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Treating Ich With Shrimp in the Tank


Chels
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When I went to buy a new tank recently, I also bought the most adorable chili rasboras. Unfortunately they have what I suspect is ich - tiny white spots. 

The API treatment "Super Ick Cure" says saltwater inverts might be sensitive to it, so I'm wondering if it would harm my neos? I have berried females so I want to be extra careful. 

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Any idea what the active ingredient is?

<edit> nevermind, I see it in the fine print.

Benzaldehyde Green. Which is a Malachite Green reduction in the presence of aldehyde. 

So API's Super Ick Cure is just malachite green. Not sure if it has any other active ingredients like Formalin, but it doesn't say on the fine print. API is charging you extra for what is just essentially Malachite green.

Formalin Malachite Green will kill inverts.

It works as a stain that penetrates the epidermal cell layer. You need malachite green levels high enough to kill the ich swarmers as they cyst on the fishes skin. Think of it as a force field, as the free swimming ich tries to latch onto the fish, they have to go through the malachite layer which kills them. But having that level of malachite green where it kills ich might also be harmful to inverts - more lethal to snails than shrimp. However, you have berried shrimps. So this med will impact the shrimps and eggs negatively as well.

So conclusion is ... Not safe.

 

Separate the fish into a temporary container/tank with an airstone, and treat them there with malachite green.

Keep them out of the main tank for at least a week or two to let the ich die out naturally before adding the fish back in.

 

 

Good luck.

 

Edited by jayc
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Ah ok.

That's just largely salt, a bit of antibiotics in nitrofurazone, and malachite green.

 

BTW, this product is a rip off. You're paying a lot for what is just salt and a bit of malachite green.

 

My comments above still stand. Not safe for shrimps. 

The salt content is not good in the shrimp tank. Nitrofurazone is ok with shrimps. Malachite green is okay for short periods with shrimp, but not with berried shrimps.

Best to treat the fish separately in another container or tank.

 

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Thanks Jay C! Will do. I think the ich lives in the substrate so it will probably take a few follow up treatments to get rid of it all. But with this treatment it works within a couple of days so that's not too much trouble. 

I wish I had the knowledge to dose the Nitrofurazone and malachite properly but I don't so I'm going to have to pay the ripoff prices. 🤷‍♀️

Edit: Thank you again for editing your responses with all of that helpful info!! I greatly appreciate the details as it helps me learn for future treatments or additives. 

I've done some digging, and the Super Ick Treatment from API seems to be the fastest way to get them off your fish (or I guess technically out from under their scales.. 🤢). So I'll be putting them in a small quarantine tank to treat them for 48 hours. Directions also say there needs to be aeration so I'll have an air stone in there with them just for treatment. 

I also want to make sure the ich is gone from the tank, so instead of waiting until the fish are re-infected to treat again, I also found out that Kick-Ich from Ruby Reef is shrimp/snail safe so I'llbe following up with that when the shrimp babies hatch and become juveniles. Suggestion is to use it with Rally, also from Ruby Reef. It takes up to 2 weeks to treat for the first cycle, then the second cycle to be certain. 

The biggest note using Kick-Ich is calculating the dosage. If you don't account for displacement, you will end up killing everything in your tank. It also can kill some of the beneficial bacteria + algae but I have plenty of that to spare. Also need to remove the carbon filter and sponge filter so the treatment isn't caught there. 

Edited by Chels
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  • 2 months later...

Just wanted to provide an update to help anyone dealing ich who may read this post. It took me a few days to get the treatment started - big mistake. About half of my fish died in those few days. 

Another no no, I fed them during the treatment and there were a few small scraps of food on the bottom of the quarantine/treatment tank. They ate the those scraps and the rest of my fish died. Just devastating since my baby albino bristlenose pleco died too. 

Originally I thought it was my pleco that had the ich, but now after researching their life cycle it's obvious it was the chilis.

I waited 3 months and did a hard reset in my tank before adding any new fish. Then I tried again with another 6 chili rasboras. I saw a couple spots on some of the new fish, but they told me they had already quarantined and treated for ich so I added them to my tank.

Third no no. Now only a few days later they're covered in spots literally overnight. I should have just treated them and trusted my gut. 

Now I'm treating them in a quarantine tank at half dose, waiting 3 days then doing a total water change, feeding them, and treating again. Allegedly the ich should be dead in my tank without fish in about 7 days, but I have also read it could take a month to go through their full life cycle. I read somewhere it could take up to 10 weeks or even 6 months, but I think 30 days is a safe bet. Worst case I'll have to retreat if it's still an issue after quarantining for 30 days. After the 6 days of treatment I'll change the water again and leave them in quarantine until the 30 day mark. 

Moral of the story is always quarantine even if people say they already did. 

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Thanks for the update and there is some good lessons learnt, which as you say, hopefully others can avoid the same happening!

I hope the treatment works and you don't get any traces ich when the fish go back in to the main tank?

Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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Thanks Simon!! The spots should drop off before the end of their treatment (I'm treating 2x in a row for 6 days), and then I'll wait another 3 weeks to add them back to the main tank after that to be safe. By then, all of the ich on the chilis and in the tank should be gone. If I still see white spots after a week and the 2 treatments, I'll have to start the treatment over again. 🤞🤞🤞🤞 Giving them a break today after I do a total WC so they can fill their little bellies with food before the next round. 

I do have one question if you don't mind. Would it be okay to put them in RO water after the total water change instead of using tank water? I acclimated them to the tank water slowly (drip acclimation) and I'm pretty sure I can't just fill their quarantine tank with RO water? 

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I put them in pure RO water while I did the WC today and for a few hours after. They got a break from the treatment and a ton of food. Hopefully the RO water wasn't another no no. I made sure it was the same temp as the quarantine/treatment tank. 

I also checked them for spots today and only a couple still have spots on them now. All of them had spots when I started treating them Saturday. So happy news there. Now I hope this second round of treatment gets rid of the rest of their spots and I can start their regular quarantine. 🤞🤞🤞🤞

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46 minutes ago, Chels said:

Hopefully the RO water wasn't another no no.

It seemed to work okay for your Chillies. However, putting fish into pure RO water from whatever water they were in previously is a HUGE change in parameters and can be quite a shock to the fish. Next time remineralise the RO water to about 100 TDS before adding any fish into it.

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Thank you so much JayC!!!! I will definitely not be taking that risk again. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

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3 hours ago, Chels said:

I will definitely not be taking that risk again

You certainly dodged a bullet that time. 😄

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Posted (edited)

I am incredibly lucky!!!! 🤦‍♀️😫🤣 In more ways than one apparently. 

After 2 treatments of 72 hours (6 days total), all of the spots were gone!

So I put them back in the main tank. Without any other cycled water, I would have had to use tank water from my main tank to quarantine them anyway. I was originally thinking they needed 30 days away from my main tank for the ich to go through its full life cycle judging by some forum comments I was reading by experienced aquarists.

IT WORKED! 

It's been about a week and there's no new spots. They're fat, happy and getting a darker red color every day. I think I have a pregnant female, and a single male. So he has a harem.

PHEW!! 😫😁 *knocks on wood*

Edited by Chels
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3 hours ago, Chels said:

It's been about a week and there's no new spots.

Phew, glad it has ended well for you and the rasboras.

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Thats great news, thanks for etting us know!

Simon

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