Kill Fish Ick/Ich in 4 Days Flat

Fish ich/ick is one of the most well known fish disease around.  It’s sometimes called ich, ick, white spot, or the fancy name, Ichthyophthirius multifilis.  So that begs the question.  Once you your fish get ick/ich, how do you get rid of it?  It’s easier than you might think.

Make Sure You Are Dealing With Fish Ich/Ick

The most noticeable and common symptom for fish ick/ich is small white spots on your fish.  You may also notice that your fish seem slower or more sluggish than normal as the disease progresses.  A common occurrence to look for with fish infected with ich/ick is that they may rub or scratch up against aquarium decorations.  Many of these symptoms may quickly be noticed once your is affected with Ick/Ich.

The Life of Fish Ick/Ich

It’s important to take a minute to understand the life cycle of ick/ich.  Basically the organism cannot be killed while it is on the fish.  It will start in the water, latch on to your fish and then release from the fish to free float again.  This cycle continues over and over.  The organism must be free floating in your fish tank to be killed.  That’s no big deal because the right conditions can speed the life cycle along and allow you to quickly kill the free floating organism.

So How Do I Kill Fish Ick/Ich?

Alright, here is how to get rid of fish ick/ich in just 4 days.  The lifecycle mentioned above, which sometimes takes weeks, can be sped up to just 3 or 4 days.  The key is increasing the temperature of you tank to 80-82°F for the 4 day treatment period.  By raising the water temperature, the lifecycle will kick into high gear.  Within just a few days the organism will be free floating and vulnerable to medication.  You’ll want to treat the disease with a medication specifically designed for fish Ick/Ich.  This should be started the first day the water temperature is increased.  Rid-Ich is the most popular and recommended medication.  Your fish tank should be free of fish Ick/Ich by the end of just 4 short days!!  While your fish will thank you after 4 days, it is a good idea to continue treatment for a full 2 weeks to make sure there is no chance of recurrence.  That was pretty easy wasn’t it?

We’d love to hear about your Ich experience.

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168 Responses to Kill Fish Ick/Ich in 4 Days Flat

  1. jolene August 11, 2007 at 4:06 pm #

    I dont know much about ich. I know its white spots on the fish and can be treated with medicine to put in you water.But i want to know if its bed to loose scale. m. One of my goldfish has missing scales. He has like 9 missing on the right side and 3 missing on the lft side. i dont know if its a sickness or what?

  2. Eric August 12, 2007 at 2:47 pm #

    Hi Jolene,
    Advanced cases of fish Ich can cause your fish to lose scales. If you see the spots, I would treat for Ich using the methods above. Ich can also cause your fish to rub against rocks and other decorations. That would explain some scale lose as well.

  3. Carl Strohmeyer August 27, 2007 at 2:21 pm #

    Keeping up with water parameters as well is important in the treatment of ich as high ammonia/nitrite levels can lower the fish resistance. Also GH, KH, and pH are important to consider as Malachite Green (which is in many treatments such as Rid Ich or the very popular Quick Cure is more toxic at lower pH and Calcium is not only a good buffer, but a necessary element is disease resistance as well.

  4. James greensmith October 22, 2007 at 10:09 pm #

    Should i make any water changes while they have white spot.

  5. Eric October 23, 2007 at 9:13 pm #

    Hey James,

    Yes, it is a good idea to continue doing water changes while treating any disease. This really addresses the root of these problems by keeping your water quality where it should be.

  6. Sarah November 7, 2007 at 9:00 pm #

    I have a question. Should all the gravel and decorations be taken out and cleaned thoroughly before put back in, does it matter, or can you still use them?

  7. Eric November 8, 2007 at 8:06 am #

    Hi Sarah, No that is not necessary. Once you kill the organism in your tank, you’re in good shape. There’s not a risk of Ich hiding out somewhere else.

  8. Dee Jean Maxwell November 14, 2007 at 1:51 pm #

    I had a new platy that developed ich. It died within 24 hours of any noticeable signs of the disease. I was planning to treat her with medication and had already purchased it. Now that she has died, should I still treat the tank or just make water changes? I have 3 other tetra fish in the tank.

  9. Eric November 14, 2007 at 9:34 pm #

    Hi Dee Jean, I would treat the water to be safe. You don’t really know what stage of the life cycle your Ich is in. It could be free floating in your tank still.

  10. Biggie November 16, 2007 at 10:43 am #

    how often should you feed your fish if your using the salt and raising the temperature method to get rid of ick?

  11. Eric November 16, 2007 at 11:40 pm #

    Hello Biggie, There’s no reason to change your feeding routine. You can feed as normal.

  12. Rosie November 26, 2007 at 12:36 am #

    I been treating my fish for the past 4 days for ick should i go a ahead and change my water how often ? and i took the filter out and I got a new one when should I instaled it? thanks…

  13. Rosie November 26, 2007 at 12:43 am #

    How do I raise the temperature on my fish tank? to speed up the process of ick

  14. Eric November 26, 2007 at 10:01 pm #

    Hi Rosie,

    You’ll need a heater to raise your tanks temperature. You don’t want to change the water completely as it is very stressful on your fish. You should be doing regular water changes however.
    I would change the filter after you get rid of your Ich.

  15. Mary December 9, 2007 at 4:24 pm #

    Hi. Well I’m new to the fish world and i noticed my fish has the salt like spots know w/ Ick. I’ve put salt in the tank and I’ve ordered a medication. Should I be worried that the fish will die before the medication comes in the main in a few days?

  16. Mary December 10, 2007 at 4:38 pm #

    My fish just died and I still have a plecos in the tank. Should I clean out the tank before I put new fish in the tank and should I put the Ich Guard in the tank so that my plecos doesn’t get it? I need help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Eric December 11, 2007 at 7:18 am #

    Mary, Sorry to hear about your fish lose. Completely cleaning your tank would be very tough on your fish. You would need to cycle your tank all over again. You should raise or keep you tanks temperature high (80-82°F). Go ahead and treat the tank for a couple of days if you do not see signs of the disease in your Pleco yet. The only reason to treat longer is if it’s in your fish and you are waiting for the disease to cycle and leave your fish. Remember it’s the water that you are treating, not the fish. Be careful not to over medicate. The downside to using these chemicals is that they can create other problems by harming your good bacteria. Just use them when you need them.

  18. Mary December 11, 2007 at 6:43 pm #

    Thanks Eric! and I’m sorry too but he got really sick and his fins started to look like thy had Fin Rot. I did notice some spots on my plecos and thought I should get him out of my big tank so I put him in a smaller one. The medication I ordered should be here by tommorow it’s called Ick Guard do you think this brand will be ok for him? I’m just worried about the amout to give him.

  19. Mary December 11, 2007 at 6:48 pm #

    This may soud really stupid but I don’t use or have a heater because I only keep Fancy Goldfish and as much as I know they don’t require heaters. Will I be able to get rid of the Ick w/ out a heater? I’m not sure if this believable but the medication I ordered (Ick Guard) says that it doesn’t require a temp. raise.
    I really would hate for him to die too though.

  20. Mary December 11, 2007 at 6:50 pm #

    I’m sorry for all the questions but do you think it’s a bad idea that I took him out of the tank? Since I took him out should I clean the normal tank or leave it as it is since there’s no fish in it?

  21. Eric December 11, 2007 at 9:45 pm #

    <p>Mary, Don’t worry. There are no stupid questions. The smaller medicine tank is a great idea. It’s a lot easier to medicate without destroying your bio-filter. Ich Guard should work fine if you cut the dosage. Ich Guard II is designed for scaleless fish. The high temperature only speeds up the disease cycle. You can still medicate without raising the temp. I would stick to the directions but it will most likely suggest 14 days of treatment. You should treat the original tanks water even without the fish to kill the free floating organism. Hope that all helps! Good luck!</p>

  22. Mary December 12, 2007 at 3:52 pm #

    Thanks so much Eric! You are such a great help. I’m totally coming to you when ever I have fish questions!

  23. Mary December 12, 2007 at 4:16 pm #

    It says on the medication that to give one teaspoon for every 10 gallons and if Ick doesn’t go away to give ever 24 hours. Does this mean that I only have to give it once?

  24. Mary December 13, 2007 at 6:49 am #

    Eric, My plecos died just died too. I put Ich Guard in the little tank he was in and I put it in my big tank. Should I completely clean out my main tank and dump the water out and clean the rocks and stuff or should I just leave the Ick Guard in? If I should leave the Ich Guard how long should I leave it in before I can try again w/ more fish?

