1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons) 20 gal
2. Is your aquarium setup freshwater or brackish water? freshwater
3. How long the aquarium has been set up? About 3 months
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know) 1 angelfish, 2 cherry barbs down from 1 angel, 5 cherry barbs, 1 gold nugget pleco
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium? Yes
6. What temperature is the tank water currently? 80 degrees F
7. What make/model filter are you using? Whisper something . . .
8. Are you using a CO2 unit? No
9. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? Yes, most of the day
10. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? Ive been doing daily 30% to get rid of ich
11. How often do you perform water changes? Weekly to biweekly
12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish? Hikari flakes, frozen bloodworms, Hikari freezedried bloodworms
13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on? Fluorescent not sure of exact type
14. What specific concerns bring you here at this time? Ich + other potential infection
15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 60 ppm nitrate
16. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips? Liquid freshwater kit, unsure of brand
17. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank? Three weeks ago the gold nugget pleco. It was feisty in the store, had a few glum days at first, but then perked up. It was extremely active at night, sluggish during the day. No signs of infection (ich, fin rot, etc.) until it died.
I am a new aquarist and had great beginner's luck for a few months (1 small angel, 5 cherry barbs, 1 pleco in 20 gal - all happy, no losses), but a plague has fallen on my tank. I went out of town for the weekend and came back to find my pleco dead and covered in white fuzz, and all of my cherry barbs infected with ich (3 nearly covered, 2 with several spots). Angel appears perfectly healthy.
I started treating for Ich with Ick Guard four days ago. I lost the three worst barbs, one by one, and my remaining two seem to have fewer spots. The two remaining barbs seem to be sickly and their fins are starting to fray with white edges. **Could the fraying be caused by the ich or do I have another infection to contend with?** If another infection, what medication should I use and is it okay to use in conjunction with Ick Guard? Would the medication wipe out my biological filter?
Second question, I intend to replace my cherry barbs - should I do it now while I'm already treating the tank to get rid of any diseases the new ones may bring or wait until everything is up and running again for a few weeks? I'm inclined to get them now so that my remaining barbs have the comfort of a small school while they recover, but I don't want to make the situation worse. Likewise, I don't want them to heal up only to be reinfected from the store fish.
My water parameters were:
60 ppm NO3
I don't think I had a temperature spike or heater failure, so I'm not sure what caused the sudden outbreak.
Sorry for all the silly questions. I'm very new at this.