Originally Posted by LisaC144
Ich is a 3 stage process. It is a parasite that burrows in the skin of the victim, feeding on blood and dead cells. The irritation caused by the burrowing parasite causes the skin of the fish to swell and produce white cysts seen as a small spots. This is what is known as Ich.
After several days of feasting, the engorged parasite develops into a trophozoite, burrows out of the fish and sinks bottom of the tank. Secreting a soft jellylike substance, it forms a protective membrane inside of which it divides into hundreds of baby parasites, known as tomites. The hungry tomites soon leave their home in search of a fresh fish to dine upon.
It is during the free-swimming stage, which lasts a mere three days, that the parasite is vulnerable to medication. Once it has burrowed into a new host fish it is safely protected from chemicals in the water.
If you have Ich, I would recommend bringing your water temperature up to 80-82 degrees. This helps speed up the process and prevents the Ich from reoccuring. Ich cannot survive warmer temperatures. Treat with an Ich medication like Quick Cure or Rid Ich for a full 3 days AFTER you see no more white spots on your fish.
When you bring the temp up -- slowly do it, don't rush into it or it'll stress out the fish quickly. Don't go for anything that's organic, it won't work!! never has for me and I've wasted hundreds avoiding to stain the silicon on the glass.
you can do this in 2 ways -- raising the tank temperature to up to 86-89deg, and turn off all lights and start seperating your plants (if you had any) and add just a little salt to the tank (make sure it's salt that doesn't have anti-clumping agents or anti-caking agents (ie. no table salt) 1.75 tablespoons to 6 tablespoons salt per 5 gallons of water. (depending on the type of fish)
The salt will irritate and kill off the ich once's it's off the body and in the gravel within 1-2 days, and since the temp of the tank is that high they cannot reproduce since the temp raises the growth rate and lets them die off prematurely, the salt is there for 2 purposes -- to finish off the job of killing the ich, and also to allow osmosis transfer of air to the gills for easier breathing (at this point also put an air stone since higher temp water doesn't carry as much dissolved oxygen)
you will want to change about 25% of the water each day (with aggressive gravel vacuuming), and also replenish the salt you've drained out.
after about 5-10 days, you won't see this issue anymore, but treat the tank for about 3-4 days the same way to make sure you've gotten everything -- then clean out your filter, etc as well on the last day to make sure it doesn't come back.
2nd way of doing so -- get malachite green+ formalin and dose the tank (this is basically poison on poison) you can raise the temp to about 83-84 deg -- this will quicken the life cycle to a couple of days instead of weeks at 78-79. then basically do 1 dose per day while also using water changes. how much to put will depend on the product.
this will stain your silicon in your tank (all glass like me) and also you will want to remove the carbon from your filter.
this will basically be a poison to kill off the ich, but at the same time you'll be killing your fish and plants, you basically want to kill off your ich before it gets to your fish.
you can always go to 1st route as the safest method without using any salt (which i've done successfully). Just be careful and monitor --- all treatments require you to leave the lights off 24h/day while doing the treatment since the medication and the light will stress the fish, and if you go the poison route -- you'll ruin the effectiveness of the malachite green since it's photo-sensitive or something of that matter.