all is well on your end! I'm writing about a black skirt tetra in my 29 gallon community tank. About a week ago I noticed some white spots on her tail which caught my attention.
<I see these.... sand, air bubbles? Ich?>
When comparing her to the other tetras I realized her tail is not as full. I was suspecting ich and fin rot, but I was able to find a photo of her that was taken a month prior. I realized that she has looked this way for at least a month, possibly since I got her. I guess I just never noticed it. In the tank are five other tetras, 4 danios, a small school of kuhli loaches
<These don't like most ich med.s>
and a school of cories. All are free from spots, fin rot, etc. All are thriving, including the fish in question. Ammonia and nitrites are 0. Nitrates are 40 ppm (have been experimenting with matrix and Nitrazorb during the slow process of reducing this number with moderate results).
<Water changes in the meanwhile>
Please review the attached photos as your thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thank you. Danielle
<IF anything (and after reading on WWM), simply raising water temp. to the mid 80's F.
The reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwich.htm
and some of the first files linked above.
Bob Fenner>

Ichthyophthirius multifiliis      10/10/14
Good Morning All!!
<Good morrow Linda>
It has been many years since I have written you! I spent the majority of the evening reading up on ich. My last tank was a 120 freshwater community. It sprang a leak ( think the corner of a swivel rocker hit the corner just right and split the silicone).
<Yikes>
That was eight years ago. I still have all my equipment: heater, filters, air pump, quarantine tank (which is a 10 gallon tank with a few danios in it. My daughter does have 30 gallon tank with a variety of tetras, three angelfish two cories and two kuhli loaches in it that is in the spare bedroom. The three angelfish pair off and spawned. They were very good parents and raised the fry to dime sized in a community tank. Before the eggs hatched we took out the odd man out angelfish, and the larger tetras that we could catch without disturbing the parents and eggs too much. The angelfish eggs did hatch and made it to the wiggler stage! I have never had that happen before! It was so exciting to watch my favorite fish actually rear its
young!
<Ah yes>
So, my husband and I decided it was time to get another large display aquarium. While we were shopping around and waiting for our standard 90 gallon tank to arrive, I fired up the Eheim Pro II and attached it to the 10 gallon tank that has the tetras and the odd man out angelfish in it.
<Good>
Eventually we decided to give him to a friend because we didn't want him living in a 10 gallon tank. I put a ceramic ½ log decoration over the outlet return so that there wouldn't be a huge current in the tank J
We had the Eheim cycling in the tank for about four weeks before we moved it to the 90 gallon.
I gonna skip the stupid stuff and get right to my question. Someone brought home ich. The research I did advised me to remove the skinless from the scaled fish before we treat with salt.
We pulled out the clown loaches, panda cories, ghost cats, and three Bristlenose Plecos. We then did a 50% water change. We left the tank at about 75% full so there would be plenty of air/ water circulating. We upped the temp to 85 degrees and added salt.
The treatment is working well.
<The temperature is the trick; the real cure here>
I know that ich can settle on plants, rocks, gravel…. anything. We took the majority of décor out to catch the fish (several large plants and a very large piece of Malaysian driftwood. They have been drying on the deck since we pulled them out last Sunday. Will drying out and the sunlight (an cold because it has been down in the 30s at night here) kill the ich or should we treat the décor with something before we add them back in? 
<Likely the Ich is all gone; but to be absolutely sure, you could bleach, rinse and re-air dry all>
What about my python? How should that be cleaned?
Nets and buckets?
<See the SOP here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnornart.htm
Will just drying them out and letting them sit a few day in the sun disinfect them?
<Likely so>
As always, thanks for the awesome advice.
Linda
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Ich    4/27/12
I'm exhausted from salting my tank for Ich.  i left for a week and when i got back my goldfish had Ich.  I've never had Ich as long as I've had a tank (10 years).  I've raised the temperature and salted the tank but so far nothing.  I'm afraid to add too much salt.  no where can i find a straight solution without using chemicals
<... how much salt/s, how high a temperature. Re-read on WWM re. Bob Fenner>
Re: ich, GF, chatting... no rdg.   4/27/12
temp 78
<Too low... re-read>
 one tsp per gallon, I've done this three times.  should I just give up? it's driving me crazy worrying about them.  I'm afraid they'll be over salted
Re: ich

add more salt?  how much more??
thank you
<... Keep reading>

tx for ick 4/15/12
Dear WWM,
I have a 55gal community tank with 3 clown loaches (6 inches, 3 inches, and 2 inches) 1 Pleco (4inches) 7 tetras and 6 gold fish and 2 apple snails. I noticed a white patch on the Plecos head today.
I believe it is ick. My concern is how to best treat the tank as a whole.
I know clown loaches are very sensitive to commercial preparations and wondered if you could suggest something. (no patches on any of the other fish).
I keep the tank very clean, vacuum the gravel weekly and do 25% water changes weekly. I have live plants, power head for current and good filtration. I don't have any stats as far as water ph etc.. I'll take a sample in the morning.
Thanks for your input.
Sincerely,
Sandra
<Use salt, heat as here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Planted tank with Ick  :(    3/26/12
Hello WWM Crew!
<Alisha>
Your site is wonderful; I always come here first when I am researching all things fishy.  Today I have a few questions about Ick. First things first: I have a 25 gallon planted tank (Baby tears, Melon Sword, Ludwigia, Moneywort) with 1 Balloon Molly ,+2 of her fry in a baby cage, 2 Platys, 5 Green Tiger Barbs, a Bushy Nose Pleco, and a Zebra Snail.  The tank has been running just over a month.
<... not cycled?>
 We had been having a 2.5 nitrite
<ppm? Deadly toxic>
spike for the past week, and in an effort to fix this we have been doing 10-20% water changes every other day, cut back feeding, and also added a single dose of StressZyme.
<Won't do it. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm
and the linked files above>
 We have also noticed tiny particulate floating all through out the water, more fine that sand, but don't know what this is (I am now thinking it might be the Ick before it showed symptoms on the fish, is this right?).
<Not... is too small to be seen... the blem.s on the fishes infested are actually their mucus from irritation (much larger). The particles are just that... particles>
  3 days after the StressZyme (could this have
been the Ick culprit? no other new introductions...) we have just successfully attained a happy tank @ 0 nitrates/nitrates/ammonia,
<Ah, good>
ph 7.5, kH 120, gH 100, but last night I noticed a few white specks on Molly’s tail and Barb’s fin, so I raised the temp to 80,
<Needs to be warmer. READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwichremedyyes.htm
and this morning I see more
specks, so I’m off the LFS, but 1st I stopped here to research your site to see what to do (never had Ick before).  Yall say to remove the carbon from the filter during medication, but my carbon is inside my filter pouch, so is it ok to remove the whole thing along with its good bacteria for the 2 weeks of treatment?
<Replace w/ media sans carbon... but I wouldn't "treat" here... just raise temp.>
  Also are you recommending that I remove my plants, because they act as filters too, absorbing the medication? (Wheew, this would be hard)  And salt: should I add
aquarium salt and do a medication?
<Read where you've been referred>
Also I was unsure of your measurements of how much aquarium salt to add so as not to hurt the fish and plants…or skip salt and go straight to the med’s, and if so, which med would you recommend?  Thanks
so much for any advice you can offer!
Cheers, Alisha
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Hello :: Recovery from Ich  2/4/12
Hello Crew,
<Liz>
Just had a bad turn with the ick. I had purchased an Otocinclus
<Are social animals. Do poorly kept singly>
to help out with the algae but it died within 48 hours. Then I noticed the dreaded ick on my beautiful dark blue/purple female Betta. Immediately I treated the 10 gallon, heated, filtered water with CopperSafe
<Not very safe. I would have just used elevated temperature; as detailed on WWM>
 on January 22, 2012 and the Whitespot appears to be gone. My glorious fish is once again swimming, eating and then flaring at me when she feels like it. This morning she was blowing tiny bubbles.
My question is, what's next? How long do I wait to do a water change and how much should I change out? And can I be certain that all those parasites are truly dead?
<The last? No... but I would recommence w/ the water changes in a week or so. Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwichremedyyes.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Thank you,
Elizabeth
: Hello :: Recovery from Ich    2/4/12

