treating for ich

klstewar

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Hi all,
I'm doing my first ich treatment. Already put in the aquarium salt and just put in some ich treatment that has malachite green in it. I guess I'm just wondering if it's OK that the tank is so bluish-green now. I mean, the stuff I put in was very blue-green, so I guess it's normal, but it just looks so weird!! I just need some reassurance!
 

Kelley

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Welcome to Fishlore

I'm not sure about your water. What I have been reading on the forums is that you can treat ICH by raising the temperature to 85 degrees. If you raise the temperature raise it by 1-2 degrees a day until you reach 85, then leave it at that temperature for 14 days. I hope all goes well for the fish in the tank.
 

Marc

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When I used it, the water wasn't too colored - but it was noticeable. If the water is thick blue/green, you might've used too much ;D

What kinds of fish are in the tank? If you have any catfish or scaleless fish, you may want to use a very small amount of salt (or none) and maybe use a little less medication.

Oh, and make sure (if you haven't already) take out the carbon from your filter as it will absorb the medication.
 

smillermom

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If you have tetras or scaleless fish like loaches, you have to cut your meds down in half. I use Quick Cure and love it. For my 30 gallon with tetras, they had only 15 drops a day to the regular 1 drop per gallon. I have concerns with the salt as it does not always work and for some fish, can be worse than the ich. Here's what has worked for me. Remove the carbon out of your filter. Day 1, give the first dosage. Each day after, do a partial water change before adding new meds so it does not build up to toxic levels. I always keep the temp at 84 and turn off the lights in my tank during the treatment as the lights attract the organisms. Treat until you no longer see ich on the fish and then continue with the treatment for a full 7 days after. The parasite hatches every few days so the free swimmers will die during this treatment. Your tank will turn blue as the silicone and air tubing will pick up the color. Make sure to use an airstone or something similiar so the is extra water movement and air as the bacteria dies off in higher temps and needs air to survive. I did not lose any fish during my lasts bout of ich and was very happy with how fast it was gone.
 

chickadee

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I respectfully have to put a slightly different slant to your advice here. The temperature of the tank NEEDS to be at 85 degrees for 14 days because the organism that is causing the disease leaves the body of the fishes at this temperature and if the temperature is turned down before the 14 days is complete, the organism will not be killed and will settle right back onto the fish and reinfect them. This is a magic formula but there are some good points that have been made.

1) we do not know what kinds of fish are in your tank - If you have catfish, sharks, loaches, or any other fish that does not have scales, please do not use salt in your tank and before you dump any medication into your tank be sure to read as most medications containing Malachite Green are toxic to these same fish. This is also true of medications containing Methylene Blue. These medications also play havoc with your biological filter.

2) While I have used Quick Cure and do like it, without the temperature raise to 85 and the length of time (14 days) the parasite is not really dead just dormant. Yes, the spots go away very fast but there is a time frame in the lifecycle of the parasite that has to be taken into consideration. The ones that went freeswimming into the water when you put the temperature up are only the beginning of the problem. The ones who are still emerging and hatching off the fish in the days to come need that time to be killed.

Rose
 

0morrokh

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Good advice Rose. I must disagree slightly with smillermom about turning off the lights during treatment. The fish are used to a normal day-night cycle and I think it would be stressful when suddenly the lights didn't come on.
Don't worry about the colored water--that is normal with a lot of meds. Your thermometer suction cup (if it is clear) and possibly aquarium silicone will turn that color too. ;D Please tell us what your fish are in the tank. Also, what is the name of the medication you are using?
 

hmoonchyld

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i have had to treat for ich before and i found the water changes to be most helpful. it is important to change out about 25% of the water every day before giving the treatment. i found it was easier to get in the habit of doing it at the same time every day for the 14 days straight. most treatment bottles i have seen say to treat for 7 days until the visable signs are gone and then for 7 days more to make sure the water is treated.

from what i understood from my research on the topic, the parasite is in the water all the time and the fish are usually fine and can fight it off. if a fish becomes sick for another reason or gets stressed, it causes their immune system to lower it's defenses and the parasite can take over. i have found that making sure there is as little stress as possible and using isolation for at least 3 days before adding a new fish can lower your chances of getting ich.

i have lost a few fish from ich and that is why i researched it so much. i didn't want to go through it again. i have guppies and platies. i constantly have babies in my tank. the harsh ich treatments and exessive salt are not an option for me. i keep my tank set on 82 degrees at all times. i add some salt to my tank when i change out some of the water just to try to keep a constand amount in there, but i never add more than a pinch at a time. i have one fish who is in isolation because he never really got over the ich, but i am begining to think he has a different problem that could have been started at birth.

everyone here has great advice for you to help you with your fish, but you really need to make sure their advice applies to your fish. you know what you have and we don't. find out as much as you can before you go all out with the treatment. if you do too much at one time and it's the wrong thing for your particular fish, you may find you don't have any fish left.

i wish you luck with this and i hope you figure out what works for you!
 

chickadee

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This is why my advice is the raise in temperature to 85 only and no meds or salt as that has been known to take care of the problem completely and will not hurt ANY fish. The only time I have known it not to be effective is when it was not done long enough or if the fish were too far gone before the treatment began.

