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Old 03-29-2007, 05:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Way To Get Rid Of Ich

I haven't had cardinals in a long time, but I had great luck treating my rainbowfish with 2 tablespoons/gallon. It worked when the formalin/dye meds didn't.

It seemed to kill off a lot of my Ambulias (the salt), although there might have been something else going on at the time.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Way To Get Rid Of Ich

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Originally Posted by Lord Nibbler View Post
I haven't had cardinals in a long time, but I had great luck treating my rainbowfish with 2 tablespoons/gallon. It worked when the formalin/dye meds didn't.

It seemed to kill off a lot of my Ambulias (the salt), although there might have been something else going on at the time.

There are rare but nasty hybrid white spots that are resistant to heat and normal dose of meds. High concentration of salt will work, but it can cause problem for weak fish. I've dosed up to three tablespoons per 10 gal with 100% success.
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Way To Get Rid Of Ich

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There are rare but nasty hybrid white spots that are resistant to heat and normal dose of meds
All white spots are resistant to meds and salt. Heat isnt a treatment used to kill Ich, it is used to 'perfect' the environment so Ich can grow faster, so to speak. This is used so that it will fall off the fish sooner rather than later, at which point it becomes vulnerable to treatment. Try doing a google or yahoo search for "heat resistant Ich"...you will find absolutely no infomation to suggest that this is true, nor does anyone, out of millions of websites, seem to even make that statement other than here. Ich which has become resistant to meds, yes, but heat, no.

I recently wrote up a sort of 'prove yourself' post with a lot of information and resources to support the use of the salt and heat method which you can see HERE. I also picked up an API liquid salt test today and played around with trying to figure out how much salt is needed to result in a solution of 0.05% salt in a mixture of water. In three cases, one teaspoon per gallon of water resulted in about 0.06% salt solution (as was told to me by a good friend, but I wanted to double check that for myself before I started spreading that information). This 0.05% salt solution is often recognized by many experts as being sufficient for Ich treatment and may be less 'risky' for plants and scaleless fish, including tetras.....and probably less harsh for 'weak fish' as well.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Way To Get Rid Of Ich

Sure, and there's only one strain of cold, AIDS, cancer, etc.... You are the man.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Way To Get Rid Of Ich

It's amazing how many myths still remain about what is probably the simplest fish disease to treat. Mad Dog has gotten pretty much everything right on the money. Nice to see someone who has done his research -- thanks for your efforts, MD. (The only error I see was his statement that CO2 displaces O2 from the water column -- not true, but it's a minor mistake and the point about temperature's relation to O2 concentration remains.)

Just want to quickly dispel a couple of myths that have reappeared in this thread. Special salt is not necessary. You can use plain old iodized salt; don't waste the extra cash at your LFS on "aquarium salt," and don't feel the need to run out to the supermarket in search of kosher salt if you don't already have it in your cupboard. The amount of iodine you will place into the tank using iodized salt is minuscule. It will not have an adverse effect on your fish. (Consider the fact that many aquarists regularly dose higher concentrations of iodine when they are keeping shrimp in the tank. The fish don't care.)

Re: the heat-only method. Virtually all strains of ich will die at ~86F and above. But are you sure the water will always be above 86F? Do you trust your aquarium thermometer and your heater's thermostat that much? Are you sure there are no low-flow zones in the tank that could get cooler? And so on. Heat alone is a scientifically sound method, and if you're confident in your temperature measurements, it will probably work. But there is so little disadvantage to the rock-solid heat + salt method, I have never tried to use heat alone.

As far as tetras being too sensitive, I can't find any account of tetras reacting poorly to the relatively low concentration of salt required to treat ich. Same goes for scaleless fishes like cories.

David Sullenberger has penned an excellent primer on ich that covers these points and others. More importantly, it offers a treatment walkthrough that leave little room for error. Highly recommended.

