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Old 01-19-2014, 02:43 PM   #1 
kittenfish
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Treating for Ich in a planted tank

Recently I've had a small but annoying problem with Ich in my tank. It's a divided 10 gallon with three bettas and two guppies. I haven't seen any behavioral changes, just 2-4 tiny white spots on the fish, lasting only a day or two - except for one guppy, who might have had it when I got him. He's not entirely responsible for introducing it, though, since this started before that. The others seem to take turns getting it, as I only see one infected fish at a time. All I've done so far to treat it is increased the temperature and done a couple water changes. I'm wondering how else I can safely remove the parasite from the tank, as salt could kill my plants, potassium permanganate could kill my snails, and I can't thoroughly vacuum my soil + sand substrate. Should I even try using medicines at this point?
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:44 AM   #2 
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That doesn't sound like ich, it doesn't usually come & go like that. How long are you leaving the temp at 86F? I would find a way to do some vacuuming at least once a week.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:45 PM   #3 
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What else do you think it could be? It looks exactly like ich, just in really small amounts. Fish acne, maybe...

It's gone for now, but I'm afraid it might come back since there's no way to thoroughly remove any parasites hidden in the dirt.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:33 PM   #4 
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Ich can't live without a host for long, a couple of weeks at most. So I'd probably hospital tank the fish for a couple weeks (easier to keep an eye on/observe/treat too) and if it -is- ich, it'll die out in the tank in time. No need to nuke it with anything..

IF that it what it is. Are the spots hard-looking, or slightly fuzzy at all?
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:49 PM   #5 
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If you're worried about Ich, hit the tank with Kordon's Ich Attack. Works well (if slowly), and won't hurt anything in your tank. Snails, shrimp, plants, all good.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:00 AM   #6 
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Quote:
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Ich can't live without a host for long, a couple of weeks at most. So I'd probably hospital tank the fish for a couple weeks (easier to keep an eye on/observe/treat too) and if it -is- ich, it'll die out in the tank in time. No need to nuke it with anything..

IF that it what it is. Are the spots hard-looking, or slightly fuzzy at all?
I might have to try this if it comes back. My main issue is I have absolutely no surfaces left in my apartment on which to place an extra tank.

They are not fuzzy, they look like white sand and they don't seem to bother the fish at all. Bubblegum actually has it in the photo to the left, but it blends in pretty well.

Last edited by kittenfish; 01-23-2014 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:01 AM   #7 
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If you're worried about Ich, hit the tank with Kordon's Ich Attack. Works well (if slowly), and won't hurt anything in your tank. Snails, shrimp, plants, all good.
Thanks for the info, I will look into this as well.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:52 AM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aus View Post
Ich can't live without a host for long, a couple of weeks at most. So I'd probably hospital tank the fish for a couple weeks (easier to keep an eye on/observe/treat too) and if it -is- ich, it'll die out in the tank in time. No need to nuke it with anything..
Agreed - the bacteria colonies will long outlive the parasites with no fish in the tank. This is an especially appealing method if using meds like quick cure that can stain decor and silicon blue. However, if using heat or another non staining plant friendly method, I don't recommend removing the fish from the tank for treatment.
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:05 PM   #9 
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So will heat alone actually kill them? Is 86F high enough?
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:29 PM   #10 
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So will heat alone actually kill them? Is 86F high enough?
Yes, the heat alone will do it. 86 is high enough the vast majority of the time. Rarely, a heat resistant strain will emerge which will either require temps of close to 90 or meds. One time I had no relief from 86 so I kicked it up to 89 and that did the trick. Since then, because I treat all new fish for ich while in quarantine, I treat at 88-89 degrees because I do not wait for spots to emerge. If there are spots on the fish, you will know in a few days whether 86 is enough or not. The fish should show significant improvement after 3 days and almost spot free after 5. Its important to keep the temp up for the 2 weeks to ensure that all the parasites have died. The heat prevents the parasites from moving through their life cycle, causing them to die out.

I used to do water changes and vacuums during the treatment like most people will tell you to do. But, once I understood how the heat works, I stopped all that. Dead parasites don't reinfect fish, so the idea of removing the parasites ignores the fact that the treatment kills them...seems like a waste to be concerned about removing them before they are killed. The treatment is no less effective without vacuums and water changes, in my experience.

Here is an infested fish. If I had waited another couple days to treat the fish, it would have been dead.



three days later, you can see the significant improvement, and at the end of the week the fish was spot free. No salt, no water changes, no vacuums, no meds. Just heat.

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