Ich Not Going Away With Heat, What to Do Next?
I've had an ich outbreak here and there before but been able to remedy it with heat and frequent water changes. Usually after a couple days of 84ºF the ich dies off and then I leave the temp there for an additional two weeks after the ich clears to ensure it's gone.
This time it hasn't been so easy. 84ºF did nothing after a week, so I bumped the temp to 88ºF for over a week, and not a single bit of ich cleared. I've dropped the temp to 84ºF again to reduce stress on the fish.
It's now been over a month and the ich seems here to stay, no amount of heat and/or water changes seems to be able to clear it.
What should my next course of action be? Or, at this point, is it sill even ich? It looks like ich, but it may be something else considering how resilient it has been.
I would be wondering if it is ich as well. Is it possible to post some pics?
At 88 you should have seen some results, at 85.5 degrees Ich is inhibited (but perhaps not prevented) from replicating.
At 84 however, there is nothing but a faster Ich cycle. Fish can normally fight off Ich if they are healthy and stress free, after all Ich is present in nearly all aqariums and fish stores (if a fish shows ich in a store, they'll remove the fish but not treat their entire multi-tank system).
It takes a temperature of 91 to outright kill Ich.
I would try using a medication, something like Coppersafe which is safe for use with live plants and I've used it without harming ghost shrip and malaysian trumpet snails. At 84 degrees, you should be spot free within 4 days (personal experience is 2 days for mild case of Ich). The full lifecycle of Ich will be somewhere between 4-6 days at that temperature. Treat for one full week.
Durig that week, do not perform water changes. Ich numbers in the hundreds and is everywhere in the tank. Changing the water will not achieve anything in terms of Ich, and should only be done if your tank is not cycled. The reason to not change water is to reduce stress, and not deal with the headache of dosing medication into the new water before adding it to the tank (to maintain constant medication level).
Thank you for that advice. I'll try not doing any water changes.
Should I lower the water level to increase surface agitation and hopefully keep the oxygen level up? I may try some meds, but I really don't like the idea of meds unless I have to.
Peculiarly, only my Cardinal Tetras have ich, my catfish and pleco have been great, zero signs of ich. It may be ich from the pet store that I can't get rid of, because the fish that I had before adding the Cardinals are still doing great.
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