I am brand new to this site and pretty new to keeping fish, I have noticed white spots on one of my fish and noticed that they are all acting strange and lethargic. I had two small fish die in the past week and was worried about the water conditions. I have been checking it religiously and it is fine. Would Ich cause the fish to die? How should I treat it? could it be something else? I also wanted to know about adding salt to the water. At the petstore they said gouramis should have salt as well as some of the other fish I have. What should I do?
Welcome to our forum!
Ich will definitely kill fish, and gouramis tend to catch it first. Depending on how sick the fish are, some of the commercial ich cures may work. If you have activated carbon in the aquarium filter you should remove it while the medicine is working. That's because carbon will remove some meds. Some people also add a small amount of salt, but that will not necessarily cure ich. That said, I haven't medicated an aquarium in years; it's too easy to over medicate, and if the medication does work you may be just covering up a problem. Fish get diseases and parasites for the most part when their immune systems are compromised. That happens when water conditions are not healthy, and bad water is usually the result of over crowding, over feeding or lack of maintenance.
If the aquarium is new, are you sure it was completely cycled? Cycling usually takes a month or so and is greatly helped by live plants. During that time, beneficial bacteria grow in the aquarium substrate, filter, decorations, plants, etc. The bacteria then convert fish, plant and food wastes into harmless things. If you test for ammonia and get anything but a zero reading, the aquarium is not cycled. Ammonia test kits cost less than ten dollars, and many aquarium shops will test the water for you free. Just don't let them sell you a sack full of medications. A good water conditioner should be all you need. The best and easiest cure for your aquarium problem is some daily, partial water changes (about 25 %) for about a week. After that, weekly partial water changes will keep the aquarium maintained. After the first water change, do some research about the species of fish you have. They may not be compatible with each other, and they may require different water conditions. That's why many experienced aquarists prefer single species tanks. You may also want to gradually raise water temperature a degree or two, provided temperature remains in the healthy range for your particular fish. Higher temperatures can speed up their metabolism. Even if the fish are already too sick to cure, the water changes will help the aquarium.
After reading all that, you'll probably have questions, so ask away. And thanks for participating in the forum.
Excellently said John. I work in one of those stores that try to load you up with all the medicines, the salt and the meds will help get ride of it but you have to also think what caused it if you dont find the caus the cure wont do any good. als the medicines can kill alot of your good bacterias so you want to be very careful about over medicating if you do decide to go that route!!
Thanks for the advice, The actual aquarium isn't new, my sister had it set up with a couple fish in it for quite some time. She got bored with it and left it sitting and I felt bad for the fish and took it over. There are 2 kissing gouramis, a clown loach, a Black-Banded Leporinus, an albino red tailed shark, a large plecostimus, 4 small danios, and 2 rosy barbs(i think). I had another clown loach and 2 silvertip sharks but they died. The fish were always very active but now seem to be hiding and just laying around on the bottom. The tank is 25 gallons and seems like enough space since all the fish are pretty small, do I need a larger tank? I have a 35 gal but I'm not sure where to put it. I have been doing daily water changes up until last week because of high nitrates and nitrites. I've gotten that under control and everything looks fine when I test the water, no ammonia either. The fish just seem very strange and definitely not there normal selves. The only fish I can see spots on is the clown loach. I keep the tank at 78 degrees, how much warmer should I make it? also do I need an airstone or some type of thing to add more oxygen? I also only have plastic plants, should I add some real ones? I know I'm rambling on I am just trying to learn everything I can about caring for these fish. I am really surprised how much I like it. I would've never thought I would enjoy caring for an aquarium this much. thanks.
I would say yes your over crowded. all your fish probally still have alot of growing to do you could almost fill a 55 with that!! that could also be why you nitrites and nitrates are high. with that said it would probally be a good idea to add either live plants or an air pump and air pump will take away needed co2 from the tank that plants will need to survive so i usually do not recomend both
If the fish got sick shortly after you took over maintenance duties, they may be getting over fed. Are you and your sister both feeding them and not telling each other?
One of the easiest places to find out about the needs, including water temperature, of a specific fish type is Google.
