Ich issues!

Discussion in 'Fish Diseases' started by Duke594, Jun 27, 2011.

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  1. Duke594

    Duke594 Plankton

    Mar 30, 2011
    :confused: I just placed my fish back into my DT after 9 weeks of letting it sit fallow. I had an Ich outbreak so, I moved my 2 Percula clownfish and black and white Heniochus to qt. The only things left in the dt were 2 turbo snails a horshoe crab and a skunk cleaner shrimp. Nothing else was added once I removed the fish. I had them in copper for 6 weeks before I started to remove copper from the qt I then left them in there for another 3 weeks. After 9 weeks I moved them to the dt and within 3 to 4 days the heniochus had white spots on its dorsal fin again. I am so confused and about to give up. I have been told many times that if you let the system sit fallow for just 6 to 8 weeks it will kill the Ich cause it doesn't have a host. Well I left it for 9 weeks to be safe. I also measured the copper levels everyday with 2 different kits just to make sure there was the right amount of copper in the qt. How can they have ich again? It should be all dead by now. I bought a UV sterilizer and I am soaking their food in Garlic Gaurd everyday. The heniochus doesn't look good. Not sure he will make it. Nothing seems to rid my dt of the ich. I am about to either pay someone to fix it or give up! Any advice would be appreciated. Here are my tank parameters, ph 8.3 - 8.4, sg 1.024, no nitrites, no ammonia, nitrate 40ppm( I know it is a little high), Alkalinity about 3 meq/l. It is a FOWLR tank 40 gallon breeder. Thanks for any advice!:cry:
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  3. dowtish

    dowtish Horrid Stonefish

    Jan 29, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Nitrates are entirely too high IMO, and might be the reason for the new outbreak. If there was nothing in the tank, you might to find the source of such high nitrates, unless this has been the reading just since adding the fish back into the system. And I know there is much debate on whether you can ever entirely rid ich from your system. Did all the fish seem to be okay while in qt? No signs of spots or stress?
  4. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Wow, man that must have been very frustrating, you do the research and take the proper steps and end up back at zero.

    I am pretty sure no one you pay will do a better job than you judging from your post.

    There are some resistant strains of Marine Ich, that are said to be hard to kill even after 90 days of a tank remaining fallow, how resistant they are to the copper I do not know.

    My advice is do the best you can with the one sick fish, keep up the UV, the enhanced foods, reduce all stress related to water quality issues. Hopefully someone else will have some better options. There is only one product on the market that I hear any decent long term feed back about, but I am VERY hesitant to go with anything other than the standard treatments, until I see some research from someone else besides the manufacture.

    Good Luck.
  5. M-Ocean Man

    M-Ocean Man Flame Angel

    May 4, 2010
    Dirty Jerz
    This is where you will see a lot of differing opinions I would say.

    First I notice that even Liveaquaria recommends a larger sized tank than you have (50 gallon) and LA is usually at least close to being accurate to min. tank size.

    Next, something that a lot of people dont realize is that marine ich shares some similarities to humans and the common cold. Most fish contain some ich at all times. Much like we carry bad bacteria - it's a matter of keeping that bad bacteria (or in Ich's case protozoan) from "winning". Our/our fishs' immune systems keep these enemies at bay most of the time. When they/we are stressed (too much work, not enough sleep, poor nutrition, poor swimming room) the "enemy" seizes the opportunity and exploits the weakened immune system.

    There is a lot of back and forth with the QT/NO QT teams. Seems like this is one case where the QT did not help because of the added stress on the butterfly. IMO they are "weak" fish in terms of susceptibility to begin with. How big was the QT? QT'ing a fish in a smaller tank can sometimes worsen the situation with stress. Then you have to stress the animal yet again just to move it from the QT.

    You can never get rid of all of the ICH. You can only "manage" it - good fish health starts with the house they are in. If they are not in the right house - they will not be happy and healthy.

    You can certainly continue to feed- and feed heavy. Do weekly water changes to bring down your nitrates and keep your water quality up. Also avoid adding anything during this recovery period. You also might want to consider introducing some vitamin C during this time either to the entire water column (a form of carbon dosing) or to their food directly like a garlic supplement.

