I suck at killing ich

FreshFishRookie

Hello, I'm a newbie to this site and a newbie to fish keeping. We were given a 29 gallon tank years ago and about 4 months ago I finally decided to set it up for my son. I didn't want fake plants and decided to get some plants that were beginner friendly. The more I read I learned about substrates and root tabs etc... This was all new to me, the more I read the more I spent. Co2, ferts, better lights, timers, test kits, a good canopy so fish wouldn't jump out. A good filter, heater, conditioner, replacement filters, quality fish food,.....this was getting expensive. I wanted to keep a pair of Rams and cardinal tetra. My water was hard, high GH but super low KH. I bought way way too many plants and even a bonsai tree with Christmas moss before I had bought any of the fish. The tank was looking amazing, I was so proud of myself. It had cost a small fortune but looked fantastic. I bought a pair of Rams and 12 Cardinal tetras. I got past the white cloudy algae, got past the brown algae, next was the hair algae. I had a hard time, decreased lights, finally read Amano shrimp would eat it so I bought 6 Amano shrimp. They made quick work of my hair algae but the inside glass and plants had algae on them as well. A LFS suggest Otocinclus for algae on glass and plants. I knew this was pushing my tank to the limit on number of inhabitants. Went ahead and bought them anyway and decided to change my water more frequently. I didn't have a QT tank or even knew about QTing new fish, I even poured the water from the LFS straight into my tank. Don't judge I had no clue. ‍♂️ I noticed white spots appearing on all the fish, like an idiot I went to Amazon and ordered ICH X. 6 DAYS LATER it arrived. By then the ich was out of control. I looked like I poured salt all over my fish. I love these fish and have enjoyed the challenge even through my frustrations. I started dosing the recommended amounts of meds and slowly bumped the heat up to 86°. 30% water changes every 24 hours and redose. This went on until I ran out of ich X, went to a local store and bought more, continuing the same process. I pulled out all activated carbon, and stopped using prime. Having to go get distilled water daily and having to remineralize it with equilibrium. Looked into RO water but really didn't want to spend more money. I had been cutting distilled with tap and using prime before that. My ich situation has not improved a bit. Fish after fish died mostly cardinals and Oto's. I couldn't get them to eat, even garlic dipped food wouldn't get them to eat. The ich seemed to get worse. This is at 86° dosing ich X every 24 hours for 2 weeks. Read maybe salt would help, bought aquarium salt and dosed what was recommended. That's been going on for 3 days. I only have 2 Cardinals left alive, still covered in spots. I'm ready to give up. I'm tired and exhausted, I'm defeated. I'm killing my plants, killing my fish, and have wasted hundreds and hundreds of dollars since deciding to set this up. I don't know what else to do. My gf bout a QT tank, she knew how frustrated I was, only problem is she bought a 5 gallon. Not much of a QT tank especially if I want the Rams to QT there. Crazy thing is the Rams never showed any white spots. I'm like 99% sure this is ich, seriously I've looked at hundreds of pics over the last 2 weeks. How can they be ich free and the Cardinals covered? What can I do besides find a home for the Rams and start selling all this stuff I bought. I give up!!!! Any suggestions are appreciated.
