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What is your favorite, proven method of treating Ich?

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Folks,

Noticed a few white spots on some of my fish today - mostly the dwarf neon and threadfin rainbows.

Since I'm a noobie, I'm assuming that once ich is here all fish could be exposed and there is no sense quarantining individual fish at this point. One thing I will do is get a UV sterilizer to help prevent spread.

For now though I've read the posts here. Seems there are two avenues - heat and salt, or meds. I tend to lean towards meds...because....well..I don't know....because I take meds not bathe myself in warm water and salt, so confidence is higher. Seems easier too.

What are your expert thoughts on best meds?

Currently in the tank are:
-rummynose
-cardinal tetra
-chain loach
-bristlenose pleco
-dward neaon rainbowfish
-threadfin rainbowfish
-kribensis
-oto
-SAE
-beta
-no inverts..that I want that is.

Tell me if I'm nuts to go the med route, or if any of the above will be wiped out by medication...or by heat/salt if you really beleive that is best.

Thanks,
AB

PS: should have added that all fish, including effected ones are still vigorous. I do appear to be missing a couple of threadfins though.
 

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Is it a planted tank? From what I understand that eliminates the salt option.

About two months ago I added some new fish - didn't QT. Then saw one with ich. A fair number of spots, but just one fish. I was researching, weighing the options (I keep SW and the ich treatments are different). I decided I was going to increase the temp. But at the same time I was also watching for signs of it spreading, too. It didn't. (I run UV and had just changed the bulb) So in the end I just kept the water quality good, fed well, and to date there are no signs of it. I know it's in there, and it probably always has been. But no issues so far.

So maybe if you're in a position to add UV to your tank it will help knock it down and they'll all fight it off. For me it seemed to be a less stressfull experience for the fish (and me).
 

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In my personal, recent experience with ich, I have rummynose, neon tetras, ember tetras, corys, rcs + crs shrimp, and a variety of plants. Meds were out of the question for me, and so was salt.

I did the heat method up to 86F and held it for 3 days in duration. working the heater up to 86F and back down to my normal temp across 10 days total, adjusting up then down by 2degrees F per day. It killed the ich, I've been clean for a month now. The scape is good and everything survived. :)
 

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I just went through my own first episode. You, like me, have sensitive tetras, loaches, plecos, otos and I additionally have shrimp. I turned the heat up to 86-88 before I started meds, use Maracide at half strength but am doing two rounds since I used it half strength. You dose day 1, 3 and 5. Does not hurt the biofilter, plants or inverts. It's a spot on treatment that treats the fish directly, not your water. I additionally added a light dose of salt to aid respiration for any ich in the gills and added an air stone. Even the "ramicus pesticus" ramshorns made it throught treatment unaffected.
 

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I like Kordon rid-ich. It's easy and effective, never had any adverse effects. Follow the directions(no need to raise the temp) and don't quit early!
 

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A word of warning with using ich medications in a display tank...if they're blue, they will dye the silicone on your tank's corners a lovely bright blue. Also any tubing or clear plastic items inside the tank.
 

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Because you have cardinal tetra I would only use 1/4 of the amount of the recommended Ich medication and at the same time I would raise the 86*F also.
 

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I've had NO staining with rid-ich. I've also treated cardinal tetras, loaches, & cories with No problems. Half doses will likely not be enough to kill the parasite and only prolong the problem.
 

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Two of my cardinals got ich after i did a rescape in my tank one time. I have some shrimp and snails in the tank and didn't want to use meds. It was a small case with just a few white spots on their fins. I didn't do anything and it went away after about week and a half. If the fish are healthy and not stressed they will get over it them selves.
 

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i allways raise the temp for a week, and black the tank out. no lights for 1 week.
Blacking out the tank has no effect whatsoever on the ich parasites.

And raising the temperature only inhibits their reproductive rate since it moves them through their life cycle much more quickly. There are many of strains of ich that are not killed at any stage in their life cycle by high temps.

I wouldn't rely on high temps alone, personally, and definitely not just for one week.

I treat for 2 weeks after the last visible symptom- which usually is about 4 weeks, total.
 

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Solid;935742 If the fish are healthy and not stressed they will get over it them selves.[/quote said:
This just isn't true. Either it wasn't ich, or it's still lurking in your fishes gills and sinuses where it isn't visible waiting for something to stress them.
 

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This just isn't true. Either it wasn't ich, or it's still lurking in your fishes gills and sinuses where it isn't visible waiting for something to stress them.
Right, ich along with a lot of other diseases is always in your tank/fish waiting for your fishes immune system to be weak enough for them to take advantage.

