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Help With Clown Loaches And Ich!!!!

Discussion in 'Fish' started by JEden8, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. JEden8

    JEden8 New Member

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    So I have a big problem. I have 7 Clown Loaches along with a few other fish in my tank and only the loaches have ich. It will be 2 weeks of treatment this weekend with Rid Ich Plus. They got better throughout the week last week and now they are worse than what they were. My water parameters are within regular parameters. I had the temp up to 85 and now I've lost 2 of my 7. One last night and one the night before last. I have turned the lights off doing the blackout method. Daily 25% water changes before redosing the Rid Ich Plus.

    Any ideas?

    This is only my second time dealing with ich so I'm still a beginner with the treatments. I will be moving the tank to my new apartment tomorrow so what I was thinking was buying a 50 gallon plastic garbage can to transfer the water and everything over. Then leaving the fish in there and treating in there. Then take everything out of the tank and scrub it and fill it back up with new water. I know this will cause it to cycle but if I don't clean the filters then that could help speed it up right? Or am I going in the wrong direction? My problem is I have about $75 in plants that were just getting their root systems started and having to blackout the tank they are all almost dead. Please help! Thanks for everything!
     

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  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Here is a lot of very useful information about Ich I strongly suggest you copy and print this out for future reference.
    If you have any more questions please ask.

    Keith


    WHITE SPOT ICH

    White spot Parasite, Ichthyophthirius multifiliis

    This disease is easy to recognise, as the skin of the infected fish becomes covered with white spots, each the size of a pinhead. Each spot represents the site of one, or sometimes two, parasites. All parts of the body gills, may be attacked.

    The causative agent is named Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. It is a spherical and large by protozoan standards, measuring up to 1mm in diameter. Short, hair-like processes known as cilia are spread densely over the surface. A horseshoe-shape nucleus is also present which is clearly visible under the microscope.

    By the means of the cilia the parasite rotates vigorously and burrows into the surface layer (epidermis) of its host. It feeds on skin cells and surface debris. The burrowing action causes a local irritation and the epidermis grows across the parasite to enclose it, thus forming a “White Spot”

    Reproduction occurs away from the host. After maturing in the skin, which takes a few days to three weeks, depending on the temperature, the parasite bores out, swims away and comes to rest on a submerged object such as a stone, or plant. Here it forms a jelly-like cyst within which a series of rapid cell divisions take place. In a few hours, several hundred daughter cells or swarmers are produced, which break out of the cyst to find a new host. Alighting on the skin, they burrow in to recommence the life cycle. If they fail to find a host within three to four days, they perish.

    Symptoms
    If the protozoan is introduced into a tank containing healthy fish, little harm may occur, other than a fleeting infection with a few parasites. If however, the fishes are already weakened for some other reason, e.g. lack of oxygen, the parasite will quickly cover the whole body surface, causing irritation and opening up wounds for secondary infections. The host mobility may become affected. In severe cases, death may result.

    Prevention
    If white-spot appears in an otherwise healthy tank, the parasite “must” have been introduced either as an adult on a newly acquired fish or as the cyst form on, for example new stones, a plant or even added water. The only certain method of prevention, is to quarantine all new stock, including stones, plants etc; preferably in water at a temperature of 77F. Allow one week’s quarantine.

    Treatments
    There are too many treatments today to recommend any specific one. Many can be bought easily at aquarium outlets.


    Several very interesting points to think about.

    Very easy to recognise.
    Its reproduction cycle.
    No host they will die.
    If introduced into a healthy tank little harm may occur.
    Pay attention to all tank details.
    Weakened fish and lack of oxygen can/may and will cause severe deaths. All this is usually caused by poor tank maintenance and/or incorrect and faulty equipment.
    Prevention is the best cure
    A Parasite “must” be introduced into the tank.

    Treating the Tank
    You might not see any WS after a week BUT it has not all gone and by this I mean the treatment must be continued for at least a total of 3-4 weeks. This might sound a long time but it will be worth it.

    I would still carry out your weekly water changes and when you have completed the tank treatment a 50% of treated water change would help for the next two changes.

    Then you can replace or add a carbon filter for at least 2 weeks and toss it out completely.

    I have had WS with my CLs and they as well as all fish worth the extra time and effort in removing the Ich.

    Finally take all the precautions and try not to get it again

    This information was collected from Fresh Water Tropical Fish
    Compiled by Keith

    ********************************************************************************************************************
    TREATING A TANK and Scaleless fish

    Clown Loaches and other scaleless fish require a special White Spot cure. I have seen it said that this is not so just use any WS cure at half strength and that will do. That is totally wrong even at that strength it will become dangerous.

    Only use the "CORRECT" WS cure and only use it at the correct dosage as per instruction on the bottle. Also check the UBD "Expire Date" to be on the safe side.

