Help White Spots on my black molly - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 27 Old 12-30-2009, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Help White Spots on my black molly

I looked into my tank today and i saw white spots on my black molly. I didnt remember seing them before, ive read that it can be ich? Im going to try to get a good picture to see if any of you can tell me what it is. What should i do in the meentime??
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post #2 of 27 Old 12-30-2009, 05:14 PM
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can you give us more info on your tank like size, other inhabitents, params, temp???

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post #3 of 27 Old 12-30-2009, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
30 gal all 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite, ph 7, gh and kh are normal, temp is a steady 78, i have 3 other mollys 3 guppys 5 hi fin tetras, pleco, 2 neon tetras, 4 zebra danios, and these 2 snails just hang out that hitched a ride into my tank on some plants i bought a while ago.
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post #4 of 27 Old 12-31-2009, 07:40 AM
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I use salt for ich. Yes, a photo will help. Ich normally looks like the fish has been sprinkled with salt (not literally).

Here's my article for ich and its treatment. Be careful with meds. Many meds suggested are harsh and one of those I absolutely abhor for curable diseases such as ich is copper sulfate. The only time I'd use copper is against velvet if other options available have been used up.

White Spot Disease
Ich, Ick

Early signs of white spot begin when fish flick themselves against rocks. They may also swimming in an odd behaviour as if they were trying to use the water to wash away an irritation. Some of the more common causes are stress, bad water conditions, live food that have been infected by the pathogens or already infected fish without quarantining it.

Ich is a protozoal infection that afflicts fish and can rapidly kill them, most often by damaging gill tissue. It is highly infectious and potentially lethal and manifests as tiny white spots all over the fish. The spots are no larger than grains of salt. The wide host range of this parasite is its life cycle, and speed of multiplication especially in a tropical aquarium. When you see the white spot on your fish, it is already too late for those ich particles to be avoided.

The organisms, trophonts goes through a life cycle of a small white spot feeding on your fish which drops off to the floor of your tank and encases itself in a cyst called tomont. While encased in a cyst, it divides into up to 2000 new mobile organisms called theronts. The cyst then ruptures, thus releasing the theronts which seek out a host to feed into. They must locate a host within 24 hours otherwise they will die. Only the mobile stage is vulnerable to treatments.

Ich will appear if the fish is stressed. Note that it acts more as a 'contaminant' and is not part of the tank's ecosystem. Any new fish should be quarantined for 2-4 weeks. Failing that will increase the risk of introducing diseases which wil affect other occupants. New fish are always possible carriers of diseases.

Increase the temperature to at least 84-86 degrees as much as the fish can tolerate. Add aquarium or table salt (dissolved in water) at a ratio of 1-3 teaspoons of salt per gallon of water in your tank equivalent to 0.1-0.3% depending on the tolerance level of your fish.

For basic procedures, here are the steps.
1. Dose one teaspoon per gallon of salt or equivalent to 0.1%.
2. After 12 hours and assuming the fish has tolerated it very wellso far, repeat step 1.
3. After another 12 hours, repeat step 1 again.

For bottom dwellers such as plecos and loaches, you may need to maintain the saline solution at 0.1-0.2% so it will not be detrimental to them although there have been few instances where some catfishes can tolerate as much as 0.3%.

Do make sure your fish can tolerate the elevated saline solution. If in doubt, be prepared to do a water change to relieve the fish of the osmotic stress caused by the salt. Try not to lose focus on the actual saline solution you already administered or you might end up overdosing the salt more than it was necessary. Should a water change be necessary, make sure you redose the salt solution per the water volume replaced.

For example, a 10g needs 30 teaspoons at 3 teaspoons per gallon of water measurement. If you wish to change at least 50% of the water, then another 15 teaspoons of salt should be redosed to keep the saline solution effective against the parasites.

For those not familiar with the teaspoon = tablespoon conversion, a round heap of tablespoon is equivalent to 3 teaspoons.

While waiting, it does not hurt to add a powerhead or airstone to increase the oxygen level. Over the first couple days, your fish will appear worse and will eventually recover as the treatment progresses. In most cases, ich will disappear on the sixth day. However, there is still a probability that some cysts have not yet ruptured so it is advisable to keep the treatment up for full ten days.

