Treatig Ich on goldfish - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-20-2009, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
Treatig Ich on goldfish

I'm a dork.
[you can skip the next six paragraphs or so. They're just useless backstory]

Some of you have read about my recent acquiring of a 30 gallon with two over-sized goldfish and a HUGE koi (at least huge for a 30 gallon tank)

Well, I found them the greatest home ever and now I have the 30 gallon empty. I was planning on decorating it a bit, and watching the water a little more closely to assure that nothing is wrong with the cycle (it had a long drive, which could have broke the cycle but I'm not sure ATM because I don't have an amonnia test kit, only a Nitrate test kit.

So anyway, i had some free time and I was making the rounds of stores in my area that sell fish, just to kind of see what my options were (I was considering dishing out a bit (or, well, a lot) more money to order one online from a breeder) and I didn't see anything I liked until I remembered Walmart had fish.

Now, it's generally my policy not to support walmart at all, especially their awful fish/pet department... and I usually do a pretty good job.

BUT i found this tiny, gorgeous fantail who was just... beautiful.
I managed to leave, but kept thinking about him (and comparing him to the rest of the fish I saw at other places) and finally I decided I should get him.

Oh yeah. I forgot to mention. He also had a visible Ich infection. Thankfully, he was in the 'calico' tank because the 'gold' tank had fish with Ich so bad that they looked like it was just part of their coloration. Yuck!
Anyway, I asked if they give discounts for their sick fish (which was dumb since it was only three dollars anyway) and she said that they weren't allowed to sell them and I got really sad. She said they have to remove it from the tank (no joke!) and then they get credit from their supplier. But, he didn't have Ich very bad so I talked her into sellinmg him to me for full (3 dollars) price (after being reassured that they have a 90 day moneyback gaurentee anyway)

Now to the point.

I'm keeping him in a tiny 2.5 gallon hex tank with no substrate or decorations to treat him. I only have an undergravel filter for that tank and I figured it would be more work that it is worth, especially since I'll be doing really frequent water changes while he is in there.

My first question is if he'll be ok in that tank until he's treated (I'm hoping 2 weeks, tops) with no filter as long as I am doing daily water changes (I'll also have a bubbler/airstone in there, so he should be good on that front)
He'll also, of course be alone. I don't know how stressful that will be for him...

My next question involves heat. Everything I have read reccomends either using medication (which i would rather not buy/use) or using salt and heat to treat Ich. However, I know goldfish don't particularly like heat. Should I still use the heat with the salt or should I didtch that whole method and try medication? If I should/can use heat, how high should I raise the temp? I didn't put a thermometer in with him, but it's probably around 65f.

Thanks for any help, guys.

Last edited by aunt kymmie; 05-21-2009 at 08:24 AM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-21-2009, 07:28 AM
Twistersmom's Avatar
I think you posted a picture of the goldfish in his QT tank on another post?
If that was you goldfish, he looked small enough to be content in the small tank for a couple weeks with the daily water changes.
I have only treated my goldfish once for ick and I used Quick Cure. Although I have used the heat/salt treatment for my tropical fish, I would be afraid to use it on goldfish.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-21-2009, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
Yeah, that was him. There is a 20 gallon I could pick up from a friend to use as his quarantine tank, or well, I could just clear out the 30 gallon since there are no other fish in it right now, but it seems silly since he's so little and it would take so much more medication and a larger volume of water and conditioner for each change.
So I'm glad that little one seems reasonable.

I'll pick up some quick cure, I guess. He doesn't have it very badly (especially compared to some of the other goldfish at wal mart) I feel like i might even be able to take care of it with just salt (it sounds like the heat is only to make it faster?)
But I really just want to get it taken care of and be able to put him in the 30 gallon and then hopefully get some more fish.

I think I have a small heater somewhere, too. Maybe I'll at least raise the temp to 70ish since our house is so cold usually.

Thanks for the info. All the other sites and forums that I looked at didn't mention any problems with the heat and salt treatments, but it seems like a bad idea... Especially since my fish is already acclimated to cooler water.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-21-2009, 02:31 PM
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At 82 deg, the water is to warm for ick live on the fish. At 86 deg, this will kill any free swimming ick.
I think these temps are a little high for goldfish, but maybe someone else will chime in.
When I treated with the Quick Cure (NO HEAT), it took a little bit longer, but it did fix the problem.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-21-2009, 05:54 PM
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Your goldfish will be fine with salt treatment only. I'd increase temperature to at least 78-80. Even if it does not increase the lifecycle of ich as fast as it would in 82-86 range, the process can at least be tolerated by goldfish. Of course, switching on all airpumps is a must to ensure the goldfish is not deprived of its oxygen. Goldfish consume a lot of oxygen.

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post #6 of 7 Old 05-21-2009, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
Originally Posted by Lupin View Post
Your goldfish will be fine with salt treatment only. I'd increase temperature to at least 78-80. Even if it does not increase the lifecycle of ich as fast as it would in 82-86 range, the process can at least be tolerated by goldfish. Of course, switching on all airpumps is a must to ensure the goldfish is not deprived of its oxygen. Goldfish consume a lot of oxygen.

Ok. :) Thanks. That's kind of what I was thinking. I'll start bringing up the temp VERY slowly (if my small heater even still works) and keep working with the salt thing.

I already have some bubbles in there with him. I almost think it might be too much. It's such a small tank that it creates a pretty significant current. But I gave him a cave thing so he could hide from the current at least a little.
Anyway, it should be enough to keep the water oxygenated even with warmer temperatures.

I think one of his 'spot's or cysts or whatever has already come off. Hopefully I can be patient enough to treat the whole thing completely before I put him in the 30 gallon. I'd hate to have the whole thing start up again in a month or whatever and this time get ALL my goldfish.

Thanks again for the info, guys!
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-22-2009, 09:34 AM
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Good luck with the fish's treatment!

If it were me, I'd be using a medication to treat ich, but I've heard from lots of people that the salt method is effective, especially in not-so-severe cases.

Your fish love watching you as much as you love watching them. So please practice responsible fishkeeping.
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