Hi Bob,
<E>
Thank you for the information, it's always the very best. Luckily, I suppose, I used the chemical directions exactly in tandem with the increase in tank water temperature. My Betta seems to be just fine.
<Good>
Initially I totally freaked out over the death of the Otocinclus. Why do you think he died so fast? No friends? Not enough food? It makes me sad that he died under my care.
<... See, read on WWM re Otocinclus... quite touchy>
In one week I will do the recommended water change for the Betta.
Thank you for your patience,
Elizabeth
<Cheers, BobF>

White Spot, FW, plants... best trtmt.     1/13/12
G'day WMM Crew
<James>
I have a 65 gallon planted tank with five Kuhli Loaches, two Bristlenose Cats, two Pearl Gourami and two Blue Rams (They were bought as 'German' from a reputable private breeder of 30 years specializing in Discus, although I still use this term loosely).
<Understood>
My problem is that both Rams and Gourami have developed what appears to be White Spot (I am Australian sorry, Ich for everyone else) and I am Confused
with which method of treatment I should use with my current tank stock. I do not have a quarantine tank but would like to catch this early as there is only 3-4 specks on each fish.
So WMM what would you recommend?
<My fave, simple temperature manipulation... Hopefully your plant species are not sensitive to elevated temp. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwichremedyyes.htm
*Water details;*
PH - 6.8
Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrites - 0 ppm
Nitrates - kept as low as possible, with my stocking this is achievable with 25% water change weekly.
Temp - 28 degrees c
Cheers,
James
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Ich, FW...    11/12/11
I have been reading and reading on Ich on the website and get more and more confused. In my 20 gal I have platies, 1 Krib, x-ray tetras, cherry barbs, thicklip Gourami, and marble hatchets. I have noticed white spots the past few days, I think they came from the hatchets! I bought Ick Guard by Jungle and so far have done one half dose. I have also raised the temp to 81F so far and trying to get it to go a little higher. I keep reading and going back and forth on if I should use salt or meds or neither? and just go with heat. I am not sure if all my fish can take salt? and also since the platies and Krib can really only stand 77 degrees F is raising the temp to mid 80's ok for a short time for them? if so how long should I keep it high? I read for 10 days? also if I continue to use the meds, should I keep doing half dose because of the tetras? and how long, I have read anywhere from a few days to up to a month? thanks! -Lauren
<I would use the standard salt/heat method here, even though none of your fish are particularly sensitive to copper. At the 2 g/l salt concentration required, your aquarium fish should all be fine. Keep the heat at 28 C/82 F, and run with salted water for at least 2 weeks.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ich

thanks, and should I do any water changes during this time?
<Nope. Try not to overfeed your fish during this time, so the tank stays clean. Cheers, Neale.>

icky temperatures  10/18/11
hi WetWeb,
First, thanks to Mr Neale for his recommendation to "Leave da shrimps alone !" (Have you seen The Wanderers ? I'd recommend it. Great movie.) Came back after three weeks, the water level was down a fair bit and the water pretty dark; filter laboring a little but the shrimp population was up about 50% So that was good advice, gracias !
<Glad to help. Benign neglect really works well with them.>
Now, due to serious misjudgment on my part, some new inhabitants brought in a case of Ich. I can't trust the labels on anything here or the fish store owners (China) so gave Mr Fenner's heat-only method a try. It's been about ten days now at 86* and all traces of Ich are gone. The Kuhli loaches never showed any sign to Ich but alas, three of the green tetras (the new inhabitants) expired. Poor little guys :( They are very tiny, not even as big as many of the shrimp.
<Oh dear.>
Anyway, at this time the water is fine, fish appear to be fine but I know the parasites live longer than just the time they are visible. How long should I keep the tank at 86* ?
<At least 2 weeks should work well. I tend to use salt with the heat, but Bob reckons heat alone can work.>
I think I need to reduce the temperature as soon as possible because the fish are all acting like Caligula's guests. The loaches sniff each other's rears like dogs, then twine around each other and charge about the tank knocking everything over.
<Sounds like they're happy.>
The shrimp must be Mormons, four fifths of them are stuffed to bursting with eggs. Everybody is eating like a herd of pigs. Another two weeks of this and the Westboro Church will be picketing my door.
<!!!>
One other question - I haven't been able to find much information about the green tetras. Since they are related to cardinals, would you expect that they'd prefer warmer temperatures than Neons ?
<Paracheirodon simulans? These need the same care as Cardinals, despite looking like Neons. So yes, soft, acidic water with middling to high temperatures, around 26-28 C/79-82 F.>
For people who have not had them, they are adorable little fish but too flighty for a small quiet tank ... when I have a larger tank set up they need to move. And they seem to like the bottom half of the tank much more than the middle.
<Yes. They're lovely fish, much overlooked I think because they're so small and shy.>
What very small fish would you recommend for a tank that is half jungle, housing Kuhli loaches and shrimp ? I'm looking for a top-half dweller and lazy !
<What about Marbled Hatchetfish? Or Sparkling Gouramis? Ember Tetras and any of the dwarf Rasboras (Boraras spp.) would be obvious choices, too.>
The Kuhlis are bad enough. I'm not going to tell you how big the tank is because you will yell at me. But 20% of the water gets changed daily and the numbers are all good.
<Cool.>
Been reading the past few days FAQS - applause to Mr Fenner for his calm and rational demeanor in the face of some emotionally-laden name calling.
thanks to y'all again and applause for your helpful, considerate website.
jon B (I can use lower case on my own name if I want :)
<Yes you can. But what might a psychiatrist say about that'¦ Cheers, Neale.>

