My 1st challenge: Ich! (no white spots) I need your advice! Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by jen_jen_ng, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. jen_jen_ng

    jen_jen_ng New Member Member

    Tank: 10 gallon
    Tank: cycled; nitrate, ammonia, and ph are fine
    Filter: Tetra Whisper PF10
    Plants: Cabomba + Madagascar Lace
    Total fish: 2 guppies

    Details: My 2 guppies are showing early signs of Ich (deliberate scratching against gravel, and more and more frequently but NO white spots...yet).

    Here’s my plan:
    1) I’m planning to buy a heater for the tank.
    - One that can go up to 30 degrees Celsius at 50watt for my 10 gallon tank = it that correct?
    2) I also plan to get floating thermometer = is that good?

    Questions:
    A) So am I supposed to start this heat treatment for 14 days? Should it be longer since I noticed people who are doing it already saw white spots but I haven’t?
    B) If I raise the temperature up to speed up the Ich’s life cycle, does that mean I will see my guppies show white spots and then dropping it?
    C) Should I also add salt? If so, what brand would you suggest or something else?
    D) Should I remove and quarantine the plants separately? (any suggestions for products?)

    ****Please give me any additional info + guide! Greatly appreciated!
    - Jennifer
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  2. Butterfly

    Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    What your water test numbers? Fish rub decor for other reasons than ICH :)
    carol
     
  3. Prince Powder

    Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    I agree there could be a number of reasons for the rubbing. However I would still recommend getting a heater. Guppies can survive in a wider range of temperatures than most fish, however they thrive when temps are kept steady and between 78-80 degrees all the time. Steady temps will also do alot to keep your tank healthy so it's always a good idea to have a heater with even the hardiest of tropical fish.

    And yes, a 50w heater is perfect for a 10 gallon. :)
     




  4. Butterfly

    Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    AHHHH I missed that there was no heater :) A steady temp will help prevent ICH also because one of the reasons fish get ICH is because they got chilled, stress is another reason.
    Carol
     
  5. Prince Powder

    Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    I should also point out that when you change temperatures in your tank it must be done SLOWLY. At the most, raise it by ONE degree every 12-24 hours. Start off with the heater set for a few degrees below the tank temperature then start raising it slowly as I mentioned. If your tank is cooler than the lowest setting than start off with the heater set as low as possible and allow the tank to get to the heater's temp. Then leave it at that temp for at least 24 hours before raising it.

    Also, once your tank is heated, make sure that when you do water changes that you match the temperatures of the new water you're adding to the temperatures in the tank. For example, if your tank is 80 degrees, make sure the water from your tap that you are using is also 80 degrees.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  6. OP
    OP
    jen_jen_ng

    jen_jen_ng New Member Member

    Thank you so much for your reply, Carol
    I don't know my numbers, I just took a sample to a local fish pet store and have it tested. The guy told me the nitrite and ammonia numbers are normal (didn't give me the numbers). He also pointed out my Ph is a little high and said changing the water should solve the problem (i change 10% water weekly with conditioner).

    - About the stress that my guppies are experiencing... i noticed they are stuggling with the strong current caused by my hang on filter.
    - I already put a plastic cover in front of it to decrease/break down the current (attach a photo or video around next week or two, once i'm done with my exams at school T___T)...
    - I don't know if that will affect the filtration or oxygenation but my fish are calmer. they are not swimming as fast and crazy up and down. But they are mostly swimming near the surface of water (within 1 inch) but no signs of gasping for air.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  7. OP
    OP
    jen_jen_ng

    jen_jen_ng New Member Member

    Thank you so much for you tips about using the heater, Prince Powder (hehe, i love your name!)
    - Or else I would be rasing 1 degrees every hour or two (which i'm sure i read that somewhere when i googled about heating) =S
    - I will get the 50w for sure this week.

    Also about new water to tank
    - do you have any tips for making water to the same temperature as the tank's?
    - Initially, I turn on cold tap water, leave it over night beside the tank, add conditioner and then pour into tank.
    - so how should i do it differently since the temp will be raised by heater?
    - p.s. >.< i'm on a budget

    ~ Jennifer ~
     
  8. Jrobber

    Jrobber Well Known Member Member

    I just got done dealing with ICK and it cleared out my tank. As said above, slowly turn the heat up and make sure you do gravel vacuums twice a week.

