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All Fish Starting To Get Sick! (one Read Streaks In Fin, Others Listless At Bottom)

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Guest theerer3

Okay, thanks for highlighting that. I pulled the trigger on Prazi Pond stuff. It just feels kind of like a shotgun approach and the cost is freakin' pilling up fast!!!

I really hope this works.

Should have the Prazi in 2 days and will treat both hospital and main tank right away!

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I went through the same sort of sticker shock when buying meds for my sick fish (mostly because I bought a number of wrong ones before I got the right ones). But the cost will really settle down, and then you'll build up a stock of stuff that's good to have on hand in emergencies.

I used Prazi on a rescue fish who likely had flukes and it definitely worked. Saw improvements in her almost overnight. Good luck!

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Guest theerer3

That's good news and yeah, I guess I do have quite the medicine cabinet building up! UGH. How can you see fluke improvements?? Just that their behavior is back to normal (aka not sitting on the bottom or being lathargic)? Did you ever see signs of the actual worms?

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Did you ever see signs of the actual worms?

Flukes are microscopic parasites, so you can't see them with your eye. The only way to be absolutely CERTAIN the flukes are gone is to do a scrape and scope--- actually look at the slimecoat under a microscope and see if there are flukes.

However, with a proper course of treatment you can be relatively sure that your fish is well, especially when the symptoms disappear.

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It is important to note that if a fish is carrying a heavy load of flukes on its gills, it will get worse immediately after starting Prazi. This reaction shows that the flukes are dying off, and recovery will begin soon.

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Guest theerer3

Cool, I've got the Prazi coming in tomorrow, will treat right away! Cross your fingers.

With regards to the salt treatment. I put in a 1/2 tspn per gallon in both main and hospital tanks (as directed by the API salt box :o ) ). How regular should I treat with salt? Should I up the treatment given the other things I'm doing to the tank or lay off of it?

My understanding is that salt can add electrolytes and other good things for fish and reduce stress, so maybe that will be good given that I have treated the water with the medicine, which is likely killing the good bacteria along with the bad - does this mean my tank will have to re-cycle?

Thanks all you guys are great.

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1/2 teaspoon per gallon yields a concentration of 0.05%. It is safe to salt up to 0.3% for treatment. 0.1% (1 tsp per gallon) is good for general stress reduction. When salting, increase the concentration gradually: by 0.1% in 12-hour intervals. This gives time for the fish to adjust. And don't forget that salt is removed by water changes.

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Yes, that is right - the box gives instructions only for the 'tonic' dose whereas the treatment dose is higher.

Here is a step by step guide written by Trinket, which is a great reference to print out and follow

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=60876

Sometimes the BB's can be a little sensitive to salt (particularly the nitrosomonas which eat the nitrites) and it is not unusual to get a slight nitrite spike. To avoid this, I sometimes try raising salt in 6 half steps rather than 3 increments of 0.1%. That way, the bacteria have more of a chance to adjust. It's your call which you do - just keep an eye on the water readings. What are you most recent results?

Great that you have the Prazi coming; this med is completely harmless to fish and filters, so you won't need to worry about it having any detrimental effects.

Before adding it you should do a complete water change to remove the TC. Then you can add your Prazi and first dose of salt.

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Guest theerer3

OKAY, CRAP,

I"m 95% sure all my fish now have ICH. They all have VERY tiny whit spots on them.

Will the salt take care of this??? They are like a week in, are they doomed?

I'm going to do a 50% water change now, vacuum the heck out of that gravel and get some ich specific medicine.

Please reply quickly if you can! Thanks!!!

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I am not an expert by any means but the mods just helped me through Ich with heat and salt! I wouldn't do anything, like add any medications until someone on here lets you know what to do. I did what they suggested and increased the salt to 0.3% over three 12 hour periods, and very slowly increased the temperature of the tank to 80. Please don't go by my advice, but also if possible I would wait for someone's advice before adding any medications, just in case. When I was dealing with the Ich, I did frequent water changes and vacumming, so I would assume that is a good idea in your case as well and I honestly don't see how that could hurt?

