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Ich :( Any Advice?


Guest vanilla

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Guest vanilla

Hi guys,

I posted here a little bit ago about setting up two goldfish in a new tank who were nipping at each other... At this point I'm almost glad I haven't tried putting them together again, because they have symptoms of Ich. I started Rid-Ich treatment as soon as I got hold of some (within 24 hours of discovering white spots on my goldies), and I was wondering if anyone had advice for successfully getting my guys through this :( I also wanted to mention that I had a plant in the tank, which my goldie nibbled, so I wasn't sure if that influenced anything either way, but I ended up removing the plant before I started the medication.

  • Test Results for the Following:
    Ammonia Level? --4 ppm (my tank hasn't been fully cycled, so that and stress probably was perfect to promote Ich)
    Nitrite Level? --0.25 ppm
    Nitrate level?
    Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? 7.6 (may be more, it's unfortunately the upper limit for my pH test range)
    Ph Level out of the Tap? around 7.4

(all these measurements were from before a water change)

  • Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 5 gallons, 1 week; the second goldie is temporarily in a large bowl because I was afraid of stressing them out; now I'm afraid that the stress of putting them together may be too much, so I'm trying to keep them separate.

  • What is the name and size of the filter/s? ---

  • How often do you change the water and how much? I did a 50% water change before adding Rid-Ich.

How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 fish in the tank, 1 in temp housing; both are around an inch in length.

<li>What kind of water additives or conditioners? Tap water dechlorinator

<li>Any medications added to the tank? Rid-Ich (active ingr. Malachite Green and Formalin)

<li>Add any new fish to the tank? A couple of days ago, tried to place both goldies in one tank, but removed the second within the hour - they weren't too fond of each other

<li>What do you feed your fish? Run-of-the-mill goldfish flakes

<li>Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? --Ich symptoms (grains of salt)

<li>Any unusual behavior like staying

at the bottom, not eating, ect..? --The goldie in the tank eats like a beast but swims a little erratically, the other tends to stay at the bottom but eats well as far as I can tell.

I'd really appreciate any suggestions you guys could give me. I thought I would be prepared for something like this having healed my Betta's popeye successfully a year ago, but Betta's tank was fully set up by the time he got popeye :(

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Guest vanilla

I re-checked my levels, and pH is still at 7.6 but ammonia is down to about 0.5-0.7ppm; nitrites are still 0.25ppm.

The tank goldie's fins also look a little ragged, and he's folding his dorsal, pectoral, and pelvic fins - maybe part of the Ich problem, or ammonia burn? His swimming has settled down a bit, and he's mostly hovering towards the top, taking a round around the tank, and going back to the top.

Edited by vanilla
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  • Regular Member

Holey moley -- your ammonia level was 4.0 ppm?! That is very high! :yikes With ammonia that high, you shouldn't be adding any medications except salt (the ammonia combined with the medication will be even more toxic to your fish). I am glad to hear that the ammonia is down now, but your fish are probably seriously stressed.

Someone with more expertise will come along soon, but I suspect that the medication that you are using is going to affect your cycle bacteria adversely, so you will have to keep especially close tabs on ammonia and nitrite.

The best way to treat ich is to salt to 0.3% over the course of 36 hours. Add 1 tsp coarse grained aquarium salt per gallon (0.1%) every twelve hours for a total of three doses (0.3%). Then maintain this salt level until all signs of ich have been gone for several days (how long this will take will depend on the temperature of your tank). Keep a log of salt in and salt out, replacing the salt that you remove with water changes. 0.3% salt will also adversely affect a developing cycle, so keep that in mind.

Good luck! :)

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Hello vanilla,

First off, 5 gallons is too small of a tank for even one goldfish. Its not a surprise that they nip at each other as they can be territorial, especially in such a small area. No matter what they tell you at the lfs, comets (single-tailed) require 20 gallons each, and fancies(double-tailed) require 10 gallons each to thrive and be healthy. If you are interested, go to the home page here on the site and read Ten Steps to Healthy Goldfish. It will explain a lot of this to you.

