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So, now on top everything else.. One of my parrot fish has ich.. It was on his fins and now that I got a closer look at him today it's basically all over his body. I bought Rid Ich today to treat him and the directions say to remove the filter carbon from the filter. Problem is, I can't just remove the carbon because the filter is sealed. The guy told me to take the whole filter out. I dont really like this idea since it's going to take days for my fish to get better and my tank is going to run without a filter all this time? Isn't this going to make the cycling of my tank all screwy? My ammonia is already high as it is. The instructions for this medicine suggests that I do 20% water changes before each treatment and the petstore told me not to change the water. I dont know I am going to run this tank without water changes or a filter. I sorta have an idea but I wanted to run it by you guys first... I was thinking of cutting the filter open at the top and remove the carbon. Do you think this will work? or is it a bad idea. I seriously can't believe my fish has ich after 2 weeks of having a fish tank.. =\

 This stuff I added for the Ich made my water blue but after an hour (even before I put the filter back in without the carbon) the water turned clear and isnt blue anymore. Is it normal for the water to turn clear after an hour of putting Rid Ich in? I thought it's supposed to stay blue? lol


I cant understand this,carbon is something that is replaced on a regular basis, how will you do this if its a sealed unit?, also how do you clean the propeller,someone did reply to a post a long time ago saying if you had a regular HOB (whatever that is) you could cut a slit in it to remove the filter

I dont know what a HOB is... but the filter I have has the carbon in it already and its completly sealed. I cut the top of the filter, the floss part and tried to get all the carbon out as best I can and I sewed the top where I cut so it stays shut (just in case theres a piece of carbon that I missed... I dont want it to ruin my filter system)

You can buy the blue fuzzy filter material by the sheet at any pet store. I just bought some from PetSmart. You just cut it to the right size and replace your fliter with it. It doesn't do as good of a job as the normal filter with charcoal. But, it does a okay job. I double mine up.

Thanks, I will keep that in mind. Right now I'm going to see how the set up I have now works out.

I think your set up is better. It has the plastic to make it sturdy. I tried to remove the charcoal out of one of my filters. But, it did not work at all.

Well it was a pain in the butt to remove. I got most of it out.. there might be a few strays in there though. I just wish I knew why my water isnt blue anymore.. No idea if this is normal. I'm thinking whether or not I should add another dose.

It's normal. I've used Quickcure before. It's basically the same thing. It only stays blue for a few hours, then it's back to normal.

Thanks, now I feel better about it :)

I'm sorry I was somewhat vague with my post to you. I just reread your post. Let me try again.

You want to be careful and not overdose your fish with the Ich meds. If it says do a 20% water change, then I would do it. It may slow down the cycle of your tank a bit. But, you don't really have any choice. You need to take care of the Ich asap.

When you cycle a tank with fish in it, it's hard on the fish. It compromises their immune system. That's how your little friend got the Ick. I know it can all be overwhelming when you're first starting a new tank. Hang in there: - )

To my knowledge, the carbon in your filter does not alter ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates. Therefore, it will not alter the cycling of your tank without having the carbon in your filter media.

FYI: HOB filter stands for Hang On the Back.

That's ok! :) It is very overwhelming! lol Not because it's a lot of work but because I feel really bad for the fish. I don't want them to suffer. Tomorrow I will do the 20% water change. I can tell today it is spreading to the other fish. They are all itchy! and my other parrot has some white spots too now but not as bad as the other. I feel so bad I wanna reach my hand in and give them a back scratch =P
Thanks for the info and for explaining to me what HOB is!! :)