Edited by CountryLovah

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Guest theerer3

Thanks! Yeah I'm going to do a 40% or so water change and am vacuuming all that from the bottom - that's where the itch go. Thanks for the advice - did all your fish make it? Where they really bad?

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theerer3, the important thing right now is not to panic and cause more problems for your fish. The ich parasite is present in virtually ALL aquariums, it just doesn't make itself known until your fish are ill and stressed and susceptable to them.

Harsh meds at this time would not be adviseable, as your fish are already in a weakened state. Use the link that Pixie has given you on how to use salt as a medication. It is gentle, doesn't mess much with your cycle and will positively kill the ich. You are also going to have to slowly raise the temp in your tank to accelerate the life cycle of the little buggers. Use your gravel syphon to thoroughly vacuum the gravel. You are correct in saying that the ich go there. They drop thousands of nasty eggs in the gravel, the eggs hatch, and the cycle starts all over again.

Sue can refresh you on the tank temps and such as she has just done it recently, and very successfully. And compared to the money you have had to spend on meds, salt is very cheap and easily accessable. Just don't use table salt or any salt with anti-caking agents. Pickling salt and kosher salt work just fine and are cheaper than aquarium salt which is the same thing in a smaller, more expensive package. Frequent water changes are a must, and its helpful if you keep a journal so you know how much salt to put in versus the water you've taken out.

And remember that Prazi does not kill ich, but the salt will. This seems like a lot, but you can do this and save your fish. Once things get settled down, I promise you their care isn't as complicated most of the time.

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Well, don't worry - just stick with the salt at 0.3% and raise heat like CL said. Do not add ich meds - salt is the best as it is gentle, whereas some of those ich meds are brutal.

The ich can only be killed in their free-swimming stage, so for a while it may seem as if the fish look worse. The trick is to make very regular water changes and vac the gravel to remove as many cysts as possible.

Read the salt link thoroughly to be sure you are clear on how to manage everything and keep on track with your levels.

It's bed time here but I'll drop in tomorrow.

PS Oops - sorry Vick - double post

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Guest theerer3

Okay,

I have a 10 gallon hospital tank, which I'm thinking is where they need to go. That's a freakin small tank for these guys but with ich everywhere, i can take care of them much easier as I'll just take water off the top of the tank and put them with that in the hospital, do the salt treatment for a week or whatever you all recommend. Current salt level is about .05% so I'll raise it to .3% over the 12 hr period, .15% as soon as I get them in the hospital tank and then .25 in the AM, then to .3 tomorrow night.

How does that sound? What should I do with the main tank now? Same thing then do large water changes?

With a tank of 10 gallons for 6 goldfihs and a sucker fish....I'm going to have to do small water changes like every couple hours I'd guess, right? Good thing it's almost the weekend!

I"m taking a break,hopefully someone will reply soon!

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Sorry Pixie, we seem to have posted on top of each other, lol.

Snooze time for me here too as 4am comes earlier and earlier! :k045::sleeping:

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Yikes! Put all those fish into an unfiltered 10gal? I'm not sure why you'd want to do that.

The ich is now all over the main tank which is where you need to be treating them. Both fish and tank need treating.

You will find water conditions impossible to control in only 10gals and the pollution and overcrowding will be the final extra stressor you really do not need. Meanwhile the cycle in the main tank will die off without the fish and the ich cysts will lie dormant in the substrate. You'll be returning the few survivors to a crashed tank full of patiently waiting ich!

Tomorrow when I'm not seeing triple from tiredness I'll explain the ich life-cycle so you understand why treatment must take place in the main tank.

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I have just read your Whole 3 pages of posts.

First off I want to tell you how bad I feel for what is going on in your tank. I know how discouraging it can be!!

Secondly, you do really want to leave all of your fish except the Plecostomus in the main tank while treating for ich. The parasite lives on all fish all of the time but only become a problem when fish are stressed or weakened. Salt is defiantely the best course of treatment for Ich. I suggest that you buy either canning (pickling) salt for the Ich treatment as that you can buy large volumes much cheaper than you can buy aquarium salt and it is vertually the same thing.

