1. Welcome to Aquarium Space! We are a friendly online community for aquarium owners all over the world who love their tanks including their fish, reefs, corals, invertebrates and their aquatic livestock. If you haven't joined yet, we invite you to register and join our community!

Understanding Ich And Cure Ich / Ick

Discussion in 'Fish Diseases & Cures' started by Anthony, Nov 7, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Anthony

    Anthony Thread Starter Active Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Ich Information And Cure Writeup In Progress...

    Ich or Ichthyophthirius multifiliis to be technical, is a disease everyone will encounter in their hobby at one point or another. It is the largest known ciliated protozoan found on fish. It can be identified as little white spots similar to salt on the body and fins of the fish. Other symptoms include flashing or rubbing against rocks and substrate, clamped fins, labored breathing, loss of appetite, reclusive behavior, and hovering in low current areas.

    Ich has three life stages: Trophont, Tomont and Thermonts.

    When the parasite is visible it's a fully, or nearly, developed trophont that is buried under the fish's slime coating. While it's under their slime coating it is protected from chemical treatments. At this stage it's likely feeding on the fish's bodily fluids until it's swelled many times it's original size. With tank temperatures ranging from 74-80 degrees this stage will last a few days.

    The Tomont stage is when the parasite falls off the fish and attaches itself to the any surface in your tank. During this time the parasite can be killed with chemicals. After attaching itself it begins it's reproductive stage, rapidly dividing. At this point it is again immune to chemicals. After a few days the cyst will rupture releasing hundreds of organisms that will then grow cilia and begin to swim around the tank looking for a host.

    At this point they are now thermonts. If they do not find a host within a few days it will die. Medication is again effective at this stage.

    Leaving ich untreated will almost always cause death.

    In some cases medication purchased from the pet store can be used. Personally I avoid medication when possible so to cure ich I use the heat and/or salt method. If you go this route, follow the directions for the medication you purchase. Do not combine medication with the following treatments.

    Heat:
    When using the heat method to literally destroy the organism you'll want to set your tank temperature at 86-87 degrees. Be sure to slowly increase the tank temperature no more than 2 degrees per hour. It is VERY important that when you do this you make sure you have A LOT of surface water movement to allow oxygen to enter the water. Warmer water decreases oxygen levels. After the tank reaches 86-87 degrees, maintain that temperature for about 10 days or a minimum of 4 days after you last saw signs of ich. You can combine this method with the salt method explained below.

    Salt:
    The type of salt you use is important. Do not use marine salt or cichlid salt. You will want to use Sodium chloride, NaCl. Aquarium salt is the most widely used form because it does not contain iodine or anti-caking agents that table salt does. That being said, I have used table salt without ill effects in an emergency. There are also several credible sources that agree that table salt is completely harmless to fish.
    3 tablespoons per 5 gallons of water can be used if you combine this treatment with the heat method from above. If you are attempting only the salt method 5 tablespoons per 5 gallons can be added. Always dissolve the salt in some water before introducing it into your tank. Some fish will stress out to the point where the salt needs to be removed. If you see any signs of stress immediately do several water changes to remove the salt from the tank. Like the heat treatment, leave the salt in the tank for 10 days or 4 days after you last saw signs of ich. After about 14 days the salt can be removed by doing several 50% water changes.
     
  2. genettico

    genettico New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    good info! I have an observation. Heat only stimulates higher metabollic rates, thus making the parasite die "faster", it does not "destroy it". Increasing water temp by 2 degrees per hour is a huge differential. This sudden water change will stress the fish making them more susceptible to the parasitebecause of a lowered immune system.I would only do about 2 degrees per day until the desired temperature is reached. About 82-84f degrees. Heat DOES affect oxygen levels and because of this ,it is recommended to lower TDS concentrations in the tank to allow for better oxygen potential. A lower SG to about 1.018 to .020 is good for marine systems. You can also deal with specific fish if the ick is only attacking one, this way you DONT have to stress the rest of the population and making them prone to the parasite. A freshwater dip of the same temp and PH on marine fish for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes destroys the parasite by hyposalinity.
     
  3. Blueiz

    Blueiz New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As far as table salt, its completely safe to use. Iodized or uniodized, it doesnt make a difference, theres not enough iodine in the salt to harm the fish. Its way cheaper than using salt sold specifically for aquarium use. Ive always used 2 teaspoons per gallon to treat with salt for ich with success. I cant recall exactly what temperature will actually kill ich by itself, raising the temp while treating with salt is mainly used to speed the lifecycle of ich up to get it off your fish into the free swimming stage where it can be killed..