Hello, I'm a newbie to this site and a newbie to fish keeping. We were given a 29 gallon tank years ago and about 4 months ago I finally decided to set it up for my son. I didn't want fake plants and decided to get some plants that were beginner friendly. The more I read I learned about substrates and root tabs etc... This was all new to me, the more I read the more I spent. Co2, ferts, better lights, timers, test kits, a good canopy so fish wouldn't jump out. A good filter, heater, conditioner, replacement filters, quality fish food,.....this was getting expensive. I wanted to keep a pair of Rams and cardinal tetra. My water was hard, high GH but super low KH. I bought way way too many plants and even a bonsai tree with Christmas moss before I had bought any of the fish. The tank was looking amazing, I was so proud of myself. It had cost a small fortune but looked fantastic. I bought a pair of Rams and 12 Cardinal tetras. I got past the white cloudy algae, got past the brown algae, next was the hair algae. I had a hard time, decreased lights, finally read Amano shrimp would eat it so I bought 6 Amano shrimp. They made quick work of my hair algae but the inside glass and plants had algae on them as well. A LFS suggest Otocinclus for algae on glass and plants. I knew this was pushing my tank to the limit on number of inhabitants. Went ahead and bought them anyway and decided to change my water more frequently. I didn't have a QT tank or even knew about QTing new fish, I even poured the water from the LFS straight into my tank. Don't judge I had no clue. ‍♂️ I noticed white spots appearing on all the fish, like an idiot I went to Amazon and ordered ICH X. 6 DAYS LATER it arrived. By then the ich was out of control. I looked like I poured salt all over my fish. I love these fish and have enjoyed the challenge even through my frustrations. I started dosing the recommended amounts of meds and slowly bumped the heat up to 86°. 30% water changes every 24 hours and redose. This went on until I ran out of ich X, went to a local store and bought more, continuing the same process. I pulled out all activated carbon, and stopped using prime. Having to go get distilled water daily and having to remineralize it with equilibrium. Looked into RO water but really didn't want to spend more money. I had been cutting distilled with tap and using prime before that. My ich situation has not improved a bit. Fish after fish died mostly cardinals and Oto's. I couldn't get them to eat, even garlic dipped food wouldn't get them to eat. The ich seemed to get worse. This is at 86° dosing ich X every 24 hours for 2 weeks. Read maybe salt would help, bought aquarium salt and dosed what was recommended. That's been going on for 3 days. I only have 2 Cardinals left alive, still covered in spots. I'm ready to give up. I'm tired and exhausted, I'm defeated. I'm killing my plants, killing my fish, and have wasted hundreds and hundreds of dollars since deciding to set this up. I don't know what else to do. My gf bout a QT tank, she knew how frustrated I was, only problem is she bought a 5 gallon. Not much of a QT tank especially if I want the Rams to QT there. Crazy thing is the Rams never showed any white spots. I'm like 99% sure this is ich, seriously I've looked at hundreds of pics over the last 2 weeks. How can they be ich free and the Cardinals covered? What can I do besides find a home for the Rams and start selling all this stuff I bought. I give up!!!! Any suggestions are appreciated.
Oh I should add that I turned off lights to help calm the fish, stopped using CO2, and started using an air stone for more Oxygen since the heat was turned up and the meds depleted some of the oxygen.
 

