Pretty sure we have ich!

Chu'Wuti

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
52
Location
Norman, OK, USA
Well, I guess we couldn't go long without *some* problem!

I noticed a small white spot on one of the pectoral fins of our male pearl gourami. Only one--but it sure looks like the start of ich to me! I can't get a photo; he won't hold still and pose! Plus, I'm worried that I could be missing seeing some white spots due to their pearl spots. EDIT: I note that they seem to be sucking air at the surface more than usual, also.

I'd appreciate a confirmation or rejection of my diagnosis, because we bought these fish and the shrimp in the tank with them on 12 June 2020, which means they've been in the tank for just over 8 weeks. We did add some new plants about a week ago, but no other fish have been added. We've also been battling cyanobacteria and have cleaned the slime off the sand and plants several times in the past few days (and both yesterday and today). So, since no new fish have been added and we have had these fish just over 8 weeks, could this be ich? Or is it more likely to be something else?

DH is going to start increasing temps tonight. Here's my plan, after watching a video on ich treatment by Prime Time Aquatics:

1. Increase temps to 84 degrees F
2. Add 1T aquarium salt/10 gallons of water (our tank is heavily planted, and we have shrimp)
3. Increase oxygenation: we just today ordered air stones and a pump to run them in hopes that increasing oxygenation would help battle the cyanobacteria (we've already stopped feeding and cut lighting down)
4. Turn lights down--already in process due to cyanobacteria
5. Decrease food--already in process due to cyanobacteria
6. Medicate with Ich-X for one week past disappearance of all white spots
7. Maintain salt and temperature levels for two weeks past disappearance of all white spots.

If you agree we likely have ich, do you have tweaks to the above treatment, or other suggestions? If you think this isn't ich, what could it be and how should we treat it?
 
Last edited:

essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
8,878
Reaction score
5,122
Location
Teesside, UK
Increase the temperature to 86 deg, 84 is too low to treat ich.

If there are shrimps in the tank, don't use a medication. Most of them contain copper which will kill the shrimps. They are not good for fish either. Heat alone, or with salt in difficult cases, is the best treatment for ich.
 
OP
Chu'Wuti

Chu'Wuti

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
52
Location
Norman, OK, USA
Ah, the guy in the Prime Time Aquatics video said that Ich-X was safe for shrimp. :-(

And we chose 84 as the max because the shrimp can't go above that . . . will they survive a few days at 86? How many days should we do that?
 
OP
Chu'Wuti

Chu'Wuti

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
52
Location
Norman, OK, USA
I just looked at Aquarium Coop's website at the Ich-X. It lists these ingredients:

Contains:water, formaldehyde (<5%), methanol (<2%), malachite green chloride (<0.1%)

So no copper. Do you think it would be safe for the shrimp? Or would it be safer to up the temp to 86 degrees and see how that goes?
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Expert
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
10,529
Reaction score
5,700
Location
Lawrenceburg KY
I would rack the temperature up. It’s always better to treat with no meds, until you absolutely need them.
 

essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
8,878
Reaction score
5,122
Location
Teesside, UK
I would still use just the heat method even if this brand does not contain copper.
 

Deanasue

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
7,644
Reaction score
4,324
Location
USA
I used Ich-X and it did NOTHING! I then increased temp to 87F and added 1 tsp of aquarium salt per every 5G of water. Covered the tank. I also fed Garlic Guard to fish. Not only does it boost immune systems, ich also hates it. Took about 14 days to completely cure the tank. I had a very resistant strain of ich and this is the only thing that worked! I love Cory from Aquarium Co-op but he’s dead wrong about Ich-X.
 
OP
Chu'Wuti

Chu'Wuti

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
52
Location
Norman, OK, USA
Okay. Ich-X is now at the bottom of my list of things to do--IF the Ich returns after we try the heat and possibly the salt.

I've never heard of Garlic Guard! Thanks for that new info, @Deanasue!
 
OP
Chu'Wuti

Chu'Wuti

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
52
Location
Norman, OK, USA
How long do we need to maintain the temperature at 86 deg. F?

