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FAQs on Freshwater Ich, White Spot Disease 3

Related Articles: Freshwater DiseasesIch/White Spot Disease, Choose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks, Formalin/Formaldehyde, Malachite Green, FW Disease Troubleshooting,

Related FAQs: FW Ich 1, FW Ich 2, FW Ich 4, FW Ich 5, FW Ich 6, FW Ich 7, & FAQs on:  FW Ich Causes, Etiology, Diagnosis, Ich Remedies That Work, Phony Ich Remedies That Don't Work, Ich Remedy Sensitive Livestock, Ich Medicines, Ich Cases, & Aquarium MaintenanceFreshwater MedicationsFreshwater Infectious Disease, Freshwater Fish ParasitesAfrican Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid Disease


Salt Treatment For Ich - 10/22/2006 Hi there. I have a few questions regarding the use of aquarium salt as treatment for Ich. My first question involves my husbands Goldfish tank. My husband has a 10 gallon tank containing 3 Fancy Tail Goldfish, 2 Royal Plecos, 1 Rubber Pleco and a yellow Apple Snail. I know the tank is overstocked, the 10 gallon was meant as only temporary quarters. The PH is 7.0, Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0 and Nitrate is 20. Temperature is maintained at 76F. A much larger tank is on its way. My husband just purchased the 2 Royal Plecos approx. two days ago. Both appeared fine when he got them and he did not quarantine. I just did a 25% water change on the tank and happened to notice that both Royal Plecos are now lightly dusted with white spots. Dreaded Ich! None of the other fish are showing signs at present so I'm more than fairly certain that the Royals were already infected when they were introduced to the tank. I have successfully treated Ich, using a salt/heat combo, in two of my tanks (Severum/Channel Cat tank and a Livebearer tank) in the past and would like to use salt as my medication of choice. Can the Goldfish, Plecos and Snail all handle the level of salt and heat needed for treatment? I use normal Aquarium Salt. 2 Tablespoons per 5 gallons, raise the temperature to 80F and allow to remain for 10 days. Would this be okay for my husbands tank? I'm most worried about the safety with the snail. Would it be best to move him/her to a covered container (my quarantine tank is occupied so I can't place it there), like an old butter dish with holes poked in the lid, while the salt/heat treatment is happening in the main tank? <IMO salt is the way to go. But the snail gets thirty days in QT without fish, or salt. He can not be infected but he can carry it in and on his shell. A month without a fish host will starve out the parasite.> My second question involves my Angelfish community tank. I have a False Julii Leopard Cory Cat, 3 Peppered Cory Cats, 2 Panda Cory Cats and approx. 20 pea to nickel sized Angelfish in this tank. PH is 7.0, Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0 and Nitrate is 25. Temperature is 78F. Yesterday, one of my husband's Goldfish uprooted a plastic plant in their tank so I removed it and placed it into my Angelfish tank. The plant was still wet when I placed it into the Angel tank. I'm afraid that I may have infected my tank via the plant. Is this possible? Nobody in the Angel tank has been acting ill. No flashing or other signs of Ich. Would I be wise to go ahead and use salt/heat in this tank as well? I have several rare varieties of Angels in this tank and don't wish to lose any. I've heard that Corys and Angels don't tolerate salt well but others have said they do fine. Which is true? Would my 2 Tablespoons per 5 gallon be safe and tolerable for both species? Is there a lower concentration I could use that would be just as effective against Ich? Should I wait and see if anyone develops Ich before adding salt to this tank or do you feel I'd do well to head it off before it hits by treating as I would if they were actively showing signs of infection? Thanks for your prompt help. Heather <You are correct to be worried. I would salt the tank now. I salted my Corys while they were in QT without a problem. But this does go against "common knowledge". Something I seem to do a lot. If they seem stressed do a small, salt free, water change to lower the concentration. Another method would be to use heat alone. But you would need to get the temp up to about 90 and add extra airstones. Don>

Ich In An established Community Tank   10/11/06 Hello, I have a 46 gallon tank. I have 5 dwarf gouramis,1 blue ram, 5 guppies, 2 mollies, 3 platys, 1 small angel,1 clown Pleco. My readings were all zero and I had my temp at 80 degrees. I noticed a couple of the fish showing signs of Ich. I treated my tank with Quick cure (Malachite/formalin). I followed the instructions on the package 1 drop per gallon, so I put in 40 drops every 24 hours for 2 days, had the filters out and kept the light off. Then I started losing fish fast, my water was still perfect and my tank is clean and well kept. I believe they were poisoned by the meds. It  seemed to hit the Gouramis the worst, lost 3 of them overnight, lost ram, and  2 guppies. I could tell as one was dying he was oxygen starved. I did a 30% water change and put the filters back in, I am also trying to slowly drop the temp to 75-76 degrees, since I was misinformed the first time on tank temps. I can still tell a few are acting abnormal. Now, I still have to deal with the Ich and my angel fish has a sore where he pectoral fin meets his body (not sure what it is). Can you please give me some suggestions. My Beta also has Ich and is in a 5 gallon tank. thx Jason <This is why we recommend quarantine tanks for all new fish. The medication probably affected the good nitrifying bacteria. This means that you probably had an ammonia spike. As the fish started to die the ammonia got worse and the fish got worse. I would of recommended a 50% water change, vacuuming the gravel and cleaning the filter. Then medicate while raising the water temp to 82 F. If the fish seamed stressed then I would have done an additional 50% water and cut the meds in half.-Chuck>

Goldfish with Ich  10/11/06 Thank you so much for answering my initial questions! <You're most welcome.> I bought a 10 gal. tank tonight and have it filtering now with power filter. <Wonderful - the fish will be much happier in there!> I unfortunately have a new problem... my white fantail apparently has ich. There are tiny white grains on the tail fins. <Yes, does sound like ich.> I did read the link about ich, but much of it reads like Greek to me. <I understand - it's like learning a new language from scratch.> Could you please explain in layman's terms what I need to do for this poor fish? The new tank will have filtered for 24 hours at about 10 p.m. on 10/11. Do I need to treat the fish before or after transferring to the new tank? I'm afraid to leave the fish in the small container any longer than necessary, and do not have another suitable tank available to quarantine the ichy fish. <So let me understand - you have two goldies, one affected with ich and one not? Are they currently together in the 1 gal. you previously referenced, or are they separated?  If they are separated, that's good.  I'd recommend moving the healthy one into the new 10 gal., and keeping the affected fish in isolation.  Ich is a parasite, and if at all possible, you want to keep from introducing it into the main tank.  I understand you are concerned for the fish being in a too-small container, but for temporary purposes, with sufficient water changes, it should make-do for a suitable "hospital" tank. With regards to treating the ich, you generally have several options, ranging from medication, increasing temperature of the water, increasing salinity.  Personally, I like to use the heat/salinity method as opposed to medication.  You'll need a heater, a thermometer, a hydrometer (to measure the water's salinity) and aquarium salt.  Slowly (no more than 1 degree an hour) raise the temperature to about 80 degrees.  Additionally, add aquarium salt (again slowly) to raise the salinity to around 1.002 or 1.003 (pure freshwater is 1.000).  These heat will speed up the parasite's lifecycle and the salt will kill it.  Make sure you are doing water changes while treating the fish - you should keep him isolated for about 4 weeks.  Do check the other one closely for any signs of white spots...this disease is highly contagious.  If both are affected, then obviously treat both.  Again, you are lucky since you haven't introduced the parasite into your main tank...I'd suggest treating them in the 1 gal., then moving them in a month or so, when all is well.  Here's a helpful article describing the parasite and its treatment in more detail:   http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/IchPrevention.html - you can also read on various medications that treat ich, should you want to go that route instead.> Thanks for your time and patience! Pam Bass <Hope I've helped.  Again, do check out the book I previously referenced - it also discusses ich (along with other diseases) and how to treat and prevent.  Best of luck, Jorie>

Goldfish with Ich...follow up questions  - 10/13/06 Hi, Jorie. <Hello Pam> Here's my trouble. 1. Both my fantails are in the 1 gal tank. <OK> 2. Only one shows signs of ich. But I assume both must be treated as both have been exposed. <There are always parasites and bacteria present in fish water; if a fish is healthy enough, its immune system should kick in to prevent it from becoming sick.  Never a good idea to medicate when no symptoms are present.  If you are positive the one shows absolutely no signs of ich, I'd suggest moving it to the 10 gal.  Do keep an eye on water parameters, as that tank isn't cycled yet.> 3. I chose to go the medication route as I have been ill myself the last few days and haven't been able to go looking for a hydrometer. <Am very sick also- I understand.> 4. The medication (Formalin and Malachite Green) instructs to remove the carbon from filter during treatment, but the model I have has bio filter and charcoal built into one unit (I am now using a power filter instead of the undergravel filter). The water is continually dirty. <Remove the entire filter, as it will only suck out the medication if you don't.  Do larger water changes - 75% at a time if you must.> 5. I'm having extreme difficulty keeping the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels down even with 25% water changes daily, Ammonia Clear and Cycle (nitrifiers) <Ditch the Ammonia Clear and Cycle and simply increase the water changes.  This will go a long way towards helping your fish, even more so than the medication.  Once you get the water clean, start the medication (I still suggest the heat/salt method, as QuickCure is a *very* harsh med., but I understand why you are doing what you are doing.> 6. Both fish are not happy. They keep hanging out under the water flowing back into the tank from the filter. Trying to breathe? They don't *seem* to be struggling to breathe. <If there's ammonia in the water, this explains it.  Change as much water as necessary - leave only a little in the tank for the fish, and change everything else. Don't overfeed.> 7. They are not lethargic, lacking appetite, or gasping for air at the surface. <That's good.>   What is my best route? Should I go ahead and transfer them to the main tank? <The non-affected one, yes - I wouldn't move the affected one.> More water changes? <YES.> I don't want to stress them out more than they already are. <I understand, but fish cannot survive with toxins such as ammonia and nitrites in there water.  The two products you are adding are cr&p, in my opinion - throw them away and simply increase your water changes.  Again, once the ammonia and nitrite levels are good, you can medicate if you so choose, following the directions on the package.>   I would love it if you could point me in the right direction. Thanks for your time Pam Bass <You're welcome. Jorie>

Re: Goldfish with Ich...follow up questions  - 10/21/2006 Dear Anyone, Jodie's email never made it to me. Don't know what to do about this fish. Getting VERY worried. The pustules on her body are huge now and they've turned yellow. Her fins are disintegrating and turning a kind of bloody color. She's hiding in the hollow log and won't come out unless she knows I've put food in. I've increased heat and salinity, but I'm afraid she's getting too sick to make it. Desperate for help now. Would be grateful to hear from anyone. Thanks, Pam Bass I'm curious how much salt is currently in the water - can you measure with a hydrometer/refractometer? it shouldn't be more than 1.002 or 1.003...goldies won't tolerate TOO much salt. For what it's worth, I think you are doing everything in your power to help this little fish...it may just be too late.  Keep in mind that euthanizing is always an option if things are truly awful...pure clove oil will slowly put the fish to sleep, comfortably... Sorry for your pain/troubles.  Hopefully the other goldfish is still doing well in the 10 gal? Best, Jorie>

Ich (y) tank and tankmates?   9/19/06 Dear WWM Crew, <Amanda> I have several questions that I have Googled, but don't seem to find the answers that I seek.  (I am an amateur 10-gallon tank owner.) I have a planted tank with : 2 Sunburst platys 2 female betas 4 neon tetra 1 yellow 'mystery snail' ...and a snail problem. My first question is this :  how can I rid my tank of all the little brown snails that keep popping up out of (seemingly) nowhere? <Mmm, posted: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnailcompfaqs.htm> My second question has a bit of background to it.  My 2 lovely lady Bettas were purchased from a major pet retail store, and were immersed in blue medicated water.  I believe I introduced 'ick' into my tank when introducing these fish.  What are some 'Betta-safe' measures that I can take to rid my tank of these parasites? <Mmm... Copper and Malachite Green containing remedies (almost all the effective chemical treatments contain one or both) are toxic to your plants and snail... I would try elevated temperature alone... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above...> My third (and final) question also deals with 'ick'.  Are snails susceptible/possible carriers of this protozoan parasite? Thank you very much, Amanda <Ah, no. Bob Fenner>