Tup

It could maybe be caused by the stress of too many fish, too many water changes or something else. (Though unlikely)
 

PurityNWhiteRoses

Have you been changing the water between the length of doses?
 

Joker77

thing with ich is getting it early. You waiting 6days for the meds is where you went wrong. Should of just went straight with heat.

Having had ich 4 times and not losing a single fish (in a tank of over 100 including many scale less fish) I'm a strong believer that getting it as early as possible and using high temps is by far the best course of action. **for tropical fish

86° is not quite hot enough either. Its just hot enough to allow the lifecycle to be at its shortest period and caused the infection to get bad rapidly(lifecycle is around 6-9 days at86°). 88° will kill them and I always went to 90° just to make sure the temp didn't dip below the threshold at which they can survive.

More waterchanges and gravel vacs you do the better. That saying if your using meds you can't change the water nearly as much as I personally would like.

I'm not saying meds don't work (which they do if used properly)

Its also important to keep the treatment up for double the amount of time it took for the spots to disappear. (usually spots are completely gone in 3 days but keep the heat for 9 days total)

The spots are only one stage of the lifecycle. The other 2 cycles you cant see, and if treatment is stopped to early its likely to just come back.
 

RayClem

Eradicating ich is not difficult, but it does require persistence. The entire life cycle of the ich parasite takes about a month. Thus, treatment needs to be continued for about six weeks to insure all parasites have been killed. If you think the battle has been won once the white spots have disappeared, you will be sorely disappointed. The medications used to kill ich are ineffective against the parasites while they are attached to the fish in their armored shells. It is only after the ich has dropped off the fish and gone into the free swimming state that the medication can do its job. The meds do work as long as you do not quit too soon.
 

FreshFishRookie

Thanks for the replies!! Yes I've been changing the water everyday about 5 gallons a day, I'm having to use distilled water since prime is not recommended while using meds. Then remineralize it with Equilibrium. This means buying so much distilled water at Walmart that I probably could've bought an to system for the money I've been spending cleaning out Walmarts shelves. For sure my biggest mistake was ordering the meds online and waiting. The ich quickly got out of hand. Just curious why the GBR's don't have a single spot on them. Any ideas how that's possible. Also why now that I've had ich X treatments daily and heat up to 86° changing water before each treatment, even matching the water temps, is it not getting any better? So so frustrated. Wish I knew about the importance of a QT tank. Thanks for your help guys

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RogueFebreze

I had an Ich outbreak in my puffers and they didn't look good at all. Amazon also fumbled the bag in getting me my Paraguard in a timely manor. I found a lot of success in 1) raising the temperature in my tank, 2) increasing the aeration in the tank, and 3) feeding my puffers food soaked in pressed garlic juice. Garlic has anti-parasitic properties in fish (also true in humans) and it also works to boost the immune system of fish. When they wouldn't eat, I would float a cut up clove of garlic in the tank just to get some of the Allicin in the tank. I managed to plateau the infestation, and was able to manage it until my paraguard came in. I'll drop a helpful link so you can do some reading on the effects of garlic. Also, Seachem's Paraguard is 100% safe with prime if that would make things easier for you. I hope everything works out for you!

Garlic Can Kill Parasites - Advanced Aquarium Conceptshttps://advancedaquariumconcepts.com › garlic-can-kill-p...
 

FreshFishRookie

I had an Ich outbreak in my puffers and they didn't look good at all. Amazon also fumbled the bag in getting me my Paraguard in a timely manor. I found a lot of success in 1) raising the temperature in my tank, 2) increasing the aeration in the tank, and 3) feeding my puffers food soaked in pressed garlic juice. Garlic has anti-parasitic properties in fish (also true in humans) and it also works to boost the immune system of fish. When they wouldn't eat, I would float a cut up clove of garlic in the tank just to get some of the Allicin in the tank. I managed to plateau the infestation, and was able to manage it until my paraguard came in. I'll drop a helpful link so you can do some reading on the effects of garlic. Also, Seachem's Paraguard is 100% safe with prime if that would make things easier for you. I hope everything works out for you!

Garlic Can Kill Parasites - Advanced Aquarium Conceptshttps://advancedaquariumconcepts.com › garlic-can-kill-p...
Ill read that for sure. Thanks for sharing Rogue!!! I'm willing to try anything at this point. Sounds promising
 

RayClem

Increasing temperature helps to speed up the life cycle. With the higher temperature, the dissolved oxygen decreases, so the aeration helps counteract that.

Now you just have to wait until the cysts start to hatch and drop off the fish. That is when the medication starts to work. Doing water changes removes some of the parasites from the water (especially if you vacuum the gravel).

Just keep doing what you are doing. Hopefully, the fish will survive.

As you have learned the hard way, diseases like ich can develop quickly. Thus, it is best to have a few medications effective against the most common diseases readily available. In some countries, obtaining these medications requires a vet's prescription.
 

