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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Best solution?

I've been planning an upgrade for a bit now. This is my first planted tank, and my goal at the moment (while I learn) is to keep the plants alive. However, I've hesitated because I've been draining all my money into my reef. Here's the setup: 20 long, with a 400GPH power filter, 2wpg, two discus, three pristella tetras, two white clouds, a gold nugget pleco (L018, L085, or L0177) and a krib. I'd like to up the number of each of these fish in my upgrade, as all are social (except the pleco and the krib - I'd like to get him a girl). Plans are for diy co2, a light upgrade, and some real scaping. Here's the problem: after about three weeks of settling in, the fish appear to have developed something akin to ich (smaller cysts, more of them than usual). It started with the red turq and migrated to the kobalt within 36 hours of the first symptoms. Now it has affected the pristellas and may move on to the white clouds if I'm not careful. Over the last two days, I've done two paraguard dips for one hour each. There has been some disappearance of cysts, but they're still there. And the surviving ones, as it seems, have reproduced as my other fish are coming down with it. I haven't seen any heavy breathing or itching, but the discus appear stressed from the dips. The ph is 6.7, and the temperature is 83-84. All fish are tank raised and showed no signs of disease until a few days ago. So do I take the fish out, dip them all (save the pleco), and move up to my bigger tank (add the 40# of gravel now to the fluorite/etc. hardscape I have set up) and do a "planted cycle" with a bunch of broad leafies like swords? Or do I wait it out, hope they all do okay, and get the bigger tank traditionally cycled? What would you do? P.S. Is ParaGuard okay with plants? I assume it's not with inverts as it's malachite green-based. Thanks, Scott
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 12:49 AM
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If you're sure they have ich and not something else, I treat it with Ridich+, with the infected fish removed to a 5gl buckets or hospital tanks. Works every time for me, even with otos. The faster you get the infected fish out, the less likely you'll have to treat the whole tank. You already have a high temp speeding up ich reproduction, if the parasites don't latch on to the remaining fish as a host, they'll eventually die. I usually keep the treated fish quarantined for a few weeks until I'm sure it's done for in the tank.

Do you have a picture of it?


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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The problem is that I'm unsure of what it is. It's a discus tank, so temps need to be relatively high. I've tried taking pictures, but even at f/1.4 I can't get a well-exposed picture. Comes out very dark. The camera normally exposes correctly, but the cysts are too small for me to get a picture of with anything other than the dslr. The cysts appear to be about half the size of the ich I'm familiar with - is it because it's reproducing so rapidly?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 01:15 AM
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Velvet?

You should clear up an sickness before possibly stressing your fish more with a mini cycle.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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I'm just worried because both are stressful to the fish involved. Yes, it appears that it may be velvet. Will malachite green kill plants and plecos? I know plecos tend to be sensitive to many meds.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 01:35 AM
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Velvet appears more like a covering of dust.

I think the first thing you should do is get the sick fish out, then you can make sure you know what you're dealing with and treat it without messing up your tank or letting things get worse.

If it looks like specs of salt popping up all over the fish, and continues to spread to new fish that rapidly, then it sounds like ich but is hard to be certain without seeing it. I've seen columnaris or some other bacterial infection manifest as "specks" without the big patches, it's still a few millimeters wide in my experience and resembles small fungus patches, not a speck like ich. As seen in this pic (bacterial)...



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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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It looks like they were dusted with powdered sugar instead of salt. That's the best comparison I can give. And I have nowhere to isolate the sick fish without displacing some others. Will 10# of gravel from my current cycled tank and 10G of water be enough to cycle a 10G I have lying around so I can treat these guys? The fish look to have either a serious case of ich or a case of velvet; from the images I can find, the two look almost identical. Edit: The more I look at them, particularly the pristellas, the more it looks like velvet. They're in a paraguard dip now.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 02:23 AM
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They are similar. Velvet is usually finer and more a tan/brown color while ich is white.

You should treat the tank at this point. The life cycle is very similar to ich and removing the fish won't mean you removed all the parasites. Fortunately most everything that treats ich also treats velvet.

If you are worried about harming fish with the meds usually people do half doses.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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Are plecos okay with it? At work we usually lose them after a copper (this is malachite green though) dosage. How about plants? The pictures I saw of velvet looked the same as the pictures of ich. If they're tan/brown, then they have ich. It sure seems like velvet, though.
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