Approach to treating ich in planted tank?

Julesvee

I’ve recently discovered the beginnings of an ich outbreak in my heavily planted community tank. This is my first time dealing with it and I’ve had to get up to speed on effective treatments and am trying to understand what may have triggered it. I have so many questions but I’m going to isolate this thread to effective treatments!

I’ve since isolated my betta, harlequin rasbora and neon tetras in separate quarantine tanks and have started medicating with Ich X. They’re still eating and appear to be okay other than the stress of moving them into new tanks. I’ll continue dosing with Ich X to ensure the visible spots are gone and then for a period of at least 7 days following. I’m then planning on keeping them within quarantine until my DT is ich-free.

I’ve been looking into next steps approaches to deal with ich in my DT that will minimise damage to my plants but effectively eradicate ich. Based on what appear to be relatively credible looking articles (Stephen Pro Article and Marine Depot Ich Lifecycle), I was thinking of leaving my DT uninhabited for 4-8 weeks to allow the ich to die-off completely. I’m leaning towards 8 weeks to increase the probability of success. Raising the temperature to at least 86 degrees F seems to be the popular method for killing ich over a shorter period of time. I have a lot of anubias in my tank and I’ve found them to be temperature sensitive in that the warmer conditions make them susceptible to anubias rot, so I’m hoping to avoid pushing my thermostat up if there’s a way around it (temp currently sits at 82 degrees). I have aquarium salt on hand but I’m also wary of this method as it seems to cause dehydration and potential death in plants.

I’m wondering if I basically do nothing to my fish-less DT (other than keep my cycle alive with some source of ammonia), allow the ich to go through its lifecycle without a host for 8 weeks, will this be enough? Has anyone had success with taking a similar approach? Are raised temperatures necessary if I take this course?

Or if you have had success with raising temperatures and/or aquarium salt, what type of plants did you have and how long did you run your tank with the altered parameters?

Dealing with this parasite has been so stressful so thanks in advance for any anecdotes/answers you can offer!
 

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BigManAquatics

I think you are going about it right for the display tank. I would probably raise it to 86 for the first few weeks and speed up the life cycle then work it back down for the last few weeks with no hosts. Should be a super thorough attack that way.
 
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Flyfisha

Hi all,
Julesvee if by chance you live in Australia the treatment needed is different. Our strain of the ich parasite survives happily in the heat of the Australian summer.

To answer your question.
Sorry I have no experience with letting ich die off without a host. Everything I have read says that it does.
Likewise using heat to kill ich is not something I have experience with for the above reasons.

My anecdotal experience.
Ich is extremely common in new fish from any shop in Australia. All shops buy from the same source as we only have one source available to them.
Many Australian shops will buy from home breeders.
I have had ich more than half a dozen times. Only once did fish die because I missed seeing the spots and the fish were in an advanced state before treatment. The fish died in 48 hours with hundreds of spots. My experience ever other time with just a few dozen spots is 100% recovery in a week. Continuing treatment for 7 -10 days after the last spots are seen is normal practice in my club.
Multiply water changes an more medication after every water change. Deep vacuuming of substrate is recommended. I have always used full strength Australian made malachite green with formaldehyde white spot medication even on scale less fish, fry , cherry shrimp , pest snails,tetras, corydoras without a problem. I have not lost the bacteria in the cycle or killed any ( basic) plants.
Yes the clear silicone turns blue. Yes the carpet will be destroyed if you spill the medication.

Warning.
Each time you move fish you are moving the parasites to more tanks. Use separate nets and hoses until the treatment is finished.

The Australian brand medication is considerably cheaper in large bottles.

The only issue I see for you is not being able to vacuum the gravel.
 
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86 ssinit

Add a uv steralizer. It will kill off the free swimming ick. With nothing else in the tank you should wipe it out in a week. I did it in 3 days with all fish in in a 30g tank. Next I just used rid-ich plus for a bacterial problem. 2 weeks of use in a planted discus tank and I think the plant like the stuff! No ferts while using and lots of new growth. So it’s plant safe.
 
