My (won) battle with Ich!

Discussion in 'Diseases' started by fishluver, Jun 30, 2013.

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  1. fishluver

    fishluver Sea Dragon

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    Chicago Illinois
    I just wanted to share my experience with my battle with ich. A lot of times we hear what to do when we have ich, but usually never hear the outcome of it. At the end of March I purchased my Flame pair from a very reputable LFS. I decided not to QT them due to the LFS being one of the best stores around me. Of all the times I have been there(10+) not once have I seen Ich in their tank, so I decided to take the risk and directly add them to my 72gal. About 1 1/2 weeks-2 weeks later, they started to show signs of Ich. Thankfully I had a 29QT running already for about 6 months, I started to QT my Flame Angel pair and my 1 clownfish on 4/8/2013. Yes, do I think them being a pair/having aggression cause the breakout? Maybe. Aggression isn't the main reason though. Some fish I have noticed are more sensitive to Ich/stress causing ich than others.

    My QT process was what everyone online & in books recommended. Due to Dwarf Angels being very sensitive to heavy doses of copper, I started dosing copper 3 days after entering the QT process. I brought it up gradually by using Cupramine (Highly recommended) and the SeaChem copper test to go along with it, to measure my copper doses EVERYDAY(this is crucial knowing you are not overdosing). My larger Flame(3.5") wasn't adapting to the copper so well. Cupramine is a great product and isn't as harsh as other copper additives, but because my larger flame wasn't adapting so well to the copper was probably due to him/her being mature(a larger angelfish) and not use to aquarium life as well. After about 7 days I raised my copper to about .40mg/l. This is lower than the recommended dosage, but I went this route knowing that angels are more sensitive than a lot of other marine fish. I made sure the dosage did not fall below .30mg/l, otherwise the copper probably would have not been as effective with killing off the ich.

    I kept the copper dosage at .40 mg/l for 5 weeks to make sure I killed ALL the ich, and to make sure I did not hit the ich cylcle at an awkward time. About 3 out of 5 weeks through the copper process, my larger Flame did not eat really at all. If he did eat, it would probably be equivalent to 4-5 NLS pellets during the whole time. If you're fish isn't eating during the QT process, don't freak out. These fish seem to be able to go through long stages of not eating. Im not saying starve them and feed them every couple of days, but if you are making a strong effort at feeding, and they aren't eating/being lethargic, take your time and wait it out(The larger Flame became more acclimated as I started lowering the copper levels and began to eat & even tried new things like pellets!). My feeding schedule was 1-2 times a day feeding mainly Mysis and NLS .5mm pellets(Due to my Juvi. flame being tiny). I also "enhanced" their feeding 3-4 times a week with Nutramar Ova(which is also a great product during QT process! It is highly nutritional and has a small particle size, but is geared for smaller fish, but both my Large and Small flame went CRAZY for it! And so did my clown, but they eat anything and everything) and I also fed the Angel formula from Ocean Nutrition. I saw that feeding a large variety of these food kept them healthier looking than feeding just Mysis or pellets.

    (My weapons of choice;) )
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    Also is very important to test for Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonia. I use the API tests which are OK in my opinion for Ammonia but gets the job done with Nitrates and Nitrites. I did about 25% water changes weekly or every 5 days, I could get away with this due to my QT being already cycled but if you have a new QT I recommend every few days to keep the ammonia down, and usually I had to redose copper after each water change.

    When the 5 week period was up, I also gradually decreased the copper as I did introducing the copper. The fish brightened up and were more normal under non-copper conditions. After that I kept them in the QT for 6 more weeks under careful observation and kept their diet varied which helped to increase their health after battling ich and coming off the copper treatment. The 6 week period was pretty much observing that the ich was no longer present and water changes to keep the nitrates down(I did have small traces of ammonia too).

    In total I QT'ed them for a total of 12 weeks:
    1st week- Gradually brought up copper
    5 weeks- Dosing copper to a constant .40mg/l
    6 weeks- Close observations and keeping the diets varied

    And today they left the hospital and returned home! (Also in QT the flame angel pair were divided for a couple of days letting the small one swim freely through the tank, and the larger one on about 2/3 of the tank. The larger one was exhibiting aggression before hand(mostly during feedings), and the aggression subsided in the QT as they "got to know each other(again)")

    (Today back in the 72)
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I just wanted to share my experience with ich and I want to give anyone hope who is going through, or just for a read about Ich and another success story! ALWAYS QT even though it is from a reputable store(as I learned) and sometimes the LFS shouldn't be blamed for introducing ich into a tank. ;D
     

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    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
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  2. Click Here!

  3. Marshall O

    Marshall O Giant Squid

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    Congrats! Care to share what you did to win?

    Edit: Nice, detailed, write up! You certainly did the right thing by catching them. Although you did leave out the most important thing: how did you catch them?! :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  4. reefnJeff

    reefnJeff Pajama Cardinal

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    Congratulations! Getting rid of pest in our tanks is always an accomplishment.
     
  5. fishluver

    fishluver Sea Dragon

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    Sorry I accidentally hit the enter button before I was done! Here it is complete!
     
  6. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    The write up was worth waiting for, nicely done.

    Congrats on completing the treatment and having the patience to do it right.

    I especially liked the information and image of the products you used. The information regarding treating Angel fish with copper was very good as well.
     
  7. fishluver

    fishluver Sea Dragon

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    Thanks everyone for the nice compliments!


    Yea, catching them was defiantly a challenge on thinking out how to do it! When transferring to the QT, I waited a couple hours after my lights went out. Also waited for the sun to go down too because my tank is near windows. My tank is a FOWLR so I moved around the rocks (easy to move the rocks back) and caught them in their sleep when they weren't so active. For others this might not be an easy way though if their tank is a reef with corals. For today on the QT-72 route, I drained about 5 gallons of water, removed the PVC and sponge filter and just caught them that way.
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. rglewis

    rglewis Flamingo Tongue

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    Congrats. This may be a dumb question, as Im new to QTs. But the fish had ich when in your display. So whats stopping them from getting it again? Surely all of the parasites werent on your fish when you removed them.
     
  10. fishluver

    fishluver Sea Dragon

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    Ich goes through a life cycle. I forget how long but it is 4-8 weeks long. Ich needs a host to survive and when they go through this cycle without a host, they cant reproduce and die. So the theory is to keep your DT tank fishless for AT LEAST 6 weeks(Bare minimum) but it is recommended 9-12weeks. And the ich should go through the complete cycleand should all die off.
     
  11. Marshall O

    Marshall O Giant Squid

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    I go fallow (fishless) for 8 weeks minimum personally. Based on everything I have read, this should be longer than needed, but certainly going 9-12 would give you that much more comfort in knowing it has truly gone through its live cycle.