Complications treating ICH in tank with Hillstream Loach   10/17/11
Hello WWM Crew,
<Joanne>
Thank you for taking the time to help me with this problem. I have searched your site and done hours of Googling and can't find just this situation and am not sure what I can do.
I have a 125L unheated tank that contains 2 fancy goldfish, 3 variatus platies, 3 WCMMs and a Hillstream loach (Pseudogastromyzon cheni). The tank is well aerated with the venturi system on my Fluval U3 filter on maximum and tiny bubbles visible throughout the tank. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 and Nitrates 10mg/l.
I went away for the weekend 2 weeks ago and when I came back one of my fish (the black moor) had what looked like a bacterial infection - a couple of small white patches had appeared on his tail. These were not Ich and he has had them before a few months ago, where they cleared up untreated in a couple of days. I wondered if maybe his immune system had weakened from the stress of me not feeding him for a day or two (my boyfriend gave my
goldfish half a pea each on the Sunday)?!
<Could be>
But...... two days later I came home from work and both fish had loads of Ich white spots on their fins, tail and odd ones on the body!! Over the next few days Ich appeared on the other fish, except for the WCMMs and the Hillstream Loach.
Initially I added aquarium salt at a dose of 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons.
(My tank is 33 US gallons so I added 6 tbs). I was very worried about the effect this may have on the Hillstream loach as I found conflicting information on the internet...... however my Hillstream has not changed his behaviour in any way.
After a couple of days I could see no more Ich on my moor but looking closely at his body he had a lot of faint white patches which I assume are bacteria on his damaged slime coat...... so I then added Interpet No.9 'Anti Internal bacteria ' into the tank. This medication has been something of a cure all for me in the past. The next day the white patches had almost completely cleared up! Phew! However, the platies Ich seemed to have worsened!
I did a large water change (50%) and replaced the salt I had removed. A couple of days later the Ich had returned in even greater number to both goldfish and even the WCMMs were rubbing! The Hillstream loach must not be too many generations from the wild as he is still completely unaffected!
After almost two weeks of salt treatment my moor has no visible Ich, however the platies and other GF still have the spots. Many of my fish are periodically clamping their fins.
Yesterday I added a heater to the tank and brought the temperature up to 24C.
<Ahh, good... >
I daren't take it any higher for fear of starving my loach of oxygen! All fish remain active at this temperature. BUT the moor now has a scary looking white patch of bacteria at the base of his tail where it splits into two.
<I would raise the temperature much higher... Yes, even w/ the risk of increase metabolism, diminished DO... to 29 C. I have done this on several occasions w/ fancy goldfish and Hillstream Loaches. Add aeration if you have it in any form... and be very stingy re feeding>
I want to treat again with Interpet No.9 Anti Internal Bacteria to get rid of this! Will this combination of heat, salt and Medication be too much for my loach? Are there any safe alternatives?
<Not really; no>
Thank you so much for your help! This Ich has gone on for too long! So far no casualties but some heavily clamped fins for over a week suggests that may change..... :-S
Thanks again,
Jo
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

New Aquarium non-cycled with Ich   10/6.5/11
<... non-cycled... Why did you add fish here?>
Dear Wet Web Media,
<Roberta>
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>

question about Ich....  8/27/11
Hello Team,
<Salve!>
We recently set up a 20G tank.... we have 2 Albino Cory catfish, 2 frogs, 1 clown Pleco... we had Sailfin Mollies.. the 1st one passed within 2 weeks of acquisition... we think it was because we separated him from the female when we put her in the birthing net..he passed within 2 days of separation with no prior sign of illness (guess he died of a broken heart - LOL);
<Uh, no. Mollies are difficult to keep at the best of times. Water chemistry for something like Corydoras isn't the same as Mollies want. The first is a soft water fish, the second a hard water fish. On top of that, Mollies are most reliably kept in slightly brackish water. For beginners, they're an extremely poor choice. Nets are death traps, too; they're for confining fry when you find them, not for the adults, despite the marketing.>
the 2nd one died shortly after giving birth to 40+ fry (we think the birth took it's toll on her because she became listless and then stopped eating.
The last one died on Tuesday night. I suspect it was either whirling or Ich...not sure since I am new to this.
<Likely neither. If you set up this tank recently, it's not a fit home for Mollies. They MUST be kept in a mature tank, and that means one 2-3 months old.>
I suspected Ich because after reading many forums on your site I noticed Ich can be brought on by temperature fluctuations.
<Whitespot is not "brought on" by cool water as such. It's a disease newly bought fish often carry at a low level. Their immune systems may keep it in check. But when exposed to poor environmental conditions, like too-cold water, or poor water quality, their immune system suffers.>
the pH was fine (normal range)
<For what? Now, beginners often think about pH as the be-all and end-all.
In fact it's relatively unimportant. What matters is hardness, the amount of minerals dissolved in the water. It so happens that when the dissolved mineral concentration is high, the pH is high as well, but there's only a very loose association here. It's quite possible to have soft water (water with few minerals) and still have a high pH, because chemicals like ammonia will raise the pH. So instead find out the hardness. For Corydoras and Clown Plecs, that needs to be something like 5-20 degrees dH; for Mollies, it MUST be at least 15 degrees dH. The pH range for Corydoras and Clown Plecs is really anything between 6 and 8, but Mollies MUST be at least 7.5.>
the water was between 78-82 C
<I assume you mean 78-82 F, as 78-82 C would be almost boiling! In any event, far too hot for Corydoras! They're best between 72 and 75 F. Mollies are happier slightly warmer, 77-82 F. As you can by now, there's a gap between what Mollies want and what your other fish want. That's why you'll NEVER see me recommend Mollies for either beginners or "easy" community tanks.>
and the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are all 0.
<Really? In a new aquarium? How was the tank cycled?>
I suspected Ich because I noticed 2 small cysts on his lower body one of which was just under the side fin... but, unlike the picture on the link http://www.fishchannel.com/fish-health/freshwater-conditions/ich.aspx (as recommended by your forum),
<Cool, I wrote that!>
he did not have glowing spots all over. Was it in fact Ich?
<Likely not. Ick is extremely obvious, like the fish has been dipped in salt.>
I also suspected whirlings because at one point he was swimming in circles and upside down and all around...he was also swimming vertically for a bit.
Then he became listless and would go with the bubbles or sink down below.
We would tap on the glass and he would liven up and swim ok....then start the dance all over.
<No, not Whirling Disease. This disease gets in via certain live foods, usually Tubifex, and it's hardly seen in aquarium fish. Simply because a fish "whirls" doesn't mean much, because dying fish whirl too.>
I read in one of your forums to use aquarium salt to treat the ich.. so we did... it seemed to improve for about a day...and one of the cysts seemed to have disappeared (???)...then it all began again and he perished soon after.
In conclusion, can you confirm if it was either Ich or Whirlings? and if so..can the rest of the community also be afflicted? They do not (currently) appear to be ill. As a precaution we did a 20-25% water change and cleaned all the artifacts in the tank with hot water. We also vacuumed the bottom when we did the water change....
help?
We were considering getting a couple of angels to replace the mollies since we have had no luck keeping this breed alive.
<Hmm, Angels are delicate in their way. Do not, Do Not, DO NOT add new fish for at least 6 weeks after the last death of a fish. You need time to appraise the situation and make sure the other fish aren't stressed or sick. I would do nothing for at least another month. Minimise feeding, do regular water changes, 25% a week, at least, and ideally 10% every day for the next 2 weeks. Keep tabs on nitrite; in a new tank this will rise up to a peak about 1-2 weeks after being set up, and then drop down to zero a week or two thereafter. When that happens, your tank is cycled.>
Julie
<Do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwdis3setsfactors.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwset-up.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestk.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_5/volume_5_3/stocking.htm
Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Icky situation   8/21/11
Hi, crew, my name is Jenny.
I love your website, and the emails have really helped me and my little scaly buddies. :)
<Glad you've enjoyed the site.>
Well, recently, my friend bought a new pond setup for her patio. After she set it up, she couldn't make up her mind on what fish to get, but she really likes black moors, so I got two from my local petstore (about 1" 1/2 each)
<Okay. Now, Black Moors aren't the best pond fish. They are generally quite hardy and good at feeding themselves, but they can be bullied by single-tail "standard" Goldfish such as Comets, and more seriously, are prone to Finrot during cold weather. I wouldn't keep them outdoors if the water temperature got much below 15 C/59 F.>
Right after I had just brought them home, I noticed they were awfully thin.
The bigger problem I noticed was that one had a couple of small white spots all over it. I bought a male and female one,
<??? How did you sex them? At 1.5 inches, they're far too small to sex.>
but it was the female one that had the white spots, so I knew it was Ick. I treated them for a week, and the male didn't get any white spots. I put him in my fish tank, just to keep him from catching the Ick. I also treated the tank in case he was carrying it.
<I see.>
After a couple of days of treatment, I noticed that spots were disappearing, but then more kept coming up. This continued for a while, until I switched to a new medicine. Almost all of the spots went away for two days, then came back again. She also sits at the bottom of the hospital tank I'm keeping her in: only if I drop food in is when she will come up. I don't know what could be causing it's behavior, or the reaction of the "Ick" from the medicine.
<Can be, but does also depend on the water quality of the hospital tank. If you don't have a cycled hospital tank (or aren't using a chemical filter like Zeolite to remove ammonia directly) you will need to do daily water changes of 25% or more. That in turn can cause problems for medicating with standard Ick medications that often assume no water changes between doses.
I would recommend the salt/heat method in this case. Apart from being cheap and effective, you can replace any water taken out with water made up with some salt added as required, so that the salinity stays the same. For example, the standard treatment for Whitespot/Ick is 2 grammes per litre.
So if you have a 10-gallon tank set up, that's 10 gallons of water that's about 40 litres, so 2 grammes per litre for 40 litres total = 80 grammes of salt added to the water. Do a 25% water change, you've taken out about 10 litres, and the new 10 litres you add will need 10 x 2 = 20 grammes of salt added to that new bucket of water. And so on. It's simple maths if you use litres and grammes, anyway!>
I'm not sure, but for a 1" 1/2 fish, and he's only 3/4 of an inch from its dorsal fin to its stomach, I'm guessing that's not good. Maybe that's what's causing it? Because it's not very big?
<When fish are underweight, then yes, they can be more prone to Whitespot.
But the salt/heat method should work well here.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Plus, salt has a slight tonic effect on robust fish like Goldfish, at least in the short term. Don't go out of your way to overfeed to compensate, and DO NOT feed if ammonia and nitrite levels are not zero. But on the other hand, adding a bunch of pondweed will allow them to graze and obtain energy without harming water quality.>
I would be delighted if you could reply back and give me an idea of what's happening.
Thank you for your time, Jenny.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Icky situation, GF    8/22/11

