Maintaining an aquarium takes knowledge and a great deal of patience. Unfortunately disease can occur at any time and without your knowledge. Fish should always be quarantined in a seperate aquarium before being introduced to the display tank. However, sometimes this just isn’t possible. When making your decision to start an aquarium, you shouldanticipate the possibility of fish diseases such as ich. Ich is very commonly encountered in the aquarium hobby. Thus, it’s important to know the best ways of both preventing and curing Ich. In this article we will give a brief overview of the disease followed by the best ways to cure it.
What is Ich?
Ich (also known as ick) is a very common disease affecting tropical fish. Both Freshwater and Marine species are susceptible to the disease however it is not known to affect invertebrates. Ich is one of, if not the most common disease. It is also responsible for the majority of disease related deaths in the aquarium. Ich can be identified by its distinctive white dot appearance.
How to Identify Ich in the aquarium
Ich can be identified by looking for a number of symptoms. Fish will have white, round dots attached to their gills and/or body. These white dots are usually between 0.5 to 1.5mm in size. Affected fish may try to scratch themselves on rocks and hardscape in the aquarium. Scratching and itching is one of the early warning signs of ich. Fish may also seem lethargic, have rapid breathing and generally seem unwell. If you have any concerns about any of the fish in your aquarium it is always better to quarantine that fish. Place it in a seperate aquarium and lower the risk your entire colony becoming affected.
At later stages of the disease the fish may lose its appetite completely. At this point the disease becomes fatal to the majority of carriers. Be sure to remove dead specimens as quickly as possible. This will prevent spikes in ammonia and nitrite.
What Causes Ich?
Most aquariums already host some form of protozoan which can affect its inhabitants. The easiest way to describe Ich is to compare it to the common cold in humans. When tired, stressed and run down you are much more susceptible to becoming sick. This due to your immune system weakening. The same happens for fish. Fish that have recently been moved to a new aquarium can become easily stressed. Their weakened immune system makes them highly susceptible to disease. This is when Ich is most prevalent. Strong, healthy and acclimatised fish are much less likely to fall victim to the disease.
For this reason reducing stress on your new inhabitants is crucial. Ich is much easier to prevent than cure. Prevention is step one below and we will go into further detail.
The most effective ways of Curing Ich
Prevention of Ich is the most effective route in making sure Ich never exposes itself in your aquarium. Taking steps to avoid the disease will greatly reduce the need for curing ich.
This can be done in a number of ways:
- Using a quarantine tank. The importance of a quarantine tank cannot be stressed enough. Store bought fish often carry disease. Even very healthy looking specimens can introduce parasites and protozoans. Keeping fish quarantined for two weeks will ensure disease is rarely spread to your display tank.
- Quarantine all plants. Plants should be quarantined for at least 3-4 days. Plants, like fish, can also introduce disease into your aquarium.
- Minimising transport of your new fish will help to reduce its stress. Stress is the number one precursor to ich.
- Matching aquarium parameters to the store parameters when adding new fish.
- Never purchase fish that have been in a tank with other diseased or dead fish. Be aware many stores use the same water for a number of display tanks. If the fish generally look unwell, show signs of itching or are breathing rapidly do not purchase fish from this store.
- Don’t overstock. Overstocking a tank is one of the more common reasons for ich outbreak. Make sure your inhabitants have plenty of room to grow.
- Regular water changes. By keeping nitrates low (and ammonia and nitrates at 0) it will reduce stress on your fish. This will make the likelihood of disease much, much lower.
- Purchase Plants from tanks without fish. Ich cannot survive without a host fish to carry the disease. Aquariums void of fish are much less likely to have ich. Always purchase plants from plant only display tanks.
If you can manage to follow at least a few of these simple steps, the possibility of Ich becomes extremely low. Preventing Ich is much easier in than inevitably curing ich. Always take caution when purchasing any live products from a fish store or online. If in doubt, don’t rush the purchase.
2. Raising the Temperature of the aquarium
Ich has a short life cycle that can be shortened even further by increasing the temperature. The ich protozoan metabolism speeds up in tandem with the tanks temperature. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages of this method we will discuss below.
