Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Steph211 10-08-2013 01:18 PM

treating ich for first time - will this work?

I am treating a newly cycled 20g tank that currently only has 3 black skirt tetras in it. About a week after adding the fish, I noticed one of them had a couple of white specks. I went to the internet and couldn't decide if it was ich. Then a few days later another one had a speck and the first had a few more. After looking at internet photos, I think it's definitely ich. So then I researched ich treatment.

I am going to attempt using heat and salt and doing daily 50% water changes. Does that sound right? But my heater is cranked as far as it will go and I am only able to raise the water temp to 82 (that's with a digital thermometer). I heard I should aim for 86. Is 82 degrees enough heat to have an effect on the ich? I am also adding 2 tsp. of aquarium salt with each 50% water change (i.e. since I'm adding about 10 g. of fresh water each time, I'm going with 1 tsp. per 5 g.). Does that seem right?

I'd rather not try one of the medicines available since I've heard they're not always effective and because it sounds like they will kill the good bacteria I've only recently established.

From what I understand I should continue the treatment described above for a week after I stop seeing ich on the fish. Is that correct?

I appreciate any advice offered!


Ogre44 10-08-2013 01:57 PM

No salt with tetras, they do very poorly with it in the tank.

Steph211 10-08-2013 02:18 PM

But surely ich can't be good for them either, right? I don't normally add salt to my tank, but if I need to kill the ich I have to do something, right? I'm not sure tetras love the higher temp either, but if that inhibits the ich life cycle, I assume the theory is that the fish will put up with heat and salt for awhile if it's for the greater good of getting rid of the ich.

Ogre44 10-08-2013 02:26 PM

The salt will kill them much faster and much more definitively that ich will, tetras are very sensitive to it.
Raise the temp as high as you can and do frequent water changes to remove spores from the water column.

Agent13 10-08-2013 02:53 PM

No salt.. get the heat up to 86 and it will kill the ich. If your heater doesn't make the water hot enough try turning it all the way down next water change then back up a few minutes after you filed the tank..if that doesn't work then buy a new heater. Nothing kills ich better and safer then heat.

Steph211 10-08-2013 06:37 PM

Hmm, okay. Thank you for the tip on the heater. The knob goes up to 86 degrees, but when I use a thermometer to read the actual water temp, it say 82 degrees. I will try turning it all the way down and then all the way back up again. I won't put any more aquarium salt in. Will the raised heat and daily water changes be enough for the ich? Do I have the timeline correct to continue with heat and water changes for a week after I stop seeing any signs of ich on the fish? How do you know when the ich is truly gone from the tank?

jaysee 10-08-2013 08:28 PM

Heat alone is all that's needed to cure ich. You don't even have to do water changes. Yes, it's imperative that the temp be at least 86. Leave the temp at at least 86 for 2 weeks. You should see improvement after a few days and the fish should be almost completely, if not completely spot free after 5 days.

Steph211 10-08-2013 08:46 PM

Thanks, jaysee!

FishyFishy89 10-09-2013 01:20 AM

Note: there are some heat resistant ich strands. When my angel tank was infected with ich, I seemed to be the unlucky sap and got a heat resistant strand. If your's turns out to be heat resistant, pick up a bottle of Kordon Rid Ich+.

I had tried the salt treatment 1st before Kordon and lost HALF of my silver angels.

FishyFishy89 10-09-2013 01:21 AM

opps! double post!

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