Treating Ich With Temp Increase - Not Going Up Fast Enough!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Mr The Plague, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. Mr The Plague

    Mr The PlagueNew MemberMember

    Hi all,

    I noticed some ich on a molly last night and I'm reluctant to treat with chemicals (I've got a couple sensitive new plecos still dealing with transfer shock). I have a couple questions about killing ich with heat.
    1) I usually keep my temp at about 80, but turned the heater up gradually all evening. By bedtime, it was still only about 83, so I turned it all the way up. Come morning, it's only 84.7, though I have the heater set to 88. It's not that the heater's too weak - it's just not turning itself on automatically enough to raise the temps a bit faster. It's still showing the red "off" light most of the time. Is this normal? Should I add another heater for the time being?

    2) I'm going to do daily water changes to help with the ich. Should I make the new water warmer to help the heater along, or will that just cause added stress as the warm water infuses the tank and then cools every day?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. KimberlyG

    KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    Everything you need to know is in the article below. (I have used this treatment)
    Curing ICH Naturally
  3. Ed204

    Ed204Well Known MemberMember

    Hi there,
    As @KimberlyG mentioned above, try checking out the thread.
    Also, in addition of warming up the water try adding aquarium salt as well.
    Freshwater parasites such as Ich can't stand salt, which causes them to die.
    @CindiL can help you out. :)
    Best Of Luck!
  4. BluMan1914

    BluMan1914Well Known MemberMember

    It's possible that the heaters calibration could be off, and the temperature could be higher. If you are sure that your heater is accurate (+/- .5°) I would say add the other heater, but make sure that you keep a very close eye on the temperture over the net few hours. Also, use two thermometers at opposite ends of the tank to get a overall temperture of the tank. Also the temperature to do the heat treatment is 86°. Keep it there for two full weeks and vacuum the substrate everyday or every other day. Even if the fish show no signs of Ich before the two weeks is up.
    Definitely do water changes. It's ok to go a few degrees higher with new water. But remember that the temp will go back down. To me it's best to try a temp match as close as possible to the temperatureof the tank as is, and to let the heater/s do the rest.
  5. KimberlyG

    KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    Do you have another thermometer that you could try? Make sure they are both reading the same. (If you are moving it from one tank to another you are going to have to soak it in hot bleach solution and rinse very very well. Let it air dry before you return it to the other tank)
  6. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    I really disagree with the posting linked to. There are no Ich spores, there are free swimming parasites. Heating to 86 is unnatural for many of our fish. Ich seems to be be more than one related parasite, and some have recently been shown to survive high temperatures.

    The heat system often works (on the majority of Ich forms/species), but it is not natural. And it works at a cost to many of our fish, damaging them, affecting their digestion, stressing them, shortening their lives and often killing them. It's also a little slow, and that leaves the fish being fed on by the parasite for longer. Every treatment has a cost.

    Salt is a harsh chemical (NaCI) for inland species, although for coastal fish like mollies, it is useful enough.

    I too have never had Ich return. When I see it, it's from new arrivals in the first few days. I never raise temperatures. I only use salt for coastal fish, and never for Ich. I do use Malachite green and formalin mixes, which are as unnatural as electrical heaters keeping fish 10 degrees above their range, or using harsh treatments on rainforest fish.

    Ich are resourceful little creatures, and we want to kill them. We are not curing anything, we are slaughtering parasites. All treatments are to kill, and that does some damage. You want a treatment that harms the fish the least.

    When new fish arrive with Ich, I use the dyes and clear the parasite in 3 days (but treat for 2-3 weeks). I kill the parasite before it has time to feed extensively on its victims, weakening them. I haven't lost a fish to Ich since cellphones had antennae.
  7. Discusluv

    DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    I understand the reasoning of the "natural cure," like heat and salt, in lieu of medications such as antibiotics (in regard to building disease resistance and/or liver stress), but Ich?? Ich is so easily and quickly treated by mild meds like Seachem's Paraguard that I don't the see the benefit of the OP relying on high heat- especially one new to fishkeeping. In other words, lots of variables (as seen above) can go wrong and Ich spreads so quickly. What am I missing here?-

    I was typing my own response as you were posting this- I agree with this 100%
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2017
  8. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    I've used the heat method with no issues and all my fish survived.
  9. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    As have I - with heat tolerant species who start out in good shape and a form of Ich that dies in heat, it works.
    But I don't think we can honestly call it a natural cure.
  10. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Not sure what you consider heat tolerant fish though any species can handle those raised temps since it's just temporary. When kept permanently at high temperatures, yes, that would shorten lifespans but again, 2 weeks is fine. I consider heat method more "natural" than using meds.