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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yup, like the title says. I'd like some opinions on treating it. I've read most of the threads on here about ich, and have decided to try the heat and salt solution, with a twist.

The back story:

I've had my tank planted for close to 3 months now, and started adding fish a couple of weeks ago. Things were mostly going fine, although I mysteriously lost a couple of neons. (I suspect the small crawdad I though too small to catch them, is to blame. It's moving to a new home soon.)

A little while ago, I noticed a cherry barb was pretty heavily covered in white spots. I immediately fished him out (ha!) and isolated him in a small 3 gallon tank. I feed the rest of the fish, which gave me a good chance to look at everybody else, and nobody else has the spots, yet. I realize that doesn't mean they don't have it, but it's not as advanced, at least.

Since I've got not only the plants, but some snails and the crawdad, I'd kind of like to avoid dosing the whole tank with a commercial chemical, since research seems to indicate most of the medications are rough on inverts and plants. The small tank has only plastic plants, and no other fish or inverts, so I'm okay with dosing it.

So, what do you all think about trying to raise the heat, and salt the main tank (55 gallon), and dosing the quarantined guy with meds? I'm thinking I may already be too late for him, since he seems to be struggling, and it pretty heavily covered in spots all over.

I figure if there's one fish with ich, the others are soon to follow, but I'm hoping the heat/salt treatment for the big tank will be effective for the earlier stages of ich, and I won't have to medicate the whole big tank. I'm about to do a water change anyway on the big tank, which I'm sure will help.

So, does this sound like an effective plan to those who've fought ich before?

Also, after years of using salt to kill garden slugs and snails, I'm wondering about the mystery snail in salted water? Do I need to yank him, or can they tolerate the low concentrations of a salted freshwater tank? A post at applesnail.net suggests they can tolerate a low concentration.

Finally, what about my corys? The same post suggests "catfish" will do okay with low doses, but that's a bit vague for me. I've found another who states that corys can tolerate 1/2 tsp per gallon, another says 1 tablespoon per 5 gallon, max, which is just slightly more concentrated. Has anybody with corys or tetras had salt in their aquarium, either for a ich treatment, or as a regular addition?

For full disclosure I've got 15 neons, 7 (minus 1 ichified guy) cherry barbs, 2 cory paleatus, 1 SAE, 1 Blue Spot Gourami, a mystery snail, and a crawdad, plus a variety of plants.

Maybe just the heat increase alone, and forget the salt in the main tank? I've already added a heater, although I imagine it's going to take a while to get up to the 86 degrees recommended. I'll hold off on the salt until I get some feedback, but I'll go see what ich meds are available at this time of night. I may have to wait until my LFS opens tomorrow.

Input and opinions are appreciated.
 

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I've used the heat & salt method, with great succes. I even had sensitive fish like Cory's & loach's. I had no loss of fish or plants. The salt is needed to kill the parasite, the heat only shortens the cycle. Make sure to continue treatment 2 weeks after seeing the last ich dot.

Here is the link I followed for treatment... http://aquaden.com/phpBB2/articles2.php?type=fishwhat
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Trenac!

That's the same article I was planning on following, which I'd found via another thread here on APC.

Glad to hear it works, and is safe with plants and fish.
 

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I have used heat only method with 100% success, at least for my tanks. 31C-32C for 2-3 days, 29C-30C for a week, then back to normal temp which is 26C-28C
 

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Heat always works for me. In really bad cases the water should be tested to the fullest extent and QT may be inevitable.

I'm glad to hear many people try not to use meds. It's a great practice to do things the more natural way first. Of course sometimes meds are needed but vigilance and proactive treatment with a little salt and warm water works even better :) (IME)
 

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Ich is just another creature trying to get along the best it can but it is butting heads with us as far as keeping decorative fish in a tank.