  25. Eric December 17, 2007 at 10:17 pm #

    Hi There Again Mary,
    Sorry to hear about losing another fish. Sounds like it was too late to help them. You don’t need to clean all the rocks and such. Treating the water of both tanks for a week or so should do the trick. I would start with one fish only just to make sure you are completely rid of it sometime after the week. You don’t need to change all of the water, but would probably benefit from a major change. 50% should do after the week of treatment.

  26. Mary December 21, 2007 at 4:01 pm #

    Ok! I’ve treated my tank for ick and I’ve done a 50% water change. I also changed the filter. It’s been a little more then a week and I want to get another fish tomorrow. I was hoping to get another pleco then my friend is going to give me some of her baby mollies when they are ready. My question is : Can I have a pleco in a tank by it’s self until I can get the mollies in a few weeks?

  27. Eric December 22, 2007 at 10:30 pm #

    Mary, sure there’s no harm in that.

  28. Jen January 1, 2008 at 2:43 pm #

    Hi and Happy New Year,

    I got ick in my tank about 3months ago when I bought about 15 tetra/barb/mollies to put in my 55gl tank with my other fishes. I only treated by quaraniting the ones that had spots after 3 died because within a week after purchasing them because some of them had babies.

    Now, I found a few dead last week. I don’t know how to treat the tank because I have 3months, 1 month, 1week, and days old babies. Will the babies survive “ick treatment”? I bought a new heater last night and at max. temp. it’s reading 78.

  29. Eric January 3, 2008 at 10:28 pm #

    Hi Jen,
    You’ll want to be careful with the baby fish if you treat the whole tank. Check out the label on the treatment. You should only treat at 1/2 strength at most with the babies in there. The treatment is a poison of sorts. Another option would be to add the babies to the quarantine and treat the rest. After you are comfortable the Ich is cleared up you could add them back to your main tank.

    Also, looks like you need a bigger heater if that is all the higher you can get it. A bigger one or a second one would do the trick.

  30. Denise January 7, 2008 at 12:58 am #

    <p>Hi, I have a question about the Ick. I currently am for the first time experiencing fish with the ick. I have neons, some diff. barbs and a few diff. mollie species and also 12 diff. colored glo fish. Just today a few more neons passed and the one mollie looks bad. All the Zebras I took back to the store which had Ick. I was told to raise the temp. water to 80 degrees which it is at and was told to raise the salt level to 1.0005 on a Hydrometer scale reading and NOT to medicate at all that it would just cause a secondary infection. Said the increase salt level and raised water temp. would kill the parasites in 4 days but to keep doing this for 2 weeks with weekly parcial water changes. Do you know if this is a good method? The person whom advised me to treat my fish is a Marine Biologist so I hope she is steering me right.</p>

  31. Eric January 9, 2008 at 9:39 pm #

    Hi Denise, The advice from your friend isn’t bad at all. Salt treatments probably deserve a separate post to give all the details around them. This post refers to the method It’s probably worth a look. Many shy away from chemical treatments because of their side effects. They are however, the most aggressive of treatment options. Coupling the chemical treatments with the salt as mentioned in the linked post can help speed the treatment as well.

  32. BROOKE BINIAK January 10, 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    I have a question we had 2 clown fish and 1 yello tail dansel they died from ikh my only problem is that we have live sand and live rock how do u cure it with that stuff in it. The pet store told me I can due a cold dip or I should turn my heater up to 82 and then add salt to the tank to read 1.026 I’m not sure if that is correct or not. I just dont want my other two fish to die and also my shrimp and emerald crap to get hurt in anyway. Please help this is my first time dealing with this and its a new tank.

    Thanks Brooke

  33. Zore January 11, 2008 at 12:08 am #

    Hey Eric.
    We noticed the white spot on our swordtail fish yesterday.she also has a swollen abdomen. the male looks healthy. we did 50% water change and added 40 drops of Ich treatment (but no aquarium salt)to the 10 Gallon water tank and raised the temp to 82. I don’t have another tank to do quarantine. do you think the female is dangerous for the male or the water is already infected? do you think the female has a chance of surviving the disease?

  34. Zore January 11, 2008 at 12:11 am #

    Do you think I also have to add aquarium salt since she also has dropsy?

  35. Eric January 12, 2008 at 3:18 pm #

    Hi Brooke, You really need to quarantine you fish before treating with given your situation. This keeps you from affecting the live rock and sand. The most common treatment for saltwater Ich is copper. The problem is, the advice given here is specifically for freshwater fish, so I don’t want to confuse things too much as there are more effective treatments than Copper for freshwater fish Ich. I recommend doing a quick search search on Google to find saltwater specific advice, as the recommended treatments are different.

  36. Eric January 12, 2008 at 3:38 pm #

    Hello Zore, If your male has not yet contracted the disease it’s not a big deal. You are actually killing the disease when it is free floating. The male won’t get it directly from the female. It would get it from the water. If you are in the middle of the treatment cycle, the organism won’t live long enough in the water do do any harm to the male. Chance of survival is really dependent on the stage of the disease. If caught early enough, she could survive. Once you start seeing advanced signs, the chances decrease dramatically. Read your particular Ich treatment for any cautions, but using the low level salt treatment coupled with the Ich treatment should not do any harm.

  37. Stephanie January 17, 2008 at 7:57 pm #

    I was wondering… I have a painted turtle in the tank with my two fish that have Ich and I just raised the tempurature to start the treatment, but I’m worried that it might harm the turtle if either the water is too warm or the medication could possibly do something. I don’t think it will but I’d like to make sure just in case.

  38. Eric January 19, 2008 at 2:20 pm #

    Hi Stephanie, Don’t worry about the temperature. I wouldn’t go above 86°F and it will be fine. The medication could affect the turtle adversely. The warnings may tell you this. There are many medications available with many differences so it’s hard to tell. If you can quarantine either the fish or the turtle before treating, I think that is the safest thing to do.

  39. Stephanie January 19, 2008 at 9:40 pm #

    So I should just heat up the tank and use salt? I dont’ have anywhere big enough for the turtle to go but I do have a small tank for the fish.

  40. Eric January 20, 2008 at 12:41 pm #

    Stephanie, Yes, I would suggest adding aquarium salt and stepping up the heat without being able to quarantine. That is your next best option. If you’re catching the disease in its early stages, your chances are good.

  41. Stephanie January 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm #

    I don’t understand how the salt will help. And if I do use it then I don’t need any medication? Also, is this a disease that my turtle could catch? I’m sorry, it’s just that I’m confused about the whole situation.

  42. Eric January 21, 2008 at 9:06 pm #

    Stephanie, Don’t worry one bit about the confusion. Salt would be used as an alternative treatment to medication. I don’t believe turtles can catch Ich. A good starting point is 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt per 5 gallons of water. Basically, smaller organisms cannot process the higher concentrations of salt like your fish can. This weakens and eventually kills off the Ich. Your fish are able to adjust to this small concentration of salt even though they are freshwater fish.

  43. Debbi January 23, 2008 at 10:49 pm #

    My barbs have ich. I’ve already lost two. I’ve been using Quick-cure, but I think it’s really stressing them out. They are very sluggish and haven’t eaten in three days (since the treatment began, prior to that the only symptom I saw was a few white spots on two flashing either) The two fish I lost didn’t seem sick at all before the Quick Cure and showed no symptoms. One of the survivors has lost most of his tail, although I wonder if that’s because his friends are nipping him because he’s weak or if it fell off because he’s sick. I raised my temp from 72 to 74 last evening and from 74 to 78 this a.m. and from 78-80 this evening.

    The question is: can I use salt and the malachite green/formalin based Quick Cure together? Can I discontinue the Quick Cure safely or am I just chickening out on the treatment? How do I know how much salt is in the tank?

  44. Eric January 24, 2008 at 7:36 am #

    Hi Debbi, Yes, you can do salt treatments and malachite green medication treatments together. Malachite green can even be used to treat completely saltwater tanks. You’ll need a hydrometer if you want to test the exact salt level. Don’t worry, sounds expensive but you can find them for a few bucks

  45. Debbi January 24, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    Thanks, Eric! I’ll get one today.

  46. Mary January 24, 2008 at 6:06 pm #

    hi again eric! Thankfully my tank is doing wonderful!!! I have a question though about ick and plecos. If a tank were to get ick w/ a plecos in it how would you go about treating the tank w/ out killing the plecos? Any tips on medicating tanks with plecos in them not just for ick but diseases in general?

