Is this ick????

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by skippi, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. skippiValued MemberMember

    Help my fish are all dying and I don't know why. My water levels are ph 7.2 Ammonia<0.25 and NO-2 =2 The tetras all seem to have Dots on them that look like air bubbles stuck to their tails. Our betta who is over 3 years old has a cotton like ball on his head. and my platy has a hole in her tail and it looks like scales are falling off of her side. Does anyone know what all of this means??????
  2. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    This is very serious. First of all, your fish are indeed sick, but the diseases are not what they're dying from. They're dying from high ammonia and nitrite. Your ammonia is 0.25 and your nitrite is 2.0 - this isn't good. It's ammonia and nitrite that made your fish sick. Ammonia and nitrite kill fish fast even when present in minuscule amounts. They're deadly. They should always be kept at 0.

    Now, how long did you have your tank set up? How large is your tank and how many (and what) fish do you have in there? It seems it isn't cycled yet. And if you had it for a long time, then there is too much waste in your tank causing ammonia and nitrite to go up. Probably not enough water changes. Too much waste can also be the result of overcrowding. Do you have a test for nitrate? If so, what is your nitrate reading?

    The only quick way to remove your ammonia and nitrite from water is by large and frequent water changes. I can't see your fish, so I cannot know what their diseases are, but from your description it seems they have more than one disease. Ick looks like tiny grains of salt on your fish's body. Is that what the "bubbles" look like? If your answer is yes, then it may well be ick. The cottony growth on your fish's head is probably fungus. A hole in the tail may be an outset of a fin rot disease (but I am not sure about this so wait for someone who knows better to help you with this particular diagnosis).

    Ick seems to be a common disease resulting from high ammonia and nitrite levels. I don't want to be recommending to you any commercial medications because I am not experienced with them. But from what I have been reading on Fish Lore, if your fish have many diseases at once, Maracyn I and II combined is a good treatment. For Ick alone, salt treatment and temperature increase may suffice. But please wait for someone knowledgeable about fish diseases to confirm this information. I have also read that Coppersafe is a good medication for ick.

    Aquarium salt can also be used in connection with commercial medications such as the above Coppersafe and the Maracyns. You add 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt per 5 gallons of water to your tank. But before you add it to your tank, dissolve the salt in 1-2 cups of water and pour the solution into your tank very slowly and sporadically. Another option would be a salt bath. Here is more information about salt bath: . However, before you use salt bath or add salt to your tank, make sure your fish kinds can tolerate salt.

  3. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    It sounds like you are doing all you can and I wish you the best. Isabella is very right, your fish are dying of their water conditions and the water conditions are probably aggravating the other conditions. When the water conditions and the temperature is correct some of the problems will improve, but you may still lose some of the fish that are the most seriously affected. It sounds like your betta died of cotton wool disease, and you have had some finrot problems. The temperature plays a big part in both of these diseases as well as Ich. I was glad to hear you were raising the temperature. Please keep in mind the temperature needs to go to 85 degrees and stay there for at least 14 days to manage an Ich infestation.

    Welcome to It will be my pleasure to get to know you. This is a great group and just as Isabella is doing right now, they will try to help any way they can. I hope you enjoy this site as much as I do.


  4. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Skippi, in fact many people start the hobby not knowing about cycling. There are probably more starters who don't know than those who do know. The best you can do right now is keep up with the water changes to remove ammonia and nitrite until your tank is cycled.

    Now, a couple of things regarding treatment. As Chickadee said, keep the temperature high (but don't fry your fish at the same time!). If you started using a commercial medication, use it according to its label. I don't know if you should be doing water changes when medicating your tank because you remove medication from your water when you change water. However, your ammonia and nitrite require water changes in order to be removed. Can someone tell us whether it's OK to be doing daily water changes while medicating a tank? (Thanks up front.)

    Add the medication to your tank for the length of time indicated on the label. When you're done with one cycle, change 50% of water for 2 days, so that 100% of old medicated water is removed. Then start the treatment cycle again - this is to ensure that the disease(s) are completely eradicated. Whenever you're changing the water, make sure the temperature and pH are similar to those of your tank - so that your fish don't get stressed out more than they already are.

