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Ich becoming worse! What am I doing wrong?
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Shai
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Location: Calgary, AB

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)9:27    Post subject: Ich becoming worse! What am I doing wrong? Reply with quote

I have been fighting my first ever ich outbreak in my planted 10g. I read a good deal of the ich sticky (it's so long...) as well as other articles about the parasite and have done the following:

- raised the temp to 31C (87F)
- dosed API's Super Ich Cure according to package directions
- performed water changes
- lowered the water level to increase surface agitation/aeration

Today is the tenth day since ich first manifested (but only the sixth or so day at 31C) and my fish have more parasites on them now than they did at the beginning.

I haven't lost any of them yet (and hope not to start!) but I think what I've been doing isn't effective. I'm at work currently and can't test my water until this evening, but I condition using Prime and do regular water changes, and prior to the outbreak and during there have been no spikes of any sort. (Ich manifested after introducing new fish to the tank.)

Any advice on what I should do differently will be appreciated!
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mattpeck
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Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Location: Fayetteville, NC (USA)

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)9:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

What/how many fish are in the 10 gallon right now? That might help.

I have never used the API product, I prefer the liquid ich cures on the market, usually malachite green. I have tetras, and they recommend using only a 1/2 dose. However, because I had a similarly long outbreak I ended up using the full dose, 1/2 dose in the AM and 1/2 dose in the PM. This caused dramatic improvement in all my fish and cured it in 4 days.

You may want to do the same and dose 1 capsule a day, rather than waiting 48 hours for both capsules. Or switch over to malachite green.
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Bob
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Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Location: UK

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)10:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

87f is extremly high, I would normally only raise it to 80f.

Do you have any carbon in your filter, carbon will "clean" medications out of a tank, so making them useless.

I have never used the API stuff before.

My normal tips for dealing with Ich are as follows:

Temp to 80f
Remove Carbon
Add airstone (As temps go up the Oxygen level in water goes down)
Follow instructions of medication carefully

The basic idea behind these are as follows, the Ich bugs can only be killed when they are free swimming and come in direct contact with the medication, by raising the temp (To 80f) you speed up the Ich lifecycle and hopefully all the bugs go through the lifecycle whilst the medication is in the tank (Normally a week).

Are you getting new white spots?

It could be by raising the temp so high, you have infact stopped the lifecycle of the Ich bugs so they are not coming off the fish.

Bob
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Cathy G
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Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)10:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible that you are seeing the tail end here, even though there are more cysts. Remember, ich can only be killed in the freeswimming stage. So, they might have hatched and began looking for a host right before you turned up the heat. With your heat this high, you are speeding up their life cycles so the cysts you are seeing now should be gone in 3 days or so. Watch to make sure no more come up after that.

If you are not satisfied with the medicine approach, may I suggest salt? It is less stressful for the fish. Sensitive plants might not make it, but many plants will come through just fine.

Good that you added extra aeration. Adding even more by using a bubble wand/airstone is very helpful since ich attacks their gills and higher temps mean less dissolved oxygen.

If you go the salt route, put your carbon back in and do water change, be sure to keep the heat up. Then gradually increase salt to 2 teaspoons per gallon...

Hang in there!
Cathy
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Shai
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Location: Calgary, AB

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)13:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick replies!

I don't use carbon at all. A balanced aquarium doesn't actually need it, and in a planted tank, carbon removes trace elements the plants could otherwise uptake for their own use. Obviously I'll have to get some to remove the meds, but for now, I have none on hand.

The inhabitants of the 10g are in my sig: 1 betta, 6 cherry barbs, 4 shrimp.

API Super Ich Cure is a liquid med, not a capsule. There was no Malachite Green available.

In reading up on ich treatment I came across a number of references which said that 30C was a recommended target temperature. Since it didn't seem to be effective, I bumped up one more degree.

The spots are definitely new.

