Copper Sulfate for ich
Greetings, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Tropical Fish Keeping Forum.
I am treating ich in my wife's 16 gallon bow-front. The tank contains two baby angelfish and a small blue ram- was once heavily planted, but i removed all the plants when i began a heat and salt treatment on Monday 2/24.
Everything was going well and spots were nearly gone less than 5 days later. Well, my wife, thinking it would help, bought Coppersafe( Mardel) anti-parasite medicine and dosed the tank. The fish seem to be fine and water parameters are holding steady. That was 3/1/2014
My concern is that i have read some articles on the web that are very critical of the use of copper. I am against using harsh or long-lasting chemicals in my thanks and copper sulfate seems to fall into that category. So i would be interested in anything anyone might know or experiences anyone may have had with using copper sulfate to treat ich. Its already in the tank, so also any advice on how to remove it from the water and gravel if you know how.
Will Prime neutralize copper sulfate?
Can i use natural meds like melafix with copper sulfate?
How does it affect plants, and can i ever replant the tank or do i need new gravel?
Is it a good medicine that you recommend?
What are some better alternatives?
What would be your next step if this were your tank?
Ive read the sticky's about meds and diseases, very good stuff, but if anyone has personal experience I would really like to hear how it went and if i should be worried long term about the tank. I'm especially concerned about how leftover copper sulfate will affect plants.
I think most of those colored ick meds are copper sulfate based and all I used to do is clean it out with a carbon insert in the HOB filter afterwards to get it out of the water and substrate. I know it does have adverse affects on some plants and snails which is why it's usually recommended to be used in a quarantine tank. However, adding plants and snails after being filtered out with carbon should be fine.
I heard the copper will hold in the silicone, so, say goodbye to keeping snails in that tank forever. /:
I've always been told if it was used, no inverts. I could be wrong but just forewarning you.
I don't own a tank that I haven't used copper sulfate in. Its my number one med and I use it as a preventative on all new fish in quarintine regardless of their health. I have a ton of snails too as well as cherry shrimp in tanks that have had copper in then in the past. I will add copper to tanks with snails, usually ramshorns and MTS and trust me your not gonna kill them off.
I've never had it bother plants to a significant degree, melafix and any of the other useless herbal tonics are more likely to do that in my experience.
Prime can neutralize copper but not anywhere near the amount you will be adding if you use copper sulfate.
I would not use anything as an alternative to copper, its highly effective.
Changing water is always the most effective way to remove any medication.
Thanks to all for responding. No more spots , but will keep treating for another 7 days to exterminate the parasite. Then daily large water changes to clear the tank of copper... stir the gravel, vacuum...
Any other tips for using copper sulfate or for treating ich? Thanks in advance for helping.
Continue full treatment for 7 days after all visible signs are gone. Then continue at 1/2 dosage for an additional week. Typically copper sulfate is a one dose thing, you don't keep adding it unless you change water.
You don't have to change temp. Temp will make things go faster but its not necessary.
As a preventative med I use it for quarantined fish usually for one week at full or half dose. Usually this is done at least a week into quarantine after the fish has shown no signs of illness. Which is also followed by deworming.
Copper sulfate and levamisole HCl are the two preventative meds I use on all quarantined fish. External parasites are extremely common in this hobby. Internal parasites are fairly rare but you can't really quarantine for them unless you have 2-3 month quarantine and even that isn't a guaranty. Copper sulfate because its a highly effective external parasite med that also has anti-bacterial and anti fungal abilities. It gets a bad rap and I'm not sure why. Mardel copper safe is the only really common copper med out there I believe. API use to make aquari sol which was a much more concentrated solution, 1ml treated 18 gallons, before they discontinued it. I bought a 1 pint bottle 6 years ago that I still use.
I deworm with levamisole HCl, which can be a bit hard to come by but there are a handful of sellers on ebay ATM. The copper sulfate usually a week treatment on healthy fish. The levamisole is only a 24-48 treatment and usually I will run the levamisole with the copper then change all the water. It varies a bit depending what I am treating. Wild caught fish may get dewormed twice a week or so apart. I've had two encounters with camallanus worms, by the time you ID the issue they have been there for at least a month. Light internal parasite loads typically have no symptoms. Levamisole is a really good med, fast, safe and highly effective. Only down side is measuring it can be a pain, ~99% pure my dosage is 0.1g per 10gal and I use a small digital scale for that.
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