  47. Eric January 26, 2008 at 3:19 pm #

    Great to hear Mary! You can find Ich medication specifically designed for scaleless fish (including Plecos). These will be much easier on your Pleco. You’ll want to be careful with Malachite Green/Formalin based treatments. Same thing for using heavy salt treatments. Both of these treatments can be harder on Plecos.

  48. Ashley January 30, 2008 at 4:51 pm #

    I have a fresh water tank and I think my fish have ick but there are no visible signs of any spots. The symptoms of the disease that i have noticed are the scratching on rocks, swimming low, occasionally not eating, and I had a pleco die yesterday. my temp in my tank was pretty cold about 60 degrees. I bought a heater and it is now about 75. I have a blackskirt tetra, convicts, and a pleco. the pleco that died was bought 2 days before it died and it would stay by the water flow of the water pump which was weird because plecos like still water….what do u think is it ick or am i overreacting to the death of this fish?

  49. Eric January 30, 2008 at 10:48 pm #

    Hi Ashley, It’s hard to tell if your dealing with Ich or not. The spots are the biggest indicator that it’s Ich, and you aren’t seeing them. With the behavior your describe, your fish is definitely sick from something. Those are all classic signs. It would probably be best to hold off on treatment unless you see the symptoms progressing a bit further. It doesn’t seem like you are over reacting. Most of the time when fish are lost to disease, it’s because the symptoms aren’t noticed until it’s too late. I would just keep a close eye and raise the temp some to get the disease moving in case you are dealing with Ich. You also should do some water testing to make sure everything is where is should be. Water problems can even promote those signs of weakness.

  50. Ashley January 31, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    thanks for the advice. today i was inspecting my fish and i did notice a couple spots but they were pretty small and it wasn’t all over the body like most pics i’ve seen and there seemed to be tiny stuff floating in the water that i’ve never noticed. i’m not sure if it was just stuff stirred up from the bottom or what but to be safe i turned the heater up to about 80 and i added some salt to the water but i was sure to dissolve the salt first so it wouldnt dissolve my pleco and i noticed while adding the salt that my fish were almost instantly playin around again. i dont know what to think of all this.

  51. Eric February 2, 2008 at 10:39 am #

    Ashley, That all makes sense. The the only thing I would caution you about is the salt treatments with the Pleco. They are not really fans of the salt. It would be best to dilute the normal salt treatment suggestion some. Typically you’ll add 1tsp of aquarium salt per gallon. I would start with 1tsp per 2 gallons.

  52. Ashley February 2, 2008 at 10:29 pm #

    i thought it was one tablespoon for every 5 gallons that’s what i added and the pleco seems to be doing just fine he seems to be much more happy. and i had another question i was thinkin about puttin plants in my tank but i wasn’t sure if the salt would kill them or not so i havent gotton any yet. I think my convicts are gettin ready to breed but they act like they don’t have a place that is suitable for them.

  53. Eric February 3, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    Ashley, Sorry for the confusion. One tablespoon per 5 gallons is a fine place to start. My suggestion above is for one teaspoon per 2 gallons. 1 tablespoon is equal to 3 teaspoons. That works out to 1 tablespoon per 6 gallons. Some plants are more tolerant to salt than others. You’ll want to do a little research before buying. Just do a Google search for “aquarium plants”. You might first do a quick look at your local aquarium shop. It’s usually easier to find out what you can actually find and then figure out whether they will work. You might even be better off holding off a couple weeks if possible till your Ich is gone. Then you can start diluting your salty water with water changes.

  54. jessica February 4, 2008 at 11:11 am #

    i bought 2 fish at petco about a month ago. i had both of them in a 30 gallon tank and decided to get more fish to fill it up. i bought 2 angel fish and a puffer fish. all of a sudden both of the angel fish died. i know now that i didnt have a heater in it and thats probably why they died. i noticed my puffer fish getting white bumps of it so i bought fish ich cure the next day. its been about 4 days now since i noticed the ich and my puffer fish still seems to be doing very well. i bought a tank heater too. should i be worried that my puffer fish will die too or do you think i have this under control now????

  55. Eric February 5, 2008 at 9:17 pm #

    Hi Jessica, You’ll just need to keep a close eye on your puffer. Ich can move fast. If your fish is showing any other signs of sickness you’ll need to address the problem. Lethargic, always hanging at the top or bottom of tank, & not eating are all sings to look for.

  56. Ashley February 10, 2008 at 12:08 am #

    this isn’t a comment about ick but i was wondering if u knew anything about fish bladder disease. my convict seems to have it he just floats on the bottom of the tank upside down. the other fish have been nipping at his fins so i moved him to a tank by himself. i’m not sure of how to treat it all the other sites tell me not to feed him for a week but i’m afraid i’m just going to kill him by doing that. what should i do? do u have any other tips for me if u don’t know it’s ok too.

  57. Eric February 12, 2008 at 8:25 pm #

    Ashley, Feeding your fish peas, cutting back some on feedings, and most importantly cleaning up the water are the most common treatments for swim bladder disease.

  58. Christian February 12, 2008 at 8:52 pm #

    I had 3 clown loaches, 2 yo-yo botias, and 5 neon tetras. The clowns looked like they had ick but i wasn’t sure because i recently switched my gravel to sand. But then one day the loaches started to itch on the ornaments in the tank so i assumed they had ick. So i went and bought some quick cure put 1/2 the dosage because the loaches are sensitive to medicines, and took the carbon out of my filter. Within one and a half days all my fish were dead except the one yo-yo botia. So what should I do now?

  59. Sam February 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    Are you able to see the floating ick in the water?

  60. JON February 16, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    I have a 72 gallon tank that was home to an array of African Cichlids. Boy o boy did they give me problems. I have had tanks set up my whole life and have never had such bad luck. The whole tank was eventually lost to Ich. I have treated the tank with quick cure for a week and the only fish left standing is my awesome pleco. This is my question. I want to use this tank now for acouple oscars (south american cichlids) because i have never ever had any problems with them and have had a few for acouple years now. Should i break down the whole entire tank and scrub to rid of the ich or just be doing a crazy amount of water changes to reach the lower PH desired by the oscars. I know my pleco will adjust back down to the lower PH if done slowly but and am i risking losing the newly introduced oscars to the ich that killed off my others??

  61. madge February 17, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    If I’m doing an ich treatment how often do I change the water and add salt?

  62. Eric February 17, 2008 at 4:13 pm #

    You’ll want to continue treating the water for the suggested cycle just to make sure you have killed it all off. Sound like either the disease was too far progressed or there is something else going on in your tank as well. With all of those fish dying off so quickly it would lead me to believe it was something else. I would quickly do some water tests to see what you find.

  63. Eric February 17, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    Same advise as Christian. I’d treat the Ich through the cycle. That should rid you of the Ich problem. Breaking down the tank completely has some many negative affects that I would not suggest it.

    Take a look here for some pH lowering suggestions. There are also some suggestions in the article and comments.

  64. Eric February 17, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    Hi Madge,
    Take a look here for water change info.

    For salt treatments, there is a lot of info in the comments to this article. Comment #30 talks about it some along with many others.

  65. madge February 17, 2008 at 7:17 pm #

    Okay thanks– I don’t have a hydrometer scale to measure the salt so I didn’t know if there was another best practice for a 4-day aggressive ich treatment, ie: change 25% of water daily for 4 days and add X amount of salt with water change. 4 of my 8 fish have died in 48 hours and the others are just now showing signs after 2 days of the heat/salt treatment, so it’s progressing quickly. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Thanks.

  66. February 17, 2008 at 10:17 pm #

    How often do you use the ick med. everyday?Have already turned up thermonter.Ty 4 a great site

  67. madge February 18, 2008 at 1:11 pm #

    Great news! My 4 surviving fish have warded off the ich… so the heat and salt treatment apparently does work if you catch it in time. I’m on my 3rd day of treatment (after 4 fish died 2 days ago) and the fish look and act normal again. I will continue to treat for another 7 days (I suppose?) Thanks again for the great information– it really did save my fish:)

  68. Eric February 21, 2008 at 6:57 am #

    Hi there lilmarge,
    All of the meds are different so I wouldn’t vary form the directions on the package.

  69. Eric February 21, 2008 at 7:01 am #

    Great to hear madge! I’d like to take credit, but I think it’s all of these individual stories that help the most.