    Very good right up!
     
  4. genettico

    genettico New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    True you can use table salt without ill effects to the fish. Just as long as you measure sillica values, since they are much higher in regular table salt and if they pick, you are likely to suffer not from ich but algae issues. Great contribution Blueiz!
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Top Poster Of Month

    another good way to help with ick is to prepare some frozen foods ( i have my own little concoction if anyones interested..but useing real clove garlic instead of bottled as it loses zest over shelf life...this will help with the immune system of the fish ( i would qt the fish in a smaller tank while waiting the standard 4 to 6 weeks ( up to 8 weeks imo) letting the ick die off in the tank ( running a fishless system for that lenghth of time) once the ick is no longer and issue on ur fish or in your system continue to use the home made frozen food w/ garlic as a basic food ( there are various ways to prepare to give a mix up of foods) for your fish to ensure great immune system.. JMO
     
  6. Anthony

    Anthony Thread Starter Active Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    That's fine Dawn. No need to delete your post. :D
     
  7. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
  8. jrow8162

    jrow8162 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ick on Clown Loaches

    Ick on Clown Loaches

    So I was on my way to bed last night and when I went to feed my fish I noticed my two Clown Loaches were covered in Ich. All I had on hand was Maracide which is made by Mardel. One treatment for my tank used most of the small bottle that I had. They were both still alive when I woke up this morning but when I got home one of my Clowns was dead. I went out and bought some Quick Cure. The question I have is when treating Ich do I need to remove the carbon from my filter and should I do a water change before I treat with the Quick Cure? I just did a water change on Sunday... I also dont want to overdose the tank and this tank also has Neon and Serpae Tetras in it. I dont want to lose the other Loach so any additional advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  9. Anthony

    Anthony Thread Starter Active Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches

    Do NOT treat your loaches with chemicals according to the directions. That alone can easily kill them. If you MUST use a chemical use it at half the recommended dosage.

    Your safest treatment method will be to do the HEAT ONLY method according to this thread.
    Understand Ich and Cure Your Fish
     
  10. stevenrox

    stevenrox New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches

    yea heat and salt should work fine
     
  11. jrow8162

    jrow8162 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches

    I saw that thread earlier. I just didnt know if I was too late or not. The directions say to use half the dose for tanks with Tetras in them. Would that still be bad for the Loach? I'm also out of salt and forgot to pick that up at the store. The loaches are my favorite and I dont want to lose the other ones. I'm also trying to relocate the Angel and the Tetras so that I can move my Africans into this tank...
     
  12. Anthony

    Anthony Thread Starter Active Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches

    No no, don't use salt with loaches either.

    Leave ALL fish in the current tank. Even if they show no signs of ich they could still have ich in their gills and by moving them you'd only infect another tank. Do the heat method according to the thread I showed you and everything should be fine.
     
  13. jrow8162

    jrow8162 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches

    So no quick cure? He looks pretty bad.
     
  14. Anthony

    Anthony Thread Starter Active Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches

    How long has he had it ?
     
  15. YellowCichlid

    YellowCichlid New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches

    Medication is a last resort for me
     
  16. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Active Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches

    Heat will do the job.... 86 degrees and Ich cannot live.... 84 and it speeds up the life cycle of Ich by almost double...
     
  17. jrow8162

    jrow8162 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches

    I'm starting to think that this is what killed my 7 year old Pleco a couple of weeks ago. He was laying upside down on the airstone all the time and wouldnt move until I stuck my hand in there to check on him. Guess he was using the airstone instead of scratching on the rocks... He didnt look all that great when he was doing it too.
     
  18. jrow8162

    jrow8162 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches


    I'm not sure. If its what killed the Pleco its probably been in there for a while. Maybe a week or more. I just noticed it on the Loaches around Midnight last night and they were covered in it!
     
  19. Anthony

    Anthony Thread Starter Active Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches

    Use the heat method and if there's no improvement in a few days then you can use a med if you'd like.
     
  20. jrow8162

    jrow8162 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Re: Ick on Clown Loaches

    I'm at 82 now. I started raising it last night and raised it a little more before I left for work today. I'm working from home tomorrow so I'll be able to watch it more then. None of the other fish are showing any signs of anything. I'll keep raising it every hour tonight until I get it to 86. Thanks guys!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.