Treating ich without raising the temperature

  1. JaneAustenAddict Member Member

    I was just wondering the best way to go about treating ich without raising the temperature in the tank. Unfortunately the heater I have in my 5g tank does not have a dial to change the temp of the water. It is set for 78F and that is where it stays.

    I believe one of my bettas has ich. He has white spots that look like salt all over his head and he has been laying down quite a bit today.

    I was going to start with 50% water changes every day and go from there.

    Is ich a fungus or a parasite? I have fungus clear, parasite clear, and jungle labs anti-parasite medicated fish food, but I am unsure which to use.

    Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated.
  2. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Maybe you could use the heater from your new 10 gallon for a couple of weeks while it is cycling?
  3. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    with most fish, bettas especially, meds are too much on them...the higher temps with the extra gravel vacs and air stones, are best...they are stressed enough(if they have ich) that the meds might be too much ....
  4. JaneAustenAddict Member Member

    I was planning on using the heater from the 5g in the 10g since it is a 5-15 heater.

    Would extra water changes alone be enough? As I said earlier, I can't raise the temperature in the tank.
  5. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    no ..ich will still keep reproducing..they need the 83-84 temps to stop the grab the heater as mommybaby suggested...

    a tank will cycle without a heater, just takes a bit more time..but time isnt what you have with ich
  6. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    this is from wikipedia:
    The ciliate, Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, is an obligate parasite that affects all species of freshwater fish, causing the disease ichthyophthiriasis, which is commonly referred to as ich or white spot.
  7. harpua2002 Fishlore VIP Member

    You can try a copper-based medication, but as Shawnie said, most medications are very stressful for fish. If it is in the budget, invest in a heater with a thermostat that you control. You can slowly raise the temp up as high as 87-88 to make sure you kill the ich (as I understand it, there are some strains that are resistant to any cooler temps). Your fish will look worse at first, but this is because heat speeds up the life cycle of ich. Fortunately, heat kills the ich parasite in its free swimming stage, so it will help even though it looks worse for a time. Leave the temp up for 2 weeks after you see the last signs, just to make sure you got it all. Then slowly lower the temp.
  8. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    in terms where I understand it (LOL mommybaby those words are way too tough for me!!)

    ich = is the same thing as a common cold virus that humans get...its ALWAYS present in ALL fish tanks..but if your fish are healthy, fed right, tank parimeters are great, and not overcrowded, you will never see it...but if any of the above change drastically, fish get stressed and ich appears....only other way it happens is if you buy a fish with ich already present on the fish..(some people dont know its ich prior to the purchase)

    and once you can visible see ich with the human eye ( the salt spots) the ENTIRE tank is infected and needs the higher temps and such to treat..not just the individual fish that you can see the ich on
  9. JaneAustenAddict Member Member

    Good news and bad news. I found another heater. This one can't be set for a specific temperature though. I just have to watch the temp really closely and turn it off when it hits 83/84 and on when it begins to go lower.

    I would love to invest in another heater, but I haven't been able to find any for a 5g tank with a thermostat on it.
  10. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    heaters are so very cheap get one if you really think your fish have sure with the "black friday " sales, you might be able to find one!!....a constant steady temp is needed and a temp that changes up and down, will stress the fish more :( you cant watch it when you sleep and leave the home...
  11. JaneAustenAddict Member Member

    I can go to the pet store tomorrow and see if I can locate one (they are all closed already), but I really haven't seen many in stores for 5g tanks that have a thermostat. That's the main reason I have the thermometer that I do have.

    I'm guessing he had ich when I got him from the pet store and couldn't tell in the nasty death cup he was in. I haven't even had him for a whole week yet.
  12. harpua2002 Fishlore VIP Member

    +1. Temp swings are never good for a fish that is already stressed.

    More than likely. It often manifests first in the fish's gills where you can't see it. There's nothing you could have done. ;)
  13. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

  14. JaneAustenAddict Member Member

    Out of curiosity, if a heater says it is for say 20-40g tanks, can it be used in a 10g?
  15. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    honestly, i would try it and make sure you have a good thermometer
  16. JaneAustenAddict Member Member

    I went to the pet store this morning and picked up a heater with adjustable temperature for up to 10g aquariums. I am assuming this will work in the 5g tank and then when I am getting reading to move Jean-Claude to his new 10g tank I can use this heater instead of his old one.

    I want to adjust the temperature slowly so going from 78 to 84 isn't too big of a shock. How long should the temperature change take?

    Also, should I do a gravel vac and water change every day or every other day? Will doing it every day ruin the cycle?
  17. harpua2002 Fishlore VIP Member

    You may need to go higher than 84 IME. I worked for a LFS for a while and have treated ich many times. Many people advise against using salt here, and I agree, but ich treatment is the only time I will recommend using salt. In addition to the heat, salt helps to kill the ich parasite in its free swimming stage. Raise the temp over the course of a few days and the fish will tolerate it just fine.

    You can stick to your regular water change schedule, but of course doing extra changes never hurts.
  18. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Maybe gravel vacs 2-3 time a week? Also, maybe raise the temp 1-2 degrees a day?
  19. JaneAustenAddict Member Member

    He's starting to look pretty bad now. He is hiding in his dwarf hair grass and won't come out. Like I said I got the new heater and decided to start raising the temperature from 78 to 80 today. I was going to do 80 to 82 tomorrow and 82 to 84 on monday, but I am beginning to wonder if it is just too late.

    He has been in the same position for over 5 minutes without moving now.

    Can ich kill him? I just noticed the ich for the first time yesterday, is it possible that it can move this fast?

    I am beginning to feel so terrible. I just don't know what to do...

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  20. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    oh no!!!!!! fight jeanclaude!!
    is he totally covered in the ich? if not, its probably not the cause of his being so ill..although it doesnt help them a bit, it shouldnt kill fast if not completely covered..have you done a test on the water parimeters? maybe you have a mini cycle? adding the extra bubble rock for more air is a must also..warmer water has less oxygen....83-84 is high enough to kill the ich cycle....i wouldnt go higher as there is no need to stress them even do DAILY partial water changes with some prime and make sure you keep the temps the same as the dont want it to fluctuate and stress him takes water a few hours to raise a degree depending on the size of the a 10g, you can turn up the heater to 82 and it should take a day or so to get there....then the next day turn it up to 84...if you can, get him closer to the top with a big silk leafeed plant or a breeder net so he wont struggle for oxygen at the top.....Im pulling for him!!!!!!!

    EDIT...did you end up medicating him?