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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My fry have been on their own for about a week now, and seem to be strong and healthy. Unfortunately, I am beginning to see white spots on their fins. The betta that I stuck on the other side of the divider (it was his tank originally, I still need to find a place for him since the babies are taking over) has just developed a horrible case of ick. It looks like the babies are going to get it too!

What should I do?

The tank is 15 gal and has been established for quite some time. Should I take everyone out? The babies are still quite small, and I don't really have anywhere else to put them right now since they weren't planned. I have a small tank where I can put the betta in the mean time. Can the babies handle any medication? What should I use?
 

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Hi,

First: you'll find the ich article, linked below, helpful.

When one or more fish get ich in your tank the entire tank must be treated since part of the parasite's life cycle takes place in the tank, not just on the fish.
So I would not take any fish out. Ich meds might be too harsh on the fry so I would go with the heat and salt method. I've used it myself when some newly purchased Clown Loaches had ich and even though they are considered to be sensitive to many meds they did absolutely fine with the heat and salt treatment and we never saw the ich again. (That was three years ago.)

So here's what I would do:
First: do a 50% partial water change and siphon the gravel thoroughly. This will remove some of the parasites making it easier for the treatment to work. Make sure you use a good quality dechlorinator and if the tank has been without a water change for more than a few weeks (and or the nitrate is above 20ppm), do a 25% partial water change, wait a few hours, and then do another 25% change.
Gradually turn the heat up to 82'. Add salt, (aquarium salt or any form of sodium chloride that doesn't have additives) at the rate of 2-3 tablespoons per five gallons. Dissolve the salt first and add it gradually over several hours time.
Keep this treatment going for a minimum of ten days. Don't stop just because you don't see any spots on the fish: the parasite may still be thriving in the tank. It takes time to rid your tank of ich.

If you had fish in this tank previously and they are now in another tank you need to also treat that tank for ich.
As with any treatment you need to watch your fish daily during treatment to make sure they are not stressing because of the treatment. Most fish can handle the raised heat and salt but not all: so watch em.

Please post back with any additional questions or concerns.

Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My sick betta doesn't seem to be doing so well. I separated the two bettas in their own smaller divided tank, fearing that the heavily infected one would harbor more parasites and be a greater risk to harming the fry. One of my bettas seems perfectly healthy, but the other one has many white spots on him, is lethargic, anorexic, and has semi-labored breathing. It was hard to tell that he even had ick due to the fact that he is a white betta. I treated with salt, heat, and an ick treatment containing malachite green. He seems to be doing much worse today, and I fear that he isn't going to last much longer. I don't think he's even had ick for more than a day or two. His first symptom was a behavioral change rather than the spots, and I tried to act as quickly as I could! Is there something more that I could do to help him?

The fry seem to be doing fine. They act as though there is no ick in the tank, but I can barely make out a white spot on only about 2 of the fry. I increased the temperature, but not dramatically. I also gave them salt and the same ick treatment that the bettas have.

What I'm using is called Ick Away. On the bottle, it says that the medication does not build up appreciably in treated systems, but to do a 50% water change after 24 hours, and that I should repeat this procedure once every thee days for three treatments. If I do a 50% water change after adding it for only one day, then wait two more days to add more, won't this be taking out the medication before it can even do anything? I know it's good to follow directions, but these seem to go against my common sense.

Thanks for the detailed reply, Robin. I read your article, and am already doing many of the things that you've suggested. My poor little fishy is doing so badly that it just breaks my heart, and I'm afraid that one more day like this one could be his last. He still swims a little at least, but it's less and less every day. I'll keep you updated with my bettas and my fry, and am willing to try any more suggestions that you may have for me. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gah! I reread your article after looking at another ick topic and realized that I'm not supposed to use meds WITH heat treatment! I didn't have a bubbler in my tank! My fish isn't getting enough O2! I just added one right now. Already he seems to be doing better, is inquisitive, and is swimming up to the bubbler. As he swims, little white flecks seem to be flying off of him. More updates to come!

Oh, should I do a water change to get the meds out, or should I just leave it alone?
 
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