I am the only one feeding them so I'm sure thats not the problem. I really checked them out and did alot of research and it is definitely ich, the loach looks just like the one in the picture on the site i was reading, he is covered in white spots. I am raising the temp slowly up to 85 and added some salt to the water, I will continue to monitor them over the next week and a half. Hopefully this will help. They actually seem to be swimming around more now that the salt is in there. I'm not sure if thats really the case or i just think it is but hopefully this will help them. If anyone has any other suggestions I would appreciate it, and thank you for all your help. One more thing, I have another tank with goldfish in it, I haven't had any problems with them yet but the other day when my small loach was dying i put him in with the goldfish to keep the bigger fish from bothering him, now I'm worried I spread the parasites into that tank. Can I use the same salt and heat technique with them as a preventative measure?
Welcome to the forum!
I have to reiterate that daily water changes do a world of good.
I would say that yes, you now have to worry about 2 tanks.
The stress of moving a sick fish is always scarey. Sometimes that finishes them off. However, if the other fish were intent to hurt it, I understand it was the only option.
A Quarantine tank is always a good option in this situation. a cheap 10 gallon setup... Tank, sponge filter and heater. Not too expensive.
Good Luck and keep us posted.
The partial water changes will also remove the salt when it's not needed. I still favor water changes and no meds, but that's probably another one of my minority opinions.
I just finished doing a water change. When I vacuumed the gravel there seemed to be little white particles in the gravel. I have noticed them in the past but not this many. Are those from the Ick? The temp is at 82 degrees. thats were I'm gonna keep it unless you guys think I should go warmer. My loach looks a lot better it seems like most of the white dots are gone. The only fish I am really concerned about now is the smaller gourami. His fins are really tattered looking and his eyes are clouded over. just before I did the water change the cloudy cover started to peel off his one eye. It is just hanging there and every time I go to check on them I think he is dead. He just floats at the top of the tank with his mouth right on the surface. He has his fins clamped tight against his body and his gills are barely moving. I really thought he wasn't breathing. What does everyone think? should I expect the worst? is he so far gone that he won't recover?
sorry to say but expect the worst....
Just got home and went to check the tank before bed and the gouramis eye has fallen out!!! WTF! Wasn't expecting that one. he was swimming around and as he turned I saw it was gone and I could see into his head! I doubt he will still be alive in the morning unfortunately. I just really hope the other one and the loach and pleco make it. It also looks like he is oozing into the water and pieces of his fins are falling off. I kinda wish he would give up and stop suffering. Kinda sad, if you would've told me I would care this much about a fish two months ago I woulda told you that you were outta your mind.
I'm really sorry to hear it.
I had an angel that lost an eye, but it was in a fight, not an infection.
Unfortunately to say, I'm afraid the way you descibed it, your fishy friend is not going to get any better.
If you don't want to watch it, there are some ways to euthanize, other than just flushing him.
You can partially fill a ziploc type bag with some water, and put him in it, and stick it in the freezer. According to experts, he'll just go to sleep and not wake up.
I'm sorry, and good luck whatever you choose.
Thanks, I was gonna ask if there was something humane I could do to help him out. He is still alive this morning but looks terrible.
That white stuff you syphoned off the bottom of the tank is probably uneaten food. If so, it would explain the other problems. Gouramis are often the first fish to show disease symptoms, and watching one get sick is really awful. Some people use clove oil or vodka to euthanize a fish, and there may even be a commercial preparation for sale. It's no fun no matter what you do.
I spoke to someone at a pet store that specializes in fish and he told me that the salt won't do anything to clear up the problem and I need to medicate them. Just wanna make sure I am gonna do the right thing. I am gonna drop the temperature, do a water change to lower the salinity, take out the carbon filter, then add the medicine?
I have a bottle of wardley ick away that i'm going to try i guess. I'm also gonna add an airstone to make sure there is enough 02 in the water. I haven't made the decision to euthanize the fish yet but I will have to make it soon. Definitely sucks. I can't believe i've grown to care about these fish that much.
I almost forgot, this guy also told me that the clouded over eyes and the tattered fins are not from the ick, he said it is a different infection called fin rot? I thought I had read that those were symptoms of ick? Am I wrong?