    You have a small tank and I have read that smaller tanks are harder to take care of so you should get a water test kit. Test ASAP and see if your water parameters are causing the stress on your fish. Plus, your tank looks very, very new by your profile and I am not familiar Nutrafin (maybe someone else could help,) but you may very well be cycling your tank. It may take the chemical a week or so to work. Getting a test kit may very well explain your problems you are experiencing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  9. OP
    OP
    jen_jen_ng

    jen_jen_ng New Member Member

    Hi Jrobber, thanks for you reply :)
    I will start vacuuming twice a week then. Initially I did it once a week.

    yes, I cycled my tank for about 1 week with Nutrafin's Bio Cycle and had the water tested by a local pet fish store before buying the guppies. I will buy a kit this week as well. which ones do I need most? Ammonia? Nitrite? Ph? Any affordable brands to suggest?
     
  10. Prince Powder

    Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    As for matching the temperatures from tap to tank I just use warm tap water. Depending on how tight your budget is you can check that the temps are close by using a digital thermometer or getting a small cup or bowl and attaching one of those sticky thermometers to it. Then just fill the bowl and check the temp. If it's off then adjust the tap to make it warmer or cooler, empty the bowl and refill it. Using the strip thermometer isn't as accurate as a digital, but at least it will help you get within a good range.

    The Nutrafin Cycle is a product that claims to cycle your tank quickly, however it doesn't actually contain the natural bacteria for cycling. Because your tank is so new I would have to question whether or not your tank is completely cycled. However you will need a complete test kit in order to be sure. The API Freshwater Master Test Kit is one of the best out there and is the most used by the people on this site. It's not the most affordable, but is the most reliable. Being able to properly track your water parameters is extremely important so this is one of those items that it would be advised to spend the extra dollar on. All of the tests that API makes are available individually as well. The master kit contains tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, regular pH and high range pH. If cost is a major issue I would get at the very least the ammonia and nitrite tests as those two deal with potential toxic risks and therefore must be carefully monitored with a new tank. Eventually you will also need to get the nitrate and pH tests as well. It would be cheaper in the long run to get the master kit than to purchase the tests individually, but if you need to break up the costs than I would say ammonia and nitrite first followed by nitrate and pH.

    Just to be safe I would recommend picking up a bottle of Seachem Prime or Kordon's Amquel Plus. They are water conditioners that also detoxifies ammonia and nitrite. Again to be safe, start daily water changes with either the Prime or Amquel Plus. The scratching could actually be caused by ammonia in the tank irritating your fish. At this point don't do any gravel vacs until you can get a reliable test kit and be sure of your cycle. Your beneficial bacteria also colonizes on your gravel so you want to leave it as undisturbed as possible in the beginning. IF your fish do start to show definitive signs of ICH (the white spots) then you will need to do the two gravel vacs a week, but if it's not positively ICH then your cycle will have to be top priority.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  11. OP
    OP
    jen_jen_ng

    jen_jen_ng New Member Member

    Thank you so much for your time, Prince Powder!
    Your post is very informative. It's a relief to know it is possibly not Ich.
    I will definitely get the testers this week and get the waters right (I'll decide which one to get after I find out how much the master kit vs. singles are).
    I will consider buying Prime or Amquel Plus instead of Nutrafin Aqua Plus conditioner as well (since my conditioner is running out soon).

    So for now, (without definite signs of white spot) I should use the conditioners that you recommended and do 10% water change daily?

    Btw, is it a myth, or does hot tap water contain some chemicals that are more toxic than cold tap water? Does it matter/harm guppies?

    - Jennifer
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  12. jetajockey

    jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    the master kit at the local petsmart here runs about 30 dollars, but the benefit is that it tests for the 4 basic things that you need to keep an eye on. It's definitely worth the investment. (in both peace of mind and happy fish) God bless!
     
  13. OP
    OP
    jen_jen_ng

    jen_jen_ng New Member Member

    hehe, thanks for letting me know the price, Jetajockey~
    I definitely agree with you. I reeeeeeeeeally want to start enjoy and watch my guppies rather than squinting my eyes and track them for any odd behaviours and symtoms every single time I look at them :-[

    yeah, I know I really need to get the kits. The guppies were given to me as a gift in which neither my friend or I knew it would come with so much responsibilities and knowledge. But I fell in love with them immediately, so I don't mind going through all these trouble rather than giving it to some other random person and putting him or her in my position or who careless about the guppies. Unfortunately I maxed out my budget last week when I bought the tank, filter, plants, some decors, food, bio chem, conditioner, etc. (this explains why I rushed through the cycling of the tank within one week >.<)

    I vow to get as much I can this week:
    1) Master water test kit
    2) Heater
    3) Thermometer
    4) More water conditioner
    5) anything else? (do you think this will cost about $100? T___T)
     
  14. Jrobber

    Jrobber Well Known Member Member

    I've found that buying supplies online can save you a lot of money. For example, I paid $40 for the API Freshwater Master Test Kit from the LFS around here and then found it online for $21 plus shipping, but it's still cheaper than the store. My heater, I also paid $40 for and then found it online for $18.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    jen_jen_ng

    jen_jen_ng New Member Member

    Thanks for the tip, Jrobber =DDD

    any online shops you'd recommend? I only know and use ebay, not sure if they have much selections though. I'll have a look after I'm done studying (for this Tues exam)