My fish look worse today... I woke this morning and saw them on their side gasping for air. One of them moved since I turned the light on in the living room. I saw him swimming towards the front of the tank and rubbing his body on a rock.. now he went back to hiding. I feel so bad I dont know what to do at this point. I really want to change the water but I keep hearing the guy at the petstore saying "your fish are all going to die!" from when I changed the water the last time due to ammonia levels. I honestly dont care if it slows down the cycle of the tank.. I just want my fish to live. Thing that Im worried about.. I change the water and put fresh water with the dechlorinator.. adding more chemicals.. than the water not being exactly right with temperature.. putting them more into shock.. than at noon I have to add ammo-lock since the ammonia is at 4.0 than at 5pm I have to add more of Rid Ich. Rich Ich says on the label not to add in other medications.... I'm completly confused.. =( I'm also so tempted to put another dose of Rid Ich because it says for stubborn ich to add it in every 12 hours instead of 24.

right at the beginning I said that adding chemicals could cause more problems than it solves and to do water changes if necessary, you decided to go with the pet shop advice and now you are seeing what I meant, do a 50% water change then a,20% every day to save your fish,get them swimming and eating and then post water results,if doing water changes every other day you can give half doses or even less of rid ich,raise the temp very slowly, I am sorry but if it was me I would go with the advice from people on this site rather than the pet shop who often only know which med does what,what you can normally expect is to see is a build up of ammonia, usually in the second or third week, followed by a build up of nitrate while the ammonia then decreases, if there are either or both of these chemicals are present in the tank ,it is still cycling ,can take 6-8 weeks,ich is always in the tank,but a healthy fish copes with it, when other things are wrong the fish is not as resistant to it and it becomes a problem,issues with tank cycling and ich can be resolved without the use of chemicals although rid ich is a good one to use,if you think you are going to lose your fish, water changes are always a good idea, you can worry over the ich and tank cycling later, Im sorry that you are having a tough time of it, once your tank is right ,it isn't difficult to maintain it, I have found this site which explains better than I can about it, hope it helps

Thanks, yeah I wish I would have listened to everyone on here. They like freaked me out and I was so worried that they would die if I changed the water. Tommorow I'll take out 50% instead of the 20% and than 20% everday till they get better. The ammonia level is too high for them .. it's enough they are suffering from the ich effecting their gills.. and now Im poisioning them with ammonia :( From what I have been reading.. as long as I dont touch the gravel it shouldnt effect the cycle that much.. so I'm just going to listen to all of you and do the water changes.. even if it slows the cycle down and I have to deal with the cloudy water longer..
Thanks again.

btw... do you think it's a bad idea to get a bigger filter at this point? The filter I have now is for a 20 gallon tank and my tank is 20 gallons. I know its better to have a bigger filter for the size tank you have.. but should I hold off on doing that for now?

i had 4 bpall of them love to lie flat at the btm of the fish tank
is this normal?

i heard some of my fres telling me
it might be the stomach bloated, flu or something similar
but its been a month already.

can ani one giv me some advice?

Oh. No. I'm so sorry your little babies aren't doing well.

Since you're worried about chemicals, I know people cure Ick with raising the temp in the tank to 86 degrees, apparently Ick parasites cannot live in a temp over 85 degrees, and it also speeds up the life cycle. Ick parasites can only be killed in the free swimming stage. When they're on your fish, they are safe from meds. They also add aquarium salt one tablespoon per 5 gallons. But, the thing is, I don't know which is harder on your fish, raising the temp or Ick meds. The parasites probably haven't fallen off of your fish yet. I think they stay on your fish for 3-5 days before they fall off. It can be longer in lower temp tanks and less in higher temp tanks. You cannot raise the temp quickly. It must be done slowly to not shock the fish. What is your tank temp now?

You can also add the salt to the tank while using Ick meds without raising the temp. Using salt scared me in the beginning. But, it's actually very good for fish. I have it in my tank at all times now. If it were me, this is what I would do. However, you have to add it slowly. Don't add it all at once. Put it in a net and hang the net at the top of the tank. It will dissolve easily into the tank.

Your fish are exhaustedl. That's why they're on the bottom of your tank. They may also be deprived of oxygen. Ammonia and meds remove oxygen from the water and the parasites attack gill tissue. If you decide to raise the tank temp, that will also deprive the tank of oxygen. Do you have a aerator in the tank? If not, I suggest you put one in asap.

