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Old 05-19-2004, 12:05 PM   #1
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Oh no! Ich???

I turned on my light this morning and of couse looked at the fish. One of my swordtails appears to have a white spot on his back fin, and another one on his scales toward the back. Other than these two spots, he is completely clear. He does not appear distressed, and is swimming around normally.

I closely checked the rest of my fish (3 other swordtails and 2 yo-yo loaches) and there are no signs of any white spots on any of them. The swordtails have been in there for about 12 days now, and the loaches for about 5 days.

If this is ich, would it start small like that, with only 2 spots? I did a little research and while it said the loaches should be able to handle 85 degrees, the swordtails recommended range stopped at 82 degrees. I would like to treat them naturally the way most here recommend, especially since the loaches will be extra sensitive to the poisonous chemical treatments out there, but if the swordtails can't handle the heat, what should I do?

Should I start slowly raising the temp now just in case it is ich and try to catch it quickly, or wait a bit to make sure it is actually ich?

In any case, any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
Paul

EDIT : I raised the temperature on the heater from 75 to 77, I figure this will take a while to raise the temp in 38 gallons, won't hurt the fish, and I will have a jump on getting to 85 or 86 degrees if that needs to happen. My LFS said that it was a good treatment to raise temp and add salt, and that copper would help too if I wanted to supplement treatment? I guess that is what they use to treat ich.
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Old 05-19-2004, 12:41 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about you problem. I found 2 little spots on one of my fish 2 weeks ago. Today all of my fish are in a qt being treated for ich. As far as I know the heating up of the tank water will only do one thing....it will speed up the life cycle of the parasite. Now even though you are speeding up the life cycle, you have to have something to kill the parasite. It will not die by just heating up the water. I am not an expert here, or even experienced in this subject. I do know that my fish got it and It was recommended by this site and others to use a product called Cupramine (copper). If you have a fish only tank you can treat the main tank. If you have more than fish, your fish will have to go to qt where you will have to treat them 4 to 6 weeks. You will also need a copper test kit. I hope this helps a little. Here is a link to the thread in which my woes started.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...179&highlight=
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Old 05-19-2004, 02:42 PM   #3
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If you have freshwater, Allivymar's article on Ich actually speaks quite highly of raising the temp. Yes, the cycle will speed up until you reach 86, but once you do, it can't survive. Raise your temps slowly enough to not stress your fish, but quick enough that the Ich will not have time to thrive. It may get worse before you hit 86, but it's good that you caught it now.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=32

As far as the 4 degree difference for your swordtails, I would not worry. This is my opinion though. If they can live in 82 for their range of living, I would think they could handle 4 extra degrees for a couple weeks. My friend put his cories through temp treatment, and they survived. Their top range is 79.

HTH
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Old 05-19-2004, 03:45 PM   #4
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Day 2 at 87 degrees of my ich "temp treatment". Fewer spots on my loach and no new outbreaks on any of my other fish. All of my fish and plants are doing fine with the temperature. My redtail shark is limited to 79 as well as a few of my cories (79-81 amongst the various species). No noticeable problems and some of my plants have just gone crazy with their growth (hornwort seems to really love heat).

Make sure you provide sufficient oxygen for your fish since gases dissolve into liquids best at lower temps (and thats why warm sodas "fizz" more than cold sodas when you first open them).
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Old 05-19-2004, 04:18 PM   #5
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Woops sorry, didnt realize you were dealing with freshwater here.
(open mouth>insert foot)

Hope all goes well.
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Old 05-19-2004, 04:37 PM   #6
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Well, I just purchased some aquarium salt at my LFS. They recommended that once I am done treating, I leave the temp at 78 rather than 75. That's kind of a side point, but I'll probably do that.

The LFS uses copper to keep ich out of the tanks, but when I mentioned I'd read an article that heat and salt would be best, he agreed that if I can keep chemical meds out of the tank, that would be best and easiest on the fish, even if they were outside their ideal temp range for a while.

So....here I go! I will start raising my temperature 3 degrees a day, in 1 and 2 degree increments every 12 hours up til 87. That should take about 3 full days from today. Also, can anyone recommend how much aquarium salt to add and in what increments to add it? Currently, there is NO salt in the tank.

Also, I have allowed the water level to drop a little below where the filter pours in so that the water is falling about an inch. Since this, there are little tiny air bubbles making it all throughout the whole aquarium. This should provide oxygen better for higher temps?

I'd be happy to hear any more comments or advice on my plan as this is my first brush with ich.
Paul
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Old 05-19-2004, 06:04 PM   #7
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What other animals do you have? (invertebrates of any kind?) Do you have any live plants?

Salt is fine for the swordtails but be sure you carefully raise salt levels for your yo-yo loaches. Just do it gradually until you hit the levels listed in the articles section on this website. Now, if you have plants don't add salt! I believe java fern can handle salt but I'm not sure on any other plants.
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Old 05-20-2004, 01:10 AM   #8
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No invertebrates, no plants. I just started out, and wanted to get good with the fish before I made things more complicated.......

I'm assuming that the heat alone will kill the ich? I'm going to wait to add salt until I can get a good idea of step by step how to do it...don't want to make a mistake, especially if the heat will do the job by itself.

I did a 5 gallon water change today, vaccuumed out some fish waste, uneaten food, etc, from the bottom. I figured that if I am rasing the temp to 87 degrees, I don't want to risk adding colder water and bringing the temp down or adding warmer water and bringing the temp up even higher when I am playing at that temp. This way, I hopefully can avoid having to do a water change during the treatment.

The ich spot on his back fin fell off after I rasied the temp to 78 degrees. The one on his back scales is still there. Tomorrow morning, I will go to 80, then tomorrow evening, 81.

Right now there is only 1 ich spot, hopefully I will get to 87 before I have a large infestation. I am also hoping that those 2 spots truly are ich, otherwise I got myself worked up for nothing!

Paul
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Old 05-20-2004, 12:10 PM   #9
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Heat will spend up the life cycle of the ich parasite. I would start adding salt.
As for the one spot/two spot thing--makes me wonder what this is. How large are the spots? Does it look like the spots as shown in Allivymar's article?
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