Treating Ich? Removing Carbon?

FishSmart
  • #1
I recently bought some neon tetras from my LFS and unfortunately I didn’t check them/quarantine them and check and see if they were healthy. That was the biggest mistake because within the next few days I noticed that they started to get white spots and one of the neons died today. I just found out they had ich today, hoping I can get cure as soon as possible. I was thinking about getting Kordon’s Ich attack but I don’t know if that’s a good brand. Any suggestions?

Anyway I know that when treating the tanks it’s important to remove the carbon but the truth is I don’t know how to do that. I do know that there is carbon in the filter bag but I’ve never changed/removed it. If I remove it won’t it mess up my cycle?

ARE THERE ANY CURES THAT DONT NEED THE CARBON TO NEED REMOVED?!
 
Bettafishies126
  • #2
If possible (Not sure if all of your fish can handle warm water) raise the water temperature, this will make the medication kill the ich more quickly because it makes the ich mature faster and they are only sensitive to medication at a certain point in their life cycle. For medications I read that malachite green, methylene blue, quinine hydrochloride, and mepacrine hydrochloride are all effective and are available under several brand names, which I’m guessing is what the ich attack stuff you have is. As for the carbon I know some people take theirs out but I have no idea how you can do that without disrupting the cycle.
 
FishSmart
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
If possible (Not sure if all of your fish can handle warm water) raise the water temperature, this will make the medication kill the ich more quickly because it makes the ich mature faster and they are only sensitive to medication at a certain point in their life cycle. For medications I read that malachite green, methylene blue, quinine hydrochloride, and mepacrine hydrochloride are all effective and are available under several brand names, which I’m guessing is what the ich attack stuff you have is. As for the carbon I know some people take theirs out but I have no idea how you can do that without disrupting the cycle.

I have a dwarf Gourami, 11 neon tetras and two khulI loaches, I’m not sure if they can take high temperature, maybe you will know. And do I have to take my carbon out? What if I don’t? I’m really trying to avoid ruining my cycle.
 
Islandvic
  • #4
I have used Kordon Ich Attack and their Rid Ich + with success.

Raising the water temp to 86f helps also.

I would advise to look up on YouTube about "Ich life cycle". That will explain why very frequent vacs of the substrate and frequent water changes are required to remove any free floating Ich in the water column or on the substrate.

While using any meds, carbon has to be removed. Carbon will adsorb the medication rendering the treatment useless.

Also, if you use meds, treat the tank with the recommended dose every 12 hours, not once a day.

Medication only treats the free floating Ich, and not the Ich on the fish.

Treating with meds 2x a day helps ensure free floating Ich will get treated by the meds.

What brand/model of filter do you have?

If you have a filter that uses cartridges, remove it and use a pair of scissors to cut it open and dump out the carbon.

Also, here is a link to a froun thread for using DIY filter media. It has inexpensive and effective ideas to boost your filter's mechanical and biological filtration.

The link gives examples of how to substitute disposable cartridges for reusable media.

You can also cut out all of the floss from your existing media (leaving the inner plastic frame and carbon behind) and put it in with the new replacement media. That will transfer your beneficial bacteria.
 
Bettafishies126
  • #5
I’d raise it to at least 82° If you’re lower than that right now because that’s the minimum for treating ich, and the warmest recommended temperature for dwarf gourami but it could probably go higher for treatment I’m just not sure. For the carbon I read it’s recommended to remove the carbon so maybe try to find a tutorial or something online?
 
FishSmart
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I have used Kordon Ich Attack and their Rid Ich + with success.

Raising the water temp to 86f helps also.

I would advise to look up on YouTube about "Ich life cycle". That will explain why very frequent vacs of the substrate and frequent water changes are required to remove any free floating Ich in the water column or on the substrate.

While using any meds, carbon has to be removed. Carbon will adsorb the medication rendering the treatment useless.

Also, if you use meds, treat the tank with the recommended dose every 12 hours, not once a day.

Medication only treats the free floating Ich, and not the Ich on the fish.

Treating with meds 2x a day helps ensure free floating Ich will get treated by the meds.

What brand/model of filter do you have?

If you have a filter that uses cartridges, remove it and use a pair of scissors to cut it open and dump out the carbon.

Also, here is a link to a froun thread for using DIY filter media. It has inexpensive and effective ideas to boost your filter's mechanical and biological filtration.

The link gives examples of how to substitute disposable cartridges for reusable media.

You can also cut out all of the floss from your existing media (leaving the inner plastic frame and carbon behind) and put it in with the new replacement media. That will transfer your beneficial bacteria.

So what I got from this


1) It’s okay and good to purchase the Kordon Ich Attack(I’m going to get that)
2) Get the filter cartridge and cut out the carbon
What do I do after I cut out the carbon? Place the cartridge back into the tank?
3)Do water changes every three days
4)Treat meds every 12 hours? Twice?
I don’t understand that part?!


This seems very confusing and I’m really scared I will loose my cycle. I don’t understand the carbon part whatsoever. So there isn’t any other way to treat the ich without carbon?