It is recommended to increase the temperature to at least 86 degrees (30 celcius) from its current state. It is not recommended to exceed 90 degrees (32 degrees celcius). Most tropical fish will be able to withstand temperatures around 86 degrees for shorter periods of time. Ensure your species are able to cope with temperatures this high before proceeding.
It is recommended to increase the temperature by no more than 2 degrees every twelve hours. When your desired temperature is reached it should be left at this level for at least 2 weeks. After this time period, slowly reduce the temperature back down to its normal state.
There is a fine balance between shortening the life of Ich and placing your fish under undue stress. Unfortunately some strains of Ich will not be affected by temperatures of 86 degrees. In this case, 88 degrees or 90 degrees may be necessary.
If you have a quarantine tank, it is an excellent time to transfer your tanks inhabitants. You will then be able to push the display tank temperature much higher (96 degrees+) and leave the tank for 48 hours. Without any inhabitants, the high temperature will quickly kill the ich.
In the quarantine tank, increase the temperature to at least 86. Slowly add the inhabitants back to the display tank after a few week. Only do this when you are certain none of them are carrying or showing signs of the disease. This solution is the most optimal, however not always possible.
- Increasing the temperature will reduce the life cycle of Ich. It will make it far easier to remove from the aquarium.
- Most fish will not be affected by the temperature increase. Make sure to increase the temperature gradually
- This can be done in the display tank without needing to remove the fish
- Easy, efficient and comes at no cost to you
- Heating the aquarium to such high temperatures can stress already unhealthy fish
- Although higher temperatures speed up the life cycle, you may not completely kill Ich. The only guaranteed method to remove it from the aquarium is to remove the fish completely and push the temperature above 96 degrees for at least two days.
- It requires constant monitoring of your aquarium and fish. For some fishkeepers this may no be possible.
Raising the temperature of your aquarium can definitely aid in curing Ich. However, it should only be one point of attack. Raising the temperature alone can sometimes fail to completely remove Ich from your aquarium. Fish should be kept in quarantine for some time until you are certain the Ich has been removed. If absolutely necessary, use medications in the quarantine tank. It is also highly recommended to read through the prevention step above. Ensure to be vigilant when purchasing live goods from a store.
2.5 Adding Salt to the Aquarium
There is constant debate to the legitimacy of using salt when curing Ich. Salt is often hailed as an excellent additive for freshwater fish diseases. In personal experience salt has had little impact when curing Ich. More importantly, some fish such as Cories can be very sensitive to salinity changes. Unless you have had prior positive experience using salt I would not recommend it for curing Ich. You are more likely to find that raising the temperature
3. Using Commercial Medications
Unfortunately, sometimes medications are the only option. When using medications for curing ich there are three key points to remember.
1. It is never recommended to medicate your display tank.
Always transfer your fish to a quarantine tank before medicating. The chemicals from the medication will never completely be removed from the aquarium water column. For this reason it is essential to use a quarantine tank. Some medications can be dangerous to plants and anaerobic bacteria. Some medications contain copper which can be lethal to invertebrates. Ensure to read up online before using some medications.
2. Always read the directions carefully and never overdose the aquarium
Read the directions and use a calculator to work out the dosage required. Never add more to the aquarium than recommended. If the dosage is daily, it is usually a good idea to spread the dosage over a number of hours. This will allow you to see if any negative reactions occur in lower concentrations.
3. Remove carbon and other chemical absorbers from the filter.
Carbon and other filter media will absorb the chemicals in the medications. Rendering them useless. Be sure to remove all forms of chemical filtration before adding the medicines.
What are some recommended commercial products for Curing Ich?
There are a number of proven products that may help you beat Ich. These are Fenbendazole, Garlic Guard, Kordon Rid Ich, Para Guard and Melafix. Each tank has different inhabitants who react differently.
Garlic Guard is essential for fish that are having trouble consuming their food or are not hungry. The smell of garlic is a natural diet enhancer and should help you to keep them eating through the worst of the disease. Reducing the stress of your fish is imminent to your future success.
