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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So..I'm not worried. Yet. But I figure I might as well get the info I need before things get worse. I noticed an Oto cat with a few spots today while feeding the tank, which, not good. My plan is to just keep feeding well, do more water changes, all the good stuff that I've been doing, and hope that the fish will beat it back. But if not, (if I notice the parasites on other fish) then I need options for a planted tank with softwater fish.

Stock list: otocinclus cats (probably O. vittatus, O. affinis, or some other Oto species similar to those), pygmy cory cats (C. pygmaeus), chili rasboras (B. briggitae), sparkling gouramis (T. pumilus), amano shrimp (C. multidentata, but I have my suspicions about it being australian amanos and not Japanese ones). Soon to be added: freshwater pipefish (Doryichthys martensii)

Plants: red root floaters, lucky bamboo, amazon sword plant, mystery stem plant, subwassertang, java moss, banana plant.

If things get bad, I plan to evacuate all of the fish (minus the D. martensii) plus the sponge filter into an empty 10 gallon I have lying around. But I need a treatment method for that tank. D. martensii are going into a different quarantine tank. What works for these fish? Hikari Ich-X? I'm hoping to actually kill the parasites, and not induce a thickened slime coat or anything on the fish.

Does the tank transfer method work for freshwater ich?

While the fish are undergoing treatment, the shrimp and the plants are going to be chilling in the display. How hot can I run the tank at to speed up the life cycle of the parasite? How long do I need to run the tank at that temperature?

I've got a fair idea of where the parasite came from (most likely the chili rasboras or the sparkling gouramis, my money is on the chilis). The ironic thing, is that I quarantine all my saltwater fish. Guess I need to quarantine all of my new arrivals for freshwater again...
 

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If treating for ich in your planted tank > using 'Kordon Rid Ich Plus' is a good choice. It is not hard on sensitive fish, snails or shrimp. The active ingredients are formalin and malachite green which are perfectly safe for plants. I would just follow the instructions on the bottle and you should start noticing the ich clearing up in a few days. I would not raise the temp to 86', unless you want to melt a lot of your plants. At 86' the ich can't reproduce anymore, but your plants will suffer and it's not really necessary. If you want to raise the temp to accelerate the life cycle of the ich, I wouldn't go higher than 80-82'. I usually keep my temp the same (74') during treatment and the fish are cleared up in 4-5 days.
 

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If you're treating fish in a qt you can slowly raise the temp- if you choose to- to try to speed up the process. Not necessary though. I agree with @ytro on the treating of your display tank.
 

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I've always heard the tank transfer method as a salt water thing.

I have treated ich successfully with Ich-X, which is malachite green and formalin. I think @Discusluv prefers Paragard which is malachite green and something else and I am sure her recommendation is very good. But iirc, these meds only target the free swimming part of the ich lifecycle, so you have to get all the ich in the tank at this point to eradicate it. Obviously this takes less time at higher temps, but you don't have to go sky high. I didn't have a controllable heater at the time I treated and was worried about the resulting fish stress if I suddenly moved the tank up 5 or 6 degrees, so I treated for longer at a lower temp. The other thing about only targeting the free swimming form is that it doesn't get the ones that are making cysts on your fish now - you'll have to hope they can heal, so you might need to worry about secondary bacterial infections.

When I treated I was only able to save half the fish with active white spots (I was shipped a bad group that were positively salted), this treatment prevented the other fish in the shipment from being infected. I had one QT and opted to put all the new fish in it together rather than putting the ones that seemed healthy at first glance in my display tank, and I think that was a good call.
 

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I never turn up the heat in cases of ich for 2 reasons.
1. Ich parasite tends to settle and feed on gill plate and just under. Because of this, fish are already oxygen deprived. Turn up the heat and you add to the fish's stress as the oxygen level is further lowered.
2. Bacteria spread is heat-dependent. The higher the heat, the quicker it proliferates in tissues where parasite feeds.

I do prefer Paraguard because along with malachite green it contains acriflavine which is a highly effective antibacterial.
 

