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Best way to kill ich.
I'm looking for personal information. Let me explain. This is not about the Betta macrostoma I wrote about but a younger pair that has never held for me. They started flashing and soon began clamping fins and hanging out in a corner. I hate medicines and find that an infected fish may die from the treatment because they are in a weakened condition. First thing I normally do is raise the temperature. I know these fish come from cool mountain streams and usually keep them at 75-76 F. I set it at 80 and added a tad of salt. This would raise the CE a bit, but was afraid to raise the temperature to 90 which is what I read to kill the parasite. I also set up my UV sterilizer. I know that can not eradicate ich. Actually I have found it does kill any pathogens that pass through near the UV bulb and the only reason it does not eliminate ich is that the pathogen will hide in other places in the tank. The only thing it can do is lower the number of pathogens in the tank and I believe that is working. The fish are still infected but are swimming around. Their fins are spread and they ate some white worms this morning. I'm wondering if some medication might kill whatever is left or do I have to strip the tank and sterilize everything hoping that the fishes immune system will remove any that are on the fish.
I've used both methylene blue and "quick cure" which I believe is formalin and malachite green. Both work, stain decor (and sometimes sealant), & lower oxygen in the water. I think they also raise pH. I haven't tried either in a planted tank. UV will kill the stuff in the water, and keep it infecting/reinfecting fish, but you are right it won't help fish already infected. There is one novel treatment I've read of is to keep moving the fish into clean containers and water every day, as ich comes off, it doesn't get the chance to reinfect the fish. This is what you do if you don't think fish can tolerate meds. In theory, a tank without fish or snails for several week will clear of ich, esp. if you raise the temp.
I think I've read about a fish dip also, but never tried it.
Last edited by Demonfish; 01-06-2017 at 02:26 PM.
Raising the temperature can cause more harm then good. The fish depending on species can be uncomfortable and even more important the fish in their weakened state can catch a secondary bacterial infection as bacteria will grow extremely fast at warm temps. Also there is the other strain of ick that can handle much higher temperatures...
I swear by Mardel Clout. It works amazingly for me. It was originally intended for ponds so it is a strong medication. It will clear ick with a single treatment within 24 hours, (if it's really bad a second treatment might be needed as well). It's one of the few products that kills all 4 stages of Ick, whereas while quick cure or MB just kill 1-2 stages so it takes much longer, and the fish are not as long in stress.
The Clout is safe for all plants, inverts, fish (regardless of "scaleless") and I've never lost a fish from it. I highly recommend it, and It's available on Amazon for cheap
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I always trusted the heat + salt method. Meds introduce unknowns into the water. If you can't test for it, adding it adds unknown variables. UV will help to speed up the process. Just my 2 cents.