Is there any real way to rid a 10 gallon system of Ich or Velvet?   9/5/06 <Yes>   The more I read the more confused I become.  Everything seams  geared towards a very large system.  I am not sure how this started, but I  noticed tiny white spots on my two clown loaches 24 hours after treating  the tank (sans Kuhlis-they got moved into a temporary 3 gallon quarantine) with  Maracyn for a Danio with "cotton mouth". <Mmm, I would have treated all in place... the system itself is infested> Is there any correlation between  the 2 diseases? <Quite possibly yes> Did the E-mycin treatment cause the Ich to get out of hand  and start munching my fish?   <Mmm, much less likely> So far I see no other inhabitants with any  spots, but I am not sure how to treat, or what to treat with. <Elevated temperature and... Posted... Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above> I am waiting  on a 55 gallon to cycle, and was hoping to move everyone in there, but not with  an outbreak of Ich.  My water parameters have all been stable and ideal, so  I am not sure how this all got started unless I got an infected fish to begin  with, <Initially, yes> and the 10 gallon being the only system cycled, there was no where to  quarantine. <No need to quarantine... need to treat...> I also am feeling stupid right now for placing part of my  biofilter from the outside power filter into the new system to help it cycle,  and am fearful I just infected it with Ich.  The biofilter chunk was the  only thing transferred to the new system.   I am hoping this will be OK  because the cysts are in the gravel, and the tomites don't live for more than a  few days at 78 degrees.  Should I raise the uninhabited 55 gallon to 86  degrees? <Yes, I would> Mostly I want to know how and if I can rid my small system of Ich  without killing the fish, and if I have possibly infected the new system.   I really don't want to start over after taking this hobby up again after 20  years! Sarah W. <Mmm, do read... silver salt, other medications (read re dosing with loaches... likely half concentration) and elevated temperature, careful monitoring of water quality/changes... should do it. Bob Fenner> Ich In A New Tank  - 08/26/06 Hi Bob, My name is George, I know everyone prefaces like this but take the credit my distant friend; I've been reading articles and info on your site for years. With your help I have raised Arowanas, clown knife's, Oscars, and more. I wish I had the big bucks for saltwater but I come to you with a fresh water question. I have always used bio-Spira to get the tank cycling. It is my understanding, and this practice has worked many times before in my own experience, that you add fish within twenty-four hours of bio-Spira. It is clear to me that you need the bacteria then you need ammonia via fish to grow more bacteria. So, to the specs: It's been about a year since having a tank setup, this time I have a 55gal. tank, a good enough size penguin bio wheel filter a foot -foot and a half wide], running at 79-82 degree's F, pH of 7, ammonia and nitrites at zero for a week, ~12ppm nitrates. Primetime right, wrong! After running the tank as set up for a week I added bio-Spira within 30 hours I added three clowns loaches and a Pleco, all around three inches, thought they'd be ok starters... I know that clowns aren't the heartiest of fish but I thought I'd try, their certainly not Arowanas. After adding the fish, I dosed the tank again with bio-Spira as I usually do just to make sure I didn't skimp on anything. In the next couple of days the nitrites barely spiked (<.3 ppm) and ammonia went up to about .25 ppm, not a deadly level but the tank is definitely cycling. By day three I had two clown loaches and a Pleco. This one seemed much less active than the other two anyway, might not have been my fault I hope. So, by day six, everyone but the Pleco has ich! Giiiaaarrr!!! Yep like a pirate. So I dig into my handy bag of fish goodies [I know anyone who's had fish through the years keeps one of these] and come up with some ich attack, I read something on your site where you actually contacted the "well known" guy about this stuff. He claims it doesn't harm the biological filter, which it doesn't and that you can dose higher than suggested on the bottle to get rid of bad cases better, so I'd suppose its a good product. I put 3-4 tsp. every 12-14 hours [a suggested method in fact according to the site]. Now on day 10 I have a Pleco, today is the fourth day of ich treatment, one died yesterday one today, both looked like they were about to get better, the marks were coming more to the surface of their skin, their energy was coming back more, etc. I don't want to kill any more fish!!! The current plan is to keep dosing the tank for another four or so days, do a 25% water change, put the carbon back in the filters, and buy more fish...Awaiting input. Thanks ahead of time. George < This is always the catch-22 with a new tank. Trying to get the good nitrifying bacteria going while fighting a disease. The first thing to do would be to quarantine new fish. Easier and cheaper than treating the entire tank. When the tank got ich you could have done big water changes , added some salt and raised the water temp to a solid 82 F. In a week or so it would have been gone and the fish and bacteria would be fine. Every time you add a medication it affects the nitrification cycle. The ich medications always say they will not affect the cycle but in my experience they always do. I would have only added 1/2 of the Bio-Spira and saved the rest until the nitrites began to so up on the test kits. Right now you need to cure the ich. Medicate as needed until the fish are cured. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Add carbon the remove the medication after treatment. When the tank is cleaned then add Bio-Spira as needed.-Chuck> Wal-Mart and ick   8/12/06 Hello. <<Hello, Lauren. Tom>> I work for Wal-Mart and we have an ICK problem right now.   <<No reflection on you, Lauren, but this is hardly surprising.>> Is there something we can do that will help our little swimmers (aside from not selling fish which isn't an option)?   <<Not selling sick fish shouldn't fall into the category of "an option", Lauren. It should be mandated by the store/department manager! As to your question, there's plenty that can be done but not until Wal-Mart is prepared to take the steps necessary to keep each type of fish they market to the public in the conditions they need to remain as stress-free as possible. Healthy, stress-free animals kept in the proper water conditions aren't likely to come down with Ich, if at all.>> The ones that seem to be the most affected are the gold fish especially the Moorish black.   <<Black Moors, perhaps? Their coloration makes it easier to see the infestation but I'll guarantee the others are just as affected.>> I was reading on your webpage something about adding salt to the water -- is this something that might help in this case to keep the whole fishy crew alive and swimming.   <<A little constructive advice here, Lauren. There's enough information on this site regarding the use of salt in treating Ich to fill a book or two. Whether Wal-Mart ever gets its act together, or not, remains to be seen but, you should make yourself aware as to how to direct your customers to proceed when they inevitably come back to you for advice on how to help their sick pets. (For what it's worth, we've lost track of how many posts we've gotten from people who've purchased fish from Wal-Mart. The most common comments/complaints? Folks in the fish department don't know how to help them when a problem occurs.) This situation needs to be changed and you can be part of that change.>> We have lost three Oscars as well and it just makes me sick to watch them give up when they are such little clowns. <<Makes me/us sick, as well, Lauren, but this doesn't have to be the case. Now, if you were (personally) asking as to how to proceed, I would recommend a 30% water change with the addition of 2-3 tablespoons of aquarium salt per five gallons of tank water. I would strongly suggest that you slowly (except in the case of the Goldfish) raise the tank temperature into the low to mid-eighties. Heat speeds up the life cycle of the parasite and makes it more quickly susceptible to treatment. (Research the life cycle of Ich and you'll find that there's only one stage of the cycle in which the parasite can be eradicated.) Goldfish are more problematic because they won't handle temperatures this high at all well. For this reason, it will take longer to clear up an infestation of Ich with these fish. I would add here that the aquarium salt provides a couple of other benefits along with dealing with the juvenile parasites. It helps decrease stress in the fish and assists in the healing process of the wounds left behind when the parasite(s) burst off of the fishes' bodies. It's also safe for the beneficial bacteria that deal with the ammonia and nitrites in the aquarium. (Note: salt will likely damage or kill live plants so these - for the customers' sakes - should be removed prior to treatment.)>> Lauren @ Wal-Mart <<Hope this helps a little, Lauren. Didn't mean to "soapbox", by the way. Please, write back with any other questions you have. Tom>>

I have been reading about ich and quarantine tanks.  7/30/06 Hi Bob, <<Hello, April. Tom, in Bob's stead.>> I have been reading about ich and quarantine tanks. <<Good.>> Guess too late though. <<Uh oh.>> I set up a 16 gal. tank 4 weeks ago. Added 3 platys 2 weeks ago.   <<Bigger "Uh oh".>> I thought 2 platys had a white spot on their tails, but I just observed. Then woke to white spots all over the fish a week or so later. Went that night to LFS and he sold me ParaGuard. I did the ParaGuard, removed carbon filter, 20% water changes, raised the temp to 80.  2 days later 1st died, next day 2nd died, next day last died. <<I hope it goes without saying that I'm very sorry to hear about your pets. I'm not familiar with ParaGuard so I can't comment on how effective it may, or may not, be in combating Ich.>> I have cleaned out the carbon filter and did a 3 gal water change.   <<If by "cleaned out" you mean that you removed it from the filter and threw it away, good. Activated carbon cannot be re-activated and when used for the purpose of medication removal, regardless of how little time it's been in the filter housing, you should simply toss it.>> Will I need to cycle again?   <<I would if it were up to me. Normally, I would recommend purchasing BIO-Spira (Marineland) and adding it to the tank to give the cycling process a huge 'jump start'. Not in your case, though, April. The reason? I couldn't state with any degree of certainty that the Ich was eradicated from the tank. Without "host" fish, the parasite (in the juvenile stage) will die within hours. Better to raise the temperature of the tank to the mid- to upper-eighties and wait. The increased temperature will speed up the cycling time and greatly decrease the Ich's chances of survival, however small the possibility may truly be.>> Can I keep my plants alive and add new fish in 30 days?   <<Most common plants should be tolerant of the elevated temperatures but I'd keep an eye on them to be sure. As for adding new fish, only testing the water parameters will let you know for sure whether, or not, the tank has cycled. Strongly consider purchasing a test kit and check the water, at least, every other day. If, after the 30 days, ammonia and nitrite levels are at 0 and nitrates are below 20, you can add new fish with confidence.>> I know now that all plant and fish will be quarantined before adding, but it seems now that I'm back to square one. <<Not by any means. You've gained valuable, if unfortunate, experience. It's only the tank that appears to be at square one.>> Spot, Tigger and Mickey will be missed.  Appreciate your help knowing what to do next. April <<Again, sorry about your fish, April. Best of luck from here on. Tom>> Re: What next?   7/31/06 Tom, Thanks so much for your help. <<Hello, April. Happy to be of whatever help I can.>> I will replace the carbon filter. <<Good.>> I thought I would go ahead and put it back in until some more of the ParaGuard (ich medicine) was gone with water changes. <<Okay, this won't hurt.>> This is where I'm confused. You said to keep checking the water before adding fish. Didn't the ich meds also kill the bacteria in the bio wheel? Will there be anything to check in the water? <<My apologies for not being clearer on this point, April. First, I'm frankly operating from the standpoint that the medication damaged, if not wiped out, the beneficial bacteria that had started to colonize. (It may not have killed a single bacterium but, if there's a time to err on the side of caution, it's now.) What this means is that we're going to treat this tank like a new one. This is going to require a test kit (I use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kit, myself) and, a source of ammonia. We could use fish food or fresh shrimp - without cocktail sauce - but I'd like to take this up a notch with your help. At your local hardware store, you should be able to find 100% pure ammonia without all the goodies like scents and the like added. It may be labeled as 'Clear' ammonia, as well. The main thing is that it can't have additives. With test kit at the ready, add enough ammonia to the tank ('baby' increments) to bring the ammonia level up to where the tank water reads about 5 ppm when tested. Keep track of how much you add because this will be done on a daily basis. (Too much hassle? This will cut your wait from 30 days to perhaps 10-14 days. Might even be less if your bio-colonies didn't take a big hit.) Now, here's where the daily testing comes in. What you want to see are nitrites being produced. This will indicate that ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are developing(*). Once you detect nitrites with the test kit, cut the ammonia dosage to 1/2 of the original amount per day. Continue with this dosage until you test and find both readings at 0. At this point, you're ready for some pets. (*)Someone is sure to ask what would happen if the beneficial bacteria were never harmed, i.e. wouldn't the bacteria keep reducing the ammonia and nitrites to 0 and turn this into an indefinitely long process? In a word, "No." 5 ppm (mg/l) ammonia is far more than fish will produce daily, therefore, regardless of how "cycled" a tank "may" already be, the bacteria will still have to multiply to handle the load and nitrites will be produced. We're "overloading", in a manner of speaking, except that no fish will die or, be harmed, in the process.>> Then, if there is still good bacteria in the water, should I get a sponge filter and start to run it in my 16 gal. tank so I'll be closer to having a quarantine tank ready -or- should I get the 10 gal. quarantine tank ready with a new filter and get fish in it first?   <<Put the sponge filter in and allow it to cycle in the big tank. When the big tank is cycled, your sponge filter will be cycled, as well, and ready to be moved to the 10-gallon tank...QT-ready. That's not just "advice", April. I keep a hang-on filter in my main display tank all the time for QT purposes. :)>> I'm not sure which tank (a new quarantine tank or the existing tank that was medicated) will be safest for new fish. <<Won't make any difference since your new fish will be spending at least two weeks in the QT. Properly handled, you'll be enjoying your new fish, albeit it in the QT, while your big tank continues to square itself away. No worries.>> I don't know if I can handle more fish dying! <<Actually, April, our job is to try to have your fish die...of old age. :)>> April <<Please get back to me if there's anything at all that isn't crystal clear. Tom>>

Troubles with Ich   7/7/06 Hi,  Larry here.   My son started a FW 20g planted tank with Cardinals, Blue Rams, Thread fins and a Clown and Kuhli loach.  Unfortunately the clown loach had ich. < Common problem with this fish.> We treated with Maracide which is basically Malachite green as directed on the bottle and the ich disappeared for a few days only to come back.  So we retreated 2 more times and the ich has returned.  We raised the temp to 82F and switched to Quick cure which is M. Green and formalin and have had no luck in effecting a cure.  The tank uses a Fluorite gravel.  Do you think the Fluorite is absorbing the malachite? < No but any organics would absorb this medication.> <<Could easily be. RMF>> The water does not stay blue green very long.  Our plants by the way have done very well through all this. We have now moved all the fish to a 29g QT tank that I normally use for my Marine fish.  We are now treating with Cupramine copper.  Now how long do we have to leave the 20g fallow before we can put our fish back into the tank? < At 82 F the ich parasites need a host. They will die in 7 days without a host fish.> I was also thinking about treating the 20g tank with Epsom salts as I have read in WWM FAQ's that this can be effective, what's your opinion on this? < Salt increases the slime coat on the fish and make it more difficult for the parasite to get established on the fish. You don't want to add too much because this will also increase the slime coat over the gills and prevent the fish from breathing properly.> We also have an African frog and some Japonica shrimp which have survived the Malachite and formalin much to my surprise.  It is my understanding that they do not act as hosts or reservoirs for ich.  Will they be ok if we treat the tank with Epsom salts and what dose do I use? < I think your problem is that you don't let the medication stay in the water long enough. If I had ich in my tank I would do the following. Raise the temp to 82 F. This makes it more difficult for the parasite to survive because at higher temps, water has less holding capacity for oxygen. Secondly I would do a 50% water change. This automatically removes 50% of the free swimming parasites. Third I would clean the filter and remove any carbon. Fourth I would vacuum the gravel to remove any organics and make any medication more effective. Then I would treat with Rid-Ich by Kordon. It is a combination of malachite green and formalin. Follow the directions on the package. I would add a teaspoon of rock salt per 5 gallons of aquarium water. The ich should be gone for good in a week. Now to prevent any further outbreaks I would get a quarantine tank. No fish goes into the main tank without a minimum two week quarantine period. Much easier and cheaper to medicate in the QT tank.-Chuck> What a frustrating mess,  I have a 120g FOWLR marine tank that I tore down because of battling ich for over a year thanks to a blue tang that I FW dipped and QT for 2 weeks.  Thanks for the advice and all the wealth of knowledge that the WWM crew supply. Larry, basking in the sun in Minnesota! <<... need to remove the shrimp, frog... and I'd raise the temp. to the mid to upper 80's F. RMF>>

Fighting Fish Help! Betta dis., ich   - 06/30/06 Hello, <<Greetings. Tom here.>> After reading your web site I realized my Betta has the ich.. white dots all over...I am concerned he might die. <<We won't let that happen. :)>> We have 1 gallon tank with bottom filter and a pump. How much Sea Salt do I need to put in and for how long...? <<I would recommend 1/2 tablespoon for this size aquarium. (The normal recommendation is 2-3 tablespoons per five gallons. Decimally, this works out to between 0.4 and 0.6 tablespoons per gallon, so I'm splitting the difference.) The time period is going to be a bit problematic so I'll explain this at the end of your post.>> How do I raise the temperature of the tank? Can I put it on a sunny spot? <<Don't put your tank in the sun. With a large tank this might not be a big deal, especially if you're fond of algae but, with such a small tank, you'll be warming and cooling the water much too quickly for your Betta's well-being. Good news? The salt alone will deal with the parasite. The downside with this is that the Ich's lifecycle won't be sped up as it would be if you could raise the temperature - safely - into the mid- to high-eighties. Without a heater (which you could always purchase, of course), I would continue the "salt treatment" for three weeks. This may have to be extended if you still see any infestation on your pet. (Sidenote: If you do a water change during this time, you'll be reducing the salt concentration accordingly. For instance, if you remove 1/2 gallon of water, add only 1/4 tablespoon of salt to the new water. This will maintain the appropriate 0.5/1 ratio of salt to water.>> Thank You! Love Always, Jared & Palma & Sophia <<My best to all of you. Tom>> <Need that heater. RMF>