    Hope your crew turns out ok!
  6. Duke594

    Duke594 Plankton

    Mar 30, 2011
    I just lost the heniochus. The power went out for like an hour and a half today and it finished him off. Everything restarted in my tank just fine but, apparently that was all it took.
  7. vtecintegra

    vtecintegra Fire Worm

    Mar 20, 2010
    I fought it for over a year and killed way more fish trying to quarantine and treat than the ich did. Eventually I stopped the quarantine and treatment and let it run its course in the DT. I'd see a spot or two once in a while and after about two months, no more signs of ich. Whether it's still there or not I don't know, but the fish are doing good.
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  9. Duke594

    Duke594 Plankton

    Mar 30, 2011
    What fish would work well in my tank? I kinda want a bigger fish than the clown fish. Will a flame angel work or something like that? I dont want to get another fish my tank is to small for. The LFS told me the heniocus would be fine but, I guess they were wrong. I was thanking about getting a pair of purple firefish and a diamond goby in a month or so once the UV light has some time to work. Thanks for any advice.
  10. mark_l

    mark_l Plankton

    Aug 23, 2011
    If you do not treat the ich infestation in the DT then you will always have a low level of ich in your tank just waiting for your fish's immunity to weaken.

    In a small number of cases fish can acquire resistance to ich but that can't get 100% immunity and it takes time/its very hit and miss.

    Its far more humane to treat the problem.

    Treating ich is a numbers game plain and simple.

    Each spot that drops off a fish releases up to 1000 parasites back into the water.

    BUT not all of those parasites will find a host, even in an untreated aquarium a lot of them will die without finding a host.

    The exact percentage depends mostly on aquarium volume and stocking density.

    If you can kill a high enough percentage of the parasites then less and less will complete the cycle, thus resulting in the gradual die off.

    This is where a UV unit works great. They can cure ich and all without a QT or copper meds.

    Get one from ebay for about £30 (mine was an 800lph 9W unit for £23 !).

    Just make sure that you stick to 10 Gallons per hour per Watt of UV power (level required to kill ich parasites).

    So that 9W unit is good for 90 Gallons per hour, which is about 400lph. That's a big difference between the required throughput and rated throughput (800 lph) . Use a measuring jug and a stopwatch to figure out the UV units throughput and restrict the units flow as needed (PTFE tape is great for this).

    Turning over the entire volume at least twice per hour, preferably 3 or 4 times per hour is essential.

    So the example above would be good for a 100 ltr tank and just about OK for a 200 ltr tank.

    You can use these figures to work out the minimum power UV you need to eradicate ich in your tank.

    Size of tank in gallons * 4 = required turnover per hour
    required turnover per hour / 10 = required UV power in watts

    1 Imperial gallon = 4.54609188 litres

    Common misunderstandings about ich:-

    1) Ich is NOT always present in a tank. It is a parasite. It MUST be introduced into an aquarium (which is VERY easy to do) and unless you practice popper quarantine you will almost certainly get ich in your tank eventually.

    "Don't be silly, it doesn't need introducing, its always there. I hadn't added anything to my tank for 3 years and suddenly I had a ich outbreak, where did it come from then if it isn't always present?" = You didn't properly treat it 3 years ago and it has been going through its cycles quietly without you noticing for the last 3 years. Now your fish are stressed and ich has got the upper hand.

    2) When a fish has ich and you can see spots on your fish NOTHING you can do that will kill the ich on your fish. The parasite is protected by the skin and mucus layer of the fish. You have to attack the parasite in the stages of its life when it is free swimming.

    3) Cleaner shrimps and wrasses will NOT clean ich from your fish, they cannot dig under the skin of the infected fish to get the parasites off.

    4) "You can treat ich with a good diet for your fish and pristine water quality" = wrong, you will just end up with a really low level infestation in the tank that will break out when given half a chance.

    Treatments that do work..

    1) Quarentine and copper

    2) Hyposalinity

    3) Properly sized UV unit

    4) Ozone

    5) Daily BIG water changes

    Interestingly 3,4 and 5 all work in the same way, by swinging the numbers game in favour of the fish and away from the parasite.

    But what about garlic? = garlic will not cure ich, but there is some evidence that it may help boost a fish's immune system+thicken the mucus coat etc. In combination with other treatments (3,4 or 5) it may help, but on its own it will not cure. You'll just end up with a low level infestation.

    Anyway, thats just my 2 cents worth ;D
  11. Renee@LionfishLair

    Renee@LionfishLair 3reef Sponsor

    May 16, 2010
    Coastal So. cal
    I don't think there is a resistant strain, I think there is a strain that has a longer encapsulation time. I had a tank fallow for over 3 months and the fish got it again.

    I had two fish that got Ich from a single tank. I took them out and treated them and left the tank fallow for 3 months+. I put one fish back in the fallow tank and the other back in a different tank. The one that went in the fallow tank eventually got Ich again.... the other fish never had another outbreak.

    Now anything new that goes in there gets Ich. The original fish is now immune to it and it comes and goes.