Ick Treatment Question


I have one black molly that has recurring ick. I've treated this fish 4 times over the past month and a half. I put the fish in quarantine for treatment.

Every time I treat the ick with LifeGuard All-In-One for 5 days. The ick disappears. I let the fish sit in quarantine for 7 days and then return to the primary tank (55 gal). Within in two days (EVERY TIME!) the ick comes back.

Levels are good in the main tank, the quarantine had rising levels of ammonia and nitrites but quick water changes took care of it.

What gives? Why does the ick keep coming back?

Also, since the fish with ick was showing symptoms in the main tank, do I have to treat the main tank too? Or can I just monitor for symptoms? I don't want to treat the big 55 and have to put all the fish under stress if it is not affecting them.



Ich is stress related. Fins the stress, stop the ich.

Also, if you don't FULLY treat it, it will be back in a flash.

You have to treat it for a minimum of 10 days. Most people do 14.

Yes, treat the whole tank. Ich is always present in the water, once you get an outbreak the entire tank has to be treated.

This is basically how it works: Encased parasite attaches to fish (white spot) and feeds. Once its done feeding it falls off and attaches to anything in the aquarium to divide. It sticks to plants, rocks, substrate, decorations, filters, etc., and multiplies. After it multiplies, the new ones attach to fish and this cycle goes round and round.

Removing as much as possible from the tank, treating the tank, cleaning ALL decorations, etc., is the only way to get rid of it.

HOWEVER, even after doing everything the right way and eradicating it, if you have a stressful environment for your fish it will reappear.
  • Thread Starter


Thanks, Duane!

Couple questions...

I have Tetra Lifeguard Ick treatment. It says to use the tablets every 24 hrs until ick is gone. You said people treat 14 days. Am I supposed to keep tablets going for 14 days? Or just until I don't see ick anymore?

Also, my 'outbreak' has ONLY been with that one fish. I put him in quarantine when I got him 1.5 months ago. His outbreak began in the quarantine. So I treated, then released into main tank. The ick came back and I promptly removed him. So while Ick may be present in the whole tank, I'm not convinced that the outbreak is in the whole tank since it's been contained to this one fish.



The last time I had a fish with ich was 1997ish. The only ich treatment I've ever used is the heat, vacuum, water change and repeat process. It always worked back then.

Raise the temp to 88 over the course of a day or two. Once there, LEAVE IT! Add a few air stones as warm water contains less oxygen and its believed most fish die from ich attacking their gills.

Now that you're at 88, remove any and all decorations, plants, etc. Do 50% water changes daily and vacuum the substrate the best you've ever done. Do this DAILY!

Back in the day we used to add a teaspoon of salt per gallon of water when doing water changes as it helps kill the ich and build up the fishes slime coat, but its debatable whether its necessary or not.

Continue with the heat, vacuum, water change routine for 2 weeks and you'll be ich free.

Again, ich is ALWAYS present in the water. When a fish becomes stressed its immune system (slime coat) becomes compromised and ich will start to attach to the fish. If you have a fish with ich in your tank, then you have living ich in the tank. The other fish WILL get attacked at some point once the ich multiplies enough. Even healthy fish that aren't stressed.

I'm no help with chemicals, medicines, etc., as I've never used them.

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