Help Ich+secondary Infection In Loach Tank

Larry O'Donnell

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Hellertown, PA
2 years
Ich+ Secondary Infection in a mixed loach tank


What is the water volume of the tank? 30 Gallons
How long has the tank been running? About 2 years
Does it have a filter? Yes, TopFin HOB 30
Does it have a heater? Yes - Fluval 250 Watt
What is the water temperature? 76.5F

What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)

All these fish are juveniles and most of them bought over the past 10 weeks. I am upgrading them all to a 75 Gallon Hillstream Manifold Tank, so yes, I know I am way overstocked for a 30 tank but need some help keeping everyone alive until I finish gluing it all together.

4 Panda Garas, 9 Mountain Minnows, 4 Zebra Danios, 8 hillstream loaches, 1 filament barb, 6 KuhlI Loaches, 1 Dojo Loach, 3 green riffle gobies, 3 yoyos, 1 amano shrimp. The 3 Yoyos and 1 Danio are currently in a QT tank because of ich.

How often do you change the water? Weekly
How much of the water do you change? 40%
What do you use to treat your water? Prime, Stability, Thrive Plant food
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Wherever there aren't plants, I dig into the sand very heavily, yes.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? API Master Freshwater Kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 30 ppm (I get 20 out of the tap, this usually hovers around 60ppm)
pH: 7.4

How often do you feed your fish? daily
How much do you feed your fish? probably too much, I can never tell with all the bottom feeders
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Omega One Flakes, HikarI Shrimp, and Algae pellets, Omega One dried shrimp and Bloodworms, bug bites cichlid formula every now and then
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? yes, about once a week...San Francisco bay frozen cubes

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 8 weeks
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 1 week ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Started out with ich, 1 fish death, took the worst affected ich fish to QT tank, now there are puffy white spots on several of my hillstreams. I am not an expert but it appears to be a secondary fungal or bacterial infection, perhaps Columnaris.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Started treating Monday night with Nox-ich, switched to Ich-X two days later because I was told it was better for scale-less fish. Have done 30% water changes daily. Adding Melafix every other day.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Yes, the yoyos are flashing and swimming vertically and the hillstreams are not grazing normally and are clustered around an air bubbler.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

Added clown loaches into a tank that wasn't appropriate for them and didn't quarantine. I know, I am an idiot but my wife really likes clowns so I got them for her. Had some temperature spikes in the tank (several sub-zero days outside) and the 2 new clowns croaked. I haven't had ich in 20 years so I didn't recognize the signs, they probably had ich from the start. The ich spread and I only realized it when our single remaining clown (a holdover from an old tropical tank) came down with it, along with a yoyo loach. I immediately started a dose of Nox-Ich, water changes, etc... Switched to HikarI Ich-X about 2 days later because I was told it was better for loaches. Have been changing water and treating every day. Unfortunately, our old clown passed yesterday. The only other fish that seems to be affected by it badly were some YoYos so I pulled them into a QT tank last night, still treating both tanks with Ich-X and 30% water changes daily

I noticed 2 days ago that some of my hillstreams have a couple of ich spots, like 1 or two cysts. Unfortunately, some now also have puffy white spots on their back and fins that definitely does not look like ich. From my limited research, it appears to be a secondary bacterial or fungal infection, perhaps columnaris. They are hanging out by an air bubbler and not grazing normally.

How should I proceed? Should I just keep it going with Ich-X? I have API General Cure, Erythromycin and Tetra Lifeguard on hand that I can use.
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Larry O'Donnell

Larry O'Donnell

Active Member
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Hellertown, PA
2 years

Odd, I thought I uploaded these last night. They are looking a little better today, the pic of them on the stone is from this afternoon.


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Your Imagination
5 years
Well, I am also no expert, but I see the white fuzzy patches you do. Maybe pick up a fungal cure

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