Secondly, please consider stopping the Rid-Ich. Its extremely harsh and your fish are already stressed and ill. Ich is a parasite present in virtually all aquariums. It doesn't show itself until the fish are sick or stressed, and although it can be fatal to your fish, its usually a secondary symptom of something else such as poor water quality. Ich can be cured just as successfully with salt as harsh meds, and the meds are not going to work with any ammonia present in your water. I'd use a filter with carbon in it to get that RidIch out now. Personally, I despise Malachite Green, and the bottle will tell you not to do water changes. That will be deadly for your fish at this time.

You are unfortunately not going to be able to get the water params correct with a 5 gallon tank unless you do a 75-100% daily water change, and that will be with one fish, not 2, and it won't last long. Goldfish have a huge waste output and the ammonia builds up to a lethal level pretty quickly.

Please also go to this link for info about how to salt for ich:http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/Ich.html

You may want to consider getting a large Rubbermaid container to temporarily house your fish until you can get a larger home for them. I have a 6-inch fantail and a 5-inch comet in a 30 gallon tank, and I am maxed out with the number of fish I can keep in there. As a matter of fact, they could probably use a larger tank, but since thats out of the question for now, I keep my ammonia and nitrite params at zero by doing a 25% wc in the middle of the week and at least a 50% on the weekends.

Good luck!

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The girls have given you very good advice. I would only like to add this,

"the second goldie is temporarily in a large bowl because I was afraid of stressing them out; now I'm afraid that the stress of putting them together may be too much, so I'm trying to keep them separate."

The greatest stressor of all was your ammonia - this is the result of new tank syndrome in far too small a space. Also the cause of the chasing and nipping. Being kept in a bowl is even more disasterous for ammonia exposure. It would be far better to get them a large rubbermaid for now. That way you can more easily keep on top of water quality and treat them with salt.

Remove them from Rid-Ich immediately - it is toxic at the best of times but with ammonia and an uncycled tank it will kill them.

Read the links at the bottom of my signature to better understand your fishes needs and more about water chemistry. Post back with any further questions you may have. :)

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Guest vanilla

Thanks so much, I will switch to a heat and salt method today. This morning what I thought was a frayed dorsal fin on one of my guys looks more like fungal growth in front of the fin. I read on the website that a .3% salt solution will treat that as well; is there anything else I should be aware of?

Edited by vanilla
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Guest vanilla

Looking more carefully, it wasn't fungus; he was shedding some of his scales. I'm doing frequent water changes to keep ammonia down (and my nitrites are at 0), but I had one question about the salt method:

I've been using sea salt, and gradually brought it up to 0.3%. Now I obtained some conditioning salt; can I keep dosing it the way I have been - for each gallon I'd put 3 tsp of the conditioning salt? My concern is that the recommended dosage on the bottle is 1 tbsp/5 gallons, and I'm not sure if that's equivalent to what I've been doing with sea salt. I saw a question like this elsewhere but couldn't find the answer; does anyone know?

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This is a query which comes up regularly.

You have added 3tsp (1 tbs) per gal, right? This means you are at 0.3% which is correct. This is the 'treatment' dosage.

The box often says 1tbs (3 tsp) per 5 gals, which is obviously much less - this is the dosage for use as a 'tonic' or to help during the nitrite phase of cycling.

So carry on as you are doing. I always keep a written log of amounts going in and out during water changes as it's easy to loose track otherwise. Always replace the amount of salt you are removing at each change.

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I've recently learned just how effective simple salt can be. I had tried Interpet treatments for their "ease" of use and because I wasn't confident of the amounts of salt to add. I have followed the salting pages here to the letter and in 24 hours my fish are 90% better, active, and healthy looking whereas three days ago I was assuming the worse and thinking my li'l fishy friends were going to the big bowl in the sky!

A tablespoon per gallon, takes the level to a 0.1% solution, repeat that three times, remembering to add into the second and third amounts the "removed" salt that you have taken out of the tank to fit in the next addition...does that make sense,

I added 50 tablespoons for my 50 gallon, then when I added the next dose, I had to remove a bucketful, which held the diluted equivalent of three tablespoons, so to the next bucket I added 53, then to the third bucket, I removed again three diluted tablespoons of salt so added those to the new bucket that contained 56 tablespoons.

