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Thread: Do my fish have Ick?

  1. #25
    wmgorum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    Trapper,

    this is how the "learning cycle" generally goes when it comes to all the PH test kits and the various drops and all that.

    Step 1.
    buy a new tank and get every test kit under the sun, test water religiously and fret and worry over the results..add lots of drops to the water.

    Step 2.
    after a few weeks, realize it all means nothing and stop using all that stuff.
    Go onto decades of sucessful fish keeping and never touch a test kit ever again.

    and you are right, you already know more than the people at the fish store..
    dont listen to anything else they say.
    Scot's completely right... I haven't tested my aquarium water in years... Keep up with your partial water changes (I do about 25% usually weekly with my Malawi cichlids... old habit from when I had discus) and you'll be just fine... Cycle a tank properly and you won't have to worry about ammonia or nitrite usually and regular partial water changes keep the nitrates in check. I fretted over my discus tank endlessly and they were constantly stressed which led to their demise. Later, I stopped testing the water, worrying so much and doing water changes weekly or if something didn't look quite right and things were great for years. You'll also learn your fish... you'll be able to look at them and know something's not quite right just from their behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    your recent aquarium problems are the result of two things.

    1. as you already know, the tank wasnt properly cycled.

    2. your tank is far too small to ever be really stable.

    IMO, 10-gallon tanks shouldnt even be sold..they are useless..the amount of water is FAR too small to ever be a stable environment...(and goldfish bowls should be illegal.)

    I would consider a 29 gallon tank to be the minimum practical size.

    10-gallon tanks CAN work..but you will have to clean and fuss with them much more than larger tanks, and you shouldnt have anything more than 4 tetra-sized fish in them..

    Step 3.
    after being frustrated with the 10-gallon tank for a few months, the new tropical fish enthusiast moves the fish into a 29 gallon or 55 gallon tank, and the 10-gallon goes into storage in the basement, never to be used again!

    The fish and the fish keeper live happily ever after.
    Again, Scot's right. Novice aquarists tend to buy small tanks and then plan to upgrade as they become more expensive, but it's definitely not the right way to do it. Folks should start out with the largest tank they can and buy smaller tanks when they are more experienced. Smaller tanks have a smaller volume of water (obviously) and water quality can deteriorate FAST!

    When you clean your tank, do partial water changes... I don't advise ever completely tearing a tank apart to clean it... if you do, you stand a chance of throwing the biological filter out of kilter and then you have to cycle the tank again.




    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    (and I know all about those three steps from personal experience!

    http://www.geocities.com/scottychaos/aquapage.htm

    (sorry about the Geocities..I will probably never get around to moving that webpage..)

    Scot

  2. #26
    Loves VFT's! Trapper7's Avatar
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    Good advice, thanks to both of you I will keep doing regular water changes. I bought a 10 gallon because a) that's all I could afford right now, and b) because that's all I have room for, right now. Thanks again for all the great advice. I will stop with the darn test kits and just let it be
    Great Googly Moogly!

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  3. #27
    allegedhuman's Avatar
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    Smaller tanks are always useful to use to quarantine new fish from the main tank. That is something you should keep in mind too if you do add more fish later. Just adding new fish bought at the pet store to your tank with healthy fish that you nursed back to health through Ich could lead to the newcomers carrying in something unpleasant and infecting everyone else.

    Just take your new barbs as an example, they looked healthy and acted fine when you first bought them but within a week you are now battling Ich. Maybe it was the temperature drop that caused it but more likely they already had the parasites and it was just a matter of time before you saw spots as the disease progressed or the temp drop triggered the outbreak. Either case if you already had a nice healthy tank of other fish and added the ich-y barbs then you would be treating a whole tank of potential Ich infected fish and I'd be pretty pissed if I ended up loosing a bunch of my fish because of the new guy who looked healthy but was carrying something nasty and deadly.

  4. #28
    wmgorum's Avatar
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    Test kits are good until you get a feel for how your tank works... and they're handy when you're cycling a tank... you can watch there be ammonia, nitrites and nitrates spike and go down as the tank cycles. Water changes are without a doubt one of the best things you can do to keep the ammonia in a cycling tank. There's also a resin called zeolite that pulls ammonia out of the water. You can recharge zeolite and reuse it by soaking it in really strong salt water.

