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ICH!!! Please Halp!!

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ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Shank on Fri 10 Jun 2011, 2:09 pm

Hey guys,
I just had one of my ACEI croak hardcore from what I suspect was ich... now I'm seeing some white spots on a few of the other fish in the big tank. I pulled the acei out and set up a pico 2.5g for him to use as a recovery tank but he was already swimming inverted so I didnt have too much hope of him pulling through, especially given the condition of his fins, or lack thereof....
My question is this, I picked up NoxICH and added the first dose to the big tank this morning, and currently I have my Emperor 400 unplugged with the UV Sterilizer still running... the med's instruct to remove the carbon filters but do I also need to remove the bio-wheels? I want to nip this in the bud as I've already lost a few fish recently and don't want this trend to continue...
Thanks to everyone who can help me out on this.
-T
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by DonnieP on Fri 10 Jun 2011, 4:41 pm

Been a long time since I battled ich but the biowheels should be ok, you remove the carbon because it will remove the medication you added.
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Shank on Fri 10 Jun 2011, 4:43 pm

OK, I've got it unplugged at the moment, but I"ll remove the carbon when I get home, should be leaving the office soon... it's friday so I can duck out a little early Razz
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Stickzula on Fri 10 Jun 2011, 7:22 pm

Ok. first thing, DON'T PANIC. Leave the bio wheels in. Some meds will kill some of the bacteria, but it's best to just leave them alone. Below is some useful info that I copied from here It should help you understand exactly what you are dealing with.

I really don't like dosing meds unless there is no other option. Since you already bought the meds and started using them follow through with it. Hopefully it will take care of the ich, but if not try gradually raising the temp to 90* and leave it there for 2 weeks. Ich can't live in temps above 85* and, although it isn't the ideal temp, the fish will do fine. I've had good luck with the heat treatment. Adding salt works too, but is generally not necessary. Just follow the advice in the article.

"Ich has three life stages, which are important to understand for proper diagnosis and treatment.

When the parasite is visible to the naked eye, it is a nearly fully developed trophont which has burrowed under the fish’s mucus coating where it is protected from chemicals (medication). It has likely been feeding on the body fluid of the fish for several days and has swelled to many times its original size. At common aquarium temperatures of 75 to 80ºF this feeding stage lasts only a few days, at which point the fully developed cyst drops off the fish as a tomont.

The tomont may swim for several hours before settling on and attaching to the substrate, a plant, or some other surface. During that time it is susceptible to chemicals and medication will be effective. Once attached, it begins its reproductive stage. It encysts and begins rapidly dividing. At this point, it is again immune to chemicals. Within a few days, hundreds of new organisms burst from the cyst, sprout cilia and start swimming in search of a host.

These are now referred to as thermonts or swarmers, and they must find a host within a few days or they will die. (For this reason, we know that even an aquarium heavily infested with Ich would be “clean” and safe for new fish after only a week or two without fish in the tank.) Medication is effective at this stage. Once the thermont attaches to a host and burrows in, it is referred to as a trophont and the cycle begins again. Unfortunately, with each cycle the number of organisms in the tank increases dramatically.
"
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Shank on Fri 10 Jun 2011, 7:48 pm

Ok cool, this sounds more in line with some of the stuff I've been reading, heat seems to be the way to go so I've increased the temp to 84 and will probably increase it 86 in a couple days, most likely after I've completed the treatment with the medz. Thanks
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by etexer on Fri 10 Jun 2011, 10:27 pm

Heat and salt has always worked for me! Quick cure on occasion.

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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Stickzula on Sat 11 Jun 2011, 11:33 am

FWIW 86 may not be hot enough. some strains are somewhat heat resistant. I have had it live through 86, but 90 got rid of it. You also don't have to wait so long to raise it. I usually go with 1 degree an hour. It's good to do a water change to get the meds out before you go too hot. There is less o2 in hot water and some meds eat up o2 as well so you can potentially suffocate the fish by using meds in high temp water. Adding additional circulation and/or air stones helps to ensure adequate o2 levels, but is generally not necessary.
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Shank on Sun 12 Jun 2011, 6:00 am

Tomorrow's the last day for the meds, I plan to do a thorough vacuum and water change monday evening or laaaate tomorrow night (I'm thinking I need to let it rest for the full 24 hours though)
I came across this photo, really well taken, but you guys can probably guess why I'm posting it. Is this Ich or just bubbles?
http://culbertsons.smugmug.com/Aquariums/Miscellaneous-Tropical-Fish-by/4150459_RDCtq#413187914_sMfQA
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by DonnieP on Sun 12 Jun 2011, 10:01 am

Can't really tell what it is but it definitely is not ich, ich would show in the fins, it looks more like bubbles than anything but I've never seen bubbles collect on a fish like that but for sure its not ich the fins are to clear.
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Stickzula on Sun 12 Jun 2011, 10:11 am

I wouldn't bother with letting it rest. You'd just be giving the ich an advantage. I'd start raising the temp even before you do the wc. It will take a while to get it up and during that time you can put carbon in the filter to remove all the meds that weren't removed with the wc. If you are worried about stressing the fish, they won't care if you wait 24hrs or not. The only reason I would wait is if the meds claim to "cure" the tank within the time that you dosed and you can't see any more white spots. If that's the case then wait until you see new signs of ich and then raise the temp.

