AquaRank.com

Upcoming Events for the Next 90 Day(s)

Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Ich Outbreak questions

  1. #1

    Ich Outbreak questions

    Hello, 4A friends: I would appreciate very much any advice you can provide about this problem. I found conflicting information on the aquarium websites.
    Questions about ich. After many years without an ich outbreak, at present I am fighting an outbreak of Ich in my 50g community planted tank. I bought two plecos from a local chain pet store, and kept them in a 20g refugium and observed them for two weeks before transferring them to the community tank. I didn’t treat the refugium. About 4 days after the transfer I noticed a clown loach with obvious white dots, signs of Ich. Soon after I noticed dots on the pectoral fins of my juvenile angelfish.
    I began treating with Rid Ich + which contains malachite green and formalin. 25% water changes, vacuuming the gravel then adding 50 ml of Rid Ich +. This has been repeated a total of 3 days. I also increased the water temp to 80 deg. F. and added aeration. I replaced all of the filter pads in my EHEIM 2026 and in my Marineland Penguin 150 (no charcoal in either). I stopped the CO2.
    Over the 3 day period the outbreak has stabilized but there are still white dots on the 2 clown loaches.
    Here are my questions about ich.
    • Does ich always live in an aquarium but waits for fish to be stressed?
    • Can raising the temp alone to 80+ degrees without chemicals end an outbreak of ich?
    • Why are loaches more susceptible to ich?
    • Is malachite green really an effective ich treatment?
    • With daily 25% water changes, malachite green, vacuuming gravel, raising temp to 80 deg F. and aeration treatment how long should it take to end an ich outbreak?
    • Is salt alone or combined with raising temp above 80deg an effective ich treatment?
    • Can salt be used to treat ich in a planted tank?
    • Should any new fish placed in quarantine in a refugium also be treated empirically with rid ich or with another chemical?
    • Here’s a question from the “way back machine”: As a youth I used to buy quinine hydrochloride OTC from my pharmacist. At times he asked me why I wanted it but I always told him that it was being used to treat ich. IMO quinine is a very effective treatment of protozoans like ich. But the FDA stopped the sale of quinine. Does anyone have experience with this chemical or know if it can be obtained for fish treatment?

    Thanks for your help!
    Zyyoll

  2. #2
    Board Of Directors heatherbeast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Chamblee-Tucker
    Posts
    435
    I can help out with questions for Ich. Sorry you're dealing with this. Depending on the temperatures in the tanks, it can take upwards of 3 weeks to a month for ich to go through the phases of its life cycle.

    Let me talk about these life cycles first, because it affects the hows and whys of treatment. There's 4 phases, although really 3 are the most relevant to fishkeeping hobbyists. The one we are most familiar is the portion where the parasite is visible on the fish as a white spot. You are seeing a thin layer of the fish's tissue over the parasite -- so most water treatment chemicals don't work on this phase of the parasite. You have to wait for the parasites to mature enough to detach from the fish -- their free-swimming state -- before the chemicals work. Many fish keepers will raise the temperature to speed this process up. The parasite's life cycle will be FASTER at 80*F, but the temperature alone won't kill it, just make them jump off the fish and get killed with the ich treatment you are using. /IF/ your fish can handle the temperature, cranking the temperature up to 86*F (and increasing aeration) /IS/ hot enough to eventually kill it -- you will need to hold at this temperature for AT LEAST a week.

    The chemicals used to kill ich do work, but only when the parasite is in its free-swimming state. This requires following manufacturer's instructions on repeating treatment for up to three weeks. Ugh. From my understanding, the prevailing thought is that the copper in malachite green is what kills the free-swimming form of it. Modern formulations like Seachem's Cupramine have the copper ion bound to amine which means it is biologically available to kill the parasite, and doesn't require as much re-dosing. Another tactic that targets the free-swimming phase is very frequent water changes -- you eventually dilute them out. This is a good option to bundle with temperature increases. I would hesitate on the salt, since you have scaleless fish in the tank. If you do not see success with the temperature increase and the substrate vacuuming, gradually increase the concentration of salt until you have the equivalent of a tablespoon per 5 gallons.

    Removing media and vacuuming the substrate is a good idea, since this targets the resting phase of the parasite, where the little (transparent, hard-to-see) cysts are just hanging out in the environment. Unfortunately that means you may cause a cycle in your tank because you are removing all the beneficial bacteria (plug for my talk on June 2nd, btw).

