I Have Ick In A Planted Tank, Need Advice.
in my 55 Gallon tank, my fish are coming down with white spots. basically, i want to cure my fish, but save my planted tank. i have other tanks that i could use for salt treatments that are fairly empty right now. is it possible to leave plants remaining and be able to get rid of the ick, and then later re-add fish to the same tank?
here are the fish in the affected tank...
15 Cherry Barbs
6 Bloodfin Tetras
8 cories (3 diff species)
1 Albino Bristlenose Pleco
the PH in the affected tank is 7.3
it currently doesn't have a heater, because i live in phoenix, and it makes the water 80-81. i had been using a cooling method found on this site, by floating frozen water bottles. i would do this daily, and it would cause a 1-2 degree fluctuation, which i am thinking could have cause them stress, leading to getting ich. but it also happened to coincide with the addition of 3 cherry barbs that were on sale at petco for a dollar each. they were kind of thin and frail, but i quarantined them for 10 days, and all seemed fine, but as soon as i added them, they got ich, i removed them within the first day, but i guess it spread to the established fish.
i would like some advice on the possibility of keeping the planted tank intact. and also which fish can handle salt and high temps, and the best way to treat the fish previously listed. i haven't seen any white spots on the cories, but it's kinda hard, especially when they hangout under plants in the shade. i've definitely seen several spots on the two platies and several of the cherry barbs.
ich is pretty bad... I've only had ich once, and it was in a planted livebearer tank.
I raised the temp to 90F, gradually worked up to 1 Tbsp salt per gallon, and within a week the ich was gone... My plants didn't have any damage.
Of course it could have been a fluke... And without a heater, trying the heat method would be stressful.. (since the temp would fluctuate) (Ich can't reproduce over 85F)
While salt and heat are often reccomended together, I'm cautious about using medications and heat, since both lower the oxygen content of the water... If you try, then be sure to treat in another tank, add an airstone, and preferably add some 'ammo-lock' (zeolite) to the filter to absorb ammonia.
i can put a heater in there if i have to. i was under the impression that salt treatment kills plants. i'm hoping to be able to treat the fish in a separate tank, allow enough time to pass so that the ick dies off and disappears in the planted tank, and then i could put the fish back.
i want to hear from an expert first though, to tell me what fish can handle salt and higher temps. and also clarification about how to handle the plants.
Well in my opinion, it depends on the plants. Salt can be dangerous to plants- there are many studies that say so.
The same can be said about scale-less fish and tetras being intolerable of salt...
However, I've used salt in my planted tank with no deaths, and there's a couple sources online that claim salt triggered their cories to spawn (not that I'd reccomend it.)
If you're wanting to treat the fish in a seperate tank, then you'll probably have to worry about ammonia spikes.
You can transport the fish and their filter to an extra tank, and raise the salt and temperature slightly over time to prevent the bacteria from dying off.
Coppersafe is another good treatment, and you can use it in your main tank as long as you don't have any inverts you like... Just half the dose for twice as long since you have scaleless fish.. (I've seen many people post good results with this method.)
Since you probably should treat your fish ASAP, you can always use the search feature. There's even an advanced search so you can type in the username of any "experts".
i tried googling some info on curing ich. some sites say that just raising the temp up is good enough. and even better yet is combining the high heat with salt. if i could get away with just raising the temp up, then i could keep the fish there, and not worry about ruining my plants with salt. but i'm worried some of my fish can't handle high heats, such as the cories and pleco. i have many options for curing certain fish differently, since i have some other tanks i could use. i've been getting varying information on the amount of salt to use per gallon of water. and i plan on using table salt.
and also, what is the best way of acclimating fish to salt. should i add the fish to the QT tank, and then add the salt, or should i put the required amount of salt in the water, and then add the fish, or would that shock their system too much?
From my understanding you do not want to use table salt, you will want to do futher research before using table salt. My understanding is that you should only use aquarium salt. Also I know that corys are more sensitive to salt, so I would be careful if using salt with them.
I would add the fish to the QT tank with as much tank water as you can, plus freshwater to fill. Then add 1/2 tsp per gallon per day of salt (if you use salt) while raising the temperature 2 degrees every 6-12 hours until ideal temp is reached.. (no need to stay up at night and raise it, but make sure it's gradual)
This is assuming a mild outbreak... If the fish's fins are clamped and it's hanging just below the water's surface, the ich has spread to it's gills, and more aggressive treatment might be needed.
Keep track of the water you're changing... Be sure to move your filter to the treatment tank as well, since there's no reason to treat the ich if the fish die from the ammonia.
The goal concentration should be about 2 tsp per gallon.If after a week there's no improvement, you can increase the temp and concentration by a bit, up to 3 tsp per gallon.
The ideal temperature is 87... Try not to go much higher.
Don't forget to add an airstone, since oxygen levels can drop when you raise the temperature.
this might seem like the best idea. remove the cories and the albino bristlenose pleco to the QT tank, and raise the temp to above 86 F in the affected tank, and hope that works, with no salt. and monitor the catfish in the QT, who currently don't have white spots that i can see. and if they do have ich, i'll have to treat them differently than the others, cuz they probably can't handle the higher heats.
I think you should treat all the fish the same. If one fish in a tank has ich, all the fish have ich.
well, i just added a 200w heater to the tank, and will attempt to raise the heat up to 86-87 and see what happens. hopefully they can handle the heat. should raising the temp up that high be suffice? without having to add any salt? my main goal is to get rid of the ich, and if raising the heat up that high will get the job done, then that's all i'll do. if some fish die along the way, i'll just replace them.
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