Ich Questions

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fish Disease' started by David C, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. David C Well Known Member Member

    I'm pretty sure the purple firefish I got this weekend has ich. I tried for 45 mins to get a picture with nothing being remotely helpful, so I have to do this without one. The spots started at his tail fin and are now at his dorsal fin as well. They are between 2mm-4mm in diameter and they have a transluscent/milky appearance with a nice shiny sheen to them. I'm assuming from photos found on the net that it is either a fungal infection or ich, but I was assuming ich. I've read on the other posts some of the quick treatments and I was looking for clarification since I won't be able to go get meds until tomorrow.

    1. Raise the temperature. How high should I raise it?

    2. Use cleaner shrimp. I would rather use medication so the cleaner shrimp will stay in the DT.

    3. QT fish. Luckily he was still in QT so no danger of infecting the DT at this time.

    What else can I do at this point? He is still eating well and hasn't appeared to *scratch* at the spots. Are there different medications for ich and fungal infections?


  2. Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    If it's not on his body and just on fins it could be fungal. How long have you had this fish? If you decide on treating you will have to take fish out of DT and QT to treat fish. You may want to try getting a cleaner wrasse to see if that will work first.Also how long has this tank been setup?

  3. funkman262 Well Known Member Member

    I'm sorry to hear about your fish. I'll start off by saying that I have no experience with saltwater fish so I did a search to try to help. Based on what I found, heat treatment cannot be used alone for treatment but it does help to speed up the parasites life-cycle. A freshwater dip is also helpful. The only effective treatment that apparently works is copper, but the levels need to be closely monitored.

    For more info, check this site:

    And maybe someone here has some actual experience with this. Good luck ;D

  4. Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    The only effective treatment that apparently works is copper, but the levels need to be closely monitored.
    Copper is very effective in most cases. Copper cannot be used in DT will kill live rock and inverts as well.

  5. David C Well Known Member Member

    Sorry for the confusion stang man, this guy is in QT, I've had him about 5 days or so and he has never left QT. The spots are not actually on his fins, but on the body close to the fins. There is nothing in his QT but him and a PVC pipe to hide in and a piece of rock to make a cave. Are there any recommended medications to treat either a fungal infection or ich?


  6. Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    You could try marycyn for fungal best thing is copper if you are using a chemical load up a carbon bag and let run for a day then you can treat with other chemicals I would suggest doing a 25 % water change prior to treatment what are you dosing with now?
  7. David C Well Known Member Member

    Nothing yet, I won't be able to make it to the pet shop for another few hours. I'll pick up what they got and see what my LFS recommends. Luckily I have a quality shop to go to and not Petco, even if I have to drive a half hour each way to get there.

  8. David C Well Known Member Member

    I've setup a 10gal hospital tank and moved my poor purple firefish there. My LFS confirms that it is a fungal infection of some sort so recommended using kanamycin to kill it. My question is, since this is a general antibiotic, won't it also kill the beneficial bacteria used to process the ammonia? maybe I should ask sirdarksol, he always seems to know these sorts of answers.

  9. Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    You will have to monitor water alot and do water changes when ammonia starts to rise make sure they have alot of water movement as well antibiotic will lower oxygen and will have some impact on ammonia levels.Also I beleive it's marycyn plus I could be wrong here but they have a new product out that supposed to reduce ammonia and nitrites in water for fresh and salt I have not yet tried it to see if this is true or not but I beleive petco has it .It supposed to reduce water changes not sure how that works but look it online to be sure that I'm right.
  10. David C Well Known Member Member

    I have the hospital tank set up, its a simple 10gal with an ac70 for movement and so I can run carbon after the treatment is through. Within 4 hours of treating, the spots are falling off. They are hanging on by a thread now, sort of look like hangnails the way they're hanging. Here's a picture of it (he finally sat still). The spots are just behind his fin on the bottom by his stomach. The fish is still eating regularly so I think this is a good sign.


  11. Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    Is that the only fish in your tank or do you have others?
  12. David C Well Known Member Member

    He's the only fish that was in QT (I've only had him a week or so) and now he's the only fish in the hospital tank. I've already torn down the QT and cleaned it so I won't have to worry about re-infection when treatment is over and he goes back in.

    The treatment is working pretty good I think. The largest spot fell off last night and about half dozen other spots became visible and then also fell off. There are only two visible spots left on him, one very small one (~1mm) and a larger one (~3mm). I'm following the medication directions to the "t" and I'll re-dose tomorrow assuming these last spots don't fall off. I'll also be doing a 50% WC tonight and vacuuming well to make sure to get everything that fell off out of the hospital tank.

  13. Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    Glad to here that sooner you get the fire fish out of QT the more likely he will survive hope it works out for you!!! But my question was do you have any fish in DT that was with fire?
  14. David C Well Known Member Member

    Oh, no. I am following strict QT procedures, really trying to keep the DT disease free as much as possible. Once the fish comes home, they won't co-mingle with my other fish until after their QT, so luckily the firefish had no contact. Ive read that you can basically count on each fish having some sort of illness that manifests in QT unless the LFS has already treated for it. I'm glad I've been following the advice, otherwise trying to catch this guy would have been a nightmare, I probably wouldn't have even have noticed it in time to save him if he had been in the DT.

    Today's update: There are no visible traces of the illness, he is looking excellent. :)

  15. Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    good time to put them in try not to leave them in QT for very long make sure all water qualities are to par and before release do a 50 % water change in QT and run carbon for at least a day 24 hours you should be fine>
  16. David C Well Known Member Member

    FINAL UPDATE: The medication worked exactly as described. No further visible signs of illness. I've been running carbon today and I'll hopefully get him moved in the next few days. Thanks for the concern, this was my first sick fish and I'm glad I've made it through just fine. Not bad considering I've had fish for several years and been lucky until now :) Just glad I got him through it without too much stress and he has made a full recovery.

  17. Stang Man Well Known Member Member

    That's great news Dave you did good I'm also glad I could be of help. Most fish end up dying which is a shame I have treated alot of fish for illnesses and usally have good luck.Laters!