Treating ich-Was BC2007 - Gramma loreto (Royal Gramma)

Treating ich-Was BC2007 - Gramma loreto (Royal Gramma)

Postby cpage3 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:42 am

Hey guys,

I was perusing this site for the first time in a while and I noticed this thread. I can't help but notice that you guys have been having problems with ich. I just wanted to give my experience on a fast and effective treatment that I have found to work. First, I have had good experience with this on a large scale (many cases) because I work at ARC in Buffalo and do all the fish treatment and most of the maintenance.

First, of all the best way to do this is, is in conjunction with copper (dip once then into copper) which we run in most of the fish systems, but is usually effective without it if you keep on it. The way I treat is with a simple very dilute formalin dip. Use about 1 drop per 2-3 gallons (depending on the sensitivity of the fish) in a bucket of salt water while vigorously aerating the water. The dilute formalin causes the fish to shed mucus and slough off the parasites. leave the fish in their for 1-3 hours constantly checking to see if the parasites have fallen off and to see if the fish is stressed or not. The fish should only display slightly elevated breathing while in the dip and usually the white spots on the fish begin to slowly dissapear (with a mild case). Fish that are heavily coated with ich will require multiple treatments and may not be cured using this method alone (dip and copper usually will work though)

One treatment is usually not enough to rid the fish of the parasite, it usually requires multiple dips. This can easily be achieved (if the fish is small enough) by using a breeding net and just placing the fish to be treated in the net (between dips) for a couple of days in the tank they came from. Keeping the fish in the breeding net during the treatment does three things: first it greatly minimizes the stress of being caught on the fish, second it gives you easy access so the treatment is not so time consuming, and third it gets the fish into clean stable water between treatments. Dip the fish every other day until you achieve a cure (I would stop after a week and a half if you don't notice it getting better).

This method has differing results depending on the fish species to be treated. With some fish like Occellaris clowns it works usually the first dip if their only lightly coated. Even fish that are sensitive to formalin like pygmy angels and tangs benefit from this low dosage treatment, although don't use a breeders net with tangs (perhaps a very large critter carrier with ventilation holes in it). It is my go to method at home when I don't have a QT setup, and is the first thing I do when I have a sick fish at the shop. I have used this to treat, achilles tangs, helfrich's, wrasses, clowns, etc. with much success.

Some precautions. Use very small amounts of formalin, 1-2 drops ( I usually only use 1) and don't forget the fish while doing something else. Donot follow the instructions on the back of the formalin I know most people and companies recommend a much higher dosage, bu in my opinion that just leads to O2 deprivation and asphixiation. If you notice very heavy breathing while in the dip, remove the fish immediately, as this can sometimes be irreversible and lead to the slow death of the fish.

Hope this helps. Just my experience .

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Re: BC2007 - Gramma loreto (Royal Gramma) Breeding Log for M

Postby "Umm, fish?" » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:03 am

What has your experience been with copper and fish fertility? I've not heard anything lately, but there was a debate for a while that copper might cause sterilization in some fish.

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Re: Treating ich-Was BC2007 - Gramma loreto (Royal Gramma)

Postby spawner » Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:17 pm


Its been shown that Copper causes issues on some species. At the aquarium Copper is required for 3 weeks prior to fish going on exhibit and we have just about everything spawning.

I've always like Quinine Sulfate.
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Re: Treating ich-Was BC2007 - Gramma loreto (Royal Gramma)

Postby BaboonScience » Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:21 am

The discussion of what to use to treat ich has been an intermittent topic sine the beginning as well as other parasitic diseases.
IMO, the FW dip and Quinine Sulfate are the best way to go. The use of this treatment goes way back.

It seems that Malachite Green and formalin treatments tend to have negative effects on the fish if the fish is in a weakened state. Often, when you get th the point of using these, the parasite has the upper hand already.

Incidentally, Quinine Sulfate found in tonic water (gin & tonic ?) and was used as a means of controlling the effects of malaria in humans many years ago.
"The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth" Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696)
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