    If you're using any carbon or charcoal in your filter, remove it while medicating the tank. They absorb the medication and make it ineffective. (If carbon is in a cotton bag, remove the carbon from the bag, and leave the bag in the filter as it contains beneficial bacteria necessary for filtration and helping to cycle your tank).

    I hope your fish survive.

    P.S. If you have aquarium salt, you can add it to your tank while medicating the tank (as I described above). It will help your fish during the medicating period. If you start adding salt, add appropriate amount of salt back to the tank with each water change during the treatment period. For example, if you remove 5 gallons of water, add 1 tbsp. of aquarium salt back with the new 5 gallons of water (since you add 1 tbsp. per 5 gallons of water). If you don't have aquarium salt, your local fish store should have it, and it's cheap.
  5. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    Isabella's water change question is a tough one. Technically you are not supposed to be doing water changes while medicating, unless directed to in the instructions, since obviously this removes the medication. However, if you are still getting high ammonia and nitrite readings, they may be more deadly in the short term than the diseases. So, it is your call on whether water changes are necessary, or whether the levels have gone down enough that you feel the disease is more of a threat. You may need to improvise a little, and do more frequent water changes and try to put back some of the medication that was removed. Just make sure not to get overmedicated.
    One Warning: do not use salt with the pleco, whether in the tank or in a salt bath. Salt is deadly to catfish. However, a salt bath would be very beneficial to the Platys and Betta. Let us know if you need more info on a s.b.
    I hope they get better!
  6. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Thanks Omorrokh. I was thinking the same but didn't want to confuse Skippi. It's a difficult predicament when you have high ammonia and nitrite that are highly toxic and many diseases - all at the same time. And if the tank is still cycling - you can't really speed up the process - it has to run its natural course. (Well, you can use decor or gravel from an established tank, or some established filter media - if you have access to them ... but otherwise, you can't do much). The most you can do in a situation like this is frequent water changes. I don't think I'd know what to do if I found myself in a situation like this - because (1) toxic ammonia and nitrite would be killing my fish if I didn't change water, and (2) removing the medication would probably be contrary to the label instructions and it would not cure the diseases. And if you decided to do the water changes, you'd have to be VERY exact and careful with adding the medication back to the tank (using "approximate cupfuls" wouldn't do in this case). Overmedicating could kill your fish as well. What a crazy dilemma!
  7. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    Well, it sounds as if you know what you are doing. I am glad you chose to cycle fishless.
    These diseases sometimes just come and kill off everything, before you can do anything about them. :-\ I hope your 4 remaining fish get better--don't give up hope, they may surprise you like my Otos did when they had finrot--and I hope you have a better time with your next tank. Keep us posted on how you are doing. :)
  8. skippiValued MemberMember

    Fish wipeout update

    I have left out of all my fish 2 male platy and my pleco.

    I have recently done a fishless cycle on my 55 gallon and have since added more fish to it. List of fish is below.
  9. 0morrokhFishlore VIPMember

    Sorry to hear more fish died. :'(
    Your 55 gallon sounds great! Oh, I noticed there is only 1 platy in the hospital tank, is that a mistake of is the other one healthy & in the 55?
  10. skippiValued MemberMember

    I have only one in hospital tank, saw white "salt" spots on her and didn't want to take any chances with the other fish so I quarantined her. I have currently 5 prego guppies including the one in my hospital tank. We will see if any thing happens. Had a couple pregnant in the last batch but never saw any fry. Will keep you updated.

  11. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    have only one possible problem for you, and that depends entirely on Mr. Betta. :D They do not tend to get along very well with guppies due to the long fins (if these are the fancy guppies, you didn't specify). They sometimes confuse them with other bettas. Are you having any problems with this?

    Other than that, I am so glad to hear that things seem to be doing well for you and that you have all those new fishies to care for. We will look forward to some pictures, maybe?


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