I'm a beginner, I just joined this forum (hi!) and this is my first brush with ich.
A little info before my questions:
60 gallon tropical freshwater tank (4'X2'X1')
Substrate: light colored sand
Planted with moss ball, scarlet temple, anachris, onion plant and corkscrew
2 2" clown loach (yes, we will get a larger tank before they need it)
4 black skirt tetras (we are planning to increase to 6)
5 raspora hets
7 zebra long fin danios
0 neon tetras (but yesterday we had 5)
Last readings (taken today - between 2 15% water changes): ph-7.5, alkinity 120, hardness 150, nitrite .25, nitrate 15, ammonia 0
4 days ago we noticed some ich (after adding some new fish from Petsmart). We don't have a quarantine tank, but we just got supplies to set one up and we will use it in the future. So far we have treated with Kordon Rid Ich+ (malachite green and formalin) for 3 days (after removing the carbon filter). We vacuumed (our sand!) and did two 15% water changes. We treated the new water with a combination of Top Fin water conditioner and API stress zyme+. Last night we saw no signs of ich on our fish.This morning, 3 neon tetras were dead. We left the house for a little while and when we returned, 2 more neons were dead. The rasporas don't look as active as they usually seem and one of our clown loaches is hiding. I'm worried that he/she isn't doing well.
I think we've got 3-4 more doses of Rid Ich+ to go, based on advice I've gotten in the chat room, the instructions on the bottle and things I've seen in articles online.
Question #1: Does that sound right? I'm worried that it is the treatment that is now stressing our fish, but I don't want to stop treatment before the life cycle of the ich is complete b/c I know they are only vulnerable to medication while they are in the life stage where they are seeking a new host. At 81F, the life cycle should be about 4 days I think, but some spots in our tank don't seem to get above 80F.
Question #2: Is there something else I can do to protect the rest of my fish during this treatment? I am worried that the neons were the "canary in the coal mine" and that tomorrow more fish will be dead. I don't want to do another water change b/c I just did a 15% today.
Question #3: When should I replace the filters during the treatment - after the last dose? Now (because we can't see any more ich)?
Question #4: Is there anything I should do with my live plants? Oh, and my moss ball has been floating since we vacuumed. What's up with that?
Question #5: I've heard I should run my tank ornaments (some rocks, a couple structures and a rock with a hole in it) through the dishwasher. I've also heard that I should not do that. I've also heard that I just don't need to do that because I'm treating the tank with chemicals, so they should be fine. Any opinions?
Question #6: Is there any way to test to see if our ich is gone besides just waiting to see if it comes back?
Anything else I need to know?