If you are not able to raise the temperature at all especially if you are dealing with fish that lack tolerance for temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you may need to extend the treatment although a good general guideline is to continue 7-10 more days of treatment right after the ich had seemingly disappeared.. At 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the life cycle of ich is quicker. The colder the temperature, the slower the life cycle thus the treatment will extend even longer than required.

Unfortunately many plants do not do well with this salt treatment and may appear to wither but will usually come back in time once the salt treatment is over. Removing them to a salt free environment after a thorough rinsing may save them, however they must be kept at the high temperature or for an extended period of time. When the cyst breaks up in the plant holding tank, the small parasites will be unable to find a host and will die within 24-48 hours. Ich is easily transferred to other fish tanks so do not share nets, heaters and wet hands between infected and non infected tanks.

Clown loaches and young oscars are notorious for getting ich after they are transferred to your tank. These and many others can tolerate salt. If you are unsure about your fish’s tolerance for salt, be sure to look for answers in a reference book or ask an expert.

A salt test kit available at your local fish store will help you get the exact dosage. Something in the range of .2%, is where you want to be.

Other Treatments:
Malachite Green, Formalin
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Last edited by Lupin; 12-31-2009 at 07:42 AM.
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post #5 of 27 Old 12-31-2009, 07:43 AM
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i would be a little hesitent to add salt to the tank with a pleco in there, they can sometimes be very sensitive to you have an adjustable heater in there??? since joining the forum i have grown fond of the high temp treatment for ich, i have used it and it work great.

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post #6 of 27 Old 12-31-2009, 08:56 AM
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Sounds like ich to me.....I had it 2x now either case I had it on my Tetra so I didn't use salt. I immediatly upped my Temp bit by bit to now 82F (highest my Rummy's will tolerate) and added med's each day that incl Malachite Green and Formali. So far Day 4 for me here: Everybody is alive and spots are subsiding expect for 1 Rummy.

What I learned the 1st time I face this: You got to act fast, no reading up on it for waiting till 'later' to get meds, act as soon as you see that stuff.

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post #7 of 27 Old 12-31-2009, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
Yes i have an adjustable heater and now all my mollies have it...even my pregnant one . im going to up the temperature and ill have to use salt, the article says i can use table salt....Do you recommend that??
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post #8 of 27 Old 12-31-2009, 09:16 AM
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Just do the Temp slowly, I went for 1 degree in about 2hrs and so on.

Had only used ich meds so I can not comment on the salt method. But I am VERY sure you can not use table salt, but rather aquarium salt.

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post #9 of 27 Old 12-31-2009, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
Did you use both meds at the same time?? and will it be even more stress on my fish introducing both at the same time? Also where can i buy these..Im looking online to see if my local petco and petsmart carry them and they dont seem to...

Last edited by mastermindc3pro; 12-31-2009 at 09:41 AM.
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post #10 of 27 Old 12-31-2009, 10:04 AM
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There are many effective ways to treat for ick. This is what I have done in the past, with great results......

I add salt. ( plain table salt is fine to use) I only add 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of water. Salt sensitive fish will be fine at this salt level, just be sure to fully dissolve the salt in water before adding it to your tank. Grains of salt, landing on fish will burn them.
Slowly raise temperature. No more than 1 deg a day. 1/2 deg. every 12 hrs, even better. Raise the temp all the way to 85-86 deg. At 82, it is too warm for the ick to remain on fish. You will see the spots start to disappear. 85-86 deg, this will kill the free swimming ick. Leave the temp at 85-86 for one whole week after all visual signs of ick are gone. Then it should be safe to slowly lower the temp to you normal setting.

Heat depreciates oxygen levels, so turn up all available air. Dropping the water line will give you more air from the filter. (the more air the better)
Water changes throughout will help remove some of the free swimming ick, just replace removed salt during the ick treatment.
Good luck, with whatever method you choice to use!

Ick can be hard to get rid of, if you are getting any readings for ammonia or nitrites. If this is a problem, extra water changes to keep levels as low as possible.

Last edited by Twistersmom; 12-31-2009 at 10:08 AM.
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