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Trever

Treating Ich

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Hello,

 

I have a purple tang that is now infested with ich. I have a lot of questions about treating ich. I lost a hippo tang several months ago while trying to treat it for ich using the hypo salinity treatment. From what I understand, the copper treatments (cupramine) are much more effective.

 

Is this the best way to treat for ich? I have a 24 gallon tank that I can set up and use as a treatment tank so that I don't kill my shrimp, snails and starfish in my main tank.

 

Questions:

 

- Is *non-treatment* an option? Obviously my tank is already infested and so far only the tang has it currently. Can I let it run it's course without doing any special treatment? The tang seems healthy and is enduring the sickness so far. But what are the consequences of not treating it?

 

- Even if I treat the fish, I understand the ich is now in my tank and may come back over time. Right?

 

- I keep finding tiny white specks on my glass about the size of a pinhead that have tiny little fingers coming out of them. Are those the ich parasites hanging out in my tank?

 

Any advice you can all give will be most appreciated.

 

Thanks!

 

Trever

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There are multiple threads for treating ich on this site just do A search.

You need to treat it either with cooper, hyp-salinity or ruby reef.

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I'm sure you'll get some responses from people more knowledgable than myself, but just to get you started:

 

Yes, you definately need to treat in a different tank. Any medication that will treat the ich will kill off all of the invertebrates in your tank. Also, don't use any equipment (pumps/heaters) in your main tank once you've used them in your QT tank.

 

Take the tang out and put it in a seperate QT tank - and leave your main tank fish free for 30 days, minimum. It's the only way to get rid of ich in your main tank - that will complete the life cycle of the ich and it will die out.

 

Then be VERy sure to quarantine all new fish before putting them into your main tank.

 

Tang's are very susceptible to ich, BTW.

 

Those specs on your tank aren't ich, they are pods.

 

Non treatment is not an option - the tang will eventually die.

 

Also, when it's in the QT tank, try to put other things in there so that he can feel like he's hiding to reduce stress. I usually use several coffee mugs - makes the wife very mad (whistle).

 

Good luck.

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There are a couple of reef safe medications for ich, but they are of questionable reliability.

 

DON'T use copper in your main tank. Use a QT for that (You know that already).

 

As Wegotjs said above, you can use rubyreef kickick. The cheapest place that I have found it in portland is at RoseCity aquarium. It is $35 for a 2L bottle. But every time I want to go there to buy it, they are out of stock. Other stores have it, but charge more for it. I have even seen the same bottle in a store for $70 (I won't say which store it was, but they are not a sponsor of this site).

 

If you do use the rubyreef, use double the dose every other day (not every three days like the instructions say), for double the time listed. Then you may get good results. In the meantime, use garlic extract in the food to help lessen the symptoms (not a cure, just a band-aid).

 

HTH

dsoz

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I had to treat a flame angel when I first set up my tank, and I just used Rid-Ich+. Not sure if others have had any different experience, but it worked for me one out of one time.

 

Edit: to clarify, this was still done in a QT - do not medicate your main tank.

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It's nearly impossible to get rid of ich for the life of a tank. You have to let a tank go fallow and then quarantine everything for 4-6 weeks. Coral frags, rock, everything. This is the best way to go just hard for most to do.

Most people have ich in their tank and don't have problems with ich. This is because fish can fight off ich in a healthy, stress free environment.

Get a UV sterilizer and give the fish great water conditions. This worked for me.

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Great point madreefer. Everytime you add a piece of rock or snail or coral you have the potential to be adding Ich.Just somthing we have to deal with.

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I just went thru this this past weekend. My two new Pink Skunk Clowns were able to fight it off. As of yesterday they were ich free. It only lasted a couple days and the best advice was to be patient and wait and see. No other fish in my tank have picked it up as of yet. See my thread in the newbie section about anemone stings or ich for more advice.

