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Bmitchell486

Ich treatment question...

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Because I love learning on this site, and you all are so knowledgeable, I have a question about Ich treatment :)

 

I recently had a new fantail in QT, and noticed at about day 14 that he had ich spots.  I caught it very early -- he had probably only 20-30 spots.

 

My QT schedule was already to do 100 WC daily.  So I continued with the WC's and bumped his salinity up to .3%, bumped his water temp up to 80 degrees, and added Seachem Paraguard.  I've heard that Paraguard is a little harsh, but I really wanted to get out in front of it and get him well quickly.

 

 I've heard (but have not researched) that the ich parasites are connected to the fish for a few days, then fall, land on the bottom of the tank, where they reproduce and then the cycle starts over again.  So, thinking about that, each day when I did his 100% WC, I washed his container in super hot water with lots of soap.  Here is my question: Can washing the QT tank every day improve ich? 

 

In my past experiences with Ich (once with goldfish, and a few other times with tropical freshwater fish) I've found that it always gets worse before it gets better.  The fish always end up being covered in ich spots before they finally heal up.  But this time, after the treatment, he was 100% clear of ich two days later and he never got worse.  Do you think that washing out his container everyday with hot soapy water is what the difference was? 

 

Just thought I'd put that question out there.  And if you think it did improve the situation (by killing all the little ich babies that were soon to attach to my fish), should we pass this info to other people who have fish in QT tanks being treated for ich?  It only takes an additional 2 minutes, and I think it is well worth it if it actually does improve the situation.

 

 

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That's one reason why we recommend bucket-to-bucket 100% water changes for hospital tanks.  You can clean the dirtiest part of the tank -- the bottom.  I just hose it off well.

 

I have seen a report that keeping the bottom vacuumed can speed recovery and even one that said moving the fish to a clean aquarium daily can eventually clear the infection without any other treatment.

 

Were you using 0.3% salt and 80oF in those previous outbreaks?  I can't recall anyone else saying that ich gets better before it gets worse

 

(That should have been worse before it gets better.)

Edited by shakaho

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Yeah, I'd just never experienced ich clearing up so quickly, and this was the only time it stayed "mild" and never got "worse."  The only thing I did differently was to wash the QT tank everyday.

 

The ich with tropicals, I don't think I used salt, but I did use medication at 80 degrees.  And the other time with the goldfish, I also used .3% salt and 80 degree water, and I think I remember siphoning the gravel daily.  Both times, it got much worse (white spots increased dramatically in number) before it got better.

 

And no, I've never heard anyone say it gets better before it gets worse either.  This was just the only time I've experienced it that it never got worse.  

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The motile, infective stage is supposed to be most sensitive to treatment, so you should stop getting new infections shortly after starting treatment.  However recent infections, protected by being buried in the fish skin, have to grow some before you see them.  So they might produce a "bloom" of while spots shortly after the start of treatment.  That  wouldn't have anything to do with cleaning the bottom though.

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I was just wanting to add that I would advise against using soap or any cleaner of that manner. I would use either PP, a diluted bleach solution, or vinegar for a cleaner or use just hot water and a good wipe and rinse if the infected fish is still going back into the tank. Or like Sharon said, use the bucket to bucket method. It works very well from what I have heard and read on here :) 

Edited by Mikey

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Thanks Mikey!  I hadn't considered using vinegar -- I would probably use that next time instead of soap.  I will take a look at the bucket to bucket method too. :) 

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I wouldn't use soap, because it doesn't rinse off well.  I regularly use detergent, specifically detergent that contains enzymes, to clean pipes and tubes and sometimes  tanks, since this will remove biofilm, and not much else will.  Detergents rinse clean but a dilute vinegar rinse can take out any trace of missed detergent.

 

Vinegar has weak disinfection properties. If disinfection is the goal bleach or pp will work better. According to Noga (Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment), drying kills all stages of ich, so if you rinse the tank out well and set it out (ideally in the sun) to dry the ich bugs are dead.  No chemicals needed.  (Please note that not all parasites and pathogens die from drying.)

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