Ich in established tank with no new fish? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Ich in established tank with no new fish?

I think I may be dealing with ich for the first time, but I'm not sure. It's on a praecox rainbow that I added to my tank a couple of months ago (after a 2 week quarantine).

I thought the life cycle of the protozoan was short enough that the quarantine period was long enough, and certainly shorter than the 2 months the fish has been in the main tank.

No other fish (that I can tell) have any white spots, but they're mainly nano fish and don't stay still long enough for me to tell.

It seems most ich treatments use malachite green, formaldehyde, or copper. Copper is out because the tank is full of amanos and nerites. Are the other two treatment options invert safe?

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22.

Last edited by aubie98; 02-28-2019 at 04:47 PM. Reason: b/c im a big dumb idiot
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 05:02 PM
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I read and also believe that Ichthyophthirius can be present (dormant) in tanks over long periods without causing any visible outbreak. When fish are getting stressed (often due to environmental changes) all of a sudden Ich can start its life cycle.

In any case, I found that raising the temperature while also trying to keep your fish happy (don't overdose ferts/CO2, regular water changes, don't overfeed etc) will help getting rid of ich. It's really a couple of things that need to be addressed simultaneously for best success.

How much to raise temps depends a bit on your life stock. Personally I don't feel comfortable going over 86F. Definitely need to watch fish while doing that to prevent drama. It's recommended to do that for about 10 days.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
I read and also believe that Ichthyophthirius can be present (dormant) in tanks over long periods without causing any visible outbreak. When fish are getting stressed (often due to environmental changes) all of a sudden Ich can start its life cycle.

In any case, I found that raising the temperature while also trying to keep your fish happy (don't overdose ferts/CO2, regular water changes, don't overfeed etc) will help getting rid of ich. It's really a couple of things that need to be addressed simultaneously for best success.

How much to raise temps depends a bit on your life stock. Personally I don't feel comfortable going over 86F. Definitely need to watch fish while doing that to prevent drama. It's recommended to do that for about 10 days.
will raising the temp affect plants at all (crypts, anubias, moss, buce, etc)?

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 05:46 PM
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Shouldn't too much, I think the ich parasite life cycle is only like 4 days, so I think you'd only be raising the temp for a week at a time at most. I mean, fish seem to tolerate it just fine and they're more sensitive to changing water conditions than plants are. *shrugs*

I have MTS
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 06:52 PM
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There is no such thing as "dormant" Ich in the aquarium. This parasite requires a host to survive. Without a host the parasite dies within 48-96 hours - the rate of cycle completion depending on temperature.

There have been ( in rare cases) latent ( much different than dormant) cases of encased parasites under gill plate of fish. In these cases the fish have been exposed and survived a prior outbreak of Ich. On second exposure, the fish has an immunity to the parasite that allows the fish to "contain" the parasite aggressively by "encasing it".
This balance between encased, latent parasite and fish remain in equilibrium until stress weakens the fish, allowing the cyst to complete its life-cycle. The cyst then goes from latent to active as it falls from the host and reproduces in substrate, and so on to complete its cycle.
Again, rare cases.

More likely a case of cross-contamination or incorrect diagnosis.

Edit: I would bet on incorrect diagnosis and, if that's the case, raising the temperature is the last thing you want to do because if it is bacterial you increase the rate it will spread the higher the temp.


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Last edited by Discusluv; 02-28-2019 at 09:24 PM. Reason: more info
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
There is no such thing as "dormant" Ich in the aquarium. This parasite requires a host to survive. Without a host the parasite dies within 48-96 hours - the rate of cycle completion depending on temperature.

There have been ( in rare cases) latent ( much different than dormant) cases of encased parasites under gill plate of fish. In these cases the fish have been exposed and survived a prior outbreak of Ich. On second exposure, the fish has an immunity to the parasite that allows the fish to "contain" the parasite aggressively by "encasing it".
This balance between encased, latent parasite remain in equilibrium until stress weakens the fish, allowing the cyst to complete its life-cycle. The cyst then goes from latent to active as it falls from the host and reproduces in substrate and so on to complete its cycle.
Again, rare cases.

More likely a case of cross-contamination or incorrect diagnosis.

Edit: I would bet on incorrect diagnosis and, if that's the case, raising the temperature is the last thing you want to do because if it is bacterial you increase the rate it will spread the higher the temp.
I'm beginning to wonder if this is incorrect diagnosis. I've been looking at the praecox (the only fish with visible spots), and there are only 2 spots on her right side. I though ich b/c I noticed 1 white spot yesterday and today it was 2 and I may have jumped to conclusions.

The issue is that the spots are only visible at certain angles of viewing. When they are not visible, the area they are located is darker than the rest of the scales. So maybe, this is something else.

