How do I break the cycle of ich???? Tank recurrence

  1. jhigg008 Well Known Member Member

    I just finished a 14+ day heat treatment (86 F - 88 F for over 14 days plus gravel vacs 3x per week) for ich. Everything was looking good and so a few days ago I lowered the tank temp back to 81 F (its normal temp as I have a Ram and other warmer water fish). Today I am noticing that the cardinals (the original ich bearers) have little white spots on them again. It looks like ich, and I am guessing it is.

    I understand that 86 will not kill the ich, only makes the ich fall off the fish and stop reproducing, but I was advised that heat treatment without salt or anything else would be fine. I have sensitive fish (the Ram and cardinals and rummy nose) so it would be best not to use meds or salt, but I do not want to keep battling ich over and over again. I am at a loss for what to do. I started raising the tank temp to 86 again, but I do not want to keep messing with the temperature for the rest of their lives.

    Any advice!?!?!?!:;fru
  2. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    There are heat resistant strains of ich, but it also wouldn't hurt to find out what's stressing your fish to make them vulnerable to ich.

  3. jhigg008 Well Known Member Member

    There was the sick angel that died recently. I tested today and my nitrates were up to 20ppm but it was water change day...i dont know what else it could be. Also if it were a heat resistant strain would it have cleared up with the heat treatment initially?
  4. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I don't know, I've never had the heat resistant strain. DoubleDutch might.

  5. dcutl002 Well Known Member Member

    I usually go 14 days past all noticeable signs.
  6. DoubleDutch Fishlore Legend Member

    There seems to be heath resistant strain indeed (often on cardinals!)
    Think you'd better try meds. Why do you think these fish are more sensitive to meds than others?
  7. jhigg008 Well Known Member Member

    Well I don't know that they are more sensitive than others. I just have a ram, cardinals, and rummy nose. I guess my thinking is that they are more sensitive to water parameters in general.

    What meds would you suggest? Does Seachem make anything that is less likely to impact my biofilter?

    I just had to remove the activated carbon from my filterpad because it was falling apart. So luckily that is already done. I guess I can just cram a new carbon filter in there when the med cycle is over.

  8. DoubleDutch Fishlore Legend Member

    Seachem Paraguard?
    Esha Exit, JBL Punktol, Sera Costapur are the brands that I know.
  9. jhigg008 Well Known Member Member

    I guess I can try paraguard since I already have some.
  10. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Kordon makes an ich treatment too.

  11. jhigg008 Well Known Member Member

    I started treating with Paragaurd today. Hopefully it works. Seachem says 14 day treatment is needed. Hopefully I will have good news by then!
  12. DoubleDutch Fishlore Legend Member

    Fingers crossed !
  13. cjbart1009 Member Member

    Heat only makes the cycle of ich faster. That's why you need to up the temps in addition with salt in order to kill the ich once they fall off the fish. From what I've read before the white spots are impervious to salt until after they fall off.

    I've had ich from my tank before and I just did the heat treatment. I paid close attention to the spots and as soon as they were gone I did a huge water change. After that I took out the fish that was originally infected and put it in a hospital tank and treated with heat and half the amount of salt recommended and it worked for me.
  14. DoubleDutch Fishlore Legend Member

    Heat only can definitely kill Ich.
  15. cjbart1009 Member Member

    Not from what I have seen. Maybe before it would have worked but ich is evolving to be resistant to heat and the only thing is does to them is make their cycle faster. It would appear so that the ich died with heat but after awhile the spots would appear again and usually on the same fish that started the outbreak.
  16. jhigg008 Well Known Member Member

    This is what the LFS guy told me. It seems like there is some disagreement about whether heat alone or heat plus salt is the ideal treatment. I am using Paraguard and heat now. So far all the fish seem okay.
  17. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I have also treated ich successfully with just heat, just a few months ago. It never came back.

    I would do meds or heat, not both. Doing both can stress them out too much.
  18. cjbart1009 Member Member

    We all have different experiences with ich. Some get lucky but some don't. If the ich is recurring then salt or meds are needed because the heat just isn't doing enough.
  19. DoubleDutch Fishlore Legend Member

    Sorry but if you treated this way how did you think the Ich died in the main tank ? A huge waterchange only won't do the job if the parasite isn't killed.

    Treating fish seperated in an hospital tank isn't very effective as well as one knows the lifecycle of Ich.

    Regards Aad
  20. cjbart1009 Member Member

    Because during the outbreak only the original fish and one other fish (that died) had spots on them. This happened a few months ago and I don't see any symptoms of ich on my tank. It's currently kept between 80-82 because I have Rams and Angels.