After being an avid fish keeper for over two and a half years, I'd almost developed the idea that I'd never have to deal with something like an ich outbreak. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Tank Info
Recently I've been working on setting up my 55 gallon tank, which at this point is going to be a South American Cichlid tank. I've been keeping up with regular water maintenance as usual, but lately, I've added different fish. Last week I moved out 3 Jewel Cichlids (an adult and 2 juvies), and a juvie Red Zebra and I added 7 Black Widow Tetra (about 1"-1 1/2"), and 1 juvie female Firemouth Cichlid. I've kept 4 Convicts (about 1"-2") through the transition.
Currently the tank stock is as follows:
x1 Firemouth Cichlid (2")
x4 Convicts (1m,3f)
x7 Black Widow Tetra
Now, I realize that even after taking out the 4 African Cichlids, the 8 other SA fish still have a fairly large impact in the balance of the bio-system. I've added a few bacteria-related chemicals like Stability (as I always do with new fish), added some aloe for fins, and probably a few other things.
The move was last week. I hope this isn't too hard to follow. Symptoms/Observations
Over the first few days, I watched over the tank very closely. The aggression was very minimal, and for the most part, the only species that showed evidence of fighting were the convicts (they fight each other sometimes and leave the others alone). Over this week I've watched them fairly well, and up to this point there still hasn't been much nipping at all, although every once in a while a Convict will chase a strayed Tetra for a second or two.
Today I noticed that the diatoms in my tank were getting worse. After a closer inspection I realized that my filter had been unplugged! The tank was probably stagnant for a few days, possibly. I inspected the fish and what I thought was just a bubble on one of the Black Skirts is actually what I believe to be a Ihthyophthirius cyst. I noticed a few more on some of the other Black Skirts. It hasn't spread to the Cichlids.
I'm not sure if the Ich originated from the fish store I got them from, or if it was related to stress in the 55 gallon tank. Thinking back on when I was at the pet store, I realize that some of the other fish had Ich as well, so I probably got it from the pet store. Either way, I really should have set up a QT. I just didn't want to quarantine a shoal of 7 larger tetra in a 10g tank for two weeks. Treatment
Anyway, although I haven't had issues with this problem before, I am fairly familiar with a few different methods of treatment. Up to this point I haven't done much. I've already carried out a 50% water change, which I plan to do everyday until I get this under control. I upped the temperature from the regular 78*f to 82*f. Other than that, I wanted to get some opinions and suggestions. I've seen plenty of contradictory information on how further treatment goes. Here are my questions
*I've read that it's a good idea to add Salt. Would that be just regular "freshwater" salt, do I use full recommended dose, and how often do I use it?
*Would medication do any harm? I want to get rid of this bug without using much medication, but I do have some if it would help. Maybe I could use half-dose?
*The tank is running at 82*f right now. Do I need to add airstone (which I plan to do anyway) and bump the temperature up higher, or would that make breathing too hard since Ich can get in their gills?
*Is there anything else any one of you would recommend?
I apologize for the long read. I like to be as informative as possible on critical issues like this. I really appreciate any tips or suggestions you might have. I have some head-knowledge, but really no experience treating this problem.