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Ich, but also red streaks


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  • Regular Member

Other Required Info:

    Test Results for the Following:
  • * Ammonia Level: 0
  • * Nitrite Level: 0
  • * Nitrate level: 0
  • * Ph Level, Tank 6.5
  • * Ph Level, Tap 6
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API
  • * Water temperature? 78F
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running: 30ish gallons, 6+ months
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s): Aquaclear 30 and 50
  • * How often do you change the water and how much? 2x a week, 40-50%
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change: 50% before treatment

  • * How many fish in the tank and their size: 5, 1" to 1.5" (this is a grow out tank, not permanent home)
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often: 2x a day, Dainichi sinking pellets with koi clay, blood worms, daphnia
  • * Any new fish added to the tank: all are newish
  • * Any medications added to the tank: salt
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment: Just started to add salt and have increased the temperature
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus: Ich, red streaks
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc: none

Alright, so...

This tank has been set up for a while. It used to house axolotls which were moved. The tank was cleaned, cycled, and now contains the baby goldfish. I've had one oranda that has had problems since day 1...which was mostly just floating. The floating has disappeared since introducing koi clay to their diet.

This oranda was the first to get ich, followed by the pearlscale, followed by the telescope. The two lionheads are just starting to show it now. The ich is only visible on the fins, and none of the fish are gasping, floating, sinking, or have clamped fins. They really are acting normal.

My concern now is that they are showing red streaking in their fins, which I didn't think went hand in hand with ich. 3 of 5 are showing this. One fish with no visible ich is showing slight streaking.

When I first noticed that the fish had ich I tested my water and everything was perfect but the pH had crashed (from 7). I was confused, but tested the tap water which is also now at 6 instead of 7. I have since added coral to the filters which is slowly raising the pH. I do not know why the tap water has changed, but at least now I am aware. It is worth noting that the problems started immediately after a water change - I suspect because the pH was dramatically reduced and stressed the fish.

So, anyway - now they have ich. No problem, easy to treat with some diligence. I am concerned about the red streaks though - is this because of the ich, or is there possibly another stress factor I am unaware of? Although the pH is slowly being raised, is this likely the underlying problem? I'd prefer to not have to medicate with anything stronger than salt if possible.

Edited by Niffarious
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Since you are seeing zero for nitrates, is it possible you have had a cycle crash, which can go hand in hand with a pH crash. Yes sudden drop in pH (especially below 7 like this) will send fish into shock and can cause sudden red streaking and peeling of the slime coat, but it can also be caused by ammonia tweaks that may have gone un-noticed if the cycle has crashed.

With 5 fish in a 30 gallon, even though they are still small, any water issues - dropping pH for example- are going to be more serious than in a larger water space where the de-stress factor of more space strengthens the fishes immune response.

I think you are very right to stick with ONLY salt. But it is tricky with a low tap pH and all the water changes involved with treating ich.

Ich or white spot, is a trophont, and it feeds on the dead cells and the body fluids of it’s host. Peeling, decaying slimecoat caused by fluctuating pH allows the trophant to multiply faster. Constant water changes to rid the water column of all the life stages, and vacuuming of gravel daily or wiping the bottom of the tank will help rid the ich faster.

The coral will hopefully kick in soon and raise the pH :). I would monitor your cycle very close and keep a careful note of all the salt going in and out with temp matched w/cs.

When the trophants/white cysts mature on the fish, they drop off and release thousands of larval parasites. These are the tomites. When the tomites emerge from their cocoons they are free swimming and they seek out a new host and the process begins again. They are not killed with salt until they are in this free swimming stage so it is crucial to keep going with the salt at 0.3%. In water that is 78 degrees like yours, the good news is the cycle is only going to last one week. AFTER you see the white spots/trophants fall off.

It is a battle, dealing with pH issues, possible cycle crash and ich. But it is totally do-able if you are patient and able to give the tank close attention daily for a week or so.

Are you up to 0.3% yet?

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Hi Trinket -

I do not believe it was a cycle crash. The two filters are very well established and I suspect that low nitrates are in part due to the large amount of java fern inside the aquarium. The pH 'crash' was due to me assuming the tap water pH was always going to be the same...and doing large water changes with it.

I am aware of the ich life cycle and treatment, but you are right - with the low tap pH it becomes more of a challenge. I am doing smaller water changes than normal. The tank is bare bottom and yes - I've reached the 0.3%. The good news is that the fish are all still active and eating just fine. They are showing no signs of discomfort despite appearances so far.

I think the biggest challenge right now is going to be doing enough water changes to remove parasites, but not shift the pH. :S

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Hello, best wishes with the ich. I have a couple of comments/suggestions regarding the low tap pH and water changes.

I think crushed coral is great as a slow, long term stabilizer of pH. However, in your case, I think you want something works a little more quickly, such as Seachem's Gold Buffer or Alkaline Buffer. My suggestion is to get the buffer, add enough to raise the pH no more than 0.5/day until you reach the target pH of 7.5. This may take a few days, but once you are there, great! :)

Then, as for water changes, I would recommend doing no more than 20% at one time, because this is small enough that it does cause such a huge shift in your tank pH. Remember to add back buffer to compensate for the amount of new water replaced. I would then do these 20% WCs every other day. :)

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The coral is raising the pH must faster than I suspected, but I will still be picking up some buffer for future water changes.

So far the fish all still have their appetites and most are swimming normally. The telescope has taken to resting itself in some of the larger plants, near the surface, and staying there unless it's feeding time. This one outwardly appears to have the fewest symptoms - the least amount of ich and almost no streaking. However, it is acting the sickest. I'll be crossing my fingers :(

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Well so far the two showing the worst symptoms (the oranda and pearlscale) are looking better. They have lost most of the spots and have perked up a bit. The telescope, which never had more than a couple spots (now gone) and no streaking, is continuing to decline. Its appetite has gone down, and it seems to have very little energy. I don't know what else I can do for that little one. :(

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Just to update - although I lost the telescope (and still not sure why) the remaining fish are doing just great. The ich seems to be completely gone from the fish - of course I am continuing treatment to make sure I get it all.

The red streaking is almost gone and the fish are very active and seem fine otherwise.

The coral worked in a matter of days (the pH is now 7.5) and I am doing smaller, frequent water changes so there are no severe pH swings again.

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