Need help with ich - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-04-2007, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Hey gang, I'm having (I believe) an Ich problem as well and was wondering what to do with it. I have an Royal Gramma Basslet (RGB) that is constantly scratching himself and stays stressed because he is the meekest fish in the 55 gallon tank (other tank mates are a Coral Beauty Angel, Ocellaris Clown, yellow tailed Blue Damsel, PJ Cardinal and a skunk cleaner shrimp. My RGB has been scratching and itching for well over a week now (probably 10-12 days) and is still alive and eating fairly well. All the other fish are eating like pigs.

I have a 10 gallon tank setup for quarantine purposes but was given an alternative to quarantining the RGB (seeing I can't catch the little critter). I was told I could treat my entire tank with Formaldehyde or Malachite Green w/Formalin with the following conditions. Move my 12-13 lbs.of live rock to the 10 gallon quarantine tank along with the 7 small hermit crabs and my skunk cleaner shrimp. Then to treat the entire 55 gallon tank with the meds. After the required treatment period, do several 1/3 tank water changes and then replace my live rock and inverts back into the main tank. Does this sound feasible to you all?

Thanks for any and all help and suggestions.


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post #2 of 6 Old 11-05-2007, 08:38 PM
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you actually need to treat the entire tank affected, not just the fish. use the malachite solution OR a salt treatment. i am not familliar with the type of fish you have, but a lot of species are sensitive to such heavy chemicals. if you have sentiive fish, remove them, put in a quarantine tank and treat with salt- but you still need to treat the entire affected tank.

you need to treat longer than just when the spots dissapear. the life cycle of ich is about 4 days (longer in colder temps). Raising the temp in the tank will speed the process. raise it to 80 degrees and then begin a treatment. you can't kill them when they are spots, the treatments kill them in the free swimming stage. i think there is a sticky on ich- just read that. it will help.

"Instant gratification takes too long"
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-08-2007, 01:46 PM
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If malachite green has copper in it no no.Once treadted it stays in tank even the silicone and itll kill inverts.Treatin whole tank is usually frowned upon.I did it once w/Kick Ich its a 15 day treatment(so much ever 3 days)Its supposedly reef safe ie: wont kill bacteria,etc.It worked for me.Might be worth checkin into.R u pos. its ich?Do they have spots on them?That cleaner should help if hes doin his job.Also there are fish traps, u could try a freshwater dip too that usually works.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-08-2007, 01:53 PM
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also Im no pro but u may be pushin it on ur fish.Im prety sure angels need big tanks,maybe just stress froma crowded tank might be doin it or could be parasite of some description.I think may give tank size recc. for certain fish.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-08-2007, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Cat 1. No, I'm not sure it's Ich but the symptoms are there, the itching and some few salt like grains on the fins and body of the RGB.

I've decided to remove all the rock, and then catch the fish and move them to a 10 gallon tank to be treated. I'll treat them there and wait out the cycle in the main tank. I'll replace all the rock and then just feed the inverts there. I'll probably do that this weekend and treat with Kick Ich or the like from the local Walmart. I have to get some PVC and cut some hiding spots for the fish. I'll try and give them a dip as well.

I'll keep everyone up to date on the progress.

As for angels, says Coral Beauty will reach 2-3" in length and are good for 50 gallons and up.


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post #6 of 6 Old 12-12-2007, 12:18 PM
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Need Help With Ich.

Just joined and saw your post. Hope you've solved your problem by now, but if not, here's what I did in a similar situation:

I have a 125 gal FOWLR containing several angel fish and tangs. It has an attached 40 gal refugium with 3" sandbed and calerpa. Out of the blue, it developed a ich problem (assumed ich with small white dots on body and fins). Not all fish were affected. I removed the ones with ick, treated in a hospital tank and then put then back in the main tank. They looked O.K. for several days, then developed the white spots again. I did this 2 or three times with the same result. I was geting very frustrated with this situation, and I mentioned to the fellow that operates the shop where I get all my fish. He said treat the 125 gal tank with Mardel Laboratories Coppersafe. I told him I didn't want to kill the refugium sandbed or the nitrifying bacteria in the live rock and have to recycle the tank from square one. He said it wouldn't be a problem unless I had invertebrates in the tank, which I don't. Just remove the calerpa from the refugium. The Mardel literature says the same. But I didn't reallly believe either. So I put some live rock in my hospital tank added the sick fish, added Coppersafe, and monitored ammonia level very closely, I expected the ammonia level to rise as the Coppersafe killed the nitrying bacteria in the live rock and recirculating media. But ammonia didn't rise. This sort of convinced me that the Coppersafe wouldn't wipe out the nitrying bed in the main tank. So I took a deep breath and added Coppersafe to the main tank. As expected, the ich problem cleared up in a couple of days. But, as in the hospital tank, there was no indication of ammonia or nitrite. Furthermore, the large colony of copepods in the refigium tank didn't appear to be affected. I expected them all to be wiped out within 24 hrs. I left Coppersafe in the tank for 7-10 days, then gradually reduced the copper level to zero over the next month with water changes and polymer filters. The Coppersafe did seem to knock back the coraline algae on the live rock. But it has recovered well. When I put the calerpa back in to the refugium, I thought residual copper in the sand might kill it, even though copper in the water was zero. But it didn't, and the calerpa is againgrowing well.
During this process I apparently contaminated my 75 gal FOWLR and some of the fish developed ich. I repeated the Coppersafe treatment with the 75 with the same results. It's been almost a year now with no ich problems in either tank.
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