And thanks again to MD for his informative posts on this common aquarium parasite.
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:21 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Way To Get Rid Of Ich

Amen TPIRman! Thanks for clearing that Co2 issue up for me. Check out this picture and short video of a situation I recently noticed in my newly planted tank...I had raised the temperature in the tank in reaction to a couple of white spots that I had noticed on a rummy nose and rainbow in the tank. Since I was not sure if the white spots were Ich, I used the heat method since it is basically non-invasive and has ness negative aspects than dosing medications on a 'just-in-case' basis:


http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...t=LackofO2.flv

I had not thought the decision to raise the temp in the tank through enough and obviously did not consider the reduced O2 factor...as you can see, almost every one of my fish are at the surface gasping for air. Since I have never had this issue in any other tank when doing the same thing, I assume that it has something to do with the CO2 and reduced surface aggitation in this new planted tank. All I did was turn an airstone on and raise the spraybar above the water level so that it made a lot of surface disruption. The potential Ich is now cleared up and may not have been ich at all in reality. I am running UV on this tank as a precaution anyways.

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Sure, and there's only one strain of cold, AIDS, cancer, etc.... You are the man.
Applying that same brand of common sense you are always advertising, I will say that since Ich is not a bacteria or virus, it does not evolve as quicky as you are suggesting and so comparing it to other bacteria and viruses is unfair and like comparing apples to school buses (not oranges since they would both be fruit). Also, common sense would also state that if all bacteria and viruses were able to evolve to become immune to heat, then making sure that you cook your hamburgers to some predetermined internal temperature would not help and you would probably not be able to afford an aquarium nor a computer with internet due to your extremely high medical bills.

Once again, I am only here to learn, however, I feel that if I can help ensure that misnomers and misinformation dealing with topics that I am experienced with are squashed before they spread like a cancer, then yea, I am the man.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:49 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Way To Get Rid Of Ich

Fish have been around much longer than people (unless you're GWB). If you have a degree in biological science, then you would never claim that there is ONLY ONE strain of white spot, one strain of TB, one strain of fluke, etc....

How long has AIDS been around? Do you still believe that there is only one type of aids virus?
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:15 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Way To Get Rid Of Ich

I've always read that it's not necessarily the iodine in the salt, but the anti-caking agents used that are irritating to the gills.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:48 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Way To Get Rid Of Ich

The anti-caking concern is also a myth. The quantities are too minute to harm fish. See the piece "The Salt of the Earth, The Salt of the Sea" by Robert T. Ricketts.

As far as temperature-resistant strains, it seems that people are talking past each other. The confusion seems to stem from the fact that high temperatures are used toward two different ends in ich treatments.

In terms of speeding up ich's life cycle, no, there is not any strain of ich that has built a "resistance" to heat used in this manner. Increasing temperature will hasten ich's life cycle without fail.

In terms of using heat to kill ich, there have been reports of rare ich strains that can withstand temperatures above 86F. Because of this, the University of Florida (which has done a good deal of study on the matter) recommends a temperature of 90F if you decide to use heat-only treatment. Although such high-heat strains of ich are rare, this is yet another reason why heat + salt is your best bet once you have made a firm diagnosis of ich.

In other words, both Mad Dog and furballi are right. MD is discussing heat use in terms of the life cycle -- a fundamental biological process to which no ich has developed a "resistance" -- and furballi is discussing it in terms of high-temperature death. I don't see where MD claimed there was only one strain of ich, so I don't understand why we're hammering on that point.
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:33 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Way To Get Rid Of Ich

Here is the thing...and this is applying all of my common sense and experience, which is semi-substantial even though I don't have a biology degree hanging on my wall....

First, you need to consider TWO items when you find Ich in your tank: #1.) How to kill or otherwise rid your tank of the Ich protozoa and #2.) How to do that but keep the fish alive in the end.

In my overly lengthy and notoriously boring post on the "salt and heat" treatment, which can be read by clicking HERE, I refer to and cite the University of Florida's study and findings on Ich that TPIRman brings up above (that article can be viewed by looking HERE, if you are interested in such things). Anyways, that article, along with the others I used, shows very clearly that salt and heat work well in an aquarium for treating this issue. Keep that in mind as you read further....