Thanks for the reply, Neale.
<You're welcome.>
Sadly, the little one died this afternoon. I still have the male one, though. He and the other fish haven't shown any signs of Ick. He's also gained a bit of weight from what I'm feeding him
<Cool.>
I had been keeping the female in a cycled 1 1/2 hospital tank, which was all I had when I noticed her spots. It does have a filter, which uses activated carbon. I bought a different filter add-on that removes ammonia in the water that passes though it.
I was also told at the pet store that they keep their males and females separate so they don't mate, which I thought was a bit of a bad idea, since male fish will fight other males.
So I guess they don't know what they're doing, really.
<Hang on a second. Are we talking about Black Moors or Black Mollies? Black Moors are a black Goldfish variety with googly eyes and two tail fins.
They're sometimes called Black Telescope-eye Fish because "Moor" is a somewhat archaic term for North Africans. Black Mollies are livebearers, black versions of the Shortfin Molly. Males of these are easily told from females; like other livebearers, the males have a tube-like anal fin called a gonopodium used during mating. Black Moors and Black Mollies have VERY different requirements! Juvenile Goldfish including Black Moors CANNOT be sexed, so there's no way a store can separate them. Black Mollies on the other hand CAN be sexed from an age of about 3 months, and good aquarium shops will keep males and females apart.>
The lid light that goes to the aquarium generates a lot of heat, too (keeps water temp. around 80 degrees) so I was all set to put her in. She was doing fine, but after a couple of hours, she stopped swimming and just sat at the bottom. Then she started doing it more often, for a longer time, and then she completely stopped eating, starting late last night.
I looked online and it said that moor prefer sinking food, which I had also been giving the other fish in my 10 gal. They were algae wafers, made for bottom feeders or algae eaters like Pleco, but I put one in for the Pleco and the male moor and other fish nibble on it, instead.
So I put a fourth of one in the hospital tank and she wouldn't even go near it. I think she died because she stopped eating. And with only one last spot, she was so close to getting rid of the Ick.
Thanks for the reply, though.
Those tips will help me out the next time I have a sick fish.
Sincerely, Jenny.
<Do let me know which sort of fish you have. Care, treatment will be much different depending on the species. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Icky situation   8/23/11

Huh... I'm guessing my pet store doesn't know what they're doing then.
<I guess.>
Definitely talking about black moor.
<Right, the big black Goldfish thing?>
I didn't really know how to tell from a male and female black moor, so I asked and they said that there were two tanks, one with male and one with female moor. They were all pretty small, too.
<You can't sex them. Go check out a Goldfish book if you don't believe me.
Adult males in the breeding season develop "tubercles" on their faces that look a bit like pock-marks. But that's about the only obvious difference between the sexes.>
They have two tanks for every breed of fish, except for Pleco and Cory catfish, and I guess they're to separate the females from the males.
I guess they don't really know if they're male or female or not.
<I think they're being silly.>
Well, thanks for the information, Neale. I'll be visiting your site more often when I need some help. :)
<Cool. Do visit the WWM Forum, here: http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/
It's a good place to chat with other aquarists, many of whom are beginners, though experts keep an eye on things to ensure sensible discussions. Often talking with other people at the same point in a hobby is a good way to learn the basics and share ideas.>
-Jenny
<Cheers, Neale.>

Question about treating Ich in a community tank   1/19/11
Heyas,
<Ruth>
We just got a new goldfish for our tank yesterday, and today he's covered in white spots. I'm concerned that some of his tank mates might be harmed by the ich treatment, and I'm trying to figure out which ones to leave in the big tank and which ones to move to the tiny emergency tank during the treatments.
I currently have:
2 ADFs, our most important residents
<Should be removed, isolated for weeks... to prevent reinfestation>
2 Corydoras Catfish
1 Red Tiger Platy
1 Goldfish
I know the frogs can't get Ich, and it sounds like the catfish won't either, but I have no idea whether the Platy needs to be treated,
<All fishes do>
and can't find anything about ADF tolerance of ich medicines or anything really helpful about salt.
<Both are posted on WWM... able to be searched w/ these terms>
We also have two kinds of tank plants, which I don't know the names of, though I'm not as concerned about those.
<I see... Please read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GFparasitesFAQs.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwichremedyyes.htm
and the linked files above till you understand your options here>
What's your recommendation?
<Thermal manipulation. Bob Fenner>

