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Ich Emergency!


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  • Regular Member

Recently I got 7 new fish (4 tigerbarbs, 3 black skirt tetras). I put them all in the same 5 gallon qt tank with a divider. The next day the tiniest tiger barb died for no apparent reason. The next day another tiger barb got ich and he died the following day. Today another tigerbarb died. I have 1 tigerbarb and the 3 tetras left. The tigerbarb seems fine mostly. All the tetras are completely covered in ich, I've never seen ich like this before, and I've never had a problem dealing with it before, never has one of my fish died from it and they've always recovered within about 3 days. One of the tetras is now floating on his side, barely alive. Several days ago after the second death I added salt (0.1%). No improvements so far. Im wondering how much salt is safe for tropical fish under one inch? I just did an emergency 90% waterchange and kept salt at the same level. I was gonna double the dose but not sure if thats safe for these tiny little fish. I also have prazi and I dont remember if it treats ich or not, it doesnt say anything about ich on the package. If it does, is it safe to add with the salt together? Please help, I just got these fish and already lost about half of them :(.

Also I raised the heat slightly, I had been keeping the heater setting pretty low because the wattage is rated for a 20 gallon tank.

Edited by Shamu23
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  • Regular Member

Sorry about the problems with your fish Jule. I've been doing sa bit of research for you but I need to have the answers to the questions at the top. I now you said they were in a 5 gallon qt tank, but the other info would really help. I'll wait for the info you can provide. :)

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[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? unknown, had zeolite in the tank until i added salt, i havent been testing the water cuz i can just as easily just change all the water often

[*]Nitrite Level? unknown

[*]Nitrate level? unknown

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? should b around 7.8-8 thats wat the tapwater is

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)?same

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

[*]Water temperature? about 76ish degrees right now

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 5 gallons, not filled all the way to the top, its just a qt tank

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? no filters, was gonna add a sponge filter but the airpump wasnt strong enough to run it, so it just had an airpump and heater

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? just changed 90% of the water today, doesnt have a set schedule cuz its qt

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 4 fish, 0.5-1 inch

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? tetra water conditioner, salt

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? flakes twice a day, frozen bloodworms every couple of days

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? they r all new

[*]Any medications added to the tank? salt

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? ich, clamped fins

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Edited by Shamu23
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Okay thanks.

From my research I found you could increase the salt to 0.2% or 2 teaspoons a gallon. Don't go above 0.2%. And remember that since you don't fill up the tank you don't have 5 gallons of water.

You could also raise the heat to 80 degrees but slowly.

I am very worried about the fact that you don't have a filter. With that many fish in a 5 gallon even if they are very small I doubt you'll be able to keep up the water quality. I have a single danio in a 5 gallon and if I miss 1 weekly wc the ammonia creeps up. :(

And with your ph around 7.8 -8 then any ammonia becomes very toxic.

Keep us posted.

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ok thanks, i will raise the salt later today, and even if i added a filter it would not remove ammonia, but i might try adding some bio media from an established tank

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I kept tropicals before but never barbs and tetras but I have a feeling they are a little more delicate. I always had problems with ich when I would get new fish, I think it's the stress of moving them. I remember that they would also get ich as soon as something was off in their tank. :(

Keep us posted about how your remaining fish are doing. :heart

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i've actually had more disease problems with my goldfish, but this time the tropicals r reacting worse to it

and im sad to report that the little tetra has died :(

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oh yikes....

just wanted to say that my neons seem okay on salt, it even boosts their energy a bit - I have them on 0.1% salt since the other day as one looked a bit 'off'. I, however, have 21 in a 70gallon. I am a bit worried that a 5 gallon might be too small (especaially without a filter that creates aeration) - and that they might be extra stressed + more prone to disease because you only have a couple. I think neons have to be bought atleast in 6. ( I got mine 10+10 (one for free ahahaha))

hope the others make it

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bad news, the last tigerbarb which didnt have any ich on him at all, died over night :(. I am now down to 2 tetras and they're just hiding under the plant. one of them quickly checked out the other side of the tank when i removed the divider but now he's hiding again. today i'll do another 90% waterchange, add some extra salt, and some bio media. the temperature is now at 80.

and yes tetras need to b in groups but this just temporary until they join the others in the bigger tank, i cant buy 6 at once cuz then my tank would b overstocked.

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thx for all ur help! the little tetras are watching me right now and they r ich free! I will keep them in the salt a few more days and then i think they will b ready to move out of qt, i cant believe how great they r doing now! :D

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