Problematic tank/Ich 6/22/06 Dear Crew, <Hi> My family has been trying to keep a fresh water aquarium for a year now. The first nine months were pretty sad; most of our information came from a large pet store chain, and two books which I have now discarded. <Everyone has their own methods.> The last 3 months things had been looking better, now I fear I have gotten ahead of myself again. <Will try to help.>   I am unsure of the best way to proceed. I have done time on the web searching and have found some answers, but I seem to come up short in finding the connecting answers. I hope you can point the way to getting my fish back on track.   <Lets give it a try.> My current status has me with one community tank for display; it is a 55 gallon corner tank, a 100 gallon canister filter. A bed of gravel (pea sized, randomly shaped) a few hidey hole items made from fish safe resin, 2 pieces of coral, I would guess the 2 pieces would weigh half a pound together. <Coral skeletons can be problematic, causing Ph shifts.>   I live in Georgia and my tap water is soft and low ph.  This tank has been running since mid December. About the end of March I stopped messing with the tank, after the umpteenth fish death. <Disheartening for sure.> Low and behold by mid May the trail of tears seemed to end with 4 barbs left alive. Other then bi-monthly water changes I had done nothing, the water in the tank settled down to mid sixes ph and 0 for ammonia nitrite and nitrates. <Sometimes time is the best thing.> The 4 barbs looked to be comfortable and settled in. I tossed out the snake oils I had used in the first nine months and let it be. <Good> My children (three and four years old) didn't seem interested in the tank anymore. I came across a little local fish shop I had never noticed. To make a long story short the store did not look retail, the fish and tanks looked cared for, the people seemed to enjoy the place and talking about fish. <A good LFS will help immensely.>   I told them my tale and they asked me to bring in a water sample, a month later and quite a few hours watching the store's fish and listening to advice from the employees I started getting fish for the tank.  I added the 2 pieces of coral to buffer the ph. <Better to work with the natural Ph of your tap water and find fish that are appropriate for it rather than attempting to alter it.  Stability is the key.> Which now hovers between 6.9 and 7 ph. Then I added another 20 fish. They were added a few at a time with no QT. <Oops!> I checked levels nightly and they stayed where they had been before the new fish. I did water changes every other day, and did some work in the gravel with a siphon weekly. Things were going good until on one of my nightly checks I Found the fish had Ich. <A very common problem.>   I went down to the 24 hour store with a small pet section, I purchased QuICK cure by Aquarium products, active ingredients Formalin and Malachite Green, at one drop per gallon. <Not a big fan of this stuff, really toxic.  Copper is better in most cases.  Also please make sure the kids stay away from the QuickCure, Formalin/formaldehyde in particular is quite toxic.> That was a week ago, since then I have been glued to the net reading, and kicking myself for letting the cart get ahead of the horses. <A learning experience.  Guessing QTing will now be part of all future plans.>   I have been watching the fish closely they have shed most of the cysts; 7 of the fish still show visible signs of the ick, its limited to 1 to 2 spots but its there. <May come back due to the lifecycle of freshwater Ich parasite.>   I have been adding SeaChem stability with the ick cure.   <Not familiar with this product beyond its web page.  Seems better than most products in this category, at least a chance of working.  Seachem generally has a quite good reputation in the hobby.> They all seem very happy other then the spots. Now my problem is I have too much information that I don't fully understand. I would like to save these fish that ill lucked into my care.  <They could definitely have a worse custodian, believe me, we see/read it all. A caring owner is far better than what most fish end up with.>   I intend to set up a QT tank; I have several tank options 20g 30g 75g that are sitting empty. And a 10 gallon tank that I was attempting the fishless <?> My questions.  If the display tank is currently medicated, does the bio media become a bad choice for seeding the QT. <I would not use it, better to get some Bio-Spira to jumpstart the QT cycle.>   I commonly see a reference to sick fish and moving the fish, as if singular, what if the count is higher.   <Can all be treated together in the hospital/QT tank as long as it is big enough.  Without knowing what types of fish you have its hard to say.  Although there is nothing wrong with splitting them up between tanks if they are available.> If you buy more then one fish at a time, say a mated pair of something. Do you QT them in separate tanks? <Generally if my fish came from the same tank/filtration system at the fish shop I will QT them together, figuring if one has something the other will as well.  When getting fish from different sources separate QT tanks is best, no need to unnecessarily expose a fish to something nasty.> When you do chemical tests. Is rinsing the test tubes in tap water a contamination?  If I rinse them in tank water will the traces left in the tube spoil future tests? <Rinse them in tap water and then dry them.> If anything I introduce to the tank is a possible bacteria that will make them sick. How do you make it safe to work with the tank? <Like for humans most bacteria is harmless to fish.  Also most diseases that effect fish are not transferable from people/dry  sources, only come through other aquatic environments/hosts.  Of course there are exceptions but generally anything you use and feel ok touching is biologically safe for the aquarium.  When dry objects do cause problems it is more often a chemically toxic scenario.> The Display tank tests 6.9 ph and zero ammonia, N02 and N03. Which leaves me confused about the ick medicine, I thought it was going to bust up my colonies until it was out of the tank system. If it did it seems doubtful that the SeaChem stability is caring for all that waste. <Probably not, may not be at a high enough level to kill the biofiltration.> I am also wondering about moving the fish to the 75g tank and letting the 55 display go fallow after reading an article this morning on your site. <They only way to rid the tank of the Ich parasite.> But I come back full circle to the problem of a healthy cycled tank, or lack there of. <A problem, but able to be overcome with religious water changes.  Just need to monitor the water quality closely.  A dose of Bio-Spira may also help, as well as the Seachem Stability.> Sincerely, Robert <Hope this helps and good luck.  Remember to always go slow, nothing good every happens fast in an aquarium.> <Chris>

FW Ich, Protozin treatment  06/14/2006 To the crew, thank you so far in helping me. <I'm glad we could be of service.> I am at the moment treating the fish in my 18 - 19 gallon tank with Protozin for whitespot. I was told I shouldn't feed them whilst they are on a course of this, however, as the leaflet says : days 1 - 3 treat, day 4 off, then treat day 5...does this mean that I can give them something to eat on day 4?   <Probably.  It wouldn't hurt, I don't think.> Really don't want to lose any of them of course. Last of all, will a Dutch Ram, being held in a breeding tank be okay till the weekend - which after he is better I will take him back to the shop along with others they sold me.   <Better not to, if you have any other options.> Is emailing you like this okay whenever I have a question or do I need to register or 'join' up to your website etc. <We do have a Chatforum at http://www.wetwebfotos.com/talk , if you'd like to join that....  The only way to reach us specifically though is through the Crew email address as you have been doing.> Last thing I wish to be is a pain, I just much prefer your advice to the shops! <I'm glad we can be of service.  It is no pain to help others that wish to be helped.> Many thanks,  -Steve. <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Question re: FW Ich and salt   6/9/06 Hi Robert, I've been reading the Ich FAQs and articles on Wet Web Media and various other forums, and the recommendations are so varied out there about the usage of salt that I'm wondering if you can advise me about a particular question.  Here's the situation: Ich just showed up on one fish of a newly cycled 37 gallon tank (currently containing 4 swordtails and numerous plants). <Many plants are salt-intolerant... adding salt may stop or forestall cycling...>   After much debate, I decided to go with meds and added the recommended dose of Jungle Ich Clear.  The fish did not react well to this at all, <Not surprising...> and within 3 hours were not swimming and were gasping for air in the corner of the tank.  (I have an AquaClear 70, so more than adequate filtration/circulation for this size tank.) <Maybe... you may have killed off, or metabolically stopped necessary cycling microbes> I decided to bail on the meds and did a 50% water change, and added the charcoal back in my filter to get rid of the rest.  This worked and by morning they were swimming all over and looked happy again.  So now I'm trying the salt/heat method, which should be successful since this species is pretty tolerant of both.  I've gradually increased the temp up to 85/86 (sort of right on the mark between the two), and have gradually added Jungle aquarium salt to the point where it is at 1 Tbsp/5 gallons - fish seem vigorous, even the one with spots which have largely dropped off at this point. This is where my main question comes in - what is the amount of salt that truly should be added and maintained to destroy the parasite?   <Not always efficacious...> The advice I've seen out there ranges from 2 Tbsp/gallon (which seems awfully high) to 1 Tbsp/5 gallons which is where I am now. <Somewhere twixt these values, depending on livestock mostly> There are also a lot of arguments that measuring salt in Tablespoons is useless b/c the amount being added depends on the grain size of the salt (mine is about as fine as Kosher salt) and the only good way to measure it is with a hydrometer.  However, hydrometer readings are affected by heat, so that needs to be calibrated, and even the recommended hydrometer readings seem to be pretty varied.  I did buy a cheap one that starts at 0.000 and goes up in increments of 0.002, but that's probably not sensitive enough. <You are correct>   So what is your take on this?  Can you set the record straight? <Can... but is not a simple formulation. All waters have some "salt" (ionic combinations of metals and non-metals) present... and adding more can be tricky... And it's not obviously as simple as "salt", as there are a few "types" available... the best, some sort/mix of "sea salt" (i.e. not sodium chloride alone)... And there is a huge differential in tolerance/range to salt content and its rate of addition, reduction... some animals can put up with quick, large changes, others not...> I know salt levels can only be as high as your species of fish can tolerate, but there also must be a minimum level that will be effective against Ich. <Yes... and if put in slowly, this protozoan can/will adapt...> Also, if I can sneak in one more - as I said, my fish seem to be thriving at 85/86 degrees.  Should I go for 87 or even 88 for some extra insurance if they take it just fine? <I would, yes> One article I found (on The Skeptical Aquarist) mentioned that some heat-resistant strains of Ich have been detected out of Florida that can survive at 90.  Having a biology background it seems logical that if you only raise the heat to 85, and any of the organisms survive that, they can reproduce into a strain that is more heat tolerant, so the higher you can go the better. This is the same reason I don't want to mess with half-doses of meds. <You are wise here> Half doses may kill many of the parasites, but if any survive the lower dose they could reproduce and develop into a resistant strain - the same reason you should never take less dosage of an antibiotic or for a shorter time than a doctor prescribes - it could lead to nastier bugs. Sorry for the long post, but I'd love to get some clarity on this. Regards, Jason Arlington, VA <Now... finally my pitch/resolution here. I would treat this situation with a Malachite Green solution IF you can monitor its effect, and maintain the high/er temperature. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: ich: salt and heat question   6/22/06 Thanks Robert - appreciate it.  Below is the message I sent you a couple of weeks ago.  Also, as an update to what I wrote earlier - after 2 weeks, so far so good - all 4 fish seem to be prospering under current conditions (temp = 85/86 and salt = 1 tbsp/5 gal), and no physical signs of ich.  (I've also learned my lesson and set up a quarantine tank.) ORIGINAL MESSAGE: Hi Robert, I've been reading the Ich FAQs and articles on Wet Web Media and various other forums, and the recommendations are so varied out there about the usage of salt that I'm wondering if you can advise me about a particular question.  Here's the situation: Ich just showed up on one fish of a newly cycled 37 gallon tank (currently containing 4 swordtails and numerous plants).  After much debate, I decided to go with meds and added the recommended dose of Jungle Ich Clear.  The fish did not react well to this at all, and within 3 hours were not swimming and were gasping for air in the corner of the tank that has very little "current". <Yikes... this medicine is broadly label able as a "proteinaceous precipitant"... in effect it poisons the fishes to produce more body mucus... which can/does interfere with respiration...> (I have an AquaClear 70, so more than adequate filtration/circulation for this size tank.) I decided to bail on the meds and did a 50% water change, and added the charcoal back in my filter to get rid of the rest.   <You are/were wise here> This worked and by morning they were swimming all over and looked happy again.  So now I'm trying the salt/heat method, which should be successful since this species is pretty tolerant of both.  I've gradually increased the temp to 85/86 (sort of right on the mark between the two), and have gradually added Jungle aquarium salt to the point where it is at 1 Tbsp/5 gallons; I plan to keep this up for 21 days, which I understand should mathematically eliminate the chance of the parasite surviving given its lifecycle (if the conditions I've set are right). <Sounds good> This is where my main question comes in - what is the amount of salt that truly should be added and maintained to raise osmotic pressure high enough to destroy the parasite? <Mmm...> The advice I've seen out there ranges from 2 Tbsp/gallon (which seems awfully high) to 1 Tbsp/5 gallons which is where I am now.  There are also a lot of arguments that measuring salt in Tablespoons is useless b/c the effect on "salinity" depends on the grain size and type of salt (mine is about as fine as Kosher salt) <A good choice, though "marine aquarium synthetic salt/s" are better> and the only good way to measure it is with a hydrometer.  However, hydrometer readings are affected by heat, so that needs to be calibrated, and even the recommended hydrometer readings seem to be pretty varied.  I did buy a cheap one that starts at 0.000 and goes up in increments of 0.002, but that's probably not sensitive enough.  So what is your take on this?  Can you set the record straight?  I know salt levels can only be as high as your species of fish can tolerate, but there also must be a minimum level that has to be reached to be effective against Ich. <... a real answer would require some discussion re what salts are (combinations of metals and non-metals) and the fact that there is/are some salts in all source waters... and that sometimes the mixing/blending, addition of some salt/s can be toxic... The lower limit you're using should be fine for most all aquarium plants, and is fine for Xiphophorus exposure> Also, if I can sneak in one more - my fish seem to be thriving at 85/86 degrees.  Should I go for 87 or even 88 for some extra insurance if they take it just fine? <You could... but margins of safety grow small with increased temperature... less dissolved oxygen, higher metabolic rate...>   One article I found (on The Skeptical Aquarist) mentioned that some heat-resistant strains of Ich have been discovered out of Florida that can survive at 90. <Yes>   Having a biology background it seems logical that if you only raise the heat to 85, and any of the organisms survive that, they could possibly reproduce into a strain that is more heat tolerant so the higher you can go the better. <One way of stating...> This is the same reason I don't want to mess with half-doses of meds.  Half doses may kill many of the parasites, but if any survive the lower dose they could reproduce and develop into a resistant strain - the same reason you should never take less dosage of an antibiotic or for a shorter time than a doctor prescribes - it could lead to nastier bugs. <A mis-statement/understanding... These resistances are not developed so much as organisms with "what it takes" are selected, persevere...> Sorry for the long post, but I'd love to get some clarity on this. Regards, Jason Arlington, VA <Bob Fenner, San Diego, CA>