I did treat for Ich around February (a very small outbreak - 2 spots on 1 fish with 5 fish in my tank) and most of my fish are doing fine now so it is definately possible to treat Ich successfully with Salt and unlike most of the over the counter products will not hurt your cycle. If you transfer your fish to the smaller tank they will be overly stressed in such cramped quarters and your main tank will die off due to the lack of fish. For the good bacteria to survive the tank needs to have fish and their waste in it. The ich on the other hand will survive in the tank and when the fish move back in you will go through the cycle process again and that will stress the fish and the ich will attach again.............. viciouse cycle............ please treat in the main tank.

When I treated for ich......in a 40 gallon tank....(I did not remove my plecostomus and it later died, due to salt tolerance issues)......

Day 1) I did a very large water change and added the first dose of salt at like 8 pm to bring it up to 0.1% salt/water

(1 teaspoon per gallon x 40 gallons = 40 teaspoons = 13 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon = 2 cups + 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon)

Day 2) At 8 am I tested my water and it was fine so I added the next dose of salt of 2c 1T 1t (1 teaspoon per gallon see above). This dose brings salt concentration to 0.2% salt/water

Day 2) At 8 pm I again tested the water this time the test indicated a change was needed so to make my job easier I changed 1/4 of the water, meaning I had to replace the salt in that 10 gallons of water plus add the next dose of salt. So to replace the salt that I was removing I added 20 teaspoons --because I was at 0.2% salt/water -- (1 cup + 2 teaspoons) with part of the water then disolved the next dose in the next bucket of water to finish filling the tank -- another 2 c 1T 1t salt. Now my tank was up to 0.3% salt/water concentration. ****SEE NOTE****

Day 3) At 8 am I again tested the water and it was still fine

Day 3) At 8 pm I tested water and was fine - vacumed rock - replaced 5 gal and 5 Tablespoons salt

Day 4) 8 am tested water and needed a change - again changed 1/4 the water (10 gallons) so added 10 tablespoons (1 2/3 cups)

Day 4) 8 pm tested water and was fine - vacumed gravel - replaced 5 gal and 5 T salt

Day 5) 8 am tested water and was fine - all visable ich are gone!!!

Day 5) 8 pm tested water and was fine - vacuumed gravel - 5 ga and 5 T salt

Day 6) 8 am tested water and was fine

Day 6) 8 pm tested water and needed change - again changed 1/4 of the water added 1 2/3 c salt..........

NOTE: at the *** above I did a very large water change and stopped salt treatment due to opening a new box of aquarium salt that had been contaminated with cleaning agents. All fish had adverse reactions to the contaminate, but I did restart and treat properly with canning salt 1 week later)

I continued this for a full week after the ich were gone off the fish due to the life cycle of ich. The salt will only kill them during the free swimming part of their life. When they fall off the fish there are still ich hatching in the rock.........

I do not know what you should do with your plecostomus ....... they don't tollerate salt well and the ich treatment may kill him, and if he is not treated for the ich he will carry it back to your other fish.

I hope this made sense ......... if not please feel free to ask questions.

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I'm awake as usual so I will do my best to help, based on the experience I am having now and all of the great advice I got/am still getting from the members and moderators of this board. Pixie and Vickie helped me very much and have excellent advice to give. I think the scariest part is like they said and not to panic. Raising the salt and heat gradually really is the way to go. When my fish got Ich, they had it very very bad, and it wasn't until I lost all but two of them that I even found this board. One of the fish was not responding and all and did not make it. But one of the fish who had it the worst (very very bad) is still alive. I have pictures posted on the thread I still have open in emergency. The Ich has been gone completely for a few weeks now. He is still fighting, so don't give up hope. I remember my first thought was "this can't work!" and I wanted to run out and buy medications, but I listened to everyone on this board and it was very successful. It's just a matter of increasing it slowly and putting the correct amount back when you do water changes.

