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Old 02-22-2016, 10:46 PM   #1
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Ich in my saltwater tank

I had hoped I was wrong when I saw a spot on the fin of my new royal gramma. But another spot showed up today. Time to learn how to treat ich in my marine tank.

From what I have read, using heat won't work the same way it does in a fresh tank.

Copper won't work because I have inverts.

There is no way I am going to catch this fish. My rocks give her too many places to hide. I would have to decimate my tank to get her.

I have read where some people say to lower your salinity, and tonight I read where you are supposed to raise your salinity to battle ich.

She is still eating and acting normally with just a little flashing, but not much stress showing yet.

What do I do? I probably should have asked this question about 4 days ago when I saw the first spot, but one of the places said it might go away on its own. Now, with the other spot showing up, it is time to figure out something to do.

I am due for a water change tomorrow (Tuesday) so I could adjust salinity, or start to anyway.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:32 PM   #2
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You can't really beat ich without chemicas, but you can make your fish healthy enough to fight it off. Like the cold virus, it's always around us, but when we are healthy we fight it off. I've used garlic extract on food and immune booster before. I have puffer, lionfish, and an eel so copper is out of the question but I've kept it at bay for 2 years.

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Old 02-23-2016, 12:48 AM   #3
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You can't do any type of treatment for ich in a display tank. You'll kill everything that isn't a fish off.
You are only mentioning a spot here and there, you are SURE that it isn't sand? If this is ich, though I would tend to agree with there being flashing, you will either need to address this in a hospital tank or by ensuring that all parameters are pristine and that the pure and stable water quality will be enough to support the fish's immune system.
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Old 02-23-2016, 02:36 AM   #4
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one way to tell if it is ich or sand is look at it with just actinic lighting on. If it is ich it will fluoresce white a bit, if it's sand it just looks like sand.


I have this scare every so often and that is one way I found to tell easily.


Hyposalinity treatment is the safest proven method of treating ich, but it will also kill any other crustaceans and coral.
While many attribute success to garlic, there is no science that supports it, but that is not say it can't help.
Ich isn't always present in OUR tanks, but you can be pretty certain it is in any lfs or suppliers systems, so any new fish should be quarantined if possible.


one thing you can do is to do small water changes daily using a gravel vac vacuuming up from the sand bed each time. The cysts you see on the fish are actually the end stage of their life cycle. When they disappear it is because the cyst has ruptured releasing thousands of trophonts (larval ich) into the system. Then they settle in the substrate for about 10 days, then on to a free swimming stage, the only stage of the life cycle when they are susceptible to treatment, until they attach to a fish and begin the cycle all over again.
By regularly vaccing the sand, you remove some of the trophonts.
Flashing/scraping the gill plates and rapid, labored breathing are the first symptoms as the ich gets trapped/attached in the gill tissue and it is much easier than attaching to the body or fins.


What else is in the tank?
is the gramma the only fish?
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:41 AM   #5
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I have the gramma, and B/W ocellaris, a peppermint shrimp, an emerald crab, and a trochus snail. It is a 20 gallon tank. I had a 10 set up since last summer and just upgraded to the 20 and added the gramma a few weeks after set up and good water tests.

So there is not any direct treatment without catching the fish?

I keep my water params pretty good, so I have to hope that is enough? I hate just waiting and watching.
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:08 PM   #6
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Did my PWC today. I did 3 gallons instead of my usual 2, and wiped down and cleaned out the equipment in the tank (which I normally do). I am going to have LFS do another water test this weekend, and I assume everything will be in line as usual. Now I wait to see what happens.
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Old 02-26-2016, 05:07 PM   #7
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You can beat ick without chemicals, Try a freshwater dip.It works because I did it myself a few days ago for ick spots on my fish.
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:57 PM   #8
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You can beat ick without chemicals, Try a freshwater dip.It works because I did it myself a few days ago for ick spots on my fish.
I'm afraid you are wrong once it is in the system the only way to fully remove it is go fallow and remove all fish to QT however if you feed well then they will build up an immunity to it if you lucky but Ich will always be in the system just waiting for a drop in an immune system or some stress and it will strike !!

Yes dipping the fish will offer some relief make sure PH is the same and temp if freshwater dipping but as soon as it goes back into the DT the ich is waiting !!
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:11 PM   #9
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No, you don't have to break the whole system down if you catch it early. ick has to fall off of the host and be in the free floating stage to infest a tank. When I see one or two spots it's time to remove the fish.Plus my system is pristine, So I'm not worried about it coming back.
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:18 PM   #10
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I have medicines for parasites if everything else fails. Kordon ick attack. Got it from Pet store for 15.99, it works but you'll have to dose the QT tank for 3 weeks or more.
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