Ich Treatment for Planted Tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Ich Treatment for Planted Tanks

Hi All,

I currently have a bumble bee platy fish that has Ich on him in my 30 gallon tank. I QT'd hiim in another tank but I am concerned if the other fish may get it. I want to treat the whole tank to make sure the protozoans are dead througout the tank without killing my plants in there which are Amazon Swords, Java Ferns and Red Melon Swords.

I wanted to use salt but I have read that it can melt my plants.
So I still have Ich Cure that claims to erradicate the Ich in my tank in 3 days but I dont have the box and it doesnt say if it is safe with plants? Does anyone know if I can use it in my tanks.


Thanks
John
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 04:11 PM
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Both Java Ferns and Swords are pretty tolerant of salt, so they should do just fine with the levels of salt you'd use against ich for the time you would be treating it. Remember also that ich's life cycle is sped up the higher the water temp is, so it takes less time for them all to die in warmer water.

I used salt to treat ich in my tank and my swords were just fine, and Java Fern can live in brackish tanks, if that helps give you peace of mind.

Joy to the fishes!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 04:34 PM
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In unplanted tanks I just add salt and raise the temp to 81*.
If you raise the temp it speeds up the lifecycle of the critter so the medication won't have to be used as long.
Ich is ALWAYS present in tapwater, therefore, always present in aquariums. It only latches on to your fish when they are stressed and weakened. Your other fish aren't in any more danger of contracting it than they were before. As long as they don't get stressed they will be fine. Using an Ich treatment might be enough to stress them and make them get the ich.
I would only treat the affected fish. Quarantine, salt, NovAqua, and high aeration is what I have always done to heal a single sick fish and it works well for external problems.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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thank you.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
Ich is ALWAYS present in tapwater, therefore, always present in aquariums.
Could you cite a source for this claim? Ich can't live for very long without a fish host.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 05:24 PM
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We spent a lot of time on Ich in my aquatic medicine and fish immunology courses in college.
Ich is a ciliated protozoan that is not killed by domestic water treatments so if the water source has Ich, then your tap water has Ich. Unless you used Ich meds on every water change you ever made, then there is a good chance your water changes have larval Ich in them.
Medications only work on the free swimming stages of the protists life cycle. Thats why you increase temps--speeds up the life cycle and increases your chances of catching the swimming stage with the meds. Ich meds are just supposed to kill off the critters long enough for the infected fish to recover and not be reinfected in its weakened state.

The reason all of our fish don't get Ich with every water change is because a fish's immune system is plenty to protect them from Ich if they are healthy. When fish get stressed from environmental conditions or their fins or slime coat is damaged, then they become susceptible.

Thats why I love NovAqua. Prevention is literally the best medicine. Keep an eye on your water params, handle your fish very carefully, watch out for fish on fish violence, and feed a high quality food. Nutritional deficiency is a huge stressor on a fish.

If only one fish has the Ich then something probably happened to it or its just getting old. Just keep it quarantined and treat it alone. Just add a teaspoon of salt per gallon to the main tank and maybe something to help out your fishes' slime coats. A teaspoon of salt per gallon shouldn't be enough to hurt the plants. You can get in-tank UV sterilizers for pretty cheap now adays so they are a practical addition to quarantine tanks and they do kill Ich swimmers.

I've manually cured a light Ich infection in the lab by doping the fish with MS-222 and then removing the cysts one by one with forceps. NOTE: I had a fish surgical station, don't try it in a tupperware container at home. Then I plopped the fish in a quarantine tank, 1 Tablespoon of salt per gallon, high filtration and aeration, kept the tank dark, and it recovered just fine. Golden shiners are probably a little more resilient than say CPDs though.

This site has a pretty good crash course in Ich.
http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/docs/health/ich.shtml
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 05:35 PM
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The problem with your documented information is that it is just an item from the internet. That's like Fox news quoting a blogger as proof.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 09:13 PM
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I wasn't quoting that website. I was just stating that the website had good information that coincided with what I learned in college from one of the leading experts in fish immunology, Dušan Palić, D.V.M., MVSc., Ph.D.. Two of my text books were Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment and Fish Medicine. Fish Disease was written at Iowa State where I went to school.

"The Ichthyophthirius organism enters aquaculture and aquarium systems by way of the water source where it occurs naturally or from previously contaminated livestock." ---Fish Disease: Diagnostic and Treatment by Edward J. Noga. ---(2/3 of the way down page 109).

That specific enough?

Ich isn't some creation of the aquarium trade. It is naturally occurring but much less common in wild fish because they are not prone to the same stressors as aquarium fish. Freshwater limpets have a larval stage which survives from the source to the faucet and limpet veligers are much larger than Ich swimmers.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 11:42 PM
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I see no mention in the reference of ich being present in most water supplies. Nor do I see anything indicating that it is present in most aquariums. It would seem that you are indicating that a minor treatment with salt will kill ich which has lived through treatment lasting from 24 hours to days using chlorine or chloramine. That is a major conflict with the training I received from the Department of Natural Resouces (DNR). Having the job of condensing and rewriting several yearly water quality reports for the public, there was never any mention of ich being present in our water supplied to the public.

It takes a major leap from ich entering the tank from a water source as referenced to saying it is in most water sources. There are many pathogens in water which are much harder to eradicate than ich. I see no reason to assure all fish keepers it is in their drinking water.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2010, 01:10 AM
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I agree with PlantedRich; it is unlikely that the Ichthyophthirius parasite is able to survive a) without a fish host for extended periods of time and b) in the presence of chlorine/chloramine, especially at the concentrations that municipalities employ.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2010, 02:17 AM
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In reading the reference, I can agree with it totally. To me it says ich enter with the water or livestock. I believe that most would agree with that. It is not airborne. I don't agree that it means ALL water sources have ich. I think we would all agree that many places the water has unlimited numbers of things we would not want to drink nor put in our tanks. To imply that those same items are in our tap water in most developed countries is not something with which I agree.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2010, 02:18 AM
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The life cycle itself would tell you straight up that this is BS. I find it extremely hard to believe that the water treatment facility can process water from whatever local water source(which would have to have a decent population of ich infected fish to product enough free swimming theronts to be present in all the output Tap water) between the approximately 55 hour metabolic time limit that they have to find a fish host. It just doesn't add up. I am not sure I believe that a fish has to be stressed to be infected by ich either. There have been a few times where either I didn't have a QT tank, or I was just impatient, that I introduced a fish from a LFS, and every fish in the tank was suddenly covered in salt shortly after. If it quacks like a duck...

I have used Kordon Ich attack (which is organic- napthoquinone) pretty successfully in planted tanks. Doesn't harm inverts at all either.
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