Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Salix 06-27-2010 01:03 PM

need advise on using salt to treat ich
I know that using medication to treat this parasite is the #1 recommendation but unfortunately the only medicine for it at my LPS is insanely expensive and sadly I just don't have the money. I'm very slowly upping the temperature of the tank. The last water change I did was a 10% the day before yesterday. The parameters as of today are: pH 7.2, high pH 7.4, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20, and it's a 10 gallon tank, if that helps.

Only one fish is showing symptoms. I haven't seen any white spots yet but she's been rubbing her gills on the side of the filter, the decorative rock and just about every other hard surface in the tank, and they look very irritated; they're a dark pinkish color and inflamed. She'll go from swimming around like crazy to being really lethargic in a matter of seconds, and her appetite has dropped. She's still eating some but she's losing weight and probably not so much from the not eating but also from all of the stress.

Yesterday I added 2 tablespoons of salt to the tank, about a teaspoon at a time every fifteen minutes or so, so the salt wouldn't hurt the fish. They seem to be doing fine this morning. Daphne isn't rubbing against things as much and the others are swimming around pestering each other like they normally do.

So my question is how often do I add salt to the water, and how often do I siphon out the bottom of the tank while treating the tank over the next 2 weeks? I asked the guy at the pet store but he didn't really seem to know what he was talking about (first he tried to push the medication on me like a crack dealer desperate to make a sale, then he said to add the salt every day and didn't even mention that it could hurt the fish) so I thought I'd ask some people who have experience in this area. Thank you so much for your time.

kitten_penang 06-27-2010 07:00 PM

ask aunt kimmie.i lost the link to another thread with the same problem.what i remember is she said salt and upping the temp aren't usually effective.remove 75% of the water to get rid of the salt remove the carbon filters then add the meds .also remove prawns and invertebrates if any. dont need expensive meds just the right ones will do

aunt kymmie 06-27-2010 07:25 PM

Here's the link for the Heat/Salt Method:

Salix 06-27-2010 07:35 PM

The only meds that the store have are really expensive that's why I'm using salt and raising the water temp. But I'll also do the 75% water change.

aunt kymmie 06-27-2010 09:38 PM

I meant to ask, what kind of fish are in your tank? The reason I don't do the heat/salt method is that I have a well planted tank with many scaleless fishes (loaches, catfish). The very first ich outbreak I had I attempted to use the heat/salt but all it did was affect everything in my tank negatively. Two weeks into the treatment I did a massive water change and went with meds. The meds kicked it out without any fish loss. I'm sorry you can't afford the meds, that's got to be frustrating!

Salix 06-27-2010 09:50 PM

I only have platies and I've been keeping a very close eye on them since adding the salt and they're doing fine. The one that's infected is doing a little better. She's still lethargic but she's eating more and she's not rubbing herself against the surfaces in the tank as much. And yeah, it sucks a lot not being able to afford the meds. The that's sick is my favorite so it's really bumming me out.

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