Desperate Need of Help Now! | Ich? Or something else? On fish


Good afternoon everyone,

I am a beginner to aquariums while my boyfriend has some experience in it, as he used to have a lot of aquariums and cichlid tanks back when he was younger a few years ago. We recently decided to get into it again as I have always wanted to have a freshwater aquarium to take care of and appreciate in our apartment. About 2 weeks ago, we went out and bought a 35 gallon tank and proceeded to buy freshwater fish that night. Unfortunately, we were both unaware of the idea to cycle your tank before getting fish, so we ended up having to do a fish-in-cycle, which has been doing not too badly. Nitrites are just now forming and the ammonia levels are super low (about .25 ppm according to the API test kit), we do daily water changes and keep a close eye on the ammonia levels. The fish we have in our aquarium are 3 swordtails, 8 neon tetra, 2 honey gourami, 3 ruby barbs, a marble angelfish, a hillstream loach and a clown pleco.

Now, where the issue comes in. About a week ago, we noticed that our swortails, and only the swordtails started to have little white spots on their tailfins and other fins. Only one of the three had a couple whereas the other 2 only had maybe 1-2 spots. No other fish had them though. We figured it was ich and started treating the tank with Ich-X once every 24 hours, doing 40% water changes before each treatment and also adding like a small dose of salt (Not too much as we dont want to hurt the pleco). Before the treatments, we moved our snails and hillstream loach into a separate tank, to ensure their safety. We turned the temperature up to about 80-82F from the normal 78F and waited. About 3-4 days pass and we see little to no improvement. Not only that, other fish seemed to have also caught whatever it was and the barbs specifically got it horrible. At this point (about 2-3 days ago) we started freaking out and called the fish store we bought all the fish from. Apparently they say its ich, and that their whole tank of swordtails got it (which is how our tank probably got infested as our swordtails had the first signs of it). The were treating it with their own custom medication that seemed to work on their swordtails. I assume its similar to Ich-X as it has the same blue color and such. We are now on day three of treatment (3rd dose goes in later this evening) and we still see no improvement at all.

The swordtails still have it, though not as badly mostly just on their fins. They seem to scratch and rub themselves on objects aswell. The tetra have started acting very worrying the past day or so aswell. I see that 1-2 have the spots, and they have been not active at all since yesterday. They mostly have hid or stayed at the bottom of the tank. I cant even see them all anymore, as I assume they are now hiding. The angelfish has a few spots on one of his fins, which he clasps to his body. However, the barbs have it the worse. The white spots/bumps cover their entire body and they seem very agitated and uncomfortable. They skim very irradically up and down. All of the fish have started to clasp their fins to their body aswell.

At this point I just dont know what to do. Everyday just feels like a ticking time bomb before the whole tank passes, which would devastate me. I worry that this may not be Ich, even though it looks just like it. The main things ive noticed are:
- It first started appearing on their fins.
- The ones covering the barbs on their body, are less flat and have a little bit of dimension to them (like crushed salt)
- The fish clasp their fins to their body and dont eat as much anymore
- The tetra stay at the bottom of the tank and hide
- None of the treatments have done a ton of help, though its only been about 4 days with Ich-X and 2 days with the fish store medication.

We arent sure if this is something different like a bacterial disease such as Epistylis or something? We just arent sure what to do anymore and its starting to stress me out a lot. Please if anyone can help in any way to help identify if this is Ich or not, or if its something else, please let me know. I have attached pictures of the barbs (who seem to have it the worse). All the other fish just have the small white spots on their fins, nothing much on their bodies). If you need more photos or any more information, please let me know!


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I'm 99% sure that's ich.
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It does look like ich. I personally have never used meds to treat ich. I would recommend turning up the heat to 86 and doing daily 25% water changes. I really don’t suggest using meds until the heat method has been used, much more effective and is easier to do.
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Yes it's Ich. Continue to treat according to the directions. I prefer to treat with meds myself after once encountering a heat resistant strain of Ich. But heat treatment is certainly an option. In that case discontinue the meds. With either method you may not see any improvement for a few more days.
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