Illness, Health & Nutrition • Yay. Ich. Best method?

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Yay. Ich. Best method?

Postby lilcountrygal » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:24 pm

Seems as my lovely catfish appears to be developing ich. So far, it hasnt spread to my cichlids with the exception of one minute "flake" on a cobue.

My pH is 7.4. Water temp 80. I turned up the thermostat a bit (still waiting on the increase in water temp). I plan to dose 1 tablespoon aquarium salt for every 5 gallons of water. I just wanted to confirm this is correct.

Also... is the bigger success treating ich with salt/increase temp or an actual ich medicine from the store? I've had crappy luck saving fish in the past. I think this was caught fairly early (the only one with tell tale signs so far is the catfish). Id rather up my chances of success this time by doing it the most successful way.

Temp increase + salt or
Ich medicine.

How do the experts treat ich?
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
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Postby Sub-Mariner » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:47 pm

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Postby lilcountrygal » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:14 pm

thanks. I had read the sticky in the Library section. Hadnt seen the above linked post tho. I was just looking for opinions on which method yields the best results... medicine or salt/heat.
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
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Postby 13razorbackfan » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:35 pm

You will get proponents of each method. Heat/salt is easier on the fish and bacteria colonies. How high do you have your heat right now? Can you get it between 86-90?
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Postby lilcountrygal » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:22 pm

I probably could get it that high. Was worried about the fish tho with the temp that high. Can they survive that hot? (the AC 110 does create good surface agitation). Horrible to say, but the catfish I can give or take. Don't want to lose any of my buddies. The temp is 82 now. I dissolved 25 tablespoons of aquarium salt and added it over a three hour period. The catfish still has a ton of white spots and the cobues each still have one tiny spot on their rear tails. How long should I give the salt/heat method before I buy meds? No improvement by the morning, get some? I do NOT want to lose any of my fish and so far only two have one white flake. Would it help to remove the catfish or is it too late for that?
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
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Location: east coast

Postby 13razorbackfan » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:11 pm

I would raise temp to 87-89....at 86 ICH stops reproducing after they fall off the fish at around 89.7 it kills the ICH outright but only after it falls off the fish. You can't kill ICH while it is still attached to the fish. You have to wait till it falls off the fish...this is why it takes a while to kill. You need to keep the treatment going for minimum 5-7 days after no more visible signs of ICH on your fish. Usually treatment is at least a couple weeks.

Do not switch to meds halfway through...continue doing what you are doing. You really need to perform 25% water changes daily and a good substrate vacuuming. I believe you have black sand right? I would just vacuum the top 1/2" of the sand or so. The vacuuming will suck up some of the ICH as they are in the sand trying to reproduce plus the fresh water will help the immune system of the fish. Make sure to pre-dissolve salt and add back to the tank in proportion to what was removed while vacuuming your sand.

Also...a completely dark tank is best during these treatments as it will allow your fish to rest and heal. What I would do is turn on tank lights for about 1 hour a day and during this time I would feed first, if they will eat, and then do the vacuuming. Add back in the pre-disolved salt and turn the lights back out. I would continue on with this routine for a minimum 5-7 days after all visible signs of ICH are gone.

You have to be patient. ICH does not go away overnight. The high temps will speed up the lifecycle of the ICH causing it to fall of the fish faster. This is the only time you can kill it. So if you wake up tomorrow and turn on the lights and it is worse...then don't panic. The high heat will for sure kill the ICH. Just make sure it is at least 86....90 is better if your fish can tolerate it. Your africans should be ok at 90. Just make sure to have a bunch of surface agitation.
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Postby lilcountrygal » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:45 pm

So, when you say "keep the treatment going", you just mean daily water changes/substrate vaccuuming and replace the salt? I did about a 20% water change before adding the salt. I'll change more tomorrow. I keep turning up the heater, but the heat still only shows around 82. I'll try to turn the dial up more and see if I cant get some more results. Id at least like to get it to 86, I'm leary about 89. That scares me that high lol.

the fish are still eating good. You actually wouldnt know anything is wrong if I didnt see the catfish. No labored breathing. I occasionally see a cobue flash against a rock. One of the labs hangs back by the intake of the AquaTech 30/60, but he doesnt seem distressed (I dont even know if he has the white spots actually, he's hard to see them on because he's white). I did find a spot on one of my OBs and one of my yellow labs. The cichlids arent "infested" per say (yet). The catfish has a bunch on him.

I do have black sand, yes. I'll give another good vaccuum tomorrow and add more salt.

I knew better than to get that catfish.
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
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Postby 13razorbackfan » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:18 pm

lilcountrygal wrote:So, when you say "keep the treatment going", you just mean daily water changes/substrate vaccuuming and replace the salt? I did about a 20% water change before adding the salt. I'll change more tomorrow. I keep turning up the heater, but the heat still only shows around 82. I'll try to turn the dial up more and see if I cant get some more results. Id at least like to get it to 86, I'm leary about 89. That scares me that high lol.

the fish are still eating good. You actually wouldnt know anything is wrong if I didnt see the catfish. No labored breathing. I occasionally see a cobue flash against a rock. One of the labs hangs back by the intake of the AquaTech 30/60, but he doesnt seem distressed (I dont even know if he has the white spots actually, he's hard to see them on because he's white). I did find a spot on one of my OBs and one of my yellow labs. The cichlids arent "infested" per say (yet). The catfish has a bunch on him.