It looks a scary amount of salt... IT WORKS! My fish looked as if they had the worst case of dandruff... only dandruff don't kill you right! Today 13 hours after adding the final dose they have hardly ANY whitespots, , are more active than I have seen them in days, and full of natural vigour! They all looked "crest-fallen" sluggish and drifted on the current very unhappy looking fishies; today they are like dynamoes!!!

You won't go far wrong if you listen to these people here!

I was wrong to ever doubt the effectiveness of salt and can affirm in it's good, useful and less damaging abilities than the Copper based chemicals which are pretty lousy all round, and in my experience, DON'T WORK!

One question I do have?

Cycling and salt? Will it stop my cycle or just slow it?

I was just getting past the ammonia, and into the Nitrite rising phase... please don't tell me I've set myself back all that way!!!!!

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Umm... Are you sure you mean tablespoon as opposed to teaspoon? I am not an expert, but I think that the dose is one teaspoon per gallon for a 0.1% solution and three teaspoons per gallon for 0.3%. If you're using tablespoons, then your salt level is a lot higher than you intend it to be.

I have also found through personal experience that it makes a big difference if you are using coarse salt versus fine salt. This is because there is more salt in a given volume of fine salt than in the same volume of coarse salt. I found this out because I got a salt level test kit and found that my tank was salted to nearly 0.3% (when I only intended to salt to 0.1% for tonic purposes). I was using fine salt.

At that time I was still cycling and found that 0.3% salt stalled my cycle out. It didn't kill all my beneficial bacteria (like many chemical treatments would have), but I certainly didn't make any progress on my cycle during that time. If I were you, I would complete your ich treatment, then remove enough salt to get yourself back down to 0.1% in order to finish cycling your tank.

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"Cycling and salt? Will it stop my cycle or just slow it?"

Acupunk's advice is right; ich treatment must take precedence over the cycle.

The nitrobacters (nitrite eaters) are quite sensitive to salt, especially if it is raised too quickly, so it is common to see a slight nitrite spike even in a cycled tank. I sometimes try to add salt in 6 half steps rather than 3 whole ones - or leave a longer gap between the 3 increments.

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Now, I've been salting the tank and gravel cleaning now for three days, they all look pretty well clear of the ich, except one...,my fave, Gorby!

How long does salting take to work, and if the case is pernicious with one fish is there anything else I can do specifically for that fish... I gather a solution of 0.3% and above will start to cause more problems? BB's etc???

thanks, and (sorry for jumping on someone elses thread)

mt

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Salt does not need to be taken higher than 0.3%.

It should be maintained (along with raised heat 79/80) for around 2 weeks or 6 days past seeing the last ich spot. It is just a case of waiting for the whole cycle to be caught.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

Did you used API salts to treate parasites?, like...upto 0.3%, that is 1 tsp per gallon of water for 3 times in 36 hours?

I did experienced very bad result and lost two fantail goldies yesterday even after used only 2 dosage...very sad...I have seen people using this method to treate parasites..I wanted to know the cause and found out that my PH went dark blue...should be around 9 or higher...did not even check for high PH range.

I am kind of new fish keeper....but not been successful yet. I have fully cycled fish tank. This time I was able to keep one fantail for almost 2 and half months. Added one more 15 days back and that one came with parasites/fluke...will try again though..

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yowza...sorry to hear you lost two goldies. i did exactly what you mention: bring up to 0.3% in 12 hour increments. was treating once for water-related illness/mouth rot infection and 2nd time for flukes.

what was the pH before you salted? and what is your pH out of the tap?

forgot to ask, and maybe silly question, did you dissolve the salt entirely before adding? and are there any other meds in the tank water?

Edited by uberleslie
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It was perfect 7.0 before adding salt, I did dissolve salt before adding to the fish tank, my tap water PH is 7.2..there were no med in the tank either...actually we both work otherwise we could have save them. I need to know for future..how much water you used to add 1 dosage of salt to mix...does this even matter...don't know...I may need to treat again with salt but now I kind of scared...with the 1st dosage my fish was very happy and was showing improvement...the fish which use to stay at the surface..was coming down to the bottom...but after adding the 2nd dosage we had to go to office....and then...Disaster.

Edited by SandyDoss
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yikes...it seems like you're doing it right to me. whatever happened is definitely beyond my knowledge to help with. someone with way more fishsmarts will likely be along soon with advice.

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