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Ick! Ich woes



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 28th 05, 09:45 PM
Elaine T
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Default Ick! Ich woes

I've never had a problem curing ich before. 3 days of Quick Cure
(formalin and malachite green) and the spots are usually gone. 4 more
treatments 3 days apart and all the parasites are gone. This time, I'm
using Quick Cure and the fish have had spots off and on for 2 weeks!
I'm getting afraid of losing fish. And I am quite sure this is ich -
I've seen it a bunch of times before.

Does Quick Cure go bad? This is a 4 year old bottle. I ordered some
fresh Contra Spot from TFP but if it doesn't arrive today I'm almost
ready to go to LFS and get fresh medicine because things are starting to
go downhill. I've started adding copper to the regime as well, to no
effect.

Water params are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, pH 7.4. temp 78. Tank is
moderately planted. Only sponges in the Duetto filter; no carbon or
resins that could be removing the medicine. Dunno about nitrate - I'm
waiting for my test strips also from TFP. However, I've been changing
25% of the water after every 3 days of dosing as per Quick Cure
instructions and my tap water is low in nitrates so it's probably fine.
The fish do not seem stressed - they are begging for food at the front
of the tank and eating eagerly.

Any advice would be appreciated, especially if anyone has experience
with old bottles of formalin/malachite green. This is horrible - I've
never considered ich a difficult disease to handle!
--
__ Elaine T __
__' http://eethomp.com/fish.html '__

  #2  
Old January 28th 05, 10:15 PM
Nikki Casali
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Default

Elaine T wrote:

I've never had a problem curing ich before. 3 days of Quick Cure
(formalin and malachite green) and the spots are usually gone. 4 more
treatments 3 days apart and all the parasites are gone. This time, I'm
using Quick Cure and the fish have had spots off and on for 2 weeks! I'm
getting afraid of losing fish. And I am quite sure this is ich - I've
seen it a bunch of times before.

Does Quick Cure go bad? This is a 4 year old bottle. I ordered some
fresh Contra Spot from TFP but if it doesn't arrive today I'm almost
ready to go to LFS and get fresh medicine because things are starting to
go downhill. I've started adding copper to the regime as well, to no
effect.

Water params are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, pH 7.4. temp 78. Tank is
moderately planted. Only sponges in the Duetto filter; no carbon or
resins that could be removing the medicine. Dunno about nitrate - I'm
waiting for my test strips also from TFP. However, I've been changing
25% of the water after every 3 days of dosing as per Quick Cure
instructions and my tap water is low in nitrates so it's probably fine.
The fish do not seem stressed - they are begging for food at the front
of the tank and eating eagerly.

Any advice would be appreciated, especially if anyone has experience
with old bottles of formalin/malachite green. This is horrible - I've
never considered ich a difficult disease to handle!


I think Protozin contains a similar formula. To quote the guy at
Waterlife who mixes the treatment: "It is useable for up to five years
from when you first open it as long as you put the top back on after use
to prevent evaporation."

Which fish are affected? Did the ich appear spontaneously or did you
introduce it with new plants or fish? Has something changed to stress
the fish?

Nikki

  #3  
Old January 29th 05, 12:44 AM
Elaine T
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Default

Nikki Casali wrote:

I think Protozin contains a similar formula. To quote the guy at
Waterlife who mixes the treatment: "It is useable for up to five years
from when you first open it as long as you put the top back on after use
to prevent evaporation."

Which fish are affected? Did the ich appear spontaneously or did you
introduce it with new plants or fish? Has something changed to stress
the fish?


5 years, huh. I guess my Quick Cure should be about the same, and it
was unopened. I'm still going to switch to Contra Spot when it gets here.

