Second Ick attack within a few weeks
After treating my aquarium with Titra Lifeguard for 7 days and raising the temperature to 86 degrees for 10 days, one of my fish has Ich again just one week after stopping treatment. I have several live plants, 1 corydoras catfish, 13 cardinal tetras, and 1 baby platty.
I already have 1 teaspoon of salt in per gallon in my 20 gallon tank.
Furthermore upon measuring my water quality, I have recently put in 2 doses of nitrifying bacteria called Fritzyme because my ammonia is 1 ppm, my nitrite is 5.0 and my nitrate is 20. I guess my tank is cycling again after the last ick treatment.
I do not know how the tank has any Ick parasites in it again after treating the first time since I have not added any new fish nor plants to the tank since the last treatment.
Do you have any recommendations?
Ich can take several weeks to treat.
It has a four-stage life cycle-
I Tomtits The ich is free swimming, and vulnerable to treatment. It must find a host within a few days.
II trophozoites The Ich finds a host, and burrows into the skin forming cysts. It is immune to most treatments.
III trophonts The reproductive cyst falls off into the aquarium. It is immune to most treatments, and is busy reproducing 200-2000 Tomtits.
Since two of the stages are invisible to the Naked eye and can last up to a week at 72-74F, I would bet thats what happened. Raising the temperature will speed up the life cycle, boosting the effectiveness of the medication.
You need to treat again, and this time keep it going for a week after all symptoms are gone.
your nitrite is in a deadly range. Much more concerning IMO then any diseases right now.
Thanks for your replies.
I forgot to mention that I previously raised my tank temperature to 86 degrees Fahrenheit and now it is 84 degrees going up to 86 degrees again, should I treat the Ich with salt, Rid-Ich or the Tetra Lifeguard again?
Also how can I reduce the nitrite in light of the fact that I recently added Fritzyme as a beneficial bacteria?
Would it be better to do water changes or just let the bacteria work?
Yes I am in a new tank cycle because here is what happened.
On June 4, 2011 I bought a 20 gallon tank and just a week later on June 11, 2011 I put 6 Cardinal tetras in it. I thought it was safe to do so since I added Nutrifin Cycle before adding the fish.
3 Cardinal tetras died and then I added 10 more the next day ending up with 13 cardinal tetras. I also bought one Corydoras catfish at that time and later inherited 1 baby platy.
At that time I discovered Ich on the Cardinal Tetras and treated with Tetra Lifeguard for 10 days between June 12 - June 22, 2011 to be sure even though the box said treat for 5 days. I also raised the tank temperature to 86 degrees.
I reduced the tank temperature to 82 degrees, and upon testing my water 9 days later about July 1, 2011 noticed the ammonia was 1, nitrite 5 and nitrate 20. At this point my tank was already running about a month, but maybe the Tetra Lifeguard altered the biological cycle. About July 6, 2011 I added Fritzyme bacteria to try to establish biological bacteria and lower nitrite. Now it is July 10, 2011 and the nitrite has not changed.
Last night I discovered 4 ick spots on one of the Cardinal tetras. This morning I discovered several ick spots on several of the Cardinal Tetras. Incidentally I have been feeding them live brine shrimp and yesterday bloodworms at which time I added more Fritzyme.
I think I have been overfeeding the fish since they were so anxious to eat lots of live food.
Consequently I have discovered 2 ick outbreaks June 11 to 21 and now again July 9, 2011 just about 2 weeks later. Apparently Ick never got eliminated the first round or else I reintroduced it through some live food or adding a plant to the main tank. Nonetheless it has been a very frustrating experience.
I am sure there are preventative measures I could have taken like cycling the tank before adding the Cardinal tetras and adding salt before adding the fish etc.
I have read some good things about Rid-Ich and how other people were successful in eliminating Ich with it, but also a lot of disasters where it killed their fish. Furthermore I hate the idea of using formalin and contaminating my tank with Malachite green but I have read they are effective, but many fish like tetras and catfish are extremely sensitive to these chemicals.
My tank has about 20 live plants in it - mainly swords and I hate to damage them with salt, or hurt the Cardinal tetras and Corydoras catfish with salt.
They survived the temperature increase and Tetra Lifeguard treatment last time, but I am not sure it was effective.
I am leaning toward adding 13 teaspoons of salt to the already 4 teaspoons of salt I have previously added to the 20 gallon tank since I am sure 3 gallons are displaced by the gravel making it about 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon and raising the tank temperature to 86 degrees again.
I am not sure if I should add the Tetra Lifeguard again to the salt I am adding. The package says it is a non-antibiotic agent that treats the signs of disease. Active ingredient is 1-chloro-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-4-imidazolidinone.
Furthermore there is a warning on the package that says:
NOTE: Not suitable for scaleless fish, invertebrates, or newly set up tanks. It did not seem to bother my newly set up tank last time and the scaleless Corydoras catfish survived as well as the Cardinal tetras without one of them lost.
As of this time since I added an additional 5 teaspoons of salt to the previous 4 teaspoons giving 9 teaspoons of salt to the tank and almost a bottle of Fritzyme bacteria, the Cardinal tetras seem to be ok staying midtank.
I also have 2 external filters running in the tank cascading water on the top. A Marineland Penguin 150 and an Aqueon 10.