 

-Scott

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TANGS DO NOT FIGHT ICH OFF. They are very likly to die if Not treated. There is a reason they are called Ich-magnets. I agree clownfish and some other hardy species like damsels can get over it but the problem is that there is still ich in yout tank and it likely will reappear, plus eveytime you add a fish you are having it stressed and intruduced into a ich tank. New fish are Likely to get Ich.

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Fish beat ich, like people beat HIV. A fish may be asymptomatic (show no symptoms) but still have the disease, and can still infect others.

 

The place that the analogy breaks down (for now), is that a person cannot be "cured" of HIV. We can "cure" a fish of ick as long as the above situations occur. Empty tank of fish, and activelly treat (with copper) every fish that goes into the tank, and QT each piece of rock or coral for 4-6 weeks before putting it in your tank.

 

IMO, more of a pain than it is worth. It is easier to live with ich, and treat the symptoms when they show up.

 

dsoz

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TANGS DO NOT FIGHT ICH OFF.

 

I have seen them fight it off. Maybe not be cured, but healthy without treatment after having it. I might not be the most experienced but people with 20+ years of experience with tangs suggested garlic and UV, no other treatment. One person with tons of experience suggested garlic and a happy home is all that tangs need for a cure.

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Ditto -

I have a hippo tang that went through some bouts of ich when I first put him in the tank. I noticed that when I fed him garlic-infused pellet food regularly (over a few weeks), the ich cycle would be less severe, but when I fed primarily other stuff, it would get worse. (I did take into account the normal ich "cycle" - the garlicky food made a clear difference in my experience). I've now had him for well over a year an no ich outbreaks at all after the first few months.

 

HTH :D

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I have seen them fight it off. Maybe not be cured' date=' but healthy without treatment after having it. I might not be the most experienced but people with 20+ years of experience with tangs suggested garlic and UV, no other treatment. One person with tons of experience suggested garlic and a happy home is all that tangs need for a cure.[/quote']

 

I completely agree! Tangs CAN AND DO fight off ich. My purple tang had a nasty case of ich when I first added it, I did not treat, or add garlic. I do have a UV sterilizer. 5 days and ich was gone, one year later still alive and happy and ich free!! I would say that tang is definitely cured. IMHO quarantine is definitely more stressful than just adding the fish directly to a well established system. You have no promise that that fish won't then get ich once removed from the quarantine and added to the display.

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When I first put my purple tang in my tank, it was covered with white spots really bad even the eyes were covered! I went and got some kent garlic extreme and added that to the food, and the tang cleared up with in a couple of days! I have not seen any spots in about 7 months (Knock on wood!) I will mix some garlic with the food about every other week just for good measure.

Lance

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I completely agree! Tangs CAN AND DO fight off ich. My purple tang had a nasty case of ich when I first added it' date=' I did not treat, or add garlic. I do have a UV sterilizer. 5 days and ich was gone, one year later still alive and happy and ich free!! I would say that tang is definitely cured. IMHO quarantine is definitely more stressful than just adding the fish directly to a well established system. You have no promise that that fish won't then get ich once removed from the quarantine and added to the display.[/quote']

 

I have had basically the same experience with a scopas tang as well. As to whether or not one wants to call it "cured" or "asymptomatic" it does appear that they can recover sufficiently to be quite healthy if given good water quality and nutritious food to help boost their natural immune system. This obviously does not eliminate ich from the tank but, as Dennis points out, that may not be a readily obtainable goal for everyone.

 

Good luck and I hope your tang makes it!

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What does a UV sterilizer do exactly?

Passes water over an ultraviolet light, killing organisms that are sensitve to this kind of light, like bacteria, and virus's.

 

and does ich look the same in saltwater as it does in fresh?

To the naked eyes yes. It actually a different parasite with a similar lifecycle. We call it "ich" because it looks the same to us.

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look, no one is saying that! No one said tangs don't need treatment, just that it is possible for them to pull out of it without treatment. It really bothered me when you said, "TANGS DO NOT FIGHT ICH OFF" because that is not a FACT! Some tangs may not live without treatment, but some live without treatment. That is a fact. You should get your facts STRAIGHT before you post, nothing bothers me more than the spreading of MISINFORMATION!!!!