The ich started when I initially stocked the 5 gal tank with many
plants, a few cardinals, and a small SAE. The parasite must have come
from LFS, although there was no ich on any of their fish when I went
back and looked. I had copper and 1/2 tsp/gal salt in the tank as
prophylaxis too but it apparantly wasn't enough. Ich appeared on the
cardinals within 2 days of buying them. I successfully treated it with
Quick Cure, and did my usual routine of 4 more doses of medicine 3 days
apart to kill swarmers. At this point, I thought all was well.

After I finished treating, LFS had healthy German blue rams and my tank
was running ammonia-free (no cycle because of all the plants) so I got
one as the final fish in the tank. You guessed it - ich on the ram 2
days later. It cleared up initially but came back two days later and
has stayed for over a week despite daily doses of medicine. Now it's on
two of the cardinals again. This is a nightmare.

As for stress, being brought home from the fish store is the main
stressor that these fish have been through. And I believe ich medicines
and the associated frequent water changes are stressors but there's no
way around that. Actually, I think I'm more stressed than the fish!

As I said earlier, water quality is no ammonia or nitrite, pH 7.4 and
stable, temp 77 and stable. Tank is well planted, medium light with CF,
no CO2 but plants are growing with no nuisance algae. Kent plant trace
elements, Fe, and K added at the doses from the back of the bottles.
Food is TetraMin, so no parasites there. The fish eat fine, have good
color, and are behaving normally. I'm at a loss.

--
__ Elaine T __
__' http://eethomp.com/fish.html '__

  #5  
Old January 29th 05, 04:26 PM
Nikki Casali
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Posts: n/a
Default



Elaine T wrote:
Nikki Casali wrote:


I think Protozin contains a similar formula. To quote the guy at
Waterlife who mixes the treatment: "It is useable for up to five
years from when you first open it as long as you put the top back on
after use to prevent evaporation."

Which fish are affected? Did the ich appear spontaneously or did you
introduce it with new plants or fish? Has something changed to stress
the fish?


5 years, huh. I guess my Quick Cure should be about the same, and it
was unopened. I'm still going to switch to Contra Spot when it gets here.

The ich started when I initially stocked the 5 gal tank with many
plants, a few cardinals, and a small SAE. The parasite must have come
from LFS, although there was no ich on any of their fish when I went
back and looked. I had copper and 1/2 tsp/gal salt in the tank as
prophylaxis too but it apparantly wasn't enough. Ich appeared on the
cardinals within 2 days of buying them. I successfully treated it with
Quick Cure, and did my usual routine of 4 more doses of medicine 3 days
apart to kill swarmers. At this point, I thought all was well.

After I finished treating, LFS had healthy German blue rams and my tank
was running ammonia-free (no cycle because of all the plants) so I got
one as the final fish in the tank. You guessed it - ich on the ram 2
days later. It cleared up initially but came back two days later and
has stayed for over a week despite daily doses of medicine. Now it's on
two of the cardinals again.


Is it a constant number of spots? Getting worse, better?

This is a nightmare.


I know what you mean.

As for stress, being brought home from the fish store is the main
stressor that these fish have been through. And I believe ich medicines
and the associated frequent water changes are stressors but there's no
way around that. Actually, I think I'm more stressed than the fish!


I took a week off work when I had a terrible outbreak of ich. I think I
had a nervous breakdown.

As I said earlier, water quality is no ammonia or nitrite, pH 7.4 and
stable, temp 77 and stable. Tank is well planted, medium light with CF,
no CO2 but plants are growing with no nuisance algae. Kent plant trace
elements, Fe, and K added at the doses from the back of the bottles.
Food is TetraMin, so no parasites there. The fish eat fine, have good
color, and are behaving normally. I'm at a loss.


Do you have a spare tank you can set up as a hospital tank? It could be
that the blue rams are more susceptible and are causing the infection to
persist. I can't even say raising the temperature would help as that
makes ich temporarily worse.

The only way I managed to eradicate the worst case of ich I've ever
encountered was to vacuum every inch of the gravel once a day changing
at least 10% of the water, replacing the same amount of medicine as
needed. That was back when I didn't have plants. No way to vacuum an
inch of gravel now!


