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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. Hoping I can get some advice on a bad situation. We have a 75 gallon tank that has been running for about 2 months. We cycled with a large sponge filter from another of our aquariums. As of 5 days ago, it was stocked with 15 young-juvenile Rift cichlids (3 Tanganika, 1 Victoria, 11 Malawi). The largest was about 2 inches and they all got along well. We test the water once a week (API) and also do weekly water changes of about 15 gallons with dechlorinated tap water. Our tap water has a pH of 8.3 and a hardness of 15. We run an Emperor 400 with 2 biowheels and have a long airstone for additional aeration. The temp has been 77-78.

Saturday we noticed small white spots on one of our peacocks. We had seen occasional flashing in all of our fish but chalked it up to cichlid behavior. They all seemed otherwise healthy. We read of our treatment options and, being mildly panicked, decided to go the chemical route. We purchased the API super ick, formaline and malachite green, in powder form. Before adding the first dose we did a PWC using the gravel vacuum (which we always use) and removed the carbon filters. Additionally, we added a second water stone, lowered the water level slightly, and increased the temp to around 81. Per instructions, we were to add one dose and 48 hours later a second dose.

Saturday night- dose #1.

Sunday- the fish seemed to be doing very well, good appetite and behavior.
Sunday night- all fish were staying on the bottom of the tank, flashing, and breathing was distressed.

Monday- same as Sunday night. LFS recommended cutting the dose in half.
Monday night- came home to 4 dead fish. Grieved. Did another PWC (10 gallons) and added 2nd dose at 1/2 concentration.

Tuesday- breaathing still labored, fish staying towards the bottom of the tank, flashing.
Tuesday night- came home to one more dead fish. Breathing still labored.

I just tested the water: ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate ~30, pH 8.3.

Was planning on another PWC tomorrow night along with a 3rd 1/2 strength dose of super ich cure. I don't know if it is the medicine, the ich infestation, or something else that is killing my fish but this is truly breaking my heart. I'm a wreck. Please help.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss. I'm dealing with ick right this moment on my beloved convict. He doesn't really flash all that often, but he does occasionally float sideways, and has a white spot on his side. Well, good luck with the treatment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I tend to anthropormorphize all of my pets a little bit, and it is so difficult to see them struggling. I hope your convict pulls through also.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Please try to be kind in pointing out my mistakes. I now know a quarantine tank is critical and will set one up before adding any more fish.
 

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Catfish Dan said:
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Please try to be kind in pointing out my mistakes.
Well you from what you posted, it seems you are doing the right things. From what I've read on ick, you should adjust your temp to the mid 80s, maybe add some aquarium salt, plus make sure there's plenty of aeration, as the raised heat level produces less oxygen for your fish.
 

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I would stop the treatment and do a 50% water change immediately to see if there is an improvement with their breathing.
 

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I think most people would recommend bringing your temp up to 86F and adding non-iodized salt 2-3 tablespoons per 5 gallons over 24-48 hours dissolved in tank water.
Make sure you have plenty of surface agitation as oxygen decreases in higher water temperatures.
This treatment worked great for me. IMO its best to use medications as a last result for Ich
Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the input. I'm wary of raising the temp any higher as this both depletes oxygen and increases the toxicity of the formalin. I believe that salt is also not recommended with this 'cocktail' of chemicals, but I may be wrong. If I ever experience another outbreak I will indeed go the more natural salt/temp mode of treatment. But please, keep the suggestions coming.
 

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firemedic1169 said:
I think most people would recommend bringing your temp up to 86F and adding non-iodized salt 2-3 tablespoons per 5 gallons over 24-48 hours dissolved in tank water.
Make sure you have plenty of surface agitation as oxygen decreases in higher water temperatures.
This treatment worked great for me. IMO its best to use medications as a last result for Ich
Good Luck
I've used Kick-ich twice (over the course of 15 months) in my 75 gallon tank (silver dollars) and the temp was 76-78°F. It's a 15 day treatment, and it worked without extra salt or raising temps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's a glorious day when I come home from work and see a tank full of living fish. No more casualties today, and their breathing, while still labored, seems much improved. The kids ate a little food and are swimming around the tank more. Still, did a PWC and another 1/2 dose of meds.

As a precautionary measure I am going to run the ich-killing heat cycle on my other two tanks, as dumb me has been sharing equipment (siphons, nets, etc) between the 3 tanks. No chemicals, just good ole temps of 85 degrees for 10 days.

One of my frontosas still has me worried... but hoping he follows his tankmates' example and makes a full recovery. Oy vey.
 

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bump the temp up to 84 plus. sustain it for a week or two AT LEAST. add salts as u are reading here. make sure to do some good water changes as well. keep at the temp / salts and changes and u "should" see some improvement. GL to ya
 

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I too am just getting over a bad case of ich, am new to keeping cichlids and several fish were infected before I realized what it was! Robin on this forum recommended the salt and high temps. I too was a bit wary of that, as I have bushynose and at the time had 3 clown loaches, but while trying the Rid Ich, I lost 2 of the loaches and a bushynose and one african. After going the salt and hightemp route, they all did much better and after a few days started acting normally again. I have just finished my 3 week of tx, and am in the process of reducing the salt and temp. slowly over a few days. While I was in the middle of the tx , I also did 30 -40% water change every few days and only added salt to replace the water I took out. I also bought a new python vacume, so that I have one to use when ever I have sickness and one to use on the healthy tank. Hopefully that will help with cross contamination. Hope all your fish do ok, I know how rewarding it is to come home to healthy fish, when you have gone through sickness, it really makes you appreciate that!! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd like to share what I've learned from this experience in the hopes that I can save other newbies the pain we went through. As I mentioned, 2 days after medicating all of our fish were showed very labored breathing and soon we had lost 5 of them. About 4 days in I checked the water parameters and everything was fine. I chalked it up to an ich/medicine reaction in my tank. The following week we went to out LFS and told them what had happened. Of the 2 stores we frequent, these guys were truly, truly saddened and concerned by what had happened. They took us back into their office and wanted to know exactly when/what we had done for treatment. I am so sorry to say that the concensus reached was that an ammonia spike killed our fish. So easy to remedy, and we were just too inexperienced to act. Sniff. Our fish guys said, if we do go the medicine route in the future, that we should remove our C filters and just hang them on the inside of the tank for the extra biological filtration they provide. And of course check our water EVERY DAY during treatment. I hope someone can read this and avoid such mistakes in the future. RIP, fishie friends. I'm so sorry.

I'm happy to say all of our remaining fish are rockin :)
 

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ammonia spikes are rare unless something changed; replacing a filter, adding a lot of fish, cleaning the bio media with something that kills the good bacteria, etc.

it's also a slow killer, rarely a 2-3 day event.

Unless the tank wasn't cycled.. just my 2¢
 
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