My 46 gallon tank now has ich, and I'm quite sure it came from petsmart when I acquired the 4 small silver dollars and a second clown loach. I don't know my water stats but the tank has cylced (was an upgrade from 25 gallons to 46 gallons at the end of July).
Questions: Should I treat with salt/heat, or meds, or a combination of both? The temperature is normally 78 degrees F; how high can I turn it up and how will my fish tolerate it? Besides the silver dollars and clown loaches, I have 4 gouramis, a sclarae angel, common plec and one cory cat. Are there any of them that won't like the salt? This is very disappointing About 18 months ago I lost a big pleco to disease after adding neon tetras, and I dont want this to happen again.
You can bring a sample of your water to your LPS/LFS, which they should test for FREE. But it is more convenient if you buy your own test kit, so you won't have to frequently go to your LFS/LPS to have it tested.
Make sure you perform a water change. Most disease outbreaks are due to stress and/or poor water conditions. When you replace the water, make sure it is very close to the same temp as the tank and that the water has been dechlorinated, using items like Stress Coat, Prime, Amquel +, etc.
The ich life cycle goes through a faster rate with higher temps. The only time the ich is vulnerable is in their free swimming stage, when they are looking for a host. This is why increasing the heat is preferred.
When increasing heat, do it gradually over a long period of time, up to maybe 82Â°F. Allot of people have increased to higher temps, but I find this safe and comfortable for fish. This is basically what all my tank temps are set to now.
You can also add aquarium salt. DO NOT add salt directly into the tank. You need to make sure the salt is dissolved in water first, then pour the solution in your tank slowly over a long period of time.
I prefer not using any medications, since some can kill the benificial bacteria in your tank and/or can stress your fish. I find raising temps and adding salt was sufficient.
BTW, keep up with the water changes during the treatment as well.
I would choose not to salt that mixture of fish. Silver dollars and clown loaches can be sensitive to salt.
What are the test results for this tank? If ammonia or nitrite levels show up, don't medicate until they are gone completely. Also, same thing with nitrates above 40. Small water changes daily and extra filter media like polyfilter or purapad can help soak ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate from the water very quickly (within days), making it safe to use medications.
Silver dollars are prone to ick when stressed and/or in poor water conditions.
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