Ich and Sensitive Fish - 05/23/2006 Dear WWW crew: <Good morning, Sheryl!> I am facing treating Ick in my one of my tanks for the first time.   <Awh, bummer....  I trust you'll be considering quarantining any incoming livestock from now on, eh?> Unfortunately, the tank in with the breakout occurred contains sensitive fish: a fire eel and four Beaufortia kweichowensis (Hillstream loaches.)  <Yikes!  Sensitive, indeed.> Non fish include apple snails, MTS, and Ramshorns.  I want to know if I am on the right track as far as treatment.  The tank is 75 gallons.  Fish included a fire eel, five Hillstream loaches, 8 tiger barbs, and a female convict cichlid.  Plants are java ferns, Anubis species, Cryptocoryne species, and Crinum thaianums.  Filtration is a Rena XP3 and a Penguin Bio-Wheel 350.  I have an in-line heater that keeps the temperature at 76 degrees.  I also have a Rio Aqua pump near the bottom of the tank to increase the water flow. <Appreciated immensely by the Hillstream loaches, I'm sure.> I noticed the Ick this morning and immediately removed all my fish, plants, snails, to a plastic tub.  I then drained the tank.  I removed all of my gravel (something I was going to do anyways, converting to sand.)  I took the bio media basket out of my Rena XP3 and placed it in my 10 gallon quarantine tank, because it is very porous and I did not want it absorbing medication.   <Good move.  Leave it there for a few weeks.> I do not run chemical media in my Rena, only in the Penguin because it is easier to change. <Good plan.> I then set up the Penguin on my quarantine tank, which now houses the plants and snails.  The hard decor (a resin rock cave and terracotta pots) were placed on my back deck to dry out in the sun.   <To be safe, give 'em a couple weeks.> Another resin rock cave was bleached and rinsed to be used in the main tank as cover for the eel in the now bare tank.  The fish are now back in the 75 gallon.  The temperature has been raised to 82 degrees over the course of the day. Two airstones are now running in the tank, to help with the oxygen level.   <Good.> Marine salt (I have a package of Oceanic Salt to use up since I switched to Instant Ocean for my reef) was added until a SG of 1.001 was reached.   <Be very, very cautious, here....  There's more than just salt to synthetic sea salts; this could alter your pH significantly, so please be testing.> Then, following the instruction for tetras because I do not want to overdose, I added one drop per two gallon of Quick Cure.  I will do 50% water changes daily, vacuuming the bottom of the tank as well to pick up any parasite cysts, because my bio-media is gone and I do not want a "spike" of any kind to occur. <Perfect.> Should I raise the temperature higher or will that be bad for the eel and loaches? <I wouldn't want to bring it much higher, myself, as the loaches will probably have a tendency to stay on the bottom, where there's the least oxygen now.> Is marine salt OK to use to treat Ick <I would use a salt marketed for freshwater use....  In my experience, this will not alter your pH anywhere nearly as much as a marine salt.> and how high of a SG will the loaches tolerate?   <A very good question, indeed.  The real answer?  I don't know.  I don't know about the eel, either.  I would go ahead and try raising it up a bit, and be prepared to drop it if any of the fish really seem to be having trouble.  Don't go above 1.003.> What medicine do you recommend other than Quick Cure?   <Salt alone.> I know it is nasty stuff but it's all I have right now.   <Other options would be copper-based medications or Methylene blue....  but I tend to prefer salt and heat and no other treatment.> How long should I treat the 75 gallon?   <Two weeks at a minimum, longer if you stick with just the half-dose of Quick Cure, perhaps.> How long will it take for the Ick to die off in the quarantine tank without a fish host?   <Two or three weeks.> Where the heck could this have come from, no new fish have been added in over six months (the barbs), and those were quarantined for three weeks before I added them to the main tank. <Anything wet can bring in ich.  Even just water.  Plants, substrate, snails, wood, anything that has been in a tank containing ich may have tomonts stuck to it.  I am a strong advocate of quarantining even plants prior to adding them to a tank, having brought ich in that way myself, a couple of times.  If you haven't yet, please do read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> Thank you for any help you can give me. <Glad to be of service.> Sheryl <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Ich and Sensitive Fish - II - 05/23/2006 Thank you for your quick reply! <Glad to be of service.> I am going into town tomorrow and will pick up some regular aquarium salt.  I wasn't thinking about how marine salts are formulated to raise pH.  My fire eel and loaches seem to be tolerating the 1.001 well, so when I get the correct salts I will begin raising to 1.002.   <Great.  If they can handle 1.002-1.003 for a couple weeks, you won't need any medication.  Again, I stress to you, I do NOT know if they can handle this.  You will need to watch them very closely.  If they show signs that they're not doing so well, back off on the salt some.> I tested my water this morning before the water change and read an ammonia level of 0.1.  I am thinking of buying one of those ammonia monitors to stick in the tank until I can get my bio-media back in the filter.   <Those monitors are useful, however imprecise, so do please be testing along with it until you are familiar with what color really means what.> After the 50% change the ammonia read at 0.   <Great!  And you added salt to replace what you took out, too, right?> To be honest, I could be reading it wrong.  It is hard sometimes to match the color in the tube to the colors on the chart, especially when there isn't a lot of difference between 0 and 0.1 color wise.   <I totally understand.  You're probably okay after the water change, I imagine.> I am wondering if the ick came in on a Java fern and apple snail I added to my tank last Thursday.   <Entirely possible.> I always quarantine my fish for at least two weeks, but plants and snails?  I never would have thought!   <Don't feel bad, at least....  The one time I chose not to quarantine plants (I actually used to have a dedicated Rubbermaid tub with light set up for the purpose), I ended up with ich.  And I knew better!  No excuse for that, is there?  At least you were ignorant, and have now learned.  I was just cocky and stupid.> Again, thank you for your help and quick reply.  -Sheryl <I'm glad I could be of help, Sheryl.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Ich and Black fin sharks  - 5/17/2006 Hi, <<Hi, Jennifer. Tom here.>> I have a problem that I can't seem to resolve and I'm not sure if it too late for my fish.  I have a 10g tank with 2 black fin sharks (about 2-3 inches), 2 platies, and 1 Pleco. I had 3 BF sharks, but one died (stress I think..) Also, had 3 platies but 1 died. (I think from being attacked by the other fish because one day 1 of it's side fins was half gone and it's tail fin was pretty beat up looking.  Anyhow, I noticed some bubble looking spots on the 2 BF sharks and went out and purchased an Ich treatment.  The guy at the fish store said they use it all the time and it works fast.  So I followed the 3 day process, and they seemed to look a little better.  I skipped one day as directed and am repeating the process.  This is day three and they look way worse than before.  I also haven't seen them eating and one looks as though it's mouth is fuzzy.   <<Hazarding an educated guess, Jennifer, the white spots you first noticed were the beginning stages of Columnaris. I wouldn't discount Ich, of course, but the "fuzzy" growth around the fish's mouth is Columnaris. I'd recommend you begin treating with Melafix immediately. Once this bacteria affects the organs of the fish, antibiotic treatment is in order and you're not set up for that.>> None of the other fish are affected by the Ich, just the sharks.  Could this be something else?  Are my sharks pretty much goners and if so should I put them out of their misery?  I have no idea what to do. <<Treat with Melafix and, if this takes care of the problem, find a new home for your sharks. In the proper environment and correct conditions, these fish grow to be VERY large. They're also not "true" FW fish but, rather, will require marine conditions as adults. Your Pleco is going to need a larger tank than what you have now, as well. Depending on the variety of Pleco you have, these, too, can grow quite large. Much to learn before any more purchases, Jennifer. This site is the best place to start.>> Jennifer <<Tom>>

Re: Ich and Black fin sharks  - 5/18/2006 Thanks, I'll try the Melafix.  Yesterday I did a water change again and they seem to be back to eating like they were before (chasing off the Platies and skimming the water surface aggressively for food).  Hopefully this is a good sign. <Umm... this "good time" will not last... this catfish is a brackish to marine species... will die soon unless moved to more suitable conditions. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ariidcats.htm and the linked files above> I know the Sharks are going to get rather large as well as the Pleco and will purchase a much larger tank in the future.  They are living in a brackish tank right now, I'll have to look into marine tanks and read up on the care of those.   <Oh! Sorry re... thought these were in freshwater... Loricariids/Plecos don't like/tolerate much salt... Bob Fenner>

Re: FW Ich - 5/11/2006 Dear Crew, <<Hi Katherine.>> I'm sorry to say that I apparently don't have a handle on the ich yet.  I lost one of my mollies this morning, but I did not see any spots on it that I saw on the sword-tails, so I'm really not sure if that's why it died. <<Many times it affects the inside of gills first.  Read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm. >> I'm going to the fish store tomorrow to get some ich treatment.  I don't want to put any more fish in the tank until it's under control, but how will I be able to tell? <<When it has been several weeks symptom free, and you have QT'd new additions.>> I have a little pH and chlorine test kit and the water seems to be ok (according to the kit directions). <<Ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte are much more important tests.  Do you know these readings? These may well be the cause of the molly's death.>> I haven't seen any of my babies today, but I'm hoping that they are just in a safe hiding spot.  Well, back to reading to see if there is anything I may be doing wrong.   Thanks again for everything. Katherine <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Re: FW Ich - 5/12/2006 Dear Crew, Yes, it's me again. <<Hi Katherine, it's Lisa again.>> I lost another fish this morning.  My green sword-tail. <<Sorry to hear that.>> I don't know the readings of Ammonia, NitrIte, or nitrAte.  I suppose I need to get back to the fish store and get one of those test kits. <<Is quite important.>> While I was there yesterday I got treatments for both Ich, and Fungus.  I'm treating for Ich first, but as I kept reading last night, I noticed that the spots I saw on my red sword-tails sounded more like fungus. <<Why?>> Therefore, as soon as the 48 hours are over with the Ich treatment I will start the fungus treatment. <<Please do not treat without a diagnosis. Do you have a picture?>> I still haven't seen any of my little darlings, but I did, however, also buy one of the little floating plastic boxes yesterday so if I do get any more babies at least they will be safe.  I'll run out to the fish store tomorrow and get that test kit, and let you know what the readings are on it. <<With all the medicating you are doing, your water quality is likely sub-par. Do test and correct ASAP.>>   Thanks for all your help Lisa.   Katherine <<Glad to help. Lisa.>

Re: FW Ich/fungus - 5/15/2006 Hi Lisa, <<Hi Katherine.>> I've had to go out of town for work, so I have not been able to do that test as of yet.  The reason I thought it might be a fungus instead of Ich that got my swordtails is because, from what I understand, fungus causes big white patches, where as Ich is little spots.  Do I understand that correctly? <<Basically, yes.>> What my swordtails had on them was the big white patches on their sides.  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of it.  My dad finished up the Ich treatment for me, and then changed out some of the water, per the instructions on the package, and put a new carbon filter in.  I told him not to do anything else until I got back, so now he's just going in and feeding them for me.  So far I haven't lost any more fish, (makes me wonder if it's just me).  Also, my son went out and bought another black molly and two red velvet swordtails and put them in the tank.  He didn't know I was treating for anything, and that was his mother's day gift for me, so I can't really fuss at him about it. <<Of course :)>> I should be back home sometime around Tuesday evening, so it may be Wednesday before I get those test results to you. <<Perhaps your Dad could change a little bit of water everyday as well? I'm sure the ich treatment crashed the bio-filtration.>> Thanks again for your help Lisa.  Talk to you soon. Katherine <<You're welcome Katherine. Talk to you in a few days.  Happy Mother's Day Lisa.

Angels, Rams, and Maybe Ich - 05/10/2006 Good Morning~ <Good afternoon.> I recently purchased 4 small angelfish and also a Microgeophagus ramirezi  (because it was the only one in the tank/store-and very cute) to put in a long 20gal.   <Uhh, this is a quarantine system, I hope?  A single angelfish will outgrow a 20 gallon tank, let alone four of them....  They're rather territorial, too.> Did tests this morning: ph: 7.2-0-0-10. Did a water change. Temp is 80.  I noticed a small whitish spot on top of the head (the ram) <Possibly ich?  I do hope this is a quarantine tank.> I noticed that some of the other posts say these fish stay mostly near the bottom, but this little guy is more mid-tank-especially after the water change.   <Probably not a problem, but I would advise that you watch him closely.> Should I do a smaller water change with RO water... 1 gal with 1 gal tap?... <Perhaps.> or add salt... or medicate... <Only if you're confident of disease.> or just wait and see.   Any suggestions/ideas on what to do about this would be greatly appreciated. <I'd go with the "wait and see" for the moment, and be watching him very closely for now.> Thanks Again,  Judy <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Driftwood With Ich  4/27/06 Hello, I caught a mild case of ick on my black moor and treated it right away.  The white spots are now all gone, however, I see some little white spots on the end of a piece of driftwood in my tank.  Could they be ick?  Is it even possible to get ick on wood, plants, or anything else in the tank other than fish? Thanks a heap!! Sossy. < This is not ich. It is a fungus that is breaking down the driftwood. Some woods are too soft for an aquarium and tend to decompose. It will not hurt the fish. Cut the piece off if it bothers you.-Chuck> Black ghost problem... poisoning with Malachite   4/28/06 Hi <Hello> I really hope you can help me. About 2 weeks ago my Clown loaches and blue rams started to show signs of Ich. <No fun> After being given advise by my local fish store, I purchased WS3 medication to cure it. <... malachite green, Acriflavine and quinine sulphate (WS3®, King British)> Only after reading your site have I found out that Black Ghost Knife Fish are sensitive to medications <And the Clown Loaches...> and I have started to notice that my BGK is swimming lazy, has greyish white patches down the side of him and his fins have become torn and have red patches. I don't know if this is Ich, Slime disease or a fungus growth with fin rot. Please could you help me.. Many thanks. Steve. <... with what? Malachite Green should be dosed at most at half concentration with the loaches, Knifefish... This, along with temperature increase should effect a cure for ich. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files at top and on WWM re these fishes "Health FAQs". Bob Fenner>

Ich in a FW Community Tank   4/26/06 First, thanks so much for providing this site with all of its information; I've learned a lot and certainly have become a better aquarist because of it. Second, does the following sound about right for an ich treatment? After five months of waiting and cycling and more waiting, I finally stocked my 120 gal with seven juvenile (2"-3") discus last weekend (no QT, I know, but I can only have one tank). Its continuing inhabitants include ten cardinal tetras and five Corydoras. There are no live plants. Two days ago, I noticed that three discus had come down with ich. There were only 2-4 spots per fish, but they were definitely there. I started treating immediately: daily 25% water changes with gravel vacuuming followed by a daily 110 gal-size dose of Rid-Ich+ (produces a concentration of 15 ppm formalin and 0.05 ppm malachite green), combined with a gradual temp increase. I made sure to remove the carbon from my filters; should I also remove the peat as well? < If the treatment looks like it is working then leave the peat alone. If not then remove it.> I have the tank lights off except for 2-3 hours each evening for feeding (after which I gravel-vac and treat the tank) and keep the tank covered to prevent light from degrading the medication. Is that enough light for the fish, even for the duration of a two-week treatment? < Sounds good for the short duration of the treatment.> I currently have the temp up to 85 degrees F. - can I take it higher without harming the Corys? < Leave it alone for now.> (They are C. trilineatus, C. axelrodi, and C. leucomelas.) Or is it too high already? < A little high but OK if the fish are acting normal.> Yesterday spots appeared on two more discus, and today three of the tetras show spots. None of the visibly infected fish has more than six small spots, so I hope to catch this outbreak before it really takes hold. None of the fish appears to be unduly stressed and all were willing to take food this evening. Tank parameters are stable at:  (I am testing daily) NH3 - 0 ppm N03 - 0 ppm N02 - 0 ppm pH - 6.8 KH - 100 ppm GH - 50 ppm Am I doing the right thing? I plan to continue this treatment for two weeks, or longer if I observe spots after the seventh day. Any other advice? Thank you so much, Danielle Gilbert < The parasites should be gone in a week if the treatment is working. If spots continue to appear then you might want to add some copper to the treatment.-Chuck>