  70. madge February 21, 2008 at 12:11 pm #

    One last question, will the tails grow back? My fish were fancy guppies with beautiful tails, but now they are short. I’m pretty sure they are going to survive after the treatment because they no longer have the white dots and they are moving around, eating normally. So just curious about the tails.

  71. Eric February 24, 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    It is very likely that it will grow back. Just make sure you are keeping your tank very clean to ward off any infection.

  72. Stephanie February 25, 2008 at 7:58 pm #

    Yes, it’s me again. My ICH problem was solved with using 3 tablets of ICH Clear. This is a very useful fizzing tablet for anyone who is looking to clear their fish of ICH so I would recommend it! But not I seem to have another problem in a different tank of mine. I wasn’t sure where this post would fit so I just decided to put it here. If you know anything about a buoyancy problem called swim bladder I really need help curing my fish. I have read that it could be permanant but there is a cure that may help with my fish. While researching about this it said that I should give my fish one green pea a day that’s lightly crushed. But my fish doesn’t even make an attempt to eat it. I even tried taking him out and putting him in a seperate bowl with the pea. The other fish ate it just fine but I wasn’t even trying to give it to them. D0 you have any suggestions?

  73. Shawn February 27, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    I just started my first treatment of Ick in my 38 gallon tank. I plan on treating for 2 weeks.

    My question is this. When should I start the the water changes????? How often during the 2 weeks treatment cycle should I change the water?

    It’s normal for the water to be blueish correct?

    Thanks in advance.

  74. squid February 27, 2008 at 7:34 pm #

    Hello Eric 🙂
    I have just started a fish tank (been about 2 weeks now).
    I bought 4 shebunkens (excuse spelling) from a shop, and about 3 days after, they started dying. I assumed that (after talking to another fish shop owner) the water in the tank wasnt properly prepared.
    Because my last 2 fish looked healthy enough, I bought a gold fish to keep the them company.
    It wasnt until the 3rd original fish died that I noticed the white spots.
    So…now I have 2 fish with ich and I have been treating the water with ‘Multicure’, and changing 1/2 the tank water every 3 days. Its been about 5 days now and the fish actually look worse.
    If there were spots on the fish to start with, and I treated them, then why wouldnt I have caught the ich in their ‘falling off the fish into the gravel to procreate’ stage? How come I have even more spots now that when I started?
    Am I doing the right thing? I cant heat the water cos its a cold water tank.

  75. Eric February 29, 2008 at 3:39 pm #

    Hello again Stephanie,

    Great to hear on the Ich. Swim Bladder Disease can be permanent but it would most likely show up early. Otherwise, it could be caused from eating too fast or bacteria. There really is no way to tell which. You could try skipping a couple feedings and see if there is any improvement. If you have had poor quality water, you should probably treat it like bacteria was the cause with an antibiotic. Tetracycline is one of the most common.

  76. Eric February 29, 2008 at 3:46 pm #

    Hi Shawn,

    The blue is normal with many treatments. I would suggest aggressive water changes during treatments. 20% every few days. This is mostly just to clean up the water. It’s usually poor water conditions that lead to Ich showing its ugly head.

  77. Eric February 29, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    Hello Bonnie,
    My first suggestion is to stop buying fish until you get things under control. Read up here first.

    It might not be Ich that is killing your fish. It could be ammonia poisoning.

    Ich is more difficult to treat in cold water tanks. The 50%, 3 day water changes are also very aggressive. Any good bacteria that has been established is getting wiped out. My suggestion is to quickly get some bacteria starter to help establish things. Continue the Ich treatment as suggested by the directions. That is your best hope of saving your fish if they are all affected.

  78. Shawn March 3, 2008 at 7:17 pm #


    I have noticed no improvements in a week since I discovered the ICK outbreak. Have done water changes, ph, ammonia, nitrate tests and nothing has improved.

    How long will it take for the cysts to fall off the fish? I will not have a fish left at this rate!!!!!

    My tank water is 82 degrees also.

  79. Eric March 6, 2008 at 7:33 am #


    Are you doing partial water changes by siphoning the bottom? Take a look here.

    The cysts could take a while. Once you start seeing big blotches of the disease, it’s pretty advanced.

  80. raquel March 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    hi, i have a golden gourami, i got it 2 weeks ago, i feel like something is coming on… he’s moving quickly where the filter water comes out and will hang out at the bottom every now and again.. also will come up quick for air… he was blowing bubbles at the top when i first got him now he is moving around fast. i put some salt in today and raised the temp. anything else i can do?

  81. Eric March 16, 2008 at 3:27 pm #

    You are probably best sticking what what you have done so far. Medications can be hard on your tank are usually best saved for when you are certain about what you are dealing with. Just keep a close eye on him for now and look for more certain signs of sickness.

  82. Danielle March 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm #

    I’m hoping someone can help me…I’ve read all of the above post and they are very helpful, thankful. I have lost two fish to ICK and Ive been continously treating the tank based on the opinion of an owner of a fish store here in town, however it seems to keep coming and going on the remainder of the fish. White spots around the face and today I’m noticing white spots around the fins of one. Its odd though because when I’m near the tank they are active and looking to eat but when I walk away to the two that seem to show visible signs of ICK seem to be hanging out at the bottom of the tank together, either side by side or the smaller one under the bigger fish. Could this be more of a sign of mating versus ICK? Like I said there are visible signs of ICK but it just seems to come and go. I will add that recently I had to move the tank/fish out of my home due to my house being tented for termites. So partial water change was done when the tank was moved and brought back. The tank/fish are now back in the home but I thinking maybe the fish were caused stress. Any suggestions?

  83. Eric March 20, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi there Danielle,
    The mating idea would really be hard to tell. They could be stressed from the move or maybe the treatments. The continuous Ich treatments will really eat away at your good bacteria as well. Make sure you are testing regularly to keep an eye on spikes in ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. It’s really a tough balance to kick the Ich and keep from destroying your good bacteria.

  84. William March 21, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    My fresh water shark die from a fungus. but I have other fish in the tank. I brought the medicine for the fungus. It turn the tank green. The direction ask put more medicine after 2 days the tank is still green. will this over medicate the fish? direction ask to remove the filters while I am medicating the fish. How does the green water disappear? or putin on the filter will do the trick and of course, change 1/4 of the tank.

    Thank you

  85. Eric March 25, 2008 at 8:10 pm #

    Is your green from algae or did it instantly change from the medication? Many medications can change your water color. You should remove your filter ( or the carbon from it) for treatment. With water changes and in short time your green will disappear if it’s just from the medication.

  86. Katie April 2, 2008 at 9:06 pm #

    Hello, my tank has ICH! I first, cleaned the gravel, got the ph & nitrates back to normal. Started treatment with Nox-Ich, now 3 days into treatment my 3 silver dollar fish have died & 1 cicadas. Now on my 4 th day my pleco fish is zipping to the top, my 2 other cichlids are lathargic, labored breathing, not eating & hiding! My other fish, 2 cory cats, 2 fiddler crabs, 2 guaramis, 1 dinasaur eel, & 1 rope eel are left not seeming to be really sick yet. I have increased the temp. & will continue to treat for another 10 more days, am I doing things right and how hard is it to overcome this ICH & the fish surviving this trauma!??? How much further into treatment will we start to see progress? P.S this is a 75 gal. Any more suggestions? Frustrated to the MAX!!!

  87. Susan April 5, 2008 at 8:25 am #

    My fish has ick I only have 1 fish left. If that one dies should I clean the tank before getting new fish? How often should we add salt to the tank if we choose to do that? I added medication yesterday and it says to repeat in 48 hours. Thanks for your help.

  88. Jeremy April 5, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    Hey, I need some help with my clown loaches. There are four in my 30 gal. tank. I got two at the same time, then about 2 months later got two more, so I’ve had them for a while now, my tank hasnt changed fish-wise for about 3+months. My big clown loach is about 2.5” – 3”, the other one i got at the same time hasnt grown much past 1.5” or so, as for the other two, the one is about the same as the last and the one is a bit smaller for some reason. But just recently i noticed the big one hanging out by the heater, not leaving right away to eat as usual. I also noticed some specks on the tail area toward the tip, usually i would suspect ick, but these are almost algae looking greenish/whitish specks. Also the two mid size loaches keep swimming up, they reach the top and just kinda swim at a slow pace but just like looking up. the big one, sits between the heater and the glass of the tank, also looking up but he’s big enough that he fits in there and doesnt really have to swim. Also he sometimes leaves that spot to eat a little, but he gets by the bottom of the heater and does this jerky movement where he very quickly moves from one spot to the other, but its not normal, hes moving from side to side i guess. I’m not sure I just need some help please. thank you.

