Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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roadcrew 08-31-2012 03:03 PM

my fish keep getting white spot
i i have had a tropical 60 gall tank and i had 29 fish and 1 by 1 most of them died i had some with white spot and i treted them but the white spot came back i have only 8 left what am i doing wrong.

Mikaila31 08-31-2012 03:38 PM

Get a copper based med and treat for a full 2 weeks AFTER all visible signs are gone. For part of its life cycle ich/whitespot is invisible to the human eye. So you need to continue treatment until you are positive it is gone. This includes all visible signs from the ich itself to any flashing or clamped fins the fish may have.

sidluckman 08-31-2012 04:31 PM

Copper is effective, but not always necessary. Ich can be eradicated with much milder medications. Copper should be used cautiously and accompanied by a test kit to monitor the precise amount of copper in solution. Too much, it can kill fish; too little, and it is ineffective. If used in tanks with lots of rockwork and substrate, the copper can be adsorbed by these and rendered ineffective. If using copper, treat in a bare bottom hospital tank. Copper is also toxic to inverts, so a tank treated with copper may not be acceptable if you intend to keep shrimp.

I would remove the remaining fish from the tank for treatment in a separate tank. Use caution if treating any scaleless fish or tetras. Malalchite green/formalin (aka QuickCure) is effective as is methylene blue. Ich can also be cured with increased heat, addition of aquarium salt and frequent water changes. An even milder medication, aquarisol, worked perfectly well for me. Also, ich medications can kill live plants-- another reason to treat in a hospital tank. I may be mistaken, but I believe this forum has a discussion of ich, prevention, cure and life cycle. I would read that thoroughly, as Ich will come up time and time again, and, like the common cold, it is no problem if you know how to deal with it.

Let your main tank remain void of fishes for a couple weeks to insure that the parasite has worked its way through its whole cycle and died out. As Mikaila mentioned, make absolutely sure no white spots remain on any fish. Each of thesespots is capable of producing hundreds of swimming stage parasites that can latch on to the fish and repeat the process. When the fish have remained without symptoms for a couple weeks you can return them to the tank.

Naturally, each time you add new fish, the risk of contamination is high. Isolate new fish for two weeks, and only add them to your 60 gallon if they remain spot-free. Otherwise treat them prior to introduction.

Good luck!


Pearl2011 08-31-2012 04:35 PM

AQ salt can help cure ich.

sidluckman 08-31-2012 05:36 PM

Pearl: your cat is a knucklehead! Love the picture.

Pearl2011 08-31-2012 08:10 PM

lol thanks sid! She also knocks stuff into the sink when she want water . . . and she is always happy when you dump handfuls on her.
Yep, knucklehead is good definition.

Mikaila31 09-01-2012 01:35 AM

Different people have different prefences. I use copper pretty much exclusively for external parasites. Most all my fish go through a copper treatment in quarintine as a preventive measure. I have used the med for years and it ha always been very effective. All meds have a lethal dose formalin and methyl blue are no different. Also BTW aquarisol is a copper medication.
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sidluckman 09-01-2012 02:27 AM

All absolutely true. Thanks for the correction. It has been so long since I used Aquarisol I didn't even realize it had copper in it. (This is the clear liquid sold in a clear plastic eye-drop type package, right?) Seems to be no longer available in my area, and a lot of meds that were formerly available are getting hard to find. Petco, because they are based in California where some of these chemicals are banned, no longer sells some of the most basic medications at any of its stores owing to the logistical problems and legal hassles that could ensue. Incidentally, the warnings on this product mention toxicity to invertebrates. I never much paid attention, since unwanted snails were the only invertebrates that were ever in my FW tanks, but since so many people are keeping various shrimp, now, take care to protect them.

Some Marine fish are so extremely sensitive to copper (e.g. dwarf angels) and perhaps it is owing to this and my coming at this from a SW versus FW perspective that I am particular about how copper is used. Indeed, earlier copper formulations were so toxic to some dwarf angels that some people didn't even try to treat them. It was like administering a lethal injection.

And there are instances where there isn't a lot besides copper that is effective. Marine velvet disease is one example. A number of years ago I remember a rather lively, fiery discussion took place in the pages of Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine surrounding whether or not copper should ever be used. Many marine keepers were complaining that long-term copper exposure produced negative long-term effects on fish (shortened life-span, organ damage) but to my knowledge no comprehensive data was collated to make the case one way or the other. So I, along with lots of other SW folk, sort of lived with the idea of using copper as "the only effective but nevertheless really dangerous and potentially deadly medication out there." My complaint to people who spoke against the use of copper was that they never gave a very good alternative treatment for Amyloodinium which is 100% fatal to fish, whereas copper, though arguably damaging, but can also be lifesaving. I rely on copper frequently, but I think doubly hard about what I am doing when dosing it, doing water changes and replacing a partial dose, etcetera.

With medications like Quick cure and Methylene blue, you get pretty specific dosing instructions: drops per gallon etcetera, and the emptier the tank, the easier it is to be accurate with your dosing. With many copper meds, such as Coppersafe, the instructions actually tell you to measure the copper with a copper test kit to determine whether you have achieved the critical level of the active ingredient. CopperPower which I just recently used with very good results on some new fish, is a much safer product, and instructs you use it at a rate of 1/2 oz per ten gallons. But each of these medications employs a different chemical form of copper, and not all copper is created equally: some forms of it are safer than others, some are longer lasting and more stable. By the way, both medications mentioned in this paragraph are intended for use in SW, so there's that, too.

I would still advise using a hospital tank even if using Methylene or QuickCure, since the staining potential is so real for these meds. I have experienced blue gravel, blue aquarium sealant, blue rockwork, and, as an additional warning, a spotty blue bathtub bottom from where a bucket of blue water met up with some scrubbing sponges my cats happened to knock into the tub. The resulting rectangular marks are a lasting tribute to the aesthetic risks of Methylene blue! Can you imagine what the stuff would do to white carpeting!?

sidluckman 09-01-2012 03:26 AM


When was this tank set up?

What kind of fish do you have?

What have you tried so far to cure the Ich?

Are there any other creatures (snails, frogs, newts, shrimp, crayfish) in the tank other than fish?

Do you know any other information about your tank such as water parameters?

Have you been doing regular partial water changes and filter maintenance. How much, how often?

Do you have access to a smaller tank that could serve as a Hospital tank?

Sixty gallons is a lot of water to treat. I suspect that if Ich keeps returning, you have under-medicated either in terms of duration or concentration. Putting medications in a large tank furnished with decor and calcareous materials like stone and gravel can compromise a medications' ability to work as it should.

So give us more to work with, and will will take another crack at it.

roadcrew 09-02-2012 03:16 PM

my tank was set up 6 months ago

fish i have
1 neon
2 swordtails
3 danios
2 catfish

water temp is 28c
i have been cleaning the filter every 3 to 4 days
and 20% water change

i now have a smaller tank that is 30liters not set up yet doing that monday night

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