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Ick On 1 Fish, Treat Entire Tank?


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#1 saviourwu

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 07:08 AM

Hi everyone,

there's one fish in my tank, a tetra that has ick on him. The rest looks fine and healthy. My tank details:

13 gallon, 50 litres
4 corydoras
1 guppy
1 dwarf honey gourami
3 black tetra (one has ick)

Should i treat my entire tank or just quarantine the single fish with ick and treat him?

Heard we can use temperature only to cure them. Will holding 30 degree Celsius for two weeks be enough?

Help! Help! Help! I don't want all the other fishes to die....

#2 raptorrex

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 07:24 AM

Hi everyone,

there's one fish in my tank, a tetra that has ick on him. The rest looks fine and healthy. My tank details:

13 gallon, 50 litres
4 corydoras
1 guppy
1 dwarf honey gourami
3 black tetra (one has ick)

Should i treat my entire tank or just quarantine the single fish with ick and treat him?

Heard we can use temperature only to cure them. Will holding 30 degree Celsius for two weeks be enough?

Help! Help! Help! I don't want all the other fishes to die....


with ICK you need to treat the entire tank, however many fish show signs. the ICK bug (it has three stages) is, in the water, in the substrate and in/on the fish.

#3 saviourwu

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 07:27 AM

with ICK you need to treat the entire tank, however many fish show signs. the ICK bug (it has three stages) is, in the water, in the substrate and in/on the fish.

The fish with ick has only a few small dots and is also swimming and eating fine. So no matter what, i must treat my whole tank even if others are looking ok and no spot?

Will the temperature method work? Raise to 30 degree Celsius and keep it there for two weeks. I'm afraid salt or any medication will affect my corys...

Please help...

#4 KittyKat

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 07:36 AM

It is in the water, so yes.

Just a high temperature will only make it worse because it will make the ich multiply faster. You are right that Corys do not tolerate salt (great that you already knew this!), but they should be fine with most medications (read the labels and instructions first!), so I would proceed to treat with medication alongside a temperature rise (so only increase temperature once you have added the medication to the water).

The temperature rise is needed (if using medication) because the medication will kill only the ich in the water, not the ich on the fish. The higher water temperature means that the ich should come off the fish and go into the water quicker. This is also why a very large (80-95%) water change is needed after the course of medication is complete (to remove any ich which is still in the water). If you then see a single spot still on the fish, then you normally have to repeat the treatment because once that spot comes off the fish, it will be in the water again.

#5 raptorrex

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 07:56 AM


with ICK you need to treat the entire tank, however many fish show signs. the ICK bug (it has three stages) is, in the water, in the substrate and in/on the fish.

The fish with ick has only a few small dots and is also swimming and eating fine. So no matter what, i must treat my whole tank even if others are looking ok and no spot?

Will the temperature method work? Raise to 30 degree Celsius and keep it there for two weeks. I'm afraid salt or any medication will affect my corys...

Please help...


I would hike the temp up, when you medicate. but, no, in my view raising the temp, and not medicating, will make things worse.
you already know salt is a no no.(I'm sure some will say "my cory were fine". i prefer to listen not those with much more knowledge) but there are medications around safe for them.

treatment will take longer though as you use half dosage. you will also need to buy a product that can be given so.

if you don't mind, I'll take a little time to explain something of what ICK is. understanding this, will help when treating your tank.

ICK has three stages (they all have specific names, but for this purpose I'll call them 1,2 and 3)

1, is the one you will notice (spots on fish) technically the final stage, this one burrows into the fishes slime coat and, eventually, creates more ICK stage 2
2, drop to the substrate to mature. (technically the first stage) but unseen by you
3, a free swimming form, they go off looking for a fish to infest. again unseen by you.

I'm sure you can see, now, why you need to treat the entire tank.

treatment will need to be in several stages. this is because the ICK is only vulnerable during its "free swimming stage". so, you will have to wait till all stages have cycled to know you have irradiated the problem.

in your case it will need, in my view, 2-3 treatments a week for 2 weeks. remember you are using 1/2 dosage.

I hope i have explained this clealy. but if you are struggling (with my drivel, lol), just give me a shout here.

#6 saviourwu

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 09:06 AM

I would hike the temp up, when you medicate. but, no, in my view raising the temp, and not medicating, will make things worse.
you already know salt is a no no.(I'm sure some will say "my cory were fine". i prefer to listen not those with much more knowledge) but there are medications around safe for them.

treatment will take longer though as you use half dosage. you will also need to buy a product that can be given so.

if you don't mind, I'll take a little time to explain something of what ICK is. understanding this, will help when treating your tank.