First two pics, no spots visible, dark area visible. Last two pics, white spots visible (fish is not really cooperating with my photo shoot, I can't get a good pic where the spots are really visible, but they are at certain angles)
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There was only one catch and that was Catch-22.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 09:19 PM
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It looks more like scale damage with areas of bacteria/fungal growth.
Where the scales have been damaged , bacteria can settle and you will then see secondary fungal infections.
This is most likely due to netting ( if recently got these fish or moved them) or fighting between con-specifics during breeding activity.

These types of issues with scale damage can be minor and clean water can help to get the fish back to health.
However, when bacteria/fungus is present, they can also quickly undermine the fish if fish unhealthy.
In order to determine which situation you have you need to access the situation.
Is it from netting? Sparring? If sparring, is the fish continuing to engage in this activity?
Is the fish not eating? Is the fish swimming erratically? Lethargic? Any of these signs would indicate external bacterial infection has gone septic. In the blood.

How is water quality?

If it was my fish I would treat the aquarium with Paraguard. Active ingredients methelyene blue will help with fungus and acriflavine works as an antibacterial.
Daily water changes of at least 25%.
1 tsp of non-iodized salt- antibacterial per 5 gallons.

If over the next few days the condition continues to worsen, then use an antibiotic like kanamycin.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
It looks more like scale damage with areas of bacteria/fungal growth.
Where the scales have been damaged , bacteria can settle and you will then see secondary fungal infections.
This is most likely due to netting ( if recently got these fish or moved them) or fighting between con-specifics during breeding activity.

These types of issues with scale damage can be minor and clean water can help to get the fish back to health.
However, when bacteria/fungus is present, they can also quickly undermine the fish if fish unhealthy.
In order to determine which situation you have you need to access the situation.
Is it from netting? Sparring? If sparring, is the fish continuing to engage in this activity?
Is the fish not eating? Is the fish swimming erratically? Lethargic? Any of these signs would indicate external bacterial infection has gone septic. In the blood.

How is water quality?

If it was my fish I would treat the aquarium with Paraguard. Active ingredients methelyene blue will help with fungus and acriflavine works as an antibacterial.
Daily water changes of at least 25%.
1 tsp of non-iodized salt- antibacterial per 5 gallons.

If over the next few days the condition continues to worsen, then use an antibiotic like kanamycin.
thanks for the info; not sure where the damage came from, she's been in the tank for ~2 months, so no netting injury, and the other praecox in the tank is also female and they seem to get along fine (by that i mean they mostly ignore one another).

Water quality should be really good, have 2 pro4e filters running on the tank and do a weekly 40% water change. Just tested parameters this morning and 0 ammonia and nitrite, 10-20 nitrate, 8 gh, 3 kh, 210 tds. Fish appears to be eating normally and is swimming around normally too.

I'll pick some paraguard up tomorrow and treat.

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22.

Last edited by aubie98; 02-28-2019 at 09:39 PM. Reason: edit
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 11:57 PM
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This is a case where I wait and watch very carefully while getting a plan in mind IF I need to do something. I do not shotgun treat without knowing what it is I'm treating and at this point you do not know. My outlook is that many meds are stressful by nature and doing the wrong thing to the whole tank can be far worse than doing nothing for a single fish. Don't do chemo just because it looks like you might have cancer? A small mistake can lead to a full blown death spiral for the whole tank, so the better choice would be to move the single fish to QT but I will assume there is no QT available, so the next best bet for me would be to wait. Waiting will certainly tell you if it is ich as the spots will quickly move and change. If it is simply an injury type thing, it may get better by itself. If it gets bigger so that you can actually see it, then you will have far more reliable info to go on when choosing a med.
Meanwhile, I see no ich as I would expect the side area to be one of the last spots and far more likely to show on tail or fins. Tiny white spots do not say fungus to me as likely as simple scale damage which may stay the same for weeks but gradually get better.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 12:34 AM
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Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
This is a case where I wait and watch very carefully while getting a plan in mind IF I need to do something. I do not shotgun treat without knowing what it is I'm treating and at this point you do not know. My outlook is that many meds are stressful by nature and doing the wrong thing to the whole tank can be far worse than doing nothing for a single fish. Don't do chemo just because it looks like you might have cancer? A small mistake can lead to a full blown death spiral for the whole tank, so the better choice would be to move the single fish to QT but I will assume there is no QT available, so the next best bet for me would be to wait. Waiting will certainly tell you if it is ich as the spots will quickly move and change. If it is simply an injury type thing, it may get better by itself. If it gets bigger so that you can actually see it, then you will have far more reliable info to go on when choosing a med.
Meanwhile, I see no ich as I would expect the side area to be one of the last spots and far more likely to show on tail or fins. Tiny white spots do not say fungus to me as likely as simple scale damage which may stay the same for weeks but gradually get better.