Thanks.. and Ich Treatment Question    4/25/06 Hi, <Danielle> First, thanks so much for providing this site with all of its information; I've learned a lot and certainly have become a better aquarist because of it. Second, does the following sound about right for an ich treatment?   After five months of waiting and cycling and more waiting, I finally stocked my 120 gal with seven juvenile (2"-3") discus last weekend. It's continuing inhabitants include ten cardinal tetras and five Corydoras. There are no live plants. Two days ago, I noticed that three discus had come down with ich. There were only 2-4 spots per fish, but they were definitely there. <Rats!> I started treating immediately: daily 25% water changes with gravel vacuuming followed by a daily 110 gal-size dose of Rid-Ich+ (produces a concentration of 15 ppm formalin and 0.05 ppm malachite green), <Yikes... dangerously toxic... but likely ineffective... absorbed quickly here... by the substrate, detritus, fish slime...> combined with a gradual temp increase. <I would raise this quickly (lower slowly after done)... to the mid to upper eighties F.> I made sure to remove the carbon from my filters; should I also remove the peat as well? <Oh yes... this, among other things will negate the addition of soluble chemical treatments> I have the tank lights off except for 2-3 hours each evening for feeding (after which I gravel-vac and treat the tank) and keep the tank covered to prevent light from degrading the medication. Is that enough light for the fish, even for the duration of a two-week treatment? <... not likely of any consequence> I currently have the temp up to 85 degrees F. - can I take it higher without harming the Corys? (They are C. trilineatus, C. axelrodi, and C. leucomelas.) <Can take the heat... and the ich can't> Or is it too high already? Yesterday spots appeared on two more discus, and today three of the tetras show spots. None of the visibly infected fish has more than six small spots, so I hope to catch this outbreak before it really takes hold. None of the fish appears to be unduly stressed and all were willing to take food this evening. Tank parameters are stable at:  (I am testing daily) NH3 - 0 ppm N03 - 0 ppm N02 - 0 ppm pH - 6.8 KH - 100 ppm GH - 50 ppm <Keep your eye on the ammonia... the formalin will kill off your nitrifiers in short order...> Am I doing the right thing? <... No... these animals should have been quarantined (easy to see, state in hindsight), and not treated in the main tank... and the active ingredients listed are too toxic... See WWM re> I plan to continue this treatment for two weeks, or longer if I observe spots after the seventh day. Any other advice? Thank you so much, Danielle Gilbert <... Where to start... At this juncture, I might try to just utilize the elevated temperature to effect a "cure"... For what you have invested, a microscopic examination of the fish slime might be revealing in terms of whether this is Ich/thyophthirius or not... Do quarantine all new livestock going forward, or be aware that relapse/s will likely re-occur. Bob Fenner> Re: Thanks.. and Ich Treatment Question    4/25/06 My apologies for this second email.... I wanted to clarify that a QT was not feasible. My roommate said one tank was okay - <Incorrect> I got the largest one practical - but he insists that one (especially that size) is plenty. :-) <... he's wrong. Not a matter of opinion, but simple fact. Again, please see WWM re this> Just in case you were wondering, (and again, thank you) Danielle <Was wondering. Thanks for the follow-up. Bob Fenner> Whitespot Wipeouts   4/21/06 Greetings, I'm still fairly new to the world of aquariums (less than a year) and am trying my hardest to keep my fishy friends happy. The set up is a 54 litre tank with live plants, with 25% water changes weekly. Nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels are pretty low and algae (brown and green) is minimal. I follow all the advice that came from my tank manufacturer. However, I got whitespot in March, and it keeps recurring. I had to replace a Tuxedo Platy who died (no obvious cause), and the new fish brought the dreaded tomites along with it. The most of the original inhabitants (4 other Platys, 3 Zebra Danios, 9 Neon Tetras and Hoover, my beautiful Upside-down Sailfin Synodontis) were literally covered in spots before I knew what was up, and died over the next few days. I treated the tank throughout with Interpet "Number 6" Anti-Whitespot (which is a blue liquid with needs to be diluted before adding to the tank), Melafix, Pimafix, and bi-daily water changes (approx 20%). After the massacre, I was left with 2 Danios and Big Dave the Ghost Shrimp. I also noticed that the dying fish spent a lot of time swimming at the top of the tank. So, Some four weeks later, I returned to my supplier - who admitted that they'd had a major whitespot outbreak (and that they'd knowingly sold ill fish without warning customers) - and agreed to replace all of my fish free of charge. Obviously, I couldn't replace them all in one go as the filter would overload, so my tank population went up to 1 new Synodontis (Flymo), 5 new Platys (bought in two lots) and an additional Danio. They were introduced over a period of three weeks. Annoyingly, one of the final Platys seems to have brought whitespot back with it - despite showing no obvious infection (the spots appeared almost two full weeks after introduction). I immediately started treatment (and had deliberately added some of the Interpet "Number 6" before introduction as a precaution) though it doesn't seem to have any effect. My Platys spend 30% of their time apparently asleep during the day and 30% of their time swimming vigorously swimming at the surface (possibly gasping for air?). This morning, three of the Platys lost swimming control and died soon afterwards, and it appears that one of them gave birth to fry overnight! The dead fish were literally covered in whitespot, and it looked like their flesh was shredding. The other Platy seemed to be immune (except for the sleeping and surface swimming which began this morning) though I think I spotted some small spots on them just before lights out this evening. The Danios appear to be unaffected at this time. I've read the FAQs here, though none of the questions seem to cover my situation closely enough for satisfaction. What can I do to get rid of this horrible disease before I lose the rest of my fish? "Brother" Steve <Start by getting a quarantine tank. Place the new fish in the tank for at least 2 weeks and set the temp for 82 F and add a tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons. If spots appear then treat with a malachite green and formalin combination. Sometimes for really bad cases you may need to add some copper sulphate as well. When all the fish are completely cured, usually after 7 days they can be moved to the main tank. In the main tank the temp should be increased to 82 to 84 F with a tablespoon of rock salt per 5 gallons of water. Some medications can present a problem for scaleless fish like your catfish so read the labels.-Chuck> Problems with aquarium ... FW, ich... stkg.    4/9/06 Hello, I was wondering if you could help me with a problem that I am having.   <Will try> I set up my aquarium (the first one in 15 years!) and proceeded to perform a fishless cycle.  The aquarium is a 96 Litre (25 gallon) tank.  It is a planted tank with both live and plastic plants.  I used ammonium chloride to initiate the cycle <... a bit dangerous... easy to overdose> and measured nitrites and nitrates to observe the spike and subsequent drop.  I could not test ammonia levels as in Switzerland I have yet to find an ammonia testing kit. <Interesting. Likely "against the law" due to the toxicity of the test reagents. They are>   The tap water has the following natural parameters: pH: 8.0 <A bit high for your Cardinals mentioned below> KH: 5d GH: 7d Tank temperature is kept at 26-27C.  I stocked the tank with fish when the nitrites were at 0 ppm and the nitrates at 12ppm.  I put in 4 male guppies and 10 cardinal tetras and 1 Pleco (which I now fear may outgrow the tank). <Most species sold for aquariums, yes> To acclimate them to the new water I placed them in a plastic bag floating in the water for about 20 minutes.  I then introduced about 1-1 and 1/2 cups of tank water into the bag every 20 minutes for about 1 hour.  After this time I removed the fish from the plastic bag and set them free in the tank.  I tried to avoid adding any water from the plastic bag into the tank, but maybe a little bit (i.e.: some drops) entered the tank.  I disposed of the mixed water and bags. For the first 4-5 days everything seemed fine.  The cardinals and guppies and Pleco seemed very happy.  On the 5th day I thought I noticed some white dots on one of the tetras, noted it in my journal, but didn't take action.  I am a bit rusty after 15 years... <I'm permanently fused after forty...> Two days later, it was as I feared.  Almost all the tetras had what obviously appeared to be ick.  Bad.  I raced to the fish shop and purchased a preparation based on malachite green.  I treated the tank at half dose (because of the cards and Pleco) <Good> and treated at the same time with anti-biotic (1/2 dose). Temperature was raised to 28C. <Very good> Thirty percent water changes were done every 2 days along with substrate vacuuming.  Over a period of 3-4 days I lost all the tetras.  I was devastated.  After I lost the tetras, the guppies started exhibiting lots of white spot.  I continued the treatment.  I am on about day 8 of the treatment now and the guppies seem to be doing much better.  The ich is visibly gone, but I will continue to treat.  Two guppies have developed what appeared to be tail rot, so I upped the dose of the anti-biotic and added some anti-fungal medication (at half dose also).  They finally appear to be doing better (tail damage seems to have halted) and seem to be eating.  But now, one guppy (with the biggest tail) seems to be getting picked on by two other guppies.  It looks to me like they are trying to nip his fins, and his tail fin is already quite damaged (from the rot, I suspect). My questions are: 1. Can I do anything to discourage this nipping behaviour? <Mmm, more decor, plants, more frequent feeding... perhaps isolating the "nippers" for a few days in a floating/breeding trap...> 2. How long should I continue to treat with the malachite green? <Every three days for two weeks maximum... Is toxic> (Just today I noticed no more white spots, so all the cysts have probably fallen off in the last 24 hours) <... Yes... I might risk even elevating the temperature another C.> 3. Will the anti-biotic treatment kill my biological filter?   <Could> 4. When is a reasonably safe time to add more fish given I have just treated for ich? <A few to several weeks> 5. What type of (and how many) fish will do well with the guppies and water chemistry? <Posted... on WWM, fishbase.org... elsewhere> I have a choice of Gouramis, blue rams, platys, mollies, cardinal tetras, angelfish, glassfish, penguin tetras, harlequin Rasboras, meekis, ramirezis, <Same as "Rams"> and neon tetras. (25 gallon tank, 5 fish current inhabitants) <I would stick with soft, acidic, tropical OR hard, alkaline, cooler water choices... other than the two you have indicated above here> 6. Any idea what could have caused the ich infestation? <Oh yes... You bought the fish/es with this... One of the "in the good old days" statements one might make. Livestock nowadays is far more likely to have problems...> I appreciate your time and assistance with my questions, <I appreciate your writing, sharing. Thank you and good life to you and yours. Bob Fenner> Thank you, John Theal.

Help Bala shark with ich   4/8/06 Hi my name's Brandy.  I have a  ten gallon tank set up for 4 months now and was running smoothly.  Ammonia is 0 ppm nitrate is less than 5.0 ppm. <Good> I haven't been testing for nitrite or ph.  I have an outbreak of ich which I treated today with Super Ich Cure by API.  My tank had aquarium salt added a few weeks ago.  The problem is that when I added the treatment for the ich on of my Balas stopped swimming. <Yes... is rather toxic... BTW, this minnow-shark species needs to ultimately be in a much larger system> He is still breathing, but lying upside-down on the bottom of the tank or on a plant (fake btw). <Yikes... very bad.>   I am not sure what I can do for him at this point. <If it were me/mine, I would add some activated carbon to your filter, flow path... to remove the "medicine" quick...>   I vacuumed the gravel and did a 30% water change because I was afraid that he would get more infested if I waited. <Good move> I would like to try a salt dip, but don't want to push him over the edge.  I have a  3 blue pearl Danios, a Cory cat, a small Pleco, and two Balas.  Every one else is fine only the Balas have ich I think.  I do know how (now) big they get and was planning on moving them into my 38 gallon this weekend, but alas the ick struck!  Thanks for all your help! <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm I would only use half-doses of Malachite Green on "sharks", small Characoids, catfishes... and elevated temperature to treat ich. Bob Fenner> Fish have Ich...and how do I treat it?  - 04/02/06 <Tom> I recently just discovered that my Platy fish has Ich. I am not sure if my 2 goldfish do. <They've been exposed to the parasite although they may not necessarily have been infected if they're in good health.> I have read articles on your website, but am uncertain on a couple of things. I know that this isn't the best situation but my fish are all in the same tank. <Correct. Not the best situation.> Goldfish like cold water while Platys like warmer water than Goldfish <This is true though Goldfish will do very well in warmer water than a lot of folks realize - 70-75 degrees F. Your Platy needs much warmer water than this, however, to thrive.> It says to increase water temp. to 82-86 degrees F. <Yes> First of all, I don't even have a heater. <Many Goldfish owners don't. Very tough on your Platy, though. If memory serves, you had another tank available to move your Platy into. I'd highly recommend that you get a heater for this tank as your Platy will not do well at room temperature.> Will the Goldfish accept this (temp. increasing)? <Goldfish can "tolerate" temperatures into the mid-80 degree F. range. Quite stressful, however. In the case of Goldfish, I'd be reluctant to raise the temperature above 80 degrees F. At this temperature the Ich life-cycle will be sped up and will give the salt more opportunity to destroy the juvenile parasites.> Will any of these fish take aquarium salt? <Yes, all will.> And last of all, do I need a filter? <Proper filtration is a "must" for any aquarium. Goldfish, in particular, are "messy" fish and leaving them in an environment without appropriate filtration is most unkind if not potentially damaging/fatal.> Thanks. <You're quite welcome. Tom> Jack Dempsey ala Ich - 04/01/2006 Hello: <Hi.> I have a Jack Dempsey Cichlid, male, approx. 4.5 inches long. He recently has began to become irritated and is constantly trying to scratch himself against the gravel or another ornament in the tank. He also had very small white spots all over his body that seem to come and go. <This is ich.> The whiteness of the sports varies in intensity and on a few of the days, it appeared he didn't have any white spots at all. <Normal....  the lifecycle of the parasite.> The spots look like dandruff flakes. I began treating for ich disease. I removed all of the rocks and plants from the tank, <Live plants I can understand....  but why the rocks?  You realize any decor, filter media, rocks, gravel, etc., may be infested too, yes?  This parasite becomes free-swimming for part of its life....> added the ich medication and removed the filtration device. This has been going on for 4 days now and I see no change in his behavior. <The lifecycle of the parasite is about two weeks, give or take, depending upon temperature.> He is still uncomfortable and scratching against rocks. I raised the temp of the tank to 84 degrees, did a 25% water change, and added salt as well. Is there anything else I can do other than administer the ich medication and hope for the best? Could this be something other than ich since the spots seem to appear then disappear? <That is classically what ich does.> He eats a bit but nowhere near what he usually does. Any help would be appreciated! <Please read here, for more on the lifecycle and treatment of ich:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> Thanks!  Keith <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Please help! Gourami with Ick Emergency   3-28-06   I think I may be losing my powder blue Gouramis to Ick. Last night I lost my CAE. <Other members of the Crew may be holding their breath to see what my comment here would be> I have a total of 8 Gouramis and they are showing small white spots tonight but they are very bad on my 2 powder blues. I rushed to Wal-Mart tonight when I got home from work (they were the only place I could go to at 11pm at night) and I purchased Wardley's "Ick Away". I followed the directions and removed the carbon filters but when I went to turn my filter back on nothing would circulate throughout it with the filters intact so I unplugged it completely. <Looking for surface agitation here, Jennifer. Filtration at this stage is unimportant> So my Gouramis are in the tank without anything circulating and I don't know what to do about that. I poured the blue solution into the tank and did a 50% water change with my gravel cleaner. Then I removed all my live plants. I read that the hotter temperature could kill the Ick so I placed my heater inside the tank. Well after a few minutes it started smoking and I husband unplugged it and said it broke. <From bad to worse is sounds like> So I added hot tap water mixed with fresh start to the tank in hopes that will bring up the temperature. <Won't do the deed for you. Temperature must be raised and held, preferably above 85 degrees F.> So the temperature is now at 78 in my blue watered tank without any circulation and my dying fish. Would someone please tell me what I can possibly do to save them. I have invested so much money and time into these fish and I need some direction please. Is there still hope for my fish? <If your fish are still alive, there's certainly hope. We've not alternative but to try. If you're prepared to spend the money, purchase a hang-on filter of suitable size (AquaClear would be my choice), a new heater (no preference here but I wouldn't skimp) and "aquarium" salt (not "marine" salt). Pull your current filter off the tank and install the new filter with no filter inserts. Do a 50% water change, vacuuming the gravel heavily, to remove as much of the old medication as possible as well as any encysted parasites as we might get lucky enough to catch. That done, install the new heater and slowly begin raising the temperature (1-2 degrees per hour) until the tank temperature is at 86-87 degrees. (Note: I'm not familiar with the Wardley's product however some Ich medications shouldn't be used at elevated temperatures which is why I recommend removing it.) Once you're reasonably satisfied that the old medication is out of the tank - as much as possible - we're going to do the water changes again, this time adding the aquarium salt at a dosage of 2-3 tablespoons per five gallons of water to the water-change bucket (not the tank!) - five-gallon buckets are typically sold at most LFS's and would serve well here. This process should be done slowly over a one- to two-day period to avoid "shocking" the fish. (Keep the tank water level a little lower than you normally would so that the output of the filter "disturbs" the surface sufficiently to increase oxygenation. This is very important at higher temperatures!) Now, catch your breath while I catch mine ;). Okay, the combination of salt and heat should be maintained for about 10 days. You may see a disappearance of the parasites in less time than that but it doesn't mean they're gone. In the meantime, keep an eye on your pets for signs of stress over and above what the Ich may be causing. Unlikely that this level of salinity or the elevated temperatures will do any harm to your Gouramis but let's "first, do no harm". If need be, do a small, unsalted water change but I don't think it will be necessary. At the end of this time, do water changes to remove the salt and "very" slowly lower the temperature back to normal. (Fish can acclimate to elevated temperatures faster than they can to decreased temperatures.) Also take notice that your tank will need to re-cycle as you might imagine. Bio-Spira (Marineland) can speed this up enormously. Pricey, but well worth the cost. Best of luck, Jennifer! Tom> Jennifer Groenendaal