Nikki

  #6  
Old January 29th 05, 09:23 PM
Elaine T
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

TYNK 7 wrote:
(snipped)


Subject: Ick! Ich woes
From: Elaine T
Date: 1/28/2005 5:44 P.M. Central Standard Time
Message-id:



After I finished treating, LFS had healthy German blue rams and my tank
was running ammonia-free (no cycle because of all the plants) so I got
one as the final fish in the tank.



Please explain your comment about "no cycel because of all the plants" to me
please.

Also....it appears to me that you have been adding Ich with your new fish
because of not quarantining them.
You say the Rams looked healthy, but there are a gazillion nasties that a fish
can be carrying and not visible to the eye.

When I start a tank, I stuff it with plants from a good LFS which has
some fish in their plant system. In the presence of fish, nitrifying
bacteria grow on plant leaves because of the oxygen that the plants give
off. The bacteria on the plants start to filter right away, and
colonize the power filter. Plus the plants themselves use some of the
ammonia and nitrites. If you're reasonable about fish loading, it's
very easy to quickly establish even a tiny planted tank without any
ammonia or nitrite spikes. If a tank as small as mine were going to
spike ammonia or nitrite, I would have seen it by now.

How, exactly, does one add ich with fish when they do not have spots? I
do not add fish store water to my tanks and there would have to be
swarmers in the water anyway. I think it must have come in on plants.
The java fern I bought had just come in. But...nothing in the store has
had ich this whole time - I've been back a few times and looked
carefully. I'm sure they're using copper to prevent it, but so do I.

As for hospital/quarantine, I cannot set up another tank. My landlord
said *one* in the kitchen and I've already pushed that by setting up a 2
gallon betta tank in the living room. My plan was to establish the
tanks and then not kill anything! Besides, I have no more cash, no
spare tank, and no heater.

I got my TFP order in last night with fresh Contra Spot and dosed that
after a 30% water change. There are no new spots on anyone this morning
so I'm really hoping the issue was old medication.

--
__ Elaine T __
__'
http://eethomp.com/fish.html '__
  #7  
Old January 30th 05, 12:58 PM
Dick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Fri, 28 Jan 2005 23:44:38 GMT, Elaine T
wrote:

Nikki Casali wrote:

I think Protozin contains a similar formula. To quote the guy at
Waterlife who mixes the treatment: "It is useable for up to five years
from when you first open it as long as you put the top back on after use
to prevent evaporation."

Which fish are affected? Did the ich appear spontaneously or did you
introduce it with new plants or fish? Has something changed to stress
the fish?


5 years, huh. I guess my Quick Cure should be about the same, and it
was unopened. I'm still going to switch to Contra Spot when it gets here.

The ich started when I initially stocked the 5 gal tank with many
plants, a few cardinals, and a small SAE. The parasite must have come
from LFS, although there was no ich on any of their fish when I went
back and looked. I had copper and 1/2 tsp/gal salt in the tank as
prophylaxis too but it apparantly wasn't enough. Ich appeared on the
cardinals within 2 days of buying them. I successfully treated it with
Quick Cure, and did my usual routine of 4 more doses of medicine 3 days
apart to kill swarmers. At this point, I thought all was well.

After I finished treating, LFS had healthy German blue rams and my tank
was running ammonia-free (no cycle because of all the plants) so I got
one as the final fish in the tank. You guessed it - ich on the ram 2
days later. It cleared up initially but came back two days later and
has stayed for over a week despite daily doses of medicine. Now it's on
two of the cardinals again. This is a nightmare.

As for stress, being brought home from the fish store is the main
stressor that these fish have been through. And I believe ich medicines
and the associated frequent water changes are stressors but there's no
way around that. Actually, I think I'm more stressed than the fish!

