Please Tell Me This Isn't Ich.

  • #1
A bit worried after seeing my pleco all covered in dots.
Just another headache to deal with.

I just.... I don't want to lose ANYMORE FISH!! AHHHHH!!!!!

This beauty is usually very hidey, but loooves this rock.
I didn't see any dots about two days ago when I did a tank inspection and heavily checked all my fish except this one. Due to how fast and hidey it is, it's a bit difficult trying to really check it. But luckily it held still long enough tk get these pictures.

I've heard just raising the heat can treat ich, but I've got some temperature sensitive fish in there and I'm running out of places to keep them.

How contagious is ich? I've heard it's caused only due to stress or poor water conditions, but I haven't done much with this tank over a week now.
I did put a new filter in a bit recently, and left the old one in for a while, but they're two different types.

I've just got important childbearing fish who I do not want to lose their babies.
jacob thompson
  • #2
Sorry can’t tell you that, it looks like ich to me. I can post an article that I found that is a good treatment for very sensitive fish when I get home. It’s called the west Texas treatment and the person who made it have used it with a Queen pleco which is an incredibly sensitive fish. Found it, here is the link.
Ich Treatment - West Texas Style
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  • #3
Going to have to pick up some salt then. Uhhhhg so unfortunate.
Another one of my sick fish is starting to get ich too.
I cannot! Lose any more fish! No more!
I cherish every baby soo much.

I'm really hoping it doesn't spread, and with how bad it is on the pleco I hope it will be able to make it through.

I suppose I should make another thread, but my plecos don't take any interest in food ever. They prefer to clean the tank than come out for a feeding, I know this basically starves them.
Hoping I can get some vegetables that they will eat.
  • #4
Going to have to pick up some salt then. Uhhhhg so unfortunate.
Another one of my sick fish is starting to get ich too.
I cannot! Lose any more fish! No more!
I cherish every baby soo much.

I'm really hoping it doesn't spread, and with how bad it is on the pleco I hope it will be able to make it through.

I suppose I should make another thread, but my plecos don't take any interest in food ever. They prefer to clean the tank than come out for a feeding, I know this basically starves them.
Hoping I can get some vegetables that they will eat.

** forgot to add... I noticed you have cory’s... DO NOT add salt to the tank if they are in the same one... Cory’s do NOT tolerate salt....

Yup as mentioned it’s ich... IMO anyway... it’s pretty bad... not sure how familiar you are with ich but if your fish can tolerate it over then next several hours increase your temp (along with the salt)
I would inspect every single fish- note that when ich starts on a fish you will see it on their fins usually before the body so you have to look really close...
I would also do a really good substrate vacuuming especially if you have a strong cycle already I would get every nook and cranny...
but with the salt (I don’t know how many fish you have but I give mine baths or dips and you can literally see the ich spores falling off them... and then with the heat increase it speeds up the life cycle of the ich... a lot of people don’t quite understand how it works... basically each one of those tiny dots you see will burst and release thousands of microscopic bacteria into your substrate.... decor... plants... everything... then what happens is when a fish swims by that micro bacteria will re attach to any fish and will grow back into the spore (the white part you can see) and it will repeat and repeat until it’s died off... so you need to get that fish treated quickly (I would do a bath or dip because when they fall off they will mostly fall into the separate bucket rather than your tank)
By increasing the temp, like I said it makes the life cycle of the ich go faster (the micro bacteria’s can only live off a fish for around 24-48 hours) and the heat will speed everything up... the bursting of the spores and shorten then time they can live off of a fish...
If you do a good clean and don’t notice any spots on any of the other fish you may be able to combat it quickly...
Have you added any new fish lately? (Wasn’t sure if you meant you just added the livebearers or if you just meant they were pregnant) Ich can occur for many other reasons... like stress if you haven’t added new fish... so stress could be coming from not enough to eat... also your tanks are fairly small (from your profile, unless it’s not up to date or I missed something... it could be stressed because it’s in too small of a tank)

