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Discussion Starter #1
I realized on the 9th that I had introduced ich into my 55g tank, when I added to otto's (both died w/i days) to my tank

My Black Neons and Emperor tetras showed signs on fins, cherry barbs and rainbow fish showed no outward signs but are stressed. Two remaining otto's - 1 seems fine, the other not well.

I've raised the temp to 80 and added salt (2 tsp * 45 gal - assuming gravel, tank contents will consume some space). I've also stopped turning on the lights as the fish "seem" less stressed. I'm continuing feeding as I'm assuming that fish that are eating is a positive sign.
I've reduced the water level slightly and added an air stone for increase water agitation / oxygen

Questions:
Should I increase the tank temp even higher?

Water changes during the treatment phase? There seems to be varing opinons - my own thoughts that I should do minor changes, primarily to vacuum gravel in order to eliminate some of the parasites. I thought ever other day????

Many articles talk about continuing treatment at least 1 week after outward signs of ich are gone, I assume that articles are referring to either salt or chemical treatments. I haven't seen anything about when I should start reducing the temp?

Thank for any help.
 

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Should I increase the tank temp even higher?
The optimum temp for killing spot is 83f but not all fish will tolerate high temps so keep a close eye on things

Water changes during the treatment phase? There seems to be varing opinons - my own thoughts that I should do minor changes, primarily to vacuum gravel in order to eliminate some of the parasites. I thought ever other day????
You can never over water change as good water will aid in the recovery of the fish... Are you using meds and if so what are you using?

Many articles talk about continuing treatment at least 1 week after outward signs of ich are gone, I assume that articles are referring to either salt or chemical treatments. I haven't seen anything about when I should start reducing the temp?
I agree with continuing the treatment for a week after all signs of the parasite has gone. I would start to slowly reduce the temp back to normal after that
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My understanding from reading posts on other forums is that once ich is present, you have to treat the tank, not the individual fish. The parasites must be eliminated within the tank itself
 

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srsmith24 said:
My understanding from reading posts on other forums is that once ich is present, you have to treat the tank, not the individual fish. The parasites must be eliminated within the tank itself
That is correct as the parasite will be present in the water and it is only whilst waterbourne can the meds kill it
 

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80 is fine. 82-83 is better, but it sure is hard on the fish when combined with the ich and the hyposalinity treatment.

Water changes every 2-3 days will help as well, since the fish will be more sensitive to ammonia at the higher temp. Be sure to salt your change water accordingly.

11 days of treatment is a minimum. I go 14 just to satisfy my paranoia.

You'll hear lots of opinions and mine is only one of them. However, my experience with ich is that 2 teaspoons of NaCl per gallon @ 80 for 14 days works everytime.
 

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Also, at the end of the treatment you don't need to do anything special to remove the salt. It will gradually and safely be removed over time with your regular water change schedule.
 

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If you decide to go the way of other medication, the best thing for the fish you are keeping is a med called Formalin. Dose it according to directions, remove all carbon from tank/filter during medication time.
Be careful if you attempt to use any other med because some of your fish are very sensitive to some of the ick medications on the market. The formalin is one that everything you listed would tolerate safely, and it works well.
Good Luck... all good information here for you so far!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to all for your input....last night I started incresing the temp, roughly 81-82 and I do see a difference in some of the fish reaction....
Cherry barbs are hovering at the top of the tank so I think they feel a bit oxygen deprived. Tetras seem to have taken the increase a lttle better.
Anyway, I decided to bring the temp back down to 80. I really just want to alleviate any stress that I can.

All the fish are still eating so I'm still taking that as a positive sign.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update

I lost a Black Neon during the night :( and Cherry Barbs are now showing outward signs of ich. I guess it's true, that it gets worse before it gets better.......
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just returned home from work, I've lost 1 Cherry barb and 2 Black Neons - 4 for the day :cry:

The remaining Cherry are not very active, still hanging out at the top of the tank. Some are even sort of suspended head-down in the tank. Rainbow fish are still pretty active. It's difficult to tell their infection level given their coloring.

Water temp is between 81-82. I performed a sm water change, primarily cleaning the gravel and re-salted the water that I added back.

Is it fairly normal to lose fish during the treatment period? I get the feeling that I may have heavy losses while treating the tank. :(
 

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Have you increased the oxygen supply in the tank with an air stone or some other means?

Warmer water has less oxygen content, and on top of already being sick, that could be lethal. When you find the dead fish, are their mouths open or closed?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I lowered the water level roughtly an inch below the black top line, thinking that water agitation will increase O2 levels. I already had air bubbles from a stone attached to the back of tank. When I increased the temp, I added a air stone on the bottom of the tank as well.

Not sure about all - but I one Neon was already a "runt" and had lost an eye about 4 months ago - I suspect his health was probably compromised. The Cherry and other Neon - I don't believe they had open mouths. The Tetra- not sure.
 

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srsmith24 said:
I lowered the water level roughtly an inch below the black top line, thinking that water agitation will increase O2 levels. I already had air bubbles from a stone attached to the back of tank. When I increased the temp, I added a air stone on the bottom of the tank as well.
Air bubbles do not produce oxygen. It is how they agitate the surface that allows oxygen increase.
 

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Ok, where to begin...
I would suggest using the Formalin medication alongside of the salt for treatment, but please be informed... 2 tsp of salt in 45 gallons of water isn't going to have any effect on the ick.
Proper salt dosing for ick treatment is 1 tbsp per every 5 gallons... and the low concentration of salt at present may be the very reason you are not seeing any improvements so far.

Are there live plants in the tank?

Please be forewarned that Formalin will further deplete oxygen levels, so depending on what filter you are running, and how many of them... you may find the need to increase circulation further during treatment... just be sure the fish are not struggling against water current, as this will simply stress them further.
Let us know if you need more help.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry I didn't make myself clear. I added 2tsp per gal. From what I read and it seem to be consistent, 1 to 3 tsp / gal. My tank is 55 g but I assuemed actual water volume was less (45g) due to decorations and gravel, so my salt treatment may actually be a liitle less than 2 tsp / gal

Then increased temp seem to be cause for stress, so I have decreased it to 80. I know that higher temps speeds the process hopefully 80 will be high enough.

I took the carbon filter out when I started the salt treatment - does anyone know if it's ok to put it back?

Another note: I loss another Cherry barb during the envening.
 

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80 degrees for temp probably won't have much effect on the ick, but if the higher temp is more than your fish can handle, you were right to bring the temp back down. With having to reduce the temp, I would highly suggest you use the Formalin medication to help combat the problem.

Removing the carbon during medicating is important, because carbon pulls the medication out of the water... not true with the salt. Carbon will NOT pull the salt, so it is safe to put it back in unless you decide to use a medication.

The 2 tsp/gal of salt is ok, you could even go up to 2 1/2 tsp/gal without causing harm.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Dawn for your comments and help.

I'm seeing some improvement on the Black Neons (they were the 1st fish I noticed the parasite on) so I believe I'm entering the 2nd stage. O2 levels are improved, as the fish are not hanging out at the top of the tank. Cherry Barbs have taken the greatest toll in the outbreak. :(
The remaing fish are out of hiding so I'm hopeful.

I've bought a 6g tank yesterday to set up as a quarantine tank (better late than never). I have some Fluval BioMax media from my 55g, I'd like to add it to the QT for its good bacteria but am uncertain if the parasites can attach itself to it and infect the new setup.
 
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