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Old 06-30-2012, 10:57 PM   #1 
Blue Fish
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Question Ich infestation... :P Do tanks/hides/plants need to be treated as well?

Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78-80 (since heatwave last 7 days, previously, tank held steady at 75-76)
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? HBH Betta bites pellets, freeze dried blood worms (treats), tetra bettamin flakes, and new life spectrum pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2 times daily, some days I get home from work late, and they're sleeping, and refuse to eat. If they don't come to the surface to eat, then I don't feed them because it just sinks and dirties. That being said, they eat at least once daily, and they are good and round, but not bloated. I try to skip a day every now and again...but I hate doing it, and since sometimes they only eat once daily, I just monitor their weight and go with that to make sure they're safe.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 1 betta in 10 gallons of water. Once per week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%, and I clean the marbles on the bottom at that time as well.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API water conditioner, sometimes stresscoat if anyone has ripped fins or looks like they need it.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? yes
If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: between 0 and 0.25...water due to be changed on monday, and it's not quite yellow, not quite light green, somewhere inbetween.
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: 6.8
Hardness: 150 (hard)
Alkalinity: 100 (moderate to ideal)

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Buckley has one large white speck under his head and near his gills on the left side, Somerset has small white patches on his face and under his head. They're also breathing slightly faster than is normal.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? flashing
When did you start noticing the symptoms? today, though the flashing started yesterday, possibly day before, took it to be playing with the reflection in my laptop, now I'm pretty sure it was at least partially flashing
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? yes, Tetra Lifeguard (tetramethyl (antibiotic), chloro (antifungal), and imidazolidinone (anti-parasitic))
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Buckley had Ich shortly after coming home (water got warmer, and suddenly my boy had Ich) and was treated with Coppersafe (aggh, didn't know how awful that stuff is for them!), but it's a new thing for Somerset. But, he's only been home for about two weeks.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Buckley is a very large adult, I've had him a couple of months, possibly a short time longer. Somerset is newer and younger, has grown a bit, only home about 2 weeks. Both rescues from Petco.

Basically, I know they have Ich, but I'm slightly concerned it could also be some type of fungus, hence the all-in-one treatment, effective to Ich and for fungus as well. I am not using AQ salt because Buckley can't handle it (for whatever reason...) and had a very bad reaction to it previously. So, trying the med route. I'm pretty confident that Ich is a common enough problem that this will cure it.

My question is, since this has been a recurring problem (twice now for Buckley, no new fish in contact with them) but their water temp has recently risen due to extreme heat down here in the south. When it's 113 outside, tank heaters are a moot point. ;) So I believe that the water temp increase is where the Ich got started back up again, so now I'm concerned that I never really got rid of it in the first place.

-- Do I need to clean their tanks/plants/hides/etc. thoroughly, and if so, with what?

-- Can Ich live in their tanks, waiting to rear up again, or is it just something that fish can get recurrently without being exposed to any *new* fish?

-- And, one more, how contagious is Ich? Does a single fish usually get it, or can it move from tank to tank?
I always wash my hands before and after handling, but while I working with one tank to another, I'll occasionally get wet, splashed, move a plant, etc. and I'm sure that every once in awhile the water comes into contact from one tank to the other. Both 10 gals are pushed together at one end so that the boys can flare at one another occasionally just for fun/exercise.

Thanks in advance for help! :)
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:57 AM   #2 
Goldibug
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Ich lives in tanks. It's a lot like the cold virus. It is very contagious and fish can get it any time they are under stress. Fish don't like temperature fluctuations of more than 1-2 degrees difference in 24 hrs. The heat wave here in the south has been keeping my tank at 80* so I know all about the heater feeling useless. I'm thinking that when the temps start to drop in Sept. that the heater will need to be used then. Use a water conditioner like stress coat or prime to help promote the growth of their natural slime coat. Also if you need to cool the tank freeze some conditioned water and drop in a cube every time you see the temp. rise. That being said bettas love 80* tanks :)
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:31 PM   #3 
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Good to know, what about cleaning the tanks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldibug View Post
Ich lives in tanks. It's a lot like the cold virus. It is very contagious and fish can get it any time they are under stress. Fish don't like temperature fluctuations of more than 1-2 degrees difference in 24 hrs. The heat wave here in the south has been keeping my tank at 80* so I know all about the heater feeling useless. I'm thinking that when the temps start to drop in Sept. that the heater will need to be used then. Use a water conditioner like stress coat or prime to help promote the growth of their natural slime coat. Also if you need to cool the tank freeze some conditioned water and drop in a cube every time you see the temp. rise. That being said bettas love 80* tanks :)
Ahh, good to know about the conditioned ice cubes. :) I knew the water wasn't getting too hot for them, and they were probably quite happy, (heaters are in anyway, just in case, they're just not ever coming on) but I knew that the Ich parasite *loves* warm water...and thought that was probably the culprit for the current outbreak. :P (four bettas in four separate hospital bowls in my bathroom...I'm lucky I can brush my teeth in there right now.) ;)

-- Once I get the fish cured, is there a way I can clean the tanks/ornaments/hides that will get rid of the Ich?
I've run everything through a water-only dish cycle about a week ago to get rid of (or at least as much as possible rid of) the Coppersafe I'd used on Buckley when he first had Ich, so I was surprised to see it come back.

-- Do the fish carry it always despite treatment?

-- Would salting the water tremendously (with no fish in), thus drenching/soaking the tank, plants, and all ornaments kill the Ich in the tank?
Would vinegar work?
What about clorox? (I just hate to get clorox in there as I'm afraid it will leave a residue I may not be able to get out?)

-- Any rec's for tank cleaning to get rid of this stuff once and for all?
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:45 PM   #4 
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Ich is always in the Tank. It waits until the Fish seems vulnerable to strike. You have to treat the whole tank since it's a contagious disease. Ice cubes would lower the temperature too fast. You have to keep everything in the Tank to treat it. Use 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon. And raise the temperature to 85*. It's to speed up their Life Cycle. Treat with the Aquarium Salt for 10 Days. You can NOT get rid of it once and for all. It stays.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:59 PM   #5 
Blue Fish
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Okay, so the hospital tank is a washout. Good to know. They're in there now, so I won't move them until TMT is done, but I'll know for next time. :)

So, if I ever manage to cycle these tanks, everytime there is an Ich outbreak (and I'm not sure why it happened this time...they were due for a 50% change in two days, but their ammonia was still at only 0.25, not ideal, but I wouldn't have thought terribly stressful, no other changes) will the cycle have to be restarted?

Continuing thanks for the information!
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:23 PM   #6 
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Warm temperatures help the cycle along and a salt treatment shouldn't affect it. I'm no expert on filterless tanks but without filter media I would think it difficult to cycle. The good bacteria live in the filter media and the substrate. This is why it is good to clean a maximum of half the substrate at a time. Tetra Safestart is fantastic for establishing a cycle but I've always used it on filtered tanks. Ice cubes will still work to lower the temperature as long as you do one at a time and remove them when the desired temperature is reached. Never use any type of chemical near or on your fish equipment. Most cleaners are lethal to fish. If the outside of the tank needs to be cleaned only use a vinegar water mix. It works far superior to windex and won't harm the fish.
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