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Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...

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  • Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...


    I hope that I can source some help here

    I'm new to this hobby since July 2015. In beginning of October 2015, I did setup a new tank which is a 45G Fluval Bow Front in aquascaping mode. The tank is heavily planted. I went through a "Silent cycle" with NO, absolutely NO trace of ammonia and nitrites. I barely could have nitrates, which showed up most of the time at 2.5 (Nutrafin tests). I had to dose Nitrates and Phosphorus myself to keep up with the plant growth. Substrate is Eco-Complete covered with Seachem Flourite Black Sand and a triangle portion Eco-Complete sand for separation.

    I am using the following Seachem products for plant dosing :

    Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Trace, Potassium, Excel and Iron. I also use Seachem Stability, Pristine, Clarity sometimes and Prime if I'm in a rush and use TAP Water. I most usually do my water changes with RO/DI water with Seachem Equilibrium, Acid and Alkaline buffers to have a GH of 4-5 and a pH around 7 to 7.2.

    I also pressure inject CO2 at 3 to 3.5 bubbles per second, and my pH varies from 7.3 to 6.7-6.8 each day, which seems reasonable to me.

    I totally LOVE the Seachem products.

    My fish population is :

    5 Cardinal Tetra
    5 RummyNose Tetra (1 died)
    6 Harlequin Rasboras (3 died, 1 yesterday since start of ICH)
    5 Brilliant Tetra
    5 Guppy sp.
    4 Sunshine Platys (something ike this... black, yellow and orange)
    3 Otocinclus
    4 True Siamese Algae Eater (not Flying Fox...)
    5 Glass Catfish that I LOVE !
    10 Amano Shrimp
    1 Nerite Snail
    1 assassin Snail

    I suspected that something was going on inside the tank because I lost 2 Harlequin Rasboras and 1 Rummynose Tetra within 3 weeks. So I was monitoring the fish closely, but all the rest of the population was doing great !

    I did my weekly maintenance last week end with heavy plant trimming and all was fine... up until Monday. I discovered that 1 of my Harlequin Rasboras had white spots... I was SO... ticked off...

    I then read and read stuff on the Internet, and, since I have 10 Amano Shrimps, I could not use copper to treat my tank. I then decided to use Seachem Paraguard and crank the temperature up to 88F.

    I started to crank the Temp Monday night little by little and was able to buy Paraguard only last Wednesday.

    I started to use Paraguard yesterday Thursday, and have established a treatment plan which is as follows : I had Purigen in my Fluval 306 but did replace it with filter floss :

    Tuesday to Tursday : increasing Temp up to 88F (everybody in the tank is doing GREAT ! )
    Thursday Dec 10 : Half dose of Paraguard (10ml) + Water Chemistry measurement
    Friday Dec 11 : 3/4 dose of Paraguard (15ml) + Substrate cleaning + add water
    Saturday Dec 12 : Full dose of Paraguard + Water Chemistry measurement
    Sunday Dec 13 : Full dose of Paraguard (20ml) + Substrate cleaning + add water
    Monday Dec 14 : Full dose of Paraguard + Water Chemistry measurement
    Tuesday Dec 15 : Full dose of Paraguard (20ml) + Substrate cleaning + add water
    Wednesday Dec 16 : Full dose of Paraguard + Water Chemistry measurement
    Thursday Dec 17 : Full dose of Paraguard (20ml) + Substrate cleaning + add water
    Friday Dec 18 : Water Chemistry measurement + 6G water change
    Saturday Dec 19 : 6G water change
    Sunday Dec 20 : 6G water change
    Monday Dec 21 : Monitor Fish behaviour and check for white spots
    Tuesday Dec 22 : Monitor Fish behaviour and check for white spots
    Wednesday Dec 23 : Monitor Fish behaviour and check for white spots
    Thursday Dec 24 : decrease Temp by 2F
    Friday Dec 25 : decrease Temp by 2F
    Saturday Dec 26 : decrease Temp by 2F
    Sunday Dec 27 : decrease Temp by 2F
    Monday Dec 28 : decrease Temp by 2F

    Looks most probably like a strict plan for you, maybe, but I am a medical lab technologist and pretty rigorous about what I do.

    My questions are :

    1- Does this plan looks realistic to you to completely kill ICH ?
    2- What should I do with my lighting. Usually, my light are around 3000 Lumens at full power. But I got a Current Ramp Timer so I can dim my LED lighting no problem. If I shut down completely my lighting, all my plants will suffer, plus the heat, plus the chemicals...
    Since I have Amano shrimps, is it safe to use salt with this treatment plan or I should copletely forgot this ?