  89. Eric April 8, 2008 at 6:13 am #

    Hi Katie,
    Ich is tough if it’s caught in its latter stages. Once you start the medication it really should be seen through the end. Most are 14 days. You can also read through the comments for salt treatment tips. It’s OK use both treatments. The only thing that worries me is your Pleco. Standard Ich treatments and standard salt treatments are very tough on scaleless fish like Plecos. You are best to quarantine him if you can and if you have to treat all other fish. You can also cut treatment amount in half as an alternative.

  90. Eric April 8, 2008 at 8:26 pm #

    Rather than a full clean, you are better off just killing off the Ich. If you complete your medicine cycle you should be completely rid of it. If you have started the medicine, and only have one fish, I wouldn’t mess with the salt treatments. Add new fish one at a time to be certain you are rid of it.

  91. Eric April 8, 2008 at 9:18 pm #

    Hi there Jeremy,
    It definitely sounds like they are stressed from something. It could be Ich or some other parasite. You probably want to keep a very close eye. If you have a quarantine tank, you might remove the worst looking and treat it separately for a parasite. If you see improvement, you can then treat the rest.

  92. William April 11, 2008 at 12:25 am #

    Hi ,

    I just brought 6 red parrots. One of them is turn black. Is that normal?

    Thank you

  93. Eric April 11, 2008 at 8:50 am #

    Hey there,

    I have a 37 gal tank and have my share of problems. Recently, I’ve been battling ich for 14 days and followed directions with the medicine. My black molly looks cured, but now I’m seeing more beginning spots on one of my platys and the glass fish (I’m sure they are the bearers of ich…nothing but problems with my tank since they were introduced a month ago), the one that had two spots now has several.

    Should I just do a 50-70% water change at this stage and round up the glass fish and but them in a “special” bowl? Should I continue ich treatment for another 14 days? I’ve removed my carbon filter, but is my bio-wheel completely useless now? Will I have to replace it?



  94. Jean April 16, 2008 at 8:36 am #

    I have treated my tank for ick and the directions say to remove the carbon while medicating…what does that mean? I pulled the filter out-the one with the floss and dropped the fizzy tab and it dissolved…now what? How long do I keep the filter out? When I do water changes (still cycling the tank) do I have to re-medicate?
    I bought a pacu and I think it introduced ick into my other wise healthy tank. If it happens again and the tank was already treated, will the new icky fish benefit?
    I have read about adding salt…I have a water softening pillow in the filter-will that add enough salt to do the job with the ick?

  95. Eric April 16, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    Hi Eric,
    I wouldn’t worry about separating them unless you can treat them fully in that separate tank. The reason to separate is really so you don’t do too much damage to your established tank. If you still see signs of Ich it makes sense to keep treating. Make sure you are raising the temp to flush it into the water. Your bio-wheel can still be used but the good bacteria is probably in bad shape after continual treatment.

  96. Eric April 16, 2008 at 9:40 pm #

    Hi Jean,
    You can remove the filter completely or just take the carbon out by cutting a slit in the floss and leaving the floss in tack to mechanically filter your tank. Directions probably give you a treatment period. It’s probably 14 days. You shouldn’t have to re-medicate with water changes. If the Ich re-occurs, you will need to treat again.

  97. Eric April 16, 2008 at 9:45 pm #

    Black would indicate healing if it is stressed out more than the others from ammonia poisoning or some other stress. It could also be the common parrot fish black spot disease if it’s turning slowly.

  98. Brandon April 22, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    Eric, I have not been home for two days, and upon returning noticed my Raphael stripped catfish with ICh all over and varied speckles of ich on my Iradescent sharks. I will be getting medicine for the water today, but how long does is take for this Ich to kill catfish?

  99. Eric April 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    It all depends on the stage. You’ll see the signs, lethargic, swimming at the top, etc. I will caution you about the Ich treatments. If you don’t type of treatment designed for scaleless fish, you should cut the dose in half as it’s tough on them. There are also types specifically designed for scaleless fish.

  100. Brandon April 24, 2008 at 9:26 am #

    Thanks for the info. Last night, I returned home to find Captain Spazmo Sprockets (The catfish) was dead. The sharks are not looking too good but are not showing any signs of fin rot, however my orange platty has major fin rot. I think he unfortunately will be the next to go…Good to know about cutting the dosage in half…My black Molly and her babies do not seem to be showing any sign of Ich. Do they have some type of natural immunity?

  101. Eric April 28, 2008 at 6:13 am #

    Your welcome Brandon! Sorry to hear about your catfish. Your Molly’s are just lucky. They don’t have any sort of immunity.

  102. Angela May 6, 2008 at 1:08 am #

    I have an 8 year old 11 inch goldfish/koi? raised from a ‘feeder fish’… I’ve grown very fond of. Over the years I’ve brought it back from the dead a few times with antibiotics. Usually the cause of the illness was introducing a new fish or placo into his tank (currently at 43 gallons). I finally broke down and bought a little placo to help with the algea. It was also suggested I use “Quick Cure” as a precaution… Considered more-so when I noticed the white spots on the placo. Now, after reading about the harshness of Quick Cure in the above comments, I’m concerned. Annnd, my goldfish, although he seemed fine before the treatment, is not eating now. I’m on the 2nd day. I really really don’t want my fish to die! Please help!

  103. Eric May 7, 2008 at 9:42 pm #

    Hello Angela,
    Sorry to hear. Are you able to get your goldfish in a separate tank to treat? You could even use a bowl although you won’t be able to raise the temp to speed up the Ich lifecycle. That’s probably your best choice. That way you can treat more aggressively. If it hasn’t gotten too bad you’ll have a chance that way. Treating at half to protect your Pleco just might not be enough to fight it off your gold fish.

  104. Angela May 8, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    I could have probably done that with the placo for sure. However, I gave them 2 days of the full dose of “Quick Cure” and then cleaned the tank, added salt hoping it would calm it a little and they both seem to be doing well… Although the placo is in hiding, but alive. Crossing my fingers but I think we survived this round! Thank you Scott!

  105. Angela May 8, 2008 at 11:16 am #

    Thank you ERIC! Sorry! :”>

  106. Eric May 13, 2008 at 5:41 am #

    Glad to hear they did alright Angela!

  107. Nancy June 19, 2008 at 4:40 pm #

    hi I havethe ick diease in my tank as we speak…I have raised the water temp and going for medication but hat i need to know is I have like 50 to 60 babies also that just appeared in my tank almost 2 weeks ago….babies are doing fine from what i can see but ….i noticed they have it also…can i still treat my tank? i don’t want to hurt the babies.

  108. Krystal June 20, 2008 at 8:39 pm #


    First – thanks for having such a great website!
    Unfortunately, I started a new tank, cycled for two weeks, added a bristle nosed pleco, and a week later added two dwarf gourami’s that I bought at a different store. They had no visible signs of illness, so I didn’t even think about a quarantine (I’m new at this). Within days of me adding the other fish, the whole tank broke out with ich.

    My water quality is good – no ammonia, neutral ph – no nitrites/nitrates. It’s lightly salted and has a temp of 78% with no heater (I live in FL).

    I purchased an ick medication – Super Ick Cure™ Powder by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, and followed the directions on the box. I started medicating last night.

    This evening, I noticed a tiny snail in my tank! I never purchased a snail – and certainly didn’t see it in the fish bags or on the plants I purchased. However, I think he’s adorable and I would like to keep him happy as long as he doesn’t grow too big (I only have a 16 gallon bowfront). Did I just poison my newfound snail? His body is tinged blue now. What do I do while treating my fish if I don’t have a seperate tank to hold him in?

  109. Eric June 24, 2008 at 5:55 am #

    Hello Nancy,
    You can still treat your tank with Formalin based Ich treatments. I would suggest half dose for the fry if you can treat them separately and full dose for the others. Ick Guard II is one brand. You’ll want to steer clear of Malachite Green based treatments with fry or scaleless fish.

