Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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SGDude 02-14-2011 08:37 AM

Will ich meds kill the cycle
Will ich meds kill the cycle in a new tank?


Lupin 02-14-2011 08:57 AM

Malachite green and formalin can. Use salt.

Which fish is affected?

SGDude 02-14-2011 09:27 AM

One angel fish has a couple spots.

The tank has 2 angels 1 gourami 1 goby 2 corys 1 pleco.

The ammonia is 0.025, nitrite is 0.0.

Lupin 02-14-2011 05:06 PM

What species is the pleco?
How about the cories and goby?
Tank size?
Where were the spots found?
Are they absolutely white spots?

Here's the info for ich.


White Spot Disease (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis)
Ich, Ick

Early signs of white spot begin when fish flick themselves against rocks. They may also swimming in an odd behaviour as if they were trying to use the water to wash away an irritation. Some of the more common causes are stress, bad water conditions, live food that have been infected by the pathogens or already infected fish without quarantining it.

Ich is a protozoal infection that afflicts fish and can rapidly kill them, most often by damaging gill tissue. It is highly infectious and potentially lethal and manifests as tiny white spots all over the fish. The spots are no larger than grains of salt. The wide host range of this parasite is its life cycle, and speed of multiplication especially in a tropical aquarium. When you see the white spot on your fish, it is already too late for those ich particles to be avoided.

The organisms, trophonts goes through a life cycle of a small white spot feeding on your fish which drops off to the floor of your tank and encases itself in a cyst called tomont. While encased in a cyst, it divides into up to 2000 new mobile organisms called theronts. The cyst then ruptures, thus releasing the theronts which seek out a host to feed into. They must locate a host within 24 hours otherwise they will die. Only the mobile stage is vulnerable to treatments.

Ich will appear if the fish is stressed. Note that it acts more as a 'contaminant' and is not part of the tank's ecosystem. Any new fish should be quarantined for 2-4 weeks. Failing that will increase the risk of introducing diseases which wil affect other occupants. New fish are always possible carriers of diseases.

Increase the temperature to at least 84-86 degrees as much as the fish can tolerate. Add aquarium or table salt (dissolved in water) at a ratio of 1-3 teaspoons of salt per gallon of water in your tank equivalent to 0.1-0.3% depending on the tolerance level of your fish.

For basic procedures, here are the steps.
1. Dose one teaspoon per gallon of salt or equivalent to 0.1%.
2. After 12 hours and assuming the fish has tolerated it very wellso far, repeat step 1.
3. After another 12 hours, repeat step 1 again.

While waiting, it does not hurt to add a powerhead or airstone to increase the oxygen level. Over the first couple days, your fish will appear worse and will eventually recover as the treatment progresses. In most cases, ich will disappear on the sixth day. However, there is still a probability that some cysts have not yet ruptured so it is advisable to keep the treatment up for full ten days.

If you are not able to raise the temperature at all especially if you are dealing with fish that lack tolerance for temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you may need to extend the treatment although a good general guideline is to continue 7-10 more days of treatment right after the ich had seemingly disappeared.. At 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the life cycle of ich is quicker. The colder the temperature, the slower the life cycle thus the treatment will extend even longer than required.

Level of Tolerance
For bottom dwellers such as plecos and loaches, you may need to maintain the saline solution at 0.1-0.2% so it will not be detrimental to them although there have been few instances where some catfishes can tolerate as much as 0.3%.

Do make sure your fish can tolerate the elevated saline solution. If in doubt, be prepared to do a water change to relieve the fish of the osmotic stress caused by the salt. Try not to lose focus on the actual saline solution you already administered or you might end up overdosing the salt more than it was necessary.

Clown loaches and young oscars are notorious for getting ich after they are transferred to your tank. These and many others can tolerate salt. If you are unsure about your fish’s tolerance for salt, be sure to look for answers in a reference book or ask an expert.

A salt test kit available at your local fish store will help you get the exact dosage. Something in the range of .2%, is where you want to be.

Water Changes vs. Salt
Should a water change be necessary, make sure you redose the salt solution per the water volume replaced.

For example, a 10g needs 30 teaspoons at 3 teaspoons per gallon of water measurement. If you wish to change at least 50% of the water, then another 15 teaspoons of salt should be redosed to keep the saline solution effective against the parasites.

Teaspoon vs. Tablespoon Measurement
For those not familiar with the teaspoon = tablespoon conversion, a leveled heap of tablespoon is equivalent to 3 teaspoons whereas a round heap of tablespoon is equivalent to 5 teaspoons.

In Australian standard, a tablespoon is equivalent to four teaspoons so please adjust the necessary dosage as much as possible.

Plants Goners Or Not?
Unfortunately many plants do not do well with this salt treatment and may appear to wither but will usually come back in time once the salt treatment is over. Removing them to a salt free environment after a thorough rinsing may save them, however they must be kept at a high temperature or for an extended period of time. When the cyst breaks up in the plant holding tank, the small parasites will be unable to find a host and will die within 24-72 hours depending on the environmental conditions. Ich is easily transferred to other fish tanks so do not share nets, heaters and wet hands between infected and non infected tanks.

Mutual Relationship of Bacteria vs. Ich
Abstract explaining the presence of endosymbiotic bacteria within ich and bacteria with mutual relationship towards ich developing its infective capability can be found here.

Other Treatments:
Malachite Green, Formalin

Do NOT combine formalin and salt.

Check this list for contraindications of the above treatments.


SGDude 02-14-2011 06:11 PM

What species is the pleco? common, not sure looks like sailfin pleco in book.
How about the cories and goby? juli cory and knight goby, pretty sure
Tank size? 72
Filtration? 2 x peng 350
Temperature? 78
Where were the spots found? Rear fin and top fin
Are they absolutely white spots? 1-3 on angel 1-3 on gourami moved to QT
( went from nine to seven with the move )

QT is 46 with 2 x peng 350 + UGF, did start treating with malachite green

I am not sure who can take the salt and I can wait for more spots.

Thanks a bunch.

Lupin 02-14-2011 06:16 PM

The key is dissolution. Since you have pleco and cories, then you need to stick to a teaspoon per gallon of salt. Dissolve the salt BEFORE you add into the tank. That was the only thing that saved all my catfishes and loaches from ich. I nearly killed a number of loaches and cories when I failed to dissolve the salt.

SGDude 02-14-2011 06:27 PM

Cool, Thanks.

If needed I will dissolve the salt before adding.

Is aquarium salt or table salt better? I have both.

Another tank same fish plus swordtails, same dose?

Lupin 02-14-2011 06:29 PM

Table salt is fine as long as it does NOT contain yellow prussiate of soda. If you have table salt right now, post the ingredients first so we can confirm how safe it is. Rock salt and pickling salt are also fine.

Were the swordtails in contact with infected ones, or has their tank shared the same equipments as the tank infested right now? If so, treat them with salt as well. If you have only swordtails in there, you may add another teaspoon per gallon set in the next 12 hours and the third and last set in the next 24 hours. They're more tolerant to salt so 3 teaspoons per gallon is not an issue for them.

SGDude 02-15-2011 05:42 PM

Morton iodized salt
salt, calcium silicate (an anticaking agent ), dextrose, potassium iodine


API aquarium salt

I have both.

The gourami has a new spot on his/her tail.

The other tank, I meant same fish "angels,gouramis, corys, goby, pleco" plus swordtails
I would think 1 teaspoon per gallon because of corys and pleco applies.


Lupin 02-15-2011 05:53 PM

Yep. Both salts are safe.

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