Ich...Never ending battle...Help Please
Hi all, I have a major confusion and hoping someone may have some good suggestions. The problem is Ich! My tank keeps getting it and sadly each bout often results in some fish dying. When a occurance happens, I treat the tank with Malacite Green for a week past the last sign of it on any fish. This seems to help, but I've noticed that usually about a month later it happens again. Each time, I lose 1 to 2 fish...and it is very depressing. One time I tried raising the temp for treatment...this did nothing. Another time I completely cleaned out the tank...this helped that bout...but it again came back about a month later and it was VERY stressful to the fish. Basically...the Malacite Green treatment seems the best...but it doesn't seem to last or somehow ich gets back into the tank after treatment. I am very frustrated. Currently I have 2 Cherry barbs, 1 guppy (female...not pregnant anymore and babies got eatten), and neon tetra. The neon is the only original fish since this all started almost a year ago. He is my "superfishy" since he does well on his own (yes I know neons are schooling fish..but his friends have died) and he has lived through the ich bouts and a major ammonia spike dispite the rumor that neons are sensitive fish. Any help to get rid of ich once and for all forever would be wonderful!
My tank currently info:
2 Cherry barbs, 1 female guppy (not pregnant), 1 neon tetra. 15 gal tank. 20g Whisper filter. Temp normally 72-78 F. Lighting 20 Wtt on a timer for equal day/night cycle. Only very slight natural light during day. No live ornaments. Small amount Aquarium salt added for health. Eat premium flakes once a day (sub freeze dried bloodworm and a small algae disk once a week for variety diet and health). No medications except during Ich outbreak (the Malacite). pH 7.8, ammonia/nitrite/nitrate 0.00 (occassional temp flux to 0.01 at water change). Use liquid test kit. 10% water change done every 1.5 weeks.
again asking desperately for advise. I just lost my last guppy last night and one of the cherry barbs was acting poorly. I did direct treatment to the barb with Malacite Green as someone suggested. It showed a SEVERE infection..nearly the whole body was covered. It was placed in a quarantine tank. Sadly, the barb died tonight. Now I am only left with the other cherry barb and neon. The ich is still noticable on them and now I am noticing what looks like fin rot on the dorsal fin of the neon....meds dont seem to be working at all this time...please...any help is greatly appreciated!
In a mature tank (one year?) there should be some reading for Nitrates. The malachite green is hard on biological filter (good bacteria). You may have destroyed the beneficial bacteria and thus will need to allow the tank to mature(cycle) again. Filter material should be removed from the filter during medication. Should also be rinsed out with old aquarium water (swish it around in bucket) and stuck back in the filter till it begins to fall apart then replaced. I would also stop adding salt to the tank on regular basis and I would use a dechlorinator such as PRIME or AMQUEL+. Don't buy anymore fish. feed the remaining fish once a day and a small amount. Change five gal of water each week using a dechlorinator such as the two mentioned. Purchase a new heater and keep temp stable.
You're suggesting no filter for a week? Does this mean you think that the total amount of bacteria that will die will be greater with the filter in the water than out on a counter? If the majority of his biological filter is in his filter material (not sure what kind of filter he has), wont this cause a big spike in nitrites and ammonia?
Also, what's the reason for suggesting a new heater?
whtroze, when you increased the water temperature, was it during or in place of medication?
Does it always come back when you add fish? I was getting ich after adding fish from my local "pet store with fish". It only took a few minutes of looking at all of their fish to see ich on several (meaning millions are probably in the water!!!).
I think 1077 meant to say to remove any carbon from the filter when medicating. The filter floss/sponge can stay for mechanical filtration.
I'm also curious if you are adding new fish and then the ich attacks occur. That would make sense. But if you're not and it keeps coming back the only thing I can suggest is to treat a little longer than you were and be sure to vacuum the substrate to get any cysts that may be in the gravel. Maybe look for a different medication. Are you using just malachite Green by itself? I've used Quick Cure before which is Malachite Green and Formalin together and had good results.
As for recommending new heater,Original poster indicated normal temp of tank between 72 to 78 degrees . Fluctuating temps are not good for fish. I would want steady temp as opposed to the rather large temp swings indicated by original poster. Perhaps heater is too small or not functioning properly.
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