So lastly about the feeding... people think Plecos can live off of the stuff in the tank but they shouldn’t... I had a hard time finding something my pleco would eat also and then I started feeding the HikarI algae waffers in the green bag... they are pretty big waffers and my plecos LOVE them it’s the only actual “food” they will climb down from anywhere to eat them once they sense them in their tanks lol
Also a or a common pleco? Hard to tell from the picture and my crappy phone lol... could be stress from not a proper diet, could be something else stressing it out... like if you have another pleco (people don’t realize but they can often get so competitive for food they will start to “attack” one another and because yours won’t eat that may be a possibility... but if you just added fish and didn’t QT them, that’s probably it... but definitely inspect every fish looking at the fins first... and then get the salt in and increase the temp... if it starts getting worse then you will have to resort to meds unfortunately because you don’t want your fish wipes out... because that’s a pretty bad case...
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  • #5
I had a super big issue lately, I had my cories spawn and found a bunch of molly fry as well as one of my black mollies dying. I got a replacement and put it in a totally different tank so it wouldn't be with any sick fish, eventually the babies showed up and I had to scramble finding food, and containers for them to live in, the only "new" fish I added to the 20 was a baby betta who had been in it's own tank and cup for a bit as well.
The baby is doing well, sometimes gets a bit overwhelmed but has a lot of places to hide if someone bothers it.

Before I added this new fish, every fish I owned except the babies had to be temporarily put in my 20 gallon.
This only lasted about 4 days, and prior to this my tanks had shared a bit of water, and all fish were healthy, until the sudden black molly death.
She was perfectly healthy and I took a great video of her swimming happy before she suddenly sank to the bottom and died.

If this already got confusing here is the order of events which may have caused a bit of stress lately
1 unexpected molly death
2 unexpected fry and eggs
3 some fish moved due to lack of tanks, eggs and death
(does not include Pleco, he stayed in his 20 the whole time and has only been taken out twice when I've done super good cleans and rearrangements)
4 more tanks purchased, fish spread out among smaller tanks betta added (no water shared between tanks)
5 fungus outbreak on two black mollies indcluding that prior healthy look replacement (in different tank than betta)
Which lead me to believe it was possibly sick before I added it, since no one else was having issues
6 post "fish plague affecting multiple tanks"
After finding my mollies sick and silver molly having a burst eye from scratching herself
7 boyfriend bought fungal cure and treated silver molly, weak black molly found dead, other barely surviving
8 fungal treatment added to black molly tank, silver molly added(were in same tank prior), found guppy from different tank dead and fins rotted, added other guppy as precaution due to weak swimming
9 next day, fish swimming better in fungal tank, still looking sick, silver molly eye healing, black molly swimming weakly
Got general cure as recommended by Gypsy13 set up new container with new filter and old biomedia from affected tank with affected fish and semI healthy loaches
Added general cure to 15 gallon tub, fish seem unaffected yet stable at day 2
10 ich found on panda molly in fungal tank,
Ich found on pleco in 20 gal
Ich possibly on pregnant platy in 20 gal
Fish eating well aside from
Super Red Calico Pleco as seen in pictures,
I do have two more plecos who have been in the same tank as this one, but they are now elsewhere and have shown no issues.

As gypsy thought, some of my fish have been a little bit of everywhere, but prior to these issues I had all fish at least two months, the oldest ones dating back to four months ago.
  • #6
Ya that’s a lot of moving and probably stress related... seems like a lot of deaths... the first thing I would do is get this ich thing under control (again don’t add salt ever to tank with Corycats or other scaleless fish you may have like loaches etc...) it’s very bad for them....