I do have black sand, yes. I'll give another good vaccuum tomorrow and add more salt.

I knew better than to get that catfish.
Yes..to the first question. They should be fine at 89 but 86 will work also but make sure it is at least 86 because at 86 the ICH can not reproduce and will eventually die after 4-5 days. Again...this is once they have fallen off the fish. Can't kill them while they are attached to the host.
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Postby lilcountrygal » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:50 pm

At 86, how long can they live on the fish? If they fall off at 89, and don't reproduce at 86, can they still live indefinitely at 86? I have some Rusty's coming tomorrow and don't want to harm them in any way
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
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Location: east coast

Postby 13razorbackfan » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:01 am

lilcountrygal wrote:At 86, how long can they live on the fish? If they fall off at 89, and don't reproduce at 86, can they still live indefinitely at 86? I have some Rusty's coming tomorrow and don't want to harm them in any way
No...as long as they are attached to the fish nothing can kill them. The only thing that could kill them is if the fish dies. The ONLY way to kill ICH is after it falls off the fish in its free swimming stage.

Turning the heat up speeds up the ICH's life cycle while it is on the fish which is good. The longer it is attached to the fish the worse off for the fish. So...by speeding the lifecycle up it will drop off the fish...after a few days sometimes more(I have seen people say with heat up high it stayed on the fish visibly for up to a week but there are different strains so I am generalizing here). Now...once it falls off if the temp is over 86 it can't reproduce and dies after 4-5 days(again...different strains can go longer). Now..temps over 89.7 will kill the ICH outright ONLY after it falls off the fish and while it is in its free swimming stage(meds are only effective here as well).

Now...your fish should be able to tolerate 86-90 no problem for several weeks. As long as there is plenty of oxygenation they will be fine. Salt helps a bit with breathing also.

So to recap: 86 will stop reproduction(they reproduce after they fall off fish) & if they can't reproduce they usually die after 4-5 days.
89.7 will kill them outright only in their free swimming stage
Meds can only kill them in their free swimming stage
Don't use meds with high heat/salt..choose one or other
Darkness reduces stress so try and keep tank dark for most of day
High heat can sometimes cause them to be more aggressive so again..lights out can help reduce that
25% water changes that include sand vacuuming and add back in salt

I think that about covers it. If you have any further questions let me know.


Footnote: Some strains can be harder to kill than others but they are more rare. If after a week and a half if you see no improvement at all then it might be time to consider meds.
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Postby lilcountrygal » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:25 am

Awesome. Thanks for the help razor. :thumb: Heat now is at 84 and the red light is still on the heater, so I'm hoping its rising. Its a balmy 12 degrees here in PA, so it may take a bit longer to heat the tank up, which from what I read is probably better... gradual increase. I'll post back with anymore "ARGH, HELP" moments.
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
lilcountrygal
 
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:39 pm
Location: east coast

Postby 13razorbackfan » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:36 am

lilcountrygal wrote:Awesome. Thanks for the help razor. :thumb: Heat now is at 84 and the red light is still on the heater, so I'm hoping its rising. Its a balmy 12 degrees here in PA, so it may take a bit longer to heat the tank up, which from what I read is probably better... gradual increase. I'll post back with anymore "ARGH, HELP" moments.
You have aqueon pro heater right? If so...mine maxed out at 86.

PS...I know it seems like a lot of work but well worth it in the end. :thumb:
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Postby lilcountrygal » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:01 am

I have a regular 200 watt heater, the one that comes with the Walmart kit. I'll be lucky to get it high enough. I'm at 84 right now, its at max setting. The red light is on, but I'll be lucky to hit 86. If I cant hit 86, should I go the medication route?
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
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Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:39 pm
Location: east coast

Postby 13razorbackfan » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:36 am

lilcountrygal wrote:I have a regular 200 watt heater, the one that comes with the Walmart kit. I'll be lucky to get it high enough. I'm at 84 right now, its at max setting. The red light is on, but I'll be lucky to hit 86. If I cant hit 86, should I go the medication route?
No...stick with the heat/salt. Leave the heater on overnight and check in the morning. Heaters usually take a bit of time to reach max setting. 84 will still speed up the life cycle of the ICH just make sure if 84 is the max that you continue to do the water changes and sand vacuuming.
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Postby lilcountrygal » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:45 am

This morning, I've reached 86 (YAY). Thats as high as I'm going to get it unless it warms up outside. Everyone is still swimming around good, no labored breathing, etc., due to ich or temp. Even the catfish is acting fine. No less "dots" on her tho.

So, to recap... about 25% water changes daily, replacing the dissolved salt that I remove from the tank. Vaccuum substrate well. In 4-5 days with temps at 86, I should see a decrease in the ich spots on the catfish (?). In 7-10 days, do a 50% water change to try and remove some of the excess salt. Correct?
55 G - AC110 and AquaTech 30/60 ~ 5 yellow Labs, 5 Callainos, 5 Callainos Blueberry, 5 Rusty
125 G - XP4 and AquaTop CF-500UV - 5 Pseudotropheus Williamsi North, 5 Labeotropheus Fuelleborni, 4 Lab. Hongi, 4 C. Moori, 1 Acei Ngara, Red Empress, Venustus
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Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:39 pm
Location: east coast

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