I got Ich for the first time in about 6 years…
I am not proud of it, but I feel that my lessons and mistakes can be of value to you all in your aquarium so here is the deal.
My story starts from going against one of my golden rules of fish keeping. The rule of buying fish from tanks with crappy conditions.
I was at my local pet shop that will remain nameless. Let’s just say that we don’t typically call it by name but rather insert the word “shit” to make “Incredi-shit” instead of “Pet”
I was poisoned from the start because I saw some great looking, seemingly health Boesmani in there. Yes- My favorite Rainbows. These are pretty hard to find with good genetics, so when you do see them, you should grab them.
My reasoning was that I want to breed them and have some different genes in the bloodline if you will. So I bought two males. (I have tons of females already)
They looked healthy in the tank…I didn’t look at all the connecting tanks which I am sure were fish death city.
I brought them home and acclimated them appropriately.
I am not sure how many days it was later that I noticed some ick spots on my beloved Clown Loaches. My natural reaction was to do about a 40% water change. This is typically a GREAT MOVE. (I won’t back down from my stance that water changes typically should be your first attack. However. That is only if you have good water.)
You see- I didn’t have good water. The water at my house had been recently smelling stronger of chlorine. NOT Chloramine. Chloramine
is bound with ammonia….see a straight copy from Wikipedia
Chloramines are derivatives of ammonia by substitution of one, two or three hydrogen atoms with chlorine atoms: monochloramine (chloroamine, NH2Cl), dichloramine (NHCl2), and nitrogen trichloride (NCl3). The term chloramine also refers to a family of organic compounds with the formulas R2NCl and RNCl2 (R is an organic group).
In simple English, You want Chloramine- not Clorine (ALA- Eyes burning in the summer time at the pool)
My water smelled stronger than usual, HOWEVER, I didn’t put in more than the usual amount of Declor- or PRIME. This is the problem.
Instead of making life easier for the fish to get healthy. I made it worse!
So now I have Clown Loaches all covered in white spots. They are MORE STRESSED because of the Chlorine in the water than when I started.
Even more depressing, my rainbows are starting to get it.
Medication time. Ok.
Here is where it gets even more tricky.
I have Clown Loaches with Ich. It is well known in the hobby that scaleless fish are MUCH more sensitive to treatment than NON- Scaleless fish. So I go out and buy some Ich medicine. I read the instructions which say to only treat Loaches (I think it even specifically said loaches too) with HALF dosage.
So here is the problem. I don’t want to kill the Loaches with the medicine but using full strength, BUT— I also want to knock this stuff out so it doesn’t get to my rainbow.
I treat half doses for two days. I should back up and point out that I also raised the temps to about 85. I also added 2 cups of epsom salt to the tank. (I would advise this to anyone. One cup per 100 gallons if you have ICH)
The Loaches don’t look any better, and I fish out two dead ones. Great. With two dead fish I go on full assault. I start treating as directed with full strength as I see that more rainbows are getting sick.
As an aside- I am treating a full 220 gallon aquarium. Most medications can treat up to 100 gallons, So I am really dosing a ton of this stuff.
I used both Furan and the new Tetra Drop ins.
I would have rather just used one type of medication but they are basically the same stuff and I wiped the stores out of each kind, so mix and match was my only option.
I have followed the instructions on both which are basically the same. Treat fish once, wait 48 hours then roll again, after a 25% water change. (I don’t do the water change as I am afraid of my water!)
I do the dosing. While I am doing this I am adding more salt to the tank. (this time only 1 cup. not 2)
I’d love to tell you that every thing turned out rosy. It didn’t. If you just look at my tank you’d think- so what’s missing. For starters. I am out all of my Clown Loaches. (I am not convinced that I could have saved them once they started to get it…but its still my fault for letting them get to that point) Some are MIA so there is a tad of hope…
I lost two of my male boesmani rainbows. I have like 40 Boesmani so I am not crushed but I’m certainly not happy about it. I also lost one of my rubber nose Plecos.
HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE and the Simple NO BS things to do when you see ick.
Step one. RAISE YOUR TEMPS TO 85.
Step two. Get out any “beyond gone” fish. (I didn’t do this)
Step three. Run out to CVS and buy some Epsom Salt (tall box is like $3, that same trip- GO BUY ICH Medicine. Treat as directed.
To take a step back- I should have NEVER bought fish from a place that has such garbage conditions. I also should have done DOUBLE the PRIME when I did the water changes….
Couple of side notes..
Many people swear by not adding any medications and just heating them up. Goldfish Member Sally says “Just wanted to say, I have treated ick 2 time successfully with slowly raising the temp to 86 degrees, and keeping it there for about 2 weeks. No fish loss, no plant loss. Ick gone. No methylene blue, no Epsom salt”
I take the blame for not keeping a close eye on my fish as well. (My wife was finishing her Doctorate and I was a tad occupied last week with the family) Regardless… I “took my eye off of my tank”
Also- For the most part all of my plants were fine. I did add a bunch of the medicine in one spot pretty heavy which my Crypt Balansae didn’t like, but other than that we are pretty good.
Let me know your thoughts or if you have any question about this…
—Keep your eye on your tank folks