Treating ich - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Treating ich

Hey everyone!

I am relatively new to keeping fish. I started with a 20g 4 months ago and now I have a 75😂.
In my 75g I have 12 neon tetras, 12 fancy guppies, a ton of ghost shrimp, 4 mystery snails, 3 gold algae eaters, a pleco, 2 bumblebee gobies and 2 angel fish. I have a magnum 350 canister filter and an emperor 400 HTB filter running in this tank. I check the water regularly and I always have 0 ammonia/nitrite and maybe 5ppm nitrate.

OUT OF THE BLUE a guppy got ich and I freaked out. I read everything I could about treating it and “learned” that if one fish has it they all have it? So I put them all in a 20g hospital tank and dosed the water with salt and API super ich cure, and raised the temp to 86 yesterday. Now I have lost 5 tetras, and one of my angel fish and I have no clue why. It’s honestly frustrating because I thought I did everything right.

Any advice is welcome!!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 10:31 PM
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Sorry about the loss but there are several times when we get caught in the smaller details.
So let's do a soup to nuts on the ich as it sounds like the treatment left out the details.
Ich has three stages. one is a hard shell on the fish which we see but have a hard time killing. it is feeding on the fish and that means making a hole. Keep that in mind for later. Second the ich falls off and lays on the bottom in a hard shell while it multiplies. Hard to kill then, too. But when it does burst out to be free floating without protection, it dies pretty easy.
So to treat we want something in the water and a handy item to kill the easy time is salt. To get the life cycle speeded up, we can raise the temperature and the go through the three stages quicker. Gets them to the "kill zone" faster?
But there is hazard when we raise the temp as there is less O2 in warm water and that may kill fish if we don't do it right. Raising the temperature slower, over several days and watching to see how the fish react is good. Fish react different and there is no one firm answer to what is high or too high. We want to speed the ich up but not kill the fish so it is good to go slow and also add O2 in any way we can. Some things that help are water splashing by lowering the level if we use HOB, turning the spray bar toward the surface on canisters or adding airstones if we use air pumps. Add heat, add salt but also add air!!
I've lost track of how much salt is recommended, so will let others advise there if you have not read that part.
Treat at least two weeks and don't stop just because you don't see them any more as there will be some lying on the bottom, under gill covers, etc. Just don't stop until totally sure as you get to start over if you are too quick!
siphon the bottom can help as it can remove some of those but that isn't really practical in a heavily planted tank.

One thing for sure is that they are making tiny wounds all over your fish, so keep a close watch on the water quality as well as watch for any signs of fungus, etc. that start in those wounds.

Note on keeping fish? You can't be a REAL fishkeeper, until you've treated ich! It's a basic requirement.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 10:36 PM
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i would have just treated the whole tank with aquarium salt and gradualy raised the temp as to not shock the fish ich is not that bad and is eaily treatable with time and slow water temps also partial water changes inbetween but you learn from your mistakes cause the hospital tank was not cycled so bacteria were not present to cope with all that was going on in there sorry for your loss so now treat whole tank and raise temp and see all works out till you re try
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 10:50 PM
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I did miss the QT part. QT is good for lots of things but ich is more like treating a dog for fleas. QT won't work as there are flea/ich eggs left in the bed so we have to treat the whole thing. Moving fish between two tanks does have some extra hazard but whether it was shock of lack of O 2 is hard to say. Since it was a quick kill, both may be a question but knowing how they acted before dying might help pin it down. Swimming near the top is often a sign of breathing problems.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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I am using a penguin 200 htb in the QT tank with a bacteria pad I had in my 75g that is fully established and the wheel on it is also established. I have an air stone running in the tank. But some of the tetras are swimming at the bottom.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewGuy75g View Post

I am relatively new to keeping fish. I started with a 20g 4 months ago and now I have a 75😂.
In my 75g I have 12 neon tetras, 12 fancy guppies, a ton of ghost shrimp, 4 mystery snails, 3 gold algae eaters, a pleco, 2 bumblebee gobies and 2 angel fish. I have a magnum 350 canister filter and an emperor 400 HTB filter running in this tank. I check the water regularly and I always have 0 ammonia/nitrite and maybe 5ppm nitrate.

OUT OF THE BLUE a guppy got ich and I freaked out. I read everything I could about treating it and “learned” that if one fish has it they all have it? So I put them all in a 20g hospital tank and dosed the water with salt and API super ich cure, and raised the temp to 86 yesterday. Now I have lost 5 tetras, and one of my angel fish and I have no clue why. It’s honestly frustrating because I thought I did everything right.

Any advice is welcome!!
So it sounds like you did your due diligence and attempted to fix the issue. Sometimes things unfortunately dont work out as planned. As already pointed out by some others, ich is one of those ailments where moving the affected fish into a QT isnt the best idea. But whats done is done so I just want to point out a few things for you to know/keep in mind for the future.

First off, ich wont just appear "out of the blue". Typically I'd say its most typically introduced into an aquarium when you bring home some new fish; but thats obviously not the case here. Second on the list I'd say is some sort of stress for the fish. Perfectly healthy, happy fish have an immune system that is capable of fighting off lots of different things a fish might be exposed to. However, the slightest hiccup can make a fish much more susceptible to ailments. Could be due to a variety of reasons to include water quality, husbandry etc. Sometimes an equipment malfunction like a heater that stops working can lead to fish getting sick too. Lots of different things can and often will stress out fish leading them vulnerable. Sometimes moving fish can be a big ordeal if they're already a bit "under the weather".

That being said I'd have suggested you treated your whole tank and all the fish when you first noticed an issue. Personally when I encounter Ich I go with the heat treatment and lots of water changes. Over the course of a day or two I'll raise the tank temp up as close to 90 degrees as I can and then leave it there for 10 days after you last see a white spot on a fish. This treatment has worked successfully more than once for me (and unsuccessfully once or twice too). I'd rather go this route and avoid spending extra money on meds that may or may not help .

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Curator of an ever growing fishroom that currently houses 30 different tanks. Most full of at least water....some even have fish!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 03:54 PM
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Ich sucks. I've had a few outbreaks through the years and the latest one is what finally got me to set up a quarantine tank...not for treatment but for pre-checking that ich isn't getting into my main tank. Well, at least I bought one The plan is to have one tray in one of the two canisters filtering my main tank with sponges that I can move over to an old aquaclear. I don't plan to have it set up all the time for better or worse. When it's time I'll use the big tank water to fill it and the media to run in the aquaclear. Mainly due to the threat of ich, for an upcoming large tank I'm planning to do more fish at once instead of slow steady couple-at-a-time introduction (which I've always done to avoid a bio-load shock). I tend to stock lightly and over-filter so hopefully this approach won't lead to problems. Bottom line as you go around trying to get deals on fish from various stores--as I tend to do--I figure it increases the odds of disease each time. Flip side, moving fish an extra time sounds like extra stress so it seems like a risk whatever you do.

Anyway, like all of you I have plants and shrimp and frankly I get just as worried about them as the fish. I raise the temps to 85/86 and I add some aquarium salt, though honestly not as much as recommended (worried about the plants). If nothing else, the salt might help with the wounds that the parasites make in the fish from what I've read. After a week or a bit more, I lower the temps back down and then do a big water change. This last time I lost two tetras, never saw the bumps on the other fish...I did lose a rummynose a week later, but honestly I lose those randomly--very frustrating as I love those fish but I don't have great luck with them....
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