Hatchetfish With Ich

KeriMc

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Hi all!

I’m new here and have my first 10 gallon aquarium. I set it up for my son for a calming station and I noticed the hatchetfish has white spots on it. I started medicine treatment yesterday at 5pm (I have a heater that is not adjustable so I can’t go the natural route) and when I woke up this morning at 6am the fish had more spots. I’m going to do a water change with gravel vacuum this afternoon and another treatment but what do I do it if doesn’t clear? I don’t have another tank to quarantine the fish and I’d hate to lose them all in fear it will upset my son. I have a picture from Sunday night when I first noticed the spots. Thanks!!
 

Shay1431

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Hi all!

I’m new here and have my first 10 gallon aquarium. I set it up for my son for a calming station and I noticed the hatchetfish has white spots on it. I started medicine treatment yesterday at 5pm (I have a heater that is not adjustable so I can’t go the natural route) and when I woke up this morning at 6am the fish had more spots. I’m going to do a water change with gravel vacuum this afternoon and another treatment but what do I do it if doesn’t clear? I don’t have another tank to quarantine the fish and I’d hate to lose them all in fear it will upset my son. I have a picture from Sunday night when I first noticed the spots. Thanks!!
I had to keep treating my fish till it went away when they where in a 20 gallon then I upgraded to a biger tank and added plants and it seems like that stopped the way ich from coming back so often because it seem like every time I turned around it can back after going away. I also found out because I had to many fish it was happening to because my fish where having babies and the tank became full


I also ties this stuff called rapid cure and it helped to along with water changes and cutting back on food and bring down the water level to cause more movement in the top of the water for fish to get enough air
 
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KeriMc

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Thankfully my fish are not reproducing! I’ve got a variety of fish but no matching pairs. This fish was added about a week after the original fish and is the only one that has spots. I’m hoping I caught it fast enough to keep it from spreading.
 

PascalKrypt

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Fish with ich will usually see it get worse when you start to treat before it gets better. The spots that you see are cysts under the fish' skin, they are just one stage in the larger life cycle of ich. Ich is also free-swimming in the water and laying as eggs (the burst cysts) on the substrate (these are too small to really be seen). It is usually the free-swimming stage that ich medication targets, so you must wait for the rest of the ich to go through its life phases and end up in that stage before the treatment affects them. Just continue with the treatment as instructed and after completing the whole treatment, the spots should be gone. Do a few large water changes and vacuum the substrate to remove the eggs.

Be careful to keep treating for as long as instructed or you won't kill all the ich going through its various stages and after a few weeks the spots will be right back on your first. Treating ich can sometimes take a bit of persistence.

edit: corrected a rather unfortunate accidental negation
 

Shay1431

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Thankfully my fish are not reproducing! I’ve got a variety of fish but no matching pairs. This fish was added about a week after the original fish and is the only one that has spots. I’m hoping I caught it fast enough to keep it from spreading.
All I can really say is everything I mentioned before and keeping watch for any change. Oh checking the filter to if it is one of these ones that hang over the tank. I upgraded that to a canister to
 
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KeriMc

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Thank you! Should I remove any decorations to clean those as well?
 

PascalKrypt

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Thank you! Should I remove any decorations to clean those as well?
There isn't really any point if you are dosing the whole tank with medication, you can just leave everything in. If you choose to take anything out, make sure to let them dry out completely for a few days before reintroducing them to this or another tank or you may accidentally cause another infestation.
 

GuppyDazzle

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Thankfully my fish are not reproducing! I’ve got a variety of fish but no matching pairs. This fish was added about a week after the original fish and is the only one that has spots. I’m hoping I caught it fast enough to keep it from spreading.
Once you see white spots the entire tank is infested. Quarantine won't do any good with ich.

The only phase where ich can be killed with medication is the free swimming stage which is invisible. That's why you might see more white spots after beginning treatment. The parasites were already present on the fish, and the white spots form cysts. The white spots need to fall off and sink, and then explode to become free swimming, which is when they can be killed off.