First of all I would definitly agree with Pixie that the 72 gallon will be better for them and easier for you right now. Trust me, the ammonia starts to build up very very quickly. And I only had one teeny fish in a 5 gallon tank. I was doing water changes all day every day just to keep that ammonia down. It's stressful on both the fish and the fishkeeper :blink: It might seem like less work to put them in a smaller tank, but in the long run it will be much easier to have them in a larger tank where you don't have to worry as much about the ammonia, nitrites, & nitrates building up. My fish Sheldon had Ich for over 6 days, and even after you see the very last spot, they still need the salt for at least 6 days. The spots will definitly appear to get worse before they get better. I almost panicked when I saw that too. But right after they get really big and really bad, they begin to drop off. Little sections at first but it does happen! After about day 4 or 5 of doing water changes constantly your head will start to spin. You will still need to do them, but you won't have to check the ammonia levels every hour on the hour, which I was doing just to make sure they didn't climb too high. Having the fish in a large cycled tank would have been very nice.

As for the heat, it's warm where I am right now, but when I first noticed the Ich the temperature in the tank was 70 degrees. I raised it very slowly. It took me a good 24 hours to get the temperature up to 80. And then I left it there the entire time I saw the spots, and not until after the spots had been gone for a few days did I begin to slowly lower the temperature. Depending on what the weather is like where you are, you may have warm weather to your advantage! (I'm not sure where you are from, sorry I am wrong lol) I am not sure if that's the exact way it must be done, but it worked for me.

The last I saw you had added 1/2 teaspoon of salt per gallon about 12 hours ago, but you said you were about to add more. I think you are on the right track. Just make sure you've read the article on how to salt. It had no idea how to do it at first, and I thought you just sprinkled it in. I didn't realize you had to dilute it in tank water. Don't be afraid of doing large water changes during this period. Doing those and vaccuming well will help you sooo much. Just be sure that the water is temperature matched, and dechlorinated. I actually had two tanks so I was doing 100% water changes twice a day.

Once you get the full amount of salt in you just need patience! And remember at that point that for every gallon of water you remove during a water change, you must add 3 teaspoons of salt back in. I did use a journal like Vickie said. It made things so much easier. Good luck! It's great that you've found this board, it will help you so much. If you have any questions that seem obvious or silly, ask them anyway. I asked a million and still am.

Oops. I was writing the same thing as someone else was.. : )

Edited by CountryLovah

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The very informative posts from zookey (OMG-I remember your contaminated yellow salt!!) and Sue should walk you through the process without much trouble. Remember that they have both recently treated for ich with salt successfully.

You could put the pleco in the 10 gallon, but he needs filtration to survive.

Sorry that I didn't catch all the fish you were putting into a 10 gallon. I was very tired and it was past my bedtime, lol. Theerer, it all boils down to the premise that you fix the water to fix the fish. Think of your fish's water as the air we breathe. I've used this example before, but if you are locked in a small closet with 5 other people, no ventilation and no toilet, what would you need to survive besides food? CLEAN AIR!!!!!!!! Pristine water and gentle medications such as salt will do more for your fish than anything. Take care of the water and it will take care of the fish. We kind of jokingly refer to ourselves as "water keepers", which is mostly the truth.

There is a link on the home page for 10 Steps for Healthy Goldfish. This is very informative and helpful. Hang in there and follow the advice you've read here and hopefully your fish will recover.

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Well now that I've had some sleep, I'll tell you about the ich life cycle as promised. It has several developmental stages, which is why it takes some time and patience to erradicate.

The life cycle

The first stages are called Trophozoites and are highly resistant to drug therapy. Trophozoites are often not immediately visible on the fish until they mature. They burrow just under the skin of fish, causing the characteristic 'white spot' or trophont stage.

At maturity, the adult parasite, called Tomonts, detach from the fish and swim freely for about six hours. They eventually settle on the bottom of the aquarium and secrete a protective membrane around themselves creating a 'cyst'.

This cyst now undergoes many divisions, producing 1,000 or more offspring, called Theronts. When the cyst eventually breaks open, up to 1000 Theronts emerge in search of a fish host.

They invade their fish host by burrowing into the skin with their cilia and digestive enzymes. They form a protective nodule under the skin or gill epithelium of the fish host are then free to feed on fish cells and tissue fluids until mature. They constantly turn and move under the skin, feeding on destroyed cells and body fluids, until mature. This causes great damage to the skin and can lead to osmotic stress, resulting in secondary bacterial or fungal infections. They can also be especially devastating to the delicate gill tissue; in some cases the gills are completely destroyed by their destructive feeding action, causing the fish to suffocate. Once this stage is mature the cycle begins again.