I’d raise it to at least 82° If you’re lower than that right now because that’s the minimum for treating ich, and the warmest recommended temperature for dwarf gourami but it could probably go higher for treatment I’m just not sure. For the carbon I read it’s recommended to remove the carbon so maybe try to find a tutorial or something online?

Okay I will raise the tank temp to 82 but should I gradually go to 80 than 82? I’m really nervous about removing the carbon. I’ve never worked with that.
 
Bettafishies126
  • #7
The carbon is meant to make the water crystal clear, it absorbs any impurities so it will absorb medications. You will not lose your cycle as long as you place the cartridge back in after you cut out the carbon, don’t let it dry and don’t rinse it under any water besides old tank water if it needs to be rinsed for whatever reason. And yes raise the temperature slowly or you could shock your fish, but a lot of heaters are designed to heat water gradually for that reason so don’t worry about that.
 
FishSmart
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
The carbon is meant to make the water crystal clear, it absorbs any impurities so it will absorb medications. You will not lose your cycle as long as you place the cartridge back in after you cut out the carbon, don’t let it dry and don’t rinse it under any water besides old tank water if it needs to be rinsed for whatever reason. And yes raise the temperature slowly or you could shock your fish, but a lot of heaters are designed to heat water gradually for that reason so don’t worry about that.

So I believe I might be in luck or something haha but I found that this cartridge opens ups and the carbons inside(duh) but should I dump the carbon out and then close the cartridge back up and place it back? Should I keep the carbon or get new carbon?
 
Bettafishies126
  • #9
Dump the old carbon, is your filter dual cartridge? Or is there just one? If it is dual then when treatment is finished you can replace them one at a time weeks apart with new carbon filters without ruining the cycle
 
FishSmart
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Dump the old carbon, is your filter dual cartridge? Or is there just one? If it is dual then when treatment is finished you can replace them one at a time weeks apart with new carbon filters without ruining the cycle

Here’s what the filter looks like, it’s a Topfin silenstream 20 power filter
Image1551137173.346901.jpg
 
Islandvic
  • #11
Ok, well that is perfect!

I have the same model filter, ha. So I know all about it.

Yes, cut the carbon out and dispose of it. There will be some carbon pellets in the top and bottom have of the cartridge.

Carbon does not colonize the beneficial bacteria. Discarding it will have zero effect of the cycle.

Carbon will adsorb medications, tannins from wood, metals and other stuff from the water. There is such little carbon in those cartridges it really doesn't do very much. Carbon usually is depleted around 30 days and can no longer adsorb anything. The same carbon is not meant to be continuously used. Those who use carbon usually buy it in loose bulk, place it into a bag, and replenish it every 30-60 days.

Really the only thing in your filter currently that will colonize bacteria is the white floss on the cartridge. The blue plastic grid doesn't do much at all. There is more beneficial bacteria in your substrate than on that blue plastic, but I will get into that later.....

Whatever medication you buy, follow the directions for dosing the tank ( mL of medication per gallons of tank) that's on the label and treat the tank 2x a day, or once every 12 hours. The dose for both Kordon's Ich Attack and Rid Ich + is 5mL per 10 gallons of tank water.

It doesn't have to be exactly every 12 hours, my point was to just dose the tank 2x a day.

When the Ich tomonts burst and release all of the Ich tomites, the free floating tomite stage of the Ich life cycle is when the medication can kill it. Since you don't know when the tomonts are releasing the tomites, treating the tank 2x a day guarantees a dose of medication will be in the tank to start killing them off.

I had advised in my previous post to look on YouTube to learn about Ich life cycle. So please take a look at the video below, and it will start to make more since.


The frequent water changes, substrate vacs and medication should continue for 10 days after the last visible sign of Ich is gone from the fish. This will help ensure no Ich tomonts or free floating Ich tomites are in the water column or in the substrate.

Heat will speed up the life cycle of the Ich.

Kordon Rid Ich is not a harsh medication compared to most others brands.

Kordon's Rid Ich + has formalin and malachite green, which are a more common combination of medication to treat Ich. It is stronger than Ich Attack, but still slightly milder than some other brands.

I have used both meds in tanks with Kuhli's, pleco, ghost shrimp and corydoras with no problems.

Here is a link to the Kordon website.

Also, in my previous post, I gave a link to a thread on the forum for adding media to your filter. I suggest you take a look at it because about 75% of the examples given on that thread was using the Top Fin Silentstream 20 filter, the exact same filter you have.

I authored the thread, so I know that the ideas, suggestions and advice given on it will work 100% on your filter.

Eventually your cartridge will have to be replaced when it gets dirty, what happens to the beneficial bacteria then?

The linked thread will show you how keep all of the beneficial bacteria in your filter by using re-usable filter media. That way you will never have to worry about losing your nitrogen cycle.

There is even a method of continuing to use the cartridge, and being able to discard and replace it as needed, and still being able to keep your beneficial bacteria and your cycle going!

