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Old 09-04-2010, 01:31 PM   #1
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Battling ich at PETCO // new job

Hey folks, I recently got a job at petco as the aquatics specialist (woo). I have about 2 1/2 years experience working with freshwater fish and feel pretty knowledgeable in that regard but I am completely new to marine tanks.

When I first got there I found that my store had one of the highest death rates of all the stores in this division (because no one in this store knew what they were doing) so for the first two weeks all I've been trying to do is get the water quality at a reasonable level (mostly for the freshwater systems).

First thing I found that I had to correct was the salinity was at about 1.027 and the vendors we got our fish from were coming in at closer to 1.017 so I dropped it down to 1.02. Everything good so far?

Cliff Note Version:

Now, enough background info and onto the question. Because our store doesn't have a quarantine tank i've been trying to treat the entire system for ich. Two clownfish have ich and I have treated the tank about 3 times now with little results.

I've tried freshwater dips but I'm not sure if I'm doing these 100% correctly so could use some advice on that. I heard you could dip them for up to a half hour or so but that's not how I was trained. I was told to get two buckets of water that match the same temp as the system and fill them both with treated freshwater. First bucket I let him sit in it for 30 seconds and then I put him in another bucket that has ich medication in it and let him sit in that for another 30 seconds. And that's it. That ok?

Side questions:

-Same problem with our Goldfish system. I've treated it 3 times now but about 10 GF's still have ich!!

- For freshwater fish is hole in the head contagious? A blood parrot cichlid has it at my store. I was going to start treating him today.

ANY help or advice is much appreciated. Or even just random facts. I'm all ears (or more correctly, I'm all eyes) (Ya I like writing).

Thanks in advice for your time and patience which I'm sure I've already tested.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:42 PM   #2
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Ich isnt going to go away that easily!

Medications take more like weeks rather than minutes.

Id suggest hyposalinity for the whole thing. Sucks you dont have a QT there as petco is going to remain an ICH fest until they get you one. Each new fish carrying ICH is going to re-infect the whole system when added...

This is why I will never buy anything living there...Too risky!

Matt
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:38 PM   #3
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I would stop ordering new fish because theyre only going to get ich too. I would just get the ich under control and then continue with the normal shipments of fish. I dont have any experience with ich or how the chain stores run their water so im not really any help other than stop ordering new fish which you already did probably.
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:24 PM   #4
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Let's be honest here for a few moments. You work in a store that routinely receives fish shipments, my guess is weekly, and expects a revolving door of volume. In other words, every fish should be sold within 1 week of its arrival at the store...at least that is what I was used to. Now, there is no medication that will work in that period of time and without a quarantine system (not just 5 tanks either!) you can bet you will have a revolving door of disease; that's life on the business end. Unless you are performing Hypo. long-term in store (I would not) then leave salinity at an acceptable range (25-30ppt). If you want to treat before animals hit the water, perform a Formalin bath in buckets after acclimation and have an anecdotal copper concentration in the system. I would advise to separate the system so there can be tanks for animals sensitive to copper (i.e. don't dose copper there). If you do not want to use copper then you will have to perform routine Formalin bath or an anecdotal long-term formalin/malachite green combo in the system. For freshwater baths, siphon a gallon of water or less into a bucket, place the animal in the bucket, fill with freshwater until 0ppt. Perform this for 30mins-60mins. Every sp. will have a different tolerance. When you medicate with baths, never walk away!!! Sorry this is kinda quick, short on time. Bottom line is, you are not going to get rid of disease without a designed quarantine system so make the best of what you have to work with.

Oh, and for all those that hate Petco, Petsmart, and other mainstream lfs', pretty much all lfs are the same...majority of the fish all come from one area and a handful of major distributors and wholesalers
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:45 PM   #5
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that's absolutely right about the stores getting their fish from the same places.

also, i've never seen a store that QTs anything. it's just not cost effective.

i have seen stores that run their tanks at about .017, in line with the distributors though. they believe it keeps the ich down to an extent.

what i would do is check the parameters of the water and correct as needed, with water changes and such. make the temporary home as comfortable as possible. are their ornaments/substrate or something in the tanks for them to hide in/behind? is their sand for sand burrowing fish and such?
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
that's absolutely right about the stores getting their fish from the same places.

also, i've never seen a store that QTs anything. it's just not cost effective.

i have seen stores that run their tanks at about .017, in line with the distributors though. they believe it keeps the ich down to an extent.

what i would do is check the parameters of the water and correct as needed, with water changes and such. make the temporary home as comfortable as possible. are their ornaments/substrate or something in the tanks for them to hide in/behind? is their sand for sand burrowing fish and such?
I used to work in a Petsmart that had a few QT's in the back. Really wishing my store had one right now. I've been begging the managers to let me set one up.

But ya the tank set ups are all acceptable in regards to the requirements of the fish. The biggest problem is just the water quality and the presence of ich that will not go away.

Thanks for the advice about the freshwater bath; I'm going to start doing it that way. One quick question though: After the 45 or so minute freshwater dip is it okay to put the fish in another freshwater bucket that has ick medication in it? Like just for 30 seconds or so? I heard that the freshwater dip loosens the parasites and then the second/medicated dip is what kills them?

Thanks for the responses and sorry for the lag on my part
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:33 PM   #7
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Try 30mins first and see how they do. Once you feel confident in how you manage the animals you can raise to longer time-frames if the animals permit. Normally by the time you are ready to take the animals out it is about all the stress their body's can take. Adding them to another bucket of medication might send them over the edge and not worth that risk. If you performed a Formalin bath from the start you wouldn't really need the fw bath imo.

As long as there is ich in the system it could very well just parasitize a now weak animal from the introductory treatment(s) so you may want to completely clean/sterilize the main systems before trying a new approach
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:51 AM   #8
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So I was interested in trying hyposalinityto cure the ich infestation but I heard it would kill the invertebrates/ live rock/ anemones.

I've tried a few freshwater dips with success but it seems pointless until I can treat the system because it will just come back.

Right now the only thing I can think of is using this 'clout' medication with freshwater dips at the same time.
Clout | Parasitic Medications | Fish Medication | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
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