I would not put another fish in ANY of the tanks until you figure out all these deaths and ich and such problems... are your parameters ok in all of the tanks and I’d be checking them all for signs of ich and other disease symptoms... Molly’s are fairly hardy fish so you have so many die so quick I’m wondering what your water quality is like... so again check all tank parameter... make sure every time you do a water change you add prime or a decent dechlorinator... and I wouldn’t be moving anything else around until you get it figured out... I’d be doing smaller (25% max) water changes on all tanks nearly every other day until you can go for about a month or 2 without any unexpected deaths....
Also, even though all your tanks likely come from the same water source ect I hope you were acclimating all these fish while moving them around... I have tanks that all come from the same water yet have different ph’s and such because of what’s in the tank (driftwood vs no driftwood for example) but that is a bad bad case from the looks of it and like I mentioned each time just one of those little dots (spores) bursts.. it sends out thousands of bacteria you can’t even see... and you won’t see it until it re attaches to another fish and grows back into a spore.... I would give that pleco a good salt bath on its own... unfortunately it may even be too late... I find myself that using table salt (must be non iodized!!!) that part is very important but if you put a couple spoon fulls in a large bucket with temp matched water (or use aquarium water in the bucket) but I just use fresh temp matched- dechlorinated and then I stir in the salt really good and leave the fish for about 15-30 minutes depending on how they react... I’ve never done this with a pleco but many many times with other fish...and as I said you can literally see the ich spores falling off the fish and into the bucket... don’t over due it on the salt if you use table stuff again it has to be not iodized!!! But that’s the way I always do it and have never had an issue
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  • #7
I definitely know I'm a bit in over my head.
I try to give them a happy life, and what they need, but I have a hard time finding it sometimes.

I've kinda got a problem with trying to make myself happy using animals and other objects, to the point where I get a bit obsessive over it.
I've only lost 4 fish out of the many others I've got, one of them being totally unrelated to this.
So three to this sickness already.
My water definitely isn't the best, but some of those issues came from having them all in the same tank, so I've been working on making that better, and the other part of it not being so good is the fact that my water source isn't very good.

I always acclimate my fish for half an hour of more, making sure them temp is exactly the same, adding a bit of water to them every so often so they get used to bacteria levels and every other chemical level there is. And I always do a little test on the water they came in as well, just to see how they're being kept at the shops.
I also sometimes acclimate them in a separate tank with the main tank water, leave them in there a bit then finally introduce them to the other fish.
I had an issue with a juliI cory dying when I did something as simple as change the water, so I started being a bit more careful with all my fish.

How would you treat cories who do get ich if they ever do? And ooooh boy am I in for some fun trying to catch that Super red.
  • #8
They usually raise the temp first (most natural way) and then use meds.... any fish like that has a really bad intolerance to salt so don’t even add any aquarium salt to your tanks with cory’s or other things like loaches.... but if the Cory’s are not in that tank with the pleco it may be easier to treat the tank if you think you will have too much trouble catching it
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  • #9
I thought it would be difficult to catch him since usually it is, but I got him pretty easily.
My tank is at 72 and I got a salt bath to 73.
I'm going to try carrots since I don't seem to have any veggies other than onion, shallots, and bell peppers.
Wasn't sure if they could have bell peppers.
Turned the heater up a bit. But the other problem is that my heater isn't heating as much as it should, I had it set at 76 but it was only at 72, I may have to move it more to the middle of the tank.
I also only have one heater, the other fish didn't exactly need one since room temperature was 68, and they could all tolerate this, while staying fairly active.
I have plans to get a larger tank or two but I have to find one that fits.
  • #10
What type of fish do you have that will live comfortably at 68????
And in order for the heat to have any impact on the ich it needs to go up to the mid 80’s
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  • #11
Most of my cories actually prefer the lower temperature, when my heater was working normally I had tried having them at a slightly higher temp, probably around 74 or so since the other fish I have sometimes rather it to be a bit warmer.
My cories are most acive between 64 and 68, and spawn at 66-68, any higher and she just sits there with her eggs in her belly and doesn't let them go until it's dropped again.
When fish who prefer it a bit warmer were introduced, the temp was raised a few degrees.
Not sure when my heater stopped working as well as it did, but again, the higher the temp for my cories the less active they are and less happy to me it seems.