    One more thing about ammonia (if I remember this correctly): the toxicity depends on the pH of your water. If the pH is below 7.0, ammonia is converted to ammonium, which is not toxic and is readily used by aquatic plants. If the pH is above 7.0, is ammonia and the higher the pH goes, the toxicity increases. This information was in an article I read YEARS ago (Aquarium Fish Magazine, maybe?) so it may be fuzzy in my head. I am old and I am blond, after all. ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by allegedhuman View Post
    Smaller tanks are always useful to use to quarantine new fish from the main tank. That is something you should keep in mind too if you do add more fish later. Just adding new fish bought at the pet store to your tank with healthy fish that you nursed back to health through Ich could lead to the newcomers carrying in something unpleasant and infecting everyone else.

    Just take your new barbs as an example, they looked healthy and acted fine when you first bought them but within a week you are now battling Ich. Maybe it was the temperature drop that caused it but more likely they already had the parasites and it was just a matter of time before you saw spots as the disease progressed or the temp drop triggered the outbreak. Either case if you already had a nice healthy tank of other fish and added the ich-y barbs then you would be treating a whole tank of potential Ich infected fish and I'd be pretty pissed if I ended up loosing a bunch of my fish because of the new guy who looked healthy but was carrying something nasty and deadly.
    I'll agree with this 110%. I had a 135 gallon tank with various discus strains that I had for several years and had raised many of them from the size of a quarter. They were absolutely beautiful and I had a Marlboro Red female pair up with an exquisite Blue Diamond male and they produced fry for me on several occasions. I bought some cardinal tetras and stupidly put them in the tank without quarantining them properly first. I knew better than to do it, but I didn't have a quarantine tank set up and I REALLY wanted these cardinals. They were carrying something (I never did figure out what it was) and I was without discus and cardinal tetras in a matter of a week or so.

  5. #29
    Loves VFT's! Trapper7's Avatar
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    Yeah, I thought about the new fish being infected too and that worries me. I don't have another tank.

    wmgorum, that's really sad about your fish
    Great Googly Moogly!

    Beware of the yellow snow!

  6. #30
    Loves VFT's! Trapper7's Avatar
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    They all died this morning
    Great Googly Moogly!

    Beware of the yellow snow!

  7. #31
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    im sorry trapper..

    it probably wasnt ich that did them in,
    it was probably ammonia in the water. (uncycled tank)

    If you want to try again with the 10 gallon, you could try "fishless cycling"
    (which you DO actually need test kits for!

    or it should be safe to cycle with maybe 2 tetras, as long as you do 25% water changes daily until the tank is cycled..(a few weeks)

    your tank has probably started to cycle..
    and you probably have the beginnings of a bacteria colony in your filter media.

    I would keep the the tank running..with the water in it with no fish, dont replace or throw away the filter media..maybe keep adding the ich medicine to the tank to kill any of the buggers that are in there before you add more fish..(maybe run the tank empty, no fish, while adding the ich medicine for another week or two)

    then fill a 5-gallon bucket with tap water, let it sit for 24 hours (to dispell the chlorine and to warm to room temp)

    drain out 50% of the tank and re-fill with the 5 gallons from the bucket.

    Do it again 24 hours later.

    then you will only have 25% (more or less..the math isnt qite that simple, but it doesnt matter right now..) of the "original" water in the tank, and 75% "fresh", but your bacteria colony wont be much effected..(yes it might die off a bit without "food"...but it probably wont die off completely.)

    stick two tetras in the tank and start over..the tank will continue the cycling process that was already underway.

    personally I like "fishless cycling" because there is zero risk of hurting any fish in the process..
    it is somewhat complicated, btu easy enough once you get going and understand what you are doing..
    just google it, lots of info will come up..
    here is how I did it, (copied from my webpage..because geocities sucks)

    (from Scot's discus page)

    Page 2. The Fishless Cycle.
    March 12 - April 17, 2001
    5 weeks! (a bit longer than normal)


    I knew I wanted to do a fishless cycle on this tank.
    because it would prepare the biofilter for the fish without
    going through all the mess and bother of using actual fish.
    (and possibly harming or killing those fish in the process!)
    I had never tried it before, but after reading a lot about it on the internet
    I deceided it was definately the way to go.


