Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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aunt kymmie 11-09-2008 10:38 PM

HELP! My loaches have ICH
I'm desperately in need of some advice! I went on vacation and came home to a tank covered with algae and three of my seven clown loaches have very visible ich. :cry: I may never go on vacation again!

The basic Q & A:
1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons) 100gl
2. Is your aquarium setup freshwater or brackish water? fresh
3. How long the aquarium has been set up? 6 months
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know) 7 clowns, 7 yoyos, 1 pictus, 9 barbs, 3 rams, 1 bristle nose, 6 otos
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium? heavily planted
6. What temperature is the tank water currently? 78
7. What make/model filter are you using? built in wet/dry & magnum hot 350
8. Are you using a CO2 unit? No
9. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? No
10. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? This evening, 20 %
11. How often do you perform water changes? weekly
12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish? 2 x daily-cichlid formula pellets, sinking wafers, tropical crisps, 2 x weekly frozen bloodworms, beefheart, brine shrimp, fresh vegies
13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on? Coralife compact florescent 260 watts, moonlight LEDs. Compacts are on 10 to 12 hours, moonlite 4 hours.
14. What specific concerns bring you here at this time? ICH
15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Ph 7.8, amm 0,Nitrite 0, nitrate, 10
16. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips? Liquid
17. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank? Rams, six weeks ago, robust juveniles

Only the clowns are showing symptoms of ICH, at the moment.
I'd like to avoid meds and treat using high temp & salt. Is this advisable? If so, what amount of salt & how often? I know my loaches & pictus are sensitive to salt. Do I up the temp 1 degree daily and then sustain it at 83 for how many days?

Is using this method successful? Should I use meds instead? I had ICH in a smaller tank and treated with Super Ich Cure and it worked nicely but that tank did not have live plants, driftwood, or sensitive fish as my current tank does.

I know I read somewhere here on this forum about treating the tank using hi temp & salt but of course I can't find that thread now that I need it badly.

Can someone help me or direct me to the thread I need??
Thank you in advance, to anyone & everyone who can help me.
I'm stressed about this situation, to say the least.
Thanks- Kym

Little-Fizz 11-10-2008 06:09 AM

This is the treatment I used when treating ich I can't be sure but if you use half the dosage of salt and just dissolve it in a cup before adding any then you shouldn't have any problems.

Good luck!! Sorry to hear your home coming wasn't very nice.... Irresponsible fish babysitter?

aunt kymmie 11-10-2008 12:49 PM

That was the exact thread I was looking for! The person who wrote it had loaches so I'm going to assume his salt quantities are safe for loaches. Can anyone weigh in on this??

My babysitter did a great job as far as feeding but due to the algae growth I'm assuming the lights were left on too long during the day. I dose with Excel and didn't have him do that while I was gone as overdosing Excel can be fatal to the fish so I left that off his to-do list.

Little-Fizz- Did you use this method? Did it work well??
I'll go pick up some aquarium salt and start the treatment tonight.
Wish me luck! I don't care if the treatment kills my plants but I really don't want to lose any of my fish.

Little-Fizz 11-10-2008 01:33 PM

I can't advise as to the salt quantities... I think your right though, I think he did have loaches. He makes a comment on that thread that it had no ill effects on plants but I don't remember seeing loaches. I did use this method and it worked amazing, and it was in really easy steps so it went well. I wish you lots of luck, hopefully the loaches make a full recovery!!

iamntbatman 11-12-2008 09:31 PM

He didn't have clowns but he did have YoYo's and some very sensitive plecos and didn't lose any fish. I know other people with sensitive fish have used the method described in that thread with success.

satwood 11-14-2008 12:23 PM

I'm in the process of treating for ICH with high temp and salt. I used table salt as it does not add extra minerals that change the general hardness of the water. I don't know if the results will be different using aquarium salt. The aquarium salt is usually sea salt and it contains stuff that will drive up the ph of the water.

I'm not done with my cycle so I can't tell you for sure that it will work but I went to 85 degrees like his plan. I used a higher concentration of salt than he did, about 0.75 tsp/gallon after a few days of slowly adding. My fish were generally less sensitive except for the corys who are doing fine. I'm going to ramp down the same way he suggests/

Good luck

aunt kymmie 11-14-2008 01:10 PM

I'm using API Aquarium Salt. My ph has actually lowered using this salt. My ph was 7.8 and it is now 7.6.
I'm into day 6 of treatment and so far everyone in the tank is fine. I still see the white spots on the three clowns but hopefully they will fall off soon and the free swimming trophonts will be killed!

I can tell you that I'm not looking forward to the FOUR in a row water changes that will have to be performed on Days 9,10,11 & 12.

It's really nice using this method as it does not seem to be bothering my fish at all. This way is so much more preferable than dumping a bunch of meds into your tank. Good luck to both of us!!

willow 11-14-2008 01:53 PM

i really hope that your loaches will be ok.

satwood 11-14-2008 04:23 PM


Originally Posted by aunt kymmie (Post 152312)
I'm using API Aquarium Salt. My ph has actually lowered using this salt. My ph was 7.8 and it is now 7.6.

This is very interesting to me. I like the API salt, I've used it before, because it diffuses real slowly. I can put it in a net and let the filter output flow over it and produce a gentle blend. I was just concerned about the ph spike. Thanks for the info.

aunt kymmie 11-14-2008 04:48 PM

I wasn't sure how to add the salt so I took a gallon bucket and filled it with tank water. I added the salt to the bucket and stirred it until it was completely dissolved. I then slowly poured a steady stream into the prefilter of the tank. I thought this was the best way as to not "overwhelm" the tank.

I like that my ph now stands at 7.6 instead of 7.8. I imagine that after the four water changes to remove the salt the ph will go back to 7.8. The container that the salt comes in states that it can be used as a "general" tonic to improve fish health. I'll have to do some more research (after I get over this ich business) about using salt as a regular part of my tank's environment.

I'm still amazed that the current 85 degree temp combined with the salt concentration in the tank has not made one bit of difference in the behavior of my fish. They seem perfectly fine.

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