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Old 07-27-2012, 01:06 AM   #1
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
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How can I recover my tank after an ich outbreak? Lost my Goldies, tank is fishless...

After a two week battle with ich, my Goldies finally succumbed. They put up quite a fight. I'm certain that the outbreak was caused by my ignorance and bad water.

My Marineland Penguin 150 broke several weeks ago. My tank was without a filter for about 10 days. During this time, I was on the phone with Marineland (never got through) and did 25% WC every other day, treating my tap water with Prime. My black moor, who I've had since January did fine during this time.

About two weeks ago, I finally had it with Marineland, bit the bullet, and went to Petsmart to purchase a new filter. I bought a Penguin 200 and installed it with 2 carbon filters and used my old biowheel. I also purchased a Red Capped Oranda to befriend my Black Moor. I did not quarantine my new fish (I'm a dummy, I know this now). A few days later, I noticed my Black Moor clamping his fins and bottom-sitting. His fins were ragged and I decided to dose the tank with some Maracyn 2. Dosed the whole tank because my new Oranda was exhibiting similar symptoms. The next day, they were covered in small white specks. I salted the tank with pure kosher salt (1 teaspoon per gallon added each day for three days). They seemed fine for a week or so and then started doing the backstroke yesterday. They didn't make it through the night.

Water Parameters during treatment:
Temp: 70-72
pH: 8.0
ammonia: 0.0-0.25 (mostly 0, 0.25 read once)
nitrite: 0.0
nitrate: 0.0-0.5
salt: 0.3%
Medications: Maracyn 2, Rid Ich.
TESTING METHOD: API Master Test Liquid Drops

I am wondering if adding back my dried out biowheel to this new filter caused a bacterial bloom in my tank. The entire tank--glass, decorations, fake plants--was covered in this white wispy material. Since loosing my fish, I've removed the substrate (sand-what a nightmare!), did a 75% water change, kept salt at 0.3%, cleaned filter, scrubbed glass, rinsed and removed all decorations. I also added stress zyme + and some fish food (as much as I would normally feed) to keep my bio filter going. From what I've read on this forum and others, the salt level should wipe out remaining Ich. I've also read that the parasite cannot survive more than 3 days without a host. Is this true?

I plan on monitoring my water parameters and trying to lower pH over the next two weeks before I add new fish. I know two goldies in a 20gallon is pushing it, but I purchased a gravel vac recently and plan on vacuuming at least every other day.

Am I doing everything right? I really don't want to bleach out my tank, but if I have to then so be it.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. I truly appreciate it.

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Old 07-29-2012, 04:34 PM   #2
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Is there fish in the tank? Also if you increase the temp up to about 86 and leave it for a week the ich will be gone

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Old 07-29-2012, 04:47 PM   #3
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I agree, keep the heat at 86 (cleaning everything was a good idea too, particularly the substrate) for a week or two. The Ich can't survive without a host but I don't know for how long. A safer time frame would be to wait 2 weeks. In the meantime you don't want to reduce the bacteria you already have and fish food won't provide enough ammonia to house two goldies so I"d suggest getting some pure ammonia (ACE Hardware usually has it, the janitorial brand) and dosing to 4 ppms (dose once in 24 hours and dose enough to bring it up to 4 each time).
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:04 PM   #4
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I would say leave the ph alone too. Just make sure it is stable.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:08 PM   #5
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Id totally agree 86 degrees will work good and it also work with a fishless cycle too speeds it up
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
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Sounds like you started your cycle over, the bio wheel doesn't really have that much bb on it. Its all in the filter media.

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