The pic looks like bubbles to me. If they were taken at the same time, pic #1 clearly shows bubbles. Additionally you can see micro bubbles in the water. The formation also looks different than ich. Could be wrong, but that's what it looks like to me.
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Shank on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 2:24 am

Haha, looks like my heater will only go up to 86, guess I'll be picking up a heater tomorrow >_<
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Stickzula on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 10:18 am

in lieu of buying another heater you could try the salt method first.
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by TluvsT on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 1:20 pm

I just noticed ich on my chromis and was going to ask what to do, but after reading this I will be raising the heat!!! What is the salt method?
Thanks
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Stickzula on Mon 13 Jun 2011, 3:45 pm

It's where you add table salt to the water. I believe it is mentioned in the article that I linked above.
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Shank on Tue 21 Jun 2011, 2:40 pm

Update! I had to leave town for my dad's parent's memorial service so I ended up going with heat treatment, got a beefier heater and cranked it up to 90 before I left Thursday. Got home Sunday night about 9pm and looks like those parasitic bastards kicked the bucket, I left it at 90 until yesterday afternoon, backed it to around 88, will drop it again to 86 tonight, and will trickle it down to 80 in 2 days. I want to make sure it's trully gone so I'm leaving the temp higher to make sure none of them survive to create a super heat resistant bug >_< If i need to leave it at 90 longer I will, what do you guys think, is 4~5 days at 90 sufficient or do I need to go longer?
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Stickzula on Tue 21 Jun 2011, 4:01 pm

4-5 days should do it, but I do a full 2 weeks just to be sure.
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Shank on Thu 23 Jun 2011, 1:46 am

Backed the temperature down to 84 and will probably keep it in a holding pattern for a while. At the only damage I see seems to be associated with aggression, at this point I plan to round up the 7 or so acei fry that currently reside in the bigger tank and move them into the smaller tank with the rest of the lot, they are doing fine and I enjoy having them a subgroup to the larger acei but it makes more sense when I get ready to trade them in... most of them seem to be growing more slowly as well, time to force feed them into growing faster lol! Next water change is in a week so not rushing to get them over or anything, will try to get some pics up soon.

On another topic, which I'm thinking of starting a thread for, I was talkin with my uncle while I was in colorado, he has kept an aqauarium for as long as I remember and was one of the reasons I got back into it... anywho he seemed very surprised that I didn't have undergravel filters on my tanks, I've used them in the past but have also gone withbout them... how critical are they? Water changes and gravel cleaning should mitigate not having one right?
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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

Post by Stickzula on Thu 23 Jun 2011, 11:38 am

The thing about UGF is that it is old technology. It works and has benefits, but modern filters work just as well with fewer drawbacks.

Basically what you have is a layer of gravel over a perforated and corrugated plastic plate which holds the gravel above a clear space over bottom glass. Water flows freely through this space. Lift tubes are placed at each end of the tank (on large tanks they can be placed at even intervals along the back of the tank). Attached to each lift tube is a carbon cartridge and an air tube or no carbon and a powerhead. Water is sucked through and under the gravel, up the lift tube, and through the carbon then back into the tank. During this process waste is sucked down into the gravel bed where it stays and decomposes. In an established system the entire gravel bed is host to beneficial bacteria which remove ammonia and nitrIte from the water.

The main(and possibly only) benefit of the UGF is that it is a huge bio filter. However in order to be an efficient bio filter the gravel needs to be evenly distributed over the entire plate. This creates even flow and eliminates dead spots.

Whether the evenly graded gravel bed is a pro or a con is up to you(for me it's a con). One con is that you have to use gravel, it won't work with sand. This is a problem for me because I prefer to use sand in my cichlid tanks. There are several reasons for that, but it's off topic. Another con is that there is no mechanical filtration. All the waste stays in the tank. Since it is being processed fairly efficiently it isn't going to cause an ammonia spike, but it could lead to excessively high nitrAte levels which would be bad. Water changes will help offset the nitrAte though. However, they are generally unsuited to the large waste volume in an overstocked African setup. The plates will also need to be "de-gunked". Usually a through vacuum every 6 months will keep the system going, but occasionally the plates will get gunked up to where the flow is inadequate. When this happens it is a good idea to remove and rinse the gravel, remove and rinse the plates, and clean all the mulm out of the tank. When you do that you basically rest everything like you are starting over. Most of the bacteria colony is killed and it's like a fresh tank. It is also a lot of work. Both of these things are cons in my book.

There are pros and cons to any filtration system and I won't get into that. What I will say is that modern filters provide enough biological filtration to keep the ammonia and nitrIte in check. They also provide mechanical and chemical filtration. Some of the lower end HOB's are lacking in sufficient bio filtration, but you probably wouldn't use those anyway.

My opinion is that UGF systems are old school and targeted to the novice. They work and work well in most tropical community setups, but not as well as modern systems. Once you move from small community fish to large cichlids they become less effective. The huge bio capacity, low cost, and low initial maintenance are good reasons to choose a UGF. The lack of mechanical filtration and limited chemical filtration capacity are huge downfalls.

I suppose that if used in conjunction with a cheapo HOB filter it could be alright, but I'd rather use a quality HOB, canister, or sump for my serious setups. I was going to put a UGF in my daughter's community tank to reduce the maintanence and since her small fish aren't big waste producers it would be ok. I got a deal on a fairly good HOB for her tank so I scrapped the idea.

The bottom line is that they aren't necessary. They can be good in certain situations, but are generally out classed by modern systems. If you want to add to you bio capacity, put on a fluidized sand bed filter. You can DIY one for cheap and it is way more effective than a UGF and requires absolutely no maintenance if set up properly.

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Re: ICH!!! Please Halp!!

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