Kordon Rid Ich is one of the more popuplar ‘Ich Exclusive’ medications. It is described as having “two powerful medications” which are most likely some base form of Fomalin. This means the medication is powerful and deadly. Use any Ich medication with extreme caution with your inhabitants. The medications are toxic enough to kill the parasite while sparing your fish. This is a fine line to dance. Melafix/Pimafix are likely to have a similar make up of chemicals, although it is very difficult to know. There is no requirement for these companies to digress what ingredients they use. I would always recommend using an established brand for this reason.
ParaGuard is an aldehyde, which is probably preferable to other medications as it is undoubtably less toxic. On the downside, ParaGuard is not made exclusively for curing Ich. Medications that have a range of purposes will always make me more skeptical than those made specifically for Ich. Here’s what Seachem says about its product: “ParaGuard contains no formaldehyde or methanol and will not alter pH. ParaGuard employs a proprietary, synergistic blend of aldehydes, malachite green, and fish protective polymers that effectively and efficiently eradicates many ectoparasites on fish (e.g. ich)”.
47 thoughts on “Curing Ich – Best 3 Ways to Remove Aquarium Ich”
I think it’s useful to know Ich’s life stages more exactly simply because Ich is only vulnerable to medications while it’s in its free-swimming life stages, which are very short. The better you know the enemy, the better your chances to defeat it, especially if you get one of the more resistant strains.
What we see as white spots which are visible on our fish is a life stage known as a trophont. The trophont feeds on the fish’s body fluids, weakening the fish. The more Ich the fish carries, the weaker it becomes. Trophonts are entirely immune to medications because of the protection they’re afforded from the fish’s own slime coat.
Once the trophont stage matures it drops off the fish’s body and for a very short time, possibly just a few hours, it will freely swim in the water column and become vulnerable to medication. it will quickly settle to the bottom or onto a plant and encyst, forming the third, or reproductive life stage, called a thermont.
Thermonts hatch fairly quickly, depending on the exact temperature, into hundreds of free swimming tomonts which are again vulnerable to medications, but only until they find a fish host to attach to.
These tomonts haven’t very long to find a host and if they fail to do so in time they will die. This is why removing all fish from a display tank for a couple of weeks will clear the display tank of Ich. But those fish still have to be treated, one way or another, while they’re not in the display tank.
And please, be aware that if the display tank is planted you MUST NOT use salt. Salt will kill your plants!
The time during which Ich are immune to medications and salt is quite a bit longer than the short time during which they are vulnerable, so persistence with treatment is important.
It’s best to continue the chosen treatment until at least 4 or 5 days have passed since you last observed any white spots on the fish. This is because Ich can hide inside the mouth or gills where they are impossible for us to see. The extra days of treatment done after the body and fins appear to be clear are the very best insurance that you will kill ALL the Ich during the treatment time. If even one trophont survives, you will find you have Ich showing up on the fish gain in a few weeks. Better to treat a few days longer and be sure than quit too soon and have it all to do again.
Brilliant comment, thank you for taking the time to write this! I am sure other readers will be able to gain some valuable insight as did I.
We have a 150 gal tank with a variety of fish- plants and probably about 100 + cone snails. What do you recommend we do now that the tank has ich? If we remove all the fish to treat will the ich still feed off the snails?
Thank you for your comment I’m treating ich right now and I’m trying to gather all the info I can
If you have “lost” fish how long should you wait to replace them? What should you do to prepare your tank for them?
I have fish and a lost a few and I always waited a few days before getting another one
Very informative. Thank you.
But I caution using any API products. I’ve been a hobbiest my whole life. You can not trust any API products.
Melafix is their baby and I’ve never cured any thing with that.
agreed. Melafix is a scam and a half
I definitely agree and I have nothing but cichlids in my 75 gallon tank. Melafix is just horrible. I love my babies especially my crayfish. I got 2 female crayfish (Roxie & Claws) and my aisan needle fish. The all let you pet them and eat out of your hand.
Excellent info above, thank you
I heard that Marine Ick isn’t affected by raising the temp? Is it true?
can be affected, but ich cannot be killed, just reduce reproducting speed
is it possible to introduce new fish into a tank that is currently being treated for ick?
not a good idea. New fish will already be stressed because of transport and new tank conditions. They will likely catch the ich in the tank and that will put even more stress on them.
also is it possible to constantly cure a tank by feeding your fish garlic, and or have cleaner shrimp. and what could really reduce the multiplication of ick?