This is so over the top dramatic.

Who was asking for a shotgun treatment? Are you referring to my recommendations? And what does this mean to you anyway? Does this mean that anything beyond "waiting" is a shotgun treatment?

Or do you mean clean water, salt and Paraguard is a shotgun treatment that will lead to a death spiral in the tank? Please. Lets not be hyperbolic.

Edit: You need to go back and read my recommendations more carefully. Take note of where I asked the OP to "Assess" the situation. Giving them certain things to look for to evaluate the seriousness of the situation.
It is most certainly damaged scales. That is evident and clear. I see fungal growth. That is clear to me. Not you? Well, then, then disagree.
Therefore, I stick with my diagnosis and recommended treatment. If the OP has a hospital tank then it would be best to treat this fish there. But, from the initial post, its obvious that any treatment needs to be done in this tank. None of the recommendations will in the least lead to a "death spiral".
There was no justification for you to say that I was recommending "Chemo when something merely looked like cancer."


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Last edited by Discusluv; 03-01-2019 at 12:52 AM. Reason: context
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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There is a QT, but its got 3 g. pseudoincisus and 3 m. lacustris in it right now. No other tank is available for a hospital tank.

But, since I'm already quarantining the other fish and treating with metroplex/kanaplex, it wouldn't hurt to pop the praecox in and treat with paraguard instead.

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22.

Last edited by aubie98; 03-01-2019 at 11:25 AM. Reason: edit
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 02:02 PM
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It is obvious that some will automatically treat for some disease, even when they know that medicine is very stressful. I have a neighbor who is a current example of how it works in humans. He has been treated extensively by expert doctors but he had reached the point of gathering family and saying his last goodbyes as he was bleeding internally and they could not stop the bleeding. since he was in such pain and choosing not to go into the purple haze, he stopped taking all medicine and refused to go to the hospital any more.
That was a year ago and his bleeding has stopped and he now goes out to dinner once a week!
I feel any worthwhile discussion will have more than one opinion but there are those who are too quick to object to any advise which does not fit what they personally think they see.
After all is said, doctors do admit that they are still "practicing medicine" ! I apply the same thinking to my fish and don't waste time and money until I see what I am treating.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
It is obvious that some will automatically treat for some disease, even when they know that medicine is very stressful. I have a neighbor who is a current example of how it works in humans. He has been treated extensively by expert doctors but he had reached the point of gathering family and saying his last goodbyes as he was bleeding internally and they could not stop the bleeding. since he was in such pain and choosing not to go into the purple haze, he stopped taking all medicine and refused to go to the hospital any more.
That was a year ago and his bleeding has stopped and he now goes out to dinner once a week!
I feel any worthwhile discussion will have more than one opinion but there are those who are too quick to object to any advise which does not fit what they personally think they see.
After all is said, doctors do admit that they are still "practicing medicine" ! I apply the same thinking to my fish and don't waste time and money until I see what I am treating.
It wasn't the differing opinion I "objected" to- it was the insinuation that I had advised a "shot-gun treatment" when that was not the case at all. Paraguard and salt is what you equated with this. The "cancer reference"-- It was really quite ridiculous.

If you thought different- state your case, but dont resort to extremes to make your point. Again, with the above example, you still resort to an extreme example.

Try to jump to the middle somewhere when you object to others opinions. Be fair to those whose opinions differ from your own. Maybe then they will not take offense.


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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so, definitely not ich: both white spots are gone but the dark patch remains. going to monitor for a couple of days and if it persists, will move the fish to the QT and treat with seachem neoplex (LFS did not have paraguard).

Also should note that she's acting normally, swimming around the tank and she showed a normal appetite this evening when I fed.

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22.

Last edited by aubie98; 03-01-2019 at 10:31 PM. Reason: edit
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 11:48 PM
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I find fish do actually hurt themself at times and I think of it as pretty close to the same as a bruise and scrape that we might get. It can take a bit for the skin to heal but still leave a bruise but neither is a big worry if it does go ahead and heal without infection of some sort. Do pay attention to what may develop as it goes along. It may disappear and all is well or it may develop some big puffy thing to deal with later!!

Bump: I find fish do actually hurt themself at times and I think of it as pretty close to the same as a bruise and scrape that we might get. It can take a bit for the skin to heal but still leave a bruise but neither is a big worry if it does go ahead and heal without infection of some sort. Do pay attention to what may develop as it goes along. It may disappear and all is well or it may develop some big puffy thing to deal with later!! Once it does, you can make better decisions about treatment.
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