    The tank contains one large sponge filter (a hydro V)
    and a whisper power filter. the sponge is meant strictly for biological
    filtration, the whisper (later changed to an aquaclear) strictly for mechanical filtration.

    I filled the tank with water on March 11, turned on the air for the sponge filter,
    (the whisper was left off for the entire fishless cycle) and just let it sit for 24 hours.
    (to dispell chlorine)
    then on Monday, March 12, I began the cycling..
    I added 1/8 Tsp ammonia, that brought the ammonia level in the tank to 0.25ppm
    added another 1/4 Tsp, brought the level to 0.50ppm.
    added more and more ammonia until the level reached 4.0ppm.
    I squeezed out the filter media from my planted tank into this tank
    to get those bacteria going..then tested.

    conditions at the end of day one were:
    ammonia 4.0ppm
    Nitrite 0ppm
    Nitrate 0ppm.

    then waited...I added no new ammonia at all during this first phase.

    day 2, conditions the same..
    day 3, the same..
    day 4, still unchanged..
    day 10..still no change *sigh*
    day 18 STILL unchanged! grrr!
    this was getting very frustrating! nothing was happening!

    I was still adding filter squeezings now and then from the other tank, I cut some plants from the other tank and dumped them in..nothing was working..

    finally, Day 23, April 3rd, 3 weeks since the start, a TRACE of Nitrite! 0.25ppm! woo hoo!
    and ammonia had fallen from 4ppm down to 2ppm!

    the next day, Nitrite even higher! 2ppm..and ammonia lower, 1ppm!
    it was working!

    now here is where I made a mistake..from all the reading I had done on fishless cycling I was under the impression that once nitrites appear and ammonia levels begin to fall, you must start adding ammonia again! because the bacteria are finally multipling and Eating the ammonia right?! made sense to me..so once nitrites appeared, I started adding small amounts of ammonia again.
    I added 2 Tsp's ammonia on 4/4, 4/5, and 4/8..during this time ammonia stayed steady at 0.5ppm, and nitrite stayed at 5ppm...Nitrates also appeared and steadily climbed..but the mistake was adding more ammonia..by doing that, I was feeding the bacteria that were producing nitrites, and causing them to create much MORE nitrite than I needed to complete the cycle! Geoff and Dave C. , my friends from the freshwater forum, finally convinced me to stop adding ammonia..and it took another 7 days for the cycle to finish after that...so from the time nitrites first appeared to the final end of the cycle was 14 days! much longer than normal..adding ammonia when nitrites appeared probably prolonged the cycle by at least a week!

    But finally, on April 17, Day 37, it was done!




    Scot

  8. #32
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Another thing concerning "quick fish death" that many people dont know or understand..

    even in a well-established healthy tank, often when you buy new fish from a fish store, they quickly die! and it has nothing to do with your tank..

    why?

    because "fish store fish" are very stressed before you buy them..they have often spent weeks or months in very sub-optimal conditions..(especially if they are "wild caught" and shipped half way around the world)

    So by the time you buy the fish and put it in your tank, the fish is already 90% of the way to death...it simply finishes that last 10% in your tank..even if your tank's conditions are great and much better than its previous conditions..if it already "too far gone" your tanks good conditions wont save it..

    I bought 4 Siamese Algae Eaters six years ago..all from the same "population" at the fish store.
    Two died within days..
    the other two are still alive and well 6 years later.

    I have also had this happen with Ottos and tetras...Ottos especially are notorious for this..
    they either die within 24 hours of being in your tank, or they live happily for 5 years!

    I have tetras and one angelfish going on 8 years old..they arent supposed to live that long!

    If the fish get "over the hump" and recover in your tank, they should go on for years..

    just another thing to keep in mind about "mysterious fish death"..

    but having said all that..your tank still needs to be cycled!

    Scot

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