Ick problem - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Ick problem

I had a ick breakout about 9 days ago, and it won't go away.

It started two days after I picked up three Madagascar Rainbow fish from a store that I have never been to before.
It was sort of messy there, sort of a dive. But I drove almost an hour to get there, so I picked up the fish.
Defiantly not going back.

I have a uv sterilizer that I normally plug in whenever I have a problem, so that is running.
It looked as the indicator window on the sterilizer was not as bright, I pulled the bulb out and plugged it in
and there was a dead spot, so I ordered a new bulb. That was installed two days ago.
Still seams a little dim, maybe it is the transformer.

I slowly raised the temperature to 82 degrees.

I normally have API super ick cure on hand just in case. The expiration date was 2016. I haven't had ick in years,
so I put all 10 packs in the 135 gallon tank.
I ordered more online, it showed up so I gave the tank another dose two days later as the directions state.
Waited two more days and did a 30% water change.

Then dosed the tank again with the super ick cure, now I am out of meds until the next order arrives.
It was supposed to show up yesterday buy usps, but it never did. hopefully today.

The fish still have ick, heavily on the face of two Blue acaras. There is a white dot here and there on other fish, but not that bad.

In the past, normally I turned on the uv sterilizer, raised the temperature, and dosed with super ick cure. I was gone in no time flat.
Very strange that it is hanging in for that long.

Is there anything else that I can do to kill the ick off?

Last edited by Jbubba001; 03-15-2019 at 02:33 PM. Reason: more info
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 02:38 PM
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Raising the temp is a good idea as it speeds up the life cycle of the ich. But I dont think 82 is quite warm enough. I've had success using nothing other than heat by slowly raising the temps up to 90. (I think the data shows that at least 85-86 is needed to really prevent ich from attaching to a new host and to prevent it from reproducing and something just under 90 is needed to "kill" it). Keep it at that elevated temp until you no longer see white spots on any fish and then about 7 days longer. Then slowly bring the temp back down to where you had it before. The idea of using the heat to speed up the life cycle allows the ich to more quickly reach a a treatable state and also shortens the amount of time it can seek out a host.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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I am afraid to raise the temperature much more.

The Blue Acaras could handle it, in fish descriptions they can go up to 85 degrees.
But the Madagascar rainbow fish, in fish descriptions can only handle 75 to 77 degrees.

I just raised the tank to 84 degrees.
The super ick cure showed up about an hour ago, so I dosed the tank.
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 03-16-2019 at 07:00 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 08:04 PM
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The risk of raising the temperature is the secondary bacterial infections that commonly occur where the Ich parasite feeds in tissues.

Thats the thing about those that recommend the heat treatment as the "go-to treatment". You increase risk of secondary bacterial infection in fish ( the higher the heat the quicker bacteria spreads) and not all fish can take heat from 86-90 degrees- causing more stress to a fish that is already compromised.
Turn the heat back down to what it is normally as you are increasing probability of infection and lowering the ability of the fish to take up oxygen. The Ich parasite primarily attacks the gill plate and just under the plate, as the immune system fights to extract the parasite, mucus builds on and in the gill area to "slough off" the parasites. When you add heat, the parasite proliferates quicker on the gill membrane, increasing mucus buildup and lowering the uptake of oxygen. A perfect storm for increasing the death of the fish.

Do you have plenty of supplemental aeration going in tank? Have you been changing at least 25% of the water daily to lower parasite load in water column? Have you been vacuuming substrate to take up parasite that has fallen to substrate and is in process of multiplying? If not, I would recommend doing these things to help the fish recover more quickly.

You should treat with meds for four full days after last of the parasite is evident.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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I do have supplemental aeration in the tank, there is an eight inch long bubble wand hooked up to a rather large air pump.

To lower parasite load in water column. I do have a Diatom filter that is supposedly capable of filtering ick out.
Supposedly the filter is capable of removing particles down to 2 to 4 microns.
I will get the Diatom going shortly, and let it run all day.

Update
Last night before the lights went out, I took a look at the fish. Two smaller Madagascar rainbows look horrible, they are covered.
Two of the Blue Acaras still have quite a few spots on there face.

I let the diatom filter run all night, woke up this morning and nothing bad happened.
Today I am supposed to dose more super ick cure.
I think before I dose I will give the substrate a vacuum.


I just ordered a few boxes of API E.M. Erythromycin
I figured how long this has been going on, dosing an antibiotic might be a good idea.

Last edited by Jbubba001; 03-17-2019 at 11:08 AM. Reason: more info
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