So, we know that when subjected to a higher water temp, Ich does a couple things:
1.) The more 'ideal' environment of living in water temps in the lower 80 degrees (F) range makes it grow faster, live shorter, fall off fish more rapidly...which ever way you want to put it.
2.) The most common information that I have come across states that Ich cannot reproduce at temps above 89 degrees (F), and/or dies at that temp. My thinking is that since it cannot reproduce at that temp, and since this higher temp also speeds up the life cycle of Ich, there is the appearance of Ich dying off completely.

However, and this is a big HOWEVER, what is not being addressed here is the second item I pointed out at the beginning of this rant....what effect will that high of a temperature have on the fish, inverts, and plants that we keep in our tanks? It is a big consideration, don't you think?

Hence, the information that 90 degree temps is not useful to everyone of us because we may have fish, inverts, or plants which cannot survive in that environment. As I have stated before, since we are giving out information to others, most commonly related to a fish or aquarium that we have never seen in real life and thus, do not know every bit of information or variable that may play a part in the success or failure of a specific treatment, idea, opinion, or even fact we give out, IMHO, it is best to make an attempt to suggest the most holistic (meaning something that works while considering any and all variables at the same time) approach available. So, for the record, this is why I often times skip a lot of these facts which are useless to many other than to prove how smart you or I am compared to someone else. It in no way means that I haven't considered them.

That said, lets keep in mind my original tidbit of information that I posted at the very beginning of this member's thread...warmer water holds less dissolved oxygen than cooler water. (That is a plain out, straight fact, that no one should be able to dispute or attempt to dispute by the way) My fear is that since we all probably have plants in our tanks, which, as I have learned since joining this otherwise fantastic forum, become a strain on dissolved O2 levels themselves, without warmer water, because they stop using CO2 in the night time and begin to use O2 at night. So, even if you could successfully raise the temp of our water during the day without detriment to our livestock, there is an increased chance that we might wake up to a bunch of dead fish in the morning.

Soooooo, this is why I am a big proponent of using salt and water temp in conjunction with each other. Why? Because you can probably raise the water temp in your planted aquarium to 85 degrees (F) with less problems than raising it to 90 degrees (F), WHICH STILL HAS BENEFIT in that the life cycle of ich is sped up, making those white spots fall off the fish and reproduce into its tomont, or thermont stage...which is the free-swimming stage of Ich, which is NOT visible to the naked eye for the most part, and the MOST common reason why people who stop treatment too early have a recurrence of ich....which is the MOST vulnerable stage of ich as far as meds and treatments are concerned.

Now, forget all of this junk about me proving myself or giving resources which support my ideas and 'pie in the sky' information....I did that and it didnt help. I challenge you to show us, most importantly the newer members of this forum who are depending on you for solid, reliable information that states similarities between Ichthyophthirius multifiliisthe AIDS VIRUS, the VIRUS which causes common colds, or GERM which causes TB. The bottom line is that as I said, you are comparing two totally different things here since Ich is a protozoa, or a unicellular, animal-like being (sorry for the wiki reference, but they are right in this case). Why is that important? Because the propogation of the myth that Ich is bacterial in nature leads many people to use anti-biotics to treat it, whch can cause a whole host of problems, including a continuing Ich problem.

My point still remains the same, a forum is worthless if the information and ideas that are being relayed are not dependable. This is not 'the good ole days' where one person can make a statement and without taking a trip to a library and reading several books, that person is taken at face value. I am giving you tons of information which all you have to do is click your mouse on to view. I assure you that it was easy to come up with these resources, it only took a couple finger movements and some scrolling through pages. I find it interesting that it is not as easy to find out about the 'heat resistant' strains of Ich which I feel allows for a reasonable assumption to be made that this is not really an issue. And to think....I am trying to agree with you in that both heat and salt should be used for ich treatment (although in much smaller salt doses) and yet you still want to disprove me consistantly. I know my stuff, honestly.

Last edited by Mad Dog; 03-30-2007 at 01:39 PM..
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