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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night I found one of my rainbows has a bit of ick. Unfortunately its in my 55 gallon so I have too many fish to move to a treatment tank, and too many plants to move to another tank. Will using aquarium salt for treatment kill my plants?
 

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Sorry to hear that. Sure, the salt/heat method is fine for plants.

I'm going through ich with some new fish right now myself and am using Coppersafe, which is also fine for plants and scaleless fish (if you have any). You don't want to use it if you have inverts in the tank though.

With either method, make sure you treat for a full 28 days.
Good luck.
 

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r'bow lover
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Whoa. I didn't know people did this. Personally I would never add salt to get rid of a parasitic infection- the amount you would have to use to kill cysts is astronomical and thus is, IMO, needless.

To each there own though. I'm a huge proponent of preventative measures, but ich is hardly a cause for such drastic measures. I've never had a case that I couldn't kick with diligent water changes, warming the water, and increasing vitamin/nutrient intake for the fish. I've been keeping fish for a while though.

Regardless, GL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Jan!

The last time I used salt was a couple years ago when I was starting out with plants. I thought maybe they got sick from it but there was a lot of other things it could have been.
 

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Whoa. I didn't know people did this. I've been keeping fish for a while though.
Regardless, GL.
You've been keeping fish for a while and didn't know people did this? I'm one of the last people who sticks anything into a tank when clean water and preventative measures will take care of most problems, but after they already have ich, treating with one of the milder methods is much kinder to the fish than just raising the temp and letting the ich run it's course and possibly reinfecting the fish time after time.....

LIFE CYCLE

There are three phases to the life cycle of this protozoan. Ich is susceptible to treatment at only one stage of its life cycle, so knowing the life cycle is important.

ADULT PHASE: the parasite attaches itself under the mucus layer of the skin or gills, causing irritation and the appearance of small white spots. As the parasite matures, it feeds on blood and skin cells. After some time, the parasite breaks through the mucus layer and falls to the bottom of the aquarium.

CYST PHASE: after falling to the bottom of the aquarium, the adult cyst bursts and divides into numerous daughter cells called tomites.

FREE SWIMMING PHASE: after the cyst phase, the free swimming tomites search for a host. If a host fish is not found within 2 to 3 days, the parasite dies. Once a host is found the whole cycle begins again. These three phases take about 28 days at 70 degrees F but only 3 days at 80 degrees F. For this reason it is recommended that the aquarium water be raised to between 80-86 degrees F. for the duration of the treatment. If the fish can stand it, raise the temperature to 86 degrees. Raising the aquarium temperature in this manner will shorten the length of time between the cyst phase and the free swimming tomite stage. It is during the free swimming tomite stage that chemical treatment is effective in killing the parasite. During this time, whatever you use for treatment should be supplemented with daily or every other day water changes and gravel vacuuming to remove as many adult cysts and free swimming tomites as possible.
And the link to the rest of the article, if anyone is interested.
My fish have what? - Ich
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't really trust raising temperature for my aquariums as I have hanging glass cylinder heaters. Its too easy to get patchy spots of temperature.
 

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I've used the higher temp method pretty successfully, but also treatment with Paracide Green worked well too, with plants, corys, shrimp, etc.
 

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Salt works great with temp. Ive done it with no ill effects on my plants or fish. Also i just used plain old salt from walmart, i picked the non iodized variety for some reason that i cant remember(i have slept and drunk beer since)
 

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r'bow lover
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I've never heard of it being used with live plants, that's what I meant. I've steered plenty of people away from using salt in loach and discus tanks to know people like salt as an ich remedy- but never thought people did it with live plants.

GL regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So far so good! The plants are tolerating it. The original victim still has a couple of spots and 2 of the other rainbows had developed a couple, but it certainly didn't spread past that or get worse for those fish before I added the salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The fish have been clean for a few days, keeping the treatment for a bit to kill any lingering parasites.

The plants seem to be ok overall. I find a few stray ludwigia leaves floating around each day, but the stems are growing and certainly don't seem denuded of leaves. Some of the java ferns are really blackish, I think the change to unfavorable conditions made them all spore out.
 

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Whoa. I didn't know people did this. Personally I would never add salt to get rid of a parasitic infection- the amount you would have to use to kill cysts is astronomical and thus is, IMO, needless.

Regardless, GL.
Raising the temp speeds up Ich's cycle and pops them off the fish. Light salt kills them. Generally in just 3-5 days. This is basic fish keeping knowledge.
 
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