We have 2 established tanks and though not recommended we have never utilized a quarantine tank. It was 8 happy years before the rule of probability struck and we had an ick outbreak in our 55 gallon tank. We lost a few corydoras and chalked it up to old age (they were 7 yes old) and one bloodfin tetra that was the runt of the school so we thought he was just weakened. It wasn’t til i saw one of my blue rams were covered in white dots did we put two and two together. Another big sign that you may have ick outbreak is if the fish hangs out by the filter at the top and by this point we had a few doing such. We had never dealt with ick before. We don’t like using medication/unnecessary chemicals in our tanks so we opted for the salt method. Since so many of our fish were showing symptoms we moved out plants to the quarentine tank and treated our main tank using elevated temp and salt. We were able to push all our fish to almost 90 decreased with increased aeration with no signs of distress. After 2 weeks of high heat, salt and water changes per the recommendations, all our fish were back to healthy and tank was deemed ick free. We didn’t lose another fish once treatment began and my ram covered in ick recovered nicely. Did we learn our lesson? Nah, we still don’t quarentine but we do now ask breeder/fish stores about their water perimeters to see that it is close to ours so we don’t stress the fish and acclimate slowly. We’ve added fish since with success. I’m sure we will see ick again but now we know more how to spot early signs and can implement treatment quickly. I always thought ick was a death sentence and was relieved to learn it isn’t once we encountered it. Even the German blue rams that are notorious for their sensitivity did fine through it. Sorry if my comment is too long. I just wanted to share my experience with ick. Maybe it will help someone else. Our tanks are now stocked as they should be and no more fish will be added..til we start our next new tank and I’ll be on ick alert then
We have mated pair blue rams, 2 gold rams, 3 male dwarf guarami, male/female rainbowfish, 10 bloodfin tetras, 6 serpea tetras and plecos/corydoras in the treated 55 gal tank and all the fish tolerated just fine.
What was your method of salt
Your situation is exact as mine except was a striped raphael cat… what exactly did you do for temp and salt method?
How much salt did you add? Did you add more salt after the initial 1st time and what did you set temp for? How long did you do this treatment for. I got a 55 gallon I’ve noticed that I have ick in it. I followed directions on the salt container for how much to add and I’ve brought the temp up to 80, this will be the 3rd day.
Hi! May I ask. What did medication or method did you use to cure your tank of ich?
For those asking about salt. It depends on how delicate your fish are for the most part. When my electric blue acara caught ich, I did a tablespoon for every 2 gallons. I pre mixed the salt in some tank water then added the mixture as the salt crystals can burn their fins.
If you have more delicate fish you can do a tablespoon for every 5 gallons.
You can do 1 tablespoon per gallon, but I would only do that for salt soaks (placing a very sick fish in an isolated container for up to 30 mins) or if the above methods dont work.
IMPORTANT: Salt doesn’t evaporate or leave the water like some medications do over time. When you do a tank change, be sure to only treat the amount of new water you’re adding to the tank, and not the whole tank. for example if you have a ten gallon you’ve already treated, and you do a 50% water change, you would only add salt for 5 gallons of water.
Hope this helps
Thanks for sharing, looking for comments and experiences just like yours. Thanks for taking the time to share
Thank you so much for this detailed post. I’m dealing with my first outbreak of Ich. I was out of town and came home to it. I’m overwhelmed and devastated. Lost several fish already. Your post gives me some hope. Thank you.
I have used garlic cloves they healed the ick up for me.I was going though the same thing you were and I did the garlic and it is better.Good luck.
I was wondering how to clean my aquarium sand from ich. I also have 5 live plants, and a lava rock. Could someone please tell me how I can clean this stuff?
Ich will die on its own in 48 hours if there is no host for it to attach to. If the tank is void of fish, just wait a couple days and the ich will die
I would like to add a few points to this article.