As I said earlier, water quality is no ammonia or nitrite, pH 7.4 and
stable, temp 77 and stable. Tank is well planted, medium light with CF,
no CO2 but plants are growing with no nuisance algae. Kent plant trace
elements, Fe, and K added at the doses from the back of the bottles.
Food is TetraMin, so no parasites there. The fish eat fine, have good
color, and are behaving normally. I'm at a loss.


Three things catch my eye, first that your fish keep getting Ich, fish
eating fine and the size of your tank; 5 gallons is pretty small.

I think you have a water quality problem. I don't think in terms of
pH etc., but water changes. My tanks range form 75 to 10 gallons and
I do 20% changes every week. Five gallon tanks are much harder to
keep the water healthy than are larger tanks. You might consider
making changes several times a week. I remember one woman saying she
changed 20% daily, in her case nightly. She found the water changes
relaxing.

I got a shipment of 7 Clown Loaches that all had ich. I had only a 75
gallon tank at the time with about 60 fish of various kinds. It is
200 miles to the closest fish store, so I ordered some medicine over
the internet. It took almost 2 weeks for the medicine to arrive. I
then treated the whole tank. Only 2 of the 7 got better. I later
realized, during that time the 7 got worse, but none of the existing
fish got the ich. My conclusion; healthy fish don't get ich.

Tanks have to process the food and the fish waste. Your comment that
your fish are eating fine raises the possibility you are over feeding.
Easy to do. A few months ago I started feeding once a day instead of
2, thus cutting their food intake by half. The fish are fine, but I
have cut the waste load by half.

dick
  #8  
Old January 30th 05, 08:43 PM
Elaine T
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Dick wrote:

Three things catch my eye, first that your fish keep getting Ich, fish
eating fine and the size of your tank; 5 gallons is pretty small.

I think you have a water quality problem. I don't think in terms of
pH etc., but water changes. My tanks range form 75 to 10 gallons and
I do 20% changes every week. Five gallon tanks are much harder to
keep the water healthy than are larger tanks. You might consider
making changes several times a week. I remember one woman saying she
changed 20% daily, in her case nightly. She found the water changes
relaxing.

I got a shipment of 7 Clown Loaches that all had ich. I had only a 75
gallon tank at the time with about 60 fish of various kinds. It is
200 miles to the closest fish store, so I ordered some medicine over
the internet. It took almost 2 weeks for the medicine to arrive. I
then treated the whole tank. Only 2 of the 7 got better. I later
realized, during that time the 7 got worse, but none of the existing
fish got the ich. My conclusion; healthy fish don't get ich.

Tanks have to process the food and the fish waste. Your comment that
your fish are eating fine raises the possibility you are over feeding.
Easy to do. A few months ago I started feeding once a day instead of
2, thus cutting their food intake by half. The fish are fine, but I
have cut the waste load by half.

dick


Well, I'm certainly game to change more water. I'm at 30% twice a week
at the moment, so I guess I'll have to change daily for a while. You're
right that a 5 gallon is small. It was a gift though, so I thought I'd
give it a try. I kept a stable 2 gallon tank for 3 years, so I figured
I could handle a 5. The 2 had a betta and three white clouds and needed
a 50% water change once a week.

As for feeding, I'm pretty sure I'm not overfeeding. I've fed an awful
lot of fish, both fresh and sal****er. I'm only offering 2-3 small
crumbled flakes and the fish devour the food within seconds. The SAE
doesn't even usually get much and is living mostly on algae. I usually
feed once a day, although occasionally I'll offer a few frozen
bloodworms for a treat as a second feeding. I mainly mentioned appetite
because stressed fish do not eat well.

The other thing I'm going to do is add some fast-growing stem plants. I
have all crypts, anubias and java fern at the moment so they might not
be pulling enough nitrate out of the tank. My tapwater is at 15ppm
nitrate, so it's hard to keep nitrates low.

