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Help, Confusion About Treating Ich

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by KarinaLA, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. KarinaLA

    KarinaLA New Member

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    Hello,

    I am new to the aquatic world and just got my first fish last Saturday: 1 betta and 5 tiger barbs (I've read that the tiger barbs can be aggressive towards bettas, but they were housed together at the pet shop and I haven't had any issues with them). Because of limited transportation (I go to boarding school), I was forced to purchase the tank and fish on the same day, so I couldn't set up the tank beforehand. I tried to make the process as gentle on the fish as possible (introduced them to the water/temperature gradually, used the recommended amount of conditioner to treat the water beforehand), although I was unable to get aquarium decor/plants for them to hide in or rest on until Tuesday. The betta has seemed fairly stressed on occasion throughout the week, but not extremely so. I have live aquarium plants to help with a natural cycle. Carbon filtration (should I switch to sponge?), automatic heater.

    I think that my aquarium is beginning the cycling process, although maybe I have no idea. There is a small amount of nitrate in the water. For the first four days the water was clear, but then I woke up one morning to find it cloudy, and it has stayed that way since then. I read that this is part of the process when setting up a new tank though.

    Yesterday I noticed that my betta had white spots on his fins, most likely from ich. The tiger barbs do not appear to be affected at all. The betta has been more withdrawn/eating less and hiding between the filter and heater more frequently. I am really unsure of the best method of treating this. I've found so many different things online, but I can't find a clear explanation of the process/what I need to buy/what I need to change in my tank/how long this will take. I want to eradicate the ich before it multiplies and spreads to my barbs. I also don't want to kill off my plants in the process as they were fairly expensive and I have a limited budget, although I will purchase whatever is necessary to help resolve this issue. Could someone offer some guidance for this situation?

    Tank size: 10 gallon
    pH: 7.0-7.5
    ammonia: ? Don't have a tester for this. No obvious signs from my research of unhealthy levels though.
    nitrite: 0
    nitrate: 20
    kH: 120
    gH: 150
    tank temp: 76-78

    Volume and Frequency of water changes: 15%, 2x per week (so twice so far)

    Tank inhabitants: 1 betta, 5 tiger barbs

    Recent additions to your tank (living or decoration): Live aquarium plants, artificial rock cave

    Exposure to chemicals: None?

     
  2. Jimbob1223

    Jimbob1223 New Member

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    Hi and welcome to the world of fish keeping :)
    If I were you, I would take the tiger barbs back to the store because they need atleast a 20gallon tank (as they are very active) and although they were peaceful in the store, as they grow older they will destroy your bettas fins :( .
    If you get rid of the tiger barbs then you can treat your bettas Ich. to do this you will need to replace the carbon filter with a sponge (because the carbon will absort the medication) and go to your local pet store and ask for Ich/white spot disease medication. Then just follow the instructions on the medicine bottle for how to treat your betta. Before doing all this though I suggest doing a 50-75% water change to get rid of the cloudyness. If you want some more adequate tank mates for your betta, Mabye go with something smaller and more peacfull like neon tetras. (also don't put fish with long fins with your betta(like guppies))
     
  3. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I agree, the Tiger Barbs will not work in this 10 gallon tank. Though they need more space even than a 20g; a 30g tank is considered minimum, and the group should be 10-12 or more with no other species. TB are notorious fin nippers and this usually works to curtail it.

    Regardless of what the store may have done, you cannot keep Betta in with Tiger Barbs. This will add stress to the Betta just having the active barbs there, and that is undoubtedly part of the ich problem.

    Betta are not community fish. They should be solitary in the tank. An individual Betta may appear to "get along" with other fish but if the fish is normal and healthy this will not last. And most small fish find the Betta too tempting for fin nipping as well.

    You have cycling issues here, and ich caused by stress from the cycling and fish combination. Remove the barbs, raise the temperature to 90F (do a water change first, you can use this to raise the temp some but the full increase must be gradual). You do not need medications as this will kill the ich and the Betta will not have problems with the temperature. Maintain this for two weeks. Increase aeration by adjusting the filter so there is more surface disturbance to help with oxygen levels, though with anabantids this is less of an issue. I would not recommend medications as this is more safe than adding any medication which does further stress fish.