It is a lengthy thread, and I suggest reading it in its entirety. It has a ton of information which will be very useful to you.
 
FishSmart
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Ok, well that is perfect!

I have the same model filter, ha. So I know all about it.

Yes, cut the carbon out and dispose of it. There will be some carbon pellets in the top and bottom have of the cartridge.

Carbon does not colonize the beneficial bacteria. Discarding it will have zero effect of the cycle.

Carbon will adsorb medications, tannins from wood, metals and other stuff from the water. There is such little carbon in those cartridges it really doesn't do very much. Carbon usually is depleted around 30 days and can no longer adsorb anything. The same carbon is not meant to be continuously used. Those who use carbon usually buy it in loose bulk, place it into a bag, and replenish it every 30-60 days.

Really the only thing in your filter currently that will colonize bacteria is the white floss on the cartridge. The blue plastic grid doesn't do much at all. There is more beneficial bacteria in your substrate than on that blue plastic, but I will get into that later.....

Whatever medication you buy, follow the directions for dosing the tank ( mL of medication per gallons of tank) that's on the label and treat the tank 2x a day, or once every 12 hours. The dose for both Kordon's Ich Attack and Rid Ich + is 5mL per 10 gallons of tank water.

It doesn't have to be exactly every 12 hours, my point was to just dose the tank 2x a day.

When the Ich tomonts burst and release all of the Ich tomites, the free floating tomite stage of the Ich life cycle is when the medication can kill it. Since you don't know when the tomonts are releasing the tomites, treating the tank 2x a day guarantees a dose of medication will be in the tank to start killing them off.

I had advised in my previous post to look on YouTube to learn about Ich life cycle. So please take a look at the video below, and it will start to make more since.


The frequent water changes, substrate vacs and medication should continue for 10 days after the last visible sign of Ich is gone from the fish. This will help ensure no Ich tomonts or free floating Ich tomites are in the water column or in the substrate.

Heat will speed up the life cycle of the Ich.

Kordon Rid Ich is not a harsh medication compared to most others brands.

Kordon's Rid Ich + has formalin and malachite green, which are a more common combination of medication to treat Ich. It is stronger than Ich Attack, but still slightly milder than some other brands.

I have used both meds in tanks with Kuhli's, pleco, ghost shrimp and corydoras with no problems.

Here is a link to the Kordon website.

Also, in my previous post, I gave a link to a thread on the forum for adding media to your filter. I suggest you take a look at it because about 75% of the examples given on that thread was using the Top Fin Silentstream 20 filter, the exact same filter you have.

I authored the thread, so I know that the ideas, suggestions and advice given on it will work 100% on your filter.

Eventually your cartridge will have to be replaced when it gets dirty, what happens to the beneficial bacteria then?

The linked thread will show you how keep all of the beneficial bacteria in your filter by using re-usable filter media. That way you will never have to worry about losing your nitrogen cycle.

There is even a method of continuing to use the cartridge, and being able to discard and replace it as needed, and still being able to keep your beneficial bacteria and your cycle going!

It is a lengthy thread, and I suggest reading it in its entirety. It has a ton of information which will be very useful to you.

How can I thank you enough! Thanks so much for the information! I’ll be sure to get Kordon Ich Rid+ and dose twice a day. I just did a water change and I will continue to do them for the next nine days. THANKS!!
 
Islandvic
  • #13
Be forewarned about the neon tetras though, in my experience they can get stressed easily.

Also, for the 1st day or 2 of meds, I'd recommend dosing the Rid Ich + only 1x a day.

That will ensure your fish are ok with it.

Then bump up to 2x a day. And keep up with the substrate vac and water changes.

Even though my fish were fine with 2x a day treatments (ive treated on 3 different occasions on a 10 gallon and 20 g tank), there are always variables that may change another person's outcome.

It's a huge PITA with all the increased maintenance while treating, but it beats the fish being all overcome with Ich!

Good luck!
 
FishSmart
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Be forewarned about the neon tetras though, in my experience they can get stressed easily.

Also, for the 1st day or 2 of meds, I'd recommend dosing the Rid Ich + only 1x a day.

That will ensure your fish are ok with it.

Then bump up to 2x a day. And keep up with the substrate vac and water changes.

Even though my fish were fine with 2x a day treatments (ive treated on 3 different occasions on a 10 gallon and 20 g tank), there are always variables that may change another person's outcome.

It's a huge PITA with all the increased maintenance while treating, but it beats the fish being all overcome with Ich!

Good luck!

Update, unfortunately my local, local fish store did not have the Rid Ich plus so I couldn’t get that so I had to purchase pimafix... does anyone know if this works well enough too? I need to start dosing today.
 
Islandvic
  • #15
If it's the API brand Pimafix, I think that is an anti-fungal medication that uses natural ingredients.

I'm not sure if that treats Ich.

I would double check the label to see if it mentions Ich as an indication to use the Pimafix.

Regardless, I would advise for continued large water changes with a good vac of the substrate each time.

Also, were you able to raise the temp at all?
 
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