10 Gallon Tank 4 Sick platy fish - How to treat ick??

FyaNyan

TANK

What is the water volume of the tank?
10 gallons

How long has the tank been running?
Since late summer.

Does it have a filter?
Yes. Tetra Internal Filter Whisper 20 gallon.

Does it have a heater?
No.

What is the water temperature?
68F

What is the entire stocking of this tank?
4 sunset platies. Some random unidentified snails (small).

MAINTENANCE

How often do you change the water?
Try for every week. But it’s more like every week and a half to two weeks. Parameters have been stable and it’s cycled.

How much of the water do you change?
40%-60% (Depending on how long I go).

What do you use to treat your water?
Tetra something (Forget the name). Makes tap water safe.

Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
I vacuum both!!

PARAMETERS

Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
Yes.

What do you use to test the water?
Tetra 5-in-1 strips and Tetra ammonia strips (when I need a general idea).
API liquid master test kit (when I need exact numbers).

What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
I USED TETRA STRIPS TODAY. CAN GET EXACT NUMBERS IF I NEED TO LATER.

Ammonia: <0.5
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 40 ppm
pH: 7.2

FEEDING

How often do you feed your fish?
Once a day, and then a fasting day once a week.

How much do you feed your fish?
1-1 1/2 small pinch of flakes.

What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Tetra tropical formula (I think).

Do you feed frozen?
No.

Do you feed freeze-dried foods?
No.

ILLNESS & SYMPTOMS

How long have you had this fish?
2 weeks.

How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
Yesterday.

In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
All four platies have glittery white “bubbles” on them, especially on their tails. Looks like ick.

Have you started any treatment for the illness?
No.

Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
No.

How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
Two fish are still acting normal. The other two fish are lethargic, hanging near the bottom. One is barely moving, breathing heavy.

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

I’ve had my tank running since summer. It had a wild crayfish in it for a few months, but I moved him into a 20g Long 3-4 weeks ago. He appears to be healthy, but I know old animals usually carry parasites. I did not completely tear down the tank and bleach everything like I probably should have. Two weeks ago I purchased 4 sunset platies from PetSmart. Usually don’t buy live animals from there, but I decided to for some reason. They appeared fine. Had to spray my room for mites (completely unrelated to fish) so I put plastic around the tank and didn’t go into my room except to feed once a day. When I finally took off the plastic, the platies looked sick. My other fish tanks are fine.
 

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PlantedCommunityTank132

40 ppm nitrates is pretty high. did you quarantine the fish before adding them to the tank?
are the plates the only stocking of the tank?
 

FyaNyan

40 ppm nitrates is pretty high. did you quarantine the fish before adding them to the tank?
are the plates the only stocking of the tank?
Did not quarantine because they were the only fish in the tank. I’m guessing they were sick from the store. I’m doing a big water change and cleaning today to bring down nitrites.

2 fish are dead this afternoon. I found some resources on this site about ick. Running out to get ick-x medicine soon because that seems the best option for my situation. At this point the fish look pretty bad. Dont think I caught it in time, sadly.
 

Noroomforshoe

I am also a bit surprised that the nitrate is that high with just the 4 platies and snails. But It isnt deathly high. My guess about the nitrate "even though that isn't why your here" is that tetra filters suck. And that flake food leaves crumbles that sink into the gravel and filter media and are hard to remove. Tetra food sucks, I suggest you switch to new life spectrum pellets or even omega one pellets.

Back to the ich. Consider getting a heater and keeping the temp at 78 degrees to make it harder for ich to return. You could treat with Ich x, Introduce a heater and slowly raise the temp over a few days to 78. that is what I would do. You could also add a stress coat with aloe, I suggest you get Prime dechlorinator and toss the other one. Ich x is the most important thing to do, dont be overwhelmed by my other suggestions.
 

FyaNyan

I am also a bit surprised that the nitrate is that high with just the 4 platies and snails. But It isnt deathly high. My guess about the nitrate "even though that isn't why your here" is that tetra filters suck. And that flake food leaves crumbles that sink into the gravel and filter media and are hard to remove. Tetra food sucks, I suggest you switch to new life spectrum pellets or even omega one pellets.

