Specific concern about the Ich I am dealing with

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by annewaldron, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. annewaldronValued MemberMember

    The Ich started out on some new fish that were introduced to my 30 gal planted tank after being in quarantine for two weeks. I'm using the natural heat method to deal with this. Tank usually hovers between 85.4° and 85.9°- my heater doesn't appear to be able to get it any higher than that. I've had the heat raised now for a week. I'm doing a water change and intense gravel vacuum two times per week. I understand that I should expect it to look worse before it gets better.

    So here's where I am right now:
    The new fish don't appear to have it anymore. However, it appears to have been transferred to the flame tetras that are one of the original inhabitants of this tank. These fish are bottom dwellers during certain portions of the day. They come out and swim around during the first 2/3 of the photoperiod and during lights off, but then hang out at the bottom in the back around the base of the plants for the rest of the lights-on period. Since the Ich parasite is known to drop off of the fish down to the gravel, I have this feeling that that's why the tetras have it, because they are hanging around down by the gravel also.

    How do I combat this? It seems like it will just be a ugly cycle of re-infection since the tetras hang out at the bottom.

    Will the Ich eventually die off due to the heat? Or do I need to consider something else?

    I have:
    Espei rasboras
    Flame tetras
    Furcata rainbowfish
    Amano shrimp
    Nerite snails
    Live plants
  2. ShineWell Known MemberMember

    85 may not be high enough. Most suggest a min of 86, and there are even some heat resistant strains out there that require a higher temp then that. If you can get the heat high enough you shouldn't have to worry about reinfection. What level the fish happen to swim at will have no impact so long as the larvae are dying before they can find a host.

    I'd suggest buying a heater that is up to the task of maintaining over 86* on your tank if you want to be sure of killing the parasite off.

  3. annewaldronValued MemberMember

    I do have a second slightly smaller heater that I use for the quarantine tank. Could I use both of them? Obviously I would have to keep an eye on the temperature just so that it doesn't get super out of control.
  4. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    That temp ought to be fine, but there is the slimmest possibility that it won't be. Adding the other heater is a good idea.

    To tell you the truth, I have long since stopped vacuuming while I treat for ich, and not once have I ever had a reinfection, nor have I had trouble getting rid of it in the first place. I'm not saying that to try to get you to not vacuum, but rather to show you that there is some wiggle room.
  5. annewaldronValued MemberMember

    So if I get the other heater in there and let's say, the temperature gets to 87°, is this a bad thing? What temperature should I not allow it to get to?
  6. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I don't go higher than 90. Anywhere between 86-90 is good.
  7. annewaldronValued MemberMember

    Well if I could get out of doing 2 vacuums per week that would be awesome, because it is kind of a pain in the butt to get in among the plants.

    The Ich seems to be ever so slightly less prominent in the tetras, and the temp is finally at 86.2 with the addition of the 2nd heater (I'm checking it every hour to be safe). As soon as I see no more "salt" on the fish, I'll keep the temp at 86-88 for 2 more weeks.

    Fingers crossed!
  8. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Leaving the temp up for 2 weeks after the spots are gone will certainly work, but most of us start the 2 week countdown from the day the tank reaches the elevated temp. It can take several days for the spots to disappear.

    I don't vacuum during the treatment, and my fish spend extra time in quarantine after the heat treatment - long enough to be reinfected. The last 2 show tanks to have ich in it (had fish from before I began mandatory treatments in quarantine) I treated with heat and did not vacuum. I've not once had a reinfection. Had the fish been reinfected, they surely would have shown spots after the hurricane. Anyways, my point is not to kill your plants vacuuming. Do what you can and don't fret about the rest :)
  9. annewaldronValued MemberMember

    I appreciate that advice, because I'd just recovered from a BBA outbreak and a wendtii melt-a-thon, so I really don't want to bother the plants right now-they're doing so well!

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