When you add the new water to the tank, make sure you test the temp to match the temp in the tank. Run the water over your tank thermometer and get it to the same temp. This way you won't shock the fish.

I would still do the 20% water change and follow the directions for the Ick meds. You can also add a product like Cycle to help speed the cycle process along. It's beneficial bacteria.

When the Ick med states not to add in other chemicals, I think they're referring to other Ick meds.

I hope this helps. Please keep us posted on your little fishy's.

Thank you so much for your reply. I have the tank at 82 degrees. It's been at the temp since I started the tank 2 weeks ago and hasnt changed. The petstore said that 82 should be ok when treating them withthe Ich meds. Do you think I should raise it up a little more? or just keep it how it is? I have an air stone in the tank and I lowered the amount of water in the tank so the water coming out of the filter is making bubbles as it comes down. I'm kinda scared of using salt. I've been putting so much stuff in this tank Im affraid to be messing with salt now.. I'm going to continue with the water changes everyday. I noticed since I changed the water this morning the water has got more cloudy. I'm so sick of the cloudy water already and it being cloudy and blue is just gross looking. I feel so bad for these fish. At least they still have their appitites though. I have cycle stuff and I added some of that in this morning when I did the water change. Thanks again!!!

Since you're going to continue using the Ick meds, I think it's okay to leave the tank temp as it is. 82 degrees will still speed the life cycle of the Ick up.

The cloudy water is called a bacteria bloom. It's a good sign that the bacteria to rid the tank of ammonia is building in your tank. The excess bacteria will die off in a day or two and your tank will be clear again. It will probably clear as soon as you do a water change tomorrow.

You're doing a great job!!

I hope your right... Its been cloudy since day 3 and its been 2 weeks now. I'll keep the temp how it is than.

Thanks!! :)

you can expect the ammonia levels to peak at week 2 or 3, it should then begin to drop as the nitrifying bacteria takes hold,(nitrites)then start testing for test for nitrates,which becomes toxic to fish at 40(if it gets that high I would do a 50% water change), all the advice is good, we all have slightly different ideas but you can take it all in,I dont mean to say the treating ich isn't important only that if you ever feel that you are in imminent danger of your fish dying, do a 50% water change, its like first aid,water quality accounts for so many problems, you are coping with all this well, it is a learning experience, we have all lost fish because of something done or undone, how are they today?

Thanks, I did the 50% water change this morning and my fish started swimming around alot more today. One parrot is still hiding in his log but the other at least is coming out and he even came out to eat today!!! I literally had my fingers right by his mouth and he didnt go hide. I was so happy! I got a good look at him as well and the white spots seem to be going away. I only see them on his fins now. I don't see any on his body anymore. I can't see how the other is doing because he never leaves that log. I've been through some sinking pellets by the opening and he peeks his head out to catch it, than hides again. I'm just happy he is eating. My water looked pretty decent after the water change but tonight it's all cloudy again. I dont know if not having the carbon in the filter is not helping.. but.. tomorrow I'm going to change 25%. I'll keep doing that till the ich is all gone. This cloudy water is just so annoying. I really want to get a bigger filter because I dont think this filter is doing much. I see a lot of tiny particles floating around in the water. I'm going to check my ammonia level after I send this to see if that water change helped any.

I dont think you can overfilter a tank, plus you will always have a spare, keep treating for ich for a week after the last spot has gone, this is really important,you could buy it now and run it as well as your other to help with the cycling,ammonia usually peaks week 3 or 4 when the good bacteria kicks in,with having to do water changes this may be later, maybe smaller but frequent changes might be better, although it will take longer to cycle

My ammonia was still 4.0 after the 50% water change when I tested it last night. Today I did a 75% water change and now its 1.0. I cant believe after all that water I took out it's still 1.0... I really would like to get a bigger filter but I dont have any more space at the top to put an additional filter. I dont want to punch out another section on the hood. I did this with my last fish tank and I always had a problem with fish commiting suicide by jumping out and finding the behind the tank. I dont want to make that mistake again. I was told last night that the good bacteria is in the filter and it shouldnt matter if I change the water. This person explained to me that if that was the case than everyone that changes their water would have to start the cycle again. I don't know how much truth there is to that.. since so many people tell me its the water and if you change it it recycles or slows the cycle down. But as far as my filter... this filter is horrible I think. I see so many particles floating around. I dont think its helping the situation. The water just falls out and doesnt even move any water around in the tank.