ICK has three stages (they all have specific names, but for this purpose I'll call them 1,2 and 3)

1, is the one you will notice (spots on fish) technically the final stage, this one burrows into the fishes slime coat and, eventually, creates more ICK stage 2
2, drop to the substrate to mature. (technically the first stage) but unseen by you
3, a free swimming form, they go off looking for a fish to infest. again unseen by you.

I'm sure you can see, now, why you need to treat the entire tank.

treatment will need to be in several stages. this is because the ICK is only vulnerable during its "free swimming stage". so, you will have to wait till all stages have cycled to know you have irradiated the problem.

in your case it will need, in my view, 2-3 treatments a week for 2 weeks. remember you are using 1/2 dosage.

I hope i have explained this clealy. but if you are struggling (with my drivel, lol), just give me a shout here.


does that mean when we see the final stage of ick, the spots, your point 1, it means the water is already contaminated with all the babies parasites?

If temperature alone won't work, what kind of meds can i use? Methylene blue? Will it affect my cycled tank and i have to start from scratch again?

Please help...

Help~!!

#7 raptorrex

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 09:39 AM


I would hike the temp up, when you medicate. but, no, in my view raising the temp, and not medicating, will make things worse.
you already know salt is a no no.(I'm sure some will say "my cory were fine". i prefer to listen not those with much more knowledge) but there are medications around safe for them.

treatment will take longer though as you use half dosage. you will also need to buy a product that can be given so.

if you don't mind, I'll take a little time to explain something of what ICK is. understanding this, will help when treating your tank.

ICK has three stages (they all have specific names, but for this purpose I'll call them 1,2 and 3)

1, is the one you will notice (spots on fish) technically the final stage, this one burrows into the fishes slime coat and, eventually, creates more ICK stage 2
2, drop to the substrate to mature. (technically the first stage) but unseen by you
3, a free swimming form, they go off looking for a fish to infest. again unseen by you.

I'm sure you can see, now, why you need to treat the entire tank.

treatment will need to be in several stages. this is because the ICK is only vulnerable during its "free swimming stage". so, you will have to wait till all stages have cycled to know you have irradiated the problem.

in your case it will need, in my view, 2-3 treatments a week for 2 weeks. remember you are using 1/2 dosage.

I hope i have explained this clealy. but if you are struggling (with my drivel, lol), just give me a shout here.


does that mean when we see the final stage of ick, the spots, your point 1, it means the water is already contaminated with all the babies parasites?

If temperature alone won't work, what kind of meds can i use? Methylene blue? Will it affect my cycled tank and i have to start from scratch again?

Please help...

Help~!!

yes it does.

I'd go for Malachite Green, at half dosage. I'm unsure how badly it will effect your cycle (except it will). but follow the instruction carefully. just at half dose.

oops nearly forgot. you need to add carbon to your filter to remove the med, after each treatment. it will also stain your silicone and, possibly, some of your decorations. i once got a jet black bit of mapani wood. turns out it was 'normal' mapani, stained with meds like this

Edited by raptorrex, 22 June 2011 - 09:46 AM.


#8 KittyKat

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 09:57 AM

I use(d) Sera's medication which is specifically for ich. It worked for me (part 1 and part 2).

Make sure you *take out* all carbon before treatment and only put new carbon back after. I prefer to not use carbon on an every day basis, only for removal of medication.

#9 saviourwu

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 10:54 AM

ok, i'll try it out and see if the above method works... Wonder how long it will need to re-cycle the tank.

God bless my fishes...

#10 KittyKat

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 11:38 AM

ok, i'll try it out and see if the above method works... Wonder how long it will need to re-cycle the tank.

Why don't you remove some of the media into another container, aerate it with an airstone and keep that fed with some ammonia? At least that way you will have a heavy seeding for the filter after you are done.. and a heavy seeding is almost as good as a fully cycled tank.

The medication I used did not noticebly affect the filter.

Edited by Kitty Kat, 22 June 2011 - 11:41 AM.


#11 raptorrex

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 11:48 AM


ok, i'll try it out and see if the above method works... Wonder how long it will need to re-cycle the tank.

Why don't you remove some of the media into another container, aerate it with an airstone and keep that fed with some ammonia? At least that way you will have a heavy seeding for the filter after you are done.. and a heavy seeding is almost as good as a fully cycled tank.

The medication I used did not noticebly affect the filter.


if you have a second filter. remove your main filter, for the med period, then add the second filter, with only carbon in. then when the clearing is done. replace your original filter. you can leave the original filter, internal or external, running in a bucket, in the mean time.

