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ICH drug free cure

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ICH drug free cure

Post by Fishypastor on Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:37 pm

Being as I have little ones in the house I want to do everything as chem free as possible. This includes keeping fish. One day ich will hit. Of this there is no doubt. Have any of you been successful using heat and salt treatments? There are lots of articles on the web about this... comments, thoughts, suggestions, failures, successes?
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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by l_l_l on Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:53 pm

I have treated ich a few times succesfuly by increasing the temp, adding salt and doing regular gravel vacuums.
The key to defeating this protozoan is to know it well..

Here is a nice article on this.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=16+2160&aid=2421

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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by GaryE on Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:40 pm

Umm, salt's a chemical, and it is really hard to get out of a tank after the treatment. For most of the rainforest fish I keep, it is a major pain in the butt.
I would much rather use a dye - easier to remove when the treatment's done, and quite effective. I don't see Ich often, but when I do, my attack on it is dye based, and effective. There is nothing natural about salt to a species that evolved in the Congo basin, the Amazon basin or just about any inland rainforest.
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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by Fishypastor on Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:10 pm

Yes, salt's a chemical... NaCl and what not. Other types of salt too. Water is a chemical for that matter! I guess I just would rather not have more "chemicals" in the house that little ones can get into than I have too.

What do you mean by dye exactly? And one would think salt would be rather easy to remove. Just do your natural water changes and soon it will be diluted to 1/infinity no?

I would imagine there are all kinds of salts in nature... chemicals.... and all kinds of stuff. If we are talking about keeping our tanks as natural as possible we are probably way off. Natural and healthy conditions are not always the same.
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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by alexmtl on Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:02 pm

I prefer malachite green, or methylene blue and various other dyes, basically similar in nature. They are not safe for plants and stain the silicone.
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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by CAAIndie on Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:51 pm

I agree on the malachite green. Harsh stuff, but it seems to be the most effective treatment.

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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by Sbenson11 on Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:01 pm

I keep mostly Goldfish/Koi so I keep salt on hand at all times, for a number of reasons, 40lb bags of it actually. It's been years since I have seen Ich, but heat and salt would be my first line of treatment for Ich.

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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by GaryE on Thu Nov 27, 2014 8:03 pm

If I were to get Ich on my Aphyosemion killies, the heat needed would kill the fish. So I avoid that treatment. The dwarf cichlids, rainbows and livebearers can take the heat, but they tend not to like salt. It is amazing how long it takes to dilute it with 30% water changes.

I switched livebearers out for rainforest fish I hope to soon receive, in a tank with inert sand last week.For the past year, I had added a little salt, and epsom salts with every water change for the wild Molly species I had in there (the water was liquid rock, just as they like it).  I changed 95% of the water out Sunday, and used my currently 115 tds tapwater. The next day, that tank tested at a tds of 380. With twice weekly changes, I would expect that tank to be where I want it (110 to 125 tds) in a couple of weeks. The salts really stick around.

When the fish I'm keeping lay their eggs, the expelled egg sucks in sperm along with minerals from the water. If the water's too hard, so is the eggshell. These eggs are adapted to mineral poor conditions, and are great at grabbing as many minerals as they can get. Only they can't hatch if they grab too much. That will never happen in their soft native waters, but in a fishtank, it is a real obstacle.  

So if I use salt against Ich, I take out the tank for my breeders for around 2 months.

If I use Malachite green based meds, the Ich is gone in 3-5 days (or drugstore methelyne blue - 5-7 days) and a simple use of aquarium carbon removes most of the meds. The tank is running for breeding after the second, just to be sure treatment. In 10 days I'm clear, versus 60 to 70 with salt.

That said, Ich is very uncommon unless you have new petshop fish. With wilds, you see it sometimes, ditto for breeder supplied fish, while for pet shop fish, I don't buy unless I know I have a treatment at home. I have gone 8-9 years at a time without seeing Ich here. though I had a couple of bouts from new fish last year. If you see it in time, it clears really fast.

It used to be a big problem for me before I got the need for regular, on schedule water changes. That's really what knocked it into the shadows for me.

