75 Gallon Tank Urgent! Uncycled Goldfish Tanks Ich and Lice

  • #1
What is the water volume of the tank? 75 gallon, 65 gallon
How long has the tank been running? 2 months
Does it have a filter? Yes, both have filters that filter up to 90 gallons
Does it have a heater? Yes, adjustable, but natural temperature of water is 70/72 so that's where heater is normally set.
What is the water temperature? 72 degrees Farenheit
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
75 gallon:
- 2 Telescope Eye Goldfish
- 3 Ranchu Goldfish
- 1 Pearlscale Goldfish
- 1 Bubble Eye Goldfish
- 3 nerite snails
- 3 mystery snails

65 gallon:
- 1 Ryukin Goldfish
- 3 Oranda Goldfish
- 1 Tosakin Goldfish
- 3 nerite snails
- 3 mystery snails

How often do you change the water?
- Weekly
How much of the water do you change?
- 25%
What do you use to treat your water?
- Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
- Both

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
- Yes
What do you use to test the water?
- API Master Test Kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
(Tank has been treated with TetraSafeStart (3 days ago) so numbers may be off).
Ammonia: .25 - .5 ppm (both tanks)
Nitrite: 0 ppm (both tanks)
Nitrate: 20 ppm (both tanks)
pH: 7.2 (65 gallon) 6.6 (75 gallon)

How often do you feed your fish?
- 2 times a day
How much do you feed your fish?
- Enough that can be finished in under 3 minutes
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
- Hikari, Tetra, brand store vegetables
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
- Yes, brine shrimp and mixed variety once a week (blood worms, etc.)

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
- 1-2 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
- About a week and a half ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
- Ich and Lice, possibly internal parasites
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
- API Super Ich Cure; Completed and medicine removed (did not work)
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
- No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
- Flashing
- Lethargy
- Long, white, stringy poop (I've been feeding them less because of high ammonia, so this is most likely why)

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
I've been viewing this forum for the past year for all the help I've needed and I think it's finally time I made a post of my own. I'm going to try to make this as brief, yet as specific as I can due to the urgency of my problems. For the past two months I've been cycling my 65 gallon and 75 gallon tanks to ensure their readiness for 12 fancy goldfish that I purchased on eBay, making sure they were all from sellers with good reviews and ratings, as well as reaching out to each seller prior to purchasing my fish. In the past month and a half they started rolling in and I have slowly started introducing them after 2 weeks of quarantine, with everything going smoothly. I have 7 fancy goldfish in the 75 gallon and 5 in the 65 gallon. I read that this was ok when I had originally bought all the fish, but have learned this may be overstocked by maybe 1 fish in the tanks, which is not a huge deal to me considering I am committed to doing weekly water changes and have a good filtration system (cycles up to 90 gallons). That being said, all my fish were fine until I introduced plants from my LFS. I had been wary of purchasing any living things from LFS because of all the horrible things I've heard online. I, stupidly, didn't think I would need to quarantine the plants because I assumed the LFS had healthy tanks, therefore they went straight from the LFS into my tanks. This is definitely what triggered the sickness in my goldfish because now they have ich and freshwater lice. It took no longer than a week after I introduced the plants for me to notice the ich and I instantly treated it with API quick cure. I would have loved to do the heat and salt method, but I have goldfish that prefer cold water as well as plants and snails that don't like the salt. Treating it with medicine did not do much other than kill a lot of the beneficial bacteria in my cycled tanks. I no longer have a quarantine tank set up because I was in the process of moving the tanks and decided to dismantle it because I do not plan on buying anymore fish, nor did I suspect any fish would be sick. Little to my knowledge, a whole swarm of sickness would be coming my way. Not to mention, a quarantine tank would be useless at this point because I was using a 29 gallon and that would hardly be enough for even one goldfish, and both of the display tanks are fully infected, so I need to treat them both. On top of all this, my tanks have essentially become uncycled because of the medicine I was using, or at least the beneficial bacteria numbers significantly decreased, while the ammonia and nitrite levels were on a rise. I worked to get down these levels with water changes after I finished the ich treatment (before the ich made a surprise comeback), and managed to get it at a good level last Thursday, which is when I decided to add TetraSafeStart to help recycle my tank with the fish in them. Today I noticed that the ich is back, as well as lice on two of my fish in both of my tanks. I have a lot of questions and concerns, but please let me know if there's anything I missed, or that y'all want to know!

Treatment I've done so far (before I noticed lice):
- Treated with API Super Ich Cure with full dose, followed all directions, yet ich is still present in my tanks. It's not so horrible being that it's only on one fish's fins in the 65 gallon and hardly on another fish in the 75 gallon. It seems to have mostly worked, but I took all the medicine out with a 50% water change and activated carbon, in both tanks.
- Added TetraSafeStart to try and help my tank recycle faster.

I've also done extensive research about how I should treat my tanks and I've come up with this,
Treatment I plan on doing (completely ready to change treatment based on responses):
- Treat both tanks with Coppersafe after removing all plants and snails.
- My concerns with this are that, even though I'm using the least intense copper medicine, it is still a decently aggressive treatment and some of my fish are already weak. I don't want to lose any fish, but I've come to terms with the fact that I may have to lose some in order to get things back in order.

