ich/fin rot.... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-22-2010, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
molliefan09's Avatar
Exclamation ich/fin rot....

so....in my tank...a 55 gallon by the way....we currently have 2 oscars and 1 JD.....this is not their permanent residence they will be getting a 150 gallon the beginning of february....in any case....we think they have ich....as well as some white areas on the pectoral fins...not sure if this is damage from being nipped or the beginnings of fin rot (this is only on the oscars) also the black oscar has a white area along the front part of his dorsal fin....all our tanks stay steady at 78-80 deg.f i just dialed it up from 80-82.....these are all the meds i have on hand.....melafix, ickaway (wardleys), primafix, and aquarium salt....from my google research it says to use heat AND aquarium salt along with the meds....we are doing a 50%WC after dinner tonight. all the fish seem lethargic and the 2 oscars look like they are breathing heavy with their gills seeming to open further then normal....everyone will still eat their ghost shrimp and hikari pellets but then go back to their caves. all water params are good (just tested 5 minutes ago)

ammonia 0ppm
nitrites 0ppm
nitrates 20ppm
pH 7.8

my boyfriend is freaking out because these oscars are his babies, dont get me wrong he like the JD too but if anything happens to these oscars he, as well as me, will be devestated!!! he wants to start treating ASAP...he did dose the tank with the ickaway wednesday night but is now leary of adding and doing all these things in fear of loosing the fish but is also fearful if we do nothing we will loose them anyway...

i will try to get pics of the black oscars fins...

adendum: we arent seeing "salt" type fleck on the fish but they are all flashing so he thinks it may be in the free swimming stage

"Fish are friends not food"
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-22-2010, 07:37 PM
I would not stop the treatment, but follow the instructions to the letter. For ich it usually takes about a week, dosing every day. I have never lost a fish to ich. The treatments work very well if you do it on time.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-22-2010, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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our only concern is that we DO NOT like putting ANYTHING in our tanks outside the water conditioner (PRIME). this is the first time we are dealing with this so we are really stressing it...

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post #4 of 9 Old 01-22-2010, 10:37 PM
Well, you have ich in your tank now. I understand that ich can not survive above a certain temp. Maybe you could try that. I think it's like 83 or something like that. I know there are some that refuse to add any chems into the tank. Hopefully they will chime in. Or, maybe you can do a search, many people have had ich problems on this forum.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-23-2010, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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well....we did a 40% change WC last night....added aquarium salt and dosed the tank at half dose of both melafix and pimafix. all the fish seem VERY happy since then swimming around the tank eating whatever is dropped in the tank. their colors are nice and vibrant

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post #6 of 9 Old 01-24-2010, 12:57 AM
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Use salt only for ich. Clean water for finrot. You can do daily water changes. Just remember to redose the salt again per water volume replaced.

Here's my article on ich with instructions of adding salt.

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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post #7 of 9 Old 01-24-2010, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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thank you lupin!! i will continue withthe salt only

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post #8 of 9 Old 01-24-2010, 07:57 AM
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I like the salt treatment. Just be sure to do some research to find out what temperature the oscars an JD can tolerate. 86 degrees might be too high.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-28-2010, 10:12 PM
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most cases you can cure ich just by raising the temp above 86F because ich can't reproduce in temps above 86F.
just be sure to raise your agitation because raised temps holds less oxygen just as it does when you use meds.Also raise the temp very slowly so it don't stress the fish.Hold the temp above 86F for 10 days or at least 4 days after all the spots leave to insure all is clear. I have successfully cured ick twice using this method myself, and i am currently using it again on my 55 due to a slight outbreak a few days ago.Now on day 6 and all is going well, hopefully Monday i can very slowly start lowering the temp back down to around 80 ish..

Good luck...
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