Thanks for the advice.
--
__ Elaine T __
__' http://eethomp.com/fish.html '__

  #9  
Old January 31st 05, 04:33 AM
NetMax
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Elaine T" wrote in message
. com...
I've never had a problem curing ich before. 3 days of Quick Cure
(formalin and malachite green) and the spots are usually gone. 4 more
treatments 3 days apart and all the parasites are gone. This time, I'm
using Quick Cure and the fish have had spots off and on for 2 weeks!
I'm getting afraid of losing fish. And I am quite sure this is ich -
I've seen it a bunch of times before.

Does Quick Cure go bad? This is a 4 year old bottle. I ordered some
fresh Contra Spot from TFP but if it doesn't arrive today I'm almost
ready to go to LFS and get fresh medicine because things are starting
to go downhill. I've started adding copper to the regime as well, to
no effect.

Water params are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, pH 7.4. temp 78. Tank is
moderately planted. Only sponges in the Duetto filter; no carbon or
resins that could be removing the medicine. Dunno about nitrate - I'm
waiting for my test strips also from TFP. However, I've been changing
25% of the water after every 3 days of dosing as per Quick Cure
instructions and my tap water is low in nitrates so it's probably fine.
The fish do not seem stressed - they are begging for food at the front
of the tank and eating eagerly.

Any advice would be appreciated, especially if anyone has experience
with old bottles of formalin/malachite green. This is horrible - I've
never considered ich a difficult disease to handle!
--
__ Elaine T __
__' http://eethomp.com/fish.html '__


Stores get this. We called it Ichneverendus. Probably from not killing
100% of the parasites, and the survivors are a little less susceptible to
the medication being used. The cure is to flip over to another
medication (and sometimes increase dosage period).

For your tank, can you check to see what kind of temperature swing you
are getting? A kitchen strikes me as a place which could have a lot of
temperature variation between mid-day (or cooking) and during the night,
and a 5g tank will try to track room temperature much more than even a
10g tank.

You are looking for a residual stressor (ie: temperature), which allows
the Ich to move from a marginal existence (in the fish's gills) to
burrowing into their slimecoat for full-fledged reproductive mode.

ps: don't stress, I doubt the fish even feel it.
--
www.NetMax.tk


  #10  
Old January 31st 05, 05:33 AM
Elaine T
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

NetMax wrote:


Stores get this. We called it Ichneverendus. Probably from not killing
100% of the parasites, and the survivors are a little less susceptible to
the medication being used. The cure is to flip over to another
medication (and sometimes increase dosage period).

For your tank, can you check to see what kind of temperature swing you
are getting? A kitchen strikes me as a place which could have a lot of
temperature variation between mid-day (or cooking) and during the night,
and a 5g tank will try to track room temperature much more than even a
10g tank.

You are looking for a residual stressor (ie: temperature), which allows
the Ich to move from a marginal existence (in the fish's gills) to
burrowing into their slimecoat for full-fledged reproductive mode.

ps: don't stress, I doubt the fish even feel it.


I'd think Ichneverendus was funny if I wasn't dealing with it! ;-) The
temperature thing has me baffled because it's so classic for ich. Every
time I look, the tank is at 77 or 78 degrees and the 50W heater mini
compact heater I'm using has plenty of capacity to keep the tank warm.
I'll make a point of checking every couple of hours tomorrow, though. I
think I'll also pick up a floating thermometer at LFS to match water
change temps exactly since I'm doing that so frequently.

I'm stressin' because of how awful it would be to lose fish to a
generally treatable disease like ich. *sigh* The first time I had ich
in my tanks was many years ago. I was given bad advice on treating it
and lost fish so I have a lot of respect for the disease.

Fortunately, it's not gotten severe this time...just neverendus!

Your comments on medicine also make me think I should start really
pushing the copper concentration and add more aquarium salt along with
the formalin/malachite green. Perhaps the onslaught of multiple
anti-parasitic treatments will kill the buggers.

--
__ Elaine T __
__' http://eethomp.com/fish.html '__

 




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