The point that “Melafix/Pimafix are likely to have a similar make up of chemicals, although it is very difficult to know. Neither of these “medications” have Malachite Green or Formalin, or else it would be on the label. These two products are sold as “natural” and use some sort of tea tree bark, and it is stated on the label.
A great update for this article is knowing that Rid Ich states it has Malachite Green AND Formalin. I am no government employee, but I believe both active ingredients need to be identified commercially. Also, I believe if either the Melafix/Pimifix had Malachite green in it, which is what is in Rid Ich (along with the formalin) you would know it. It would make your aquarium a blue/green.
Should I perform water changes while treating ich with only heat?
I realize this is an older post I’m commenting, but I’m casting about wherever I can for advice.
I have a 55-gallon display tank that I’ve had for over twenty years, so it is well-cycled. (I replaced the filter last year with a new two-barreled biowheel filter, but I’ve verified there’s no trace of ammonium or nitrite in the tank, so that too is now well-cycled.) I normally keep the temperature at around 79F. My water parameters are around 10 to 20 ppm nitrate, 0.5 ppm phosphate, carbonate hardness 5 dH, general hardness 6 dH, pH out of the tap somewhere around 7.4 but I CO2 inject to bring it down to 7.0. The tank is planted with several dwarf cryptocorynes that are doing great, some dwarf anubias that is also doing well, several swords that are not doing quite as well, some ludwigia and bacopa that are struggling to get established, and some water wisteria that is not doing well at all. Animal inhabitants are an uncensused but fairly large population of Malaysian trumpet snails, two of what my local store calls zebra mystery snails, a very young Ancistrus cat, eight otocinclus, three Siamese flying foxes, two clown loaches, two Bolivian rams, and seven rainbowfish (two male Boesmani, three female Boesmani, and two turquoise.) Many of these are new stock I added two Fridays ago as a holiday spending binge — the ancistrus, some of the otocinclus, the two turquoise rainbowfish, the rams, and the Siamese flying foxes. I also purchased a 5.5 gallon tank on sale with thoughts of using it as a quarantine tank, but as it hasn’t cycled yet, I put just a single dwarf gourami and snail in it intended to closely monitor until it cycled, and put the other new ones directly in the display tank with as little of their old water as possible.
Last Saturday afternoon (not quite four days ago) I noticed some of the fish flashing, particularly one of the clown loaches. Took a close look, and, sure enough, there were several of the dreaded white spots on the loaches. Possibly one or two on the larger rainbows. The other inhabitants seemed unaffected so far. I began raising the temperature, leveling out at 90F last night and then dialing slightly back to 88F as the Siamese foxes were showing some signs of mild stress. The other inhabitants seem fine so far. I also began using a half-dose of malachite green Saturday. I’ve been vacuuming the gravel every day enough to change out 20% of the water, and redosing with malachite green on each water change in proportion to the water removed. The malachite green product I’m using apparently does not contain formaldehyde (not listed in ingredients and the stuff is odorless) but I have been regularly dosing with glutaraldehyde for algae control (and theoretically as a carbon source for the plants) so there is some aldehyde in the water to work with the malachite green. The tank is well aerated and so far the fish and plants seem to tolerate the treatment well, except for the flying foxes looking slightly stressed last night; they seem happier this morning with the temperature dialed back to 88F.
How soon should I be seeing results? I see no signs of any new fish being infested, but after three and a half days of treatment, the loaches still have numerous tiny white spots on them. I would have thought that at 88F these would already have dropped off the fish, and the heat treatment and malachite green/glutaraldehyde should be preventing any reinfection, no? I’m worried I have a strain of ich that is resistant to both heat and malachite green, or that the tiny white spots are something other than ich. (Sure look like it, though, plus the flashing.)
Meanwhile — separate mystery — I lost the gourami in the new tank. I had been monitoring ammonium daily and changing out most of the water at the first sign of any buildup, and the little guy seemed to be doing well. But Friday I came home to find he was showing classical signs of ammonia poisoning, listless and hanging just below the water surface. Crep. Checked the ammonium level; *not a trace.* No nitrite. I did two 80% water changes over the next two days and he seemed to briefly rally before succumbing last night. My guesses: An ammonium spike my tests somehow missed; or the fish got spooked somehow on Friday and smacked into the glass with fatal internal injuries (I lost a discus years ago that way.)