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Julesvee

I think you are going about it right for the display tank. I would probably raise it to 86 for the first few weeks and speed up the life cycle then work it back down for the last few weeks with no hosts. Should be a super thorough attack that way.

That does make sense to raise the temp for the first few weeks and would be a more thorough way to go about it. Sounds silly but I’ve got anubias rot paranoia - I’ll have to psyche myself up to dial up my heater. I’m guessing to raise the temp from 82 to 86 I’ll have to do this incrementally or in baby steps anyway and can test my plant tolerance. Thanks so much for the reply
Hi all,
Julesvee if by chance you live in Australia the treatment needed is different. Our strain of the ich parasite survives happily in the heat of the Australian summer.

To answer your question.
Sorry I have no experience with letting ich die off without a host. Everything I have read says that it does.
Likewise using heat to kill ich is not something I have experience with for the above reasons.

My anecdotal experience.
Ich is extremely common in new fish from any shop in Australia. All shops buy from the same source as we only have one source available to them.
Many Australian shops will buy from home breeders.
I have had ich more than half a dozen times. Only once did fish die because I missed seeing the spots and the fish were in an advanced state before treatment. The fish died in 48 hours with hundreds of spots. My experience ever other time with just a few dozen spots is 100% recovery in a week. Continuing treatment for 7 -10 days after the last spots are seen is normal practice in my club.
Multiply water changes an more medication after every water change. Deep vacuuming of substrate is recommended. I have always used full strength Australian made malachite green with formaldehyde white spot medication even on scale less fish, fry , cherry shrimp , pest snails,tetras, corydoras without a problem. I have not lost the bacteria in the cycle or killed any ( basic) plants.
Yes the clear silicone turns blue. Yes the carpet will be destroyed if you spill the medication.

Warning.
Each time you move fish you are moving the parasites to more tanks. Use separate nets and hoses until the treatment is finished.

The Australian brand medication is considerably cheaper in large bottles. I

The only issue I see for you is not being able to vacuum the gravel.

I’m Australian but living in NY! Thanks for sharing some local knowledge though - very handy if I head back home. And of course the Aussie strain is resistant to heat - that sounds about right!

Thanks for sharing details on the time frames for curing based on severity. I think I’ve caught it early so that gives me some hope on a full and not too lengthy recovery.

The Ich X medication I’m using is also a mix of formaldehyde and malachite green. Good to know you’ve been able to use it successfully without killing livestock or beneficial bacteria. Carpeting plants do seem a bit delicate - I have some Marsilea Crenata and Staurogyne Repens and have no idea how they’d fare. I just double checked the Aquarium Coop site (where I bought my Ich X) and it does actually mention it being plant safe. My DT is no longer stocked with fish though - if I went down the route of medicating it, I wouldn’t know when to stop dosing without any fish to use as an indicator. Or is there a dosing time frame for this situation?

Yes to vacuuming being pretty impossible and something I attempted once with a handheld Fluval electric-powered vac, and I basically kicked soil around everywhere. If I don’t resort to using any meds in the tank, I’m hoping the 8 weeks will be sufficient to resolve killing off anything sitting on this layer.

Thanks again for your reply and all the details
Add a uv steralizer. It will kill off the free swimming ick. With nothing else in the tank you should wipe it out in a week. I did it in 3 days with all fish in in a 30g tank. Next I just used rid-ich plus for a bacterial problem. 2 weeks of use in a planted discus tank and I think the plant like the stuff! No ferts while using and lots of new growth. So it’s plant safe.

I had looked at a UV steriliser but wasn’t sure on effectiveness. Great to know that it’s worked for you though - I’ll have to try get my hands on one. Are there any brands you’d recommend? I basically know nothing about UV sterilisers and it would be a stab in the dark on Amazon.

Also I definitely wouldn’t have thought that you could still get plant growth dosing Rid-Ich plus - also good to know.

Thanks for sharing
 
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Julesvee

What I use is the green killing machine. Works great. Bulbs need to be replaced every 8 months to a yr.

Looks like a solid unit - thanks for the recommendation. Adding this to my cart.
 
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