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Ich in a planted tank

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by suep, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    OK, I took a chance and screwed it up. :( I've got a brand new 46 gal planted tank, set up in the last two weeks. My pride & joy. Cycled with mulm from my old tank, healthy and lovely. And I stocked it with fish from one, usually very good, lfs. Figured I'd stock it very quickly and then stop, no more fish or anything, and I'd be great.

    A couple of the hatchet fish have what appears to be ich. I noticed a spot two days ago, hoped against hope it would be nothing. It's spreading to other fish. I have no way to quarantine 30 fish. I'm going to be out of town the first week of January.

    What can I do, besides scream and rant? I'm running down now to grab some Maracide, and if I can figure out how I'm ready to throw my wallet at a very expensive UV sterilizer, assuming I can find one. I'm really desperate people, please help! :(
     
  2. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    Well, that was actually one of my more effective panic attacks. ;) I called around town. One lfs "can probably get me a sterilizer by next Thursday." The other lfs has one they recommend in stock. After discussing install options, we're going with an inline sterilizer, a sump, and he's on his way out right now with CO2 equipment as well. (Oops - he just arrived...) I figured since he was coming out anyway, we'd do everything.

    Now I'll need some dosing advice for pressurized CO2.
     
  3. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    We have everything set up, although I need to run down & get a timer for the CO2 and a drop checker. No leaks, & I _think_ I understand what does which where & when... :) And the lfs is open this weekend... :) They're used to my enthusiasms, they've made rather a lot of $$ off me since I got back into tanks. And they're good about telling me not to waste my $$ on things they don't think are cost effective.

    I bought a bottle of the ich medicine he recommends but we decided to wait and see if the sterilizer takes care of everything first. It's not a bad outbreak (yet). If anybody has strong feelings one way or the other about using medicine with a sterilizer, I'd love to hear them. We're assuming that they work on the same life cycle of the parasite and I don't like dumping chemicals in the tank unless I have to...
     
  4. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    SueP

    You may get more faster responses from others if you post on the main page.

    I think you are on the right track with the UV sterilizer. I would only use medicine in a QT tank with no plants. I would also raise the temp to 84-85F. Even doing this you still may need to isolate the sick fish and treat them in another tank.
     
  5. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    Yes thanks, I'm still trying to figure out the navigation stuff on the forum software.

    The fish are hanging in there so far. The hatchet fish look pretty clear but the gouramis are showing spots. Still, nobody's in great distress and the UV is hopefully doing its thing. And the gouramis are still thinking about breeding.

    As an aside, I'm going downtown, and I don't have a timer yet for the CO2. I turned the 2nd light on, in case I get home late and the main light times off before I get home. (The 2nd light isn't timed yet.) Anyway, as soon as I switched on both lights, streams of tiny bubbles started rising from various spots in the tank. I've never had plants pearl before, this is exciting. :)
     
  6. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    The hatchet fish started showing multiple spots last night. The cardinals have some spots, the gouramis have some spots. Nobody is in great discomfort.

    I did a 15 gallon water change this afternoon. I am assuming the spots that are showing up now are parasites that were already attached on Friday. I am assuming that the UV filter is going to drastically reduce the free-floating stage and I should start seeing a reduction soon.

    To recap - I bought the hatchet fish a week ago yesterday (Saturday). I saw my first speck Wed afternoon. Friday afternoon the hatchet fish had several spots and I had an obvious problem. We installed the UV filter Friday by 5pm, and turned the flow down on the pump as low as we could get it. There is flow but quite minimal. (Recommended to kill parasites.)

    I'm really stressing out. :-(
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You can use most standard ich meds other than copper.

    Water changes(lots), good temps, good plant environment etc.

    Regards
    Tom Barr
     
  8. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    The plants are doing really great. They're pearling. I may want to up the CO2 bubble count, but not while everything else is going on. The brand-new drop checker shows a nice lime green after several hours of CO2. I think that's what I want?

    The temp is 78F (I can up that if I need to, but I don't want to stress anybody out by sticking my hand in and tearing apart the landscaping to get to the heaters.

    Did a 15 gallon water change today, can do another one tomorrow evening if I need to, after I get more RO water.

    Eric sold me a bottle of this, just to have if I need it. Would you suggest I start using it immediately?

    Ich-X

    We didn't put any carbon in the canister filter, just in case I needed to treat. I'm reading all the FAQs on ICH here and at Wetwebmedia. I understand the basic disease lifecycle and process, but there sure is a lot of conflicting info out there... :confused: Philosophically, I tend to think that dumping chemicals & antibiotics into our tanks does a lot more to breed super-bugs than it does to cure anything. But I will treat if/when it's necessary and helpful.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yep, should work fine.
    Just as long as it's not copper based.
    No carbon use etc while you use it.

    BTW, most mild ich cases do not need any treatment, just good tank conditions etc.
    I've never had to use any meds in about 15+ years in a plant tank.

    Tom
     
  10. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    That's good to hear. How do you define a light case? One of the hatchet fish has 10+ spots visible. I see an occasional fish flashing, the female guppies may be a bit less active than usual, and the female gourami has maybe 8 spots on one side fin and 6 on the other. She still rolls over and offers to breed occasionally. :) Other fish have an occasional spot here and there.

    I used 4 tsps today (figuring between 40 and 45 gallons water and being a bit conservative). I did a water change yesterday, I didn't have water to do so today. I've got water now and tomorrow I'll do a water change & treat again.

    Merry Christmas, everybody! Thanks for helping me so much with my tank! :)
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    That's about moderate case, a few spots, maybe 1-5 is light IMO.
    I do not treat unless it's higher.

    One treatment + good conditions ought to resolve things.

    I'd not worry too much about antibiotics and pet fish, I'd worry much more about the food supply we eat there and the treatment of billions of livestock and general non prescription availability of it, and folks that do not follow the doctor's orders(take for the full treatment time) etc.

    That's where your concern should be focused.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

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    Cool, thanks.

    I treated 4 days in a row, did a 15 gallon water change Wed, and another one today. Did not treat today, I'll wait and see how it goes this weekend.

    Everybody looks good, that I can see anyway. The cherry barbs have sent all their time hiding in the java fern since the first day in the tank. But I _think_ I just spotted one of them, or her tail anyway... One of the female guppies has what looks like a micro air bubble on her tail that I'll watch but I'm going to assume that everything is cleared up.

    The plants are pearling, there's some green dust on the glass that I really should wipe off. It's annoying me but apparently not enough to do anything about. The bigger leaves have some mild algae, dark color, but it seems to be clearing up slowly. I'll post pics if I can this evening. I'll be out of town the first week of January, the lfs is going to come out three times (every other day) to dose and keep an eye on things.

    I pulled three tiny snails out today, during the water change, and just spotted another one. No idea what type they are. I'm assuming that "snails happen" and that I can get a snail-eating fish if I need to next month. I'll probably get some algae-eaters also, after I get back and get over my paranoia about adding anything else to the tank.
     

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