    The cycling issue will bee less of an issue with just the Betta, but a bacterial supplement will help establish the nitrifying bacteria. If ammonia or nitrite show in tests, do a partial water change of at least 50%. This can be daily until the ammonia and nitrite read zero. If you have live plants, especially floating, you should not even see "cycling" with just the Betta.
     
  4. Aesthetic-fish

    Aesthetic-fish Fish Fanatic

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    With treating ick, you can use seachem paraguard. And also raise the temp
     
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  5. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    If you can post a picture of the fish we can confirm that it is ich (white spot).

    If you use heat treatment you do not need to add medication to the tank. There is more info on white spot at the following link. The first post on page 1 and second post on page 2 are worth reading.
    http://www.fishforums.net/threads/what-is-ich.7092/page-2

    A temperature of 30-32C (86-90F) is sufficient to kill white spot. 90F is the maximum limit for most fish so 86F is safer. Keep the temperature at 30C for 2 weeks and it will sort out the spots.

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    If you don't have sponges in the filter then remove the carbon and put sponges in the filter. The sponges should normally be cleaned at least once a month and every 2 weeks is better. However, do not clean the filter until it is 2 months old or you can wash out the filter bacteria before it has a chance to establish.

    When you do eventually clean the filter, get a bucket of water from the aquarium and squeeze the sponge out in the bucket of tank water. When it is clean put it in the tank. Wash the filter case under tap water and then reassemble the filter and get it working again.

    If you have an external power filter, you can get round/ cylindrical sponges that go inside some internal power filters and these sponges fit over the intake strainer of most external power filters and add extra filtration area.

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    Until the tank has cycled (in about 4-6 weeks), you should keep the feeding down to a couple of times a week and do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate any day you have an ammonia or nitrite reading.
     
  6. Cichlid4life

    Cichlid4life Fish Crazy

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    it is too late to remove any fish from the tank and give them away as they all are contaminated by the ich now.
    although this is true and it works, paraguard can be very expensive and cost too much for some people or t=local fish store may not sell paraguard, which is still a problem for many people, so i would not suggest paraguard as a first option.

    For the ick, i would gradually bring the temperature of the tank up by one or two degrees a day until the temp is at 86°F, because ick will stop breeding at 85°F, and ich will die at 86°F. Keep the temperature at 86°F for about two weeks, as unhatched eggs are unharmed by the heat, and when they hatch, the heat will kill them. It is optional to add some salt or paraguard if you have any because salt and paraguard are known to help with the whole process.
     
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  7. Kelsey

    Kelsey New Member

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    I too have fish with ICH and while I understand what it is and how to treat it I can't seem to figure out whether I need to remove my fish from the tank and treat just the tank or because of the ICH already on them do I need to leave them in the tank and treat them. It seems to me like it makes more sense to treat them and the tank together but I read on several sites some conflicting information.
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Ich should be treated in the tank with the fish. There is really no value in removing fish from a tank that has obvious indications of ich. Once fish begin contracting ich, it can spread rapidly. Ich first attacks fish in the gills where the aquarist cannot even see the spots, so moving any fish out is likely to move the disease with the fish. Contagious diseases are generally best treated in the tank with the fish as you cannot know how many fish may be carrying it.

    Sometimes it is suggested that all fish be removed from the tank to a hospital tank for treatment, and the ich will die off in a week or so if no fish are present to host it. This may or may not be accurate, and I would not risk removing the fish because at best the chasing around and netting and new tank environment will severely increase the stress on the fish and this is only going to make them much weaker and treatment will be even more difficult to be effective.
     
  9. Kelsey

    Kelsey New Member

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    Ok! Thank you, that is what I was thinking but I wasn't sure. Thanks!
     
  10. Cichlid4life

    Cichlid4life Fish Crazy

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    once you can see the ich on a fish, it is too late to move the fish out to save the tank, and when the ich is visible on the fish, they will soon fall to the ground/substrate of the tank and lay eggs, 2 weeks later they will hatch and when you thought your tank was ich free, your fish will all be covered with ich, and the fish will die at a rate of a few per day after the ich has hatched. Because of how ich works, it is dreaded in the hobby, but luckily, freshwater ich is easy to treat for most fish, all you have to do is gradually raise the temp every day until it is 86°F and hold it there for two weeks to kill of all the ich.
     
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