Back to the ich. Consider getting a heater and keeping the temp at 78 degrees to make it harder for ich to return. You could treat with Ich x, Introduce a heater and slowly raise the temp over a few days to 78. that is what I would do. You could also add a stress coat with aloe, I suggest you get Prime dechlorinator and toss the other one. Ich x is the most important thing to do, dont be overwhelmed by my other suggestions.
Yup. I don’t mind talking about other things! I’ve actually been wondering what food to switch to because I know Tetra food sucks lol. It was just what someone gave me when I got my first fish from them, so I just haven’t made the switch. Thanks for the suggestions.

Also, I have an aqua clear in my crayfish tank and it’s awesome, so I’ve noticed the tetra filters aren’t great. I got it before I knew that. Maybe will change at some point. But I’d rather change to less messy food first.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

I keep wondering why your nitrate is so high. Even if the filter isn’t great. I mean you do regular water changes and gravel vacuum.
 

Noroomforshoe

No worries, we all use those free samples and free things now and then.
If the filter is holding the cycle, it cant be that bad. but better is still better. Also that gravel seems like would hide the crumbs and fish waste more then some, I suggest keeping only enough to hold down the plants.
 

FyaNyan

I keep wondering why your nitrate is so high. Even if the filter isn’t great. I mean you do regular water changes and gravel vacuum.
Honestly don’t know. Maybe I read the test wrong or it was inaccurate??
Here is the link to a page on here that may be of help. Definitely need to get a heater to try to speed up the parasitic life cycle.

ICH (ICK) Life Cycle and Natural Treatment | Freshwater Fish Disease and Fish Health Forum | 153206
Thanks for the link! Currently can not use a heater because of the circuit it’s hooked up to. But I may be able to run an extension from a different circuit in the house. We’ll see.
 

Noroomforshoe

possibly, hold it in front of a white paper, if the paper is truly white in the lighting in the room, you can trust the test color accuracy. If you are careful not to overfeed, if you are keeping up with water changes, if you dont have too much extra detritus stuck in the gravel, if the tests are orange not red, I would not worry too much.
 

FyaNyan

UPDATE

The 4 platies died. Dang :( but I suppose it happens.

Anyone know what to do with the tank to make it safe for new fish later down the road? Do I need to dose it with meds? How do I kill the remaining ick? Will it die in its own without fish? I’ve got live plants, how do I treat them?

Should I tear down the whole tank and bleach it? Restart the cycle?

Don’t really know.
 

Noroomforshoe

Ich can not survive without a host. You don't need to do much other than wait, Do a water change of 75/80 percent but don't worry about the filter and filter cartridge, there is no reason to lose your aquarium cycle over this.
Ich is always going to be a possibility. even in a ten-year-old tank with no new fish or plants, you can end up with a case of ich. It is important to keep the water clean, and gravel vacuum unless you are one of those fish Gurus on youtube that claim they can go without those things. I have heard that it is harder to get ich if the tank is hotter at 78+ but there is so much misinformation. I have my tank at 78 and I still had to deal with ich last year.
 

FyaNyan

Ich can not survive without a host. You don't need to do much other than wait, Do a water change of 75/80 percent but don't worry about the filter and filter cartridge, there is no reason to lose your aquarium cycle over this.
Ich is always going to be a possibility. even in a ten-year-old tank with no new fish or plants, you can end up with a case of ich. It is important to keep the water clean, and gravel vacuum unless you are one of those fish Gurus on youtube that claim they can go without those things. I have heard that it is harder to get ich if the tank is hotter at 78+ but there is so much misinformation. I have my tank at 78 and I still had to deal with ich last year.
Makes sense. Thanks! I’ll do a water change and wait. I’m also moving the tank across the room for various reasons, so I should be able to get a heater up and running.

How long do you recommend waiting? What’s the lifespan of ick?

Also, will ick get in my other tanks? Is it airborne? I’m not using the same equipment to be safe, but I have two other tanks.
 

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