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I have a 20 gal tank with 2 corydoras; 1 pleco; 4 neon tetras; 4 platies. I have religiously cleaned and changed 25%-35% water weekly. The water tests usually are very good except I have hard water and the pH is about 7.6-7.8. The aquarium is planted has been well established for 3 months. I quarantine new fish and I have had no new fish added within the past month. Yesterday I saw white spots on one of the tetras and sure enough I found that ich had spread throughout my tank to the other fish too. How could this have been introduced into my aquarium? I have researched so many articles and now I wonder if I am treating this appropriately as I lost a platy this morning. I started API Liquid Super Ick Cure last night at a 1/2 dose as the instructions say to do for sensitive fish like the corydoras. I turned the heat up to 82-84F, turned off the light, and covered the tank to keep it dark in there. My daughter wants to know what the odds are that any of them will live? Is there anything else I can do? What steps do I need to take to prevent this in the future? Is the hardness in my water an issue? I am very worried about my fish as this is the first time I have ever had a problem with them.
 

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To prevent it all fsh should be QTed for a month .. The first bit you should crank up the heat to 86-88f for 5dys -2weeks to kill off ich incase they have it yet no signs yet.

At this point I'd do a large water change.. Add carbon to clean meds out and cank heat up to 86f ( no less!) for 2 weeks. If thays not showing improvement in 4days or so then treat your tank with coppersafe but stop the heat treatment .
 

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The heat treatment is very effective. I have done it twice and I have not really had any fish die, even some heavily infested blue rams, and it worked both times. I'd also combine that with large daily water changes if you want to be certain the fish will survive - make sure new water temperature matches.

The only thing I may be concerned about is your plants. I have never treated an aquarium with them and I hear they can be sensitive to heat... Especially crypts so you may want to look into this. I did look into it some in the past and it seems most people just had some plant die off (partially melting) but nothing major, the plants recovered. But you may want to double check and do your own research.

Your water hardness and pH shouldn't be a problem. Many resources like to say that your pH and hardness is too high IN GENERAL, but for some fish, like platies, it's perfect and the neon tetras and cories should adapt just fine.

Anyways, consider the heat treatment. In the past, as soon as I turned the temp up to 86F, I noticed hardly any new spots develop for about a few days, and then once those spots were gone I never saw the ich again.
 

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Austin, why large daily WC? I haven't done any more WC when heat-treating ich than I normally do. If it's to get the parasites off the substrate that fall off the fish, the heat will kill them in the two-week period so it won't be an issue of them latching back on to a host.
 

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I used to do the water changes with the heat when I first learned of it but laziness has shown me that the treatment isn't any less effective without water changes, so naturally I question the need for it. Same goes for the use of salt during treatment.
 

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I keep my ten gallon with crypt wendtii on the higher end temp-wise (80-82) and they do okay. I experienced no melting after moving them out of a tank that was kept unheated in a 70 degree room but I didn't get melting transitioning them from immersed to submersed, either. My crypts are weird.
 

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In my opinion clean water is always appreciated and regardless if it's necessarily I will recommend it for sick fish. It allows the water to be nice and clean while the fish heals from the ich. I admit it probably is not necessarily.
 

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Hmm, I've never really noticed water changes stress my fish. At least, they've never shown any signs, but maybe it doesn't always show.
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I don't have any fish that get stressed from water change.. My Africans get mean.. But that's just because they're reduced to close proximity . I'd normally say that water changes shouldn't be done for ich treatment but I'll accept Austin's reasoning .. It's honest . I'm pretty particular about water for selfish reasons not really the fish haha.. I did water change while recently treating fish. The reason to advise against it is mainly the room for error when you want a very specific temp in your tank .


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I recently had an Ich breakout in one of my tanks and I used the heat method. I turned my heater slowly up to about 87-88 degrees and left it like that for a little over 2 weeks. Within the first 3 to 4 days I saw the spots disappear off the fish and then just left the heat up for the 2 weeks to make sure I killed all the parasites. It worked like a charm! I didn't lose any fish and they are all doing great now. :)
 
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