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Getting rid of ick...

I have a 75 gallon tank that houses my three blood parrots, they had two tin foil barbs and an african cichlid. The two tin foils and cichlid died about a month ago.  I had not known why the cichlid died until about two days later when the others had white spots on them.  Once seen I started to treat the tank for ick, did water changes and replaaced filter.  I noticed the parrots had white spots on them and one was swimming weird.  So I did a 25% water change, took all the big rocks, filter cartridges and decorations out and started to treat the tank again.  Am I missing out on something for treatment?



Best advice I've found to treating Ich. I lost one fish when I had Ich in my 55 and used this treatment.
Increase the temperature to at least 84-86 degrees as much as the fish can tolerate. Add aquarium or table salt (dissolved in water) at a ratio of 1-3 teaspoons of salt per gallon of water in your tank equivalent to 0.1-0.3% depending on the tolerance level of your fish.

For basic procedures, here are the steps.
1. Dose one teaspoon per gallon of salt or equivalent to 0.1%.
2. After 12 hours and assuming the fish has tolerated it very wellso far, repeat step 1.
3. After another 12 hours, repeat step 1 again.

While waiting, it does not hurt to add a powerhead or airstone to increase the oxygen level. Over the first couple days, your fish will appear worse and will eventually recover as the treatment progresses. In most cases, ich will disappear on the sixth day. However, there is still a probability that some cysts have not yet ruptured so it is advisable to keep the treatment up for full ten days.

If you are not able to raise the temperature at all especially if you are dealing with fish that lack tolerance for temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you may need to extend the treatment although a good general guideline is to continue 7-10 more days of treatment right after the ich had seemingly disappeared.. At 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the life cycle of ich is quicker. The colder the temperature, the slower the life cycle thus the treatment will extend even longer than required.

Level of Tolerance
For bottom dwellers such as plecos and loaches, you may need to maintain the saline solution at 0.1-0.2% so it will not be detrimental to them although there have been few instances where some catfishes can tolerate as much as 0.3%.

Do make sure your fish can tolerate the elevated saline solution. If in doubt, be prepared to do a water change to relieve the fish of the osmotic stress caused by the salt. Try not to lose focus on the actual saline solution you already administered or you might end up overdosing the salt more than it was necessary.

Clown loaches and young oscars are notorious for getting ich after they are transferred to your tank. These and many others can tolerate salt. If you are unsure about your fish’s tolerance for salt, be sure to look for answers in a reference book or ask an expert.

A salt test kit available at your local fish store will help you get the exact dosage. Something in the range of .2%, is where you want to be.

Water Changes vs. Salt
Should a water change be necessary, make sure you redose the salt solution per the water volume replaced.

For example, a 10g needs 30 teaspoons at 3 teaspoons per gallon of water measurement. If you wish to change at least 50% of the water, then another 15 teaspoons of salt should be redosed to keep the saline solution effective against the parasites.

Teaspoon vs. Tablespoon Measurement
For those not familiar with the teaspoon = tablespoon conversion, a leveled heap of tablespoon is equivalent to 3 teaspoons whereas a round heap of tablespoon is equivalent to 5 teaspoons.

In Australian standard, a tablespoon is equivalent to four teaspoons so please adjust the necessary dosage as much as possible.

Plants Goners Or Not?
Unfortunately many plants do not do well with this salt treatment and may appear to wither but will usually come back in time once the salt treatment is over. Removing them to a salt free environment after a thorough rinsing may save them, however they must be kept at a high temperature or for an extended period of time. When the cyst breaks up in the plant holding tank, the small parasites will be unable to find a host and will die within 24-72 hours depending on the environmental conditions. Ich is easily transferred to other fish tanks so do not share nets, heaters and wet hands between infected and non infected tanks.

Mutual Relationship of Bacteria vs. Ich
Abstract explaining the presence of endosymbiotic bacteria within ich and bacteria with mutual relationship towards ich developing its infective capability can be found here.

Other Treatments:
Malachite Green, Formalin

Do NOT combine formalin and salt.

The advice below is absolutely stellar. I would follow it to the letter. I would first, however, implement Parasite Clear from Jungle. I would do an initial dose followed by a 50% water change and gravel vac, then apply the sage advice that preceded mine, three days after the PC. Remove carbon for the Parasite Clear. I believe I would follow up the salt treatment with another dose of Parasite Clear followed by another 50% water change after 2 days. Carbon back in on the third day of the second dosing.

To summarize:
Raise temp to 85º and add Parasite Clear with carbon removed from filtration system.
Water change/gravel vac on day 3.
Salt tank as outlined above in 12 hour increments.
On day 13 repeat Parasite Clear
On day 16, partial water change and gravel vac again.
Restore water temperature slowly to 78º-80º and replace carbon if so desired.

Best of luck

do not over do the salt.. it wil kill your fish


1> raise the temp gradually... 1-2 degs in 12 hrs... and raise it all the way to 85F
2> Add salt gradually... 1-2 tea spons every 12 hrs
3> i think 1 teaspoon per gallon is too much of salt.. i always added 1 teaspoon to 5 Gs of water and it worked for me
4> do water changes every 2 days.. and re-salt your new water

all the best and keep us posted...

I have done 1 tablespoon per gallon and it cleared them of ick without hurting them. You need at the very least 1 teaspoon per gallon. I prefer to use Mardel Coppersafe, works without hurting the fish or bio filter.