Is This Ick? Or Maybe Something Else? Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by bluewaterpig, May 26, 2018.

  1. bluewaterpigNew MemberMember

    Ive had some serious difficulty in starting up a new freshwater tank. It’s been about a month now and I’ve lost over a dozen fish. I had my water tested and also tested it myself and it looks like everything is fine.

    The only thing I’ve noticed is a white film on some of the fish. I read about Ick and also used an Ick treatment. It either didn’t work, keeps coming back, or it isn’t Ick at all.

    Here’s a pic of the Platy I found dead this can see there’s a good amount of the white film on it.

    Any ideas what this might be??

    Attached Files:

  2. penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    I'm guessing something bacterial. Hopefully someone will come along soon to give you med recommendations.

  3. ChaseAceValued MemberMember

    Probably not ich since it's a film and not white dots. Have you tried treating with anti-fungal medication yet?

  4. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    Definitely not ich. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, is a protozoan parasite that imbeds itself into the flesh of the fish and as a result white colored cysts form around the parasite.
    This looks like a bacterial infection, likely gram-negative as most pathogenic bacteria are. This platy's fins look like they've started to deteriorate which is another sign of bacterial infections. Salt dips and topical treatments are common and more detail can be found online on the exact steps. In the case of bacterial infections, the root cause needs to be identified to avoid reoccurrence. Bacterial infections are typically brought on by stress, the common strains that cause illness are constantly present and the fish's immune system is in a constant battle with the bacteria. As soon as the fish's immune system is compromised by stress, the bacteria take hold and you get a sick fish. Full tank antibiotics are also an option but often ill-advised as some can have an impact on the beneficial nitrifying bacteria. Kanamycin or erythromycin are sometimes successful, I've personally had the most success with kanamycin sulfate (commonly sold as Kanaplex.) Kanaplex is very forgiving IME, it generally has no negative impact on nitrifying bacteria and your cycle. Salt dips are not always successful and I've personally not had much luck with them. They're more useful for parasites.

    Treating bacterial infections:  
  5. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Or Ichtyobodo (Costia)
  6. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    Possible but unlikely. Ichthyobodo (aka Costia) is a colder water flagellate that commonly affects cold water fish like goldfish. The Protozoa that causes "white spot" or "ick/ich" is Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. Ich thrives in warm tropical waters, seeing as this is a tropical fish case I doubt it's costia.
  7. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Instead of Chilodonella and Trichodina I think you're going wrong on Ichthyobodo / Costia. It lives and multiplies between 2 - 38C. A pretty common parasite in tropical tanks.
  8. Adrian BurkeValued MemberMember

    Looks like an infection or fungus. QT them and treat with methelyne blue.
  9. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    I did say it's possible, but if we're talking about ich, if you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras. I'm not saying it's impossible because it very well might be. The way these particular symptoms are presenting indicate bacterial infection. Costia does present with slime around the gills and on the skin so it's definitely possible. It's really hard to get a definite diagnosis without more info/symptoms. Sounds like we're also talking about different species in the genus so that doesn't help. Let's not argue about it though, we're here to help OP with their platy. My bets on bacterial.
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  10. Mick FrostValued MemberMember

    I'd say fungal (based on linear growth patterns) but bacterial is possible. The patterning IMO points to a lack of slimecoat (possibly caused by bacterial, and allowing fungal to develop as a result). Salt bath (check for tiny bubbles on the affected areas which indicate bacterial infections) and do a large water change, and go from there.
  11. bluewaterpigNew MemberMember

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I’m a little confused on what the best approach is here though...should I treat it with some sort of chemical?
  12. Adrian BurkeValued MemberMember

    Methelyne blue. Warning: it will turn anything in your tank blue, so remove all decorations.
  13. bluewaterpigNew MemberMember

    I just bought methylene blue and Kanaplex. Am I ok using both simultaneously? Or am I better off just using one at a time?
  14. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    From what I've read, Methylene Blue can be mixed safely with other treatment compounds. It has no synergistic or antagonistic property with any known chemical used for aquarium treatments.
    Do however be careful with MB, aquarium silicone will absorb the compound and if overdosed MB will harm or kill plants and nitrifying bacteria as well as stain anything and everything in the aquarium. I would recommend against dosing your whole display tank with it and instead use a quarantine tank to treat the fish. I dose Kanaplex in my display aquarium safely and have never had problems with cycle shock or additional stress.
    Personally, I've never really messed with methylene blue because it's messy and I just don't really like the stuff. I have used it, but IME Kanaplex has worked better for me. It's always going to be hit or miss with treating fish though, so it's never a guarantee unfortunately.
  15. bluewaterpigNew MemberMember

    Tell me if this makes sense...

