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Help with controlling crazy Ich problem
Hello, I have an Ich outbreak in my 5 gallon tank and I have been trying a bunch of treatments for a long time, and its stronger than ever it seems. This tank is having many problems, and its most likely my fault as I am new to all of this.
First, my favorite guppy had tail rot, to treat it as simply as I could I kept the water conditions as well as I could, low ammonia for an uncycled tank not over feeding and approx. 10% water changes ~every 3 days. Only got worse, scared of using heavy duty medicine, I got melafix, used it as directed for the 7 days, his tail kept falling apart.
Then I used API fungus powder, reluctantly, and just got done with the full treatment yesterday when I did a 25% change and gravel vacuum as directed. Fin rot is gone, yay.
But unfortunately as I am new to this, I didn't set up a quarantine tank (I had no other fish in the new tank) when I got the new guppies, I got 3 male guppies and 1 corey catfish all at the same same time, and they all had ich from the store(I didnt notice it). This was happening with the fin rot as well. This is a little messy to read, so I will try to clear it up a little, new tank established, no fish, let rest with a filter and plants for 2 days, went and get all the fish to put in, fin rot happened and seemed more deadly, but ich was present at start.
I bumped up the temp to 87/88 F, added some salt, and it is terrible. Its been like this for about 8 days. The ich is on their bodies and fins and its taking over. I know the heat treatment only works while the ich is swimming, but why are they getting worse? Do I just need to be patient, or get some ich treatment? I also have a nerite snail, just to throw that in there. But please help with some advice, Im doing my best here and really only care about help and not scolding for things Ive done wrong.
I've never heard of ich not responding positively to salt and heat. o-o Are you sure it's ich? There are a few nasties out there that can look similar to ich and wont respond to the same treatments.
Can you get us a photo, or even a video? =)
I wish I could tell you how to fix it. >< But ich tends to respond by breeding faster and then starting to be less in the tank after a mere few days of heat and salt, and if yours is worse it may be something else, or a type of ich that is strong to such treatment(that's a guess, I know there is more than one type of Ich, but I do not know if there are any strong to salt and heat).
Try cleaning out about 15-20% of the tank every day(I would say a tad more if we knew -for sure- it was Ich), add in something to help their slime coats like Stress Coat+. You will clean out some of the nasty if it's ich or a parasite that can live in the water for a time without a host. At least some of the dead if there are any.
As far as stocking goes...well, not right, nope, but it certainly shouldn't be killing the bioload. Problem is your cory is likely stressed out being all by himself, they're extremely sweet and social fishies. You CAN get rid of the ich even under these circumstances, and you really must before getting more(you need a bigger tank before you get more and wont want to pass yucky ich to it!).
So if I were you, if you have the ability to do this, get yourself a nice 20 gallon long tank and start cycling it while your current buddies are being treated...a five gallon would make a good QT tank for smaller fish like that if you have future problems, clean it and keep it cycled. Or make plans to find the cory a new home once he's fixed up. Sand substrate is best for cories so they don't hurt their non-armored bellies and their delicate barbels when looking for food. Rounded rocks may work well too. Five gallons is just too small for cories, even the dwarf species, and it's stressful with that and without a good group. Your guppies shouldn't be kept in anything smaller than ten gallons either. If you can't get a bigger tank, and I know some people either don't have room or just can't afford it, you may want to consider another type of fish. A single male betta would be fine in a five gallon tank. I'm really iffy about schoolers or other fish in such small tanks myself, but you -may- be able to do 3-4 male endlers livebearers, much smaller than guppies as males usually only get 1/2 inch to 1/3 inch or so. The real endllers anyways, N-classes and not guppy hybrids who are larger and normally less...nice.
Get rid of the ich, find a way o kill that stress, and your fish should be good to go...we just need to know if it's really ich so we can make better suggestions to cure it.
Oh, oh oh! Hey I had that happen once, mistook it for ich. It was velvet, oddly enough. Or at least was assumed to be velvet when I put that up asking for help. Couldn't see most of it but spots like ich, but when the salt covered them it looked liek they were covered in crystals and I only put in maybe a half dose...is that what you meant? Or meant covered in ich? lol
First off though, neither one of those fish do well with salt, guppies can tolerate it pretty well(people say they can do fine in brackish settings, I'm not so sure, my guppies never do well when salt is added, they get a little blah...most do anyways) but cories are delicate to it. Not recommended to use salt with cories or plecos, or other scaleless fish. They absorb it too fast and it's bad for them.