  110. Eric June 24, 2008 at 6:13 am #

    Hi Krystal,
    You can just put your snail in a cup of water while treating. Make sure you lay something on the top as they will crawl out. On a side note, snails are normally a bad thing for a tank. They can reproduce without a mate and hundreds of them can quickly take over your tank. You might consider and decide whether it’s worth keeping it.

  111. Kristy June 24, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    Hi there
    I have been reading your site and hope you might have some insight for me for my lionhead goldfish. I noticed over a week ago that he had a couple specks on him. I bought some Quick Cure and treated the tank for several days with no change. The water quality was poor so we did a complete water change –from what I’ve read that may been the wrong thing to do – and started a new treatment called Yardley Ick Away and then Jungle Ick Clear…he seems to be getting worse not better n(more white specks on his top and now spreading to his side. I just went and got something called Maracide. Any suggestions. He is in a10-gallon tank with two other goldies. I feel like such an amateur but I’ve never had luck treating ich and really want to save my lionhead. Thanks in advance.

  112. Greg June 25, 2008 at 8:13 am #

    Hi there,

    I have 3 tank setups, all being freshwater tropicals of various species. Recently, my smallest tank had a heater fail so I decided to start up a cold water tank with 2 comets and 1 common goldfish. A month or so after adding these fish into the tank I noticed the common goldfish had its fins clamped and swimming rather wonky. Feeding also seemed to slow down. I did notice that when the fish got up to the top of the tank the “White Spots” (ich)could be seen under the UV light, initially 2 or 3 spots were only visible on the affected fish.

    I treated with Multi cure for 7 days with 25% water change after 3 days and re medication. I took the infected goldfish out and gave him/her a high concentrated salt bath for 20 mins. This seemed to perk him/her up a little and feeding went back to normal, fins were less clamped. The other 2 fish were ok.

    Today I checked all the fish, a few days after first treatment was finished and 2 fish have ich and look rather sick with more spots than the inital breakout. I have started the multi cure again at the dosage recommended and have also added salt into the tank The one remaining fish without any signs of ich is doing fine, so far.

    My question is, as the tank is a cold water setup and has no heater in it, how long should I treat the tank for. It seems that 7 days wasnt nearly enough last time. Tank temp is at 60 degrees.


  113. Eric June 25, 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    Hello Kristy & Greg,
    Your answers are really the same. Cold water tanks are much harder to treat Ich because you can’t raise the water temperature. That’s really the key to speeding the treatment up. Without heat, most medications recommend treatment for 14 days. This is to make sure the entire life cycle of Ich has run its course and the organism is free floating. As long has it’s caught early enough you can usually still save the fish even though the treatment is not as quick.

  114. Greg June 25, 2008 at 10:56 pm #

    Thanks Eric for your Information and great advice for others. It’s very interesting and educational indeed to see what others are facing in their tanks.

    Good fish health to all.


  115. sarah June 26, 2008 at 10:02 am #

    hi everyone i really need someone to help me i’ve just had my fish for a couple weeks and i’ve noticed that one of them has white dots on it’s tail i think that is ick and i dont know if i should treat him sepertaly or with all the other fish while the others are fine nothings wrong with them so what should i do and when the treatment is over so i have to change all the water and do i have to take the filter out while doing the treatment or is it ok for it to work? and i realised that when i put the medicine in some fish eat it is that ok ? im sorry for the questions but i really need some help ! thanku =)

  116. Eric June 26, 2008 at 9:42 pm #

    Hi Sarah,
    It’s best to treat your diseased fish separately if possible. Keep a VERY close eye on the others in the near term. Make sure you are doing water regular, partial water changes and keeping your water in good shape. If you end up treating in your main tank, you’ll want to remove the carbon filter as it just absorbs the medicine.

  117. sarah June 27, 2008 at 6:51 am #

    ok i’ll do that. how many times do i have to put the ick medicine in? thanx

  118. Mooney June 27, 2008 at 3:27 pm #

    Hi there! I have a lion fish and a yellow tang, both have ick. My local fish store recommends “dipping” the fish rather than treating the entire tank. What is your opinion on that? Also, I just “dipped” both fish using Quick Cure so should I also begin treating the tank? Those are the only fish we have but we do have 7 starfish, 2 crabs, a handful each of hermit crabs and turbo snails, colt coral, open brain coral, mushrooms and a few other soft corals. Will treating the tank effect the corals at all? This is the second time we have had ick, unfortunately the first go round we lost all of our fish and I don’t want to lose these two… Thanks for any help!

  119. sarah June 30, 2008 at 7:33 am #

    the ick thing on my fish is just getting worse 🙁 wat do i dooo !!!!! :'( please HELP

  120. sally June 30, 2008 at 8:02 pm #

    my coldwater fish is getting ick, but i’m afraid that if i raise the temperature of the tank water, it will die. should i still increase the temperature for my coldwater fish?

  121. Eric July 1, 2008 at 9:15 pm #

    Have you started the medication? For how much, you’ll just need to follow the directions. They are all a little different. Most suggest 14 days of treatment length to make sure you are rid of the organism. You’ll want to get the treatment started and get that temperature up right away if you haven’t already.

  122. Eric July 1, 2008 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi Mooney,
    Dipping can work but can be risky. It’s too hard on very sick or weak fish and can worst case kill them. I suggest treating your fish separately in a quarantine tank. With your corals, snails, crabs and starfish, it’s just not worth taking the risk.

  123. Eric July 1, 2008 at 9:36 pm #

    Hey Sally,
    You don’t want to raise the temp with cold water fish. You can still treat for Ich, it just takes longer without raising the temp. It may even take the full 14 treatment to fully get rid of it.

  124. sarah July 2, 2008 at 12:16 am #

    i have started the medication and its been going on for 5 days now and it just seems to be getting worse :Sim so cunfused and worried about them

  125. Eric July 2, 2008 at 9:51 pm #

    Salt treatments can also be effective if you have a quarantine tank. 1tsp of marine salt per gallon is a suggested concentration.

  126. sarah July 3, 2008 at 3:52 am #

    ok thanx =)

  127. sarah July 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm #

    heeey i just wanted to ask about my goldfish again it seems to be swimming in a very weird way sometimes it swims soo fast :S i dont know wats wrong with him but all the ich is gone and hes all better now im just worried about the way he swims is it normal or is there something wrong 🙁

  128. Eric July 8, 2008 at 6:03 am #

    Might be swim bladder disease. It wouldn’t cause the fast swimming but it pulls your fish by the abdomen to the top of the tank. This usually makes swimming tough. This can be caused by bacteria which is treated with Tetracycline. Slowing down feedings or skipping it all together for a couple days will help if it is related to eating too fast.

  129. sarah July 8, 2008 at 7:51 am #

    no he swims fine and he looks ok but sometimes he just gets a little crazy and swims so fast all over the place

  130. Brandon July 8, 2008 at 9:10 am #


    Ever since my Spotted Pictus Catfish had ick (treated and recovered), he has not been the same. Now, he just hides all day and is no longer the playful fish he once was. It really stinks and he also seems to eat less. Is there such a thing as post traumatic depression for fish 🙂 …or do you have any idea whats going on with him? Its been over two weeks.

  131. Greg July 9, 2008 at 4:02 am #

    Hey eric and everyone,

    I thought I would write a short diary on how my Goldfish, ( cold water tank @ 60f ), with ich are going and what I have done so far, it may help others.

    I started day 1, 25th Jun, changed 25% water, medicated as per instructions, fed fish as per normal. I noticed the 2 infected fish were eating but only small amounts and swimming slowly with fins clamped. Re – medicated every 3rd day, 28th june/ 1st July/ 4th July/ 7th July with a 25% water change at each medication.

    During the first week the fish came back with more ich than before however each time the infection became less and less.

    Currently, I am a day away from 14 days when the treatment will end. I plan to do at least a 50% water change and monitor fish. Since I started the medications on the 25th June the fish seem to be eating more and spots have gone. Another promising sign is that one of the fish has less clamped fins compared to the begining of the medication process. I forgot to mention that at each water change I also added 2 tablespoons of salt and a few drops of MELAFIX to aid in the recovery of any damged fins or scales due to the ich dropping off.

    I will keep you all posted on how things go.. so far so good.

    Greg.. 🙂

  132. Eric July 9, 2008 at 5:36 am #

    I sounds like your fish just needs to get settled back in. I wouldn’t worry. Many times a tank mate will slow fish down.

  133. Eric July 9, 2008 at 5:51 am #

    Hey Brandon,
    Yeah, your fish could still be recovering from the stress, although I don’t think any one’s labeled it yet 🙂
    Also, while the external signs of the disease have gone away, it could have been recovering/fighting off internally over the last couple weeks still.