I have my little medicine cabinet for my fish - praziquantel for gut worms in wild arrivals, some powdered levamisole in waiting for the dreaded but uncommon Camallanus worm (I have seen it twice in 48 years of fishkeeping, but man, I want to be ready if I see it a third time. It kills quickly), trusty old methelyne blue, a noxious sounding Malachite green and formalin Ich med (it works!) and some acriflavene for velvet. I'm 6"3, and I have to reach up high to get those meds down from the shelf I put up for them. They are up high with the glass cleaning razor blades and the sharp fishroom knives. My kids are grown up (2 girls now both 5"9) so my precautions are probably just an old habit from when they were little, but. I get the concern with young ones and fish meds.
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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by nyleveiam on Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:43 am

As a newbie, of course I got ich in one of my first tanks. I tried the salt and heat and it did eventually go away BUT I lost about 5 fish, and the rest ended up with some serious fin rot issues from the damage caused by the cysts.
Then, I joined this forum, bought some new fish and darned if they didn't show up with ich. Gary, bless his soul, told me to use the malachite green/formalin mixture and the ich was GONE in 24 hours. I continued the treatment for the recommended time and didn't lose a single fish.
Even the blue stain on the silicone in my tank eventually faded away, the only reminder was blue airline hose but, hey, some of it is even sold with that blue color and it does make it blend into the tank better when it's blue!!!
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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by alexmtl on Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:16 am

In reference back to the title, a drug free cure for Ich ??

That would be more about providing a physical barrier to prevent spread of ich and a physical method to kill off the parasites. Once ich is in the water it remains quiescent in a spore form (though this is controversial) until fish are weakened and are susceptible. Unless you can completely wipe out the parasite in the free swimming stage, with perhaps a UV (which would be drug free).

I would think that if you separate the unaffected fish to separate tanks each with their own tank, that you could control the spread. Impractical and unrealistic. For cost effectiveness and despite mortality we most likely tend to favour inexpensive remedies like the dyes. Quinine is an effective option if you can get it.

For whatever reason that one wishes NOT to use chemicals, there are preventative measures to reduce the dependence on drugs. These are less cost-effective and require investment (like UV) or physical tank space, or become impractical. It is better to keep healthy fish and not purchase LFS stock until you are assured of a disease free stock.

As a reminder a drug is any chemical that has an effect. However the drugs at our disposal are not very selective, therefore they have effect and SIDE EFFECT. Side effects are numerous and may cascade into larger problems, Even salt, as stated, is a drug, with a lethal dose. As someone stated, water can be a drug, with a lethal dose. So perhaps the question is more about Ich prevention and Ich control in a cost effective manner. We tend to be miserly when it comes to putting cash into our aquariums (well, most of us anyways).

Here is a thought. We value our fish. If the control and maintenence of the pet becomes too high, are we still willing to put the cash into a cure which may be 50% at best on the disease, and may be 50% at killing our pet.
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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by Fishypastor on Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:22 pm

And this is why I joined this forum... good food for thought. In the end I decided to invest in some "chemicals" Smile I figured the investment and well-being of the fish makes this a logical product to have around. I will be as vigilant as I can to watch for problems such as ICH ( I do tend to stare at my fish a lot and notice when things are not right) and extra vigilant when it comes to my kids (human ones).

If I notice things early I will attempt salt+heat as a first-line if the fish in the tank can tolerate it reasonably. Otherwise, the drugs it is.

Thank you all. I take your thoughts, experience, and ideas not with a grain of salt Smile but quite seriously.
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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by CAAIndie on Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:30 pm

What did you end up picking up? Smile

Good discussion here.

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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by Fishypastor on Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:32 pm

Went for malachite green.
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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by the clean guy on Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:14 pm

Change your water


Clean water works wonders Very Happy Very Happy
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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by Fishypastor on Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:06 am

Agreed. I tend to be a little OCD about water changes... 1-2 times a week. But my fish seem to love me for it, and I actually find it therapeutic in a strange way. Probably why we love keeping fish in the first place.
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Re: ICH drug free cure

Post by CAAIndie on Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:17 pm

@Fishypastor wrote:Agreed. I tend to be a little OCD about water changes... 1-2 times a week. But my fish seem to love me for it, and I actually find it therapeutic in a strange way. Probably why we love keeping fish in the first place.

One or two times a week is very good. You may find some hobbyists (especially if they are looking to breed certain fish), may do even more frequent changes!

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