Ich outbreak: how hot and how salty can corys ride it out?

Discussion in 'Corydoras' started by turophobe, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. turophobeValued MemberMember

    I have an ich outbreak on my non-corys. I caught it early. I have snails and a preference (but not unbreakable stance) against meds. I would prefer to attack this with heat and/or salt, if viable.

    I've gradually raised the temp to 84 degrees and gradually salted the water to 1 tbsp/5 gallons over 36 hours via a series of small changes. A few spots remain, but if anything, it's better. Nobody is flashing. The corys seem a little less active, but I'd still call them very playful and hungry. I see 86 degrees and 2 tsp salt / gallon commonly mentioned as an effective ich treatment, but I know that both would be particularly hard on the corys. Do I dare go hotter and/or saltier, or is this a good compromise?
  2. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    86 for 2 weeks is all you need to do - the fish will be fine. I would not use any salt - the heat alone will cure them.

  3. turophobeValued MemberMember

    The good news is that the corys are still thriving at 86. The bad news is that I lost six other fish today. I noticed two cherry barbs gasping toward the end, while four neons went by surprise.

    The water params still look good (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5 ppm nitrate). I changed about 50% of the water and vacuumed the substrate. I guess the silver lining is it's the fittest that have survived to this point.
  4. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    So sorry to hear about your fish loss and dealing with ICH.

    My treatment for ICH without Medications w/100% survival rate:

    Increase the tanks temperature to 86 degrees and leave it there for a full two week period. Even if the fish appear to be free of the parasite, leave the temperature increased for the full two weeks. Raise the temperature slowly throughout the day. 2 degrees per hour should be fine.

    Warmer water requires more oxygen so adding an air stone/supply line may help.

    Do two gravel vacuums each week to remove the spores that fall off the fish and into the substrate. Make sure the new water is the same (86) temperature as what is in the tank.

    Adding Garlic Guard or garlic juice onto the fish food 2 or 3 times each week will help to boost the fishes immune system. (link below for garlic juice):
    minced garlic in a jar..just an example for those needing it
    Garlic Guard:
    Making your own juice, recipe:
    "Benefits of garlic:

    Purifies blood; detoxifies; lowers cholesterol levels; lowers blood pressure; blood thinner; prevents blood clots; boost immune system; prevents heart disease and strokes; destroys cancer cells; muscle relaxant; antibiotic; antifungal; suppresses growth of tumors
    Using a medium size bulb; peel cloves apart, snip off ends; microwave cloves for 5 to 10 seconds to pop hulls; remove hulls; cut the length of the cloves in thin slices; place in cup of hot (from tap) water; cover, and let sit at room temperature for 12 hrs; mash the cloves and strain for immediate use; refrigerate until needed. good for two to three weeks.
    The longer the cloves soak, the stronger the solution."

    It may take more than 1 try when using Garlic. If the fish ignore the foods soaked in garlic, try it again the next day. Be careful not to over feed your fish!

    The information above comes from the link below:

    Vita Chem (for additional vitamins) added to the fish food and directly into the tank will help the fishes overall health. Follow the directions on the bottle.

    It's been my experience that salt isn't necessary with the heat treatment.

    ICH may appear to get worse, before it gets better. It may take several days before you see a decrease in the white spots/parasite.

    It is not recommended to use the increased heat method along with medications. Choose 1 or the other. I only suggest medications if you are experiencing fish loss.

    Once the ICH has been removed via the heat treatment, there is no need to treat again with medications. Remember you are trying to mimic a natural environment and the fewer chemicals and medications you use, the better off your fish are going to be.

    Amphibians and Invertebrates are not susceptible to ICH.

    I highly recommend Quarantine for all new fish:
    Quick and dirty quarantine setup


    Best wishes for your fish!

  5. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    It sounds like there may have been another issue with the fish than the ich. Glad the corys are doing well.
  6. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Could the salt have contributed to the deaths?
    As was said above Heat, water changes and substrate vacuums for 14 days will cure ICH. This method is much easier on your fish than salt or other meds.
    Sorry for your losses.
  7. turophobeValued MemberMember

    I've read theories that heat alone just accelerates the ich lifecycle without necessarily killing the parasite, and could even make things worse. That's why I tried heat plus salt. I'll see how it goes without salt the next time.

    The good news is I'm now free of whitespots, and have had no more losses the last two days. A cherry barb that was gulping and hiding for a couple days is back to normal. One cory is generally keeping to the top half of the tank, though upright and swimming well. I'm worried about that one, but everything else looks good tonight.
  8. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Yes, heat will just accelerate the life cycle, but once it passes the threshold it interrupts the life cycle. That's why it's important to keep the water at a minimum of 86 degrees. Theory or not, it works in practice :)

    Glad things have turned around for you. Now just finish out the 2 weeks and you'll be good.
  9. turophobeValued MemberMember

    Thought it would be nice to post a happy ending. The sick cory did not make it, but there have been no other losses or signs of ich in two weeks. I think we're back on track, and I have some cherry barbs and neons in QT to eventually replenish those schools. Thanks to all for the good advice.
  10. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    Thanks for the update. I'm glad you didn't lose any more fish.

    Happy Holidays!

    Ken candycane2.gif

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