    Thanks for your help and, as I said, any help would be greatly appreciated. So far, no fish loss since wednesday (finger crossed...)

    Thanks a lot !

  • #2
    Re: Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...

    Anybody there that can help with Paraguard ???


    • #3
      Re: Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...

      This is a very detailed plan and should be fine to use as your treatment plan, but I will point out a few things.

      1) When increasing temperature, this will simply accelerate the life cycle of the parasite so the infection may appear worse after 1+2 days without having any medication present

      2) ParaGuard can be used, however this is also not marketed as an invert safe treatment option. Many people have treated with ParaGuard with Amano shrimp present,but we would recommend that you monitor shrimp for any signs of stress.

      3) Ensure that you have very good aeration, as when treating with a medication, oxygen levels can be reduced. In addition, raising temperatures can also reduce oxygen, but if you have plenty of flow and aeration, this should not be an issue.

      4) On days that you plan to do a water change, do the water change first, then add the dose of medication for that day. Keeping a constant volume of medication in the system will be the best way to eradicate the parasites.

      I hope this helps. Good luck with the treatment!


      • #4
        Re: Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...

        Thank you very much for your reply,

        Here's my observations so far on your comments :

        1) Unfortunately, the place where I live doesn't stock Paraguard ; so I had to drive 100 miles away to get one bottle ! That is why I did increase the temp before treatment. Otherwise, if I would have had Paraguard on hands, I would have started the treatment as soon as I increased the temp. Was also impossible to get Paraguard by Internet order in time before I could get it myself.

        2) Shrimps are doing GREAT ! I feed the fish with flakes soaked in Garlic Guard 2 times a day with a plastic pipet and they even come to be fed at the tip of the pipet ! I can't feed from the surface with the amount of agitation that I created because of the high temp + treatment ; it would be a complete mess in the tank. So I feed them manually. What stress on shrimps looks like ?

        Aeration is at the max, with a pump with bubbles and 2 powerhead that points directly to the surface. I have reduced my CO2 injection to 1 bubble per second.

        I still have a question though : I treat in the evening so it is complete darkness ; around 6:30pm. Usually, my lights goes on at 8:30am for 8 hours at 3000 lumens.

        Do you suggest to reduce lighting during the day or I can keep the same amount ? My plants stopped growing since last week, but I don't want also to kill them without any light. I know that this may be a trade off between live fish and live plants, but if I can minimize the lost on both sides, that would be great. I already lost part of my Monte Carlo foreground plant as it needs lots of light. Since I do the treatment more than 12 hours before lights goes on, does lighting will react with Malachite Green ?

        Do you also suggest that I stop dosing my plants with the product mentioned in my original post during the treatment ?

        So far, 2 losses ; 1 Harlequin Rasboras and 1 Siamese Algae Eater. I have 1 Glass Catfish that is lurking at the surface all the time, with no sign of ICH on his body.
        THanks for your help !
        Last edited by Marc Martineau; 12-15-2015, 15:44. Reason: Add text


        • #5
          Re: Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...


          1) That makes sense regarding temperature increase prior to treatment.

          2) it is excellent to hear that they are doing well in the environment! That is exciting that you can “hand” feed with a pipette :)

          It sounds like you also have aeration under control, and regarding lighting, there should not be any need to reduce further. It will be fine to leave the lighting as is and you should still be able to supplement nutrients to your plants as well. The only supplement I would suggest holding off on would be the Flourish Excel. I would recommend that you cease dosing of the Flourish Excel while treating, but you can resume with dosing 24 hours after the last dose of ParaGuard.

          Hopefully you will be able to knock out the infection quickly so you will not sustain any more losses. Please let us know if you have any other questions!


          • #6
            Re: Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...

            Thank you very much for all your advices.

            One more question :

            My initial plan is 8 days of Paraguard treatment, with the first 2 days at 1/2 and 3/4 full dose, and the 6 remaining days at full dose (20ml as I have 40 gallons of water in my 45 gallon tank).

            Do you think that 8 days would be enough, or there is a minimum time to treat ICH with Paraguard ? Like 4-5 days in extra to be on the safe side ? Or 14 days in total ?

            Just want to treat as precise as I can to eradicate this bug.

            Thanks in advance for your great help ! I LOVE the Seachem product ; superb quality products ! I wish that my nearby fishstores would sell the Aquavitro line, but unfortunately they don't. It is not all companies also that have a board like you have and help peoples ! Reading other posts really help also. Keep up the great work !



            • #7
              Re: Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...