Anyway, I have the option now, if necessary, of moving the two loaches (since they are the only ones showing more than a spot or two) into the new tank — if I’m willing to take that risk — for more intense treatment. The display tank is infected, obviously, but with live plants, snails, and scaleless fish in it, I can’t risk full-dose malachite green or salt. I could do that in the small tank.
I would keep treating, the white spots can remain for some time after the parasite drops off as the wound still needs to heal. Did you remove any activated carbon from your filters? If you have not already increase aeration of the tank to help oxygen levels in the warmer water and be patient.
At this point trying to do too much can lead to more stress in the fish and cause the infection to spread. I think dropping to 88 degrees was a good call. In my experience clowns are very susceptible to ich and treatments, so they may be the first to show it and last to heal.
I would not full dose them in another tank or add salt in another tank, other fish sure but the loaches no. I’d also only consider moving fish if the infection appears to be spreading, again you’ll just introduce more stress and up the odds of killing them.
At this point ich is already in the main tank so follow the half dose treatment and after another week to 7 days start bringing the temp back down. Bring it down sooner if the other fish start to stress.
You have WAY too many fish in your small 55 gallon tank. Your fish are definitely stressed. Stress makes your fish more prone to carrying ich. I recommend getting at least a 150 gallon tank or a couple more 55 gallon tanks and spreading the fish out. Your ich breakouts will just keep happening with unhealthy stressed fish. Hope this helps.
I would keep treating. The ich leaves the fish, goes motile in the water, and then forms extoshells all in the tank that last a week or so before re-emerging to start the havoc all over again. I use Ich-x, but only in hospital tanks, never in display tanks. Those fish in the hospital tank died. I had to treat the whole tank this time, since I had multiple showing signs of ich. I just hope the Ich-x doesn’t kill all or most of my display fish like it did in the other fish. I’m just going to have to wait and see.
I had a 120 gallon planted tank with 8 bigger clown liaches and 4 discus that developed ick. I used herbtana and raised the temp to 86-87 for at least 3 weeks and everybody survived. The Herbtana is more of an immune system booster than a medication to kill the ick. This worked for me. Any chemical treatment with scaleless fish like loaches usually kills them. Be patient and leave the temp up. Don’t use salt with the loaches. Garlic treated food will probably help them eat to keep immune system strong.
do sponge filters take the medications out of the water?
Only if it has carbon in
Yes, an old post indeed, but here we all are, and for the same reason – getting rid of ick. All of the above is very helpful and I thank everyone thus far for their input. As a long time owner of clown loaches I have indeed seen the terrible ick-monster a time or ten, in what seems to be “perfect” conditions. For loaches, hands down the best treatment in my experience, is any medication containing the ingredient “quinine” (various types exist and all do well). There are only a handful of breeders of this fish and all will advise you of the same. Hope that helps anyone out there that has already aerated, salted, heated, etc without much benefit.
DYK? Dead fish, empty aquariums, decorations outside. Had devastating ich outbreak during vacation. Had snow twice, so question is, is bacteria on decorations dead?
My fish had a little bit of ich and since starting an API super ich cure which is malachite green- based and involved using one powder packet for 10 gallons and leaving it for 48 hours, then repeating, i now have seriously ich-y, seriously stressed…
Continued later in afternoon: never mind. I now have 8 dead red ember tetras and the last 1 doesn’t look good. And 1 little suckerfish and 1 male guppy who look to be in good shape, but have 2 or 3 spots of ich each. Before starting the treatment I had a sickly but friendly male guppy that the survivor kept abusing. He got sick, then the red embers started getting ich spots. The blue guppy died, then I started the green treatment. I removed the filter and poured in 1 packet because i have a 10 gal tank. The ich must have come in with the second batch of red embers I bought recently, or the sucker. The worst of the fish had about 8 spots when I started. By the time the 1st 48 hour treatment finished they were absolutely covered with ich. The box said not to change the water, just do the second 48 hour treatment. Against my judgement I followed the directions. Then I had the stomach flu and didn’t get to take care of them other than turn on the light and feed for the first 24 hours. They were miserable. I decided to change some of the water and end the treatment early. I figured I’d give them a day off and then do a shorter treatment. I was too late because they have been dropping like flies all day. Every time I turn around there are more dead ember tetras. Also, all the hundreds of uninvited snails have made it through the treatment just fine. I blendered up some garlic cloves and strained them, dumped that liquid in the tank, too. I have the fish in buckets with clean water and air stones and now I poured into the tank a packet of the API ich “cure”, stirred up the substrate, and poured boiling water in to heat the tank to 88degrees. This was the lamest fishkeeping day yet, including the green slime algae struggle last year, which killed a fish and shrimp. That was also a chemical “fix”.