  134. sarah July 9, 2008 at 7:31 am #

    thanx eric ;D

  135. Kristin July 9, 2008 at 11:49 am #

    Help!! We recently purchased a 10 gallon tank 3 1/2 weeks ago and started with a male betta, 1 platy, 1 painted tetra, and a pleco. We lost the platy, and added 4 bleeding heart tetras, a female betta, and 1 upside catfish. The catfish dissappearred, I mean no body anywhere within 20ft. of the tank. We bought two more catfish 1 1/2 weeks ago and have since lost one catfish and the female betta. Last night I noticed the male betta acting funny and had some white spots so I tried to quarantine him to observe. He did not make it through the night. I have been monitoring the ph around 7.2 and temp between 76-80.  I have been reading up on ich etc. and since then put in a heater. It is at 80 now, and 1tsp. of non-iodized salt. We are down to five tetras, 1 pleco, and 1 catfish. They all seem to be sluggish and hanging out at the bottom of the tank. I don’t want to lose anymore fish, any suggestions????

  136. Eric July 10, 2008 at 6:21 am #

    Hey there Greg,
    Thanks for your story! Everyone loves to hear what is working and not working for others. I think it helps put it all together.

  137. Eric July 10, 2008 at 6:35 am #

    Hi Kristin,
    The temp sound OK now but without a heater if it wasn’t in the 76-80 range you list above, it would put serious stress on your fish. Those are all tropical fish require those temperatures.
    Also, take a look at the post below. For a ten gallon tank only 3 1/2 weeks old, it sounds like a lot of fish for a tank early in the cycling process. I’m guessing you’ll see high ammonia and nitrite levels. As far as disappearing, after fish die, many times the others just pick them apart until there’s nothing left. I would keep treating for Ich as well if you see the signs.

  138. ChildCareMom July 10, 2008 at 11:30 am #


    I am new to the entire fish thing. I run a home daycare and for it I was given a 20gallon aquarium, with a Power Filter that holds 2 carbon filters with bio-wheel (although I don’t have a wheel). The person that gave me the tank, all her fish had died so I had cleaned out the tank and filter as best I could, put in 2 new carbon filters, bought new plants (plastic) and new rocks/gravel. Once I had all this hooked up and running for about 2 days I went out and bought 1 plecko, 2 oranda fancy 1red fantail and 1 black moor. We put in a water heater and keep the water at about 74 ( as we were told the fish are cold water, but the plecko is warm). When the fish were put in the water I also added some Aqua Plus and some Cycle (I was told this would be okay). Now a week after having the fish they seem to have ick. all 4 fish look to have air bubbles stuck to their tails, and after reading a lot online have noticed all the white specks in the water (which I thought was just air from the filter). I had some ick guard and gave them 2 tsp of it, and have turned off their light. Am I doing this right or have I just harmed my plecko. I have been reading that you should turn up the temperature on the tank, is this still true with the fish I have. I also have a bucket of water sitting out, so that I can change a bunch of the water tomorrow before giving more ick guard. The carbon filters were taken out of the filter. Plese tell me what I am doing is correct and if there is anything else I can do. Sorry there is just to much info on the net that I don;t know which advice to take. Sorry I have rambled so much, but I’d rather the entire situation explained. I have also noticed since giving the ick guard that my black moor like to hide in the bottom back corner of the take behind one of the plants, and some times one of the orandas join him. Are they alright or is their ick progressed to far. Please help!! Thank you!!!

  139. Jonathan Edmonds July 10, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    Hey I Recently noticed that one of my Gouromi’s has Ich! I have the treatment for it but it ask me to remove any carbon filter’s and I’m worried that will make my water unsafe. It’s a 10 day treatment so do you think It would be ok to remove the filter? It just doesnt sound safe!

  140. Eric July 14, 2008 at 5:54 am #

    Hi Childcaremom,
    You are right that most standard Ich treatments can be tough on your Pleco. If you are using Ich Guard (and not Ich Guard 2), you might want to cut back the dose to 1/2 strength. If you are able to, you might even pick up medication that is OK for scaleless fish so you can treat at full strength and get rid of it quick. You do not want to raise your heat with the fish you have. You’ll want to do a 25% water change every few days as well. One other thing. Make sure you are testing often for Ammonia and Nitrites. That is a lot of fish to start with in a small tank. As long as you test often and keep up on frequent water changes you can keep your water in good shape. Take a look here.

  141. Eric July 14, 2008 at 6:03 am #

    Hey Jonathan,
    You will want to remove the carbon filter, or at least the carbon from the filter. You can do this by cutting a small slit in many filters and just taking out the carbon. This leaves the mesh behind to filter out any debris. The problem is that carbon removes chemicals from your water. Ich medication is a chemical that would be removed. Given that, you’ll want to remove the carbon during the entire Ich treatment and replace with new when the treatment is finished. Don’t worry, it’s safe, very safe compared to Ich.

  142. ChildCareMom July 14, 2008 at 7:05 am #

    An Update:

    My black moor died on Saturday, Since Thursday I have been changing 25% of the water every day and giving more ick guard. Friday I gave the Full dose and on the weekend I gave them 1/2. How long should I give them the ick guard for, and should I only change the water every other day, not every day. MY other 3 fish and plecko seem to be doing okay. Also when do I put the filters and the wheel back in?? Thanks for all your help.

  143. ChildCareMom July 15, 2008 at 6:58 am #

    Update #2

    Found my plecko dead this morn..Is there anything else I should do to the take to prevent more from dying. Will having dead fish i the tank pass something on to the other 3 fish? Thanks again for all your help and advice

  144. sarah July 15, 2008 at 8:40 am #

    hey eric =)
    my goldfish has black lines on the tip of his fins and tail what is that and will it kill my little fishy ? :/

  145. Eric July 16, 2008 at 6:01 am #

    Unfortunately, the chance of saving fish with Ich has so much to do with how early it’s caught. Ich is very stressful on fish, especially in the later stages.

    You’ll want to continue treatment as suggested by the medicine to be safe. Usually that’s 14 days. Without your Pleco, make sure you get up to full dose. Doing 25% water changes every two days will be fine. Fish dying in the tank will not in itself pass anything on to others. Don’t put your carbon back in until you are done treating.

    Also, take a look here for tips on using the salt method to deal with disease. It doesn’t hurt to double up.

  146. Ian July 16, 2008 at 9:17 am #

    hey eric,

    i am the owner of a 30 gallon freshwater tank with a variety of fish, mostly barbs. One of my Tiger Barbs is acting strange for the past couple of days. It will swim vertical with the heater on my aquarium and just swim there staring at itself in the glass. It eats, and when it is chased it will swim away but will swim back to that one spot. I have noticed on a rare occasion that it will rub up and down on the heater. Should I be worried about Ich?

  147. Eric July 17, 2008 at 6:20 am #

    Hi Ian,
    I’m not sure I would jump to Ich just yet, but it might be stressed. I’ve had fish hang out by the heater that were sick/stressed. I’ve also had fish hang out there that just seem to like it but otherwise seem healthy. My advice is to just keep very close eye for other signs with your fish and with your water. You just don’t want to start treating until you see something more.

  148. Eric July 17, 2008 at 6:24 am #

    Hi there Sarah,
    Take a look here. Fin Rot sounds like your problem.

  149. Miguel July 20, 2008 at 9:03 pm #

    hi um i just bought a 55 gallon tank and im cyclening it and i put one of my three oscars in there to see it is ok i did some research and they are a hardy fish it ok now but it keeps get these little white spots im think its ick but he gets them then swims to the other side of the tank and it goes a way. it scares me cuz i had other fish that was victums of ick in my othere tank 1 out of 10 that survived. O um my new tank has alot of bubbles could that be wat is on him and he is just stoping them from floating to the top

  150. Robert July 20, 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    Gone… All gone… I lost 3 Bala Sharks, 2 Red Fins, 2 Puffers, and a Black Ghost Knife all in less than 48 hours. All I have left are two large Plecos, and one Molly who isn’t looking very well.

    Concerned over the safety of the puffers and plecos, I tried Ich Guard II. 24 hours later, when everyone was still sick, I tried Ich Guard.

    Unfortunately, I have to get a different heater to raise the temp as this one has a fixed thermostat in it.

