Is this ick?

Mjmj02

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I just recently got this oto. I think he's stressed out because he doesn't move a ton and I got another one but it died the first night. I don't know if this is ick or not. There are two or three white bumps on him, that I didn't notice a couple days ago and have not noticed any on the other fish in the tank. If it is ick, what do you recommend that I do and what products should I use. I live in Hawaii so don't have a heater to make the water warmer for ick. Please help me because I don't want it to kill my fish and I have never had ick before. Thank you.
 
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Mjmj02

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Can I take all the fish out and keep them in a bucket and do salt treatments or ick treatment in the bucket? I looked up that the ick can only live 11 days without a host, so can I keep the fish in a bucket with a bubbler and treatment until then and then be able to put them back in the tank after that time?
 

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It is very hard to tell from the photos whether the fish has ich or not. You can see the fish - do the spots look like grains of salt stuck to the fish?


If it is ich -
Moving the fish to a bucket for 11 days will not work, the parasite will go into the bucket with them, then back into the tank.
Heat is the best treatment as all the medications are rough on fish. Buying a heater just for the duration of treatment would be the better option. The water temperature should be raised to 86 deg F and kept at the level for 2 weeks.
 
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Mjmj02

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It is very hard to tell from the photos whether the fish has ich or not. You can see the fish - do the spots look like grains of salt stuck to the fish?


If it is ich -
Moving the fish to a bucket for 11 days will not work, the parasite will go into the bucket with them, then back into the tank.
Heat is the best treatment as all the medications are rough on fish. Buying a heater just for the duration of treatment would be the better option. The water temperature should be raised to 86 deg F and kept at the level for 2 weeks.
Ya I guess it kind of looks like three spots of salts. They are like white bumps.
Is that all I have to do? Turn up the heat or do I need to add some sort of treatment? Is the heat safe for my other fish, I have a honey gourami and two german blue rams. Also I have plants in the tank, will the heat hurt them? Also do you reccomend a certain heater because I have never gotten one before.
 

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The other fish will be fine at that temperature for 2 weeks. heat kills the parasite in the third stage of its life cycle, the free swimming stage. You shouldn't need any treatment.

As you don't need a heater on a regular basis, you don't really need an expensive one as it will spend most of its life in the cupboard. Just make sure it is adjustable as there are some that heat only to a preset temperature. As I'm in the UK I don't know which brands to look for in the US, our American members should be able to suggest some heaters.
I suggest you buy a thermometer as well, the kind that go in the water rather than the stick on the outside type. Heater thermostats are rarely calibrated accurately and the way to set them is not by the dial on the heater but by the the temperature of the water. There is a risk that you could set the heater to 86 and find it heats the water to only 83 deg (or even 88)
 
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Mjmj02

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The other fish will be fine at that temperature for 2 weeks. heat kills the parasite in the third stage of its life cycle, the free swimming stage. You shouldn't need any treatment.

As you don't need a heater on a regular basis, you don't really need an expensive one as it will spend most of its life in the cupboard. Just make sure it is adjustable as there are some that heat only to a preset temperature. As I'm in the UK I don't know which brands to look for in the US, our American members should be able to suggest some heaters.
I suggest you buy a thermometer as well, the kind that go in the water rather than the stick on the outside type. Heater thermostats are rarely calibrated accurately and the way to set them is not by the dial on the heater but by the the temperature of the water. There is a risk that you could set the heater to 86 and find it heats the water to only 83 deg (or even 88)
Thank you so much for your help I really really appreciate it. I will go look for an adjustable heater and an inside thermometer. Do you know if the heat will kill or damage my live plants at all? Or the good bacteria in my tank? Also, how much and often do you reccomend doing water changes during the two weeks? I am very grateful for your help, thank you.
 

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The plants should be OK as it's just a short time - in the UK we get heatwaves of 86 deg or more and as our houses are designed to retain heat rather than lose it, our tanks can get quite warm. The plants and fish are OK till the heatwave ends.
As for the bacteria, they grow best at around 86 deg.

It is best to do a big water change before starting the heat treatment as this removes a lot of stage 2 parasites from the bottom of the tank. Refill with water warmer than usual and add the heater. Then you can do your normal weekly water change but make sure the new water is heated to 86 deg so the tank temp doesn't drop.
 
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Mjmj02

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Okay thank you so much. I am getting a heater and thermometer today and have a air pump for extra oxygen. I really appreciate how helpful you are. I was wondering, should I gradually raise the temperature over a couple days or will the warmer water added in the water change be enough?
 

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You can take the temperature up over a few hours. The water change with 86 deg water will increase it (not all the way as there'll still be some normal temp water in the tank), then the heater will take it the rest of the way.
Once treatment is finished, turn the heater off and let the temp drop to it's usual level.



Edit to add - keep an eye on the water temperature as the heater warms it. Few heaters heat the water to exact temperature on the dial. Some don't get it as high, some get it higher than the dial. If yours is one that gets higher, you'll need to set the dial to a lower number; if it doesn't get it high enough you'll need to turn the heater up. Let the thermometer guide you.
 
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Mjmj02

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Okay thank you so much! If I run into any problems I'll make sure to let you know. Have a good day!
 

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