Ich treatment - salt, heat, meds???
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Ich treatment - salt, heat, meds???

This is a discussion on Ich treatment - salt, heat, meds??? within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have read a few different theories in the forums and I would just like to clarify whats best. Everyone seems to be in ...

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Ich treatment - salt, heat, meds???
Old 01-21-2010, 11:54 AM   #1
 
kenster's Avatar
 
Ich treatment - salt, heat, meds???

I have read a few different theories in the forums and I would just like to clarify whats best.

Everyone seems to be in agreement that increasing the water temp to + 81 - 82 degrees is a must.
Some people swear blind that salt is the way to go, that being the case is aquarium salt better than table salt? When dissolving the salt should it be added to hot water? There is also the tolerance levels of the fish for both temp and salt, how do I find out tolerance levels for each fish?
Next there's the shop bought medications. A lot of people suggest using half dosage, should this then be used for twice as long as recommended? Can I use the medications along with the salt or as an alternative?
When using medication and or salt should water changes be reduced to keep the treatment in the tank or increased to remove the Ich from the tank?
Does lighting or feeding have any part to play in the treatment?

I am really only looking to gain knowledge here, not to treat an ongoing problem.

As for the tolerance levels, the fish I currently have are -

Clown loaches
Bristlenose
Danios
neons
Cardinals
Skirted tetras
Glo- lights
and 1 platy


Thanks guys Kenster
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:32 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenster View Post
I have read a few different theories in the forums and I would just like to clarify whats best.

Everyone seems to be in agreement that increasing the water temp to + 81 - 82 degrees is a must.
This depends on what fish species you are dealing with. There are a great number of fish species who cannot tolerate those high temps. 81F - 82F is going to speed up the life cycle of the parasite. Preferred temp for treatment of ich is actually into the 85F - 86F range. The warmer the water the faster the life cycle will progress.

Some people swear blind that salt is the way to go, that being the case is aquarium salt better than table salt? I will have to look this info up, I'll come back to answer this one. There are actually 3 choices in salt because standard aquarium salt differs from marine salt mixtures. I am just not remembering the differences off the top of my head.

When dissolving the salt should it be added to hot water? When adding the salt it should just be poured into the water near a filter intake. If you pour slowly it will mix as it goes in. Mixing it hot water is never suggested. The way it goes in and the temp of the water when it goes in will greatly affect the chemical breakdown and effects on the fish. It is not advised to pour directly onto the fish, but premixing of salt & water used for medication is a no no.

There is also the tolerance levels of the fish for both temp and salt, how do I find out tolerance levels for each fish? You can post here and ask. I can give you that information.


Next there's the shop bought medications. A lot of people suggest using half dosage, should this then be used for twice as long as recommended? Can I use the medications along with the salt or as an alternative? This is dependent on the species of fish you're treating, the medication you're using, and the conditions under which you are treating. Some fish respond better to the salt treatment, some require medication. Sometimes it is also dependent on how advanced/severe the problem is at the time. As for how long to use it, never exceed the amount listed in the directions. If a second treatment is needed it should be done after a water change. Using salt treatment and medication at the same time will also depend on the species of fish and type of medication you are using. Ich medications are not all created equal. The determining factor is the ingredients of the medication.


When using medication and or salt should water changes be reduced to keep the treatment in the tank or increased to remove the Ich from the tank? Again, this is dependent on what medication you are using and what fish you are treating.

Does lighting or feeding have any part to play in the treatment? If you have live plants in the tank lighting becomes important. Dying plants due to lack of light will only serve to pollute the water and raise ammonia levels, so lighting schedules for live plants should be adequate. Feeding is important when treating any fish illness. A wide variety of nutritious foods will boost the immune system of the fish further aiding in fighting the illness and avoiding secondary infections. At the same time it is important not to over feed which will raise ammonia levels quickly.

I am really only looking to gain knowledge here, not to treat an ongoing problem.
There is nothing wrong with trying to gain knowledge, but please know that every illness/parasite problem in a fish is specific, thus there is no one single standard procedure that works or is suitable for all fish. Medical problems should always be addressed and handled on an individual basis according to that specific situation.

As for the tolerance levels, the fish I currently have are -

Clown loaches - very low tolerance to any salt
Bristlenose - low tolerance to salt
Danios - can handle medicinal dosages of salt
neons - very low tolerance to salt
Cardinals - little to no tolerance to salt
Skirted tetras - can usually handle medicinal dosages of salt
Glo- lights - can usually handle medicinal dosages of salt
and 1 platy - can benefit from lightly salted water (boosts immune system)


Thanks guys Kenster
Hope this helps. I'll stop back once I consult my notebooks to find the salt answer. If you are seeking knowledge I want to be thorough for you.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:24 PM   #3
 
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Ok, about the salt...
I couldn't find my notes so I emailed my husband about it. He ran me through a reminder that explains it really well, so I'm going to just copy/paste his reply here.

All of them are predominantly Sodium chloride. Table salt is Sodium chloride and sometimes with iodine added. Aquarium salt is mainly Sodium chloride with some Magnesium chloride (but you never really know unless it says it on the label).
You can use table salt but I would use the non-iodized table salt. I wouldn’t use marine salt for this purpose as some of the elements in it may or may not cause issues with live plants or some sensitive species of fish. There is just too much extra stuff in it. Some people will argue that river water has all that stuff in it and that is true but the concentration is a fraction of what it is in the ocean.
If people’s local pet stores sell “aquarium salt” then I would suggest they use that. Less chance for mistakes by inexperienced hobbyists.




I hope this helps.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:43 PM   #4
 
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Bettababy you are a star,

thanks very much for the detailed response, it's really appreciated.

Kenster
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:02 PM   #5
 
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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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Old 01-28-2010, 10:55 PM   #6
 
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I had it on some cards pretty badly back in december...i bumped my temp to 84-85 and in about 8-10 days it was completly cleared up...then i just lowered my temp back down to 82 and no problem since. I don't know even a fraction of what most on here know, but i'm just saying that worked for me......plus my setup may be way different from yours..i couldn't medicate because i have kuhli loaches so my options were pretty limited
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:16 PM   #7
 
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Agree with the above, 85+ temp. and small salt dosage for 5 days, then Nothing but 85 degrees temp. for another 5-8 days until glass and fish are clear of any signs of parasites. look close.

My opinion bases off a lot of forum reading and my current situation seems to be working.(My opinion, not necessarily factual) :)
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