Re: Please help! Gourami with Ick Emergency   3/31/06 Hi Tom, <Hi, John> You have helped me to save the lives of my fish because of your prompt and detailed response. <If that didn't make my day, nothing will. Thanks> The first night I didn't think my 2 blues were going to make it but I woke up the next day and they were still alive, read your email, and bought a new heater. Now I did end up back at Wal-Mart b/c the closest fish store is almost an hour from where I live so I ended up with kosher salt b/c I thought I read here before that it can be used and didn't see any marine <aquarium> salt as you instructed. Is this ok? <Absolutely> I couldn't find a hanging filter but I am going to the fish store tomorrow as I have more time to purchase one. Tonight I did another partial water change and added some more salt, some more fresh start and pH adjuster. The temperature also reached 85. <Good! One or two more degrees wouldn't hurt but you should be in good shape> I got rid of all the live plants and took out all the fake plants and the fish started to seem stressed with all the activity going on with their tank and probably also b/c there was no more plants in there. <Understandable> The reason I thought they were getting stressed is because they pace back and forth really quick or swim up and down at the corners of the tank. <Not uncommon when fish are stressed> Anyways, I then soaked the fake plants in hot water and kosher salt and floated some on the water and planted some. They all seem to have their appetite back and are swimming normally. <Very good to hear> Except out of the 8 of them I still see a bump on the top fin of one of my blues and the other one still seems to scratch itself against the rock. <These guys sounded to be the worst infected and it may take a little extra time. Not to worry at this point> Would you like me to continue this for the next 10 days before removing the salt, adjusting the temp. back to normal, and putting the carbon filters back in? <Let me offer you an option here, John. When you're satisfied that the fish are clear of any infestation, continue this course of action for three additional days. If you've any doubts, then let's run with the full ten-day plan. Much beyond ten days and we start getting into a position where we may start doing more harm than good from a standpoint of stress on the fish. The higher temperature should certainly help to speed things up since Ich can rarely survive temperatures in this range and it speeds their life cycle up significantly. In short, the stage of life in which the parasite is vulnerable will develop much sooner than if we were treating a colder temperature environment, a pond, for example.> Thanks again for your time Tom and I hope to hear back from you when you get a chance!! <Happy to get back and keep up the excellent work. The credit really belongs to you! Tom>

Re: Please help! Gourami with Ick Emergency  - 04/04/2006 Hi Tom, <Hi, Jennifer> Not sure if you are able to help me at this point but my 2 powder blue Gouramis do not look like they are going to make it. I believe I completely got rid of Ick by following your instructions b/c I do not see anymore salt-like spots on their bodies but now I see small white patches of skin on them or maybe just areas where their beautiful blue coloring is faded into white. <Likely the result of wounds left behind after the adult parasites "dropped" off.> They are both at the top of the tank in the corner near the heater and moving slow and "tilting" to the side and they only move their fins when they see me come close by. Note that I have 6 other Gouramis-gold, opal, moonlight, and three-spot that seem to be just fine. <Glad to hear that, anyway...> Once I thought I treated the tank of Ick, I got the temp back to 80 degrees and put the carbon filter back in. I went to the pet store and they tested my water and told me my water was hard and needed to add bacteria, so I bought Stress Zyme and Stress Coat and added them in conjunction with each other into the tank. I also added a pH adjuster and new live plants to float on the top. <Jennifer, the activated carbon will probably "undo" any medications that you place in the tank. Cease the use of both for the time being.> The blues still didn't look good so I added them individually into a glass container with warm water, kosher salt, and some Ick Away. I kind of "dipped" each one in it individually and added them back to the tank. They still don't look good. Do you have any idea what else could be wrong? <Okay, let's start doing water changes - 20% every other day...starting now. Do NOT add anything more to the tank. (We need to get "control" over water conditions and the additives aren't helping.) Please, look into purchasing a water test kit. (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes a great "starter" kit and is easy to use and read.) The water changes will oxygenate the tank and control, if necessary, the toxicity of the water. We need to get your Blues under optimum conditions!> Thanks, Jennifer <Please, keep me posted. Tom>

Are the white spots overfeeding or temperature related ?  - 03/27/06 Hi! I need some help. Yesterday three of my fish died of Ick or Ich. (White spots) They were fine for a month now but recently just stopped being their selves and started developing the white spots. I used the Ick Treatment (blue liquid added to tank). I have a 1 1/2 foot tank and there are (or were) 15 fish. 4 Guppies (now 3) 4 Platies (now 2) 1 Siamese fighter Male 2 Swordtails (1 jumped out when retrieving guppy babies before they were eaten) 1 Algae Eater 1 Glass Fish 1 Mollie A beautiful array of fish and wonderful to watch. I need to know are their deaths related to over feeding (I feed them twice a day, or temperature related? My tank is set at 26 C. Since one of the death of a blue platy, one of the swordtails has started being a happy and swimming all around like he used to before the platy arrived, was he bullied of felt threatened? He is back to being the father of the tank! Thanks and keep up the good work ! <Sounds like they died of an Ich infection. Totally unrelated to your temperature or feeding schedule (but cut back to one feeding a day and skip one day a week). Read here for all the info you will need to rid your system of Ich. http://www.aquariumadvice.com/article_view.php?faq=2&fldAuto=32 Personally, I prefer the salt and heat method. All your fish can handle the level of salt needed to kill off the parasite. As to your swordtail, sounds like the platy was "top dog" in the tank. Now that he is gone a new alpha fish is taking over. This can happen in small systems with closely related species. One point about your livestock, if the "Algae Eater" is what is commonly called a "Chinese Algae Eater" he will get very large and aggressive over time. Best to remove him now. Not a good community fish. Don> What are these things! FW Neons, Ich...    3/27/06 Dear WWM Crew, I have recently had all my neon tetras die. The first one to go (thing 1) had dropsy and was really sad because he had been a part of my aquarium for over a year. I went to the local aquarium to get two replacements to keep my second neon company. Within 2 days both of the new guys died. I tested my water and everything was fine. <Can't tell from here> The following day I bought another neon tetra and named in speckles (It had white dots sprinkled over its body and fins). <Perhaps if you named them after prophets...> This one soon died too, followed by my second neon tetra (thing 2). I noticed my other fish began having white dots as well. <Oops... likely not related... but ich> (I have a flame tetra, two Gouramis, a serpae tetra) Doing my research, I assumed ich and began treating the tank with Coppersafe, as recommended by the aquarium store. <... I would NOT treat small characins/Tetras with Copper products... but half doses of Malachite Green, elevated temperature... posted on WWM> Paying closer attention to the tank, I can see many tiny white bugs moving on the glass and floating in the water that were not there before. <These also are very likely unrelated...> Can these white bugs be what is on my fish? Are they parasites hurting my fish? Thank you for your time, Jackie <The initial losses were probably due to simple differences in your store/sources water quality, acclimation and your system... the ich was likely imported on some of the new fish... the bugs are likely living on the nutrients, food... You need to "step up" your maintenance, treat the ich with something less toxic (likely clean the tank a bit first, or better, treat the fish elsewhere...), and not worry re the apparent "bugs". Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> HELP! Ick Infestation... FW Ich City!    3/27/06 Hello to all of you, <And you> This is my first time asking a question "on line" so I'll try to add all the info you need.  I am relatively new to this hobby (which I am starting to LOVE).  Anyway, first tank: 33 gallons 2 months old, 3 platys and 5 rainbow fish (praecox) one cherry barb.  Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20ppm, 25% water changes weekly.  No new fish added but March 16 noticed barb flashing and with 2-3 spots.  Started treating with Quick Cure.   <... I would not use Formalin in your main tank... perhaps Malachite Green alone... with elevated temperature... Posted on WWM> Removed carbon, cut feedings in half, raised temperature to 81 degrees <I'd raise to mid-eighties> and kept lights off. After 3 days, barb getting worse and spread to platys.  Started to treat with ICK GUARD.  Have treated for the last 5 days with 20 % water change every three days.  Temperature stable at 81, reduced feeding and limited lights.  Barb died on March 20.  Platys sometimes swim around but often rest on the bottom.  Tail fins still have several spots and look clamped, not spread out like normal.  Most of the Rainbows haven't eaten in the last two days.  One swimming almost upright (nose up) with a slightly ragged tail fin.  If it gets under the filter current it just gets plummeted to the bottom.  Doesn't seem to have any strength.  Another Rainbow just hovering at the surface not moving.  Another Rainbow just shimmying at one end of the tank.  Tests done every second day - Ammonia and nitrate still 0, Nitrate still 20ppm. Second tank - 10 gallon set up about 3 months ago.  5 Harlequin Rasboras, 2 cherry barbs.  I full size Rasbora, I almost full size, 3 very small (about one third the size of the full-size), cherry barbs slightly smaller than full-size barb.  Ammonia and Nitrite 0, Ammonia about 20ppm.  25% weekly water changes.  Checked with major aquatic store if OK to add 4 black neon barbs question my PH 8.0 level. <... too high...> They said it would be OK as they were tank reared and that was the PH range of their tanks.  Within three days...ICK. Have been treating with ICK GUARD for the past 6 days.  Water temp 81%, lights off, carbon out, limited feeding. <...> Relatively new 20 gallon - 4 platys.  Within 3 days ICK.  Ammonia and Nitrate 0, Nitrate 25 ppm.  Live plants.  Increased temp to 81degrees, am limiting food tiny (I mean tiny pinch every other day), removed carbon. I've cruised around 100 web sites for info on ick.  However, my questions are:  how long do the spots last? <Depends... in "one generation" cycles about four days at this temperature... but/however, over time, the cyclicity of Protozoans gets more complex, overlapping... continuous...> Even though the Rainbows in the 33 gallons seem to be deteriorating, I'm hesitant about cutting back/discontinuing with the ICK GUARD as I'm aware about the part of the ick cycle when the parasite can be effectively treated.  How could they have gotten ick in the first place? <Was present already... likely on other fish/es> I ensure that the temperature of the water during the water changes is exactly the same - and no new fish were introduced??? <Can be easily transferred on any wet gear...> I really need help.  Although I'm kind of new at this, I don't want to sound sappy or anything, but I've really gotten attached to all these little guys/gals. Thanks for any help/thoughts you can add.  Lisa (aka.. bad fish momma) <Lisa... raise the tanks temperatures, use Malachite Green... and soon. Read on WWM re this disease, its treatment, prevention... use quarantine...! Bob Fenner> Re: HELP! Ick Infestation    3/27/06 Thanks so much for the speedy reply.  Just a bit of clarification for me if it's OK I'm in the process of raising the temperature in all three tanks to about 84-85 degrees (should be there by tomorrow evening)  Can all the fish, Rasboras, black neon tetras, platys and remaining rainbows sustain that temperature and for how long or how many days? When you say use Malachite Green, is there an actual product sold named that or is it an ingredient in ICK medications? <There are a few: http://wetwebmedia.com/malachitegreen.htm> If it is, which is the best name brand to use.  I searched WWM again and got confused whether the Rid-Ick + was a good or bad product to use.  And yes, valuable lesson learned re quarantine.  When this is all over, the 10 gallon will be "quarantine headquarters"  Thanks again and have a good night <Sounds good! Bob Fenner>

Ich--Out of Control!  3/19/06 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I am in tears right now over my fish. I recently set up a brackish tank because I fell in love with the puffer fish. One of the  first fish that I added into my BW tank was two zebra  puffers.   <Colomesus asellus?  See: http://www.thepufferforum.com/articles/puffer/sapuffer.html > I had some scats in the tank to cycle the water and everything was fine until I got a couple GS puffers and 3 F8s  from another pet store.   <A lot of bioload to add all at once.  Scats grow as large as dinner plates & require 50g each (adult size).  Green spotted puffers grow to 6", require marine conditions as adults & 30-40g each.  F8s like low-end BW (1.005), need 15g for one & 10 more for each extra puffer.> I was then informed  that the Zebra puffers were not BW fish. <Correct.> So now I had two fish that had no place to go.  I do have a FW tank, but it is pretty full and I thought that I saw some ick on the Z puffers, so I did not want to spread into my other tank. I decided to remove the Z puffers.  Yes, they had ick... <This species in particular, is very sensitive to ich.  Must be quarantined & treated right after purchasing.> So I am thinking that maybe they were stressed from the BW conditions and I moved them into a small, already cycled 16 gallon tank.  I treated the ick in the 16 gallon with JUNGLE Ick clear, along with my BW tank.  I saw a few spots on the scats and a couple F8s by this time.  Well, I treated both tanks for 3 days and the ick cleared up in both tanks. <Just long enough for them to become immune to the treatment.  It's like not using antibiotics for the full recommended period.> About 6 days later I noticed that the Z puffers in the 16 gallon FW had signs of ick again, so I immediately used JUNGLE ick and I had  gotten 2 glass fish for the BW tank and I swear, by the time I got them home and dumped them in the tank - not more than 1 hour passed and the glass fish had ick spots, so I also treated that 40 gallon BW tank with JUNGLE Ick again also.  Well, after 3 days of treatment, my Z puffers had  not responded to  the treatment and have gotten steadily worse.  My BW tank has held its own but still no signs of improvement.  I then put the carbon back in the 40 gallon BW tank (Fluval) and  the 16 gal tank, waited 12 hours, did a 25% water change and switched medicine to Kordon Prevent Ick.  I used that for 2 days in both tanks, cutting the medicine down a little bit because of the puffers being sensitive and all of my fish seemed to have gotten worse.  So, I then changed medicine AGAIN with Kordon Rid-Ick.  Now, after 3 days all of my fish that were infected are either the same or worse.  The Z puffers look so bad - one is also starting to get fin rot, that I have thought about putting them out of their misery, ether by having a friend of mine freeze them or me flushing them.   <Overdosing with clove oil is best (found in the toothpaste isle of the drug store).> My BW tank with the three F8s seems to be getting worse and I just don't think I can see any more of my fish suffer so.  I talked to a friend of mine at the pet store and he told me that there are all sorts of strains of ick, and that all medicine might not kill that strain. <There is FW "ich" (Ichthyophthirius multifilius) & SW "whitespot" (Cryptocaryon irritans), with similar habits to freshwater ich.> I do not understand how ick could be living in my BW tank with the   temp being 80, and the hydrometer reading at .006 - .008. <You could be making the strain resistant to meds, with all the different meds you are using, for not a long enough time.> So to sum it up I have a 40 gal tank with 2 scats, 2 knight gobies,  1 GS puffer, 3 F8s, 2 butterfly gobies, 5 Bumblebee gobies, 2 glass fish and 2 black Mollies.   <Waaaay overstocked!  With that kind of overstocking there is always going to be constant stress & lowered immune systems--no chance of fighting disease at all in there.> The 3 F8s are steadily getting worse and I am sure my fish are stressed from constant 24hr water changes along with new doses of ick medicine. <Water changes are the very best thing you can be doing right now.  Here is an article on Treating Puffers with Ich: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9 > My 16 gallon tank has 2 Z puffers and 2 white mollies COVERED with ick.  I do understand that it takes more than 3 days to clear up ick but I have had ick in the past in another tank. <The parasite have a greater hold on scaleless fish.> I have - a FW 40 gal and after 3 days the ick has always maintained the same appearance or gotten a bit better.  So, if you are wondering why I have not waited before trying a new med is because every day, even with the ick medicine the puffers have gotten steadily worse.  As of now I have put the carbon back in the tank and am going to try a new medicine called Super Ick Cure, by Aquarium pharmaceuticals Inc.  I am still debating as whether to do another 20% water change before attempting this.  I feel that the more water I take out and put in, the more stressed the puffers get.  My Z puffers are suffering so, I know that I cannot watch any more of my fish get that bad so please, if you have any answers on how to get this under control - PLEASE write back.  If I have to watch my F8s suffer like the Z puffers,  I don't think I'll be able deal with having any more fish.  :((((( <I understand your affection for these wonderful fish!  I'm afraid your tanks are in trouble with all the fish you have in there.  Please read the links I have given you.  You can also add Melafix to help with the fin rot--caused by the parasite eating off the fish.  Look through the other articles on the species you have & consider many larger tanks for all your fish--if they make it.  For now, leave the meds alone, heat & water changes, water changes, water changes.  Be sure it is the same temp & use Prime to DeChlor.  ~PP> Kathleen