That's why it's important to treat for a week or two after the white spots disappear. The parasite is still thriving for a while after you can't see it any more. If you stop treating too soon, it will come back.
 

jdhef

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Welcome to FishLore! I hope you enjoy the site.
 

Islandvic

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Heat + frequent large volume water changes will help tremendously.

I would suggest to buy an adjustable 50 watt heater.

Bump heat to 86°f.

Perform a vac of substrate with gravel siphon and 50% water change at least every 2 or 3 days.

Continue your choice of treatment format least 10 days past last know visible sign of Ich.

For meds Kordon Rid Ich Plus and Kordon Ich Attack has worked for me. They are on the milder side. I would dose 2x a day.

After your treatment is over, i would suggest investing in a small airpump and a sponge filter to keep in your 10g.

After its cycled, you can use that and a 5 gallon bucket to use as a quarantine/hospital tank.

Here is a good video that illustrates the Ich lifecycle ...

 
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KeriMc

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Once you see white spots the entire tank is infested. Quarantine won't do any good with ich.

The only phase where ich can be killed with medication is the free swimming stage which is invisible. That's why you might see more white spots after beginning treatment. The parasites were already present on the fish, and the white spots form cysts. The white spots need to fall off and sink, and then explode to become free swimming, which is when they can be killed off.

That's why it's important to treat for a week or two after the white spots disappear. The parasite is still thriving for a while after you can't see it any more. If you stop treating too soon, it will come back.
Today is day 4 of treating. Most of the spots are gone and I’ve done two 50% water changes. The treatment I bought only has 8 tabs, is that enough or should I buy another round?
 

jpm995

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A 10 gallon is kind of small for hatchets. Their notorious for having ich when the store gets them. A betta would be a better choise for a 10 gallon tank. Edit to say 10 days to two weeks is usually good to insure ich is gone.
 

PascalKrypt

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Today is day 4 of treating. Most of the spots are gone and I’ve done two 50% water changes. The treatment I bought only has 8 tabs, is that enough or should I buy another round?
I have no idea what treatment you bought or are using. There should be detailed instructions on the appropriate use and dosage in the package. I would just follow them and maybe do a google search on your treatment brand to see what experience others have had in using it (if e.g. you find forums where people have said using it longer than instructed was more successful, you might consider following what they did).
Most ich treatments have a minimum temperature requirement (because higher temps speed up the ich life cycle, hence the proper dosage and treatment time only works at that temp -- make sure to follow it!) and require dosing for about one to two weeks. Again though, check your label. The one I use only requires three days of dosing but is quite an aberration from what I hear.
 

Islandvic

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Were you able to increase the temp?

The Ich has started to fall off the fish, and they are either free floating or on the substrate going through its lifecycle like in the video. Soon they will burst and release more.

While they are free floating and on the substrate, that is the only time that water changes, heat and meds will affect them.

The water changes will remove the Ich that has fallen off the fish, or has already burst and looking for another host.

Keep up with frequent water changes every 2-3 days.

If the Kordon products I mentioned are locally available, I would suggest trying one of those.

Whatever you do, continue it for 10-14 days past the last visible sign of Ich on the fish.

You're off to a good start. I'm sure all the fish will be fine.

Patience is key
 

GuppyDazzle

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Today is day 4 of treating. Most of the spots are gone and I’ve done two 50% water changes. The treatment I bought only has 8 tabs, is that enough or should I buy another round?
You said 8 tabs but didn't say the dosage. I'd dose for at least a week after the white spots fall off. Keep doing vacuums and water changes.
 

Wydowmayker

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Does anyone use sea salt in their aquariums?

20 years ago, I had some fish with ich and my supplier told me to use sea salt , I think it was 1 Tbs per 10 gallons.
I used it and never had ich again.

I know you can't use It on plecos, and I think corys, but I used it on all my live bearers. The mollies loved it.

But I rarely hear it mentioned any more. That way you don’t need to change temp or use chemicals. But I do wonder how it would affect aquarium plants.
 
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