Ick!!! How to treat it??? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Ick!!! How to treat it???

Any advice on the best way to treat ick? I have a 75g planted with shrimp. Temp is up at 84 degrees currently.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 12:37 AM
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Kordon Ich Attack worked for me

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 12:45 AM
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Ich is a parasite with a very specific life cycle.
The only part of the life cycle that is susceptible to medications is when they are babies. (tomites). Many medications will kill it when they are used right. Ultra violet sterilizer will kill them, but must be used correctly. The secret is to make sure that ALL the babies are treated so they die.

If there is any way to move the fish to a hospital tank that will help a lot. Your range of treatment options will be a lot bigger that way, and you can be sure they are free of Ich before moving them back to the main tank.
In the mean time the Ich in the main tank will die without a host (Shrimp are not carriers or hosts).
I would move the fish and treat in a bare bottom tank so you can vacuum often and well. Remove all the Ich that falls off the fish before it can reproduce.


Next time, quarantine EVERYTHING before adding it to the main tank. Ich has no dormant phase, but can hide in the gills, so sneak into the tank that way, or in the water that is included with plants or animals.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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I recently added two crypts and within two days I noticed it. I'll never be able to catch the fish without disrupting the entire tank. My Rummy nose and one of my roseline's seem to have it. everything else is unaffected right now. So moving to a hospital tank is a last resort but it may be what i have to do I guess.

Bump: Should I be doing more frequent water changes? I dont want to stress the fish even more but I'm thinking it may help.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 09:55 PM
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Once the ich is in the tank you need to treat the tank anyways. The small pustules fall off the fish and are quite insidious. The salt helps the tank mates with wound healing and various other ailments created by the situation and adding a bubbler is important as you have decreased oxygenation during this process as well. With your population I would use the Kordon and follow the directions, at least it is herbal .... keeping in mind here that I have zero shrimp experience so I say this as I prefer to err on the side of caution. Any scaleless fish like Corydora or Plecos (they are armoured but still scaleless) should only be exposed to half the amount of salt normally suggested. Vacuuming the substrate daily is imperative using the elevated heat and salt method to remove as many of the nasty little creatures as possible. The strange thing about the ich is that you can actually only get the nasty little things during their free swimming stages. Between their phases. The vacuuming helps a lot by just removing the pustules from the tank. How is it going?

Ha... hit the button too soon. Without shrimp. I do not know shrimp. The tank would be elevated to about 86 degrees very slowly in small increments so as not to shock the fish. The salt is used at 1 Tblsp per 5 gallons of water but not with snails or scaleless fish. Vacuum daily if possible water change every other day at a rate of 25 to 30% replacing water with the correct sodium amount. Watch water parameters closely. After all signs of the ich have gone continue to treat the tank for a bit longer (days) then gradually reduce your heat and perform multiple water changes to clear your tank of all the added salt. This is just what I know hope it helps in some way.

Last edited by Farm; 10-17-2014 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Incomplete
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-18-2014, 02:55 AM
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I have never delt with ick in my fish tank but i have heard that if your fish can withstand temps of 85to 86 that ick cant thrive in this temp and dies off. Not sure if this is true or just a myth though.

http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_ich2.php here is a good read about it =)
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-18-2014, 06:23 PM
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There are many strains of Ich, and most will not reproduce at higher temperatures. There is one strain that will grow at any temperature that is safe for the fish. This one is also resistant to most medications.

If you can get ALL the water up to 85-86*F then most strains of Ich will die off.
This includes under the substrate, just in case some Ich organisms are hiding out. They do not dig, but can fall through between the pieces of fine gravel or coarser substrates.
Some fish cannot tolerate that high temperature.
Oxygen levels are lower at high temperatures, so make sure to increase the water circulation and surface action.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 12:04 AM
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I have now treated it successfully in two different tanks by raising the temperature to 88 (fully 88, which means more like 89) for two weeks. I read about it for many, many hours trying to find authoritative info. There's lots of rumors.

As to moving to a hospital tank, you must keep the temperature in the main tank warm (your 84 is fine) while having zero fish there long enough for it all to die, about a week. Note that moving plants, decorations or any material while that tank is infected can move the ich to another tank. A tank empty of fish that is cold can last MUCH longer before it all dies. It is a myth that an empty tank can maintain ich alive, but it is true that an empty cooler tank can keep it alive for weeks.

There are ich strains that can live > 86 degrees. Mine were not, but it is possible (I think from reading it is rare).

There are recommendations that confuse temperatures. EITHER raise the temperature > 86 degrees (let's call that hot) alone or with salt, OR if using medicine raise it to 82-84 (let's call that warm) with the medicine. Use of the warm with medicine is to speed the lifecycle up so the time-medicated can be brief. Use of the hot temperature is aimed at actually killing. The hot water (which reduces oxygen) combined with medicine (which also reduces oxygen) can be dangerous. When you medicate the fish it is only serving to kill the parasites falling off -- not the ones already on it (which will mature and fall off eventually).

Ich can be very much present in fish without overt symptoms, notably it can live inside the gills. Do not only pull fish with obvious ich out for treatment, every fish in an infected tank, plus the tank, plus everything in the tank (plants, substrate, decorations, filter) must be treated either with time (and no fish), heat, or medicine or combinations. The worst thing some people do is move the "fish that doesn't have it" to the safety of another tank while using medicine.

While I understand inverts cannot get ich, like plants, it would seem possible they can carry (literally) it, but I am not sure of that.

Salt + heat is often recommended as better than heat alone, but salt can kill a lot of plants.

Ich can ONLY be killed when in its free swimming stage, either very briefly as the parasite falls off the fish to the substrate, or longer when the then-multiplied-by-hundreds parasite swims back to re-infect the fish. No medicine (that is not fatal to everything) can kill it when on the fish, or in the substrate multiplying. That's why all medicine recommends warm temperatures to speed the cycle up and ensure all parasites are in the free swimming stage at some point when the tank is medicated.

Some recommendations will be to repeatedly vacuum the tank to remove the multiplying parasites. It may be true that you are removing some of them, but that is not effective for that reason, and does little good when using heat or salt alone (it is somewhat like only killing the roaches you see in an infested house). Organic matter int he tank makes medicine less effective (since it is non-specific what it reacts with); vacuuming is removing the organic matter making the medicine more effective.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Ick is almost non existent on the fish at this point. I couldn't move the fish to a quarintine tanks because there were too many of them. I raised the tank temp to 84, added fishkeeper ( I know I know, no one has ever heard of it but it seemed the only safe way to treat the tank) every day for a week and just did a water change. I only lost a female guppy. Rummy noses, neons, Roselines, ottos, Angel and plecs all look fine as of now. I did'nt want to add salt because of my plecs. I appreciate all the tips. Hopefully I cured the tank. As of now all looks good.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 03:24 AM
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Quick cure works great! Make sure you remove any carbon or purigen before treatment. Treat one time a day for 3 days. Water change on the 4th day put back carbon. Also be sure to keep the filter running during this time.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 03:56 AM
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To effectively kill ich you need to understand its life cycle. When it's in the fish you can't kill it. It's got protection. It leaves the host (your fish) to breed. This is where you kill it. So why raise the temp? Pretty simple really. It speeds up the life cycle of the fish so you can kill it. Outside the fish.
(pretty much what Linwood said and here is a link to back it up.)

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