Treatment

Ich can only be killed when it is in the free-swimming theront stage. Medications do not kill the parasites attached to the fish (white spot) or those encysted in the gravel. The initial disappearance of the white spots simply means that the parasites have advanced to the cyst stage and fallen off the fish. In a few hours or days, depending on water temperature, thousands of infective theronts will burst out in search of a fish host.

It is only at this point that the treatment does its job.

Since not all the Ich parasites hatch out at the same time, it is necessary to treat the aquarium (or pond) for at least 6 days after seeing the last spot. When one fish has ick, all fish in the aquarium or pond will be infected and so will the substrate and internal surfaces. For this reason fish should not be removed from the infested aquarium or pond.

Ich parasites are easily transferred to other aquaria (or ponds) by nets, hands, gravel vac's, etc. so always allow the equipment to dry out in the sun and if possible, disinfect it with a bleach solution which can can be de-chlorinated afterwards.

The plec can tolerate some salt but not as mch as you will be dosing. He must be removed to a QT and treated with a suitable med, alone - I will check-out which one, as plecs are not my forte. Maybe Paraguard by Seachem but let me check..............

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Guest theerer3

ALL, thanks so much for the detail. I'm actually feeling pretty good about it right now. One fish appears to have it pretty bad.

I came to my senses last night and actually put the one koi back in the main tank and started the salt treatment.

-Last night at about 9:00 or so, I gravel vacc'd about 50% of the water (down to about 35 gal in my tank) I raised the salt .1% to .15% (since I had the mild dose of salt in there a day ago) and in doing so, added back in another 10 gal. So I was at 45 Gal @ .15% salt. Water temp at 78 deg.

-This morning around 8:30 I gravel vacc'd 5 gal out, and put 15 gals back in, and raised the salt to .25%. Water temp down to about 76-77 from cooling overnight - threw in my heater and set to 79 (the sun today will get it to 80 by the time I'm home

-Tonight at about 8:30 I will vac 10 gals. and put 20 back in, and raise the salt to the final .3% and I'll be back at a solid 65 gals. (yes I am remebering to put the extra salt back in for the water I am vacc'ing out).

The one fish that has spent the last 3 days not moving and hiding is now swimming around (not flashing). VERY visible itch on him and the pleco, so hopefully it's working.

Will keep it up for a good week, then just do water changes to get the salt out slowly.

Thank you so much! Hopefully my boys will hang on!

P.S. so I'm assuming I DO NOT bother with the lousy Prazi I put on rush order yetserday (freakin' 45 bucks!) Anyone want to buy it from me? :o )

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You should hold onto the Prazi just in case... because Flukes are an other common parasite, and Prazi is THE treatment. Rush ordered.... that's a small fortune just for shipping!

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Save the Prazi. You will need it to treat for flukes after you get them over this ich crisis. Prazi doesn't harm your cycle, but it is the only med that will kill flukes. Almost all fish come from the lfs with them.

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Guest theerer3

Cool, yeah I'll hang on to it, I was just venting a little bit :o ).

So can I treat for flukes in addition to the salt, or should I def wait until the salt/ich treatment is done and treat after that?

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Yes, do start the Prazi - you can treat for flukes along with the ich. You are, to all intents and purposes, doing a quarantine treatment for all your fish. Salt can be run with Prazi without any problem and will get on top of everything at once.

You should treat with salt for at least 6 days after the last ich falls off. So my guess would be for around 2 weeks from now. Keep testing the water for spikes.

I'm hoping Trinket, who keeps plecs, can advise on the best treatment for him - is he out and in the QT now? He won't tolerate salt as high as 0.3%.

Lastly, I don't understand why you are reducing the water volume - did I miss something?

If your tank holds 65g, you should replace any water you remove (along with the right amount of salt) at each water change. The fish need as much water as possible, so I'm not quite sure why you are keeping them in only 45g and then gradually stepping up to 65 as you increase salt.

It is very useful during treatment, to keep a written log of water and salt going in and out during w/changes - it's very easy to loose track of levels during all the change outs.

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