Cherryshrimp420

Hello, I'm a newbie to this site and a newbie to fish keeping. We were given a 29 gallon tank years ago and about 4 months ago I finally decided to set it up for my son. I didn't want fake plants and decided to get some plants that were beginner friendly. The more I read I learned about substrates and root tabs etc... This was all new to me, the more I read the more I spent. Co2, ferts, better lights, timers, test kits, a good canopy so fish wouldn't jump out. A good filter, heater, conditioner, replacement filters, quality fish food,.....this was getting expensive. I wanted to keep a pair of Rams and cardinal tetra. My water was hard, high GH but super low KH. I bought way way too many plants and even a bonsai tree with Christmas moss before I had bought any of the fish. The tank was looking amazing, I was so proud of myself. It had cost a small fortune but looked fantastic. I bought a pair of Rams and 12 Cardinal tetras. I got past the white cloudy algae, got past the brown algae, next was the hair algae. I had a hard time, decreased lights, finally read Amano shrimp would eat it so I bought 6 Amano shrimp. They made quick work of my hair algae but the inside glass and plants had algae on them as well. A LFS suggest Otocinclus for algae on glass and plants. I knew this was pushing my tank to the limit on number of inhabitants. Went ahead and bought them anyway and decided to change my water more frequently. I didn't have a QT tank or even knew about QTing new fish, I even poured the water from the LFS straight into my tank. Don't judge I had no clue. ‍♂️ I noticed white spots appearing on all the fish, like an idiot I went to Amazon and ordered ICH X. 6 DAYS LATER it arrived. By then the ich was out of control. I looked like I poured salt all over my fish. I love these fish and have enjoyed the challenge even through my frustrations. I started dosing the recommended amounts of meds and slowly bumped the heat up to 86°. 30% water changes every 24 hours and redose. This went on until I ran out of ich X, went to a local store and bought more, continuing the same process. I pulled out all activated carbon, and stopped using prime. Having to go get distilled water daily and having to remineralize it with equilibrium. Looked into RO water but really didn't want to spend more money. I had been cutting distilled with tap and using prime before that. My ich situation has not improved a bit. Fish after fish died mostly cardinals and Oto's. I couldn't get them to eat, even garlic dipped food wouldn't get them to eat. The ich seemed to get worse. This is at 86° dosing ich X every 24 hours for 2 weeks. Read maybe salt would help, bought aquarium salt and dosed what was recommended. That's been going on for 3 days. I only have 2 Cardinals left alive, still covered in spots. I'm ready to give up. I'm tired and exhausted, I'm defeated. I'm killing my plants, killing my fish, and have wasted hundreds and hundreds of dollars since deciding to set this up. I don't know what else to do. My gf bout a QT tank, she knew how frustrated I was, only problem is she bought a 5 gallon. Not much of a QT tank especially if I want the Rams to QT there. Crazy thing is the Rams never showed any white spots. I'm like 99% sure this is ich, seriously I've looked at hundreds of pics over the last 2 weeks. How can they be ich free and the Cardinals covered? What can I do besides find a home for the Rams and start selling all this stuff I bought. I give up!!!! Any suggestions are appreciated.

Oh I should add that I turned off lights to help calm the fish, stopped using CO2, and started using an air stone for more Oxygen since the heat was turned up and the meds depleted some of the oxygen.

First of all, stop using distilled water. Your water needs KH for the nitrogen cycle so find out your tap water parameters before going the remineraliztion route. Seachem Equilibrium does not contain KH so adding that will not supply any KH to the water.

White dots on fish doesn't have to be ich, it could be all sorts of bacterial/fungal infections

I would stop feeding and do water changes and improve the water quality rather than buying medication.

Once you get KH into your water, you can start cycling and hopefully establish a cycled tank. :)
 

FreshFishRookie

First of all, stop using distilled water. Your water needs KH for the nitrogen cycle so find out your tap water parameters before going the remineraliztion route. Seachem Equilibrium does not contain KH so adding that will not supply any KH to the water.

White dots on fish doesn't have to be ich, it could be all sorts of bacterial/fungal infections

I would stop feeding and do water changes and improve the water quality rather than buying medication.

