I haven't been on this board in a long time, but I feel I should respond. I've read about everything you can on this disease and what I have gotten from it is this... there is no fool proof way to get rid of ich.
I noticed you stated that you had just gotten a Ram b4 the outbreak. Obviously your best bet is to have a q-tank/hospital tank. EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ONE!!! This doesn't have to be more than a 10g tank barebottom, only providing good filtration and heating. You should use it everytime you introduce new fish, mimicing the water where you purchased the fish. Then slowly converting it to your parameters over a few weeks. This insures a healthly, but not necessarily disease free fish.
Many fish carry diseases that are not harmful to their species, but can reek havoc on another.
...getting back on topic.
I think everyone has battled some disease in their tank at one time or another. There was a recent article in the Aquarium Fish mag. It mentioned curing disease w/o the use of meds. Most medications are strong and stress fish out trying to treat them. I personally do not use chemicals/meds in any of my reef and planted tanks.
Disease usually is the result of stress, just like in humans when we get overly stressed we are more susceptible to sickness. Stress can be due to many things... fighting between fish, overcrowding, poor water quality. So stressing the fish out even more using meds is not a good idea.
This is also why I don't like the fact that people suggest raising the temp. It does shorten the ich cycle, but that doesn't help the fish already infected with the cysts. It is just stressing them out more. It is up to the fish to fight ich off once you see the cysts. The best way to relieve stress is giving them fresh clean water, aka hospital tank...with a bare bottom tank where you don't have bacteria/parasites colonizing in your tank, it is sterile just like a hospital. Also this will stop the ich cycle since there are no eggs to hatch more of the parasite. If some of your fish are healthy, leave them in the tank and just do a decent size water change and if you must use a chmical use a product like rid-ich, any treatment with m. green in it, dosing accordingly taking into account the water changes you should be doing religiously. This is not too stressful on fish and plants and will reduce the free swimming ich. If you use the product, use it for at least 10 days. This will ensure you have gotten rid of the parasite. In both tanks, a healthy does of water conditioner will help keep the slimecoat thick to ward off some of the parasites as well.
I have yet to have a disease outbreak using a q-tank for over a year, minus my reef tank when a microburst hit my town and I lost power for over 4 days...
For the extreme, I feel some saltwater tricks might help, whether they help or not :roll:
. Garlic has been highly suspected to reduce ich outbreaks in saltwater fish, especially in tangs which have barely any slimecoat, incorporating some into your fishes' diet might not be a bad thing, either grinding it up with your fish food or using the liquid form.
Also something I want to try is the reverse of a freshwater dip, for those who don't know what it is....It is where an infected saltwater fish is taken out of saltwater and dropped into freshwater for 30 or so seconds, assuming ph, hardness, and other water parameters match. Fish are able to handle sudden shifts in salinity for short periods, whereas parasites are not. They cannot handle the change and die or even "pop" and fall off. I used this method on my reef tank on my blue tang successfully, more than once.
I want to try to test this on freshwater fish in a saltwater dip. Let me know if anyone tries this as a last resort.
To sum this long post/rant up...if a fish is infected, get it into a hospital tank in fresh sterile water and hope the fish is strong enough to fight off the ich. If other fish are unaffected, do a water change and add more slimecoat and have a watchful eye. Or if your really nuts try some of my "outthere" theories.
If anyone has read this far congrats! :shock: