Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
An ounce of prevention...
Each local branch of a chain store might be better or worse than average, but most are ruled by corporate headquarters, so are run in a standard manner. It is up to the store manager and the aquatics department supervisor how well they can run their department within corporate regulations. Some seem to do a better job than others.
The local Pet Co (I have been in at least 4 within 50 miles) stores are so bad that when they opened a new one I never bothered to go in.
The local Pet Smart stores (about 5 in the same radius) are reasonable, and one is pretty good. (One of these was pretty bad, they closed)
Treatment depends on the fish.
If the fish will tolerate the heat, any you can maintain the tank well over 85 degrees F (probably closer to 90 to make sure all the tank maintains 86 degrees) then most strains of Ich will die.
There is less oxygen in the water, so increase aeration by adding a bubbler, a power head, or altering the location of the outlet from the filter for more surface movement. You could lower the water level in the tank so water from the filter splashes more.
If the fish will not tolerate the heat or low oxygen, you may still increase the temperature to the maximum level tolerated by the fish (increasing aeration). This will speed up the life cycle of Ich so treatment is over sooner. Add to this whatever treatment you want. This might mean only the mid 70s for cool water fish.
Salt: If you fish will tolerate salt, then add the maximum they will tolerate. (See your other post- and do not split posts that have the same question).
Other meds: They will all kill Ich. But research for side effects and details that may not be obvious.
If you are using a dye based medicine do not use Amquel products as a dechlor (read the Amquel labels)
If you are combining meds make sure both are safe for use with each other. If you are adding salt read the label on medicines and make sure it is OK with salt (if it will treat brackish or salt water fish this is good for salted fresh water tanks).
Use ALL medicines until at least 4 days past the time you saw the last Ich spot on any fish. Do not believe the labels that say you just need to use it for a short time. Re-read post #9: Ich spends most of its time in a stage that is not susceptible to medicines. You need to keep the medication going for 2 full life cycles to make sure that any slower growing or hidden Ich is treated. Note: Ich can hide in the gills where you cannot see it.