Severe Ich, FW  1/14/11
Hello, first of all I want to say how extremely helpful your site is! So I have a 55 gallon fish tank, and I have had the same fish in there for about 7 months. I have a few different species of gouramis (2 large gold, 2 large opalines/blue gouramis... all around two inches). I have a Bala Shark.. about three inches, and five small fish with colorful stripes yet for the life of my I cannot remember what they are called. I also have an albino algae eater, hardly an inch long. All of my fish have done really well, but I made the mistake of taking on a baby Bala Shark and a Plecostomus. Now both Bala Sharks are absolutely covered in Ich, and the beginning of Ich is showing on the small fish. I am wondering if I have overcrowded my tank, as
my decorations do take up a large amount of space. I have decided to give away the group of smaller fish. So my questions are:
Some say adding salt will help to cure. Are any of my fish too sensitive to add salt?
<Not the ones you list... but the five that you don't know the name of...?
I would not add salt/s, as these are of limited value... I would raise the tank temperature... to the mid 80's F.>
What kind, and how much should I add?
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
I am treating with Ich Attack, a 100% organic treatment, and I removed the carbon filters. Do I still do a 50% water change daily, or will that interfere with the medicine?
<... not a fan of this product. Do read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm
and the linked files above>
How high can I raise the temperature to help kill off the Ich? It is currently at 79 degrees.
<... read, act, NOW>
And lastly... do I need to replace the filter pads as well as the carbon?
<Not yet>
Thank you in advance for helping me. I am attached to my fish, and I blame myself for adding more when my fish were perfectly happy.
-Robyn
<Get going! Bob Fenner>

Water changes & green water after meds, 11/12/10
Why do my fish get ICH when I do water changes?
<They already have Ich, the stress from the water change just allows it to take a greater hold.>
I medicate with ICH Quick Cure,
after a few days, the spots go away and I have a few dead fish (don't know why) and greenish water.
<Probably because of the Quick Cure.>
Put the charcoal filter back in and fish look healthy no signs of stress. Does the green colored water hurt the fish.
<It is green from the malachite green in the Quick Cure. This is not really a medication to be messing around with, it can make you sick too.>
I don't see any algae bloom.
Victoria
<See here and related FAQs for more,
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm >
<Chris>

Ich and possible nuking of tank 10/5/10
Hi, crew. 55 gallon tank, started 2 months ago or so, penguin bio-wheel 200 filter (saving to get the 350 before I get too many more fish), temp: 78 degrees,
<Much too warm for Neons and Danios'¦ overheating stresses fish and reduces their immune response. Both Danios and Neons do best between 22-24 C/72-75 F.>
ammonia: 0, nitrite: 0, nitrate: 5 (20% water changes a day for the last few days to get this under control),
<Nitrate shouldn't really be killing fish! You need very high levels for nitrate to be a problem, and weekly water changes should take care of that anyway.>
hardness: 3.0. Stocked with 5 Danios and 5 neon tetras. I've been out of the hobby for 2 years, just getting back into it. As noted, I had a nitrate spike (most likely following an ammonia spike and a nitrite spike between water testings).
<Stop worrying about the nitrate! It's not very toxic.>
I found this three days ago, and have been working on getting it under control. However, this afternoon...Ich. Please proceed with the quarantine tank lecture, because I deserve it. And the 'purchasing from large chain pet stores' lecture.
<Nothing wrong with chain pet stores. Some are excellent. Quarantining new fish is always a good idea, regardless of where you buy your fish.>
I have dealt with Ich before.
<It's not a big deal.>
Lost my loaches to it a few years ago. The entire purpose of this tank is for angelicus Botia loaches, but I'm waiting until the tank is well established for them. My Danios and tetras are now swimming in a hospital tank that I hastily bought and set up, with Rid-Ich. After their treatment, it will become my quarantine tank. My question is whether the tank laying fallow for several days will be enough to rid the tank of Ich, or should I nuke the system with bleach?
<I'd treat the fish in the tank. I'd use the salt/heat method. That's harmless to your Danios, Neons and Loaches. It'll also killing any of the tomonts still in the water or gravel.>
Because loaches, I know, are highly sensitive to Ich, and I want to be SURE I am rid of it before introducing my loaches. Even if the loach introduction is set for an entire year from now, I'd like to get rid of this now. I know there is information on nuking the system on the website, I read it years ago when I dealt with Ich before, but I can't seem to find it now. "Nuking aquarium" only returns search results that say they have or are planning on nuking, not instructions. I'm sure there's a more technical word for it that would return better results, but I can't think of one.
Thanks for your time,
Celeste
<Raise the temperature to 30 C/86 F and add salt at a dose of about 2 g/litre. Make up the salty water solution in jug of warm water and dribble into the tank across an hour. Don't add the salt straight to the aquarium! Leave running this way for 2 weeks. By the end of that, do regular water changes to flush out the salt. Works fine. Won't stress plants. Leaves nothing toxic to loaches. What could be better?
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ich and possible nuking of tank

Thank you, Neale, and noted. I'll move them out of the hospital tank and back into the main, and start raising the temperature and the salt. Love this site, and all you guys are doing.
Best,
Celeste
<Glad to help, Celeste. Good luck with your fish. Cheers, Neale.>

Ick   9/24/10
Dear WWM,
<Hi Sandra! Melinda here.>
I have a 20gal tank containing 2 black moor and one 6 yr old clown loach that my wonderful friend added to my tank about 6 weeks ago.
<Ideally, your fish will outgrow this tank rather quickly. It is really quite small for even one fancy goldfish, so do keep an eye on Nitrate levels, and be sure to upgrade as needed. In addition, loaches are a schooling fish, and really do much better in groups of five or more, though at least adding a couple of buddies will help. The loach, which should be way too large for this tank at six years old (about six inches long), is likely experiencing some issues with growth, but will continue to grow (fish do not actually "stunt") so meeting his needs may turn out to be more than you bargained for.>
They've seemed to do well together with a water temp of 72 as far as appetite and activity. (I know these fish don't belong together since doing some reading on this adorable loach).
<They are adorable, aren't they? Some of my very favorite fish.>
Here's my problem. I noticed the Ich on the moors about two weeks ago. I had no idea what it was so I took a photo of them and went to a local pet store for advice. I was advised to use Nox-Ick which contains NaCl and malachite green. I followed the instructions for 3 day Tx and per package waited one day and repeated due to evidence that the Ick was still on the moors. The moors were once again black and on the 8th day I vacuumed the gravel and did a 50% water change and put the carbon back in the filter.
Needless to say the poor little striped fellow did not fair well. He stopped eating, seemed short of breath and just laid low in his log. It was at this point that I discovered that this Tx was bad news for loaches.
I was certain he'd die, but to my amazement he is once again his spunky self.
<That's wonderful. Adding the carbon must have removed this harmful medication just in the nick of time.>
My dilemma is that the Ick is not gone, the moors once again are developing white spots. I hope you can give me some advice for helping my unlikely trio.
<Salt is the answer, Sandra. Please do read here on treating Ich with salt: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm. It's quite effective, and will be harmless to your fish. Do be sure to treat for the recommended length of time, as just because you can't see it on the fish anymore doesn't mean it's not completely gone. This article states to treat for 7-14 days (that is, to leave the salt in the aquarium for that length of time), and I would agree that 2 weeks is best in order to avoid re-infestation. I also frequently raise temperature to 80 degrees F in the aquarium to speed the life cycle of the parasite, at least for the first week of treatment. Lastly, and this may seem obvious, but I have made the mistake myself, spreading Ich between tanks -- do be sure and allow all implements used in the aquarium (nets, siphons, etc.) to dry completely after use in order to ensure you are not re-introducing the parasite to the system each time you do maintenance.>
Thanks Sandra
<You're welcome! Please write back if you have further questions.
--Melinda>
Re: Ick   9/24/10
<Hi Sandra!>
Thank you Melinda for your advice. I'll try the salt Tx.
<Good. I think you'll be pleased with the results (as will your fish!)>
Is it okay to increase the temp. to 80 with the black moors in the tank?
<Yes, provided you have good circulation. The fish can withstand this temperature for the week, though you may notice they are more active and visibly "hungrier." This is normal -- an effect of the elevated temp.>
I know they are a cold water fish. As for our lovely loach, we didn't bargain for him at all, our dear friend popped him in our tank while we were away. He/she was all alone in their 10gal. They'd had it for 6 yrs.
it's about 3.5 inches.
I'll probably have to find a proper home for him.
<Or provide for him so you can keep him, by increasing tank size/filtration, which you'd need to do anyway, to keep your goldfish... and buying him a couple of buddies. Just a thought -- since you seem to
enjoy him quite a bit!>
Thanks again.
<Glad I could help. Here's a link that I forgot to include last time on Ich, just so you can learn a little more about what you're dealing with: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwich.htm.>
Sandra
<--Melinda>
Follow up re: ICK   10/6/10