By the way... My fish look so much better today with the Ich problem!! Omg I'm so happy about that.

The size of your tank is going to cause problems for you too. One BP fish needs a 30 gallon tank. Each additional fish after that requires 10 gallons. I didn't see how many fish you have. But, 20 gallons is too small for just one fish.

When you get a larger tank you'll have to get a new filter that can handle the size of the tank. In order not to have to go through this cycling of a tank again, you'll need to move everything into the new tank ie, gravel, decor, etc. If the bio wheel is the same size, then you can transfer that to the new filter. But, it will probably be too small. You will need to run both filters in the new tank until the new filter has accumilated enough bacteria to run the tank by its self.

Yeah, I'm aware of that situation.. unfortunately I realized that after I bought the tank and the fish. At the moment my two parrots are small so they have plenty of room to grow. I will upgrade the tank in a year or maybe sooner. I'll probably end up using the same decorations and I was thinking of using most of the gravel i have now at the bottom of the new tank (when I do get one) and the new gravel on top. Also Im going to put at least 10 gallons of the water from the old tank to the new one. My sister might want a tank so I might just give her this when she is ready. But for now, I'll keep what I have lol I can't wait to have all these problems fixed and Im praying that my fish live through all this. I wish I did a fishless cycle!!! *slaps myself* :)
As far as the filter.. I was thinking of getting the new tetra filter thats good for up to a 70 gallon tank.. I dont see how that could be bad for a 20 gallon lol.. and than when I get my new tank, I can just put the filter on it without worrying about an uncycled filter.

The only problem would be that the filter you're using now is already building up the bacteria. Your filter has most of the bacteria which eats the ammonia and nitrites. So, you'd need to run both filters until the bigger one catches up.

Also, that large of a filter may cause too much movement in the water for BP's. It may be like a tornado in there. lol!!

lol!! Well we'll see what happens... but I wont put a new filter till I have everything worked out with the tank. Maybe in a few months.

I was just looking in the tank and I noticed there's like a slime build up on the side of the walls is that normal/good? Even decorations seem to be slimey..... What does that mean?

I'm not exactly sure. I think it may be the beneficial bacteria. I know all of my decor in the tank have it. I think it's a good thing.

I'm so glad they're looking better. That's really good news!!

Remember when I said changing the water may slow down your cycle of the tank? Well, that cloudy water is the result of that. The benefical bacteria is building up. But, with the water change it is basically having to start over again. Thus, the bacteria bloom. Hopefully, at some point the ammonia won't be as high and you can get away with not doing a water change or doing less of a water change for a day.

You're really doing a great job!!

I hope I'm doing a good job.. lol I thought I knew what I was doing since I had a tank at home for 10 years.. lol But I guess I dont know as much as I thought and I was just lucky. Im just so happy that they are feeling better. I'm still nervous every morning when I wake up! First thing I do is go over to the tank slowly... and peek in to see if I have any floaters.. or a fish laying dead at the bottom. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I just checked the ammonia in the tank and after the 50% water change it is still at 4.0.. It hasnt even gone down a little.

Sounds like it's spiking. Have you tested your tap water? My tap water has .50 ammonia in it. I have to boil my water or buy big bottles of spring water to put in the tank. It's just a thought. But, it's probably the tank cycling.

No, I havent tested my tap water. The water in my tank has been 4.0 for a week now that I know of. I haven't done any water changes till yesterday really. Tomorrow Im going to remove 75% of the water and I guess keep doing that everyday till the ammonia stays at 0.