Treating ich--how long?   3/3/06 Howdy crew, <Hello> I have a threadfin rainbow in a QT tank with a moderate case of ich.  I am using Aqua-Sol to treat-- copper sulfate. <Yes, nowadays... used to be a silver salt> The product label didn't specify how long to treat, # of repeat doses or anything. <Smart... or disingenuous... or both> When I called the company to ask, they said one treatment is all that's needed. <Mmm, not likely. I disagree, but can understand this blanket statement. One needs to know actual concentrations (ambient) and re-apply as necessary (likely), rather than risk (easy) over exposure with copper/cupric ion> This doesn't jibe with what I've read on WWM and elsewhere about the effectiveness of medications on the trophont and tomont-stage buggies. <Ah, yes> I've set the QT tank to 85F to speed up the ich life cycle.  Based on that, should I keep dosing the copper sulfate for X days, or wait X days and re-treat? <Let's add to the bit of info. re copper use in FW (much of this is gone over in the Marine/root web)... There are a few substantial and a handful of minor factors that determine the "life" of copper added here... Depending on aspects of water quality, the amount of "bio-gunk" and livestock, the copper can/will "go away" in a very short while... And w/o having a "given standing concentration" there is no benefit... Hence the call for suitable test kit... measuring, re-applying when the concentration drops below 0.15-0.20 ppm free cupric ion... Bob Fenner> Thanks! -Dave

Re: Treating ich--how long?... FW Q., feeding   3/4/06 Thanks Bob.  That's exactly the piece I was missing. <Okay> Unfortunately, the rainbow died last night, partly due to not eating for the past 3 days on top of the infection, increased temp, etc.  Which makes me wonder-- are there any tips to getting fish to eat after moving them to QT? <Mmm, yes... use of vitamins (in the water, soaked with the foods), changing water... including temperature (usually elevation), use of  feeding ditherfish> Most of the fish I've QT'd have failed to eat/thrive despite my best efforts at easing their transition (using water from the display tank to fill the QT tank, etc).  The rainbow was eating fine before I moved him. <Bob Fenner>

Treating A Tank With A Bio-Wheel - 2/28/2006 Hello, Have been combing the archives and I can't seem to spot this question/answer. I have a 12gal Eclipse with a bio wheel, when you're medicating a tank (ick)-after you're done, what do you do with the bio wheel? I've gotten rid of the carbon in the filter and have a new one ready to put in after the treatment, but am not sure what to do with the wheel-if anything or how to proceed. Thanks, Judy < Before treatment, take the Bio-wheel out of the system and place it in a little dish/bowl with some aquarium water and place it in a cool dark spot like under the aquarium. Keep it moist but not submerged. Treat the tank for ich for at least three days as per the recommendations on the bottle. After the treatment is complete you add carbon to remove any medication. When the tank is clear you can simply reinstall the bio-wheel. Without a fish to host the parasite it will die off in a few days depending on the water temp. This is one of the great things about the Bio-Wheel. This is especially useful when treating with antibiotics.-Chuck.>

Re: Medicated Tank with Bio-Wheel  - 3/1/2006 Thank you Chuck for the quick response! I of course acted first and asked second! :-(  What would I need to do (I pulled the bio wheel after I started treatment) in this instance? Should I get a new wheel and treat the water with a Bio Spira product after the treatment and about a 50% water change? I was so anxious to treat the white spots that I remembered the carbon but wasn't sure about the wheel. Thanks Again, Judy < When the fish are cured add carbon to remove the excess medication. Start feeding after adding the carbon. Be very careful not to overfeed and remove any excess food after a couple of minutes. Check the ammonia and nitrites. If they start to get up there then I would add Bio-Spira.-Chuck>

Guppy with Ich, no QT - 2/26/2006 Hello, <<Hi Lala>> I am a very new aquarist (aquariumist??). <<Aquarist was right :)>> I have a 29-gallon aquarium with 6 white clouds, 4 dwarf rainbows, 2 algae eating shrimp and a limpet. <<No plants in the tank/left then I assume.>> Added three guppies a week ago - one of them developed ich two days later. <<Quarantine is the best way to exclude problems like this.>> I immediately consulted the LFS, started AquariSol treatment and raised temperature to 80. Only one fish has ich. The ich started on the top of the back, then two days later, it looked like the skin was perforated.  The fish was eating, and showed no visible distress, then the fish disappeared!! Have not seen her in three days now. The aquarium is lightly planted and has some driftwood and stone but I think it should have been visible.  Could she be dead and eaten??? Or buried in the gravel? <<Any of the above, yes.  Likely consumed quickly by the limpet.>> Another concern is that the other female guppy seemed to be pregnant. What should I do with the fry - should I place them in breeder tank? Will it be infected? <<Search on WWM for guppy reproduction and breeding.>> Thanks <<You are welcome.  Lisa.>> Lala

Stubborn Ick  02/12/06 I have a small community tank that was recently overcome by Ick. I think it was brought home with my latest additions which were 4 cherry barbs. I would really love some direction as to what products I should use. <... posted... on WWM> I have read everything on the net as well as on the bottles, but there is just so much contradicting info out there! I have already lost the 4 barbs. I also have 2 female Betta's that were in the tank and I moved them back to bowls after their scratching nearly left them finless. I am currently using Coppersafe to treat the betas in the bowls but they don't seem to be getting any better. I actually think one has a bacterial infection on top of all this on her tail (its red/brown and splitting). So. what's the best to use for quick, safe, and effective treatment? Is there anything out there that will kill the parasites attached to the fish or do I have to wait for them to fall off?  Can I combine the Ick treatment with others such as Stress Coat, Salt, or Antibiotics? What's the best thing for the bacterial infection? And lastly, what is the likelihood that the Betta's will actually recover at this point? Sorry for the loads of questions in advance! <Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Confused, Amber FW Ich... Malachite and Formalin exposure to non-fishes   1/26/06 I have a ten gallon tank that houses some female beta's an Asian floating frog, African dwarf frog and a fire belly newt.  My question is last night I saw a couple spots on two of my females that looks like ich but I am worried about the other creatures, will they be alright if I treat the fish with Quick cure. <You are wise here. This "medicine" is way too toxic...> I think I may have used it once before when I had the newt in the tank but I can't remember for sure. <I would only expose the fish to this material. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Michelle Re: FW Ich... Malachite and Formalin exposure to non-fishes   1/30/06 How long should I actually treat the tank the medication says two days but I have read (and this varies) you should do it for up to two weeks? <Two weeks for most regimens, remedies> Also since I was stuck I bought a one gallon tank and gravel from wall-mart.  I rinsed the gravel for at least a half hour but I noticed last night that the water smells really strange.  I have figured out that it's the gravel that smells (almost reminds me of super glue) and now my Asian floating frog isn't eating (it's been two days since he ate last) although my ADF seems happy. What should I do? <... please read WWM re setting up a freshwater system... You need to make means of removing/cycling wastes...> rip it apart and start over without any gravel until I can get more from my LFS that I trust. I took the newt out and put him in a container I have for my crickets but it's kind of small for the newt and the two frogs. I am so mad I thought I was doing the smart thing by separating them and now I feel like the are in more danger then they were in the "ichy" tank! Michelle <Have you read our posted piece and Related FAQs re FW ich? Please do, and soon. Bob Fenner>

Re: FW Ich... Malachite and Formalin exposure to non-fishes   1/31/06 I should have mentioned I purchased not just the tank but a tank kit.  I removed all the gravel (after speaking with the manufacturer who said the smell can result from the paint they use sometimes but they do test it with fish before it goes for sale? I removed it and tossed it anyhow.) and replaced it with safe gravel from my tank at work. Since doing so everyone is eating and doing well. <Ah, good> Any other time I have let the tank cycle for about a month before putting fish or anything in it but I was stuck this time. btw the treatment for ich seems to be working thus far. Thanks for the help. <Thank you for this update, clarification. Bob Fenner> Mis-mixed FW, ich, mis-treated, salt   1/26/06   I have a 27 gallon tank kept at 78 degrees with 1 Angel, 1 Red Gourami, 2 Harlequin Rasboras, 1 Glowlight Tetra, 2 Bumble bee Gobies, <These gobies are actually brackish water animals... and need live food to survive> 2 Guppies, and 1 Yo yo Loach. Our tank has been set up for approximately 2 and a half weeks (we had a 10 gallon that cracked and we had to quickly move everything to a new tank).  We had problems with ich before and lost everything.  We were starting over when our aquarium cracked.   <"When it rains...">   I noticed last week that the Yo yo Loach had white spots all over him and was scratching on the rocks.  We figured it was ich, although none of the other fish are showing any signs of the disease <Loaches, Cobitids are especially susceptible...> We began treating with Quick Cure at a lower dosage because of the Tetras and have been treating the tank for 5 days. <Too toxic... I would elevate temperature and use Aquarisol... Posted: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm> The Loach has been looking better, but we have begun to lose fish.  We have lost 2 Tetras and 1 Rasbora (I didn't include these above), and one of our Gobies is starting to look like he is sick (doing spirals and flips).  None of the other fish in the aquarium are showing signs of ich, so I am assuming it is the medication killing the fish.      <That and the weakened condition from the ich, and whatever factors favored the ich in the first place>   I have read about using aquarium salt and asked at the local fish store about how much to use.  I was told because of the Tetras and the Loach not to use more than one teaspoon per ten gallons. <This is so> So tonight we did a water change and removed approximately 30 percent of the water and added the salt.      I am unsure about the amount of salt, and whether there is anything else I could be doing.  The Loach appears to be almost cured of the ich.  If you could give me some advice, I would appreciate it. (How much salt I should be using, or another alternative treatment?) I am tired of losing fish, and it is really upsetting my 4 year old daughter.      Thanks,   Leslie <Do please read the link above, the linked files at turn on top... seek the Aquarisol (or Malachite Green at half strength if not available) and raise temperature. The Aquarium Salt can be used as well if you desire. Bob Fenner>

Re: aquarium problems... iatrogenic   1/27/06 Thank you so much for the information.  We had to continue with the Quick cure, and as a result have lost 1 Rasbora and the last Tetra since the previous email.  The local fish store does not carry Aquarisol (although they have offered to carry it in the future), so I have had to order it on-line and have it shipped overnight mail.        As for the Bumblebee Gobies, I had been told at the local fish store that they would do fine in my tank. <Incorrect> I had done some reading and discovered that they like live food, and bought some frozen brine shrimp (have encapsulated vitamins as well).  I have been feeding my aquarium the brine shrimp for a while, and have seen the Yo yo Loach improve since they became part of his diet. Since all of the fish in my tank seem to love the brine shrimp, I feed them half a cube once a day.      I find your website very informative and helpful.  Thanks for your help!      Leslie <Welcome. Bob Fenner> Salty ich... Mmm (FW)  1/26/06 Hi. For starters I must say your website is the best I've found for answers to all my questions, you guys are great. I just have one about salt concentrations for treating ich. <Salt alone won't treat this> I have a 55 gallon tank with one pictus catfish and two tinfoil barbs that are about 10in now. Filtration is a Fluval 304 canister and a Penguin BIO-wheel 350. They got ich from some feeder fish I'm almost sure. <Very common> I have since set up a QT tank so this will not happen again. I raised the temperature to about 84 F and I treated the tank with half doses of Cure Ick per the directions after I noticed the fish "flashing" and a few tiny white spots on the pictus. The Tinfoils never got white spots but they were definitely flashing. I treated for seven days with three 25% water changes every other day. I have since replaced the carbon in the filters and added some aquarium salt to finish what the Cure Ick didn't get (I decided the natural approach is better than adding harsh chemicals). <Can be... though often not thorough... enough> The pictus is acting normally now that I've stopped the medication containing malachite green. The Tinfoils color has returned and aren't "flashing" anymore. I've read this web site for hours on end. It just fascinates me all the new things I'm learning, but I haven't come across any salt concentrations in units other than ppm/ppt. I have salt test but it gives readings in percentages. <There are tables that convert from this (and more likely parts per thousand) and specific gravity...> The reading I got was 0.14%. What I want to know is how this relates to ppm/ppt concentrations and if this level is safe for my fish while bad for the ich. I got to that concentration after adding about a tablespoon of salt for every 5 gallons of water per the instructions on the box. <See the Net or textbooks for this conversion table> One last thing. My brother works at Petsmart in the fish section and I constantly find myself teaching him things I learned from your site. He told me that too frequent of water changes can stress fish. Is this so? <Yes, tis so> Thanks, Phil <Please send along the link to the table after you search/find it. Bob Fenner> Editing WWM, StressCoat use FW   1/22/06 Ich f' > Would you like to give this some of your time? Will gladly replace parts of WWM you are willing to winnow> > Aaaah, would that be "be careful what you wish for, you just may end up with the opportunity to do it yourself"? :) > <Heeee!> > It is a daunting prospect for me since I am not sure how much there is to winnow through. Or how to start. > <Easiest would be for you to download any number of consecutive FAQs files, edit, and send to me to place/replace the existing> Bob,        Sorry for the delayed response, restaurant has been hectic the past couple of weeks! I would love to try my hand at winnowing the FAQs- just one question. Um, how do I download them? <Mmm, just copy, paste any number... page/s at a time... Winnow, label as to their original placement, and I'll gladly write over, replace the FAQs files on WWM> If I do that, I'm sure I can find a spare hour or two throughout the week to see if anything can be removed! I would rather not try my hand at answering questions just yet. I still have far too many of my own! Another interesting possible use for my talents would be if I could maybe try editing a couple of the more basic 'article' pages for content... <I welcome this as well>        Anyhow, I have tried using StressCoat- as far as I can tell, I lost the same number of fish, just more slowly. (Still without any outward indicant ions of cause, too.) Next I will try with a batch from another store where I have had a better survival rate- it's further away, but I would rather have the little guys live than save my time! This last batch brought ich with them too, ech! Can ich kill fish before it is apparent to the naked eye? (My understanding is that the white spots are actually secondary infections and the little ich monsters are too tiny to be spotted.) Perhaps that is the cause in this most recent batch. Raised temp. seems to do the trick, but does that take it's own toll on the fish? <Can, yes... particularly if "weakened" already> (Did I mention that I am still full of questions?) Anyhow, my new Botia striata has pulled through magnificently and I am pleased with that.        So let me know how to get at those FAQs! Cheers! Sarah Orris <Be chatting... Bob Fenner> Red Eye Tetra/Molly mix    1/19/06 Hi there, <Morning> My husband recently set up a 10g aquarium to which we introduced 3 red eye tetras. We thought at first that we had two females and a male, but now it seems more likely to be one large female and two smaller males. They seemed happy enough, so two weeks later (three days ago) we brought home three black Lyretail mollies, two females and one male. The introduction seemed to go off without a hitch... However, now the one female tetra chases the two smaller male tetras quite a lot, and I think the male molly might have ick! To top things off, my daughter and I just noticed 6-10 molly fry darting here and there. So my dilemma is that I don't know what problem to see to first! Should I go and pick up another female tetra (or two) to balance out their need to school, <Two would be my choice... an odd number... ones of about the same size... and may not work. But hold off till there is no ich problem> and will treating the ick when the spot falls off of the male molly harm the molly fry? <Possibly, yes. Mmm, you should know that the two species you have do not share much overlap in water quality preferences... the tetras like warmer, softer, acidic water, the mollies, hard, alkaline cooler water... with some salt content... which the tetras don't appreciate... Would be much better to have these in two separate/different systems...> I don't want to introduce too many fish, nor too soon, but will the minor aggression I've noticed just continue to escalate? <Yes, likely> I also believe that the mollies will be happier with a few more females, but since there are fry, I'm hoping that at least one or two will survive without any special care. (So far they seem to be ignored by all the adult fish) I would appreciate any advice you can give me on what course to take and when. Thanks so much for your help....great site!! Cathy <Thank you my new aquarist/friend. Do seek out a "less toxic" treatment for the ich... My fave: Aquarisol and elevated temperature... to the low eighties F. Good luck, life. Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Eye Tetra/Molly mix, ich  1/20/06 Thanks for getting back to me! <Welcome> Unfortunately, I had the chance to make things worse before I heard from you... I went and picked up another black molly to try and calm the male down, and three more red eye tetras to try and calm the female down! <Not with the ich in the system? And odd numbers, a surfeit of females are better...> It's made a small difference in temperament, but I've most likely gone and overcrowded my 10g tank now. (6 tetras-all different sizes and 4 mollies, 1 male, 3 females...and don't forget 11 molly fry, 2 days old! Ahhhhhh!) Now I can see that I've created a bit of a mess, but I can't correct it until I treat for ich, right? <Correct> Thanks for the recommendation (Aquarisol), I will pick some up ASAP. Should I treat immediately, or wait for the spots to fall off of the male molly? <Treat immediately> I've only detected two so far. I read that the things in the spots must be "free swimming" to be effected. (more bad advice?) <Is so, but one cannot see these other stages... and you need a therapeutic dose present at all times to eliminate them then... otherwise multiple generations become established... covered on WWM> Luckily my husband has agreed to setting up another 10g aquarium (bless him) so that I can separate the mollies and the tetras and add some salt for the mollies. The one I brought home last night looks a more vivid black than the ones I've had a few days, and it was bought from the same tank. I really like both species and don't want to get rid of either. <Good> I thought I was doing so well researching all of this on the net, but I guess I found out the hard way that not all advice is created equal! (Including the stuff they tell you at the pet store!) <Amen... have found some quite contrary and insufficient information re other topics, fields...> Thanks so much for your time, it is much appreciated! A fumbling newbie, Cathy <You have a good, discerning mind. Take your time here and you'll do fine. Bob Fenner>

