Clown Loaches Can’t Shake Ich

Dycofree

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Hey guys. Havent posted in awhile but i’m completely stumped here. I have dealt with Ich off and on in my 125 gallon community tank since its inception. This was a result of fish coming over from my old 75 gallon that I believed to be ich free. Unfortunately when upgrading to the 125 I also agreed to take on some clown loaches for a buddy as a growout. The clowns have been showing ich symptoms for close to a month now, but only ever 2-3 spots per loach, and usually not more than 2 showing signs at a time. I have had the temps in the tank at 86 this entire time and havent missed a daily water change in over 1.5 months. In the last two weeks I have taken to using ich mediciation for the first time in Herbtana Micro Lift. Ive been dosing this daily along with the water changes. The ich has improved somewhat, but the loaches still show a few timy spots on their fins. In addition, I have been feeding garlic guard religiously to help boost their immune systems. What do I do from here? Im at the point where I’m ready to spend the time of scooping them out instead of continuing to treat. My other fish (denison barbs, baby severum, two bolivian rams) have never shown any ich signs even in the 75 gallon. Whats going on here and where do I go from here? Help!

Edit: Is my next step to remove all hardscape to ensure better gravel vaccing? I have large rocks in the tank that the loaches hide behind and in and am wondering if im missing some spores because of this. I dont want to stress them out and make the ich worse, but im at a loss. They never show any signs of stress and eat completley normal. This is maddening!
 

DuaneV

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Keep the temp between 86-88, remove and clean all decorations WELL and leave them out while treating. Vacuum the substrate WELL when doing 50% water changes daily, add a bunch more extra air stones (its believed ich actually suffocates fish as you cant see it attacking the gills and turning up the temp causes oxygen levels to go down) and if youd like, use a teaspoon of salt per gallon of water pre-dissolved and added after your vacuuming and water change. The salt will help kill the ich and can help in the fishes healing process. 2 weeks of this and you should be ich free. HOWEVER, ich is always present in the water, it only manifests under stressful conditions. If you have serious stocking issues, the ich may show right back up.
 
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Dycofree

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DuaneV said:
Keep the temp between 86-88, remove and clean all decorations WELL and leave them out while treating. Vacuum the substrate WELL when doing 50% water changes daily, add a bunch more extra air stones (its believed ich actually suffocates fish as you cant see it attacking the gills and turning up the temp causes oxygen levels to go down) and if youd like, use a teaspoon of salt per gallon of water pre-dissolved and added after your vacuuming and water change. The salt will help kill the ich and can help in the fishes healing process. 2 weeks of this and you should be ich free. HOWEVER, ich is always present in the water, it only manifests under stressful conditions. If you have serious stocking issues, the ich may show right back up.
Ive been hesitant with the salt and removal of decor because I figured both would cause more stress for the fish and worsten the minor outbreak. I quaranteened these clowns for 3 weeks and never saw signs of ich there, so it must have been already present in my main system. Do you guys think the removal of the hardscape would make this worse?
 

DuaneV

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Like I said, take it out and clean it WELL! Dont put it back in until youre sure the ich is gone.

Ich is ALWAYS present in the water, like germs in our air. It only attacks fish when theyre stressed out or temps drop severely.
 
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Dycofree

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DuaneV said:
Like I said, take it out and clean it WELL! Dont put it back in until youre sure the ich is gone.

Ich is ALWAYS present in the water, like germs in our air. It only attacks fish when theyre stressed out or temps drop severely.
I understand that was your recommendation, but as clown loaches love to have their hiding spaces I’m hesitant to completely up end what brings them comfort, especially when stress is one of the main causes for ich continuing.
 

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Are you using the herbal stuff? If so, I don’t recommend it. I have personally used Kordon Rapid-Cure. Ich gone within a week. I suppose heat treatment is fine too, but doesn’t that take up to two weeks?
 