In order to kill the Ick I did the green treatment API. I isolated my fish in ad bucket for three days completely stripped my tank washed with hot water. Took my fish out of bucket returned them to the tank still had a few spots of Ick on them. Now I am doing heat treatment the woman at Petco said no more than 80 degrees r it will. Kill my. Fish Help am I doing the right things How many day s do I keep the temperature up I was told four or five days. ????
Hi, had to remove all my fish to a qt tank as they have ich, how do i keep the bacteria alive in my display tank, should i add a certain amount of ammonia, or wont it be needed, as the fish will probably be out of it a while
Thank you Paul
i let the temperature get to 84 degrees. i cooked them and then ate them. it was alright. 2/5 would not recommend.
My 55 gallon is having ich issues. I’m on day 4 they are still flashing and only my bristlenosed pleco has visible spots. I’m using medication and guy at pet store said raise temp to 84 . But a lot of people are raising there’s higher. I’m confused. So far I haven’t seen an improvement. What do I do. I have cichlids.
Hi everyone! i have a Halfmoon King Male Betta. I have had him since 8/10. He is very active and responsive to me…though this week I have noticed him scratching and slashing a lot. He also has been taking big gulps of water randomly. I took him to a local fish store and had the water tested. The store said they do not see any spots on him (he is white and red) and the water tested perfect. He is still scratching and flashing and I am worried about him. Has anyone experienced this before? Should I treat for ich anyway?
Any help is appreciated thank you!
I would be very cautious about this. He is not displaying any symptoms for ich, and as such I would not treat for it. At best it will do nothing, at worse, using the wrong treatment could seriously stress him out or kill him. I advise keeping an eye on him and doing more research; I have never had this issue or seen it, so I’m not sure I can help with that.
Good luck though!
Old post yes, but I see people still look for answers here and here’s my story which will hopefully help someone. I started a 20 gallon high tank after having successfully gotten back into the hobby with a 5 gallon Betta tank for over a year. After over a month of running with plants and décor (some from my established tank) and starter chemicals I added 10 Harlequin Rasboras and 6 Otocinclus (along with my Mystery snail from my 5 gallon) to start. On the second full day in my tank the Otos started to die off, my tank without a heater was running at just over 75 degrees consistently in the summer (which by the way after much research it is well within the temp range for BOTH my chosen species, I didn’t do this without extensive research BEFORE buying them). The water parameters were good. All the Harlequins were seemingly fine. The guy at the LFS told me I needed a heater and that the Otos required 80-82 degree water (I was skeptical then and I now call bunk on that). Even after I added the heater Otos continued to die until I only had 1 left 11 days after I added fish. The day after the 5th Oto died (NO SIGNS of spots on any of the deceased Otos) is when the white spots happened (I caught it very early, I only saw 3-5 spots total on 1-2 Harlequins, NOBODY had any spots before that, I was diligent). I am grateful to the LFS guy for the adjustable heater ONLY for the treatment of ICH. I researched and researched how to treat Ich, thankfully I already had a very good “First Aid Kit” so I didn’t have to rush out for anything. I chose to treat with heat and API Super Ick Cure in the PLANTED display tank- as 11 fish are far too many for my 3 gallon quarantine tank and my main tank was already “infected”. I REMOVED MY MYSTERY SNAIL and placed it in my hospital tank as the treatment is questionable for them and I didn’t want my healthy snail to suffer. I slowly raised my heater up to 86 degrees over about 8-10 hours to speed up the life cycle and I even emailed API to ask about water changes (The heat didn’t help spikes in ammonia, as that makes things like fish poop decay faster and poison the water, stressing fish)- I followed API’s instructions, dosing the tank every 48 hours, but API advised that I could INDEED do a water change every 48 hours before redosing so I did exactly that (5-6 gallon water change each time), and they also advised you can dose the tank for as long as you need to (as the instructions only advise on 2 doses which is only 4 days so to me that wasn’t enough time, I had to go longer before I was comfortable stopping so their confirmation was good to know- and just so you know I had decided I was going to do water changes even if they said it wasn’t a great idea).