If nothing else, you should remove the gourami, because he can spread his sickness (fin rot or ich or what ever) to the other fish. Lots of people use salt and slightly elevated water temperature to treat aquarium problems, but it's easy to over do. If the other fish are getting better, you may not need to medicate them. The water changes may be helping the fish to recover as quickly as the chemical alternative would. Not all aquarists share my bias against medicating, and at times it can be very effective. Just be sure to follow the directions to the letter. The label should also give you an estimate of how long it takes to clear the ich.
What ever you decide about medicating, it's important to find the source of the disease. As I said before, most aquarium water has potentially harmful bacteria and parasites, but healthy fish with a good immune system can fight those things off. Unhealthy water will compromise the immune system and make the fish vulnerable. The best way to keep an aquarium healthy is to have a balanced biological load and do appropriate maintenance.
Good luck, and please keep us posted.
Well I made the decision and euthanized the gourami I think it was the best thing to do. Unfortunately today we lost the clown loach as well. I hope we don't lose anyone else. I medicated the tank as per the directions and will continue to do it 2 more times. I really hope that this will be the end of this problem. Till the next thing. Just want to get everything back to normal and healthy. Thanks everyone for the help.
Just want to update everyone on the status of the ICK epidemic in my tank. I have treated with Ick away and it seems to be working well. Unfortunately we lost a clown loach but, I was kind of expecting that. All the rest of the fish have responded well and are back to their old selves. They are eating well and are very active. All the water levels are good. I am going to continue with the last treatment and wait a couple days to make sure there are no more problems. This was quite the learning experience and know have a lot of new information. Thank you everyone for the help.
Glad that the rest of your fish made it!
I hope that you hang out here on the forum with us!
Thanks for keeping us updated. Many of us have gone through the same experience, but we at least learn from it. Give the fish and aquarium plenty of time to recover.
I just wanted to thank you for your alternatives to medicating fish. I'm the same way with myself, my kids, and my dog...so good to know there are options with our fish family too. Medication is last resort...
I have a 55 gal tank that I set up 1/10, substrate and plants only, I test my water 2/9 and my pH was 8, ammonia 0.25, nitrite 0.25 ppm and nitrates 80--160 ppm . I thought all looked good n transferred my angel fish that is 4 in across his body and 3 pictus catfish what do I need to adjust my water too and what other. Fish are possible foe tank mates.
I just wanted to add in on this. We just did a complete overhaul on my aquarium, it was set up for 3 years but the algae eaters weren't doing their job. After, we had high nitrites, high ammonia, high Ph, and high alkalinity. I bought a chemical from API because I had fish dying about one a day. After the first dose, fish stopped dying. Then all of a sudden the day after, two fish had ich. I gave them some API super ich cure, and within 3 days they were all healthy (although the filter sponge is dyed), and because we had the carbon out for 3 days, just to make sure, I put it in a bowl of aquarium salt and ich medication for a few hours just to make sure I wouldn't be adding anything with ich on it back into the tank.
Hello I was reading this conversation and I am a beginner in fish tanks. I had my tank for 3 weeks now. I been dealing with ick for a while now and I am going nuts. I have tried salt, quick cure. this was my first option because it was suggested at the pet store. the ick help out a lot, the ick seem to be gone but then it appeared again on my dwarf gourami I noticed this 2 days ago. now the ick is back but I don't want to use any medicines. I raised my temperature to 85 degress. all my other tropical fishes are fine except my gourami. he eats and swims but ever since I been raising the heater he has been on the bottom of the fish tank so now I am kinda scared, he is active but from time to time he sits still on the bottom of the fish tank is that normal?
I don't think so little buddy might be sick. That's what my cichlid was doing before he past.
i need help with my fish
Hello Dennis, this is an old post and most likely resolved at this time. You will gain more attention if you start your own forum post. Give us some details on that new post like... tank size, occupants, water parameters for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, are you using test strips or liquid testers, type ofwater conditioner, how long your tank has been established and what exact symptoms are you seeing in your fish. Okay? Then you will gain much assistance.
I have done water changes and put in the ick medicine but it keeps coming back. My tank has 4 oscars, 2 catfish, 1 clown knife and a couple other species that were given to me but I don't know what they are. What else can I do to get my fish and tank healthy?