#12 saviourwu

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 05:41 PM

if you have a second filter. remove your main filter, for the med period, then add the second filter, with only carbon in. then when the clearing is done. replace your original filter. you can leave the original filter, internal or external, running in a bucket, in the mean time.


if we remove the original filter, won't the ick that was in the water go along with it. When it is again introduce back into the main tank, won't the ick come back again?

since we treating whole tank because ick is spread everywhere, shouldn't we treat the filter as well?

by the way, i raise the heat with my heater over a period of 5 hours, to 31 degree celsius, and the fishes looks ok. Two other queries arise:

1) How long do the ick really die off? or at least drop off from the fish body for the med to take effect?
2) since i raised the heat, what should i do for my water changes? do i need to turn down the heat gradually till room temperature before my water change? Every water change i'd have to wait for 5 hours then...

#13 KittyKat

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 06:50 PM

Ich can't survive without a fish to live on, so if the filter will run in a bucket, the ich in it will die.

They look ok now, but it's not good for the fish in the long term. Watch them closely.

1) Depends on the temperature. I can't make a guess.

2) Do water changes with temperature matched water: the water going in needs to be the same temperature as the water going out. Mix cold and warm water from the tap or mix cold water with boiled water.

#14 raptorrex

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 11:08 AM


if you have a second filter. remove your main filter, for the med period, then add the second filter, with only carbon in. then when the clearing is done. replace your original filter. you can leave the original filter, internal or external, running in a bucket, in the mean time.


if we remove the original filter, won't the ick that was in the water go along with it. When it is again introduce back into the main tank, won't the ick come back again?

since we treating whole tank because ick is spread everywhere, shouldn't we treat the filter as well?


by the way, i raise the heat with my heater over a period of 5 hours, to 31 degree celsius, and the fishes looks ok. Two other queries arise:
1) How long do the ick really die off? or at least drop off from the fish body for the med to take effect?
2) since i raised the heat, what should i do for my water changes? do i need to turn down the heat gradually till room temperature before my water change? Every water change i'd have to wait for 5 hours then...


yes, you are quits right. but I'm not sure any (stage 2 or 3) bugs, would be able to get out of the filter, after they get in! so it, may, or may not be a good idea. because that's all it was, an idea. lol if you could keep the filer out, for 2 or three days, all the bugs would. die, but thats a bit long for a filter to be tank-less and a tank to be filter-less. so perhaps a compromise? devide the media 50 50 between your original filter and the second filter. treat the tank and the 50% left with the med. and leave the other 50% running in a tank or bucket (for three days! your tank and filter will be treated (filter will suffer any losses.) but you will have the 50% from the bucket to help beef it up.

hard one this, but. @20c the stage 3 bug can infect fish for 24 hours, roughly. stage 2 releases stage 3 in, roughly 24 hours at the same temp. so i would say 2-3 days to cover the cycle of free swimming, infectious, bugs. and, at least another 3 days for. any stage 2 bugs left. and three days to ensure any, baby from stage 1 are caught too
. so 9 days @20c. so, roughly 4-7 days at 30c remember the bug is only affected to the med, when its in its free swimming form. stage 3.


I'd heat my water changes to 31c personally i use tap water for all my hot water. but one thing is very important, adding O2 to the water. water holds less O2 at higher temps. so you need to sort out, some big surface agitation, during the treatment.

#15 saviourwu

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 06:45 PM

thanks for all the advice. I'll keep on monitoring and see how it goes. One spot seemed to have disappeared from the fish's tail, the other 2-3 spot is still as visible.

God bless my fish. Please protect them...

#16 fluttermoth

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 06:56 PM

I'd forget about trying to change the temp and moving filters and all that; just use a proper Ich medication. You don't have to worry about your filter bacteria or your cories; it's loaches with their 'naked' (ie; scaless) skin that can suffer, not 'ordinary' catfish.

#17 raptorrex

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 10:59 PM

I'd forget about trying to change the temp and moving filters and all that; just use a proper Ich medication. You don't have to worry about your filter bacteria or your cories; it's loaches with their 'naked' (ie; scaless) skin that can suffer, not 'ordinary' catfish.


Temp is the best way ti help the meds work.. at the higher end of the heat scale, the heat itself has a deleterious effect on the bug. though sure if you want you can treat at 'normal' temp. it'll take longer is all.

Malachite Green, the med i was advising on. IS toxic to cory, so half dose is a must.

as for the filter, well thats up to the OP. but his colony WILL take a knock, a know effect of many ICK meds, and defiantly Malachite Green.

I agree its personal choice. but its good to know the options, before you make that choice.


#18 fluttermoth

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 12:07 AM

To be fair, I've only had ich in my fish once, so I'm not that experienced. I used eSHa exit and it didn't affect my cories or my filter and cleared the ich up in three days.

#19 saviourwu

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 11:30 AM

To be fair, I've only had ich in my fish once, so I'm not that experienced. I used eSHa exit and it didn't affect my cories or my filter and cleared the ich up in three days.

cleared ick in just three days? what super med is that? ...

#20 fluttermoth

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 11:59 AM

It was eSha exit; very good stuff and won't affect catfish or loaches and won't affect your filter.




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