Try just using the heat method, clean out all the salt and do a large water change. Very large, like 60-75% or so. Clean and heat may or may not help, but if salt isn't doing it after eight days, plus you also said you tried a bunch of treatments which is stressful to fish, stick to one...this could help you out. Try stress coat+ to help repair their slime coats, they may be able to fight it off with the heat either stunting and slamming a parasite or fungus, or making ich go faster than it likes.
I just looked up velvet, and it dosent look quite like that, just a dense amount of ich on them.
I added about half of what the recomended dose of salt was, and the corey does not seem effected by it at all, none of the fish did when it wasent as bad. Im doing the heat method now so I suppose all I can do is wait, and by other treatments, I ment just heat, heat and clean water, heat salt and clean water. Everything I could think of that was more natural. I was thinking about tress coat, how about melafix? That is what I have on hand right now.
Melafix may be a bit hard on your cories since they have a labyrinth organ(If I'm not mistaken, they do gulp air from up top), but it should be ok...it's a might really if he's real sick. Make sure he can get up for air when he needs to and put in an airstone for extra oxygen while you have heat. Melafix will keep infections down, but if the water is kept clean you really don't need it. Especially since you previously had salt which is an antibacterial as well. Pimifix is a maybe, but again same thing with possible issues, and also with clean water and heat it's not too likely their damage will get any fungal or bacterial infections. Best you can do is watch them to make sure none of that starts.
The best medicine is clean water. Clean water means little to no chance of getting bacterial or fungal infections but it's not zero. Your fish seem tough since they've survived this long, provided some extra help I hope they'll all be ok. Clean out some water daily to remove dead or extra ich(in a five gallon I'd normally say 5-10%, but since you have a likely stressed cory and three guppies in there instead of just one fish), I'd say to do maybe a 15-20%, more if you feel comfortable with it or if someone more experienced with it says you should. That with heat, lessen any extra bioload and filth that may be in there.
Stress coat will help repair damage and lessen stress, it should be good for them all and help keep infections down since it helps strengthen their protective coats.
I'm rooting for you, I hope someone who has had a similar incident(sounds bad when I actually put it out there, wishing for someone with the problem, meh), will see this and tell you what they did that worked. I haven't had the issue in a smaller tank, but in my ten gallon QT some newbies brought in ich, I used heat and salt, but they were mollies and could handle that...With fish that like salt less I have found heat and a lot of water changes help. Keep in mind, this wont fix quick. It can, but severe cases tend to take a couple weeks.
There is a med called Sentry AQ Mardel...now, I have heard 50/50 things on this, read some good user reviews that said it did the job well, read others that claimed it did zilch. Sometimes it can clear ich up and is visibly GREAT within only 1-2 days, can take longer...good and works well, but for some it didn't work at all, did nothing(this leads me to believe the medicine does not actually work and likely tells you to turn up the heat on the directions which is what often works...^_~). Look into that, see if it's safe for your cory. Worth a shot if it DOES do as it should, right?
Copper sulfate pentahydrate; Coppersafe by Mardel. Melafix/Pimafix won't cut it, salt & heat is great for minor cases, sounds like you're well beyond that. Stresscoat is useless for this.
You'll want to use a clean tank with no algae, make sure your hardness is above 50ppm, copper tends to do a number on inverts at times, so you may want to avoid hitting them with it. Large water changes are great, 50%+ keeps the level of free swimming parasites down.
I've used a half dose on cory fry, as well as angel fry without any issue. It's one of the few meds I keep on hand, it doesn't expire & it's part of fishroom management as I see it.
I used coppersafe to heal a terrible "ich "problem. Took 2 weeks to.see any impeovement and I slowly increased the concentration to about 2.5 times recommendd dose. My case was like yours. I caught it early and dosed right away, but within1 week.the fish was absolutly encrusted with tiny white spots. I dont really think it was ich because it took a long time at high temp to see ANY improvment. The spots were so dense they started growing together into sheets on fins and tail. I kept upping the dose by adding extra coppersafe each day . I was worried but I said hey... nothing to lose because if the coppersafe didn't kill them the disease would. Fish is now clear of disease and doing well. 2 weeks at 2-3 times listed dose.... slowly increase the concentration by adding a little more each day. That's what worked for me. But I hesitate to recommend because I've heard bad stuff about copper, but you know, rather than just let the fish die, right?
The idea behind heat for ich is to speed up the life cycle of the parasite. It also speeds up the metabolism of the fish. Formaldehyde (Formalin) and Furazone Green are 2 meds that are used together to combat parasites and bacterial infections.
Ill keep the thread updated if something happens.
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