I've read a lot of conflicting opinions about the effectiveness of salt in freshwater aquariums. I don't have any aquarium salt myself (nor even table salt, I don't use it) but if things don't improve I might as well try it!
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Cathy G
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Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)13:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are 2 excellent articles in the library here - I've followed these methods and have had no problems. If you add that extra aeration, that high a heat will not be too stressful.

As to salt, get some from your grocery store - just use the non-iodized stuff. If they are new spots, give them one more day and then switch to the salt.

Cathy
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haname
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)16:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

It should be noted that there is at least one strain of ich that has been found in fish bred in Florida that is resistant to heat treatment.

Salt is not good for plants, though they may be able to tolerate it for a short while depending on what types you have.

Can you set up a temporary hospital tank for the fish? It would help if you could, because then you could remove the fish, treat each one separately in a salt bath and put them in a bare tank, then wait 10 days for the ich to clear out of your main tank. Change water in main tank, equalize temperature in both tanks, then return the fish. The shrimp wouldn't need treatment since they don't get or carry ich.
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Shai
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Location: Calgary, AB

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)19:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three of the cherry barbs were dead when I arrived home today. By the look of things, at least one more, if not the rest, will follow in short order. : ( Thus the "Super Ich Cure" gets chucked in the garbage. Waste of money and fish!

Cathy G wrote:
There are 2 excellent articles in the library here

Yes, I read those, plus many other articles from other websites. I'll have another look.

haname wrote:
It should be noted that there is at least one strain of ich that has been found in fish bred in Florida that is resistant to heat treatment.

I read about that, too, but I don't live in Florida, I live in Canada. But I suppose it's still possible I could have ended up with that strain somehow.

haname wrote:
Salt is not good for plants

This was one of the reasons I was reluctant to try it. I have java fern, anubias nana, anubias afzelli, and hydrocotyle verticillata in this tank. The fern is not such a worry because the fern I have in my other tank is sprouting all kinds of baby plants, so I would be able to start over. It would be a shame to lose the adult plants though, plus the others too. Could I plant them temporarily in my 55g without risk of introducing the parasite to that tank?

haname wrote:
Can you set up a temporary hospital tank for the fish?

Not really, no. I have an empty 5.5g but the heater is unreliable (pilot light flickers, I don't trust it) and the filter that came with it is way too strong, so the current blasts through the tank. Nor do I have the funds right now to buy another one, or any other equipment. There is no such thing where I live as a $10 tank from Wal-Mart. The 5.5g came from there and was about $40.

I did a big water change just before posting, about 40% of the volume that was still in the tank, since three of the fish died. I also turned the temperature back down a degree, to 30C. Before I try salt, do I need to use carbon to remove the meds, or can I just get started now? Should I try salt baths for the remaining fish before adding salt to the tank itself, or do both?

Thanks for your help.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)19:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have to agree with haname, removing all fish to a quarantine tank for 2 weeks and dosing with an effective medication is my method of dealing with bad ich infestations. You can easily use a big plastic tub (I've used a 5gallon bucket before) for a quarantine if you have one, make sure to use something as a lid though. Medications make fish jump.

I'm not sure about salt baths (never used them for ich), I don't think ich trophozoites are affected by salt baths, are they? I know velvet parasites usually fall off in a salt bath.
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Shai
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Location: Calgary, AB

PostPosted: 2006.11.21(Tue)19:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

unissuh wrote:
I'd have to agree with haname, removing all fish to a quarantine tank for 2 weeks and dosing with an effective medication is my method of dealing with bad ich infestations. You can easily use a big plastic tub (I've used a 5gallon bucket before) for a quarantine if you have one, make sure to use something as a lid though. Medications make fish jump.

I understand the value in having a quarantine tank, but in this case, I don't really see what difference it would make putting the fish in a new tank...I would end up with double the work, treating fish in one and getting rid of ich in the other. Plus, the new tank wouldn't be cycled. Maybe I'm missing something?

Anyway, like I said, I can't do it anyway. Even if I used a bucket (which I don't have), I have no way to reliably heat it.
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