    ------
    I am going to answer your original questions one by one now, although I realize some of it repeats the info I gave above:

    • Does ich always live in an aquarium but waits for fish to be stressed? -- usually it is introduced. It can go for periods of time dormant in the substrate, but I have not experienced this much myself.
    • Can raising the temp alone to 80+ degrees without chemicals end an outbreak of ich? -- Need to go higher. 86*F at LEAST for a week, with lots of aeration. Some keepers like to go for 2 weeks at this temperature.
    • Why are loaches more susceptible to ich? -- Partly due to lack of scales, partly due to them mucking about in the substrate, bottomdwellers are the first fish that ich will encounter when it rouses from its dormant state
    • Is malachite green really an effective ich treatment? -- It's probably actually the formalin in the liquid.
    • With daily 25% water changes, malachite green, vacuuming gravel, raising temp to 80 deg F. and aeration treatment how long should it take to end an ich outbreak? -- 2 weeks, 3 weeks tops
    • Is salt alone or combined with raising temp above 80deg an effective ich treatment? -- It can be. Should be a HOTTER, 86*F, with LOTS of aeration. I would skip salt for now since you have scaleless fish
    • Can salt be used to treat ich in a planted tank? -- I'm not a plant person, so I will defer to them. HEY, PLANT PEOPLE,, can plants tolerate a tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons for about 2 or 3 weeks?
    • Should any new fish placed in quarantine in a refugium also be treated empirically with rid ich or with another chemical? -- I think this would depend on the source of the fish. Your question does say empirically, so I am presuming that means visible spots on the fish. THey really should be in a separate quarantine tank though, since it shares the water path with the main tank, and free-swimming ich can still reach your display fish.
    • Here’s a question from the “way back machine”: As a youth I used to buy quinine hydrochloride OTC from my pharmacist. At times he asked me why I wanted it but I always told him that it was being used to treat ich. IMO quinine is a very effective treatment of protozoans like ich. But the FDA stopped the sale of quinine. Does anyone have experience with this chemical or know if it can be obtained for fish treatment? -- Uh... lemme ask the internet...

  3. #3
    Board Of Directors heatherbeast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Chamblee-Tucker
    Posts
    435
    Quinine doesn't seem to be available anymore, no. It seems like it changed to quinine sulfate for a while. It seems to have been replaced with -aldehyde formulations (the most famous being formaldehyde). This does work quite well on ich, but you have to be cautious with fish for obvious reasons. A commercially available product containing aldehydes is API Super Ich Cure.

    Since we are on the topic of Ich treatment, I'd thought you'd appreciate this research about using a compound from Pseudomonas bacterioa to kill ich... https://phys.org/news/2018-05-eco-fr...g-disease.html

  4. #4
    The last time I had an outbreak of ich I raised the tank temp to 90 and held it there for 10 days, with increased aeration. The fish of course got stressed but they toughed it out and the outbreak was history ����������

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Johns Creek, Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,267
    Blog Entries
    1
    I think you have to assume ich is present in all pet store fish. But I've never had more than one ich outbreak in a tank without adding new fish. I think it is possible to kill it all, or at least knock it down to very low levels of dormant ich with aggressive treatment (which can kill fish). I've noticed products like the 50% formaldehyde/ 50% dye, 1 drop per gallon stuff does work. I use it longer than the label says to be sure I've got it all. It will raise the pH a lot and the dye can block enough light to be bad for plants. The dyes (methylene blue, malachite green, etc.) do kill ich in the right concentrations. They were the first fish med discovered because the dyed ich died on the microscope slides after being stained for viewing.

    The wildest ich cure I've ever heard of is moving the fish every day for weeks into clean water in fresh containers. The ich that falls off doesn't reinfect the fish. Eventually the fish are ich free and any active ich in the tank dies for lack of a host. You can also cook the tank to 86F without cooking the fish.

    As for QT. Typical is a bare glass tank with a sponge filter for 2 weeks. A lot of people used meth blue in the old days (can be hard to get now). Also Prazi-pro and maybe an anti-parasite food. Even this will not be 100% effective, a fish can carry a disease to your existing fish without showing any symptoms during QT.

    I am not a plant person either. But java fern and hornwort will take salt, java moss with not.
    Last edited by Demonfish; 05-23-2018 at 12:01 AM.

  6. #6
    I want to thank Heather and Demonfish for their answers to questions and for their suggestions. I invite other members to share their knowledge and experience with treating the Ich parasite or for their suggestions about how they quarantine fish before adding them to a community tank.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •