Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Sadie 11-20-2008 12:26 AM

Serpae Tetra long finned with Ich

After several months of just having just a yo-yo loach and an Oto (last suvivors) I ventured out on Monday and bought three long finned Serpae Tetras, 2 males, 1 female. Today I noticed the beginnings of Ich on the lip of the female. Question is Ick Guard II safe for these Tetras? I know I read something somewhere about Tetras having issues with some meds but I can't find it. This med is for scaleless fish and contains formalin (37% solution), victoria green, nitromersol and acriflavine. I have used this med before and still have some on hand. It calls for extra aeration but with the filter I have(Emperor the smaller one for 55gal tanks) I opted not to use more or the poor guys would be blown all around. Tank water moves enough to make the plants move very gently in half of the tank.

This tank is 20gal, fresh, set up 2 years, living plants,75 degrees F, water changed this morning (about 6-7 gal)-normally changed 2x week same amount, until new additions only fed algae wafers, bottom feeder wafers, shrimp pellets and on rare occasion frozen blood worms and this week added flakes back in for tetras, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates are up to 30ish.

With only the bottom feeders for a while is has been really hard to keep the nitrates down even with trying to remove the extra food (algae wafers) so these should start to go down hopefully.

Current occupants 1 Yo-Yo Loach, 1 Oto, 3 long-finned Serpae Tetras, 1 mystery snail, and a 2-3 Ghost Shimp left (loach snacks).

thanks Sadie

satwood 11-23-2008 01:27 PM


I'm far from an expert here so my advice would be to search this forum rather extensively for various strategies for treating ICH. I just went through the experience myself and decided against the medicines in favor of high temperature and salt. The ICH parasite has a very well understood life cycle and it cna only be easily erradicated in one free-swimming phase. That means you need to use the medication for many days and hope you catch the right cycle. It works but the medicine, especially the Victoria Green could permanently stain your tank and requires you remove the carbon from your filter.

Instead, I raised my tank temp slowly over 2 days to 85 degrees and over the same timeframe I added salt to a concentration of about 0.6 teaspoons per gallon. There are numerous posts around about this strategy and how long to maintain it, and how much salt to use. I used a low dosage because I was afraid of killing my cories. My plants did suffer a bit but after a 14 day cycle my ICH appears in check. My cories did fine. I started changing out water after about 10 days and lowring the temperature over several days. It takes as long as 21 days to completely get back to normal this way.

This apprach is likely safer for Tetras than the medicine as I understand it. Look around a bit more and let me know how you make out.


Kim 11-26-2008 08:29 PM

Don't quote me, but if the medication says that it is for scaleless fish, then it is probably moderately gentle and should be fine with the tetras. I have never used the salt method myself, but there is a thread right now on someone who's using that you may want to read. I have used Quick Cure on a betta and his ick was gone in one cycle of the meds; I want to say 10 days for that.

Keep us posted.

aunt kymmie 11-26-2008 09:27 PM

Yep, that thread about treating for Ich with salt/temp is me and I'm not having much luck. I'm 17 days into treatment and VERY discouraged over seeing new friggin white spots everday. I've followed the instructions to the letter (same as Satwood) and am most likely going to have to breakdown and treat with meds. I'm giving it one more day and tomorrow morning if I see one spot I'm going to start meds. Such a bummer as I wanted to treat "naturally".

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