    In my mind, quarantining with methylene blue makes no sense. Isn’t the virus existing in my tank? I feel like releasing them back into the tank after a quarantine would expose them to the virus all over again.

    Am I wrong? I’m guessing that I am, but maybe someone can explain it to me.
  16. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    You're not dealing with a viral infection, you're dealing with a bacterial infection. In the case of bacteria in the aquarium, as I explained earlier, the fish's immune system is always in a constant battle with pathogenic bacteria. It's when the fish gets stressed and their immune system is dampened, that the bacteria takes hold and makes the fish sick. Even if you treat the whole tank, you aren't wiping out the bacteria. The bacteria will always be there. It's not like a human body where you get antibiotics to wipe out the infection, what the aquarium antibiotics do is help the sick fish fight off the infection so they can heal. Not the aquarium, the fish in the aquarium. Antibiotics your doctor gives you don't sterilize your home, they only help your body fight the infection.
    You probably need to check your parameters and see if something may have caused that platy stress, then it should stay healthy after treatment.
    Now if it's a protozoan infection it's a different story. In the case of ich for example, you are eradicating the parasite from the aquarium. Unfortunately you can't do that with bacteria, bacteria are essential for the aquarium, they will always be present, good or bad.
  17. bluewaterpigNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the explanation but I’m still not sure I understand how this virus works.

    Are you saying that my tank is pretty much plagued with a bacterial virus and I have to continually boost the immune system of all the fish that enter my aquarium? I was under the impression that there was some sort of unusual bacteria in my tank and that Kanaplex would destroy the bacteria that’s causing my fish to die...

    And does it make sense that this infection is affecting every single fish that I add?

    Also, I already tested my water and got...

    pH: about 6.8
    No nitrates
    No nitrites
    Ammonia: .5ppm
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  18. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Applause !
  19. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    Okay, first off, it doesn't appear your tank is cycled, your ammonia is likely what's causing stress.

    Secondly, as I said in my last post, it's not a virus. Viruses and bacteria are two totally different things. When I say that the fish's immune system is in a constant battle, that's just how it is normally. Most of the bacteria that causes fish to get sick are present in almost all aquariums. Some may not even be pathogenic species, they're just opportunistic and begin to feed on fish that can't fight them off. Also, you're right, Kanaplex does destroy the bacteria which helps the fish fight off the rest. I'll spare you the details of how aminoglycosides kill bacteria.
    As for the immune system boosting thing: Fish naturally fight off harmful bacteria, you don't have to do anything except make sure that the fish is not stressed to the point where his/hers immune system is dampened by the heightened stress.
    My running theory in this case is that your ammonia levels are just high enough to cause the fish stress. Because it was stressed it was overcome by what is more than likely a run-of-the-mill bacteria species found in probably just about any tank. Some fish are just more susceptible to stress than others. Every fish in the tank has been exposed to the same bacteria that is causing your fish to be sick. You need to solve the root cause which is figuring out your tanks nitrogen cycle. You should have some nitrates and your ammonia should be much lower than it is. You should do some partial water changes until your ammonia drops. Dropping your ammonia should prevent any other fish from getting sick. How long is the tank and set up?
  20. bluewaterpigNew MemberMember

    Did you mean to ask “how long has the tank been set up?” Or did you want the dimensions? In either case, my tank has been setup for about 5 weeks now. I’ve included an image with the tank dimensions. Using the dimensions of the water level and the formula for a hexagonal prism volume, I got an answer of 4044.72 cubic inches, which converts to 17.5 gallons.

    I’m also including pics of the testing results I got. The color translated over to the photos pretty well, so I think it’s safe to base things off of what you see in my attachments.

    To my eye, the kit showed the following...

    pH-7.0 (I thought it could’ve matched a few different chart numbers)

    I’ve been using Seachem Prime, which is supposed to detoxify ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites.

    What do you guys think I need to do to get my levels correct and help my nitrogen cycle?

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