"Many experts believe that ich is present in all aquariums, but only attack weakened or stressed fish. Healthy fish have a strong immune system and are able to resist ich. Stressed fish have a weakened immune system and are therefore susceptible to the ich organisms that are already present in the tank."
-http://www.petcarejournal.com/ich-in-fish.html

"Completely eradicating Ich from your aquarium is not easy, and studies show that small amounts of Ich tend to be present even in well maintained aquariums where the fish are in prime condition. Just like the immune system of a healthy person can handle a few germs in the air, healthy fish seem to be able to live with Ich around them without falling ill. If we on the other hand crammed that healthy person into a subway and forced him to stand in a crowded wagon filled with sneezing persons, it might soon be too much for his immune system to handle and he would catch a cold. The same thing is true for fishes – if you place them in a crowded environment, rarely perform any water changes and introduce a bunch of diseased specimens, you may very well have an Ich outbreak on your hands. "
-http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/disease/ich.php
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the inputs. Seems there are several treatments that work. And all have some drawback. I'll be adding UV and will give more thought to choosing a med, salt, heat or combo technique.

Here's a thought. With UV added to restrain spread and the outbreak still small, it might be a good time to try the heat method and see what happens. If the outbreak worsens, then move to meds quickly.

What do you think? Sound reasonable, or should I just get it over with and dose the things? Other than this the tank (6 weeks old now) has been doing great.

AB
 

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Thanks for the inputs. Seems there are several treatments that work. And all have some drawback. I'll be adding UV and will give more thought to choosing a med, salt, heat or combo technique.

Here's a thought. With UV added to restrain spread and the outbreak still small, it might be a good time to try the heat method and see what happens. If the outbreak worsens, then move to meds quickly.

What do you think? Sound reasonable, or should I just get it over with and dose the things? Other than this the tank (6 weeks old now) has been doing great.

AB
With fish disease it is more important to act quickly than to be most correct.

Anyhoo, I don't think you should be considering salt. I have heard tetras aren't supposed to like salt. if I'm wrong, hopefully someone will correct me.

I don't know of any species in your tank that can't tolerate 86° water.
 

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Right, ich along with a lot of other diseases is always in your tank/fish waiting for your fishes immune system to be weak enough for them to take advantage.

"Many experts believe that ich is present in all aquariums, but only attack weakened or stressed fish. Healthy fish have a strong immune system and are able to resist ich. Stressed fish have a weakened immune system and are therefore susceptible to the ich organisms that are already present in the tank."
-http://www.petcarejournal.com/ich-in-fish.html

"Completely eradicating Ich from your aquarium is not easy, and studies show that small amounts of Ich tend to be present even in well maintained aquariums where the fish are in prime condition. Just like the immune system of a healthy person can handle a few germs in the air, healthy fish seem to be able to live with Ich around them without falling ill. If we on the other hand crammed that healthy person into a subway and forced him to stand in a crowded wagon filled with sneezing persons, it might soon be too much for his immune system to handle and he would catch a cold. The same thing is true for fishes – if you place them in a crowded environment, rarely perform any water changes and introduce a bunch of diseased specimens, you may very well have an Ich outbreak on your hands. "
-http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/disease/ich.php
You're both right.

Ich is a living organism, a parasite, so is not necessarily in all aquariums. It has to be introduced. But chances are good that once it's gotten into a tank, unless measures are taken to actively kill all the organisms, at least a few parasites will survive to keep the population alive, even if the infestation is not visible.

I've learned from experience that temperature changes are a huge trigger for ich infestations. I've also learned that any stressed or weakened fish (from whatever reason- acclimation, other disease, poor water parameters, etc) are a great host to get an infestation going in a tank.

I personally treat all new fish as if they're carrying ich, because I've learned that chances are excellent that they ARE, even if no parasites are visible for months or even years.

You can certainly treat planted tanks, and tetras, with salt. You just need to be careful with your dosages. I've used 1/2 teaspoon per gallon and treat for at least 2 weeks, along with raising the temps into the mid 80's. A few more sensitive or struggling plants may not make it, but IME it's pretty effective. (And many plants suffer just due to increased temps, alone... IMO it's worth it to make sure to get rid of the nasty stuff- I HATE ich!)
 

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Could I have brought in Ich on some plants that I purchased? I know I brought in a snail, but could I have gotten Ich from the plants? I put some new plants in last Thursday and have had a recent round of dying Neon Tetras.
 

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It is a possibility, as ich do have a cyst stage.

I think it's more likely that there were some ich parasites brought in with your fish, just there was not a full-blown infestation until recently.

Any chance that the temp in your tank may have fluctuated? That's a big trigger IME. Sometimes when the household ambient temperatures drop suddenly, heaters have to be turned up, or just aren't quick enough to compensate without a temp drop inside the tank. It can happen overnight too, so might never even be aware of it if the house's ambient temps are back up to "normal" by the following day.
 
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