    Melafix can be used in conjunction with the WS cure it will not cure it at all but it will reduce the stress on the fish.

    Now for the treatment.
    Only used the prescribed amount and times recommended.
    Remove any carbon filters if you are using them.
    Add extra air this is beneficial to the tank as well.
    Bump up the temp slowly. By doing this it speeds up the growth rate of the Ich and this kills it quicker.
    Turn of the lights if you have a fully planted tank this will not hurt for a few days at all.
    Reduce the feeding by 50% they won’t feel like eating any way and you could easily have other problem with the uneaten food. I would feed them with small amounts of "Frozen Blood Worms" at least 3 time a week this will keep their strength up remember a healthy fish will survive the Ich problem a lot easier.

    Treating the Tank
    You might not see any WS after a week BUT it has not all gone and by this I mean the treatment must be continued for at least a total of 3-4 weeks. This might sound a long time but it will be worth it.

    I would still carry out your weekly water changes and when you have completed the tank treatment a 50% of treated water change would help for the next two changes.

    Then you can replace or add a carbon filter for at least 2 weeks and toss it out completely.

    I have had WS with my CLs and they as well as all fish worth the extra time and effort in removing the Ich.

    Finally take all the precautions and try not to get it again
     
  3. JEden8

    JEden8 New Member

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    So I shouldn't be doing 25% water changes before each dose?
     
  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    JEden8

    No not unless it is on the bottle instructions.

    Its just the now treatment its all the follow up otherwise you will never remove it completely.

    Keith
     
  5. JEden8

    JEden8 New Member

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    Is it safe for me to just keep my fish in the 50 gallon garbage can and treat in there while I add new water to the tank and treat the tank hardcore for another week?
     
  6. bsnyder921

    bsnyder921 New Member

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    I've only had ich (ick?) once, and it was a long time ago. But I have moved recently, and I also have clown loaches. I only have 3 of them plus a few cardinal tetras. I got a 5-gallon painters bucket, filled it up with aquarium water, put in plenty of plants and driftwood (my plants are java ferns and anubis so the lack of light didn't bother them) and then tore down the tank. I was too tired after moving to set the tank up again, so I just kept the fish in the bucket for a couple of days until I was ready to do it. I have a very small filter that I put in the bucket, along with my heater, and all the fish did just fine. I had zero problems. I tried to keep the lid on as much as possible to prevent quick changes in lighting in the tank that could scare/stress the fish, and I also kept it in a corner of the room so that it wouldn't get bumped or jostled around. I think as long as you keep the fish in clean water at a good temp, and as long as you give them some decor to make their trash can feel like home, they'll be fine.
     
  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    The best treatment for ich is to raise the temperature to 86 F for 2 weeks. This prevents the parasite from completing its life cycle and it eventually dies off. The temperature increase is less stressful on fish than chemical treatments. I have dealt with ich on several occasions and this has been the easiest approach to wiping it out.

    This may not be the best option for cold water species, but most tropical fish we keep can deal with these temperatures.

    Remember to always quarantine new arrivals. A simple ten gallong tank with an airstone and/or a hang on back filter and heater can suffice for the 1-2 weeks required to watch for illness. This is much easier than risking an established tank and treating it for 1-2 weeks.

    You can wash plants. A good useful chemical for this is KMnO4, potassium permanganate. It can in some cases also be used to treat external infections in ornamental fish, ie: http://www.extension.org/mediawiki/...rmanganate_to_Control_External_Infections.pdf

    I use it to clean new plants. I have used in once to clear organic build up from an established tank, although I chickened out at the sight of purple water and neutralized it with dechlorinator after an hour. It is a useful compound, but should be used with care as it is a strong oxidizer. I use gloves so I don't stain my fingers purple.

    Rocks and other hardscape can be boiled to sanitize it. Usually 20 minutes is sufficient. Some woods if purchased from a reputable LFS may not need such a treatment. I know ADA does not recommend boiling its branch wood.
     
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  8. JEden8

    JEden8 New Member

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    I did discover where I got the Ich from. I didn't realize that you could get it from plants but the only thing I have added to my tank is some Java Moss I bought from my LFS. I know better now.

    Lost my 3rd of 7 loaches last night. My two biggest loaches aren't looking so good. I'm now following the instructions from the loaches site. I pulled all the plants out and did a 50% water change with syphoning out the gravel really well. I'll keep ya posted how it goes.
     
  9. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    Sorry to butt in but I am desperate! I brought in some Ick somehow (I've learned my lesson) and am on day 3 of treatment. I see treating longer recommended. The bottle says 3 days. I used the aquarium salt the first day as directed by my lfs (whom I'm losing faith in). I have not vacuumed the substrate or removed my plants. My plants are my priority.. I am new to aquariums. I've had this one a month.
    Thank you so much for any advice you can offer!
     