Once you get KH into your water, you can start cycling and hopefully establish a cycled tank. :)
I usually use tap water with the distilled but ich X recommends not to use Seachem Prime while using their product. I don't usually need to remineralize when using mostly tap but since I can't use prime, tap water was not an option while treatment was going on. Usually KH is at 3dkh which I'm happy with
 

Cherryshrimp420

I usually use tap water with the distilled but ich X recommends not to use Seachem Prime while using their product. I don't usually need to remineralize when using mostly tap but since I can't use prime, tap water was not an option while treatment was going on. Usually KH is at 3dkh which I'm happy with

3 dKH is a bit low. The nitrification process consumes KH as ammonia gets processed. So to have constant growth of the colony, the KH must be regularly replenished.
 

FreshFishRookie

3 dKH is a bit low. The nitrification process consumes KH as ammonia gets processed. So to have constant growth of the colony, the KH must be regularly replenished.
Oh I thought 3dkh was perfect for GBR's but maybe I'm wrong
 

Cherryshrimp420

Oh I thought 3dkh was perfect for GBR's but maybe I'm wrong

KH generally won't hurt fish, it's GH that you have to worry about when it comes to soft water vs hard water fish. Regardless, you'll still want some KH for the cycling bacteria
 

FreshFishRookie

Thanks!!! I'll try to keep an eye on those numbers
 

RayClem

You can use distilled water, reverse osmosis water, or rain water as long as you add minerals to raise GH. The Equilibrium will take care of that. The KH is a function of the pH and the amount of CO2 in the water. If your pH starts to drop, you can raise KH by adding bicarbonates such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or potassium bicarbonate, which is better because aquariums seldom need sodium, but do need potassium.

I have a RO system and use RO water for all my water changes. I use Equilibrium to raise the GH to around 7 dGH. I add baking soda whenever I see my pH start to drop below target.

Since German Blue Rams come from the Amazon basin, they can tolerate pH values from 6.0 - 7.5, so you do not have to be overly concerned about KH unless you have fish in the tank that need a pH over 7.
 

FreshFishRookie

Thank you Ray, that is very helpful. I'm really considering buying a bigger tank once I get a little more experience and knowledge. At that point I'll probably invest in a good RO water system. I e had the CO2 off since I've been treating because I e been running an air stone for the higher temps and meds and thought it would be a waste of CO2 plus I wasn't sure if the CO2 might deplete my oxygen further. Turning off the CO2 has made my PH go up but not higher than 7.5. :) what is a good food for Rams? They absolutely love the Sera O Nip Tabs but don't seem interested in the Xtreme Krill Flakes that I bought at all?? Mostly bought those for the tetras but was surprised the Rams were uninterested. About once a week I do give them some frozen Bloodworms. Wasn't sure if feeding the o nip tabs 6 days a week was a good idea or not.
 

RayClem

Turning off the CO2 atthe elevated temperature was probably a good idea. Like oxygen, the dissolved CO2 would drop as well.

From what I read, a pH of 7.5 is at the upper end of the ideal range for Rams. Once you get the CO2 restarted, the pH will drop and you should be fine.

I do not know anything about the Sera O Nip Tabs, In general, it is good to feed your fish a variety of different foods to insure they will get adequate nutrition. Fish love foods like blood worms, but that is like humans love potato chips, cookies, and other junk foods; a steady diet is not good for them or for us.
 