Malawi Cichlid With Ich Hi There, About six months ago we noticed that our African Cichlids were scratching/flashing on our aquarium decor (rocks, gravel, plants) after introducing some new fish.  We have *P. saulosi*, *P. acei*, two *C. moori*, a couple of peacocks and some 'cuckoo' catfish, etc (total 21, mostly fish<1yr old).  All fish are displaying the problem, but none have any external signs of disease as far as we can tell.  Over the past few months we've treated the tank with Para-Cide by AquaMaster for control of external parasites (Trichlorfon) on three separate occasions and also started Fluke & Tapeworm tablets by AquaMaster (Praziquantel).  The problem seems to get worse when treatment first starts and then seems to improve for a short time (or I could just be hopeful) but still persists after treatment is completed. On two occasions we have removed fish to put in separate tanks (two at a time using water from the large tank) and they seem to have stopped scratching completely, without the above treatment of Para-Cide in one case. The fish are otherwise healthy (some are even breeding) and the water quality is maintained for African cichlids (total hardness=18-20 degrees, carbonate hardness=10 degrees, pH=8-8.2, ammonium=0ppm, nitrites=0ppm, temperature=26 degrees, have had nitrates tested at <5ppm).  The aquarium is set up with fine marble chip gravel, lots of rock, Vallisneria and Anubias. It's a 4ft tank with approx 200L and we have an Eheim 2215 filter.  We do a 20% water change fortnightly and feed the fish daily with pellets and occasionally frozen brine shrimp. No one seems to be able to tell us what is wrong with our fish.  We've lost one probably due to an infected injury from scratching and I would hate to lose any more.  Are we on the right track with the treatments or could it be something completely different? Thanks in advance for your help, Carl & Monica < You have an ich type protozoa infection. Do a 50% water change, clean the filter and vacuum the gravel. Treat with Rid-Ich Plus by Kordon. The catfish are going to be very sensitive to this medication. This is a newer formula and is supposed to be safer for scaleless fish. Follow the directions on the bottle carefully. Add a cup of rock salt per 20 gallons. of water. Do not feed while medicating. After treatment use good carbon to remove the medication. The fish are cured but the good bacteria in the system may be gone. Add Bio-Spira from Marineland to replenish these bacteria. Watch for ammonia spikes. You may have to recycle the tank all over again. Do not over feed and use a Spirulina based food.-Chuck>

Malawi cichlids With Ich II  1/16/06 Hi Chuck, Thanks for your insight and amazingly quick response! We're in Melbourne, Australia; and I'm not sure we can get Kordon's' Rid-Ich+ from our fish shop.  Do you know what the active ingredients are in this product, so that we can find a suitable replacement, or should we contact Kordon ourselves? < It is a combination of Malachite green and Formalin. I am sure that you have some ich medication available, I am just not sure how it will work with your catfish.> We've printed out the product information sheet from their website, but it's not straight-forward listing the ingredients. Thanks (a lot!) and Regards, Carl & Monica < See if you can find Clout. It may work as well.-Chuck> Ich On Goldfish   1/11/06 Hello, I was looking on the internet for  common fish diseases and I found your site. Late last night I noticed that my  fish had a ich problem. I treated them with tank buddies ich remover. This has worked before, but seems to be doing nothing now. This morning I noticed that there was no change in the fish, so I removed the four that had the problem the  worst since none of the other goldfish seems to have it. Now I have five goldfish just sitting on the bottom of my tank with their fins clamped shut. They come up to eat every  once in a while but then right back to the bottom of the tank. I have never had  this problem with them before, they have always swam around with their fins  straight up. What could be the problem and how do I fix it? Thanks. Tina < All of your fish have ich. Some worse than others. Put them all together in the main tank. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Rid-Ich Plus as per the directions on the bottle. When the treatment is done, add a good quality carbon to the filter to remove all the medication. Then add Bio-Spira by Marineland to reestablish the good bacteria needed to break down the fish waste.-Chuck> Goldfish Question  1/8/06 Hi, I recently added new fish to my tank and some of the fish I bought and the original ones developed ick.  I am now treating all the fish with Quick Cure. <I would not use this product here... the formalin is too toxic overall... killing your biological filter. Just use the other component (Malachite Green) which you can buy separately, and possibly salt... this is a much safer cure> My question is one of my red cap Orandas cut his lower lip.  His bottom lip is cut in half and is very red.  I am going to buy MelaFix to cure this is this correct?   <I would not... for reasons gone over and over on WWM. Go there and read re these medications and Goldfish Disease... and soon... before you kill your livestock. Bob Fenner>

Betta With Ich  - 01/03/2006 My Betta has ich. The instructions on the medication say to give the recommended dosage every day until cured. I was wondering if my tank  doesn't have a filter, should I still give the dosage every day? Will the  medicine build up inside the tank and poison my fish? The bottle also says  to remove the carbon filter (which I don't have). Is this because it will suck  up all the medication? Please help... I am very confused. I don't want to  over-help the little guy. < You Betta got ich from the water being too cold and by being exposed to the parasite. Treat as prescribed on the bottle. Try to get the water temp up to 80 F. Do 50% water changes every day before medicating. In three to four days you should see some improvement.-Chuck> Possible ICK  12/21/05 Hello, <Hi there>      I have a 150 gal. Freshwater tank that I've been successful with for 2 years, with 2 Fluval 400 bio filters.  I have 4 red tipped barbs, 2 Bala sharks, 1 iridescent shark, <This is actually a brackish water animal... marine as adult> and 3 Plecs, two spotted and one striped.  I've noticed that just the barbs have some white spots, but then there are also places where it's hanging off the scales, sort of like a small white string. <Unusual> I've been reading about ick, but not sure about what my fish have since every description about ick say small white spots.  Their fins are in great shape, and the areas seem to be towards the front of their bodies.      I went to the store and picked up some ick medicine, but after getting it home I noticed it said not recommended for fish without scales (iridescent & Plecs).   I did find some info about using aquarium salt, so I mixed up a batch per directions and added that to the tank.  I've also turned the heater up to get the water temp about 80 deg.  Do I need to add more salt? <I would add a level teaspoon per ten gallons... and raise the temperature a few degrees F. higher. This may be another protozoan parasite... but should show on all your fishes if so> Or do a water change before adding more.  (Know it builds up) <Salt doesn't "go away"... so needs be replaced (if desired) only when water is changed out>   Just wanting to be sure I'm treating for the right disease, and if you have any other suggestions, I would appreciate it very much.  I am also having a green algae problem, and want to know if the salt will help with that and if not, can I treat the tank with algae remover with the elevated salt levels. <I would hold off on using anything for algae control that is chemical at this time> Thank you so much for your time, know it is valuable. Kim Harges <Please have a read on WWM re algae control... but do wait for a good few weeks once the symptoms you describe have gone. If it were me, mine, I would treat the water (carefully) with a Malachite Green solution as well. Bob Fenner>

Ich Treatment, Cherry Barbs - 12/10/2005 Hi, <Hello.> I have a 29 gallon planted aquarium with CO2 injection and high light. I am almost done curing case of ich with heat at 88 degrees Fahrenheit, 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons of aquarium salt and Maracide.   <Malachite green.> All my fish are doing exceptional except my cherry barbs.  For some reason they stopped eating after I raised the temperature and started showing signs of stress (sitting listless on the bottom, one of them has clamped fins and one of them is at the top gasping), I don't see any visible signs of ich and my last treatment of Maracide is tomorrow.  I assume this stress was caused by the heat so I decided to return the temperature to normal and started lowering the thermostat by 2 degrees every 12 hours.   <Probably a good move....  I imagine the combination of medication, salt, and heat was enough to really stress these smallish, somewhat delicate fish.> Right now the temperature is down to 83 degrees Fahrenheit from 88 degrees Yesterday morning and the thermostat is set at 82 degrees.  Anyways one of my cherry barbs died and the entire school is showing signs of fin rot (ragged fins with white edges eating away at them).  My water quality is exceptional with: Ammonia: 0.0 Nitrite: 0.0 Nitrate: < 10 ph: Steady 7.2 Alkalinity: 140 Fish load: 6 cherry barbs (now 5) 6 gold barbs 6 Widow Tetras (Albino Black Widow) 1 Rainbow Shark The rest of my fish are doing fine and eating well.   <Sounds good....  The Finrot is probably also a result of medicating/treating these guys, and likely will subside as you end the treatment regime.  I think I'd also start doing water changes to remove the salt at this point.> They are looking very happy and healthy.  I added some Melafix even though it is not a real medication, it did stimulate an immune response when my goldfish had an ulcer a while back. <I have seen this do more harm than good, in some cases - do be quite cautious, here.> Is there any non antibiotic regimen of treatment or way to help my school of cherry barbs?   <A good question - and for the most part, completing/ending treatment with the raised temp, salt, and Malachite Green will probably do the trick - but you've got a bit of a tough spot here, as you must complete treatment for ich, as well....  I would at least restore the temp (as you are doing) and lower/eliminate the salt.> A hospital tank is a little difficult to set up <But a quarantine tank would have saved you from even having this happen in your main tank in the first place.  Think on that a bit.> because of my CO2 injection lowered the pH from about 8 to 7.2 but I do have an empty 10 gallon I could use if necessary though my tap water stinks and contains 0.25 ppm NH3, > 0.5 NO2 and 7 ppm NO3 and I can't use that in the hospital tank without an established biofilter for it which I don't have.   <Indeed.  You'd need to run your tap through an RO filter, or use bottled water.  Crazy!> Anyways do you have any suggestions?   <Just as above.> I just find it strange to see only many cherry barbs affected by this weird ailment. <Not strange, really - it strikes me that they're the most sensitive species in your system, and so are showing affects of treatment before the others.  Remember, you're poisoning them to kill the parasites, and also have changed the properties of their water (heat, salt)....  Most fish won't be affected that adversely, but it seems your cherry barbs are just tender enough to be troubled.> Robert <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Ich Treatment, Cherry Barbs - II - 12/13/2005 Hi thanks for the reply, <Sure thing.> The cherry barbs did not get better but appeared to be getting worse with a second death so I set up my hospital tank and went out to buy some Nitra-Zorb to remove the toxins from my tap water.  After the resin purified the water and everything tested at 0.0, I made sure the temperatures matched and used the drip method of acclimating my sick cherry barbs to the hospital tank's water.  I then put them in and after about 2 hours of acclimation in the tank, I started treatment with antibiotics (Maracyn 2).  It has been 3 days of treatment so far and the fish are looking much stronger though they still won't eat.  They at least appear more active.   <Some excellent progress.  Good to hear this.> As for my main tank, I did start the water change regime, 20% every 2 days to remove the salt and added activated carbon to the filter to remove the ich medication.  I wonder if my biofilter was damaged by the medication because the water has become somewhat foamy but still perfectly clear.  The water still tests perfect with ammonia and nitrite at 0 and nitrates below 10.  I've decided to reduce feeding and continue the water changes with gravel vacuuming until the water returns to normal.  So far no new spots of ich so I think that I have the situation cured.   <So far, so good!> All I know is that I will make use of my quarantine tank for every addition to my tank including live plants.   <Sage advice.  This is a crappy lesson to learn the hard way.  I most certainly understand - I *did* learn this the hard way, in reference to the plants....  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> 

Betta With Ich  12/7/05 My Betta is suffering from ich. I have noticed that his tail is becoming increasingly ragged and I am finding pieces of it on the bottom of his tank. Could this be from fin rot, or could the holes left by the parasite be making it more susceptible to tearing? The pieces of tail are scattered within close proximity to his decorative Roman columns. Could he be tearing his tail on that when he goes to scratch himself? I need to know whether or not to treat him for fin rot. Is it bad to mix medication for fin rot and ich? What is the best medicine (in your opinion) that works for each disease? Some websites say that ich medication should be coupled with bacterial medication to fight secondary infection. Is this necessary? If so, is it safe to combine medicines for ich, bacteria, and fin rot or would it unduly stress out my Betta? <Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and change the filter. Heat the water up to 82 F. Treat with Rid-Ich+ by Kordon and treat with Nitrofuranace at the same time. follow the directions on the bottles.-Chuck>   

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