White Spot Treatment

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Capt. Neckbeard

Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Apr 9, 2022
Hi all. Already posted this on a Reddit page but I'm impatient and got no responses after 30 minutes, so I'm reposting here to ask for some advice.

I've been keeping platies for several months now (over half a year at least), and just the other day I noticed one had a small white bump on it's head. From checking around I've worked out it's a case of Ich / White Spot, and I've bought some treatment from 'L<3ve Fish' to deal with it.

The problem I'm having is the instructions. I'll admit I'm somewhat dense in some of the actual science here, so I'll go through it point by point: the instructions say to remove the filter bio-media and the carbon before adding the medicine to the water. Is that safe to do? I only ask since, from my reckoning, it seems that the filter would be mostly useless without either of those, and I've been instructed numerous times by a fish-keeping friend that the bio-media is vital to the survival of the fish.

If it can be removed, is there any kind of time-limit on how long they can last without it? The treatment needs to be reapplied after 4 days, then the bio-media and carbon can be replaced. That's basically 8 days they'll be without either.
You dont need to remove biomedia, but removing carbon is essential. Carbon will just absorb any mediation you add to the tank and render it useless. Carbon is in the tank to remove organic compounds, which includes many of the active ingredients in medication. Removing carbon wont affect your biological filteration, as the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate that the biofilter removes are inorganic.

Removing the biomedia will kill off your cycle as you say. But, your ich medication will probably kill off your cycle anyway. So end result is the same either way. I suppose removing the bio media into another cycled tank would preserve the beneficial bacteria until you move it back to the treated tank.

I would leave the bio media, but remove any carbon. Your cycle may survive the treatment, but i would prepare for the need to recycle the tank after the treatment and monitor water conditions during treatment and do water changes if your cycle is effected. You will need to redose your ich medication if you have to do a water change.

Are you sure its ich? Can you post a photo?
I don't have any secondary tank available, what would you advise in this situation? Do you reckon my fish could survive while it re-cycles?

Please ignore the spot on her body, that's just a stray piece of food. She only has the one white spot on her head. It was smaller when I ordered the medicine, now that it's arrived I'm wondering if it might be fungus instead.
Fish in cycle is safe if done properly. Might be a bit of work if you are heavily stocked, but fish survive fish in cycles. Its only a risk if you dont know how to do it.

See how things go.
I've just looked again and I swear it looks like Ich again. Is it possible that if it's either, it might just be curing on it's own?

Ich goes through a lifecycle. The visible spots, infectious stage is just one part of its lifecycle, and during this stage your fish either lives or dies from it. Your medication can only kill ich while its freeswimming, it has no effect on infected fish. It should say that on the box or bottle. So, yes fish recover from ich without medication, but unless your medication is in the water during its freeswimming stage it will reinfect your fish.

Also, ich will be in many (maybe even the majority) of aquariums. Otherwise healthy fish can be infected with ich, but with their immune systems in tip top condition they never show signs. But, sometime in the future something happens to weaken them, maybe poor water quality or some other infection and ich reappears. It never actually went away, but you just saw no signs.

If its fungal, then also yes. Your fish can recover from infections without medication if provided good, clean water. In fact i would never recommend medicating a main display tank if you can avoid it, because you risk killing off your cycle, medicating is stressful for fish, so no need to treat other healthy fish in your tank when keeping pristine water could solve your problem.

The not medicating main display tanks doesnt apply to ich BTW. You need to medicate the whole tank, because its the parasite in the water column you are killing, not the parasite on the infected fish. You have to presume that if one fish is infected its in the water also and all your fish are or could be in the future infected.
The bottle clarifies it's for parasitic diseases in general, as well as specifically White Spot / Ich. It attacks the parasite on the fish, and is to be used when you can actually see them.

Is there anything you'd recommend I do here? I have 5 adult platy fish and a handful of about 7 or 8 fry all in the tank. So far this is the only one showing any kind of symptoms. My options (so far as I can see it) are to either

1. Let it run it's course and hope for the best
2. Remove the bio-media, add the medicine, then cycle the tank with the fish still inside it (which is risky and stressful for the fish)
3. Same as 2, but find a way of keeping the bio-media alive until it goes back in (which doesn't seem possible at all, frankly)
I wouldnt trust that medication to treat ich then. The parasite is buried in the fish, and ive not heard of any medication being able to kill ich parasites when they are in the feeding stage. The aquarium hobby is rife with products that make false claims to get you to buy stuff.

What treatment is it?
Pets at Home homebrand medications? Waterlife protozin would be my recommendation on whats readily available in the UK for treating ich. I think maidenhead aquatics stores usually stock waterlife products.

Having said that, as previous post, i dont think its ich.
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