My sick Cardinal tetras...Help pls! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC
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I have a 21g heavily planted tank with schools of cardinal, glo-lite, penguin, and some corries and ottos.
My water parameters:
I also have a hagen CO2 running
The problem is that my cardinals (started with 9, now down to 8) started to have ick abt 6 days ago. I started the treatment by raising the temp from 78 to 81, adding 1tsp of salt per gallon, and using malachite green med(full dose). Every fish other than cardinals seem fine, but the white spots on the cardinals don't seem to go away. And the worse thing is, I notice that some of the cardinals' fins and tail look kind of shreded or torn. Could it be fin rot, or it's just the effect of ick? Will they ever grow back on? What am I doing wrong with treating the ick, it doesn't seem better after 5 days of medication.

Thanks for ur help!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 12:43 AM
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I used cloat. Worked like a charm when my black phantom tetras had ick. But their fins were fine. I treated for about a week before the ick was totally gone.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 01:09 PM
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I've just recovered from the same problem, except it was with 50 new cardinals that I added to my current 14 cardinals, 7 neons, 3 Chinese algae eaters, 1 cory, 5 pencil tetra and 20 shrimps. Imagine my reaction when I bought those fish home and immediately put them in the tank sans quarantine.

Next morning, about 20 of them showed signs of ick. Some were more severe than others. I switched off my cooling fan and the temp was averaging 31 celcius to speed up the cycle. I then added Interpet's Anti white spot Plus at half the dose since they were tetras. The next day seeing they still had lots of white grains on body, I added another half dose. Bad move. Next day I fished 19 fishes out of the tank!

Although the instructions says 2 doses to eradicate ick, I stuck to 4 doses each with an interval of 4 days just to be sure. Didn't know if the cysts were lurking behind my plants or bogwood.

My tank is now free of ick! Plus my plants are still growing better than ever.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 01:59 PM
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Here is what I did. I turned the water temp up to 82 for 2 weeks and did 50% water changes every other day. During the same time I fed the Cardinals frequently with freeze dried bloodworms. I couldn't find any good medication so I just used the heat method. It took a couple weeks, but the cardinals are now ich free. For whatever reason the cardinals took way longer to clear up than my other fish, as long as they keep eating and are active I think they will be fine. My cardinals were covered with ich and look awful but they pulled through.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 02:15 PM
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Do not expect the white spots to drop sipmly because you added medicine, as they are basicaly not volnurable during that phase.

have a look at

Cheers and good luck.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 09:03 AM
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the cardinals in my 29g had ich. they all had a lot of white spots, but no fin damage like you are experiencing. obsessed over medications, and finally decided to go with just heat. turned the temp gradually to about 86-88 degrees F, and kept it there for 2 weeks after the last spot went away. so it turned out to be a 3 week heat treatment. did not add salt. all other fish in the tank survived (otos, glo lites, dwarf cory habrosus, pair of sawbwa resplendens). plants did fine, though i pulled out the cabomba which looked like it was going to go anyway before any of this. i fed hikari flakes/micropellets, and live blackworms at least every other day. a month later now and my cardinals look VERY healthy, robust, and are just oozing their characterisitic colors.

when i add a few more cardinals to this same tank i'm going to put them in a separate quarantine tank first with a little preventative melafix and a steady diet of blackworms.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 06:21 PM
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Half dose of Quick Cure daily for 14 days. Would do a 25-30% water change every 3rd day. Didn't even raise the temp. Everything disappeared by day 10 and all scaleless fish and inverts were fine. Didn't even stain my seams. I found out my problem was caused by a crummy thermostat on a heater that was making my aquarium fluctuate temps.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 10:00 PM
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I had a real mild, but persistant case of Ick a couple of months ago. Raised the temp to 86 for three weeks hoping that would eliminate it alone, but I still had one or two persistant spots on a couple of my Cardinals. So I finally used Jungle Ick Clear (fizzy tabs, actiive ingredient is Acriflavine and Victoria Green). I used a half dose in the morning (also had an airstone running), did a 25% water change in the afternoon and applied a second half dose. The next day I did the same routine. On day three all signs of ick were gone and I did another 25% water change as well as ran my diatom filter (with activated carbon) for several hours. Over the course of the next week I dropped my temp down to 79-80.

The good news is that I lost no fish or plants to the treatment. What is interesting is that this mini-outbreak happened in my 40 gal tank running an 18W UV sterilizer 24/7. So it only goes to show that UV can only kill what actually flows through it and is not a universal cure all.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-25-2004, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by corigan
Half dose of Quick Cure daily for 14 days. Would do a 25-30% water change every 3rd day. Didn't even raise the temp. Everything disappeared by day 10 and all scaleless fish and inverts were fine. Didn't even stain my seams. I found out my problem was caused by a crummy thermostat on a heater that was making my aquarium fluctuate temps.

What Matt said. A 50% dose of a malachite green medication works wonders (I've grown an affinity for Quick Cure, though I'm still using up my bottle of Nox-Ich which is only Malachite Green).
I think with most fish meds you REALLY don't need that 100% dosage. Fish are pretty tough on their own and as long as you keep the water clean they will almost take care of infections themselves.
Contrast to the average med buyer - a lazy aquarist who doesn't do water changes and just wants a magic elixir to fix their problems. They'll probably need a heavier dose to kill the parasites, even though it's harder on the fish.

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