View Full Version : Need advise on my plan to rid tank of ich

07/14/2017, 06:20 AM
A few days ago I noticed fish in my tank flicking off rocks and sand. Yesterday when lights went to moonlight I could see visible white spots all over my exquisite wrasse. So please advise on what I am about to undertake to get rid of this from my tank and livestock:
1. I have an inverted bottle trap in the tank for them to get used to it already.
2. I have filled and maturing a 20g QT tank. Using Microbacter7 which I used to good effect on my main DT. I will test for the cycle completing.
3. Waiting for air pump, stones and heaters for 2 6g totes that I plan to do TTM on fish as I catch them. I plan to feed only on the 3rd day in each transfer.
4. Once each fish goes through the 12 day TTM in the totes they will hold in my QT until DT fallow 9 weeks is completed.
5. Fallow will only start when I get the last fish out of DT.

Does this sound ok?
I see that day 1 counts as a full day for TTM. Does that mean if I get a fish out and into the 1st tote on say Monday at 5pm, that the first transfer should be Wednesday at 5pm, then the second transfer is Saturday at 5pm?
Also, I am hoping to snag a couple of fish each time to start TTM. That means I may be running TTM for 3 or 4 runs. Will the last captured fish survive in the ich infested DT for the possible 24 days until it is their turn to TTM?

Any comments and advise welcome (I don't know how I am going to get my 2 gobies out...).

07/14/2017, 09:13 AM
If all you have is the fish in your signature, couldn't you at least put 2 or 3 fish at a time? I know they are 6 galllon container but they are small fish. Just asking I have not done ttm.

07/14/2017, 09:29 AM
"Will the last captured fish survive in the ich infested DT for the possible 24 days until it is their turn to TTM?"

If the fish is not infected with ich... it will probably survive. If it is infected it may survive 7 - 10 days... but will become weaker each day and chances of a cure decrease daily.

Remember, the DT fallow period starts when the last fish is removed.

07/14/2017, 10:16 AM
I could put 2 or 3 fish at a time but i don't think I'll be that lucky catching them easily.

If I decided to "manage" the ich in my DT what are the chances the ich dies away in 1 year? I have read that a few places? I fear the stress of catching, ttm and qt in a bare bones tank that is probably too small will kill my fish possibly. Then use ttm and qt for any new additions after 1 year?

07/14/2017, 10:22 AM
chances of a cure decrease daily.

I thought TTM out ran the life cycle of the parasite so in effect rids the fish of the problem. Do individual parasites drop off at varying times so even doing TTM the ich will likely still be there? I have read lots on here that TTM is a pretty robust way to clear the parasites.

07/14/2017, 11:19 AM
TTM does break the life cycle of ich and is a very good method to eliminate ich. My response (and i thought your question) dealt with a fish left in the DT waiting to begin the TTM. I stated if a fish (in the DT) was infected with ich, each day it would grow weaker from the infestation. The places where the ich borrows into the skin and gills are areas where bacterial could also infect the fish. Having a weakened immune system makes the fish vulnerable to other illnesses. So its not just a matter of placing the fish into a tank.... letting the ich fall off... move the fish to another tank.... and another. The process needs to begin as soon as possible.

And yes.... ich drops off at varying times. That's why you move the fish from tank to tank.... you move it so the encysted ich falling off the fish doesn't have time to mature, rupture, and send out more ich.

07/14/2017, 11:59 AM
I could put 2 or 3 fish at a time but i don't think I'll be that lucky catching them easily.

If I decided to "manage" the ich in my DT what are the chances the ich dies away in 1 year? I have read that a few places?

I have read that too.... but I can't find the source. I am searching for a paper on generational die out (if that's the correct term) (Google Scholar) but haven't found the research yet.

07/14/2017, 12:57 PM
As long as no new strains of ich are introduced, supposedly the strain will die off in about 11 months. Some fish may die in the process. I am against ich management but to each their own.

If you don't feed your fish, they are going to go in the trap.

07/15/2017, 05:43 AM
Ok elFloyd that makes sense.
So currently have the trap in the tank. As yet unbaited while my water is mixing and heating for the TTM totes. I don't want to catch any fish and only have my maturing qt to put them in and infest it too.
The life cycle in my DT must be in the "dropped off" period because the white spots are gone but some fish still flicking a bit. I know this is part of icy cycle and it will come back with a vengeance. It makes me think again about riding it out for the 1 year since all the fish are active and with good appetites. Does anyone recommend this?