Symptoms my fish have displayed (Most of my fish are generally fine, but obviously they're still at risk because of the parasites in the water):
- Three of them have been flashing
- Clamped fins in about half of them
- Still eating, but a little lethargic

With all this noted, my questions are:
- How should I treat the ich + lice problem (copper (I'll be using Coppersafe) seems to be the only option at this point because it will treat the ich and lice, as well as others that I've missed.
- Regardless, I'll be removing plants because of the copper treatment, so should I add salt with the treatment, or is that too much for the fish?
- Should I go ahead and treat with prazi pro for internal parasites while I'm treating other parasites? I've read that it can be treated alongside Coppersafe in smaller doses, but may cause a bacterial bloom, which I'm not sure I can go ahead with in my not so cycled tanks.
- How do I go about treating my tanks while the tank is, basically, in the process of cycling again? (aka preferably no water changes during treatment because of the TetraSafeStart which was applied 3 days ago, but if I need to, I will in a heartbeat)
- If I treat with Copper, would I need to remove substrate, being that it absorbs a lot of the copper? My issue with this is that it would remove some beneficial bacteria that is reforming, and the water parameters are already a little shaky.
- My filters are currently on both on the left sides of my tanks because they were too close to the wall to place on the backs, but should they moved to a more central part of the tank to more effectively filter, or will they be fine where they are?

I know this is a lot, but any help is appreciated!

  • #2
Turn the heater up to 81°F
Go to petco and get ich meds. Dose as stated on the bottle and see who lives.
At this point you have disease in an uncylced tank so kill the ich,whoever pulls through pulls through.

  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I don't want to put the heater up any higher than around 76-78 because goldfish are coldwater and this would likely stress them out even further :( I also still have to worry about the lice on the fish, which the ich meds won't treat. Is getting rid of the parasites more crucial than the water parameters?
  • #4
Ich dies around 80°to 82 ° 78 wont cut it, the lice you may have to read up on, I do not know much about it
Pull out 90% of the water now,ich flows through the water column and clings around to others.
Change out the water....turn the heater up to 81°....
Good luck for you and the fish.
  • #5
turn up the heat, goldfish aren't coldwater fish, rainbow trout, most other trout, and salmon are coldwater fish. many goldfish are bred and raised in outdoor ponds in the Tropics, like Malaysia, Thailand, Phillippines, Brazil, Florida, etc.

BTW, its 86'F to kill off ich, but there are some ich that are heat tolerant. but turning up the heat will speed up the life cycle and instead of having to treat the tank for 3 weeks, it would reduce the treatment to 2 week.

i would recommend upping the water changes from 30% to 50%.

Seachem Prime/Safe will help with fish in cycling, since the bacteria might have been killed off by the medication.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
This is super helpful! Thank you! Just a few questions: So because I already dosed TetraSafeStart, should I just focus on getting their health back to normal and perform daily water changes of 30-50%, and just redose the safestart after the ich is gone? Also, what should I do about the lice parasite in the water and on my goldfish, if you know?
  • #7
I had a similar issue with my Panda Moors, so can share what I did to treat them. They were also bought online.

Once I got them as a bonus I got a couple lice, and who knows how many baby ones. They did go into isolation tank while I figure if that thing stuck on was gunk or what. So I got some tweezers, pure epsom salt, aquarium salt & tetra lifeguard. I prepared an epsom salt bath & clean water bath. I also had the 'big guns' on stand by just in case - like potassium permanganate. Also like yours one was even flashing.

I also prepared a little 'surgical' area all soaked with treated water so after I know where the lice are I removed one by one on my operating area and proceeded to use the tweezers to gently remove/shove off each lice. You have 2 minutes to do that, I personally don't go over 1.... if I failed I would put them back and wait a while before another. Careful, they can hop around! Also to note just removing them from water or a failed attempt to remove thus disturbing the lice stuck on may even get them to let go once you return them back into the tank so watch for that.

After I removed all visible lice I then placed into epsom salt bath for under 15 minutes, then onto holding in the clean water bath. After all three were done, I still noticed little small dots falling off the fish an into the bottom of bucket of the clean water bath.

From here I moved them into a smaller 10 gallon hospital (nothing in it at all but an air stone & heater) tank with mild aquarium salt for observation, but one started developing fin rot & not eating so much, very slow to respond. Another was not as slow but slow also responding. Tank temp was at 75 or 76... and did the full 5 days of tetra lifeguard treatment. To help I gave them plenty frozen foods, hikari blood worms & brine shrimp plus premium foods.

Just before next dose I did at least a 50% water change being sure to vacuum up everything at the bottom.

The above did it, and all three are healthy as can be!

Not knowing your resources I am sure you can find two food safe containers for baths and move everyone to the 75 at first. Completely empty out the 65, sterilize that sucker then refill maybe half or so to use as your hospital tank for all your goldies. Sorry not sure the sizes of your fish so go accordingly. Air stone & heater is all you should have in there...

This is just what I did, so sharing it. Others may have better suggestions but I do know those fishies are always being attacked so something like a lice attack can open them up to other forms of infections such as ich & fin rot... best to use a more general cure.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thank you so much! I'll set up everything for this tomorrow!
  • #9
Thank you so much! I'll set up everything for this tomorrow!

No problem and feel free to post with any questions and give us updates. Remember, all water needs to be relatively same temp. If your only comfortable with say 74 no biggy - it is a still an ideal temp for sub-tropical fish like fancy goldies.

Watch a few vids of other using these treatments so you get a good idea of what you need to do.

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