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Sad day - good advice

Posted By: Mark in Vancouver <markmark@telus.net>
Date: Thursday, 24 July 2003, at 8:57 p.m.

The trouble with the advice for treating ich - in my humble opinion - and with a lot of advice on aquarium science, is that much that is posted fails to include the Golden Rule: do one thing to your water, and lots of other things will happen.
Very sad to say that since last night I have lost two of my six clowns. Here's what happened, and by failing to bear in mind the Golden Rule, what I did wrong.
So a while back - two weeks ago, I introduced two new clowns to my tank without quarrantine. Ich occured. I treated with the Malachite Green and formalin mixture "Quick Cure." The treatment calls for one drop per gallon, and I used it at full strength. Then got into a schedule of a 50% water change before each treatment, once every two days until the ich was not visible. Then waited three or four days and did it again.
What I failed to consider was the loss to my (once balanced) bacteria cycle in the tank. I didn't add any "cycle" or nitrovec to make up for what I had taken from the tank.
A nitrite spike occurred. I lost two Otocinclus from that tank, and now two clowns. I think the oto's should be like the canary in the mine - if it dies suddenly (SODS), something is likely very wrong.
To make matters worse, the %$#@!! ich has reappeared.
Four clowns, one oto, three threadfins - all stressed, but looking like they're going to hang on. Today I removed all the rocks and vacuumed the gravel very thoroughly, did another big water change, medicated the ich at half dose, and added 1.5 times the cycling amount of cycle. There was a significant amount of "hidden" muck in the hard-to-reach areas where the clowns like to hide. My nitrites, ammonia do not get a reading. Neither do my nitrates at this point - with all the water changed.

For all people treating ich or otherwise bringing about changes to their water chemistry: just remember the Golden Rule. Go and buy the test kits for Nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, GH, KH, and PH. Monitor everything - particularly nitrite, every day or so. Use cycle products whenever you are changing large amounts of water!

Good luck, and may you never have to remove a dead clown loach - what a terrible sense of failure and personal blame!

In recovery,
Mark in Vancouver.


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