Life has been so difficult lately and this just makes it even harder. Everything was fine the first 3-4 months.
Not really sure how it happened like this.
I know I'll be glad when everything gets sorted out again, this is really frustrating.

Slowly my heater is starting to not keep the waters temp. It will drop to 70 or lower while I'm at work due to living in a basement.
I'm running into more issues this week than I can count...
Heater isn't even 4 months old.
  • #12
My two cents.
Corys do like cooler water. They can also tolerate salt. Any fish can be “salt sensitive”. Scaleless fish have to be monitored very closely and the salt levels should be lower but I monitor all of my fish closely during any kind of treatment.
Stable water parameters are as important as great parameter numbers. The up and downs of the temps in these tanks can only be stressful to your finbabies. Hence the ich and deaths. It’s very important to figure out who is going where and leave them. And, just my opinion, the last thing I’d be wanting in your situation is fry. Of any kind.
Last the pleco. It could be the ich has caused severe damage. But it doesn’t sound like it’s been eating well for you since you got it. Have you any green veggies in your freezer? Broccoli? Green peas?
I wish I could hug your fish all ok for you. Very heartbreaking.
  • #13
Hello.. Good luck with the tank. The one time I had ick 5 yreas ago I dosed the tank with
Microbe-lift Herbtana 100% natural expellant for parasitic diseases
This stuff works... give it a reading also check out Artemiss,with all you have going on recently
this may be the boost it needs...
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  • #14
Yeah I wasn't ready for the fry at all.
Luckily, they have been doing very well and are, for the most part, healthy and disease free.
One of my bosses has a larger tank, I think a 39, which is where I plan to keep some of the larger babies once I get it.

I think I just jumped too deep without any life support, now I'm reaping the consequences of my actions and unfortunately so are my fin babies.

Temp has been more sporadic lately than it has been, prior to some of these events the temp was very stable at 68-70 with very slow changes only due to the environment the tank is in.

We may have frozen broccoli. Ill have to check what I have.

Thank you all for your advice. I'm hoping they all recover and settle well into their forever homes.
  • #15
How many fry do you have? and what are they? Depending on what they are you should start planning on getting rid of what you can now... I know my lfs will buy mine but that’s because I know them personally and they know how I care for my fish (probably better quality than their suppliers lol) so that’s something you could look into... but the bigger they grow the worse you are going to get... by the sounds of it some of your tank may be over stocked still (maybe not yet but don’t forget the fish will grow) and any livebearers you have will be pregnant basically all the time... and they can hold s***m for long periods so they can give birth one week and the next week and so on... they can be pregnant like several times at once if that makes sense... if any of your new fish can be exchanged and are livebearers you should try and get them all females (could try all males depending on what they are but usually you will have less issues with all females then all males) but you certainly don’t need anymore fish... are you planning on getting bigger tanks or something? I’m a little confused by your profile... it looks like you have a few 10g’s (to small for livebearers) and a couple 15 gallon buckets? I’m not sure what that means or what your keeping in there but a bucket is not a suitable permanent home for any fish (I’m hoping you have filters on them and I’m assuming you do but still not a suitable permanent home.... for livebearers you will want a decent sized tank... a 10 gallon is not big enough for them... again, I’m not sure what livebearers you have but the more popular ones (mollies, platies, swordtails) 10 gallon is no where close.... so I would maybe work on getting one large tank and then sell off your 10g’s... 10 gallon tanks really limit what you can keep... it really slims down your choices for fish that can live comfortably especially when your talking about have fry etc... with my fry I generally let nature take its course and just let the strongest survive... and they will... but the rest I would just let them get eaten until you have something set up more suitable for what you have... Cory’s can live at lower temps but depending on what you have in there with them may not be able to... just because fish appear to “act” normal does not always mean they are thriving... they can live but will suffer in the long run with... diseases... unexpected deaths and shorter lifespans....
are all of these tanks/ buckets cycled?
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  • #16
The fry are no where near the other fish, and never have been, once I found them they were put in a much smaller tank to grow, I've already talked to a few places about buying them, they are panda mollies and I've posted pictures of them before.
They're far too small to even think about selling soon. But they are growing quite well.

