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Old 03-24-2011, 07:31 AM   #1
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Help!! Treating ich. Heater only goes to 83.7F!!

I have been treating ich now for a long time it seems. When I first got it, I was using meds, but I was also cycling the tank. Ended up doing water changes, but re-medicated for the water I took out. Went through 3 boxes of medicine like this. After that I was still cycling the tank and didn't want to use the meds again so soon. I read about using salt to treat ich and wanted to try this method. I read different articles about how much salt to use and what the temperature should be on.

I have been using 2.5 tbsp salt for every 5 gallons and I had the temperature on 82F. After a week of doing this, I still notice them scratching and whatnot and I am getting frustrated with this now. I posted on here before and someone advised me to turn the heat up to 86F. I have seen this on articles before but was nervous to go up so high. I'm getting desperate now though. I went to the heater in my tank and turned it all the way up. Woke up this morning to find that my heater will only go to 83.7F. Going to get a new heater is not an option for me right now, since this one is new.

Will this temperature do the job or should I go back to meds again now that my tank is cycled?
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
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Are you checking the temperature (83.7) with a thermometer or the heater setpoint? Make sure it's a thermometer and that it's accurate first of all to see where you really are.

Secondly, here's how the heat treatment really works. The elevated temperature causes the ich parasite to accelerate it's lifecycle - it doesn't actually cure anything. By accelerating the lifecycle, it like hitting the fast-forward button on nature. Once the ich reach the "free-swimming" phase of their life-cycle, because they are being accelerated they have basically less time to find a new host as they're swimming around before they die.

So, the warmer you go the faster this occurs. Having it only at 84 instead of 86 is a minor delta, so it may take a little while longer to get through, but it's not that much different overall.

Almost everyone who encounters ich and treats in this method will notice that when they start the treatment, things appear to get worse (in terms of "spots" on the fish) before they get better. This is normal and expected based on what I explained earlier about the acceleration of the lifecycle.

The important part of the heat treatment is to keep things warmed up for 2 weeks after all of the spots on the fish disappear. This is to ensure you've completely gotten rid of all the free-swimmers that you cannot see.

So, long story short, I would hold the course you're on and not reuse the meds at this point.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:36 AM   #3
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Thanks Neilanh! I needed some reassurance that I was doing the right thing with the salt and temperature. I am using a food temperature thermometer to check the temp. It is digital and I trust it more than the strip on the side of the tank. I won't use the meds and I'll wait a while longer. So you think that it would probably take about 3-4 weeks more since I can't get the temp up any more? There doesn't seem to be as much in there now, but I know there is still ich in the tank by seeing them scratch and stuff.

Maybe I'll ask you. My 2 convicts have white on their mouth, but I have noticed them mating as well (locking lips). It doesn't seem swollen, but I notice them scratching their lips on rocks like they are biting the rock. Would this be from the ich or do you think I have fungus in the tank as well??
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:03 AM   #4
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locking of lips doesnt mean they are mating, they could be fighting
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:11 AM   #5
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It could be either, actually. It could be the ich "sores" that you see, or it could be a different fungal infection. Can you get a pic?
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:44 PM   #6
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Pictures of the Convicts

I have a couple of pictures of my convicts. Can someone tell me how to tell the difference between a male and female on convicts? Today has been 11 days since I started using the salt in the aquarium. I can still see signs if ich. How long does this process take? I just feel so bad for the fish. I see them scratching like crazy and it feels like I can't do anything. When I see that it looks really bad I do a 30% w/c and replace the salt, hoping to get some of the parasites out for them.

One of the convict's mouth looks a little better. The other still looks the same.
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