Rose
 

smillermom

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Well, I see some of your points but do not some of them. They parasite hatches into free swimmers every 3 days. If you treat for 1 week after you have seen the last of the ich, it will kill off 2 cycles of the parasite. Unless you run extra air into the tank, keeping the temp at 85 can be stressful on the fish and it also depletes oxygen and bacteria in the tank. I guess it depends on how you want to do it, with or without meds. I have had ich only once and have had tanks for a long time.As for the lights, we are only talking 10-12 days and the fish get natural light as well as room darkness. I only turn off the lights until the spots are gone then continue with partial water removal and the meds for 1 week. Everyone has a different way to cure ich, personally, I do not like to add salt for any reason into a freshwater tank with fish that do not need that environment.
 

chickadee

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I have good reasons for not using the medications. Most of the Ich medications contain either Malachite Green or Methylene Blue. Both of these disturb the biological filter and cause a mini cycle situation to occur. If your fish have already been sick they really do not need to have any more stress factors to deal with.

Yes, of course, I do agree that there should always be airstones used with the temperatures at that level. The reason I forget sometimes to mention them is that I never run any aquarium without one going at all times anyway. It is just a good policy to have one to keep the "hot spots" stirred up and add more oxygen to the tank.

I lost a fish by leaving it in the dark for too long and as my friend the fish vet told me, disturbing its immune system by not seeing to it that it received enough light to replenish its Vitamin levels. He told me that they needed daily light in order to keep their immune systems healthy. So while I have heard pros and cons about having the light on and off, my personal experience says that, I believe what the man says. Fish can have bad problems from lack of light and they do not need more than one problem at a time. Again, this is my opinion, you may take it or not; but I feel I would be totally remiss in not explaining why I do what I do.

Rose
 

smillermom

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Interesting, I had never heard that about the immune system.  Thanks for explaning that, I appreciate any new info.  I truly believe in limiting meds so thanks, I do only use ich treatment and anto biotics as needed. One of the reasons I never recommend salt also is with any beginning hobby, some mistakes are made and one being the amount of salt added to the tanks during treatment. It can be overused and result in fish death. I don't think I have ever seen how much to use posted here. Hmmm, you know, a place with just articles and stickies for quick info would not be a bad idea!! By the way, love your name, I have tons of chickadees here for the winter months as I feed them and they are almost docile!
 

chromedragon

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I have two questions: 1. Where does this Ich come from? I read it is in the water. I have also read fish naturally have ich and other diseases and it doesn't appear until there is a change in the tank. 2. When the carbon is off, does this mean your filter is off or is JUST the carbon removed so that the medication is not absorbed?
 

0morrokh

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1. Ich is a parasite in the water that can attack the fish if they are suddenly stressed, like if the temp suddenly drops.
2. Never turn off the filter...you just have to remove any carbon from the filter or it will adsorb any medications.
 

ncje

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from what i understood from my research on the topic, the parasite is in the water all the time and the fish are usually fine and can fight it off. if a fish becomes sick for another reason or gets stressed, it causes their immune system to lower it's defenses and the parasite can take over
Ohhhhh I have ICH!!!!! It came in on my newly aquired plecos. Just noticed it today, my tank temp is fairly high, so I had to make a minimal adjustment to get temp up. I will change out 25% tomorrow, try and get rid of some of the swimmers. Not all my fish are showing signs, but most are.

Really stinks as the plecos I bought have white spots so I didnt pick it... and didnt quarantine. :S

Just want to note I have had fish with ich before. In both instances my fish neither suffered from stress or any other factor. I have found that full blown tank infestations are caused by a weak individual eventually succumbing undetected (in gills usually) then when the little **** burst out and multiply they do it in such numbers that there is no way for the others to avoid infection. In my case a highly infected outsider.

I have no one suffering and only a few detectable spots on those infected thus I am hoping I caught it soon enough to treat without loss.
 

ncje

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This morning checked my fish and about 50-60% of the spots have gone on all fish. SO raised temp has had an immediate effect. Water change this morning then back to normal routine but with high temp for two weeks. Looks ok from here.

Forgot to mention with higher water temp they are insanely hungry.
 

chickadee

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Hungry is good - it also means they do not know that they are sick. Great! So glad they are getting better. The real trick is to catch it early and it appears that you did so I am happy for you.

Rose
 

ncje

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Ok a day after raising temp about 90% of spots have gone. I can see this treatment is going to keep the water changes busy. Simply du to the fact hey are hungrier than usual and eat much faster.

Interestingly enough I seem to have the begginings of a pair bond starting and although its two different types of angel, I am pleased as its the best specimen of each I have.
 

ncje

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Todays update... only tow fish have spots now, one has one left the other has about 3-4. But almost entirely gone. I will do a 25% supplementary water change tonight. But things are looking better.
 

chickadee

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Great! and I do hope the pairing works out well. We will be anxious to hear if you have a spawn out of it.

I am so glad the ich is clearing up so nicely for you. You caught it in time before it had a chance to do lasting damage to your fish.

Rose
 

ncje

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Yep seems so. And now I am entirely spot free and all are happy. Just run this temp for the remainder of the required time and all good.
 
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