The smaller any critter is the narrower the temp range it can handle. Usually anything as small as an Ich can not handle as broad a range of temp as can a fish. Even Goldfish (a temperate species) can handle high 80s up to middle 90s for several days. If you have the time higher temps are very effective against Ich but the infestation can seem to be very rapid and if your fish are covered with spots a quick chemical treatment may be required.

I have always kept salt around but other than raising BBS I do not use it. Salt (as with Oxygen) is a basic but very dangerous chemical and should be used cautiously. I have no doubt that Salt can help kill Ich but it is a broad spectrum killer and can also harm many other non targeted critters.

Do keep Heaters, Salt and Ich medicine around for the times they are needed (Ich, the Common Cold etc. are always around) and consider yourself very fortunate if you do not have to use them. Always use the more natural cure or treatment first, if you can.
 

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I would like to caution you on using salt in the planted tank itself. Salt can damage and kill plants so I wouldn't recommend dosing the main tank.

Raising the heat won't damage the plants as long as it doesn't go over about 83F.

Rather take the afflicted fish (and the others if you can) out the tank and treat them separately. Ich will die after a few days without hosts.
 

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You've gotten good advice above for dealing with the current crisis. Raising temp (to speed life-cycle of parasite) and salt (to ease fish stress- and perhaps adversely effect the parasite) are a sound course of treatment.

A couple of things that haven't been addressed, unless I read over the thread too fast, are water quality and fish stress. I have only ever seen tropicals infected with ich after being stressed by poor water quality, drop in temperature, and or other stresses like transport, aggressive tank mates, contaminants. While the cause of your ich problem may never be known, I'm sure you want to do everything in your power to prevent it AND help the current fish recover. The parasite is often present in aquariums and doesn't adversely effects the inhabitants. I've seen one species grossly infected and not make it while another is not effected in the same tank (I used to work for a wholesaler).

Some additional suggestions:
-consistent water changes, only increase when battling disease or water parameters
-heat new water for changes to 1-2 degrees above tank temp.
-use quality water conditioner like Seachem Prime which removes or detoxifies chlorine, chloramines, and nitrites (my municipal water quality is very irregular)

While I realize these seem like the usual tenants of a healthy aquarium, your setup is still relatively new and is likely not yet stable.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's the update so far.

Still no signs of ich on any of the other fish, fortunately. Seems odd that I was lucky enough to catch the first fish to get it. But then, I do spend a lot of time watching my fish...

In the main tank, I did a water change, then added salt and increased the temp to 85, where it's holding. So far, so good. No other signs.

With the quarantined guy, I'm treating him with medication. Wal-mart had only 1 ich treatment, something I felt like I should wear a bio-hazard suit to apply. I just didn't want to use it.

So, went to the more knowledgeable of my two lfs, and luckily caught the knowledge owner in, instead of his dingbat employees, who have difficulty telling you the time of day. I figured he'd maybe have a wider variety of treatment options.

He ended up giving me a small amount of some white powder out of a jar of his personal treatment stash. Due to the small tank volume and single fish, it wasn't even a teaspoon of the powder, to be divided over a course of 4 days.

I forget the name, I thought he said it was sodium thiosulfate, but I'm pretty sure that's not it. My second thought was sodium penthanol, but I'm sure that was from watching too many spy movies. (However, at least my fish wouldn't lie to me then. We'll see if I can handle the truth.)

What ever it was, he charged me a whopping total of 1 dollar.:D
 

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If you have a large tank like me (90 gallon), you dred dosing and medicating. My buddy has a simple 29 gallon and follows a very simple and balanced schedule, this includes no medicating. He has cured ich with just a 2 deg temp raise and daily 1/3 water change. Since medications can harm plants so I tried this the last few times. Even with discus the visible spots disappeared in only 2 days, along with keeping the temp up for 4 days after.
 

