10-27-2010, 11:55 PM
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I see this is a couple days old but thought I'd throw in my two cents' worth as I use the heat treatment for Ich as well...
I'd echo Spooki on the aeration and signs of distress. "Too hot" is a relative term - it depends on your fishes' tolerance and how long they are at that temperature. I don't have any experience with Cichlids but a quick Google indicates the 'flowerhorn' generally thrives at a temp of 80-85 F, so I would expect no cooked fish with your temperature raised for 10 days or so. :)
As for the salt, the higher temperature is really what gets rid of the Ich - the parasites stop reproducing at 86 F, so that's the minimum temperature you want your tank at. Ssalt helps the fish heal more quickly, but personally I don't feel the heat treatment is any more/less effective with or without salt. I have generally dosed at recommended levels (1 tablespoon per 5 gallons per the label on my API salt). I have a number of plants in my tanks but they weathered the salt fairly well.
I usually do a large water change prior to raising the temp but I avoid water changes during heat treatment as the fish are under enough stress as it is - water changes, however small, affect pH, temperature, and salinity (if you're adding salt). Since the Ich won't infect your fish at temperatures higher than 85 F it really makes no difference whether you suck up the little buggers or not. That's just my personal opinion, FWIW.
There's a number of folks on here much more experienced than I am - if you search the forum using the phrase "heat salt" (no "" quotes) you'll find a number of additional threads which might be helpful. Good luck!