I have a 1 month old tank and am into my first battle with ich. I have done countless hours of research and I just need to know from some more experienced owners if my current treatment is working, or if Im setting myself up for disappointment.
20 gallon, 4 male guppies, 6 Black skirts, 1 small rainbow (yes, I plan on getting a bigger tank eventually).
Al lhave been added slowly over the month period. Since the tank is new, I don't believe it has really ever reached a 'stable' point of cycling, but I do carefully, almost obsessively check the nitrite/ammonia levels and fish behavior to make sure levels are low, stress etc. I've never gone more than 4 days without some % of a water change. Temperature has been 77 degrees. Every water change I add TopFin water conditioner, and Nutrafin cycle. The water has always had a small amount of aquarium salt (2 Tb) and the fish have been doing fine....until...
Last week I pushed to the 5 day limit to let the bacteria work it's magic and allow for more natural ammonia/nitrite processing and I noticed a few (like 5 total ) white specks on the Rainbow's tail and dorsel fin. Ich, so like a beginner I ran to LFS and was recommended Super Ick Cure and raised temp of 80 degrees.
Followed the instructions, left tank as dark as possible, took out carbon filter, yesterday morning I had just been past the 96 hour point (2 treatments) and was doing the instructed 25% water change and adding a new filter
It did help, and the spots on the RBS are gone. But I did notice yesterday there was 1 spot on a guppy, and 1 spot on the small tetra. This is where the normal path diverges and I need confirmation I am still OK.
During the treatment I had read up more on what Super Ick Cure was (m.green) and was horrified. I don't like the sounds of it, where it came from, or why it is even used. It most likely has destroyed all of w/e bacteria I had established. Since the rainbow shark seemed better and there were only 2 noticeable spots I decided to go the more natural method of heat vs another green attack.
So Yesterday morning -> evening raised the temperature slowly to 84 ~ 85 degrees. Slowly doubled the aquarium salt by dissolving in a few small batches and pouring over the filter output. Aerated by raising filter to allow for more agitation Fish all seem ok. No gasping, Rainbow seems to have tolerated the salinity etc..
This brings us up to this AM and my sanity check. Both spots are gone, and fish still seem OK. I have still kept the tank as dark as possible (towel over tank) and I am planning on doing another 25% water change/vacuuming to clean the tank of ammonia/nitrite and tomites from ich. After that I think I will keep this salinity and temp for about ten days with daily or every 2 day water changes (monitoring nitrite/ammonia with Cycle bacteria), and then slowly decrease to normal salinity and normal temp (77).
I realize I have mixed 2 methods of treatment, and it is a bit unorthodox. Do you guys think I am on the right track, or am I going to wake up one morning and see cysts all over my fish (I've read that the cycle worsens before it gets better). If so, do I stay the course... etc. I need a fortune teller please.
Sorry for the long post. Im a new fish owner and I love having them. I don't want to cause any unneccessary damage. Thanks in advance.