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tf1265 07-27-2011 12:55 PM

How long to wait after salt Ich treatment?
I noticed a few days ago that one of my neon tetras had developed ich. I researched the salt/heat method of curing ich and decided to try it because I thought it would be better for my tank than chemical medications.

I have 2 x 10 gallon planted, cycled tanks

5 neon tetras
3 peppered cory catfish
1 panda cory catfish
1 mystery snail

I had all the fish in 1 tank at the time (I had gotten 2 panda cories for the 2nd tank, 1 died so I moved the survivor because he seemed incredibly lonely all by himself).

When i discovered the sick tetra, I moved all the catfish and the snail into the 2nd tank because none of them had spots yet. I raised the temperature in both tanks to 87 degrees. In the tank with the spotted tetra I dosed it with 5 tsp of salt on day 1, and 5 more tsp of salt on day 2 (total of 2 tsp per gallon of water). That was on Sunday and Monday. I have not added more salt and I haven't done any water changes to allow the salt and heat time to work. Today I plan to do a 25% water change in the evening, since I can no longer see any spots on any of the tetras (a few more had developed spots by the time I treated with salt).

In the tank I moved the cats and snail to, I did 1 dose of 5 tsp of salt on day 2 and haven't touched it since (my reasoning was that if they didn't have spots YET, they were probaby coming but didn't need such a large dose of salt). No spots have emerged, they seem overall healthy and happy.

My question is how long I should wait after the spots disappear to lower the temperature and start removing the salt water from the tank. I've found lots of advice on how to use this treatment method, but none that give very helpful time lines.

I have no spots in either of my tanks, this is day 2 of that. How much longer should I wait before I start doing large water changes to remove the salt and lower the temperature? I eventually would like to split up the fish and add a few more so I have 2 well stocked 10 gallon tanks instead of 1 overstocked tank, how long should I wait to add more fish?

Both tanks have live plants, aquaclear 20 filters, gravel substrate, and normally the water parameters are all in the ideal ranges. There was a slight nitrate spike since adding the salt water, but that was only yesterday and I haven't retested today.

kitten_penang 07-28-2011 05:36 AM

never do salt with catsfish din't do your homework properly.catfish species don't get along we with salt and the added heat is making things's stressing out the fishes and it worsens their condition.better remove them to qt and do the blue or get a more expensive rage of withe ich product that needs to be pre diluted.don't dose the main tank the blue meds it might stain for the main tank change the water and leave it til the fish get better.

tf1265 07-28-2011 07:23 AM

That's mildly helpful but still not what I asked about. My catfsh are fine, despite typically not agreeing with salt treatment they are still perfectly happy and the salt doesn't seem to have had any adverse affects. I will think twice before doing it again if it really is more likely to do more harm than good, but I guess this time I got lucky.

Now, if we could get back to the question I asked, how long should I leave the salt in the tank of neon tetras? I did a 25% water change on the cories last night, but I don't know how long to wait in the tank that I actually saw the spots in.

DKRST 07-28-2011 07:54 AM

To answer your question: it's hard to know exactly. The life cycle of the ick organism depends on temp and salinity impacts. Personally, I'd wait a week to 10 days to make sure you don't re-transfer it. I would not do a large water change or reduce the salt levels yet if it's only been a few days. I haven't used the salt method myself however.

I think one reason your original question did not get answered initially was that it was buried 6 paragraphs into the background info. Next time, lead with the main question, then follow with the other information, that should get a better response. Took me a couple of read-throughs to find the question since I usually skim posts before diving in.

tf1265 07-28-2011 08:00 AM

That's valid, you're right. I am long-winded. Thanks for the help! I'll wait a few days longer before I start the un-salting process. It seemed to work well, I was happy with it and if you ever come across ich in your tank, I recommend giving it a try!

Beaches 07-28-2011 08:03 AM

When I have treated for Ich, despite whether I have used heat/salt (my preferred method) or meds, I keep treating for another week after the fish appear to be spot free to make sure the parasite has gone. The fish may still have some parasites that haven't burrowed through to the surface of the skin yet, or some free swimming tomites, it only takes one, so if you stop treatment too soon, the cycle will start all over again.

kitten_penang 07-28-2011 08:06 AM

the ich has a life cycle an salt an high temp makes it hard to complete the cycle and kills of the spores that are released into the water.most salt treatment is done for and extra 1 week or more after you've seen the last white spot on your fish disappear. lol just saw above post

DKRST 07-28-2011 08:10 AM

Thanks for the endorsement of the salt treatment, but I have planted tanks and the salt treatment is not always well tolerated by planted tanks (I don't believe). Regardless of the plants, I have a bunch of Bristlenose plecostomus and they absolutely can't tolerate salt.

kitten_penang 07-28-2011 08:13 AM

hardier plants stem and root plants can stand the on slought of heat and salt treatment but not the daintier ones most will just melt away :lol:

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