07/15/2017, 08:05 AM
I have done that befor. Worked fine for a long time. All it takes is that one fish to add that cant shake it next thing you know they will have it again. Just because you cant see it doesnt mean its not there. It stays in there gills from what i understand.Granted I had a lot of fish including tangs. Personally I will never do it again. Right now my dt has been empty since April with everything in qt. But as stated, to each their own.

My tank is an sps tank and it was a PIA. Now I'm rescaping and will have peice of mind that my tank will be parasite free. Good luck with your decision.

07/15/2017, 09:00 AM
Hi Fishguy, if I don't add any new fish (or coral or inverts) and my current batch can keep it at bay for the year wouldn't my DT be free then?

07/15/2017, 10:38 AM
One wrasse caught now holding in a breeding trap until I catch another couple. This is good because he is the second worst affected due to a bit of harassment from the other wrasse.
Tomorrow I am out of town until Wednesday. Not great timing but I am going to catch as many DT fish as I can today/tomorrow and hold them in floating traps in the DT. Just have to hope they can hold on until I start ttm on Wednesday. What do you think?

07/15/2017, 11:21 AM
I had read something about that a while back. I had high hopes for it but it didnt happen for me. Occasionally it would pop up once and a great while and go away. Once again it was on the tangs and no e of my wrasses. From what i understand if one has it its best to assume they all do.

I have done eggcrate boxes with zip ties in the past to get a new fish used to the tank w/out being harrased. You could do the same thing or poke pleanty of holes in the bottles for circulation.

07/15/2017, 05:11 PM
If I decided to "manage" the ich in my DT what are the chances the ich dies away in 1 year? I have read that a few places? I fear the stress of catching, ttm and qt in a bare bones tank that is probably too small will kill my fish possibly. Then use ttm and qt for any new additions after 1 year?

I have a system that 'manages' ich ...... have had for 4 years. I QT all new fish so am reasonably sure I've not supplemented the original strain(s). No signs of it dying out. Recently added a new tang post QT and it broke out in the expected spots. Now clear. Issue with managing ich is that not all strains behave equally, some being more potent than others. It also means certain fish are nit possible.

07/20/2017, 02:30 AM
Oh it's bad news if it won't die out in a year. Catching these fish is proving very tough. They now won't go near the trap. I suppose it might be because they saw the first wrasse get caught. The tank was without food for 3 days and they still won't go in... I don't think drain down will work for me because my fish hide in the rocks so I guess it won't matter how shallow the water is. I am going to try a piece of pipe to get the blenny hopefully. Firefish, wrasse and gramma will not currently go near trap or feed from a net. Am I stuck with this infestation now?

07/20/2017, 03:52 AM
Any tips on keeping bait food in the trap and not floating out? Even when I turn off all pump there is still some water movement that makes the food float out too much.

07/20/2017, 07:15 AM
I was able to use LRS Reef Frenzy. I put it in frozen and it stayed intact and floated to the top and stayed there until the fish went in. Mysis on the other hand completely broke up and floated out.

07/20/2017, 07:39 AM
Thanks Ig2725. I'm in the UK and can't get LRS Reef Frenzy. Would anything else work?

07/20/2017, 07:40 AM
I bought an aquamedic trap to see if it works better than my DIY coke bottle conversion.

07/25/2017, 02:22 AM
So I nabbed my 2 wrasse and the firefish. All 3 started TTM on Sunday evening. I will be doing transfer 1 on Wednesday evening.
Now trying to catch my other 4 fish to hold in the main tank until those first 3 get through TTM. Gobies are going to be tough because they show no interest in food in the trap. They only ever eat food that floats really close past their nose. Any tips from anyone that has caught gobies in a reef?

08/02/2017, 07:42 AM
I haven't been able to catch my other fish. Started dosing Polylabs Reef Safe Medic in the DT. I have been told it works on free swimming stages of ich so I figured it was worth a try.
The 3 fish in TTM are doing ok and will be done ready for QT on Friday. I plan to hold them there while finishing the Medic treatment on the DT - I think it's 10 days minimum.

08/02/2017, 07:02 PM
I usually catch them when they are sleeping at midnight, very easy.