AFTERMATH: At the end I had dosed the tank 8 times (every 48 hours with the water changes 5-6 gallons, adding Seachem Prime to mitigate ammonia in addition to the already treated water with Fritz Complete and added API StressCoat). My fish showed no signs of further stress during and after treatment. I made sure I hadn’t seen a white spot for at least 5-6 days before stopping treatment. I think the hardcore medication/heat etc crashed my cycle due to some questionable water tests so I ended up dosing with Seachem Stability and Prime which evened it out after I put my HOB filters back in, and I typically dose with Aquarium Salt and StressCoat. The 11 fish made it through, the last Oto is super healthy and growing. All 10 Harlequins though they were the first to display the illness made it. All the silicone in my tank is a green/blue color from the malachite green, but my substrate and décor have “recovered” from the coloring and the silicone is fading over time. ALL my plants made it out alive even thriving (amazon swords, anubias barteria, ribbon dracaena, java fern, even the algae). Since this episode the tank runs now with a sponge filter only, a full spectrum LED light (explosive plant growth) and NO HEATER (I’m in winter now and today’s temp in the tank was 77 degrees).
Hindsight? It’s possible I added too many fish at one time but I was hardly overstocking IMO. I’m willing to admit it was my error. HOWEVER, I will also point out Otocinclus aren’t as easy as some people would like you to believe, they are ALL wild caught and due to them not being fed or not being fed enough in transport from their country of origin the good bacteria in their gut dies and even if they seem healthy (and mine were even “fat” as they tell you to choose when you get them) they cannot recover from the initial starvation no matter how much they were eating (and they were eating). The LFS I purchased them from hadn’t had them but for maybe a week and I’m not sure they quarantined them for long if at all. Every time I see them in the big box pet stores I usually catch at least 1 dead one in the tank. I recently purchased 6 more (which are in quarantine as I type this) from a different LFS (who said they were at the store at least 2 weeks) and 2 of them have white spots. So I am now treating them in the quarantine tank. Also amusingly the LFS guy at the 2nd store said the advice for 80-82 degrees for Otos is “too hot”. The white spots on my new Otos were very hard to spot because they very often keep their fins close to their bodies when just sitting, the LFS was notified of my findings just an hour after I got them. I chose to treat them as opposed to returning them. So in the end my suspicion is that the Otos dying caused the stress and outbreak of Ich in my tank- but again I’ll never know that for sure. I think Otos would be indeed easy IF you can get them through the initial days with you, but that likely entirely depends on how well they were treated BEFORE you get them.
Sometimes there is no explanation for why our fish get sick, in my case it may just have been they were already stressed before I even put them in the tank, or like I said there are things that I could have done that made them sick- but I didn’t go into this unarmed with knowledge of tanks, meds, plants and the fish species that I chose to stock, even with all that knowledge things went “wrong”- but I was able to recover it and mitigate any further fish loss. If your fish are sick, I hope my post helps you. It’s not fun, but it can be done, you just have to be diligent. I can also clean my tank in under 15 minutes now from start to finish- so I’ve gained a skill if nothing else. 😉 Good luck!
I just started using Kordon Ich Attack in my 20 gallon tank. Treating my 4 mollies for Ich. I took out my carbon filter as required. Do i keep it out until I stop doing treatments or can i put it back in after a few hours of doing each treatment ??
I have treated my tank for icy but my fish died. How can I treat the tank to get rid of ick from the tank and filtration system