Also, the male gourami still has the single white spot on his pectoral fin. It has not changed in size or shape. I still can't get a photo because he won't stay still, LOL! But could I have misdiagnosed the issue? It does not look like fungus or velvet disease to me, based on photos in The Manual of Fish Health by Dr. Chris Andrews, Adrian Exell, & Dr. Neville Carrington, which I bought when we decided to begin fish-keeping again.
 

Naughts

Fish Addict
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
940
Reaction score
541
Location
UK
2 weeks. The parasite can only be killed in the free swimming stage so 2 weeks covers the ich's full life cycle.

404 Not Found | Ecosystems, Life cycles, Aquatic
Image courtesy of Pinterest.com

Does the white spot look more like a skin fluke (bigger, more raised then ich)? Or like fungus (fluffy cotton wool texture)? Or maybe just a lost scale?
 
OP
Chu'Wuti

Chu'Wuti

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
52
Location
Norman, OK, USA
Thank you for the duration info! I was thinking we probably need to go over a week. Two weeks it will be!

It just looks like a small white dot. Definitely not like fungus. It hasn't changed since I first saw it. The fins are pretty much transparent except for the veins, and the white dot is just in the middle of one fin.

I sure wish I could get a photo!
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

Fish Gatherer
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
2,009
Reaction score
2,936
Location
UK
Try taking a video instead of a photo, that can be easier. Then you can upload that to youtube and link it here, since uploading vids directly here doesn't seem to work.

If you're still only seeing one spot on one fish, and nothing on any others, and his white spot hasn't changed to several white spots so he looks like he's sprinkled with salt, it's unlikely to be ich at this point. Do your best to get that video, getting the right dignosis obviously dictates treatment.

Tips for photographing/videoing fish;
1. Clean the inside and outside of the front pane first. Algae inside and water marks outside draw the focus on the camera, making life harder and making it harder to see the fish (see my second photo... oops!)

2. Turn off other room lights and close blinds/curtains, just keep the tank light on- minimises reflections in the glass.

3. Try to angle the camera straight on or slightly downwards, and not pointing up towards the top of the tank - if it's pointing upwards, the glare of the tank lights will wash out the photo and make it hard to see the fish. Since you have gourami who tend to hover at the top and feed from the surface, this is trickier for you. Try standing back slightly, then point the camera slightly downwards. Feed fish and snap away.

4. Unless you have a quality camera and know how to adjust apature and shutter speed, don't bother trying to follow the fish around and snap pics, you'll just get a series of blurs

5. Find a good spot where the fish can congregate, like a feeding area at the front. Focus the camera not on the fish directly, but on the tip of a leaf, bit of driftwood or rock, then snap away/film as fish move into frame.

6. Take as many photos as you can, then select the best ones. Even using a good camera and following these tips, I delete easily 20 photos for every one I keep. Try shooting from different angles and positions and different lighting, until you find what seems to work best for your camera/lights/tank set up.

7. For fish other than gourami, those food tablets you stick to the glass can be useful. Provides a focal point to draw the fish to (put the tablet about 2/3rds of the way down the glass for best lighting) but I don't know if a pearl gourami would be drawn to a tablet down there. Feeding some frozen tubifex, bloodworms or daphnia might get them excited enough to stay near the front for filming/photographing though. Just be persistent and keep trying.
DSCF0904.JPG
DSCF0438.JPG
 
OP
Chu'Wuti

Chu'Wuti

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
52
Location
Norman, OK, USA
Thank you for the tips! I sure need them!

We did the full two-week heat treatment as recommended--and the white spot disappeared. So, whether it was ich or not, it's gone now.

Simultaneously, we were also doing a blackout (for the first full week of the heat treatment) and changing other environmental conditions to get rid of the cyanobacteria. We were almost successful. However, it's coming back, even though I have been SUPER careful not to overfeed. *sigh* I'm currently on a feed two days, fast one day regimen, though I worry about maintaining that for too long.
 
Top