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I'm Fighting The Ich Battle


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I recieved a black and gold telescope as a gift, that had ich. Of course I wanted to quarentine, but didn't have a q-tank set up. So I pulled out the old 10 gallon, put it all back together, and filled it up with 10 gallons of water out of my 75 gallon tank. I used "cycle" (the stuff from the pet store) to help promote bacteria growth. I even put a few cups of the gravel from the 75 gallon in and squeezed my old fitler sponge onto the new one (suggestion I heard once via Rick Hess from goldfishconnection.) I was hoping all this would cycle my q-tank quickly.

So, I put the telescope in the q-tank/hospital tank along with salt and ich medicine (that's supposed to cure ich in 2 days...hmmm). I'm going into day 4 and the ich is starting to look worse. When I got the fish the ich was only about half way up his back. Now it's all the way up on his eyes almost. The ich is starting to get thick and slimy-like. I guess from the increased slime coat? It looks like I could just scratch it off with my finger nail...I've been so tempted to run a finger nail along the poor guy, don't worry, I haven't. The fish is very lethargic, only swims when he's fed or right after a water change...which leads me too...

Problem is that the tank hasn't cycled. I've kept it under control by doing daily 50% water changes. The nitrates are at 25, ammonia at .25 and nitrites about 1 or less. This is after the last water change a little over 12 hours ago. I'm using salt in the tank for the ich, but that should help protect from nitrites and ammonia too?? Oh, almost forgot, I bought some ammonia clear stuff from the pet store too (useless waste of money btw). I've feed him as little as possible to help with the waste, but I don't want to fast him, he's gone thru so much already.

So I guess my question is just am I doing everything right? Should I continue what I'm doing? I can't let the tank finish cycling with him in it...but those params aren't going to promote the healing of ich. I can't very well put him in my cycled tank. I've never had to treat for ich, so I'm not sure what to expect really. How long do you normally have to treat for?

Thanks again guys...if you've read any of my other posts, it's been a mad house over here...especially with these telescopes.

:wall

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Hi eather.hey,

Sounds like you're doing everything right to me hun. :) The params as they stand are fine; just be sure to keep amm and nitrite below .5 at all times.

What ich med are you using? If it is one with malachite green in (most have this) then you must keep the tank absolutely dark as light deactivates mala green.

What percentage of salt are you using? You're absolutely right in that salt helps offset the effect of nitrites as well as treating ich, but it needs to be a .3% solution to do this. I am however wary of putting in a lot of salt with ich meds, especially if those meds also contain formalin - that's an awful lot of chemicals for the fish to deal with at once. Check the ingredients list on the med.

The thing with ich is that it has a 3-stage lifecycle and the meds/salt only work during the free-swarming stage, so it can take quite a long time to clear completely. Manufacturers' claims of 'cures ich within 3 days!!!' are complete rot I'm afraid, as the speed of treatment depends on the environmental conditions and the fish themselves. Often too, ich gets worse before it gets better. The most essential thing is not to stop the treatment until the fish has been completely ich-free for *at least* 5 days. Ich can hang around in the tank and break out again if you finish the treatment too early (while there are still cysts in the substrate waiting to hatch). When you finish the treatment use activated carbon to clear the med and do a very very thorough gravel clean to vacuum up any last lurking ich cysts.

Increasing the tank temp to 78F will help a lot as it makes the ich cycle move faster and therefore the meds work faster, but be sure to aerate the tank very well as a combo of medications and high temps lowers the O2 level.

Hope this helps. :)

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Poor guy has been in the dark all this time. There is sun light in the room though, would that affect as well? I'm trying to keep the temp. at 78. It got kind of cold here and it lowered the temp to about 75 even with the heater. I have been using a .2 solution of salt and the ich med is Quick Cure, which does contain malachite green and formalin.

Since I'm doing constant water changes, am I removing too much of the previous days medication? I am putting in 10 drops daily after a 50% water change. And then I'm adding 1 tablespoon of salt for every 5 gallons of water I replace. I did skip salt yesterday b/c I wanted to get a test kit to see how much salt has remained in the tank since I've changed the water so much.

Thanks again!

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Hi hun,

Yes, sunlight would definitely affect it. It's best to keep the tank covered over with an old sheet or some newspaper as well as keeping the light off.

As you're using Quick Cure, I definitely wouldn't go above .2% with the salt (the less things added with formalin, the better). That will be plenty to help with the ich and nitrites. It's a good idea to test the salt level; you'd be surprised how high it can creep!

The thing about the water changes is that you *have* to do them to keep the params OK - there is no other choice. As long as you replace the meds and salt after each one as you're already doing, that's fine.

Fingers crossed for you and your fishies. :hug

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