    I don’t see anything on the plecos yet, and I assume I’m probably going to lose the mollie tonight while I sleep. I’m up for recommendations…

    Please help.

  151. Robert July 20, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    Oh, I forgot to mention. The tank is a 26 gallon “Euro” curved front design.

  152. Miguel July 20, 2008 at 10:02 pm #

    ye that sucks i lost nine of my fish 4 plecos one that was yellow spotted 1 rambow shark 2 id sharks and two oscars i had a 120 gallon tank but gave it away o i had one suvivor my paroon shark it didn’t have it untill the rest died i use api super ick romover it made it all go a way he still alive in a 55 gallon tank now he only 5”

  153. Miguel July 20, 2008 at 10:32 pm #

    i forgot to say he eat when i feed him he still does even take long to catch the feeders walso when can i add the other 2

  154. Eric July 22, 2008 at 6:11 am #

    Hey Miguel,
    Ich wouldn’t be coming off with just swimming around so it could be bubbles. I’d be careful treating for Ich without being certain, but with your experience I can see why you wouldn’t want to take any chances. Try to get a better look if you haven’t already before reacting. As far as adding others, I’d probably wait to you don’t see it anymore just to be safe.

  155. Eric July 22, 2008 at 6:18 am #

    Hi there Robert,
    That’s a bad fish keeping day to say the least. The new heater is a biggie to get that Ich free floating and ready to be killed. If you haven’t already, I’d get one fast. I’d do a 50% water change and 25%’s every couple of days during treatment as well.

  156. miguel July 22, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    thanks for the advice i think it was bubbles it been 4 days now no spots and i added the others and they don’t have any ether

  157. miguel July 25, 2008 at 9:57 pm #

    ok i am really starting to hate this stupi* parasite ok i have my oscars and emp shark in the same tank i know my shark wont get ick again cuz it has that slime coat but two of my oscars have white spots on them when my other tank got ick it was silvery white now it’s just plain white on his/hers fins and back i put a little api super ick… in the water um would that do anything to it oo i have a filter thats carbon it also together with everything else so if i was to medecate the tank and romove it the filter would just be pumping water also the two oscars show no symtoms of the ick but 5 or 4 white spots one has only one on it’s eye. should i put all three oscars in my 22 gallon and treat them and treat the emty tank also.

  158. Eric July 28, 2008 at 5:59 am #

    It’s a good idea to separate the affected fish for treatment if you can. That just keep the treatment form destroying your good bacteria. Also, carbon does keep the medication from working. It just clears it out of your water with other chemicals. During treatment you should remove it.

  159. Phil July 28, 2008 at 2:05 pm #

    Hello, I have heard so much conflicting ich info, both in person and on the web. My situation is even worse because my tank is new and still going through the nitrogen cycle, and I got horrible info from the pet shop on the number and selection of fish when I set everything up. After doing some research, I now know I am way overstocked for a cycling tank, and probably should have done a fishless cycle anyway. I have 1 red tail shark, 1 molly, 2 swordtails, 1 clown loach, 1 tiger barb, and 1 pleco.

    QuICK Cure did not work for the ich (it got worse over the four days of treatment and the fish looked really stressed, so I stopped using it), and neither did aquarium salt, but the fish are probably also stressed because there is ammonia in the tank (the nitrifying bacteria have not built up as it is still cycling). I’ve been keeping the ammonia between 0.25 and 0.5 through water changes.

    I have had some luck by cutting out the QuICK Cure treatments, doing daily 20-25% water changes to keep the ammonia down, and raising the temp to 86 degrees. I’m in my fifth day of doing this, and only the loach and barb still show ich signs. The loach had it the worst, but it’s getting better – down to a few spots on the tail and a few on the head…it was entirely covered only three days ago. The barb had no spots, but now this morning there was one on its tail and I’m concerned it’s all going to start again.

    Is there anything I should be doing differently? I don’t want to start the QuICK Cure again because I think that, along with the water changes, ammonia, and an overall sub-par fish selection, I’d just stress them out even more and make the ich problem worse, plus the heat has worked much better than the QuICK Cure with far less visible stress signs from the fish.

    Even worse is that I had two small green barbs in the tank, but the tiger barb wouldn’t leave them alone so I put them in a separate 10 gallon tank about a week and a half ago, and now this morning I think I saw a spot on one of them. This has been a pretty fast and frustrating crash course in keeping and managing an aquarium for a newcomer. The only plus has been no ich deaths as of yet.

  160. Phil July 28, 2008 at 2:16 pm #

    Forgot to mention – the main tank is 29 gallons.

  161. Eric July 30, 2008 at 7:53 pm #

    Hey Phil,
    It’s no fun, but it sound like you’ve learned a lot along the way. It sound like your on the right track. Keep the heat up. In theory Ich cannot live above 85 degrees. Also, you could do salt treatments instead of chemical medication. Either are sort of stressful on scaleless fish, but of course Ich is as well. Half the normal treatment is suggested as a compromise. 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt per 5 gal of water is the standard dose, so you’d want to cut that in half. A few days after the signs disappear, you can start water changes to dilute the salt concentration.

  162. Phil July 31, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    Thanks for the reply, Eric. Things are looking up a bit. I only see one spot left on the loach, though it is still “flashing” every now and then. It looks healthier, though, and has started swimming around normally again (well, normal for a clown loach, anyway). I haven’t seen anything in the smaller tank either, and think that may have just been me fearing the worst. I am wondering if I should do a salt or chemical treatment as insurance, but part of me says I shouldn’t mess with a good thing that’s working and should just keep up with the heat by itself for another week or so. Any recommendations there?

    I’ve read other entries on this site, by the way, and I think it’s very readable and informative. It’s not easy to find reliable info out there!

  163. Eric July 31, 2008 at 9:49 pm #

    With only that trace of the disease left, I wouldn’t do anything different than you are, like you’re thinking. It sounds like it’s on its way out. The stress of a different treatment wouldn’t be worth the benefit unless things start to look worse again.

  164. Keith August 4, 2008 at 10:30 pm #

    I have a 180 gallon that has been running for quite some time and last Sunday I discovered Ich in the tank. Within 20 minutes I bought Ick Attack and have been medicating ever since (8 days). I also am using Melafix with it as recommended by Petsmart to make sure I’m treating for anything in the tank. I’ve had many tanks over the years and I have never had Ick. It seems that the Ick has spread more since I’ve been medicating (according to the instructions), but the original fish I saw the Ick on is all better. I have now lost 4 fish in two days (2 Golden Nugget Plecos and 2 Peacocks) and am about to pull my hair out. I’ve tested the water conditions and they are right where they should be. By reading these posts, I’ve just learned to raise the temp in the tank to 82 (it’s been at 79). What else can I do to stop this from getting any worse? I don’t see the need to do water changes when the water is in good shape now. Is this wrong? I have some VERY RARE Africans in the tank that are really cool that I do not want to lose! Help!

  165. Emma August 5, 2008 at 7:39 pm #

    Building upon Keith’s question… when treating a fish for ick, or any other diseases, should I isolate the fish from the tank and treat it alone so that the medication doesn’t affect the other fish? or Should I leave the fish together so I could treat the whole tank? I mean… ick is realy contagious, right? So even if the other fish doesn’t show signs of having ick, they may still catch it, right?

  166. Eric August 11, 2008 at 6:36 am #

    Hi Keith,
    The temperature is the key. Without that, treatment is not impossible but it is difficult. It’s all about getting the organism back free floating in the water so it can be killed off. Given your trouble with the disease you should probably even get the temp higher, 84-85 degrees. Large water changes are also suggested, 50% or so every other day. It just dilutes the disease. Remember, if you’re treating with chemicals or salt to replenish the % of treatment that you take out with the change.

  167. Eric August 12, 2008 at 6:32 am #

    It’s always best to treat separately in a quarantine tank if possible. Otherwise, you really do a number on the balance of your tank. For many, it’s still the only choice to treat in the main tank. You’re right that Ich is very contagious. If your water conditions are good and fish are healthy many times they can fight the disease off and not get it. It’s when they are stressed and their immune systems weaken that they are most vulnerable.

  168. Taylor August 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    I have ick on only one of my gold fish..It’s not a fancy one, but I have been treating the ick for a long time and i’ve taken the decoration and the filter carterage out and i have also been doing water changes and recently i’ve been using salt and the ick has not gone away…would the tank be fine if I take the goldfish with the ick out of the tank would it be okay to get more fish in that tank?