Best way to treat ich? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Location: St. Louis, MO
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Best way to treat ich?

I have sifted through much material and have not come with a conclusive answer to treat Ich in a planted tank. I have a 55 gal with 5 Clown loaches, 3 Dennison Barbs, 8 neons, 4 harlequin rasboras, and a pleco for over a year along with Some anacharis, java fern, java moss, and a couple of anubias. Just recently I added two blue rams to my tank. They are very healthy and active. However just recently I've noticed that 3 of my clowns have ich. What type of medications would be most suitable for my situation? I have already turned up my temp a small bit, I normally keep it at 80, and I would like to stay away from any copper sulfate due to the plants and loaches. Any help would be appreicated.

P.S. I cant get a good pic of the loaches, they are pretty skittish.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 10:15 PM
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Crank heat to 86+ for three weeks. Done.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 10:20 PM
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I have always just raised the temperature to 82 degrees and added salt but that was before I went planted . I recently had a heater to fail the temperature dropped from 80 degrees where I normally keep it to 73 degrees, for two days before I could get it replaced . well 4 of my Cardinals ended up with ick or white spot. They have had it for about a week and are getting better , all I have done is raise the temperature we will see if the make a full recovery . :^)
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 03:45 PM
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Best way to treat ich?

Upping the temp to mid 80's, salt
and water changes always did the trick for me.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 07:13 PM
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Raising the temp was all it took for me ! My tank is free from ick and I am keeping the temp at 81 or 82 degrees . :^) How did your ick problem turn out ?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 03:57 PM
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The ich parasite has a life cycle. while the parasite is attached to the host it is almost bullet proof. by raising the temp you are speeding the life cycle along and causing it to drop off the host and go through a cell division like change. While it is going through cell division (multiplying) the cell walls are weak and is vulnerable to treatments. Sorry if you already knew this. Posting it for members that may not be aware of how it works.

There are several means to fixing it;

Copper salts aka coppersafe
malachite green
methylon blue
Most medications have a high risk for effecting the bacteria bed and can potentially add stress from cycling problems which cause fish to become susceptible to the parasite. So you are possibly adding fuel to the fire.

Try to ID the source of the stress and eliminate it as best you can.
New arrivals
maturing fish turning territorial
sudden drop in temp can bring on an ich out break. small tanks can fluctuate in temp a great deal which can also add stress.
tanks in busy parts of the house, no background, no hiding spots just to name a few things
Keep them well fed and as stress free as possible and crank up the heat into the low to mid 80's making sure you have a good gas exchange at the surface as there is less dissolved O2 in warmer water. add an air stone or lower tank level an inch or two during treatment.
the only "medication" i would ever recommend is the use of freshwater salt. You dont want to blast your pets with chemicals anyway. A mild salt solution will do 2 things
cause the fish to generate a thicker slime coat
and the parasite cannot live in salty conditions

However ! your plants will NOT like the salt. All things considered, if you can maintain a slight salt content of 1.002 during the treatment and perform good water changes after treatment you may be able to increase your odds of a speedy cure.

Remove stress
increase heat
and feed well

hope that helps
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 04:44 PM
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does UV light have any effect?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by WheeledGoat View Post
does UV light have any effect?
Yes UV works, but you need to have the proper flow rate for the unit.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 05:05 PM
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Many parasites have complex life cycles. As Slippryrock mentioned Ick cannot be killed while it is on the fish. After the spots drop off you can vacuum them up and get them out of the tank so I simply watch the fish and as soon as the spots start coming off I vacuum the tank during a water change. That is all I have ever done and no ich has returned, I am positive I was just very lucky though. If you miss some fallen spots then when they are in the free swimming infective stage they can be killed with the medications, not before, not after - that is why you must continue medicating long after the spots are off the fish. High heat kills them too but I am not sure which stage is vulnerable, the incubating spots or the swimmers. The swimmers would be killed by UV if they happen to get caught.
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