Curing ICK

martinphillip03

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2 major problems with my tank. I will only address one for now.

I added 15 rummy nose and 12 cardinal tetras to my 55 gal angel tank. They have ick.
How do you treat ick in a planted tank

thanks

Marty
 

fosteder

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Feb 3, 2005
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Re: Curing ICK

I go buy medicine from the fish store. I think you can also raise the temp of the water (if you have added the medicine) it speeds up the process.
 

Spar

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Re: Curing ICK

I have added salt, risen temps to 85, and used Rid Ich + before with success. No noticable ill effects to the plants.

Will using a UV Sterilizer kill Ich?
 

Roan Art

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Jan 12, 2006
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Re: Curing ICK

Use caution when mixing meds + heat. There are many types that become more toxic at higher temperatures and some do not state as thus on the bottle.

Malachite green (aniline green, Victoria green and all the other "greens" are malachite) is not only toxic to bottom feeders, but can be toxic to barbs, gouramis and tetras, especially with raised temps.

Check the ingredients by searching on the web when in doubt. Kordon has a Product Data Sheet area on their web site which gives very indepth information on their products, including cautions, toxicity and contradictions.

http://www.novalek.com/kpds.htm

Many of the meds can also wipe out your biofilter.

Safest course is salt + heat IMHO.

HTH
Roan
 

Jay

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Re: Curing ICK

I agree with Roan salt and temp are the way to go, and I am really sorry I can't remember the salt to gallon ratio. Do you have it Roan?

A UV sterilizer will not hurt, it will kill ich, but not as quickly or efficiently in a heavily planted aquarium as salt and heat.
 

Simpte

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Feb 17, 2005
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Re: Curing ICK

I would just raise the temp, add a UV and waterchanges. Salt really isn't necessary. Ich is cureable by having healthy fish.
 

Roan Art

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Re: Curing ICK

Jay said:
I agree with Roan salt and temp are the way to go, and I am really sorry I can't remember the salt to gallon ratio. Do you have it Roan?

A UV sterilizer will not hurt, it will kill ich, but not as quickly or efficiently in a heavily planted aquarium as salt and heat.
Hey, Jay!

Usually it's 1-2 tsp per actual gallon. IMO I'd start at 1½ tsp. per gallon. That should do it.

Increase the heat to 82* or higher. Make sure you check what the max temp your fish can be kept at and work with that. If you can go higher than 82*, so much the better. Raising the temp will quicken the cycle.

If you do not see the spots off by day three, or all the spots fall off and then you see a few new ones, increase the salt to 2 tsps per gallon, but no more.

If you have a refractometer, it's 1.002 SG as the max you should dose salt.

Treat for at least 7 days!

In order to kill all the ich, you have to make sure all of it cycles to the tomite (free swimming) stage, which is the only stage that ich is vulnerable to either salt or drugs.

Remember, salt can only be removed by water changes.

Roan
 

Roan Art

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Re: Curing ICK

Simpte said:
I would just raise the temp, add a UV and waterchanges. Salt really isn't necessary.
While I agree that using heat to quicken the cycle and a UV to kill the free swimming tomites is a good method, I must point out that water changes won't really help that much. Heavily vacuuming the gravel will.

That all said, you still need to treat for at least 7 days.

As for salt being unnecessary -- I find purchasing a UV to treat ich rather expensive and unnecessary. If you already have a UV, by all means try that, but if you do not, why bother shelling out the dough when salt will do the same thing in the same amount of time?

Ich is cureable by having healthy fish.
This is a rather strange thing to say. That's the same as saying "Head lice is cureable by having healthy children", which would be untrue. What is the basis for your statement?

Roan
 

Simpte

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Feb 17, 2005
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Re: Curing ICK

Healthy fish have a natural mucus coating around them and a strong immune system(salt irritates a fish and causes them to produce more slime coat.) Ich cannot penetrate a healthy fish's coat. Stress increases the chance that a fish will be more succeptable to ich and other diseases it would normally fight off.

I do agree with heavily vacuuming the gravel to be necessary (should have been more clear on that point).