I don't know that the water changes are removing much beneficial bacteria. But, by doing water changes it removes the ammonia and eventually nitrites. In order for the bacteria to grow, it must have a food source. That food source is the ammonia and nitrites. By doing water changes, you are removing the food source, so the bacteria dies rather than being removed with the water changes.

In order for your tank to cycle, ammonia and nitrites must spike. If your ammonia and nitrites never spike, your tank never cycles. That's the catch 22.

Doing multiple small water changes is recommended rather than doing one large water change. By doing large water changes, you are removing a lot of the ammonia. The bacteria is living in your tank on the décor, gravel, filter. When you do that large water change, you're removing so much ammonia that the bacteria has nothing to eat. So, it dies. When the ammonia starts to build up again, the bacteria starts to build up again, you do a large water change, you remove most of the ammonia, which starves the bacteria, it dies. You are once again starting all over.

Hope that explains it a little better. Sorry, to have confused you. We were trying to give you the simple explanation by saying you were removing the beneficial bacteria since that is the end result.

Ok, I think I understand better now. Thanks for explaining that to me. The ammonia is still at 1.0 so I guess you can say Im not really starving the bacteria that much? I wont do anymnore large water changes. Just having the ammonia at 4.0 was insane. My fish wouldnt even swim they just sat at the bottom of the tank. Since I did that large 75% water change today they are all swimming around the tank now. Even the one that was hiding in the log for the past week. I'll go back to just doing 25% a day again. Hopefully the ammonia wont go back up to 4.0 again. I'm still adding the ammo-lock.

Thanks again! I'm sorry for asking so many questions! I'm starting to learn.. slowly.. lol

Don't be silly. No question is a dumb question:-)

You didn't realize you were going to have to have your Phd in Marine biology in order to have a home aquarium did you. lol!!

You're doing a great job. The only reason we know any of this information is because we have been where you are right now. Everyone goes through it. Feel free to ask us anything.

lol Thanks :) Okies.. so I'll just take out less but do it a few times a day than. Yeah, I see already my water is cloudy again. I still think my filter stinks.. it doesnt push any water around. I'm sure that's not helping it. I'm thinking about getting a new filter tomorrow... and I have this great idea let me know what you think! I'm going to put the new filter with the new cartridge and get my brothers old filter and stick it in the filter too... so I'll have two filter cartridges.. and I'll be getting the good bacteria from my brothers tank. What do you think? Im thinking of getting the Aquaclear for a 50 gallon.

actually... scratch that whole idea about getting it tomorrow.. because I forget Im treating them for the ich.. and I cant have carbon in the filter.. *sigh* I'll just have to wait till they are cured.. From the looks of it.. They should be 100% by friday and I'll just keep adding the Rid Ich till tuesday.. I guess wednesday of next week I can try the new filter idea.

I just tested the ammonia and its back up to 3.5% again. I would change some of the water now.. but than I'd have to add more of the Rid Ich I think? I'm confused about what to do.. If I didnt have to add the Rid Ich I'd be ok with doing a few small water changes a day... but I dont know how that will effect the medicine thats in there... ugh.. why meeeee lol

The amount of bacteria that is produced matches the amount of ammonia. If we reduce the amount of ammonia, we reduce the amount of bacteria, (starving it). So, when the ammonia once again rises, so will the bacteria. When we remove the ammonia, we kill the bacteria. Stinks doesn't it. lol!!

I didn't mention that when you do the smaller water changes, you can do several in a day. of course, less is better. Just give it some time in between to replunish.

I agree with you that you have to keep the ammonia down so your fish survive. I'm not telling you you are doing the wrong thing, I just wanted to explain it better. Hope I'm helping and not confusing you more.

I don't know how the dosing works for that particular med. But, as long as you replace the amount of med you remove, you should be fine. For instance, if you add 1 tbl spoon for 10 gallons and you remove 3 gallons, you would replace 1/4 of a tbl spoon of the med with your new water.

try aquarium salt