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Having a H*ll of a Time with Ich

Posted By: Cybermeez <cybermeez@aol.com>
Date: Tuesday, 24 July 2001, at 11:23 a.m.

The best way to describe the Last 3 weeks is "Saga". For almost a month now I have been battling Ich in my community tank. The only fish ever to show the actual white spots were my 3 Clown Loaches. They share their tank with:

2 Zebra Plecos (They are new and were wild caught so it may have come in on them.)
3 Corydoras Trilineatus (3 Lined Corys)
7 White Clouds (But soon to be 6 I'm afraid because one has had a tumor for sometime that has now begun to affect his ability to swim.)

It all started when they got an accidental ammonia exposure via new silicone. About a week later the tank was inadvertently chilled when I forgot to plug the heater back in following a water change.

The Corys were the fist to scratch though they have never shown any spots. I began by using Chem-Marin's Stop Parasites and it seemed to work well for about 10 days, but as soon as I stopped the Clown Loaches began scratching too and came down with a full-blown case of Ich.

Because I have a tank full of sensitive fish (Plecos, Clowns and Corys) I raised the tank to 83 degrees and went with Aquatronic's Clear-Ich as my next choice of treatment. It contains Quinine and Gentian Violet as its main ingredients and has a 3-day dosing cycle. It knocked the Ich back and no one has shown any more white spots, but they are still itching.

So, Sunday I gave everyone a minute and a half dip in a 2% saltwater solution. The Plecos, Loaches and Corys can't take any longer than that or a salt solution any stronger. This was in conjunction with a water change in the main tank and beginning another round of Clear-Ich (the 4th).

Last night I saw one of the clown scratching again and today the snouts of all 3 looked much lighter in color that ever before. They used to be a dusty black but are now a pinkish orange. No one is missing any barbles but I'm worried because I've never seen this happen before. Did the saltwater burn their little snouts?

I'll be finishing up the Clear-Ich tomorrow. But if the Clowns are scratching that means they still have parasites on them, which are in the beginning of their 5-day reproductive cycle (at 83 degrees). I can continue with more Clear-Ich after a water change, but I'm not convinced it's getting all these little Ich bast***s.

I can't use malachite green and I'm concerned about the potential damage copper can do to the fishes internal organs, but what other options are there? Methylene Blue or Formalin (I've heard nasty things about this too and don't know if the Plecos can take it).

Any ideas? Leaving in about 2 weeks for a 14-day trip and want to have everyone healthy before I go. A friend will come in to feed them on weekdays but she doesn't know enough about fish to do anything else.


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