Where to go from here.... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-26-2013, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
Unhappy Where to go from here....

Noticed Ich on my fish yesterday. Read a lot, watched youtube videos, got the advice of my LFS guy that i trust...First dose of salt and 13 hours later...All my fish are dead.

I must have turned the temp up too much for that short time? i was between 75-78 now i am between 78-82 but closer to the 78 side.

There is nothing i can do now but move on. It may sound heartless but trust me, i am very disappointed in myself. I am really sad to see these guys go. Didn't think i cared that much when they were still around but like the saying goes "you don't know what you have until it's gone." But for this noob, what is the next step?

I had removed my live plants so that the salt would not kill them. Should i do a water change now to go ahead and dilute the water, re-introduce plants, and start the cycle over? Ir is there something else i need to do since fish died in my tank. Obviously there was ich...do i need to continue treatment or will a fishless cycle take care of that for me? From my understanding they will die off with no fish to host them.

Thanks guys. sorry you had to read the bad news of my lame mistake. Please hold your flame comments as i know i effed up and i am going to do everything i can to not repeat the same mistake.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-26-2013, 08:51 AM
If I was you, I'd do a total tear down, cleanup and start over.

I don't know how much salt you used, but there are effective medications for ick that I would use before using salt (just my $,02).

Father Knows Best but Abbey knows everything! I once knew everything, then I asked one question.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-26-2013, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
one table spoon in 6gal...i think i turned my temp too high...

how would you clean everything in a tear down?
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-26-2013, 09:25 AM
Completely empty and clean the tank with cool to just warm water with a splash of chlorine. Same with the filter. I'd set the gravel aside (too deep btw) and I'd switch to well washed sand. Otherwise, clean in very hot water and consider less depth.

The trouble with [deep] gravel is that it allows too much uneaten food and detritus to settle below where fish can get at it. This ultimately can allow a 'nitrate factory' to develop UNLESS aggressive gravel siphoning is done routinely. (Gravel siphoning is difficult with plants). A fight against a nitrate factory can be very tough to win.
With finer substrates like sand, there is almost never uneaten food and this organic material (mulm) remains on top of the substrate where it slowly decomposes to feed the plants or can be easily siphoned out during the weekly water change. In addition, bottom feeders like my Pepper Corys much prefer sand over gravel and do an excellent job of housekeeping.

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post #5 of 7 Old 02-26-2013, 10:50 AM
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Sorry to hear about your loss and trouble. I agree with AD and would go ahead and start over again giving the tank a thorough cleaning. With that the only thing I would do different is instead of using bleach I would use distilled white vinegar. It can be used as a good disinfectant along with other being used for cleaning. The important thing is that if you use either bleach or vinegar you need to make sure that you rinse things out very well and also don't use these products around livestock.

I would also use this time to go ahead and change the substrate over to sand. If you don't want to spend the big bucks on the sand from the pet store, play sand works just as well. I had used play sand in my 50 gallon planted when I had it running, and will be using it again in my 72 when I start setting it up.

If you don't already have a quarantine/hospital tank I would suggest thinking about swing one up. It can be done nice and simply with a 10 gallon tank a heater and a sponge filter. In the past I have used a qt tank and I have also just added the fish right into the tank. Not using a qt tank I see as taking a gamble when adding new fish, there its always the chance that the new fish could have something like ich that it could spread to the other fish.

Just another thought, in the future if you do have issues with ich again when increasing the temperature of your water, you want to make sure that you increase it slowly to the temperature that you are aiming for. Sudden changes will put more stress on the fish. Good luck and look forward to seeing your comeback
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-26-2013, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
Thanks barb. I am hoping to start setting up and cycling a 29-55 gallon here soon. If so, the fluval may end up being a qt tank. If/when the new set up starts i plan to move my live plants to that and then can just keep fake plants in the fluval allowing for treatments with no risk of losing plants.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-27-2013, 11:59 AM
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The ich issue was the topic in another thread [Best way for ME to get rid of ich. but I would just briefly mention here for the benefit of other readers that I agree with AD that the salt was the likely problem. A temp of 80F is not going to kill tetra unless they are kept at that temp (or higher) permanently. The best ich treatment is to raise the temp to 86F, providing the fish in the tank can manage with this for a week or two; not all can.

Salt is highly detrimental to all soft water fish, and a tablespoon in 6 gallons is a pretty high dose for such fish. Considering the stress they were already under (which is why they got ich to begin with), this only added to it. One reason why any medications must be very carefully thought out.

We have all gone through this learning curve, I'm sure.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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