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Help! Ich!

Posted By: Amanda Welliver <welliver@pconline.com>
Date: Thursday, 6 April 2000, at 2:06 p.m.

Hi everyone. I used to post here semi-regularly and then got caught up in other things that kept me from spending as much time here. Naturally, I'm coming back to seek advice because my poor loaches are in a bad situation.

I have 8 clown loaches - one that's about 6 inches, one that's about 5, and six that are around 3 inches. They've up until this point been hardy and active and very easy to keep.

Last night I noticed what seems to be an outbreak of ich. I can only assume that it's been present in the tank forever, or was added through tap water during my last water change (which was one week ago.) These fish have been the only ones in the tank, with the newest addition in October of 1998.

I've started increasing the tank temperature, I've turned the lights off, and I'm using nox-ich at half strength.

I'm worried there's something else going on, however - previous observances of ich (never with these fish) have been only white specks on the skin. This seems to be a combination of specks and larger patches, particularly on the largest loach. The total area of the infection seems to have doubled overnight, with new largish patches appearing in about 8 hours. On some of the smaller fish, the edges of the caudal fin are tipped in white now.

I'm hopeful that the tried-and-true temp/salt cure will work, but I want to make sure I have a correct diagnosis and am treating the right disease.

(if it's helpful, the patches look very similar to scratches or scrapes - at first, I thought the larger fish had just been sparring and had battle scars, or had perhaps been trying to squeeze into a smaller cave. Then I noticed that there were speckles and that all 8 fish were infected.)

If you have advice, please, please send it my way.

Thanks much.

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