Hi it's me again. I wrote a little over a week ago for advice on how to treat Ick for my clown loach and two black moors. I followed the advice to use salt and heat and it seemed to be clearing after one week.
<Cool.>
Suddenly the moors are once again coated and one of them has a wide band of white around its eye, it looks like cigarette ash and its dorsal fin looks frayed.
<Black Moors exhibit grey patches where mucus is present on their bodies in unusual amounts. Mucus production goes up when fish are stressed, so it's a good warning something is amiss. Raggedy fins typically follow on from poor water quality -- i.e., non-zero levels of ammonia and nitrite -- though aggression, fin-nipping, even dragging against abrasive substrates or filter inlets can cause similar damage. Review these and act accordingly.>
They are all active and eating well, the loach in fact has never seemed to have the white spots at all.
<Good. The use of salt at low levels can have a mildly therapeutic effect, and while you shouldn't constantly add salt to a freshwater aquarium, you might want to keep using it for another couple of weeks more.>
What am I doing wrong???
<Difficult to say without data on the aquarium.>
Fish a certainly a challenging undertaking.
<Not really. Most problems come from either keeping too many fish in too small a tank, or alternatively buying fish that require conditions different to those in the aquarium. Get past that, and they're actually
pretty easy, only a bit more work than houseplants!>
Thanks for your advice. Sandra
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Follow up re: ICK  10/7/10

Thanks Neale. Hear are my aquarium stats: Nitrate 80; nitrite 0.5;
<Here's your problem. Non-zero nitrite levels will stress fish. Black Moors will often react by producing visible amounts of mucous. Fix this, and things should settle down. Non-zero nitrite means one of four things: [1] the tank is overstocked; [2] the filter is inadequate or badly maintained; [3] the filter is not yet mature; and [4] you are feeding the fish far too much food. Very often, it's a combination of factors.>
Hardness 300 (?frome the saly tx);
<No idea what "frome the saly tx" means.>
Alkalinity <180; PH 8 with one testing method and 7.4 with another. Also, I wonder if I was supposed to use a certain type of salt. I used plain non iodized salt.
<This can work just fine. Kosher salt is good too. But aquarium "tonic" salt is generally the best to go with.>
End note I have 3 fish in 20 gal. tank they seem to get along fine.
<I'm sure they do. But three Goldfish will occupy a 20 gallon tank safely only up to about 8 cm/3 inches in length; above that, they need more space and more filtration.>
Thank you again for you advice. Sandra
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Ich, cloudy eyes and poor water quality.   8/2/10
I have a 55 gallon tank in trouble. I have a mild case of ich going on, cloudy eyes on 2 of my fish and really bad water quality.
<Meaning what precisely? Is the tank newly set up? Or massively over-stocked?>
I just changed 50% of the water, am lowering the PH and put in Nitra-Zorb to help with the ammonia and nitrates.
<Uh, no. Understand this. Randomly changing the pH will severely stress your fish. Usually a fixed pH is best, and the value itself doesn't matter much so long as it doesn't vary. Exceptions exist for those fish such as livebearers that MUST have a specific pH, in this case a basic pH between 7 and 8.5, and if kept below the pH range will quickly sicken. Now, there's nothing much you can add to remove ammonia and nitrite. Nitrate -- with an "a" -- is not the same thing is as nitrite -- with an "I". Nitrate is not especially toxic. Nitrite and ammonia are very toxic. Nitrite and ammonia can be reduced -- diluted -- through water changes but essentially the only way to remove them is via biological filtration.>
Do I need to remove the Nitra-Zorb in order to begin treating with Maracyn and Quick Cure?
<Nitra-Zorb will physically remove ammonia, but in doing so slow down maturation of a biological filter. It is almost NEVER a solution to a poor water quality crisis. You'll see it's usually marketed for use in reef tanks as a chemical filter to remove nitrate, in other words, to improve already good water quality. It's not a replacement for biological filtration.>
I can not find any information telling me if that will absorb the medications.
<It shouldn't do, but it isn't relevant here anyway.>
The fish are definitely stressed and a few are not eating.
<I bet.>
I am confident that I can get the water quality back to normal (which I believe was disrupted from previous ich medications),
<Some medications can, will stress biological filtration, and if that's the issue here, you need to treat the tank as if it's cycling. Don't feed the fish at all, do 25-50% water changes daily, and if your fish are salt-tolerant species like Guppies and Mollies, add a little salt to the water, 0.5-1 teaspoon per gallon should be fine. Medicating without
restoring good water quality is pointless. I will point out that therapeutic doses of salt and Epsom salt can be used to treat Ick and Pop-eye respectively, and in both cases WILL NOT affect filter bacteria at all. Do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/epsomfaqs.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
>
but I do not want to wait to start treatment with the Maracyn as the cloudy eyes are very concerning to me.
Thank You,
Darlene
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ich, cloudy eyes and poor water quality.   8/3/10