              Thank you for your reply. I think that 8 days is a reasonable place to start. If you see symptoms persisting after day 8, then I would recommend that you continue treatment. Some infections could take up to 21-28 days treat depending on the amount of parasites in the system as this is the life cycle length of many ecto-parasites.

              If the system is tolerating the treatment well, I would recommend that you treat for at least 14 days to rid the system of as many of the free swimming stage of these parasites and then re-evaluate if you should extend treatment based on visual observations of the fish.

              We are so glad that we could be helpful to you and we wish you the best of luck with the treatment! Let us know if we can assist further or answer any other questions.

              Have a great day!


              • #8
                Re: Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...

                Thank you very much for your advices ! I will surely treat more than less and monitor my fish closely.

                If I may, I have some other interrogations :

                While treating, As I said in a previous post, I manually feed my fish as I soak the flakes and small pellets in Garlic Guard. I am feeding them twice a day, 7:00am and 6:00pm. I do monitor my water parameter every other day.

                Tonight, I noticed that my nitrates raised to 20ppm and I have a glimpse of nitrites (test tube is not pure clear, but very slightly pink). I use Nutrafin test kits wich I really like. They never let me down and had always be reliable. No sign of Ammonia.

                Here's my parameter :

                pH : 7.5 (increasing a bit from 7.3 2 days ago...)
                Ammonia : 0
                Nitrites : 0.05 (first color is 0.1 on the chart...)
                Nitrates : 20 (up from 10 last test)
                GH : 120 (8 drops x 20 = 120 or 6.7 dGH)
                KH : 70 (7 drops x 10 = 70 or 3.92 dKH)

                I think that I've been feeding too much. Usually, I feed with an automatic programmable EHEIM feeder twice a day, but the amount of food that drops from the feeder are way less than I feed manually. That is probably why my nitrates raised and that I can see a very small amount of nitrites, without ammonia (mean that the bacteria are still there, even with the treatment and the high temp (almost 90F)). I didn't feed them tonight and think that I will do it only once a day for the remaining of the treatment.

                My questions are :

                1- Is it safe to add a bit of Prime directly to the aquarium just to prevent toxicity ?

                2- Is it also safe to add Stability according to the dosing regimen on the bottle ? That will contribute to add a bit of bacteria ?

                3- What can cause my pH to slightly increase ? I have very strong aeration in the water because of treatment and high temp so could that contribute to raise the pH ? Keep in mind that, usually, my pH varies from 7.3 to 6.7-6.8 with CO2 injection, but I have reduced the CO2 injection at 1 bubble per second. So I expect my pH to remain around 7.2-7.3...

                4- KH is also down a bit (from 4.5 to 3.92. I do siphon the substrate and the plants (3 gallon) every other day as mentioned to remove as much as possible some parasites that falls on the substrate, but uses TAP water with Prime to refill. Usually, I use RO/DI with Equilibrium, Acid and Alkaline Buffer with sets amount to have a pH around 7 and a dGH of 4 and a dKH of 4-5. Should I continue with RO/DI during treatment to keep my dKH where it was ? Because I suspect that either the treatment or the TAP water contributes to decreasing the dKH.

                Sorry for the long text and questions but your advices, so far, released a huge amount of stress that I had with this episode of ICH. So far, as of today, all fish are spotless and swims like crazy around the tank, like they never did before.

                Thanks a LOT for your time and help !



                • #9
                  Re: Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...

                  If Tech Support could look at the questions on the above message... that would be great !

                  Thanks :-)


                  • #10
                    Re: Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...

                    To answer your new inquiries:

                    1) Yes, this is typically fine, but when you are medicating you will have a loss of oxygen and we do recommend using caution when adding water conditioners when medicating as this could lead to a further loss of oxygen. Just make sure you have good flow in the system if you want to do this. If flow is good, this should be fine.

                    2) Yes, it is fine an recommended to dose Stability whenever medicating.

                    3) It can increase due to heavy aeration. As atmospheric oxygen is introduced, pH can go up slightly.

                    4) Yes, it is best to keep parameters as steady as possible when treating for any infection as this helps the fish to better fight off disease by boosting immune response. Small fluctuations are fine, but try to keep as constant as possible and avoid any large fluctuations.

                    It is fine to continue feeding, but you may want to cut back slightly in the amount as you are not using any chemical filtration media during treatment.

                    I hope this helps. Have a nice day!


                    • #11
                      Re: Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...

                      Thank you very much...

                      That's one of the many reasons why I like de Seachem products ! Keep up the great work !



                      • #12
                        Re: Newly discovered ICH in my planted tank...


                        You are most welcome! Have a great day!