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Dycofree

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scarface said:
Are you using the herbal stuff? If so, I don’t recommend it. I have personally used Kordon Rapid-Cure. Ich gone within a week. I suppose heat treatment is fine too, but doesn’t that take up to two weeks?
Its the herbal stuff becauae, as stated previously, I have clown loaches and cant be pouring in malachite green or any other similar substance unless I want dead clowns
 

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I’m not so sure you’ll get dead Clowns, but okay. It’s not like I have any. But I’ve used Malachite Green on “sensitive” fish like otos. I know @Redshark1 owns Clown Loaches and has experience with curing them of ich.
 
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Dycofree

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Did you use a half dose with the Rapid Cure? Sorry if I am coming off as a jerk, just frustrated and not getting anywhere. Apologies. Its such a small outbreak yet so frustrating. I seriously only have 3-4 spots total right now, yet it stays consistent. My other fish have never/dont have any spots. Their immune systems have always been able to fight it off. Whats your opinion on the removal of the decor in the meantime to aid in vaccing?
 

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I wouldn't use salt with the clown loaches, and I don't think you need to remove all the decor.

If you're swapping to meds, don't use heat at the same time - too stressful on the fish.

Some ich is heat resistant, so meds can be a good thing to try now.

Are you sure it's ich? Some other things can cause white spots too.
 
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Dycofree

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TexasDomer said:
I wouldn't use salt with the clown loaches, and I don't think you need to remove all the decor.

If you're swapping to meds, don't use heat at the same time - too stressful on the fish.

Some ich is heat resistant, so meds can be a good thing to try now.

Are you sure it's ich? Some other things can cause white spots too.
Yeah I’m 100% its ich. Responded to the temperature increase initially by going through its cycle faster but always seems to bounce back in a small fashion. So you would recommend bringing the temperature back down now while continuing with meds? Im going to finish out the herbal meds for the full ten days to give it a chance. After that, what am I looking at here? I really dont want to stain the silicone in my tank and would hate to use a med thats too harmful for the clowns. Also, if i decrease the heat, how offen should I be gravel vaccing? I wonder if the daily vaccs along with the heat+meds is causing enough stress to keep it present
 

scarface

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I agree wot TexasDomer. The fact ghat you say you only see a few spots made me wonder, but you did say it’s been off and on. But that still sounds odd.

As far as the med I used, no I just did the full dose.

Edit: ok, just read your other post to TexasDomer. The med stains the water for only a few seconds and clears out. I haven’t had any silicone staining.
 
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Dycofree

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Ok it makes me feel better to begin to lower the temps. Ive hated keeping it so high for so long. If this herbal stuff doesnt knock it out then Ill be moving on to something stronger like I said. Ive heard many have had good successs with Nox Ich so I may try that out at a half dose. Any other recommendations?
 

TexasDomer

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Meth blue and malachite green can stain it permanently though. I've read a half dose should be used with clown loaches, but I'm not sure if that's still effective against ich.

It still wouldn't hurt to be gravel vaccing a few times a week.
 

OneLittleBubble

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Try cupramine it worked for my fish. I just looked up if clown loaches were scaleless because that's what I always thought, but apparently, they have small scales embedded in their skin.
 
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Dycofree

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After seeing no flashing from other fish (not the clowns) for some time, I just saw a barb flash. I am so frustrated with this whole situation!
 

TexasDomer

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I would not use Cupramine in your tank. It's risky to use copper - it'll kill your inverts, and it can stay around in the tank for a lot longer than you planned, preventing you from keeping inverts in the future too.
 

OneLittleBubble

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All you have to do is do a large water change and put carbon in your filter then wait. Personally I think cupramine works the best
 
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Dycofree

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TexasDomer said:
I would not use Cupramine in your tank. It's risky to use copper - it'll kill your inverts, and it can stay around in the tank for a lot longer than you planned, preventing you from keeping inverts in the future too.
What med would you recommend then? I am so tired of this whole situation. Been dealing with it for way too long
 

TexasDomer

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Maybe Paraguard (it has malachite green in it)? You could try dips if you didn't want to add it directly to your tank. Might be good to start with half doses, then increase slowly over the next few doses if they handle it well.
 
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