I was ASSuming the poster had a UV as he asked will using one kill ich.

http://fishiezoo.com/articles/diseases.html
http://faq.thekrib.com/disease-fw.html
 

Roan Art

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Re: Curing ICK

Simpte said:
Healthy fish have a natural mucus coating around them and a strong immune system(salt irritates a fish and causes them to produce more slime coat.)
True, but I'm not sure I see your correlation between salt, slime coat, and ich?

Ich cannot penetrate a healthy fish's coat.
Not to be argumentative, but no where in those links you provided is there support for the above statement. Rather, when ich infests a fish it produces more slime in an effort to dislodge the cyst. Instead, it ends up coating and protecting the cyst.

If your above statement were true, then a healthy clown loach would not contract ich. When ich enters a healthy tank, the clowns are usually the first ones to show it. Does that mean that all clowns are unhealthy to begin with? Sure, many clowns are kept in tanks that are far too small and end up stunted and stressed, but not all clowns are kept that way. Mine sure as heck aren't ;)

The links DO cite stress as being a factor and that healthy fish can carry ich in their gills, which is correct. What should be taken into consideration is that *anything* can cause stress as it is relative. Even "psycological" stress -- temporary or premanent - which is enduced to the entire tank. Things such as waterchanges, plant pruning, adding a new fish, territory disputes, loud noises, too much light (silver dollars, for example, stress out if the tank is too brightly lit), and so on and so forth. All of those things can stress fish out -- some more than others.

This doesn't mean that the fish is unhealthy, just that the fish is -- dare I say it! -- mentally stressed ;) and therefore can contract diseases more readily. Not much different from what happens to people when they are over-stressed.

I've found that some fish, and some types of fish, are more resistant to ich that others. As in the case of the classic clown loach, scaleless fish, for the most part, present ich very easily. Otos, IME, do not contract ich very easily. I have no idea why. I've only heard of one case where an oto presented with ich. That doesn't mean that they don't, it just seems to be a rarity.


Stress increases the chance that a fish will be more succeptable to ich and other diseases it would normally fight off.
This I would definitely not disagree with. It is very true.

I was ASSuming the poster had a UV as he asked will using one kill ich.
Nod. I took a different tact, since he didn't specifically say he did have one. Best, imho, to cover all bases if possible.

Roan
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Curing ICK

Ich cannot complete it's life cycle at 88F.
These fish also enjoy warm temps anyway.
So a little Maricide at 1/2 dosages + warm temps will work for these fish.
You'll likely lose a fair amount of the cardinals unless you catch the ich early.

In which case a good water change and warmer temps alone will solve the issue. Ich is very rare in a planted tank, it's only occurred when something radical occured. Big temp drops, poor fish health when you first get them etc.

If the ich is light, simply placing them into a healthy planted tank will cure the ich in 95% of all cases. Adding warm water will move that to 100%.

Public aquariums use heat, not rid ich to deal with ich.
I always use Ich meds at 1/2 or slightly less concentrations, namely because I have few tanks without catfish.

I have not needed to treat my personal tanks for ich since 1994.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Simpte

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Feb 17, 2005
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Re: Curing ICK

I have never used an ich med to cure ich (though I haven't had ich in years). I have always found clean water and increased temps do the job. Mother nature always wins in my book.
 

Roan Art

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Re: Curing ICK

Tom Barr said:
Ich cannot complete it's life cycle at 88F.
These fish also enjoy warm temps anyway.
So a little Maricide at 1/2 dosages + warm temps will work for these fish.
You'll likely lose a fair amount of the cardinals unless you catch the ich early.
There have been reported cases of heat resistant strains of ich:

"However, in a case in central Florida, Ich was responsible for killing fish at 92o F (33o C)."
http://aquanic.org/publicat/usda_rac/efs/srac/476fs.pdf

Therefore, IMO, heat alone may not do the trick. In many cases the fish in question are already stressed or extremely sick from the ich infestation and increasing the temperature by that amount could be enough to kill them outright. Heat also decreases the amount of oxygen in the water and the addition of airstones and/or redirection of powerheads and spraybars would be needed to ensure that the fish receive adequate amounts of oxygen.