Used to have problem like this and fallowed DT 90 days

Good luck

08/04/2017, 02:20 AM
Randomly my 2 gobies were both perching inside my coke bottle trap yesterday so I managed to isolate them for easy removal if needed. I am still dosing Medic to see if I can avoid fallowing the DT at all.

08/07/2017, 05:17 AM
On day 7 of Medic dosing but blenny still has spots and gramma still flicking on sand. I have been trying to catch and isolate them in the DT but they show no interest going into the trap. Continuing on with Medic but I'm not too optimistic about it now.

08/07/2017, 06:45 PM
IME, Reef Safe Medic will not work

08/08/2017, 01:46 AM
It's not looking promising...

08/11/2017, 06:22 AM
I've decided to TTM my other 4 fish next week and leave the DT fallow for 90 days... Medic hasn't worked.
The 3 fish I got through TTM already are looking good and healthy in the QT now so it has cleared them of ich.

08/11/2017, 02:55 PM
reef safe medic is apparently Crystallized Peroxide Salts... can't find any studies on it.... hydrogen peroxide has treated fresh water ich, killing over 50% of free swimming stage... but.. that doesn't mean it would irradiate it.. and no studies on the saltwater version of ich.

I'm skeptical... I found reports of people saying it cured their fish.. but usually they are on day 10 of treatment and see no white spots and went online to report. So it could have just been symptom free briefly, but not cured. didn't kill off the parasite.

08/16/2017, 03:35 AM
Ok, so I got my remaining 4 fish out and into TTM yesterday. The lights out then suddenly on trick worked great to catch my blenny. I know loads of people use that method but I just though the blenny would skip straight into a bolt hole and I wouldn't be able to get him even if he was stunned. Well I turned on full sun setting after an hour of full darkness and he bolted OUT of his hole and lay down on the sand! He was well and truly stunned because I couldn't quite get the net on him where he was so I nudged him a couple of times to move him into the clear and he really was stunned good and proper. I checked on him in the TTM this morning and he is doing fine. So now into second set of fish in TTM with DT fallow. I'm going for 90 days fallow DT to be sure.

Once fish go back in the DT I am going to keep the QT running and use it for 90 day fallow QT of all non fish items going to DT. I think that's how the ich came in the first place. I also plan to TTM all new fish and keep in QT for a couple of weeks after to observe. I need to plan much more carefully in future because I won't be able to put new fish into QT while I have non fish items in 90 day fallow QT. This has suddenly turned into a real headache getting things safely into my DT... any advice from more experience reefers would be much appreciated.

08/16/2017, 03:37 AM
Medic may have reduced the amount of free swimming ich in my DT but didn't eradicate it. I am only postulating that it reduced the ich because my fish have survived quite a while with the parasite present i.e. it wasn't able to overwhelm them. Whether that is down to Medic or not I can't say. I'll be using TTM in future.

08/16/2017, 07:15 PM
I prefer dipping new fishes twice between tank transfers with Seachem Paraguard. Use a small plastic bucket, add 2 liters of water + 1.5ml Paraguard + air stone and dip for an hour. It's safe, never loose anyone.


Good luck

08/17/2017, 02:07 AM
Thank you but I'm not sure I trust Paraguard, or any treatment for marine ich. It's a personal thing I suppose. Seachem don't seem to understand the life-cycle of cryptocaryon if they say treatment is 28 days or until no symptoms... I need to leave my DT fallow for 90 days to ensure I have allowed all cysts to hatch into the free swimming stage and had 24 hours or so to starve out. If I treat with medication for 28 days that does not cover the encysted cycle time. Also, it seems common knowledge in the hobby, that when marine ich symptoms appear to have gone it just means the parasite has encysted and dropped off to the substrate for a while. Maybe Paraguard also treats encysted and fish hosted (can't remember the proper name for it) stages of marine ich but it makes no reference to the life-cycle so I am cynical about it. I'm not sure dips between TTM actually offers any additional benefit for treating the ich. For treating other things then maybe I am more trusting of it and will certainly consider it if I need that or if going pre-emptive with new fish stock. In that case I would probably just treat in my QT after TTM rather than adding dips between transfers.
I will wait and see from experience if my second batch of fish through TTM come out ich free.

Any advice on QTing non fish items to avoid ich or is 90 day fallow the only sure fire way?

08/24/2017, 03:23 AM
Is 90 days in fallow QT my safest option for new corals?