Aguajera

Hello, I'm a newbie to this site and a newbie to fish keeping. We were given a 29 gallon tank years ago and about 4 months ago I finally decided to set it up for my son. I didn't want fake plants and decided to get some plants that were beginner friendly. The more I read I learned about substrates and root tabs etc... This was all new to me, the more I read the more I spent. Co2, ferts, better lights, timers, test kits, a good canopy so fish wouldn't jump out. A good filter, heater, conditioner, replacement filters, quality fish food,.....this was getting expensive. I wanted to keep a pair of Rams and cardinal tetra. My water was hard, high GH but super low KH. I bought way way too many plants and even a bonsai tree with Christmas moss before I had bought any of the fish. The tank was looking amazing, I was so proud of myself. It had cost a small fortune but looked fantastic. I bought a pair of Rams and 12 Cardinal tetras. I got past the white cloudy algae, got past the brown algae, next was the hair algae. I had a hard time, decreased lights, finally read Amano shrimp would eat it so I bought 6 Amano shrimp. They made quick work of my hair algae but the inside glass and plants had algae on them as well. A LFS suggest Otocinclus for algae on glass and plants. I knew this was pushing my tank to the limit on number of inhabitants. Went ahead and bought them anyway and decided to change my water more frequently. I didn't have a QT tank or even knew about QTing new fish, I even poured the water from the LFS straight into my tank. Don't judge I had no clue. ‍♂️ I noticed white spots appearing on all the fish, like an idiot I went to Amazon and ordered ICH X. 6 DAYS LATER it arrived. By then the ich was out of control. I looked like I poured salt all over my fish. I love these fish and have enjoyed the challenge even through my frustrations. I started dosing the recommended amounts of meds and slowly bumped the heat up to 86°. 30% water changes every 24 hours and redose. This went on until I ran out of ich X, went to a local store and bought more, continuing the same process. I pulled out all activated carbon, and stopped using prime. Having to go get distilled water daily and having to remineralize it with equilibrium. Looked into RO water but really didn't want to spend more money. I had been cutting distilled with tap and using prime before that. My ich situation has not improved a bit. Fish after fish died mostly cardinals and Oto's. I couldn't get them to eat, even garlic dipped food wouldn't get them to eat. The ich seemed to get worse. This is at 86° dosing ich X every 24 hours for 2 weeks. Read maybe salt would help, bought aquarium salt and dosed what was recommended. That's been going on for 3 days. I only have 2 Cardinals left alive, still covered in spots. I'm ready to give up. I'm tired and exhausted, I'm defeated. I'm killing my plants, killing my fish, and have wasted hundreds and hundreds of dollars since deciding to set this up. I don't know what else to do. My gf bout a QT tank, she knew how frustrated I was, only problem is she bought a 5 gallon. Not much of a QT tank especially if I want the Rams to QT there. Crazy thing is the Rams never showed any white spots. I'm like 99% sure this is ich, seriously I've looked at hundreds of pics over the last 2 weeks. How can they be ich free and the Cardinals covered? What can I do besides find a home for the Rams and start selling all this stuff I bought. I give up!!!! Any suggestions are appreciated.

Oh I should add that I turned off lights to help calm the fish, stopped using CO2, and started using an air stone for more Oxygen since the heat was turned up and the meds depleted some of the oxygen.
A couple drops of this and remove lighting for a few days! When changing the water change parts of it at a time or you’ll be removing all the minerals in the water, hope this helps! It helped me awhile back when I didnt know that water changes were making my fishes stressed and causing all types of illnesses
 

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RayClem

A couple drops of this and remove lighting for a few days! When changing the water change parts of it at a time or you’ll be removing all the minerals in the water, hope this helps! It helped me awhile back when I didnt know that water changes were making my fishes stressed and causing all types of illnesses

Unfortunately, a single treatment of any ich remedy will not get the job done, especially is the tank is heavily infected as it is in the case of the OP.

Your post implies that water changes are detrimental to your fish. Nothing can be further from the truth unless one or more of the following conditions is present:

a. You have not done a water change in a long time and you decide to replace a large portion of the water. In this situation, the aquarium water and the replacement water are likely to have very different chemical/mineral concentrations and the shock of changing mineral content can be detrimental to the fish.
b. The replacement water contains chlorine or chloramine that has not been properly neutralized.
c. The replacement water is water purified by distillation or reverse osmosis and minerals have not been added back to support the life of the aquarium inhabitants.
d. You are using tap water whose mineral content is not suitable for the fish you are keeping.

There are many experienced fishkeepers who change 50% of their aquarium water with tap water treated to remove chlorine/chloramine. Such large, frequent water changes keeps the water in the aquarium close to the tap water quality, so the fish do just fine. Doing routine water changes is one of the best things that you can do for your aquarium.
 

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