Ich Nightmare 38 Gal Edition...new Tank

zeeweeling

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Well, I may have been led astray by the LFS, because I didn't see this coming at all...

I started a 38 gal tank with safestart (enough for the next size up) but he didn't say to quarantine fish or add ammonia, just to add safestart, fish, and that having food/fish would feed the bb.

Within the first week, one cory died and i did a 30% water change then two more died that day (didnt see any signs of disease on them but they were really young/tiny). There seemed to be a lot of poop/debris, so I thought I was just overfeeding and I was careful to feed them less and watched to make sure the cory was getting to the leftovers. Within the second week the remaining fish (5 tetras, one cory) got reclusive and about 4 days ago i saw signs of ich and tried treating with nox-ich. No luck...I thought i couldnt raise the temp without harming the cory (i now realize a brief temp change might have saved her life ). I now have 1 tetra left and have begun raising the temp and aerating but it doesn't look good for her.

My question is, what now? Do I need to completely empty the tank to get rid of the ich? Or, can i:

vacuum gravel and do a partial water change
keep water at 90 degrees for (3 weeks?)
remove all ornaments except gravel boil/dry with heat, replace, and
start a fishless cycle with ammonia? (unless I have one fish left...in which case im still not sure what to do...)

Also, I'm going on vacation for a week mid-July...I'm thinking if I have to start over can I just dump it all, let it all dry on the (covered) back porch and try again when I get back? A good sun bleaching should take care of it, right?

I have never dealt with ich (and clearly screwed this up) so I'm looking for a step-by-step that will leave my tank ready for new fish to thrive in!

Also, is there any way to boost fishy immune systems to help prevent future outbreaks? I can't guarantee a totally stress-free environment as i have small children and live in and old house in the city (some road noise/not the most insulated windows ever...). Of course I know water quality is the biggest factor - I plan to get it right this time and get a more accurate test kit to monitor as i re-start the tank.

Please, any friendly help is welcome...my husband is convinced keeping fish was way less work...he claims he had 15 angelfish and a pleco and never did water changes! I have no idea how that could possibly be true after this has happened....he also wants to blame the ich on nerites the lfs pushed us to buy even though ich can't infect them, right?
 

Crazycoryfishlady

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You'll want to look into quarantining fish next time for sure.

Based on ingredients noxich seems pretty useless.

Malachite green on it's own is not enough to treat ich, and you don't need salt to treat it either.
So not sure how they can boast one drop.will stop! If that's pretty much impossible with one drop...
Lol...

What you need is acriflavine or formalin.
Something like rid ich plus by kordon or jungle cure with acriflavine will help.

Raising the temperature does help, but it also speeds the parasite.
Ich has a cycle of 6 days to over a month depending on temp.
The higher temps the faster it moves, so fast it can be weakened and killed at 86 degrees f.
That is lethal to all stages of ich, malachite green and salt can only hurt swimming stages (salt can also damage the stage on your fish but likely won't damage dprmant states.)
Ich has 3-4 stages (two stages counting as one)

It is a parasite that splits into many more parasites.

Leaving your tank fishless for 48 hours to 4 days will kill the free swimming stage.
Other stages survive without the fish for longer, which is why almost all ich medications tell you to treat for at leats 5 days or longer.
But really, it should all say 10 days.
Since ich can survive, fall off your fish, and stay dormant the first day you treat.
Meaning at day 5, it will become free swimming.
But since you're no longer treating the tank, this free swimmer will go and reinfect your fish all over again since you didnt give it time to process itself.


So new meds, contains formalin or acriflavine, treat for 10 days, avaoid salt and other medications, and keep up on water changes and vacuuming.

If this fish dies, emptying everything over your week long trip will fix it, or, to keep your cycle, if you have any snails, just let the tank run the ich to death without a fish.

Ich can supposedly infect shrimp without visibly seeing it, but it will not stay on snails (but if live ich is in the water with snails and is transfered then ich could be transfered)

Heat is enough to kill it as well.
Heat affects all stages.
Again 86 is fatal.

You can raise the temp 2 degrees per day with your current fish up to 85-86
This is the least harmful way of raising the temp.
But you might not have to continue to raise it.

So long as you treat, you should be okay.

If you don't have the 10 days time to treat the fish, you may want to look into returning it, moving it to a smaller tank with very little tank water, and keep it in there lowering your qt time to more like 6-8 days.
 

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zeeweeling

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Yeah i treated for four days in a row even though it said to skip a day, and I think all it did was stress the fish and make it worse...

Thanks for the ich low-down!

So if I now have no fish and 4 nerites I can just raise the temp and the ich will die...then I want to vacuum, put fresh water in, and let the tank cycle...

If I want to wait to get new fish until after the trip, do i need to add ammonia to keep cycle going or can I count on the snails?
 

Crazycoryfishlady

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Yeah i treated for four days in a row even though it said to skip a day, and I think all it did was stress the fish and make it worse...

Thanks for the ich low-down!

So if I now have no fish and 4 nerites I can just raise the temp and the ich will die...then I want to vacuum, put fresh water in, and let the tank cycle...

If I want to wait to get new fish until after the trip, do i need to add ammonia to keep cycle going or can I count on the snails?

The snails will keep it slightly cycled, but not enough for you to stock a decent amount of fish at once.
They're sort of about as useful as a single betta or baby fish.
You'd likely have to start with one or three fish if you rely soley on the snails.
You can feed the tank ammonia by giving it fish food, and this will help you keep your cycle and allow perhaps for 4-5 fish at once (so long as you take care to watch for any ammonia spikes)
 
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