Hi Neale, the tank is not newly set up or overstocked.
<Good.>
It had a spike in PH (it is not normally this high), ammonia and nitrate.
<Ah, but why? Ammonia shouldn't really rise above zero once an aquarium is cycled. Whilst all aquaria experience slight pH *drops* between water changes, pH *rises* are rare, and usually imply the addition of some sort of calcareous material such as limestone to the tank. The pH will also go up if ammonia levels rise appreciably, ammonia being a basic substance when dissolved in water.>
I am doing the daily water changes to try to reduce all 3, but the fish health and appetite remain poor.
<Yes.>
Immediately following water changes, they all seem to be much happier, but it is if the tank is cycling as suggested and by morning they are miserable again.
<Sounds as if that's exactly what's happening. Your job is to figure out what's wrong with this tank. Let's assume there's nothing calcareous in the tank. Let's also assume your tap water contains no ammonia, but check that.
So we'll put down the pH rise to non-zero ammonia levels. Now, why would a mature filter stop working properly. The four factors are these: [1] the size and number of fish; [2] the amount and types of food being used; [3] the correct functioning of the filter; and [4] the health of the filter bacteria on the biological media. So, review critically how many fish are in the tank and how much they've grown. Reduce the amount of food you normally give, and don't feed at all while non-zero ammonia levels persist.
Look to see that the filter is adequate to the task at hand, and consider adding another filter. Finally, rinse off the biological media, and if its irredeemably clogged, replace up to 50% of it.>
I've been down this road before and I think it's a combination of my tap water and an older aquarium.
<I don't see why.>
The ich and cloudy eyes are a new addition to this nightmare though.
<Both of these could be a result of stress caused by non-zero ammonia levels.>
I will try to treat both with the aquarium salt versus other medications.
One question for you, what are your feelings about ammo-lock?
<It's a fine WATER CONDITIONER. It is not a cure-all or a magic bullet. By all means use it on tap water that has non-zero ammonia levels. But do not for a nanosecond imagine it will help lower ammonia levels in your
aquarium. It has absolutely nothing to do with the ammonia produced by your fish.>
Will it help keep the fish less stressed during this "cycling" phase?
<No.>
I should also tell you that I am using stress zyme to try and boost the biological filtration.
<Largely useless. I presume you already have some biological filtration going on, which implies happy bacteria somewhere in the tank. These will be infinitely more useful than any bottle of anything sold in your pet shop.>
Thank You,
Darlene
<You're welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Salt and heat treatment of Ich  7/9/10
In advance thanks for you help. I have read on the internet so many articles of use of heat and aquarium salt to kill ich.
<An old approach, but a good one. Just used it myself a couple of weeks ago!>
I am so confused. I started out with four platy, two swordtail and one clown loach, in a quarantine tank 14 gal, water perimeters great (quarantine tank is always available and cycled). After four days they were all flashing, and one swordtail and one platy had died,
<It's always important to understand that Ick itself isn't usually fatal, at least not during the first "bout" when you see a few dozen white spots on the fish. Each successive wave gets worse as there are more spots each time, so yes, eventually the parasites can kill the fish. But normally it's secondary infections that kill the fish because the Ick breaks the skin. On top of that, many times it's the medication that kills the fish. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it isn't the Ick itself that's fatal, but problems with environmental conditions that the Ick is merely a symptom of. Often aquarists with new fish tanks say their fish died from Ick. No, what really happened is the environment stressed and weakened their fish, and the Ick was merely the most obvious of several things going on at that point in time. So, when you have fish dying from Ick, you need to be open minded. How old is the tank? Is the filter mature and running properly? Is water chemistry appropriate to the species being kept? Are there reasons
the fish might be stressed? Is the diet being offered balanced? All sorts of things.>
so I decided to treat, in the course of three weeks and four days, I treated with Ich Attack for seven days, then quinine sulfate for five days, then quick cure for three days, finally no signs of flashing after that,
<Do understand that using multiple medications causes interactions you can't predict. Without exception, choose a medication, use it, finish the course, and then do a substantial water change, 50%, before starting anything else. Leave a couple of days gap between the last dose of the first medication and the first dose of something new. That way you can see if the fish are reacting normally. Any of the medications you used might be safe on its own, but in conjunction with others, who knows?>
so then four days later I put the clown loach into main 52 gal,
<This is too small for Clown Loaches, and do note Clown Loaches are schooling fish, and keeping less than three will cause stress.>
and one of the platys into my 29 gal . I then noticed the platy in 29 gal flashing the next day, so I put it back into the quarantine with the swordtail and platys that remained in quarantine, also all this time I never seen the ich on these fish at all, just the flashing and death of the two and assumed the ich was in the gills. So, now I am going to try the
heat and salt treatment in the quarantine tank.
<With Clown Loaches, the use of salt/heat is a no-brainer. Virtually everything else WILL stress them.>
After careful research I have raised the temperature to 80 degrees, it was already 78, and started to slowly add, three teaspoons of salt per gallon,
<OK.>
in the 14g quarantine tank with water quality good, no ammonia, no nitrites, etc. PH at 7.4. As I read, some say no salt cause it actually irritates the fish.
<At this dose the salt is harmless. Platies and Swordtails are highly salt tolerant, and so, to a certain degree, are Clown Loaches. The point is that you're not creating brackish water. A level teaspoon of salt is 6 grammes,
and there are 35 grammes of salt per litre of seawater, or about 200 grammes per US gallon. Obviously your three teaspoons, about 18 grammes, per US gallon is a trivially small amount of salt that won't unduly stress your fish. The thing is that people hear the word salt and get all scared because it sounds dangerous. So too are copper and formalin, far more so than salt, and yet inexperienced aquarists don't even think twice before pouring these highly toxic chemicals into their aquaria. While copper and formalin have their place, they must be approached with respect, and in many cases the use of salt is far less stressful to your fish.>
Do I want to irritate the fish, really? I understand they should stay at this salinity for up to seven days.
<If you can treat the Swordtails and the Platies separately, then keeping them in truly brackish water for a couple of weeks would dramatically improve things. SG 1.003 would be fine, that's about 6 grammes of salt per litre, or 0.83 oz per US gallon. Besides killing the parasites, brackish water reduces the risks from secondary infections. Clown Loaches would need to be handled more gingerly, and I'd keep the salinity as discussed earlier on.>
Everyone has a different opinion
<I'm surprised you've found this to be the case; the use of salt/heat is well-known among experienced hobbyists and has been for decades. Clown Loaches are notoriously sensitive to copper and other medications, and the
salt/heat method is almost the only one recommended so far as they're concerned.>
and I don't know whether to take salt out with water changes and use quick cure, or continue the salt treatment, please what is your opinion. So far, knock on wood the clown loach in my main 52 has no flashing or signs of
ich. Have a lovely day. Sincerely, Luanne
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Salt and heat treatment of Ich  7/10/10

Thanks you are marvelous!
<I am?>
Yes, I did treat each medication separately with the 50% water change after each treatment. Yes, the other medications are more dangerous, that is why I tried the supposedly natural Ich Attack first, and why I would prefer to use the salt/heat treatment in the future. Good to know I should give a few days between treatments. The salt issue has recently come under review and some now feel it is detrimental to the fish, in the long run.
<I have often written that weekly additions of salt to freshwater tanks is a bad idea. But that's not what we're talking about here. Salt isn't a poison; if affects osmoregulation. Used for a couple of weeks, at low doses, it does much less harm to freshwater fish than either copper or formalin. There's really no discussion on this.>
They even say with prolonged use, it can cause death, hence my confusion.
I wish I kept the university site so I could link it to you.
<I would certainly be interested in reading this. But rest assured that veterinarians writing about fish health widely recommend salt used the way I described.>
However, I do feel you are the most knowledgeable individual I have come across in all my research of fish keeping, so I will listen to you. I felt Loach would be okay until they were bigger.
<Oh, they grow slowly to be sure, but they're social from day 1!>
I plan on putting them into a tank appropriate for them. I just need a little time to work on my better half, as his eyes already roll cause I have three tanks going.
<Indeed.>
However, we all know women always get their way, eventually.
<Ah yes, as Aristophanes proposed in 'Lysistrata' some 2,500 years ago.>
Funny thing is the first Loach chases the new loach away from his private hide hole. However, I am aware they have to determine the alpha before they get along.
<Sort of, but they will settle down in time. It's better to add juveniles this being the case, since they're less hierarchical than adults.>
Indeed, I am always checking water conditions in each of my tanks, and all are cycled. I am aware of the PH, hardness, temp. etc. for each species, and strive to keep conditions perfect.
<Good. Clown Loaches don't like water as hard as Platies or Swordtails, and Clowns also prefer somewhat warmer water. To keep them together you're aiming for 25C/77F, hardness 10-15 degrees dH, pH 7.5. Cooler than that will stress the Clowns; warmer will stress the Platies and Swordtails.>
I have done so much research to have happy healthy fish. I advise all before getting fish to do a lot of reading. Thanks again so much. I have used your expertise many times, and would have pulled my hair out if it was not available to me. Have a lovely day. Lu
<Happy to help. Good luck and thanks for the kind words. Cheers, Neale.>

