Recovering from ich

egleason16

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On May 26th I discovered I had ich in my 20g. That night I allowed the temperature to climb to 84 and have been maintaining it around there since then. I also began do 50% water changes daily along with adding aquarium salt to help kick this ich in the rear. When it was first noticed, one of my fish had it bad and was completely covered in cysts, yet he was the only one so bad. All of the other 8 fish in the tank either did not have any visible cysts or had minimal ones (under 5). Now, after just finishing up my 6th day of salt and 50% water change + heat treatment I am seeing improvement. The fish who was covered in cysts still has some visible ones, but they are less in number and less pronounced. None of the other fish ever had the time to have a flare up either, so that’s good. When I first reached out for advice on how to handle ich, I was warned salt would kill my shrimp. I knew I had 2 ghost shrimp at one point, but I had not seen them in weeks even when purposely trying to spot them so I assumed they had been eaten and carried out with the salt plan. On day 5 of using salt (1 tablespoon for every 2 gallons) I found a shrimp- alive. I was shocked he was even in there, but double shocked that he would still be alive. I figured at that point to carry in with the salt because they had made it that far and I had just a few days left. Day #6, I found the other shrimp as well! The two of them were alive and very active, running about catching fish flakes during feeding. If I am seeing a visible improvement in my fish and my shrimp are still not dead, should I stop salt treatment early? Would that be a dumb move, allowing ich to gain it’s strength and come back? When I do decide to stop doing salt doses, is it better to do the process slowly, such as decreasing the amount of salt over a span of days? Regardless of the salt use I still plan to maintain 50% daily water changes for 2 weeks.
 

GlennO

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My understanding is that temp needs to be at least 86F to kill Ich. In fact I once had a strain of Ich that tolerated 88F. Some say that salt helps but I don't believe that it's necessary. I would just bump the temp to 86F and maintain it for at least a week (preferably two weeks if the tank inhabitants are not overly stressed) after the last sign of Ich. Ensure that you have plenty of aeration.
 
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egleason16

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GlennO said:
My understanding is that temp needs to be at least 86F to kill Ich. In fact I once had a strain of Ich that tolerated 88F. Some say that salt helps but I don't believe that it's necessary. I would just bump the temp to 86F and maintain it for at least a week (preferably two weeks if the tank inhabitants are not overly stressed) after the last sign of Ich. Ensure that you have plenty of aeration.
I would if I could but my tank temp reflects the temperature of my bedroom, which i usually try to keep at 78°. Once I discovered the ich, I minimized my use of the air conditioning and I increased the temp of air it blows. The weather has been cooler the past few days so the tank is holding steady around 82° now, but it should get very hot for the rest of the week and then I can keep the water much warmer.
 

GlennO

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Ok, well if you can't keep the temp at 86F I suggest using some Ich meds otherwise you're likely to have an ongoing issue. The only two reliable methods of treating Ich are heat and meds.
 
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egleason16

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GlennO said:
Ok, well if you can't keep the temp at 86F I suggest using some Ich meds otherwise you're likely to have an ongoing issue. The only two reliable methods of treating Ich are heat and meds.
Thank you for the input, I’ll consider buying ichX if the weather doesn’t hold the tank temperature high enough in the upcoming week.
 

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