Ich on adopted solitary neon tetra? Still possible to introduce new tankmates?

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Seisage

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Hello! I'm relatively new to this hobby and have a question regarding disease and how that might affect introduction of new tankmates.

(Also posted this over on the C.A.R.E forum, but hopping onto this one in hopes of getting more eyes on my question, and I love forums anyway, so win-win!)


Now, before you say it, yes, I understand that adding new fish into a tank with one that's diseased is generally a bad idea. Here's the nuance: I adopted this neon (yes, it is just one) a couple days ago from an acquaintance who could no longer care for her fish. All the other neons have died over time for reasons that were not communicated to me, and never replaced. I was planning on getting two more neons tomorrow to at least make the current one a bit more comfortable. Unfortunately, I don't think I can have a full school yet since the tank is only 5.5 gal, although it is heavily planted and has been running for at least a few months. Working on upgrading to a 20gal as soon as possible, don't worry.


I noticed just today that my current neon might have one little ich spot on its adipose fin (photo attached). Could anyone confirm that? Additionally, it's more difficult to see in the photo, but there's an ever so slight fuzz on the leading edge of the anal fin that I worry might be something fungal. Now, I do not have the resources or time to set up and cycle a quarantine tank at this moment (I know, not ideal). I am worried about the stress of solitude on a schooling fish though, so I was originally planning on getting the two newbies and dosing everyone with the preventative "quarantine trio" treatment that Cory over at aquarium co-op recommends. Well, now that my current fish is potentially showing signs of illness, I'm having doubts. Would I still be able to go through with adding new fish and dosing medication appropriately? Could I do full rounds of ich-x and maracyn for everyone and then go in with preventative para-cleanse after those are complete? Should I just hold off on new fish entirely until my current one is treated?


Water params:

pH: 7.2

Ammonia: 0.25ppm (using API master kit. I've heard results can read as 0.25 even if there's no free NH3? Since API tests for NH4 too)

Nitrites: 0ppm

Nitrates: 20ppm

Water temp: 76-80F


Any help or advice appreciated!
 

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Hmm,it is a spot, for sure. The tank is tiny, and adding 2 fish would not be enough. I would ditch that idea. I would watch the spot, to see if it is a cyst from an injury, or a parasite. Ich is not a disease, but it is an animal that takes advantage of opportunities to infest any new host. Neons in a 5 will be stressed, whether there's one of 3. When we talk of them needing groups, the numbers start conservatively at six, and go up to what you can handle. 10 plus is even better. 3 is just 3 fish in exactly the same stress as 1 alone.

A rule of thumb is never to buy fish from a tank where even one fish is sick, and never add fish to a tank you have questions or suspicions about.

Cory appears confident, but his methods and advice are a bit out there. I have no idea what his three meds are, but if he uses antibiotics in his mix, it's probably the old advice that got them banned for fish in most places. I would have malachite green on hand IF the spots spread, as speed would matter, but I would never use a med unless I saw a problem I knew it could remedy.

Ich causes cysts, temporarily, but scarring, epystilis and a variety of minor things can cause them to. The info is in the spread.
 
Hmm,it is a spot, for sure. The tank is tiny, and adding 2 fish would not be enough. I would ditch that idea. I would watch the spot, to see if it is a cyst from an injury, or a parasite. Ich is not a disease, but it is an animal that takes advantage of opportunities to infest any new host. Neons in a 5 will be stressed, whether there's one of 3. When we talk of them needing groups, the numbers start conservatively at six, and go up to what you can handle. 10 plus is even better. 3 is just 3 fish in exactly the same stress as 1 alone.

A rule of thumb is never to buy fish from a tank where even one fish is sick, and never add fish to a tank you have questions or suspicions about.

Cory appears confident, but his methods and advice are a bit out there. I have no idea what his three meds are, but if he uses antibiotics in his mix, it's probably the old advice that got them banned for fish in most places. I would have malachite green on hand IF the spots spread, as speed would matter, but I would never use a med unless I saw a problem I knew it could remedy.

Ich causes cysts, temporarily, but scarring, epystilis and a variety of minor things can cause them to. The info is in the spread.
This is really helpful, thank you so much! I'll go ahead and hold off on getting more neons until I can get the 20gal set up, then.
Good to know that it could just be scarring or a cyst. The spot hasn't spread from yesterday, so I'll keep that possibility in mind, but I'll still pick up or order some ich-x (or just malachite green) today, just in case.

Regarding Cory's method, he suggests a combination of ich-x, maracyn, and para-cleanse. A single dose left to "marinate" in the tank for 7 days, and then a water change. So yes, it does include antibiotics, which I am definitely not a fan of dosing without signs of an active infection myself (fully aware of antibiotic resistance and its dangers). I was definitely considering it a sort of last-ditch option, given that I don't have a quarantine tank set up. But thank you for convincing me to not get more fish until I get a bigger tank. I'd been getting very conflicting advice elsewhere. Thankfully, this tank has a lot of plant coverage and a couple other hiding spots for my current neon. I'll definitely work on getting both the 20 gal and a quarantine tank ready to go so I can get a proper school and don't have to consider generalized dosing of medication :)
 
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