Posted: 2011.09.26(Mon)19:03 Post subject: I think I have an Ich problem
1.) Please describe the symptoms in as much detail as possible, because we cannot see your fish or your tank. Include a photo if possible (optional).
Small white spots which have gotten larger over the past few days.
2.) Tank size (including dimensions like length, width) and how long it's been set up. Filtration type, gravel depth and type, decor. Do you have live plants?
55 gallon, 48" x 13" x 20". Setup 2 weeks ago. Rena XP2 filter, 2 1/2" gravel, One large rock in center, small rock with plastic plants, several plastic plants, small pillar decoration. No live plants.
3.) Temperature and all other water parameters you can measure. If you do not have testing supplies, take a 1/2 cup sample of your aquarium water to the local fish store and ask them to test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, GH and KH. Please record the numerical values for each test rather than a general comment such as 'water is fine' or 'all water parameters tested okay' or something like that.
Water temp was at 74F. Raised it to 76F yesterday and again to 78F today. The numbers here are best guess using the test strips I have: Nitrate= 0, Nitrite= 0-.5, GH= 75, Chlorine= 0, KH= 80, pH= 7.2
4.) Water Change schedule and volume. Water conditioners/additives. Water source (RO? DI? Tap?)
First water change today, 13 gallons of distilled water. Added 1mL per gallon. Also added a capful and a half of StartZyme as recommended on directions.
5.) Tank Mates (full population list).
Three Shabunkins, 2 Dwarf Gourami
6.) Anything noteworthy or changed within the past month.
Fish mouths open and close rapidly, but not their gills. It looks like they're gasping for air but being new to this I'm not sure what to look for. Also, there's a lot of white particles floating in the water that look like the spots on the fish.
7.) Food type, amount, frequency.
Pellets, as much as the Shabunkins will eat in 3-5 minutes and Tropical Flakes, as much as Shabunkins and Gourami will eat in 3-5 minutes. Whatever is left gets scooped out with the net.
8.) What treatments have you used so far?
The first thing I did was add aquarium salt as specified by the directions on the package. It helped some but after 3 days I decided to medicate. I used Tetra brand Ick Guard as per directions. Today I did a 30% water change and used QuickCure as per directions on package.
Ich spots stay the same size & look like grains of salt.
What your fish are showing is ammonia poisoning.
Lower the temperature to 74F over 2 days and start doing daily 40% water changes using tap water with dechlorinator - don't add anything else and don't use salt. Use the correct amount of dechlorinator for the water you add. Fine out if your water supplier uses chlorine or chloramine and dose accordingly.
Never use distilled water for a freshwater tank unless you are adding region specific supplements. It lacks minerals and is deadly to fish.
The spots are slime coat from the fish caused by ammonia burns and the Bob Bob Bob of their mouths is due to ammonia affecting their gills.
Can you return the dwarf gouramis as these are not compatible with goldfish and will die once the nitrite spike hits.
Feed sparingly - about a quarter of what you are using - alternate days until the water is sorted - probably about six weeks away.
thanks for the responses and I appreciate the advice. Being new to this is difficult. There's a lot to learn and I want my fish to be happy and healthy.
From the pictures I've seen and the people I've talked to, the spots are definitely Ich. They have that have the "grain of salt" look you're talking about. But some are larger than others. After using the aquarium salt and 2 doses of Ich meds, the Shabunkins have no more spots but the Gourami do.
I have taken water samples to the local pet store once a week since I started the tank. Both times I was told that all levels were good except the nitrite which was "a little high". From what I've seen on the boards it looks like there are additives which will help with that?
As for the water, the tap water here is so bad the city has received fines for several years over the pollutants in it. Very few people will drink it and I don't feel it would be safe for the fish either. Should I try Spring Water or Filtered?
I cannot return the fish I have but was assured that all of the fish I wanted could live in a community tank as long as the water was tested and kept at safe levels. Is this just completely off?
Do you still have the spare filter?
If the city water is poor you could use it to prefilter the tap water in a plastic tub or bin. If not you can trickle through these in a colander into a bin but don't let it run over!
24 hours with a filter packed with activated carbon & a polyfilter will sort most problems. Brita filters are not good for fish.
Add the declorinator to the bin before you fill it.
The only acceptable nitrite level is zero and using distilled water stalls this part of the cycle.
The way to remove it is by dilution or getting some gungy filter media from a healthy freshwater tank to seed your filter.
Goldfish and dwarf gouramis are not compatible and the three shubunkins alone actually overstock your tank. Do you know anyone with a pond?
I do still have the other filter and I may try that out when I do a water change.
As for the fish, I don't even know anyone with an aquarium, much less a pond. It was my understanding that each of the Shubunkins required 10 gallons of water when full grown. Apparently I have a complete misconception. I've seen tons of aquariums with 15 or so fish, most small but with 2-3 larger fish with them. This is what I was going for.
It is quite possible to have a 55 gallon tank with a few feature fish and a group of smaller ones however you have three goldfish which need all of the 55 gallons & possibly more as they grow as they can, including their tails, grow longer than the tank is wide.
What you have are calico comets, not quite the same as shubunkins but few sellers know the difference. They are identical in their requirements to comet goldfish.
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