The tank really looks beautiful and I hate to loose these fish or the plants.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
WOW.:shock: You started another cycle in your tank by adding so many fish at one time, at the beginning. But. Don't raise your temp to high, as your going to stress the crap out of your fish more. They are already at max stress and you don't want to add to it. Really, you should only be doing one thing at a time here. If your using Rid-Ich, then thats all you should be using. Not the high temp and Rid-Ich and the Tetra treatment, thats way to much for a new tank to handle all at once. It says use for at least 3 days after signs are all gone. Was this done? Thats why I don't like this product. If it gets into the egg stage, then its in the substrate and Rid-Ich will not take care of business. But, use this and this alone as directed. But, us it for at least 5 days after signs are gone. Do the 40% water change at end and put your carbon back into the system. Did you remove all the carbon from your system when you started it before? Carbon will remove it from the water, thats why you must remove it.
there is also an organic treatment from kordon that we used to use for some of the delicate fish, but i dont actually recommend it. to actually be effective it took over the recommended dosage to do anything, and in some cases it would do its job just fine, and in others it wouldn't work at all. my guess is that some cases the ich was treated similarly at some point along the distribution conveyer-belt and built up an immunity.
ok, long post for not even giving my recommendation yet, sorry about that. as i believe someone mentioned before that the ich isnt really your main problem at this point, but rather the new cycle is. adding bacteria can work great for a short period, but it can through your cycle out of alignment and i don't often recommend it, especially with a new tank. if you add too many bacteria they can overpopulate and starve, forcing them to go dormant. sometimes they overcompensate and you are left with too little bacteria then, in which case they all reactivate and you are back to having too many. i have seen tanks cycled with bacteria show 0 ammonia one week, only to show significant ammonia spikes in the weeks that fallow.
i always recommend fishless cycling, or starting off very small and slowly adding. in this case though the fish are already there so i would recommend physically controlling the ammonia/nitrites for a while until you start to get a healthy colony of bacteria. this leads back to the ich treatment. i would suggest picking up some rid-ich or something that contains malichite green and formuline like quick cure, and do the recommended dosage either every day, or every other day for 14+ days with a 25-50% water exchange. this will eliminate your ammonia/nitrite problems for the time being. after the treatment continue doing several large water changes to remove any residual copper. of course, remove any carbon from your filter before starting.
if you have a syphon that attaches to your faucet these water changes can be done very easily with just the turn of a knob. if you don't have one, but have a sink capable of supporting one i would highly recommend you get one. just make sure, however, that you do it you don't stress your fish out too much while doing the water changes. usually i'll just stick the syphon in a corner of the tank with a piece of netting, cut out of a functioning aquarium net rubber banded to the end of it, to prevent sucking up any fish. the most important thing though is to make sure that the water entering the tank is as close to the tank water as you can get it.
considering how long this post has become i dont think anyone wants me to start in on how to best take care of the cycling process after the treatment phase, lol. if you would like some guidance in this area just post some more information about your filtration setup and the tanks general history in regards to cycling so far.
Thanks everybody for all your advice. There are so many options.
I did a 20% water change last night with conditioned same temperature water. Unfortunately as of this morning, the ammonia 2.0 and nitrite 5.0 has not changed.
I have added 2 teaspoons of salt per gallon in my 20 gallon tank, at 2 different stages days apart. The plants seem to be doing ok, and so are the fish. The fish still have their white spots. I am also treating with Tetra Lifeguard again for 5 days, even though the Ick might be immune to it because I used it last time and it came back after 2 weeks after I stopped treating. I hope the salt will help kill the free swimming Ich but I realize that salt and 86 degrees might not be enough. So many people say that have treated Ich with salt and temperature alone.
Since I heard that copper kills plants, I got an herbal formula today instead called "Ick Attack" by Kordon. I don't know if it is any good for killing Ich when they get to the free swimming stage. Do you know?
Should I add the "Ick Attack" now with the Tetra Lifeguard and the salt or would that make the fish too uncomfortable? I want to make sure I kill the free swimming parasites at every chance. I am fearful that these methods won't work - especially the Tetra Lifeguard (which I have only 3 more days) and salt and 86 degrees.
I guess I should finish the 3 days of Tetra Lifeguard, salt and keep the temperature at 86 degrees.
Then I can do another 20% water change and add the Ick Attack for continued treatment. I hope the white spots will drop off soon, but I am aware that is only half the battle.
Maybe I should have used Rid Ich but I was afraid to use it because it says that Tetras and Catfish are sensitive to Malachite Green and Formalin and I don't know how my plants would deal with it, but if that's the only way to kill Ich reliably, I might try it. I also hate to stain the silicon in my tank blue.
So I am confused - I wish that I could read more people's follow ups because I usually only see posts up to treatment questions and they don't post their outcome.
Why do so many people say that salt works and kills Ich, and if so, how much salt do I need to kill the free swimming form of Ich?
Will salt kill my plants? They seem to be ok so far.
I am in this for the long haul and realize I'll have to treat the tank for a while after the spots fall off the fish. Unfortunately it's been a couple of days and they are still on the fish.
I don't know how Ich came back after I already treated it for 2 weeks with Tetra Lifeguard just 2 weeks ago. It seemed like the ich was goine only to reappear.
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