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Turn the temperature above 83f, and try the best you could to reduce stress for the fish, ich will be out of question. (Had experience to fight ich when I was young, did nothing, would lost some fish but eventually they would be fine)
That is what happen to my newly setup fish tank right now. I had my aquarium setup, and finish the nitro cycle, introduced 11 neon tetra and 10 zebra diano three weeks ago, there was a huge outbreak of ich, (ich was laden when I had 10 feeder koi as nitro cycle testers, they came in with it, and there is betta, came in with the feeder fish since it can withstand virtually any hash conditions, but it was the first one to get infected, with ich spreaded all over its body during cycle period, then again when the neons and zebras came in), all neons, 9 of them(two smallest neon perished in first three days, couldn't endure the stress of being moving around) all cought nasty ich, each one had 5+ white dots on their body, and two of them had about 15 white dots!
Right before I bought neons and zebras, I adjust the temp to 83f, changed water once, put a strawberry, and an apple core into the HOB filter, water ph was 6.8 after a week of strawberry and apple core dicomposed. At the peak of ich outbreak, I added a driftwood, nice one, with several branches poking our the stem, and a piece of crushed garlic in the filter. last Wenesday I add some leaves extraction out of some garden plants to further reduce the ph level, (the next day of adding leaves extraction, neons start mating! even still with nasty ich on their body:rolleyes:, those zebra went crazy, they ganged up scrumbing the sandy bottom for the eggs while the neons above them T-bone each other:mad:, anyway, I don't have the resources and time to rear neon flys which are notoriously difficult to raise.).
ich was virtually gone now, only one white dot could be found on one of the neons.
8 neons left, the unlucky one was weakest and skinniest which was heavy infected, I didn't expect it could survive anyway.
the whole time none of the zebra got infected! (feeder koi as well, thought they who brought the ich)none of the sight of infection I could find on zebra.
the betta was free of ich after it passed the ich to neons, now it start chasing and fighting the largest orange feeder koi out of the remain three(7 other kois now is in nitro cycle of another tank).

Just do your best to reduce stress of fish, if you don't prefer medication.

there is one thing I need to mention, here in SF we have the softest water, and I have manuafacture freshwater sands which are glass, one of the reason the water is soft the whole time and neons laying eggs.

last, about garlic. when you catch cold, eat some garlic, to boost your immune system.
 

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i had a really bad strain in my tank (fomely a ten galon). after trying all kinds of natural meds (EXPENSIVE CRAP) a month long nightmare(lost 5 tankmates) the 8 dollar powder api super ich cure did it in 3 days!!! even though i treated for 5 more days to make sure it was gone.
Salt was a bad idea might have been the reson for the fish lost even at low levels stresses neons,cories,and loaches and the medications are also bad too everything at half dose even lost my hardiest fish a zebra danio. Dont take a chance get some API super ich cure IT works GREAT!!! and heat up to 86 it wont stand a chance treat main tank also ich Spreds and sticks to everything in you tank!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The final update:

I'd sorry to report that as of 10:17 a.m. CDT Ichy, my formerly nameless cherry barb, so christened as to the disease that took him belly up, gasped his last, gave a final shake, rolled over, and sank to the bottom of the tank. Alas, Horatio, for I had treated him well.

I checked all the parameters in the water, just to be sure, and they were fine. Despite the medication, some salt, heat, and extra aeration, the ich apparently got him. He was still alive this morning, but barely, and wasn't hardly moving. He later then gave up the fight. $3.99 down the drain. Technically, $4.99 with the medication. And to be completely honest, I'm not going to actually put him down the drain. But allow me my metaphors and hyperbole, during my time of depiscefication?

The good news is, still no ich in the main tank. I'm keeping the temp at about 81, although I'm trying to get it regulated down to 80, where I'm going to maintain it from here on out.

This gives me an excuse to buy some more, though. I was about to add some females anyway, and eventually try to breed them.

I still think I was pretty lucky to discover it before it spread to any of the other fish. My LFS is kind of overpriced, so I don't want to have to replace any more than I have to.
 
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