All of my fish are adolescents, and none kf these tanks are permanent homes. They are basically growing and quarantine tanks, I just only have one person who can pick up large tanks for me, and they're not always willing to do that, so I've had to buy more tens and use buckets, which I guess I should say tote, I am in no way planning on keeping my fish in there, I just needed to medicate some of them so I had to set something up.
I put in cycled filters and all my tanks and buckets alike are stable, I don't have any crazy fluctuations unless I create them.

My life in general is pretty hectic, so I use things to helo me get a control on certain aspects in my life. If I can handle fish and keep them alive it proves I can be consistant on things and do a good job. But it's much more than that. Fish hold sentimental value to me as some of my deceased family members owned them and passed the passion down to me.
I'm a messy person, with the way I don't clean things I can't put many tanks in my room.
But if I get fish I know will eventually need a bigger tank, I can motivate myself to get money, to clean, and to improve my living situation and the fishes.
All of these fish came from poorly stocked poorly conditioned tanks, they were all in worse shape than before I got them, (except he pleco)
Most were thin and uncared for, starved by the other fish, or they were the ones that everyone picked on because they were smaller or in the way.
I watched them all in the stores for quite a while, especially some of my cories, they came from walmart.
They got so much healthier when I got them. And when I first had them the livebearers were elsewhere, not with the cories, and I had reasearched every fishes enviornment and temperature before I decided to buy them, only mixed the cories with mid range 70's and kept them at 68 to simulate a cool time before the warm summer and cool summer rains.
Every bucket/tank has a cycled filter and a bit of established media in it.
Only the 20 gallon has a heater, I'm going to go buy another or two tomorrow.
It may seem like I'm unintelligent from how my fish are sick now and a few of the things I did earlier, but I simply wasn't capable of dealing with it alone and had no one to help, I barely make minimum wage where I work and had to support my family of six shortly after picking up my tanks, so there was a bit of time where I had to get a little lazy, then I started to make a consistant schedule and only after that did any fish get sick.
And still, the only help I have is advice from a fish forum, and some of it is more questioning me, than it is advising me how to help the mistakes I've made and am trying my best to deal with.

I wish they were healthy as much if not more than anyone else.
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  • #17
Everyone but the pleco likes peas.
Literally have no idea what to feed him. Going to try to get some zucchinI and cucumber, see if he eats that.
He held still long enough I was able to get a few 'spores' off, he seemed grateful for that, seems like they're a bit itchy right now.
Removed the spores that came off of him to reduce infection rate. He's still in a tub by himself in a cool salt bath since I've only got one heater.
Heading out soon to get another, and maybe some meds.

Got a larger heater, same brand, aqua top, I like them because they're adjustable unlike some others, and they're sleek looking.

Lfs friend gave me some live wood with lots of goodies on it for my pleco, doesn't seem to be eating it yet, but does take comfort in resting near it.
Going out to get more bubble stones and air pumps.
Pleco is doing a bit better today than yesterday, some spores are gone, and removed from water. Going to remove feces and uneaten food, see if he eats the live wood.

Emerald cories flashin more often. Will remove and treat with the general cure if necessary, Gypsy recommended it.
They do not have ich unless it's too small to see.
Probably related to the prior sickness of my mollies.
Also wanted to mention, if you ever look at my posts, I have some about my molly babies and all my other mollies and some other fish.
Here you will see I mention all of my mollies are female and I only have one male platy as I wanted to breed them but they didn't like each other.
Still not too fond, and separate at the moment.
The only other male fish I have would be my cories and possibly loaches, and plecos.
If I do not know the gender of a fish I generally refer to it as a he, just something I do.
My molly came pregnant, and had however many she had, and out of the 9 I found I have 7. As mentioned prior they basically already have homes as I've talked to many people about then, and again they are still too small to rid of, but aren't any headache or extra work.

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