    - Jennifer
     
  16. Jrobber

    Jrobber Well Known Member Member

  17. Prince Powder

    Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    Online prices are usually cheaper than in store, but remember to factor in shipping, sometimes that can bring the prices to just about the same as it would be in the store. There are links to some of the more commonly used websites at the top of the page, but I'm not sure which ones deliver to Canada or what cost differential would be for that as I believe the stores listed there are all US based. Some may have separate Canadian sites which you should be able to find in their about us sections. Also keep in mind the time delay of ordering online. I would not recommend waiting for the water conditioner as that is something you will need ASAP. If you won't have a long shipping time you might be able to wait for the test kit, but the heater you might want to get sooner as well. Ebay is actually a good place to start. I have seen numerous fish supplies available there, from air stones to tanks of all sizes. I know that even some retailers will list their brand new products on Ebay for even cheaper than they offer on their regular websites. You might even find someone listing a new condition product that is close enough to you for you to pick up in person rather than have shipped.

    I wouldn't want to quote prices since I'm not sure what things cost outside the US, but I will say that a heater is another piece of equipment you don't want to go cheap on. With heaters you get what you pay for and getting a more questionable brand because it's cheaper may lead to serious issues. Even good heaters can occasionally go haywire and leave you with cooked fish, however the likelihood of that happening with a more trusted brand is far less. Marineland makes good heaters as does Visitherm and Hydor. Going for one of these brands will give you the quality and reliability you need. They also tend to be easier to use. I have one heater that came in a tank starter kit I got. The heater has thus far proved reliable, but the knob is a pain to turn and it took several days of fiddling with it before I was able to get the temperature to where I wanted it. Fortunately I had no fish in the tank at the time. I also have a Hydor Theo which has very easy to read numbers and is accurate to within one degree. It was SUPER easy to set.

    As for the water changes: Since you are not sure of where your levels lie I would recommend changing 30-50% daily as opposed to only 10%. That should be sufficient to keep your levels low. You can start daily water changes even with the conditioner you have now. Even though your conditioner will not detoxify the leftover ammonia and nitrite at least the levels will be lowered which is a start.

    Oh! And in regards to hot tap water being more toxic than cold water I honestly don't know. I have never had any issues using warm water. If there are additional heavy metals or something in warm tap water a quality conditioner will help with that. Most water conditioners nowadays also remove heavy metals as well as chlorine and chloramine.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  18. OP
    OP
    jen_jen_ng

    jen_jen_ng New Member Member

    Thanks again for you detailed information! :;hug2
    You are right about getting a good quality heater. Also, everything that are mentioned so far are the foundation for a good healthy tank for my guppies, so there's not really any room for me to cut corners... hmph..

    Perhaps I'll try to get a good heater, thermometer, and more water conditioner this week. And I'll get the master water kit next week. Perhaps I'll get by this week by getting someone from Big Al's to help me test my water and record down the numbers so I can share with you all for further inquiry until I get the master kit...?

    _________________________________________________________________

    Question for everyone: (sorry for asking so much questions~~)

    As for the heater, I did some reading and found out that there are two kinds: one hangs into the water from the frame of the tank and the other is completely submersible (correct?). Which kind would you recommend (and also its brand)? My filter's current was really strong and it caused stress and swimming problems for my guppies (I already put some stuff in front of the current to break it down now). So would the heaters create any more currents? If I use the submersible, would it make that whole area too hot for the fish to swim to since my tank is only 10 gallon.

    Thank you all for your time and patience!
    ~ Jennifer ~ :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  19. Prince Powder

    Prince Powder Well Known Member Member

    Having the fish store test your water for now will be a start. Definitely have them write down your numbers. Most stores will test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH so see if you can get all four numbers and let us know where you stand. As for the heater, definitely go with submersible. Hang on the back heaters tend to be lower end and since heaters have minimum water levels to keep with a submersible heater you have a bit more wiggle room when it comes to natural evaporation in your tank as well as water changes where your water level will be dropped. No heater will affect your current at all, they don't work that way. As long as the temperature is set correctly it won't overheat your water and if you locate the heater near the filter then the current made by the filter will help disperse the water more efficiently allowing the heated water to circulate better.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    jen_jen_ng

    jen_jen_ng New Member Member

    Thanks for the tips, Prince Powder~
    You have no idea how appreciative I am! =)
    I will go to the fish store Friday (next two days).
    So please check back with me around then, when you have the time!

    ~ Jennifer ~
     




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