ich, FW  4/30/10
Hi crew,
I've used your site many times and am always thankful for your responses.
This time I have Ick on a Platy, have a well establish 26 gallon tank have 2 Platies, 2 mollies, a dwarf Pleco and 2 see thru cat fish?
<Likely Kryptobicirrhis...>
(not sure the name-sorry) But not sure what brought this about the water quality comes up fine - according to the test strip.
<Mmm, well, the "stimulus" could be undetectable or at least quite subtle, and "test strips" are notoriously inaccurate, undependable>
I looked on your site which gives many "cures" for Ick but I didn't have any success wit the quick cure .
<Formalin and Malachite Green... too toxic for the cats, and soon for all else... AND the ingredients get rapidly absorbed by a number of common materials in set-up-established aquariums>
So I'm asking about the salt cure I read one tablespoon per gallon, pre-dissolved and added slowly, the aquarium salt box suggests 1 tbl for 5 gallons. Should I try this or some other chemical store medication? And if I try the salt which concoction should I use?
<SeaSalt... either a product intended for marine aquarium use, or a "real" sea salt... Like Kosher... I do encourage you to re-read the mat.s archived on FW Ich: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm
the linked files above... As well as about the fishes you list/have... in terms of water quality (hardness, pH and temperature), this is not a good mix. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for any info.
Warm regards, Donna 

Ick   4/29/10
Crew,
<Dawn>
I have an Ick outbreak in my tank. I read your section on this,
<No... you obviously have not>
 and I have raised the temperature to 80.
<For what reason?>
The fish are getting worse. I am going to set up a hospital tank and use the CopperSafe.
<Not the proscribed method... I would use a quinine cpd. Read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm
If I use a Magnum hang on filter would I put any media in it being the copper will kill it?
<... please search before writing us. Copper can/does kill nitrifying microbes.>
What would I put in there? For the fins fraying, could I use Melafix?
<... worthless>
If I could not set up a hospital tank, would CopperSafe dips be effective?
<No>
Lastly, I shut off my tank while cleaning it and the pump. When I started it up again, I cannot get the water to stay up past the overflows air holes. Now the water is right above the air hole and a vortex is being created and pulled into the hole. Does this mean I have air in the system?
Thanks
<Keep reading. Bob Fenner> 

Resistant Ich  4/7/10
Hi!
<Hello.>
In a newly started freshwater aquarium, I've come across a really adamant strain of ich. It all started like this. . . long story short. . .
I put in 9 White Cloud Minnows into the tank over a period of 5 weeks.
After the last few were put in, I noticed a few white spots on them. I jacked the heater up to around 86F. Unfortunately, 2 died sometime in the night. :( I treated with Protozin the next day (I didn't have a bottle on hand, so I got some the day after).
<Not my favourite medication; though widely sold in the UK, I've had mixed results with the stuff.>
However, even after carrying out the full treatment and length, it still didn't clear up.
<Did you remove carbon -- if used -- from the filter? This is the usual reason why Whitespot/Ick doesn't clear up when medicated.>
And a few more died. I decided to try to salt approach, but that failed as well. Eventually they all died gradually the week after, sadly.
<Now, the salt/heat method shouldn't fail, but the trick is raising the salinity up to where it needs to be. Folks often use too little salt, afraid they're doing harm. Conversely, if you have salt-tolerant fish, you can use quite a lot of salt above the usual dose without problems for even better results.>
We cleaned the tank out, washed filters, heater, live plants, gravel substrate, and decor.
<Pointless.>
We filled the tank up again and left the temperature at 90F for 3 days.
<Any particular reason?>
Then I filled it up with 11 guppies (yes, bad of me I know for the cycling). Again, saw some white spots on their fins. I really thought the 90F temp for 3 days straight would of killed any remaining ich off.
<Heat doesn't kill Whitespot/Ick. As I seem to be stating repeatedly these days, all heat does is speed up the life cycle, getting the parasite from its invulnerable cyst stage to the vulnerable free-living stage.>
Lowered temp to 86F, added appropriate amount of salt and used Protozin. It seemed to clear up a bit.
<Hmm...>
Now, 2 days later and it suddenly appeared again. Chucked in a bit more salt (knowing guppies thrive in brackish waters anyway), but got up this morning and noticed their behaviours have changed. Times I've seen a female
lay (perhaps itching), sometimes even 2 or 3 other females doing the same.
A male has become energy less and keeps himself inside a shell, just laying upright (upright as in, on his bell) there. Occasionally another 2 females slide themselves up and down the glass. I've even seen a spot on one of them. It disappeared a few minutes after.
<"Flashing" behaviour is as likely to be caused by ammonia and nitrite as anything else. Deep cleaning the tank will have killed the filter bacteria, and cycling with fish exposes your fish to dangerous levels of ammonia and nitrite. In the meantime, raise the specific gravity to 1.005, about nine grammes of salt per litre. This WILL kill Whitespot without the least bother.>
So what do I do? Continue with what I'm doing? Are they goners? I really don't want to lose any, I think they're so pretty! Also, your articles and FAQs are amazing, they've really helped me in the aquarium trade!
<Test ammonia and/or nitrite levels and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Resistant Ich 4/8/10
I did what you said to do. . . thanks! A male has 2 cuts near his gills,
<Cuts? Or gill curl? Or a genetic abnormality? Male guppies are fairly mean to one another, but when fish are environmentally stressed their gill covers sometimes twist up and the red filaments underneath become more obvious. Short or even missing gill covers are not unknown among inbred fancy fish.>
we'll see how he goes. I of course did a water change. Will let you know if he gets worse.
<By all means do so.>
Another question for your invaluable knowledge, do Nerite snails eat what I think it beard algae (red/brown/black patches of growth on my Java Ferns)?
I was considering getting some if they do.
<Nerite snails will certainly stop such algae becoming established.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_3/fwalgae.html
But will they eat established tufts of red algae? Nope. Nothing much does, though you might have luck using the Florida Flagfish in a slightly saline livebearer aquarium. Ameca splendens is another option, but while a beautiful fish it is an aggressive fin-nipper and would be a poor choice for use alongside guppies. The Siamese Algae Eater is the classic beard/hair algae grazer, but it doesn't have much tolerance for salt, so wouldn't be my first choice for use in a livebearer system. Almost always, the red algae you get around the edges of Java ferns is best prevented by the addition of some fast-growing plants. Try some floating Indian Fern.>
Thanks again.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Resistant Ich 4/9/10

Ah well. . . the male seems to have gotten somewhat better overnight. But another is showing a few small cuts. . .
<Oh dear.>
I think I'm going to have to get some more test strips next time I go to the fish store.
<Good idea.>
Ich still seems to be just as bad, but I guess I'm going to have to wait a bit before any signs of decline begin to show.
<As mentioned before, the salt only kills the free-living stages, and until the cysts mature, nothing affects them.>
At least the other male has come back out of his shell he'd taken up residence in.
<OK.>
Hmm. . . might get a few Nerites anyway, just to clear up the green algae growing on my rocks and decor. I thought my "bush" of Cabomba aquatica would be a fast enough growing plant to out starve the algae, guess not.
I'll scrub the beard algae off myself. I guess beard algae just isn't a tasty treat, heh.
<Something like that. Cheers, Neale.>

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