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Old 02-06-2007, 08:24 PM   #1
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Please help, ICH!

Hey all! I really need help. I started a 55 gallon tank last June and everything has been going perfect since then, until now. I recently got a a GBR and being stupid, I didn't quarantine the fish, and I didn't notice it had what I think is ich. It had around 10 small white spots on its body, and I really didn't notice until the next day. When I noticed, I immediately started raising the temperature of the tank. Over a period of 3 days, my temperature is now at 86 degrees F. However, I now notice that 3 more of my fish (1 turquoise rainbow, and 2 dwarf rainbows) have very noticeble new white spots. Is this sudden burst of ICH just the result of the ich producing quickly due to the high temperature, and they're just dying faster? Please help me out ASAP so that I know what to do because I'd really like to act quickly. I'd like to avoid chemicals because I do have inverts and plants that I read won't take well to this. Thank you!
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:32 PM   #2
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Yes the ich grows faster at warm temperatures. Keep it over 86, I would take it to 88 to be safe. Temperatures over 86 will kill it. Keep it over 86 for two weeks after the last signs are gone. If you haven't already up your aeration, warm water holds less O2 than colder water.
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:10 PM   #3
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thanks rich311k!

Right now it's at 86, but my heater doesn't go any higher than this, is 86 fine or should I somehow find another way to heat it. How can I heat it? If I buy another heater, it won't do any extra heating because it will sense that the water is already hot and just not turn on. How can I aerate the water? I have a large HOB filter that constantly aerates, in addition to my canister filter that doesn't aerate. I also have two glass covers over the tank, should I remove these? I have weather loaches so I'm scared they'll jump if I do this.

So just to be sure, it is ok that I all of a sudden see a lot of ich on more and more fish when I turned the heat up? Thanks!
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:25 PM   #4
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Lower the water level a bit, the return from the HOB will keep it aerated. Get a bigger heater ie more watts. You should be able to go over 86f. 86 is the edge and you want to be sure you kill the parasite not just let it have a faster life cycle.
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:27 PM   #5
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I'm currently treating my 75 gallong for Ich as well. The Ich is gone now so it's just the waiting time that Rich referred to before turning it back down. For this tank, I have 2 heaters going in my to keep it at about 88°. My 400W heater could only get it to a little higher than 86° at it's highest setting (which I think is 92°). I put in a 300W heater at the opposite end of the tank and set it for 87°. With both heaters going I've been able to sit between 88.0° - 88.5°. When I first started the 2nd heater I didn't leave the room for very long because I wanted to keep a very close eye on the temps. That night was very rough because I didn't sleep much because I was very concerned with having 2 heaters at such high temps. I feared that the water would become to hot and do more harm than good. I did end up having to turn them down a little bit to keep it stable. If you do decide on getting another heater to run 2 of them, just be very cautious and make sure you can keep a good eye on things to prevent it from over heating.

As far as aeration, in my tank I have a bubble wall at it's highest setting on the back wall. I lowered the water level a good 3-4" as well so the water flow would cause more movement in the water. I don't think I'd remove the covers (unless you have screen or something else to completely secure it) because as you said the fish can get out.

In my experience with Ich, it does seem to spread a bit in the beginning as you're turning the heat up because as Rich mentioned, the Ich does grow faster at warmer temps. As soon as you get the temps high enough and stable you should start to see the spots disappear. From the time I noticed the Ich until the heat finally reached 88°, my loaches had many more spots on them. It never seemed to effect my higher swimmers (Gouramis, Rams, and Barbs). Luckily, It only took my tank about 3 or 4 days for the spots to disappear.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:52 AM   #6
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So if I go to a fish store I should see a heater that has a setting higher than 86? What brands have this? I don't remember but the maximum is 86 that it goes. What watt setting should I look at getting? I have a 55 gallon. I really want to do this ASAP because I noticed a lot more spots popping up. Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:34 AM   #7
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See if you can find a 300 watt heater. Probably going to be a limited choice visitherm makes a nice heater.
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WizardHowl
So if I go to a fish store I should see a heater that has a setting higher than 86? What brands have this? I don't remember but the maximum is 86 that it goes. What watt setting should I look at getting? I have a 55 gallon. I really want to do this ASAP because I noticed a lot more spots popping up. Thanks!
I have a 400 watt Hydor Theo Heater, which at it's highest setting got my 75 gallon to about 86°. I don't even know if it's 92° on the knob, but I just turned it as far as I could, but couldn't get up and over 86°. I don't know how available this one is in pet stores, I think I ordered mine online. The 2nd heater that I added is the Visi-Therm Stealth at 250 watts. As soon as it's safe for me to do so, the Visi-Therm will be coming out of the tank as the Hydor does a fine job on it's own to keep it steady at about 74°. What size heater do you currently have in the tank?
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:35 PM   #9
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I just treated ich problem two weeks ago.

I have a Marineland® Visi-Therm® Stealth Submersible Aquarium Heaters 250W in a 58 gal tank. My room termperature is around 65-73F. And I can heat the tank to 90F without use of maximum power of heater yet.

To treat ich, raise temperature to 86-87F within the first day then raise to 89-90F in the 2nd day. Keep the 89-90F for 2-3 days, then lower to 86-87F and keep it for 10-12 days. When finish, low temperature to 82-83F for a day, then low to normal temperature next day.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:00 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for all the help!
I went to the fish store that was completely out of most heaters because of a sale, and there was only one brand availible that allowed me to go over 86 degrees (hydor theo) , and it was only 150 watts which supposedly only works up to 40 gallons. However I bought it anyway because I'm desperate, and it's been in the 55 gallon tank, along side my 300 watt heater that doesn't go above 86, and I've actually gotten the temperature to remain constant around 89-90, so I'm happy, I'm going to closely monitor though because I don't want to wake up with boiled fish. Thanks guys!
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:04 PM   #11
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Glad to hear you found the heater! I have the same brand just different wattage. It seems to be a great heater as it keeps my tank at a constant temp. Also, just a side note that it's good to have a spare heater anyway just in case something should happen to the main heater and the stores are closed or something (which is normally how it works ) Good luck treating the Ich. You should start to see the spots disappearing soon now.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:33 AM   #12
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Just wondering:

Is it dangerous that I have the 150 Watt heater basically primarily heating my whole 55 gallon tank. It says its for up to 40 gallons, but the store didn't have any higher watt heaters of the same brand. I ask because the heater is CONSTANTlY on to keep the temperature of 88-89, and I just wanted to know if this woudl eventually cause problems. Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:31 AM   #13
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If you were going to maintain that temp long term it probably would were you heaters out quickly. You only need to maintain this temp for a few weeks so I wouldn't worry at it. I would suggest buying a quality heater at Big Als or the good Doctors when you have the money. Online is much cheaper.
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