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...and no salt, which is not needed with Paraguard. In addition to potential O2 stress from high heat, high salt can present osmoregulation problems (think: suddenly high TDS) and further increase stress. You can only kill Ich in the free-swimming (tomont) stage. Only the fish can take care of the Ich when it is on them and this requires minimal stress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmm, looks like I’m going to be going with Paraguard. I don’t like the use of formalin/formaldehyde and want to avoid it if possible.

I did more readings after posting, and cam across salt or heat treatment, but looks loke chili rasboras can’t handle salt. I was thinking of heat treatment (set the tank at 86 and wait it out), but if that’s a bad idea I guess I should go with Paraguard. It looks like Ich X has formalin/formaldehyde, and I’d like to avoid that carcinogen as much as possible.

I’m still left wondering how long I need to leave my tank fallow (fishless) in order to make sure the ich doesn’t make a comeback. How long at 80 F before I’m safe to add the fish back?
 

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Good luck - I hope it goes well!

And I hope you get a proper quarantine tank set up! It's so much easier to treat and you don't have to gamble all your existing fish with every new addition. If you only had one small tank I might see skipping it, but you're trying to get quite a bit up and running, right? Save yourself the worry!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good luck - I hope it goes well!

And I hope you get a proper quarantine tank set up! It's so much easier to treat and you don't have to gamble all your existing fish with every new addition. If you only had one small tank I might see skipping it, but you're trying to get quite a bit up and running, right? Save yourself the worry!
It’s really only a 20L, plus a few shrimp only 2.5s. I planned a 100 gallon system for saltwater...so quarantine was needed for saltwater fish. Aaaand then apartment search happened soooo, no 100 gallon system for now. But I still had the quarantine protocol, and disease is like, really well documented on the saltwater side of the hobby.

After I get these pipefish in, I’m not planning on acquiring any more freshwater fish. No more room for expansion, and plenty of fish to play around with breeding and such. Freshies are cheap, which means it takes less time for me to earn money to buy more fish, so I’m finished a lot more quickly than expected tbh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As an update, I did lose one oto (unsure if it was the same fish), however, observations over the past few days have not yielded any signs of ich amongst any other fish. I did do a water change today, so we'll see about if that causes any stress and therefore opportunistic ich infections to happen.
 

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As an update, I did lose one oto (unsure if it was the same fish), however, observations over the past few days have not yielded any signs of ich amongst any other fish. I did do a water change today, so we'll see about if that causes any stress and therefore opportunistic ich infections to happen.
Did you use a med?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hmm...looks like some of my chili rasboras are showing white spots. Sounds about right for ich. Guess I get to go buy paraguard next week, since the fish are fighting it off pretty well.
 

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I never turn up the heat in cases of ich for 2 reasons.
1. Ich parasite tends to settle and feed on gill plate and just under. Because of this, fish are already oxygen deprived. Turn up the heat and you add to the fish's stress as the oxygen level is further lowered.
2. Bacteria spread is heat-dependent. The higher the heat, the quicker it proliferates in tissues where parasite feeds.

I do prefer Paraguard because along with malachite green it contains acriflavine which is a highly effective antibacterial.
It's important to look at how much ich there is and what part of the lifecycle the majority of it is at. In the early stages where only a few fish are infected, you want to get rid of as much of free floating as possible and encourage them to extricate from their trophont. In such a situation heat is absolutely the best solution, especially if the fish are still strong because it will speed up their lifecycle exponentially and they will have insufficient time to reattach and naturally die off. Oxygenation is not an issue because all tanks should be well oxygenated anyway and you will not kill any beneficial bacteria.

Medication should only be used in severe cases where fish are weak and cannot tolerate any more and you're willing to sacrifice all your beneficial bacteria to save them.

Sent from my SM-T820 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Medication should only be used in severe cases where fish are weak and cannot tolerate any more and you're willing to sacrifice all your beneficial bacteria to save them.
Alternatively, I could move all the fish into the quarantine tank for treatment, and maintain the cycle and beneficial bacteria in the planted tank...
 
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