  10. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Emily,

    see my post regarding the heat treatment. 86 F for 2 weeks
     
  11. euphoria

    euphoria New Member

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    Heat works! Brought my tank up to 85 plus for 3 weeks just to be sure. I added no chemicals what so ever, tank has been ick free for months.
     
  12. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    :-sGreat!! Thanks so very much for the advice. I've got a 2nd heater on the way so that I can reach 86. The high temperature will not affect my plants or fish? Also, how do I gradually increase the heat? How many degrees and how often is acceptable? Thank You!!!
     
  13. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think the heaters we use cause a rapid enough change to cause shock. I have an efficient Hydor inline heater and have just turned the dial to the desired temp. No stress or shock observed when I have done this.

    Some plants prefer cooler temps. Mosses like it cooler, but the duration of the heat will not have a permanent effect. You must set your priorities. The heat shouldn't kill anything but the ich. It is unlikely you have any special cold water species in your tank. LFS's do not sell them for the most part.
     
  14. Original

    Original Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I've just introduced some fish to my aquarium, 9 rummy nose tetras and I see a few have visible ich. I'm gonna follow your advice shadow you seem very knowledgeable . I'm alittle worried about raising to 86 though I'll leave it at 80 for two weeks and see how it goes
     
  15. JEden8

    JEden8 New Member

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    I'd go above 80 if you can. I had 3 other fish that showed signs of ich and I raised the temp to 86 and it was gone within 4 days. What type of fish do you have?
     
  16. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    80 is not warm enough. It must reach 86 F.
     
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  17. Original

    Original Aspiring Aquascaper

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    It's been at about 81 for 3 days now, ich has disappeared. I'm keeping it up for safety. I have 8 rummy nose tetra.

    The heater I have came as standard and it wont let me up it past 81 ish its on it's max

    I don't know if this has made a difference, but the fish are new and were hidden away for 2 days with dull colored noses, I upped the temp for the ich and the next morning their noses are bright and they're swimming around freely? I don't know if it had any link to the heat being upped from 75 to 81 but they seem happier than before..
     
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  18. Heather LaJeunesse

    Heather LaJeunesse New Member

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    I agree with you about not needing to raise the temp that high, to 86 to treat ich. Especially if you have plants. I have a 125 Gallon tank with plants, 4 clown loaches, a rainbow shark, 3 Roseline Sharks, 2 plecos and a few Rainbow fish I'd like to mate eventually, and I was so bummed when I put a new PLANT, not FISH, PLANT, in my tank and all of a sudden my clown loaches were COVERED in white spots, and two of my rainbow fish got it too. I didn't want to have to rip every single plant out and do the whole jack the temp up 10 degrees higher than what the fish are used to, while they're already weak, and dump a bunch of salt in deal again...So I went to Tropical Isle in Massachusetts and talked to the owner, an old man who has been doing this forever. He gave me a bottle of malachite that was safe for plants, he instructed me to do half the dosage required for the first day, and continue if i saw progress, if not, go to the full dose. I am very cautious as this can overdose fish so I have been doing in between half and a full dose and now I just have one clown loach left with ich, but it's covered. After all of this my fish look skinny and boney, and I don't want to overfeed them, but I'm just wondering if you have noticed that it was the cause by upping the temp and how fast you did it....Before I put the plants in, I had just upgraded my whole set up from a 75 to a 125, and my temps spiked throughout the process, I'm worried that might have been enough to give them ich. Any tips on what I should do with this last clown loach covered in ich and skinny? I feel awful.
     
  19. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Malachite is a much more stressful solution than the temperature increase particularly for scaleless fish like clown loaches. It will also kill any invertebrates like shrimp. To treat ich you must treat the tank, so quarantine isn't necessarily helpful. Ich is caused by a parasite, not some external environmental stressor. Stressors can make fish more susceptible if the parasite is already in your tank, but cannot introduce it to your system. A temperature spike will not give your fish ich. The spike is intended to disturb the parasites life cycle preventing completion and thus new infestations. The temperature increase also speeds up the life cycle meaning the infectious stage is shorter, which decreases the duration of physical harm to the fish. Increasing the temperature to 86 F is the best way to eliminate an ich infestation. The temperature must remain high for 2 weeks to ensure all parasites die without completing their life cycle so other fish do not become infested.

    The temperature will also not be harmful to most plants, maybe some cool water mosses could die, but nearly all common plants in the hobby would be just fine. Salt is not necessary in conjunction with the heat treat method nor are any other chemicals. I would add aeration since the increase in temp will lower dissolved O2 potential.
     
  20. Cheiron

    Cheiron New Member

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    Hi Shadowmac,

    I chanced upon your reply when searching for ich treatment for my loaches tank. Hope the temp treatment works, 3 out of 4 of my clown loaches contracted ich, while the botia and gobies stayed clean. I supposed no dose of medication is required? Just up the temp to 86?

    Thanks!
     
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