With dosing Maracide at ½ strength you risk not killing all the tomites and those that are not killed will attach themselves to the fish and the cycle continues.

In which case a good water change and warmer temps alone will solve the issue. Ich is very rare in a planted tank, it's only occurred when something radical occured. Big temp drops, poor fish health when you first get them etc
Ich is generally introduced to any tank, planted or not, via non-quarantined fish or animals, plants, nets, decorations, etc.,. that have live ich on them. Drying out nets and non-living things will kill ich outright. Fish should be quarantined at least 3 weeks before introducing them to any tank and plants dipped and/or quarantined in fishless tanks for 3-7 days.

If the ich is light, simply placing them into a healthy planted tank will cure the ich in 95% of all cases. Adding warm water will move that to 100%..
You lost me here, Tom. I don't see the correlation between planted tanks and no ich. Seriously. Planted or not if proper percautions are not taken with the introduction of new flora and fauna, ich can show up in any tank. It can also be eradicated from any tank.

Public aquariums use heat, not rid ich to deal with ich.
I always use Ich meds at 1/2 or slightly less concentrations, namely because I have few tanks without catfish.
No idea about the public aquariums. Do you have a link I could read up about that?

I have not needed to treat my personal tanks for ich since 1994.
I've only had to treat my QT tanks ;)

Great discussion, Tom, thanks!

Roan
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Curing ICK

Roan Art said:
There have been reported cases of heat resistant strains of ich:

"However, in a case in central Florida, Ich was responsible for killing fish at 92o F (33o C)."
http://aquanic.org/publicat/usda_rac/efs/srac/476fs.pdf

Thanks for the info, .........it's an old trick folks have been doing for a long time that do not have ogther options and tools to deal with ich.
While there maybe some strains out there that can handle the high temps, typically, IMO, and in every other hobbyists/breeder I've ever talk to, 88F typically takes care of it without medications.
But you can use them also in conjuction with a good corrected environment and warm temps.

Therefore, IMO, heat alone may not do the trick. In many cases the fish in question are already stressed or extremely sick from the ich infestation and increasing the temperature by that amount could be enough to kill them outright. Heat also decreases the amount of oxygen in the water and the addition of airstones and/or redirection of powerheads and spraybars would be needed to ensure that the fish receive adequate amounts of oxygen.

With O2 levels well above 100% most of the day in a well run planted tank, not an issue. Lots of cover/hiding spots, high water quality, good food, reasonable stocking levels, a stressed fish should not be purchased at a LFS to begin with.

If you add that part, you'll see rather quickly why few planted tanks tend to ever get ich to begin with. Ask around about this. You'll be surprised at the few cases, and especially compared to the fish only keepers.

With dosing Maracide at ½ strength you risk not killing all the tomites and those that are not killed will attach themselves to the fish and the cycle continues.

That's algae talk. Think beyond the disease, the pest etc.
Think what makes the fish happy?
Just like the plants, what makes them happy?

Then go about doing just that.
1/2 strength is very wise in most cases since many have catfish, tetras, other scaleless and sensitive fish. The ich is being attacked by placing the fish in a better tank environment, high heat and 1/2 dosing of a medication that is highly effective even at this concentration level.

Using that and heat and a good environment takes care of even the worst issues.

Ich is generally introduced to any tank, planted or not, via non-quarantined fish or animals, plants, nets, decorations, etc.,. that have live ich on them. Drying out nets and non-living things will kill ich outright. Fish should be quarantined at least 3 weeks before introducing them to any tank and plants dipped and/or quarantined in fishless tanks for 3-7 days.

For all the quarantine talk in mags and elsewhere, it is seldom done except with breeders and few hobbyists. I fully support quarantines.
But few are going to do this for all the nagging I may do.

Live food(except for Brine) is the biggest potential disease vector I know of.
Not new fish, wild fish/plants added etc. I've been adding live material from the wilds for many years. Never an issues, many other sreport the same.
I'm not saying it cannot happen, but it's rare and virtually non existant in a well run planted tank. If that was not the case, I should have lost a lot more fish and had more algae outbreaks.