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Thanks all for the advice. I took the route of treating it. I set up a 29 gallon tank, had it brew over night to get the salt mixed in and temperature up. I spent a couple hours trying to "gently" catch the tang. Though it ended up with me tearing all my rockwork apart to get the guy.

 

After transferring him to the QT tank, I was a little nervous because he went all pale. I have some things in there for him to hide in and I left the lights off to try to reduce the stress. I treated with Cupramine 1.5 drops per gallon instead of the 2 drops per gallon recommended on the bottle. It says to re-dose in 48 hours.

 

I also bought a bottle of the Garlic Xtreme which I hear great things about. Better be good for the price! How much can garlic really cost, right? haha. $30 for a small bottle! But, hey if it works, it's worth it.

 

This morning, the tang looked a little better color-wise. Though he must still be pissed off because his fins were still all erect as if he were in defensive mode. He did manage to eat some flakes and arcti-pods I put in the tank. Tonight I'll feed mysis and garlic again.

 

I understand the recommendation of quarantining all new incoming fish and rocks. Unfortunately it's not practical. If I had a little more spare room for a permanent QT tank I might consider it. I'm pretty much going to have to deal with the symptoms as they occur.

 

One thing I learned in this experience that may have actually been the root of the problem is that I did a totally noob move when transferring the tang into my tank. I touched it with my hand. :( That probably messed with the fish's natural mucus coating thus making it susceptible to the ich which was already in my tank. The rest of my fish seem to be clear of ich so far. I think the tang may have never had a problem if I had not contacted in the way I did. Now I know never to touch the fish (learning from my mistakes).

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To be totally honest with you, IMO quarantine is way more stressful for the fish than leaving it in a well established tank with lots of places to swim and hide, and since its established you won't have to worry about the ammonia getting to toxic levels within a few hours of putting the fish into the quarantine.

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I think you are overstating the possibility of problems with ammonia in qt, but aside from that I tend to agree :)

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"If a fish has Ich and they are not treated they will always have it". My mistake, I should have said your tank will always have it. It may not show the signs but the cyle is continully going on in the tank. I was just trying to help a guy out. Most people get ich and some have fish that die from it if it goes untreated .Alot of people are jumping on here saying my fish was fine with just garlick or no treatment. I don't want to make big deal, he was in the emergency forum and I didn't think that saying leave it alone or feed garlick was the way to go .I misinformed him when I wrote that.

 

I mis spoke and am sorry , I wish other people on other subject on this forum could say that also.

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No worries. I wanted to hear all sides and experiences and try to form my plan based on that. If you had an experience where you didn't treat a fish and it survived, then I wanted to know that as well. Thanks for your help.

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"If a fish has Ich and they are not treated they will always have it". My mistake, I should have said your tank will always have it. It may not show the signs but the cyle is continully going on in the tank. I was just trying to help a guy out. Most people get ich and some have fish that die from it if it goes untreated .Alot of people are jumping on here saying my fish was fine with just garlick or no treatment. I don't want to make big deal, he was in the emergency forum and I didn't think that saying leave it alone or feed garlick was the way to go .I misinformed him when I wrote that.

 

I mis spoke and am sorry , I wish other people on other subject on this forum could say that also.

 

I actually think you made a good point about what would need to be done to truly eradicate the disease from one's system and guarantee that the tang - or any other fish - didn't come down with it in the future. The flip side being that it is possible for an affected fish to become asymptomatic and live a healthy existence by helping boost it's immune system to fight off the outbreak without quarantine and medication. That fish, and the system itself, will then still be harboring the infectious agent which can then reappear if the fish become stressed in some way but it might be the only option (or even the best option) for some if they have limited or no access to a good, stable, stress free quarantine arrangement or simply can't catch the fish!

 

No right or wrong answer here in my mind, just what works best in the given situation.

 

Glad to hear the tang is still hanging in there - best of luck with it's recovery!

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