You lost me here, Tom. I don't see the correlation between planted tanks and no ich. Seriously. Planted or not if proper percautions are not taken with the introduction of new flora and fauna, ich can show up in any tank. It can also be eradicated from any tank.

Have you asked around and checked into whether folks have more or less ich related issues with a planted tank?

Why do fish get ich or any disease for that matter?
I can assure you that it takes a weakened or injured animal to become suspeptible to most disease.
In natural systems, the diseases are present but seldom ever hit unless the animals have been stressed.

This applies to most pest/parasites.
If they killed the healthy host, then they'd no longer have a host to survive.
So a healthy host is not going to have an issue.

Introductions from outside sources(besides live foods) will no longer matter if you provide a happy home for fish.

Happy plants = happy fish.
Simple concept and it does effectively work in practical application.

No idea about the public aquariums. Do you have a link I could read up about that?

You are welcomed to call Monterey Bay Aquarium, The Steinhart aquarium, the Shedd Aquarium etc and ask them directly. This is very old news to them.
Treat 500,000 gallons sometime. 55gal drums of of Malachite green is not a fun thought.

I've never had any diseases in my tanks since 1994 when I switched entirely to planted tanks.

I've added plenty of fish over the years that had some mild ich, a few that had more serious cases. I did not treat it. I added them to the tank, 1-3 days later, all gone. I also use to breed rift fish and have bred a number of fish accidently in planted tanks over the years.

I started with 20 cherry shrimp, I now have 200 3 months later. Congo tetras, pencil fish, Apistos, Discus, bushy nose plecos.

More fellow hobbyists/breeders than I can count have reported the same things over the decades. I started working in LFS in 1977.
The advice is a combo of common sense and practical experiences with a huge number of aquarist, both professional public aquarist as well, as business owners, professional breeders and just the hobbyists who likes to keep a tank.

General things about ich's causes:
Stress causes this disease.

Remove the stress, then quarantine/medication will no longer be needed.
Similarly: take good care of the plants and give them what they need to grow well=> no algae.

The environment is critical.
Careful not to let the tail wag the dog.
Too many look for disease cures, algae cures etc to make up for their lack of providing a proper environment for a plant of a fish. Fish that get sick often is not their fault or the the disease, it's the owner's fault.

Ever hear the phrase: there are no bad dogs, only bad dog owners?

Rather than showing aquarist how to treat a never ending array of diseases/algae, I focus more on the environment.
The diseases and algae are useful indicators though of what maybe wrong. I use that also.

I try to get folks to think from the other direction, your fish will be healthier as will your plants. But there's nothing wrong with a little directed proven help such as malachite green and a few other medications but that is just the icing on the cake, the main focus should be the correct the problem that causes the disease or algae to begin with, that's the best long term solution and will make any issues much more benign.

You'll notice I suggested multiple things to address ich, not just one.
Same with BGA and algae.

Kill what is there and then prevent the stress on the plant/fish thereafter.
This is a holistic integrated approach to managing disease and algae.

You start building any ecosystem from the bottom up=> good environment for plants= good environment for fish= happy aquarist.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Roan Art

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Re: Curing ICK

Wow. Great response.

In a nutshell FULLY agree re: cause and effect comments! Healthy tank = healthy fish, bottom line no arguments there.

Gimme time to disgest all the rest ;)

Roan
 

Simpte

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Feb 17, 2005
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Re: Curing ICK

Roan Art said:
Wow. Great response.

In a nutshell FULLY agree re: cause and effect comments! Healthy tank = healthy fish, bottom line no arguments there.

Gimme time to disgest all the rest ;)

Roan
Didn't I say that 5 posts ago? :)
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Curing ICK

Yes, but I often need to go over things a few times before I feel good about it.

The specific details also help the understanding.
Doubt is a sign of wisdom. My own self doubt suggest I'd be pretty wise, but I doubt that even:)

Regards,
Tom Barr